Joe The Nerd

Group IQ is inversely proportional to the size of the group.

joethenerd

joethenerd
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Big Nerd
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Joe the Nerd Ferraro is a husband, dad, computer nerd, and a general pain to the local government in Audubon, PA. The father of 3 teens has been blogging under Joe the Nerd for a few years. His business, FindANerd.com (http://www.FindANerd.com), is fixing computers (hence the "Nerd" title). He is looking to get his tag line back from the plumber guy. The Nerd has also coached any sport the kids have been involved in from baseball and basketball to soccer and lacrosse.

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Salon.com
Editor’s Pick
AUGUST 17, 2010 11:30AM

Against the NYC Mosque? You are not an American.

Rate: 25 Flag

If you are against the NYC Mosque -

You may be a citizen -

But you are not an American.

 

The Right Wing of this country has made an absolute art of claiming what their version of American is.  They have used it to bully and bludgeon their way for decades.  It is time to use their own words against them.

 

What is an American? 

If you are born here or take the oath you are a citizen.

We need to define what an American is.  Since there are plenty of people running around accusing people of not being an American (obviously, myself included) we need a minimum fixed definition.

Here’s mine:

American – one who believes in the Bill of Rights and the Constitution as a way of managing our society.

Since the Bill of Rights’ First Amendment is about Freedom of Religion I argue that is more important than say the repeal of Prohibition.  I argue that believing in and defending the First Amendment is the baseline defining characteristic of being an American. (Although, I defend beer over most wines.)

If you oppose the NYC Mosque (or ANY house of worship), you are opposing the Freedom to Religion. 

Therefore, you cannot be an American.

(First semester logic is at work here.)


 Counters to the Mosque: 

“You are insensitive to those who lost family members on 9/11.” 

Then Insensitivity to those people must also include:

·         The failure to rebuild the World Trade Center – bigger – stronger – more powerful - than the one knocked down on 9/11.  We caved in. 

·         Not going after the people responsible for this debacle.  These criminals are still on the loose.

·         Going to war with the wrong country

How do rank values on the roster of “insensitivity” when compared to building a house of worship well out of sight of Ground Zero?

 

“It is too soon”

·         If not now then when?  If Martin Luther King listened to those folks, we’d still have apartheid in this country.

 

“It is too close”

·         If not there then where?  New Jersey?  (Then they’d need spiritual healing for sure).  The East River? (Yeah, we get you on this.)

 


 

Thinking about insensitivities, how about we look at how “sensitive” the rest of “us” are to Muslim America. 

In regular discourse these folks are held in the same disdain that Italians were held a century ago.  Italians must all be linked to the mob somehow.  During WW II the Italians, and Germans, and those Japanese fortunate enough to serve our country had to perform over and above what was demanded of others because their heritage put them into question.

Look at the sensitivities for a moment.  We have no problem profiling “them” in airports or public places just because they don’t look like “us” or worship like “us”. 

You can accuse me of being insensitive to those who lost people on 911, but put into context of how insensitive the rest of society is to Muslim America.

Every time we take a little shot or jab at “them”, I start to think about something from my own faith, Catholicism. 

Matthew 5:11

'Blessed are you when people abuse you and persecute you and speak all kinds of calumny against you falsely on my account’. 

(If you hate these people so much, why are you giving them so many blessings?)  I am sure there are passages of the Koran that speak to the same thing.

You can accuse me of being insensitive, but how sensitive are we to these people.  Muslims in New York did nothing to deserve this. NOTHING – NADA. 

These people continue to lose respect and dignity at the hands of those who lost loved ones.

Please, tell me who is really insensitive? 

 


 

Another thing that gets lost here.


We are talking about NYC.  There is a higher concentration of African Americans in our cities.  Many have converted to Islam.  Their families have been here at least 100 years before my families showed up from Italy and Ireland at the end of the 19th Century.

I could make the argument they are more American than I am by that virtue alone.  But we don't and shouldn't work that way.  Once you are an American - you are an American.

You get the rights and should perform the responsibilities that go along with that.

So if those served by this mosque are Americans with bloodlines that run thru cotton fields 250 years ago, or thru a boat ride from Pakistan, or a jet from Egypt, or even a recent convert to this faith - it doesn't make a difference.

How sensitive is it of us to lord rights over our fellow citizens to give them the “OK” as to where and when they can worship? 

If we can lord over this part of our population, are they really rights?

 

You may be a citizen -

But you are not an American.

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First time posting here.
Rated for reason, and welcome to OS.
thanks owl - appreciate it. btw - I am a Temple Grad...
For your first time you did excellent.And I fully agree, the laws of America are not to be picked and chosen according to what you like and don't like. The conservatives keep screaming about insensitive, well isn't in insensitive to call people terrorists who never did anything to anybody? If the U.S. does not let the Muslum community center be built then the terrorist win, they truly have destroyed the very foundations of America.
Ocular -
I normally post on the Huffington Post as Joe the Nerd.

Joan Walsh really inspired this piece with what she said on Hardball last night.
“The the so-called ground zero mosque is the nation's latest faux outrage.

The dispute over this Islamic center had long before sunk to an irretrievable level of absurdity that does little more than shame the memory and the victims of 9/11.

Gingrich and Palin led the barrage, to create outrage among the Republican base. The hypocrisy of this breed of conservatism is odious.

They trashed NY as a bastion of elitism and "un-Americanism" yet now exert their opinion on a local matter. They want smaller government and states' rights but condemn local decisions while suggesting Feds invoke eminent domain to stop the mosque.

They claim to care about the people affected by 9/11 but opposed the bill providing financial aid to now-ailing 9/11 first responders.

Gingrich declares: "No mosque near ground zero so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia."

Saudi Arabia? Does he want America to be as restrictive as the Saudis, or are we a world leader of religious liberty? Who cares what Saudi Arabia does?

Opponents cry: "Why this location so close to ground zero?" Because they bought a building that sat empty for nearly a decade, that's why. Shall we ban Muslims from all real estate deals near ground zero? Exactly what is the acceptable radius for a no-Muslim zone – and who decides, the government?

http://www.sacbee.com/2010/08/17/2963106/viewpoints-do-we-want-to-be-more.html#ixzz0wtBnaYka”
This is so what I have been saying since I first heard about this. Great post.
I've not heard anyone claim they shouldn't build it. I've heard they shouldn't build it right there, but if they want it, move it a few blocks.

The objection to building it there is a bipartisan issue. 64% of the people say don't build it there. Since the number of conservatives is not 64% then a bunch of liberals must agree with them. So there is bipartisan objection to building it there. (First semester logic is at work here.)
Don't expect to make a statement that many will disagree with and not be challenged. I just think people who would build a mosque there at this time are stupid not evil and they also have a right as far as I'm concerned to jump off a bridge. And I don't oppose building mosques...I oppose Islam. Call me a defender of dead poet's slaughtered by religionists...thinking "Asmi bin Marwan" here.
Maybe I'll agree with you some other time.
Christians in this country are more endangered and abused than Muslims. Let them build their mosque...they have a right to do it in America but decency suggests they build it elsewhere. This is being done to show dominance. If you know anything about Islam you would see it that way. This is "conquered" land to them. I have a deal for them. They can build a mosque at the 9/11 site as long as we can can build a Christian church in Mecca or Medina. They want to build bridges right?
P.S. My forebears have been Americans for 10000 years WTF do you think you are telling anyone that they are not? And I am not your major concern anyway. People who call other Americans unamerican are the real enemy. Take it personally.
Great post.

Rights are equal for all, are non-negotiable, and not based on popularity polls.
This is America, not American Idol.
“When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross.”

- Sinclair Lewis, It Can’t Happen Here.
Oh puleeeezzzee. Tell this to the millions of oppressed muslim women under the tyrany of Shari'a that this Imam wants in America. You know who is unamerican? He is. He doesn't get we are not a theocracy and that women are "allowed" to live freely. I'm on the side of anti-Sharia, pro-women, pro-gays, pro-all religions not just Islam, who have to put up with this theocratic B.S. everyday.
and if you dont know about nanothermite, then you are merely an uninformed american.
no shortage of those either.
Wow, you stirred the folks up didn't you??? If we do not remember that people settled this country to practice religion how they believed, we may have lost the concept of America in general. We are not a Christian nation, we never have been. We need to focus on freedom of religion as a basic tenet of who we are. If we do not believe in freedom of religion, we need to look into our hearts. We need to ask God to forgive us for the hateful thoughts we have there.
And by we, I mean We, the people just like it says at the beginning of the Constitution.
HEY, WHOAH, WHAT DA...! Excuse me?! I RESENT that remark about my STATE, NEW JERSEY! Spiritual Healing?!! Hello? Just remember, WE GAVE you lesser mortals BRUCE SPRINGSTEEN and BON JOVI, the Sopranos, and HAROLD AND KUMAR!!

That's PURE F$%(! AMERICANA RIGH T THERE B!@!CH!

Other than that, excellent post.
It's interesting that you approached it this way b/c last night I was thinking about writing something similar and including "unAmerican" or "antiAmerican" in the title. I was inspired by Joan Walsh's recent appearance on Chris Matthews where a clip was played showing Rush Limbaugh saying Obama is the first antiAmerican President. It riled me up in a way I haven't been riled up in a while. Besides being frankly incoherent, it's just outrageous and, of course, inaccurate. It occurred to me that though the left rarely uses patriotism as a bludgeon the way the right does, this issue quite literally exposes the unAmerican-ness of the right (and some on the left), who directly oppose the Constitution on the issue. They can suggest we change the Constitution, of course, which is their right, but to suggest that Obama/the government get involved in the use of private property to obstruct religion is just as antiAmerican as almost anything I can think of. Nice job.
Well Done, Sir.

It is not because of Hawaii that I support a Great American President- one who will NEVER let stand religious intolerance in opposition to our Founding Principles; one who has many Muslim friends, and is on record in praising Islam; one who is a scholar of the Koran, Bible, and Constitution- and that is Founding Father and Former Great President, Thomas Jefferson. I'm for Obama too, though ... what a riot listening to credulous whiners try and lecture the Prez- an Ivy League Constitutional Law Professor, about the Constitution- Hilarious Stuff when you can get it!

Joe, imagine if our Armed Forces, including several of my own kids right now, were not in Iraq and Afghanistan, imagine if our Forces had been properly managed- by Hawaii's General Shinseki, and were now instead on their way, en masse, to Pakistan to save that country's fallen citizens- THAT WOULD BE THE END OF THIS WAR- a war that is actually between fundamental and normal Islam, and is propped up by our support for the torturing Egyptian and Saudi regimes. We could make a billion friends in 30 Days ... instead of taking Chinese loans to fight Persians ... This same behavior took Rome down.
Absolutely! Thank you for this. (And can we please, finally, stop worrying about the 9/11 families??)
This discussion is the kind of thing used by our real enemies to keep us from thinking about them. It's a non-issue.
i'm not too crazy about the constitution of the usa. it was intended as a vehicle for transferring power over the colonies from the british gentry to the american gentry. it needed ten amendments from day 1. it still didn't classify propertyless men, women, or slaves as citizens. there has been some progress since, but all against resistance of the 'haves,' the 'well-satisfied,' and the 'hoping to catch a few crumbs from the rich.'

you would think such a document would be despised by now, but constant lies have an effect on children, they reach adulthood not merely in ignorance, but incapable of changing their minds.

the demonization of moslems may be simple chauvinism, or it may be cynical hypocrisy, diverting the ignorant from knowing who their enemies are. hardly matters, the nation seems past saving.
Well, on the one hand you're right - they most certainly have a RIGHT to build a mosque. I mean, I have never seen anyone standing up and yelling because someone was building a CHURCH in their neighborhood.

But then again, on the other hand, just because they have the RIGHT to do it doesn't make it RIGHT TO DO. It smacks of insensitivity and disrespect.

SO - from me, you get a comment but no rating. Sorry.

And Jeff - NO. We cannot finally stop worrying about the 9/11 families. Any more than we can stop worrying about the families of holocaust victims. When we take those victims and shove them aside because it's yesterday's news, you can be damn sure that someone else will be tomorrow's news in the same way. We need to make sure that we never forget what that day felt like, so we don't let it happen again.
i will try to acknowledge as many comments as possible...
I do this on Huffington Post too...


freethinkergirl - thanks for coming over and posting on this.
you are on target as usual.

Anthony Duval - keep saying it dude. we need to clone ourselves.

Catnlion -
1 - rights are not negotiable. either you have them or you don't.
2 - anytime someone shows up with poll numbers on anything the first question in my head is sample and methodology. We can no longer get a random sample of our population(subject for another post). methodology - what questions and how were they asked.
3 - the bill of rights are not subject to plebecite.
FredHallman - hmmm you want to get personal with me - i hardly know you. I don't think my wife would take nicely to that...

Stupid and evil have nothing to do with this.

Since you oppose Islam -
as with any religion -
you admittedly oppose the bill of rights -
therefore you fit right into the shaded area of a citizen who is not American.

I am more than happy to call you un-American because you are, in fact, the problem. Your opposition to Islam helped us get into these wars.

take it personally...
you are literally killing our country.

Please move to Pakistan.
I think the point about the 9/11 families is that they have been forcing themselves to the forefront over and over again - just because they are the "9/11 families". They have expressed their wishes and they have had their moment. 9/11 HAS passed, millions of other families have experienced tragic grief since that day. We can move on without forgetting.

(And hey, an EP and a excellent post on your first effort. Good shot and welcome.)
DJohn - tough words there guy...

"They can build a mosque at the 9/11 site as long as we can can build a Christian church in Mecca or Medina. They want to build bridges right?"

Here's a clue -
We are Americans
We have a different, better, set of rule to the ones over there.
I don't give a rats' high knee what they do there.

(my kids come to me with an argument that someone else is doing something and they should too. they know they lost the argument right there. Yours is a variant of a me too argument.)

thanks for playing...
Slowx,
Marcus Lawrence,

sing it dudes.
Deborah Young,
the rules are different here.
anyone pulls that crap here - we have a special place for them

it is called - prison.

They get the first amendment - just like you do...
vzn,
the nanothermite got us here at each other's throats
do you really want to squeeze harder?

Liberal Southern Democrat
Amen
(stole your line Caria - sorry)...
dbgheim,
I am from outside philly, i feel your pain...
ty

Lainey,
this post had been stewing in my head for a while. i actually test ran the concepts on my facebook page to guage what would happen.
sheck my status and hold on.
i saw the same segment you did - (I am a huge smerconish fan) - Joan Walsh inspired that final writing of this. It would have normally gone to Huffington Post, but she really impressed me so i came here with it.

i appreaciate the read. it is cool when people are on the same page.
Oahusurfer

you are really on target.
thank you to your family for their service.
my God hold yours in the palm of his hand while in hams' way.

thank you for your response...


Jeff Howe,
you are welcome, i suspect that the 9/11 are not monolithic in their viewpoints on this.
this event needs to be used to heal also.
Drew-Silla,
I agree, except for the fact we are abridging the rights of these folks.

Al Loomis,
you need to take some happy pills.
we are breathing. the sun shines.
the country is worth the time and energy.

but if you really feel that way - do me a favor,
register to vote and before you do call me and i'll tell you who to vote for.
since you don't care what happens, i still do, i'll put your voice to good use.
quattospeaks

first off - i really don't care if you rate me or not.
i am used to being the only guy in the room standing with an idea.
i will attract other people by the force inside the ideas.

"But then again, on the other hand, just because they have the RIGHT to do it doesn't make it RIGHT TO DO. It smacks of insensitivity and disrespect."

that is exactly what I am attacking.
who the ...hell are you to ask for sensitivity as you demean people who practice this faith?

you have no problem profiling them.

hell - "they" should be sensitive to the majority as the majority further marginalizes them!
You can not be serious.


When will you grant them the right to practice their faith, in a building they bought - with their money?

come on - when?

it is not a right if we have to wait around for the likes of you to grant it.

keep your rating - i would feel dirty taking it from you.
save it for a xenophobe.
jane_smithie

thanks - i appreciate it.
Stones Thoreau -

i don't want to be totally cold to the 911 families,
but it is now become a zero-sum game.

thanks for your kind words...
I think it is entirely possible to have some reasonable objection to this, without being "islamiphobic or un-american"

I have no problem with muslims or their chosen place of worship.

Frankly, I really doubt the mosque will even break ground. No one is saying they don't have the "right" to build it. They do. People are questioning the motivation and wisdom behind it.

Build the mosque, sure. But the Iman spearheading this needs to be exposed for the hack and fraud that he is.
@LadyMiko
Did you have proof of this accusation? "But the Iman spearheading this needs to be exposed for the hack and fraud that he is."
"People are questioning the motivation and wisdom behind it.
Build the mosque, sure. But the Iman spearheading this needs to be exposed for the hack and fraud that he is."

why should motivation and wisdom even be called into question?
it doesn't matter - they own the land and can do what they wish with it (within the zoning everyone else has to abide by).

if you take the bait, you are making the Muslim Community here the victim.

unless you have a grand jury indictment or a conviction against this imam - he is a man of God - remember we are innocent until proven guilty in the US.

so if you attack this man's character unjustly, how does that not make his followers feel even more victimized?
Remember - this is their religion.
You are attacking a defining feature of a person when you do that.

How are you honoring their Freedom of Religion?

Are you acting as an American here?
@ Anthony

This Iman wants the US to be Sharia compliant, he even admitted to as much in his book. Anyone who wants to over haul our judiciary for the sake of some primitive tribal bullshit needs to be called on it.
Don't put words in my mouth you fatuous demagogue! People have right to opinions even if they aren't your's. The government can't have some of those opinions and rightly so, but people can and should.
I dislike most religions but abhor those who harbor murderous thugs.
And I know quislings when they spew!
Gee, they sound a lot like you.
The rhyme was for Esmee bin Marwan. What a hate-monger you are hiding in sheep's clothing.
Great Post.
Rated for being truly American.
to Fred
"Don't put words in my mouth you fatuous demagogue! People have right to opinions even if they aren't your's. The government can't have some of those opinions and rightly so, but people can and should.
I dislike most religions but abhor those who harbor murderous thugs.
And I know quislings when they spew!
Gee, they sound a lot like you.
The rhyme was for Esmee bin Marwan. What a hate-monger you are hiding in sheep's clothing."

my mom told me about nasty trolls like you.
you are just a hateful person.
you said it yourself about Islam. "I oppose Islam. "
so you are already looking down an entire class of people.

they have a right to their religion.
if an adherent violates our laws they go to jail.
what is the problem with that?
the mormons had to adapt their faith to incorporate into our society. so does Islam.

btw i do like sheeps' clothing. know where i can get a jacket for winter?

one last thing....

BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
non religious christian,
thanks dude...
"if you take the bait, you are making the Muslim Community here the victim. unless you have a grand jury indictment or a conviction against this imam - he is a man of God - remember we are innocent until proven guilty in the US. so if you attack this man's character unjustly, how does that not make his followers feel even more victimized?"

Please, I'm not labeling ALL muslims as "hacks and frauds" just this one man. I'm basing that on HIS OWN WORDS. Read his book.

"Remember - this is their religion.
You are attacking a defining feature of a person when you do that."

I never attacked Islam in my comment.

"How are you honoring their Freedom of Religion? Are you acting as an American here?"

Look, I'm going to make this really clear, as per my earlier comment, I have no problem with muslims or mosques. The first amendment applies to everyone. Just because I don' t buy this Iman's "peace and bridge building act" doesn't mean I'm trying to victimize his followers.
@LadyMiko
Pat Robertson wants our laws to conform to "Gods law". My experience is that religious people frequently think their religion should be the law of the land. I may be wrong, but I think that inclination is why the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is the first one.
"Look, I'm going to make this really clear, as per my earlier comment, I have no problem with muslims or mosques. The first amendment applies to everyone. Just because I don' t buy this Iman's "peace and bridge building act" doesn't mean I'm trying to victimize his followers."

the problem is - it all gets bundled together.
it becomes a shorthand package issue.
they guy may be a loop job, i don't know, but it doesn't matter.
the issue is beyond him now.

this will be a flashpoint issue until the election.
this is the gays of 2004.
going after the imam means you are going after the whole package.

this group needs to stick together.
i can see how they would feel they are in a siege situation against larger society.
they can't afford to throw him under the bus.
Anthony: Sure, I wouldn't doubt that for a second. As I stated in another post, ANYONE who wants to set us back into a 5th century mindset needs to be called out on it. Pat Robertson is just as disgusting as any other wing nut.

The first amendment is a wonderful thing.
Joe, I definitely agree that stuff gets thrown together and often times unfairly. I see that. (I'm reminded of the Catholic Abuse scandal)
I need to reiterate; our enemies aren't Muslims or blacks or Jews or Mexicans. It is the people in charge of our government. THEY are our enemies. When we engage in discussions of this sort, pointless little pissing matches about faith or race or prejudice or other distractions, we are wasting our time.
Welcome to the monkey house. An EP first time out of the gate is a rarity too. Deserved it though. I think that my comments here may be too long so be on the lookout for a post in response to this.
Let allow to build up Mosque and pardon those who did wrong to people. Forget and forgive is best policy for living peacefully
Great post, rated and favorited. I'm looking forward to reading your material in the future.

I really don't care what the imam preaches or believes in. He has an unquestioned right to preach or believe whatever he wants. If it offends you or frightens you, tough cookies.

I don't care that the 9/11 attackers were Muslims. Whenever you get into that "look what THEY did to US" mentality, it's tribalism. SOME Muslims attacked the US and killed thousands of innocents. If we allow ourselves to become distrustful and fearful of all things Muslim, we're playing into bin Laden's hands.

And let's stop the lying, shall we? It isn't a "Ground Zero mosque. It isn't at Ground Zero. You can't even see it from Ground Zero. It isn't even a mosque. It's going to look quite unremarkably like about any other building in the area. So let's all take a deep breath and if you're against it, ask yourself "what am I really afraid of?"
Can you imagine......the hatred in the mind..(misplaced hatred at that). .that crafted the opinion that a Mosque in Lower Manhattan constitutes insensitivity to the victims of 9/11.

When did the slide of America into the darkest of history begin...To a place where common sense logic..have no place.
4,000 young men and women..needlessly..by muslims.....in an invasion that was not connected to the tragedy...thats not INSENSITIVE IDIOCY..??

You can just hear Jim Crowe, making that argument..after an African American unfortunately kills a White man....." No Black man..or ni***** should ever walk on this street again...Its insensitive to the victim...."....
How far have you come Mr.Right Wing American.....but a few inches..will be the answer....
Wow, dude - slap a cuff on and the check the pressure before you blow a gasket.

Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that I cannot think this is a bit thoughtless of the Muslim community? That feeling this concept, in this place, is insensitive and disrespectful makes me anti-Muslim and anti-American?

What a complete load of shit. I don't blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of extremists. That doesn't mean I can't take exception to proposed actions such as this.

Freedom OF RELIGION includes freedom FROM RELIGION.

that is exactly what I am attacking.
who the ...hell are you to ask for sensitivity as you demean people who practice this faith?


Well, for starters I'm an American citizen and a registered voter. That means I get to practice my right to free speech. Who the fuck are YOU to tell me what to think?

Secondly, show me where I demeaned ANYONE. Go ahead. Don't just suggest I did it, copy and paste it into a comment and BOLD THE FUCKER so everyone can see.

I didn't demean ANYONE. Opinionated assholes like you that cannot adequately defend their positions without resorting to name-calling demean people.
I'm certainly not American born, so feel none of the "everyone hates us, we are American" I've encountered in this country, with the requisite desire to prove that I'm a "good" American. That Mosque does not need to be built within earshot and view of Ground Zero, it is a choice that has been deliberately made, and a choice that has upset many. Why anyone would do something so crass that upsets so many other people is an essay in itself. According to the author of this piece, anyone who opposes a house of worship is not American. That would be me, I oppose the building of the mosque at this particular site. That would also be Muslims, who oppose every other kind of house of worship other than their own faith in Saudi. There is not one single church, temple or shrine in that country, and you don't hear these non-Americans protesting this. People of other faiths can't even visit Mecca. People of all faiths can visit the Vatican. If these non-American Muslims were serious about outreach, they would move that mosque further away from Ground Zero. It is a huge mistake to speak about Islam as a religion, and entirely ignore that is is a political, economic, judicial (Sharia), and social system. Islam dictates every aspect of their life, there is no separation of church and state as we know it. This largely explains why trying to set up democracies in Islamic states has been such a failure. Meanwhile, according to the reasoning in this article, non-Americans will be erecting a mosque in an area that offends the majority of Americans (except they aren't really Americans because they oppose a house of worship just like the non-Americans who are building it). You may be an American, but you are a self-righteous superior and full of your own smug American-ess kind of of American, the kind that makes those of us in the world who are non-Americans look at you askance. And you wonder why you aren't liked. We prefer Americans who are flawed and human people. I choose not to be an American like you. By your definition I choose to be a non-American who expects the same standards of behaviour from other people and faiths throughout the world, with zero exceptions. When the Hindus encountered resistance for sati, they said it was part of their faith. The British replied that they hang people for murdering women. This was one of the finest hours in British history. My approach to faith puts Saudi on the table. Once they allow churches, shrines, temples - all other faiths to worship freely and publicly in their own places of worship in Saudi and also to visit Mecca - then I'm prepared to be more sympathetic towards them. Meanwhile, their grandstanding leaves me utterly cold.
I don't GAS about NYC or where mosques are built. Why is it that everything and everybody is determined to divide our country with their insatiable claims decrying everything must be defined according to their small-minded points of view.
Quattos..Baby..You speak with one side of your mouth..while the other side of your brain contradicts..your view..stated..a sentence before..
Also bro..check your info...make sure you speak facts..and truth. A simple question : how many Muslims organisations bulidings are there around the Ground Zero...Just for the Hell of it..When was the property bought? That WILL house the Community centre..??
And ohh ... you are from Texas..? Hmm Maybe that explains you fear of facts..Please place this phrase over your bed head...SEEK TRUTH FROM FACTS...
Isn't this the faith that is so tolerant that it just stoned two people to death who may have had an affair?

Did they ever catch the guy who killed his daughters as an "honor killing" for dating guys who were Hispanic? A Muslim father can't have his daughters date some "wetback" now can they.

Isn't this the Iman who won't admit Hamas is a terrorist group?

If everything is equal here, how come the church that was damaged during the 9-11 attack can't get a permit to rebuild on their lot?

I hope if they build this I can get a permit for a food cart. Here in NC they make some fine pork BBQ. I think it would sell well on the sidewalk out front. What do you think?
Drew-Silla,
You are on target. Although i think it is more about the money being generated in the media. follow the cash. more screaming, more ranting, more ratings.

Bobbot,
Interesting stuff being flung on the wall here. i will keep an eye out for you...
Kyle,

you are, whether you know it or not, by layering in the extraneous stuff, bullying these folks into doing what you want.

get past the imam - all faiths have lunatics in high places.

when you bring up the 3,000 dead - you are convicting these people in new york of a crime they did not commit.

how far do you want to go with the group punishment here.

who else is giving a fixed definition of what an American is?
have you seen that before?

i led with that for a reason.
a lot of people put that bar all over the place.
i am trying to make it at least a fixed position.

What is your definition of American?
Then we can discuss rationally.

i am being intolerant to people who are bullying my fellow Americans. we need more of this type of intolerance.
Naughty Boy,
Robert,
Amlicar
TY
Quattrospeaks,

your quote -
"But then again, on the other hand, just because they have the RIGHT to do it doesn't make it RIGHT TO DO. It smacks of insensitivity and disrespect."

you are making my point, but you aren't seeing it.

you are asking for sensitivity - to who - 9/11 families.
i am asking for sensitivity for another set of victims - the muslim community in NYC.

it is now being set as a zero-sum game.

9/11 victims can't get respect and sensitivity unless we take it away from the Muslims. (oh, they don't mind being trashed - we profile THEM anyway.)

are you arguing the Muslim Community of NYC did something here to make 911 happen? Please bring that proof.
If they did nothing, then you are punishing them (by asking them to move) for something they did not do?

how is that not demeaning?
AMLICAR said:
Quattos..Baby..You speak with one side of your mouth..while the other side of your brain contradicts..your view..stated..a sentence before..
Also bro..check your info...make sure you speak facts..and truth. A simple question : how many Muslims organisations bulidings are there around the Ground Zero...Just for the Hell of it..When was the property bought? That WILL house the Community centre..??
And ohh ... you are from Texas..? Hmm Maybe that explains you fear of facts..Please place this phrase over your bed head...SEEK TRUTH FROM FACTS...


Please try to construct sentences that actually MAKE SENSE. Where is the contradiction?
Why should I care how many Muslim buildings there are at ground zero? What difference does it make? If you know the answer, post a link for it.
So tell me, WHEN was the propertly bought? And if it was PRE-2001, why have they waited until AFTER 9/11 to build a mosque?
And no, I'm NOT from Texas - I'm actually a New Yorker. So, my opinion doesn't count? Or do you have something against Texans?

Post your facts, my man. I haven't SEEN a single fact from you. Make sure you provide supporting links too, so we can all assess the validity of your "facts".

Joe - I'm still waiting for an answer.
Joe - didn't see your last comment til now, so my apologies.

are you arguing the Muslim Community of NYC did something here to make 911 happen? Please bring that proof.

Nope. But explain how asking them to be sensitive to the feelings of those who lost loved ones in a horrible attack is demeaning in any way. How is asking them to be considerate of the fact that Muslim extremists brought down several buildings RIGHT THERE demeaning? Don't you think that the people who LIVE THERE might consider a 13-story mosque a little demeaning to THEM?

I don't see how you can claim I am making your point. I am not saying they CAN'T build a mosque there - I'm saying it isn't necessarily the right thing to do. Simply because I can see and sympathize with both sides doesn't make me un-American or anti-Muslim.

But you go ahead and maintain your narrow-minded view if you like. Sorry, I missed the memo where YOU get to decide what is un-American.
LifeInTexas,

are you a citizen, if you are - glad you made it here and welcome.

not everyone who has come here has heard those words or been accepted as easily as you have.

At this point - with all the bullying going on - it is an appropriate place for the Muslim Community to dig their heels in an build where they need to. Otherwise they will get pushed somewhere else again next week.

Bullies need to be stood up to. (I am glad you have some fire in your belly to take me on, I hope you have used that fire in other places in real life. I really am small potatoes.)

By you stating the Muslim Community in NYC needs to move you are saying they did something wrong. What did these people do wrong?

If they did nothing wrong, why are you asking that they be punished by placing restrictions as to where they can or cannot build.

How is it American to push people around like that.
You can give me a score on your little smugness scale.
I hope you look yourself in the mirror when you give yourself your own score.

btw, where did I say non-Americans are building this mosque?

also, this country has it's own set of rules. you lose a lot of points with me when you point and say well someone else did this or that.

i can only control my own behavior, not someone from a far away land. i am an American here. i can, should, and must affect things here. that is my purview.

i will step up when i see intolerance being practiced. as it is being done to these folks.

i never said i was perfect.
but i am shooting for it.
Belinda,
small minds need boogy men.
in the 1930's Germany it was...
in 21st century America it is...
Thanks to the civilized environment in the United States, overseen by the U.S. Constitution, it is the absolute right of the Muslims involved to build their little mosque whenever, wherever they please.

Thanks to the superior values of Americans, which, among other matters, honor the rights of women as equals, it is the absolute right or Americans to speak out against it--without being accused of anti-Americanism--and to have no part in supporting the construction of a place where people gather to express adherence to principles which most Americans consider savage.
It was Never about the First Amendment...
70% of Americans believe that Muslims have the Constitutional Right to locate a Mosque at the site planned near the WTC.
70% of Americans also "feel" that it would be a slap in the face of everyone connected with and sharing in the pain of those people who mourn the murder of their loved ones..the ashes of the dead possibly on that building in the dust that blanketed downtown NYC that horrible, nightmare of a day..

You wrote an essay that would be a description of a citizen of ANY country., but not what it means to be an "American".
With some editing you could be describing what it means to be a German, Frenchman, Egyption, Chinese...or a person of any country on the globe...but NOT an "American".
You can be a "citizen" of those countries, but unless you were born there with the blood of a native, you will never be a Frenchman if you were from Morocco, a German if you were born a Turk, an Italian if your race is yellow, or an Iranian if you are of Arab decent.

Being an American is a great deal more than a legal definition. Millions of people from every country on earth, some no longer on the globe of the world, came to these shores, many coming
to New York City, and all with a tear seeing the Lady in the harbor holding her welcoming torch.

What does it mean to be an American is not easily put into words...it is a "state of mind". You can live here, and never become an "American". You can live here and, as some express here, hate most things about being an American.
On the whole, Americans, have proven to be the most resourceful, energetic, hard-working, innovative, God fearing people on earth.

We are also the most tolerant welcoming people on the planet.

Of course our history is not without warts and blemishes, but contrary to most countries on earth, we "evolved". We formed a "republic" based on democratic principles when the rest of the world was led by Kings, tyrants, despots. You were born into a class...and that was to be your life.
Slavery was rampant throughout the world, in the middle ages, was brought to these shores by the English and generations of millions of black people were kept in bondage, until Americans fought and died to free them from their shackles.

Woman had little if any rights as a person. Again, very common in times past and not unique to
these shores. Our Constitution allowed for peaceful protest and a woman's right to vote was made
law of the land...and the equality of woman in America and our treatment of woman ranks among the best in the world.

Americans welcome people of peace and goodwill to our country and give them the privalege of becoming an American citizen under well established law. And it IS a privaliage..not a right to be a citizen.
Americans welcome people of every race and religion to our country and again, not always perfect, but I don't know of any other place on earth where tolerance of all peoples is as evident as it is in our country.

We are also the most loving and giving people on earth. Over the past century, millions of Americans have given their lives, been maimed for life, in securing "freedom" for billions of people.
The "first responders" to any catastopphy offering help and assistance to any country that has had
a major event such as earthquakes, tsunami, fire, and storms, no matter their politics. Today, for example, there are aircraft from the United States giving whatever help they can to fight the horrible fires raging in Russia. We were there with aid to Haiti, not only from our government doing what we all would expect them to do..but from digging down deep into our pockets to send whatever we could afford to help those poor people in that earthquaqe ravaged country.

There are no more people "sensitive" to the feelings of others. We don't have to continually "prove" our goodness with words..we have shown that goodwill with positive deeds.

Emotions are high in our country with respect to building an Islamic Mosque two blocks from the
site of the WTC, destroyed by Islamic terrorists in the name of their religion. Only an idiot would charge all Americans with hating Muslims and their religion. Certainly, with 100 Mosques operating
in the Metro area, religious tolerance thrives in NYC.
It has NEVER been a question that Muslims have Constitutional rights to build a place of worship on private property, subject to governmental rules, zoning, and codes. And government does have that power...certainly places of worship, a church in California, for example, that had to move a planned building because the EPA said they would be building at a place where the "California gnatcatcher" nested!

The rejection of 70% of Americans of building this Islamic Mosque so close to ground zero is emotional...deep seated, and obviuosly well beyond the hurt it would cause the "families".

When do others recognize that Ameriacns feel pain too... that there are some things we don't do not because of legal restriction but because we are good neighbors, sensitive to the feelings of others. When, when are the majority of Americans going to feel that good will from those building Cordoba House...renamed because of the negative connotation.
First of all your headline is misleading. The people are not against the mosque. They are against placement of the mosque( and supposedly, it's not even going to be a mosque).

Secondly, to call someone un-American because you disagree with them is disengenuous on your part.

Of course there are a few crazies out their. There always will be.
If the Muslims want respect from us, they should return the same respect.
Quattro -
NP on the timing...

you are making my point by joining in the Bully Chorus that intimates this group.

How American of you.
Sorry for the "of" "or" typo. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as funny as the "in ham's way" mistake above.
For someone to claim that they're tolerant, you sure aren't a shining example, Nerd.

I don't find your arrogance very appealing, either.

Build your stupid mosques, temples, churches, and other places of worship whereever you want.

I really don't care to argue with religious zealots, no matter what denomination or location.
Oh, I have to get my two cents in here!

By protesting against it ( the Mosque or whatever ) these Americans are showing that they are no better than the radical Islamists! So they are in fact, falling prey to the terrorists ideology. That is that "America is at war with Islam". A truly patriotic American would support these people to build as they see fit THREE BLOCKS AWAY! Muslims did not blow up the World Trade Center, TERRORISTS, who happened to be Muslims, blew up the towers.
and for Gordon, I know my grammar just brings you to tears. Get over it! The only thing worse than a bigot, is a presumptuous one!
As a New York City resident, this entire mosque fiasco is gut-wrenching. It's NOT about free speech or freedom of religion -- make no mistake, this is about POLITICS and powerplays on both sides. I am offended that more media coverage is being given to the mosque issue than to the fact that we are fast approaching the 10 year anniversary of the 9/11 tragedy and the Ground Zero site is still a construction zone instead of a completed memorial with finished new skyscrapers. THAT should be the focus of all the debate.
My goodness... some of you are really thick here.

Or maybe, I am thick, because I cannot figure out why anyone would have a problem with Park 51, unless they somehow believed that every Muslims were somehow complicit in the 9/11 attacks. Maybe they know something I don't. Were the Park 51 sponsors somehow responsible for 9/11, or anything else for that matter? If so, there ought to be evidence. If you have no evidence, then you are taking the position of a bigot.

That's right. You are a Bigot. I am ashamed that you live in my America. You are a blight, and are against everything that makes this country great.

You don't like that I say this? In a word, tough shit. I don't care a whit for the feelings or sensitivities of bigots.

I get that you don't want Park 51. Really. Unfortunately, there's not a goddamn thing you can do about it, except for one thing...

...You can be honest, for a change, and agitate for what you really want, which is to pass a constitutional amendment declaring that the practice, in any form, of Islam in the United States is a crime. Go ahead, tell your representatives that you want Islam Outlawed, and that all Muslim places of worship be razed, and all Muslims stripped of their citizenship and deported. That any Muslim attemptimg to cross our borders will be immediately arrested and sent back to where they came from.

As awful as that would be, it would at least be an intellectually honest, and principled stand on your part- perhaps the first one ever in your lives.

As repugnant as your bigotry is, trying to have it both ways is cowardly, unprincipled and far more repugnant than your bigotry. I mean, do you really believe you are fooling anyone at this point? That we haven't seen your true colors?

What are you waiting for? Have some balls and pick up the phone.

I would actually respect you if you did, but I'd still want you out of our country. I love our freedoms, and you don't. That makes you the enemy. Get out if you hate America so much.
whoa! ... you mean all those with Italian heritages AREN'T attached to the mob? ... dang, gotta rethink some of my basic premises

on a serious note, there are ways for poll numbers to be representative of the polling universe. your point about it being difficult and wanting to understand methodology and the survey instrument (with the question/response wording examined) are valid. it's difficult, but not impossible among professionals.

(R) for nerdiness
JoeZollo,
you can bend my definitions if you want and that is fine.

but i am damn tired of people using the term "American" to bludgeuon and bully. I am glad you see it is a state of mind.

this essay put a minimum baseline on that state of mind. What is your bare minimum level?

you are not seeing that is a slap in the face to people who have been here for generations when a chorus of bullies sing about slaps in the face when they want to worship God.

seems like there's a lot of slapping going on.

the muslims in this are had nothing to do with 9/11.
why do they need to feel less than American?
why do you feel the need to put them in that position?

"We are also the most tolerant welcoming people on the planet. "
stop down in Arizona.
how about Hazelton, Pa?
or even those protesters last week at this site.
Or even at the posters on this very thread.
I don't think we are as tolerant as you think.

Talk about peace and goodwill?
hmmmm, if i were a 12 year-old in Iraq or Afghanistan, i would think that democracy or the United States is something that comes with a gun and bullets. And people in uniforms telling me where i can go and what i can do.

we are not being very hospital to our own people in this case...

Either you have the American state of mind or you don't.
Blackflon,
the original headline was my face book status:
"If you are against the NYC Mosque - you may be a citizen - but you are not an American."

little too long.


"Secondly, to call someone un-American because you disagree with them is disengenuous on your part."

ahhhh, you think something else is at work there?
take it up a level.
how long has this rhetorical tact been used on the middle and the left. Did you stand up to it when McCarthy used it.
I am saying that the language, like God, or Jesus Christ, is not a trademark owned by a political party.
we need to shake the language free of the crap.

"If the Muslims want respect from us, they should return the same respect."
that is your most troubling statement.
why exactly should Muslims respect you?
as this group is profiled and told where they can or can't worship by the bullies of the mob?
what exactly is supposed to engender respect from them?

Many of these people have families with histories much longer than mine.

What have YOU done to earn THEIR respect.

As you seem to note - respect is a two way street...
Belinda,
I will make a deal with you.
call me whatever names you want.
yell at me scream at me.
please go at it.

BUT only if you can spend half of your time giving the same ration of you know what to those people making our fellow Americans feel less than American.

please - i really look forward to you ripping me a new one...
Kenny1948 -
thanks dude...
EasternStarGeek
I want to be on your team...
I will run block for you any day of the week.
CrazeCzar,
yeah, but we all worship Frank Sinatra...

i am glad you caught my point about the polls -
i think we are being fed loads of junk polls.

i don't think anyone really knows what's going on.
I had typed a long post but everything important has already been said in the comments (and by the OP!).

Outstanding post and highly rated.

All the best,
-David
I won't ever stoop to THAT level, Nerd. Nope. I don't yell. I don't scream. I don't namecall.
Unlike yourself, Nerd, I've got better things to do with my free time.

BUT only if you can spend half of your time giving the same ration of you know what to those people making our fellow Americans feel less than American.

please - i really look forward to you ripping me a new one...

Come again? You make a completely false allegation about me and then request I rip you a new what?
DLogan -
sorry i took the words off your kbd.
I really appreciate it.


Belinda,
you had no problem calling me out for being arrogant and such.
please turn it on those who are in the Bully Chorus.
Don't tell me what to do. EVER.
I ain't tellin' you to do anything, just trying to cut a deal with you.
Welcome to OS! Great post-I think I am going to get along great with you! Rated, of course!
ty - i appreciate it...
By the way, our government is a strong ally of Saudi Arabia-where the majority of the 9/11 terrorists came from, 15 of the 19 men were Saudis- the others grew up in Egypt, the United Arab Emirates and Lebanon. So we invaded Iraq?
If the US can remain an ally of Saudi Arabia, why are Americans getting their panties in abunch about a religious place of worship? Personally, I could do without the Mormon Temple being built in Philly and these huge Mega-churches that look like the King of Prussia Mall. But our constitution allows religious freedom, to ignore that is to ignore liberty!
if you are going to hit someone - why not Saudi Arabia?
i thought the King of Prussia Mall was Mega-church.

what town are you in?
Almost 70% of the people in this country think that the mosque is a bad idea - are we all un-American for feeling this way?

I liked the comment - Just because you have a right doesn't make it the right thing to do. If the Iman is sincere in wanting to build bridges between Islam and America he should consider another place for the landing.
@joethenerd

Lets see..The Senate Majority leader thinks it might be wiser for the group building the NYC Mosque to relocate to another location...Gov. Howard Dean joins the ranks of "bigots" who feel that possibly a compromise on the location of this Mosque might be considered.
Liberals will not accept compromise. Anything less than 100% is seen as a defeat....and that is what has destroyed the Democratic Party in a little over a year and a half. Power corrupts, and abosolute power corrupts, absolutely.Witness the outrageous comment by Nancy Pelosi that "there should be an investigation of where the funds are coming from that is backing the outcry against the Mosque" Funds? Really? I guess my check is in the mail.

I am convinced that this Mosque will not be built in that location, Either way,however, the bad guys win and will use this intramural argument among Americans as a victory.
"If we can lord over this part of our population, are they really rights?"

"I liked the comment - Just because you have a right doesn't make it the right thing to do. If the Iman is sincere in wanting to build bridges between Islam and America he should consider another place for the landing."

If that is your stance you are part of the chorus of bullies attempting to deny these people their rights.

you are not really for religious freedom.
therefore you cannot be an American.

if you want to be called an American - you need to back these folks.

I am sorry if i offend you, but you will need a different definition of American if you want to call yourself one.
Like I care about Harry "the leaning tower of jello" Reid.
He's a wimp. i don't care if he was a boxer once he is no fighter.

Howard "the scream" Dean = another great fighter there.

They are pols who don't get it.

i am not speaking as a liberal here, as you are attempting to draw me into the association battle. i am speaking as an American.
Where is the Tea Party on this with their 3 pointed hats?

this is black letter law.

and these people are being coerced away for a legit place.

i guess you are defining being a bully as being an American...
Like I care about Harry "the leaning tower of jello" Reid.
He's a wimp. i don't care if he was a boxer once he is no fighter.

Howard "the scream" Dean = another great fighter there.

They are pols who don't get it.

i am not speaking as a liberal here, as you are attempting to draw me into the association battle. i am speaking as an American.
Where is the Tea Party on this with their 3 pointed hats?

this is black letter law.

and these people are being coerced away for a legit place.

i guess you are defining being a bully as being an American...
Joe, ever notice when you criticize a conservative you are called "hurtful" and other choice words. However they can criticize US all they want, and it's ok. I am so over it. I'd love to tell some of these bozos off, but this is your post. Which was very good, by the way.
Thank you ! Thank you ! Thank you ! This is exactly the way I wish more people would think ! You are open-minded, and that is a wonderful quality ! Excellent ! Rated.
Yo, Kenny -
feel free to pick up a verbal Lacrosse Long pole and start playing some Whack-A-Mole Defense.
Lynne,
you are making my hat size expand.
pass the word on this.
(bring help)

this is a really important topic.
Quattos ..Baby... Check this spew from your finger tips...and hopefully from some side of your brain...

."Are you SERIOUSLY suggesting that I cannot think this is a bit thoughtless of the Muslim community? That feeling this concept, in this place, is insensitive and disrespectful makes me anti-Muslim and anti-American?

"' "What a complete load of shit. I don't blame the entire Muslim community for the actions of extremists. That doesn't mean I can't take exception to proposed actions such as this." " "

Do you see the passage with double inverted commas.....That's you blaming the entire Muslim World for the crimes of the extremists..BUT YOU SAY ALSO WITH THE OTHER SIDE OF YOUR MOUTH...( That you do not blame the entire Muslim People)..But you claim.....THAT YOU TAKE EXCEPTION......TO THEIR PROPOSE ACTIONS.... I THINK YOU MEAN TO BUILD A COMMUNITY CENTER.....IN NEW YORK.....AFTER THE TRAGEDY OF 9/11......If that 's not a contradiction..from both sides of your spewer....then you are both at the same time ..two people.....
You want to condemn the entire Muslim.......bcause the guys who attacked us on 9/11 were muslims.....The only reason you find the facility being built, insensitive..is because you think Muslims are bad people..and you reject their religion..and you reject them having to choose any place in America to serve their religion..but you also claim your right to reject their religion and to deny them..the place of their choice..to build a facility....

So Quattos baby..what Constitution..are you operating under.....Its not the US Constitution..so therefore you are serving a foreign..one ....and you are therefore Un American....Just as Joe suggested....
Wow! You came to OS with a bang! Welcome to OS. Loved the post.
Mime,
thanks - i appreciate it.
"If that is your stance you are part of the chorus of bullies attempting to deny these people their rights.
you are not really for religious freedom.
therefore you cannot be an American.
if you want to be called an American - you need to back these folks"

I am not sure who appointed you arbiter of what is American but you better check their credentials, I don't think they had the authority.
I believe that the Imam has the right to build the Mosque and should not be denied that right. What I am saying is that if the stated purpose for building the Mosque is to build a bridge between Islam and America (his words not mine) then I question the wisdom of the location toward that end. (Not that he needs a purpose but he raised the issue)
I also believe in free speech but don't agree with everything that's spoken.
BlackCloud,

"I am not sure who appointed you arbiter of what is American but you better check their credentials, "

Ok at the top of this post I addressed a meta topic.
You are hitting it by hammering me that way
(which is really is what i was looking for in some people to a degree)

American is a term popped around all over the place with no definition.
I at least made it a measurable metric.
If you have another metric you would like in it's place as a minimum, that can be discussed.

For decades the term American has been used to cudgel people into submission. I am tired of it being used that way.

Sooooo, why not turn it around and see how the other side likes being hammered with it.

Essentially neutralize the word.

The GOP and Right Wing of this country does not have a cornered market on God or Patriotism, they just act like it sometimes.

Using this word here like that - i want to start breaking those bonds.

As you say - Who Am I?
My answer is - Who are they? Who are any of us?



"I believe that the Imam has the right to build the Mosque and should not be denied that right. "

But you have no problem being in a bully chorus that will cow these people into some "other" place for some "other" period of time.
You don't see how you are impinging on His Right to Freedom of Religion?


"What I am saying is that if the stated purpose for building the Mosque is to build a bridge between Islam and America (his words not mine) then I question the wisdom of the location toward that end. (Not that he needs a purpose but he raised the issue)"


At this point that bridge is gone. He gets points for at least making an attempt.
BTW
What have YOU done to make a bridge to this faith?
What you are espousing is that that He can attempt to build all he wants but YOU aren't going to do squat to meet him.
What metric or events need to occur for you to "grant" him your permission to build?

"I also believe in free speech but don't agree with everything that's spoken."

I never asked you too.
But I don't think you are an American either by using the most minimum of standards.
not a "real" American, anyway

welcome to the club, Joe, look around, sit anywhere, help yourself to the pretzels
"What have YOU done to make a bridge to this faith?"

Glad you asked Joe.
Not only did I grow up in a religiously diversified neighborhood (Christian/Jewish/Muslim) but some of my closest friends in high school were/are Muslim (Lebanese) and one of my current business partners is Muslim (Persian). I have transacted business under Sharia law in the middle east and the U.S. I also sit on an inter-faith council up here in Massachusetts promoting educational initiatives. I am sure I know more Muslims than you do.

In fact, upon reading your post yesterday I emailed 10 of my Muslim friends and asked their thoughts on the matter (7 American, 1 Iranian and 2 Iraqis) - 7 of the 10 thought it was a bad idea (the other three didn't care one way or another).

I told them you said that they were un-American - they laughed.
Roy,
Since I am new - i donno how to take that one...

BlackCloud,
I checked your history.
since you have none here, I suspect you are a sock.
That you are saying "my best friends are ____"
is a standard sock tactic.

sorry - i am not buying what you are saying there.
Joe - I hear your angle but I have a problem with it. The 1st Amendment also includes the right to free speech, which implies freedom to be critical of a religion or political movement or philosophy, or my neighbor's poor taste in yard ornaments.
As an American, I have the right to be critical of a Religion and to voice that criticism. As an American, I have the right to study that religion, investigate it - whatever - and, if at the end of that study I am negatively critical of that religion and those who practice it, so be it. Being critical (or even suspicious) of a religion and its adherents is NOT an example of violating the 1st Amendment clause regarding free practice of religion.
The "ground zero" mosque is not facing a 1st Amendment conflict. The government (local, state, federal) has acted appropriately where the 1st Amendment is concerned. No 1st Amendment rights are being violated. Public opinion (no matter how wrong-headed) against the building of the "community center" is guaranteed by the 1st Amendment as well.
To say that anyone who opposes the Cordoba initiative is not an American because they're somehow violating the 1st Amendment is false.
Joe - I'll add another little blurb, this time regarding Muslim discrimination in America.
It's exaggerated. The "ground zero" mosque issue notwithstanding, Muslims are doing just fine in America. They aren't running for the hills or besieged with hate. Just not happening, whatever CAIR and others say.
Many Americans since 9/11 have attempted to educate themselves about Islam. Until then, what did we, as a nation, really know about it? I'd wager not much. But that is changing, and not everyone who's been studying the subject is automatically going to be sympathetic and come to appreciate Islam.
I certainly don't have any problem with Park51 going forward. But I'm not ignorant of the fact that there is a split within the American Muslim community. I don't know if it's right down the middle, but there are Muslims born/converted here who don't even know there's a rift between Shia and Sunni. They aren't doctrinally literate and hardly attend the "required" religious events and maybe do their prayers each day. At the other end are the foreign-born Muslims, some of whom have no love of American-style democracy to be sure. Slightly left of them are leaders in the American Muslim community such as Imam Hassan Qazwini. He heads up the Islamic Center of America in Michigan. He's popular, considered a moderate, "progressive" Muslim. He's originally from Iraq. He loves America. He even says as much in his book, "American Crescent." It's worth a read. While he glorifies American freedoms, he does, however, qualify his views.
He says "I relish the personal liberties and freedom of speech America allows, but the freedom to mock religion is one I do not condone." He goes on, "..the idea of protecting prophets of God from slurs isn't incompatible with democracy...".
This guy is the leader of what's probably the largest concentration of Muslims in America. He would, if he had his way, neuter the 1st Amendment free speech clause, effectively rendering it meaningless. He either doesn't understand how devestating this would be or he has no problem with it, or both. In any case, he's not the only Muslim leader in America who feels this way. Do his followers agree with him?
I say all this only to show why it is hardly absurd to want to understand where the Cordoba House Imam stands on such issues, and it is hardly absurd to be a little suspicious. It doesn't mean we trash 1st Amendment freedoms where religion are concerned, but it does mean that there is more to being critical of a religion than just being an anti "fill in the blank" bigot.
Joe
I am new here and I don't know what a sock is. I see by your first comment that you are new here also - are you a sock?

I am not sure how being new makes me any more or less truthful than you or any of the other posters and I resent the accusation.

But it is a good way to divert attention away from the fact that you don't know what you are talking about. Point of Fact - African American converts are mostly members of the 'Nation of Islam' a religion founded, specifically for blacks, in 1930 in America, which is a perversion of Islam as practiced by Shi'a and Sunni Muslims. A Black Muslim of the Nation of Islam wouldn't set foot in a traditional Mosque or 'Community center'. So this Mosque is not serving Americans with"bloodlines that run thru cotton fields 250 years ago".

Get your religions straight before you pontificate it will at least give you a modicum of credibility.
Joe - If you don't believe my "friends" here are comments from other Muslims (from Wikipedia)

The building of the mosque near Ground Zero was criticized by some other Muslims.

One was Sufi Muslim mystic Suleiman Schwartz, Executive Director of a Washington, DC non-profit organization, the Center for Islamic Pluralism. He said that building the mosque barely two blocks from Ground Zero is inconsistent with the Sufi philosophy of simplicity of faith and sensitivity towards others, and "grossly insensitive."[28]

Another founding member of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Zuhdi Jasser, who is also the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a group of Muslim professionals in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona, strongly opposed the mosque, saying:

For us, a mosque was always a place to pray...—not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement. Ground Zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans."[28]
Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, said: "I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world."[121]

Authors Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, board members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said:

We Muslims know the ... mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, ... as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.... As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.[122]

Hossein Kamaly, Term Assistant Professor of Asian and Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University, observed:

After all, it was 19 Egyptian and Saudi Arabian thugs calling themselves Muslims who perpetrated this heinous crime on September 11th. They want to send a message of friendship, but building a mosque where there wasn't one before, is not the most nuanced way of doing that.[123]

Akbar Ahmed, Ibn Khaldun Chair of Islamic Studies at American University, while noting that blaming all Muslims for 9/11 was "ridiculous", said:

I don't think the Muslim leadership has fully appreciated the impact of 9/11 on America. They assume Americans have forgotten 9/11 and even, in a profound way, forgiven 9/11, and that has not happened. The wounds remain largely open [...] and when wounds are raw, an episode like constructing a house of worship—even one protected by the Constitution, protected by law—becomes like salt in the wounds.[124]

He goes on to say that, in his opinion, if the center is constructed as well as a mosque it should contain a memorial and an ecumenical house of worship.[125]
Nice post, Joe. Anything but nerdish!

Maybe a more relevant word that needs to be mentioned here, above insensitivity, is denial. I think there are still far too many questions around the events of 9/11 about things that really don't add up, but that were accepted wholesale as truth simply by endless repetition.

If attending a mosque, or a church or any other place of meditation helps people get closer to their own truths, then what harm can there be in them?
Lewis,
I am proud to be a nerd.
Just don't like see people get beat on.
You are really on target.
AMEN
MY NEIGHBORS, FRIENDS, BROTHERS, AND SISTERS!!! NO MOSQUES NEAR GZ.
What disrespect, what insensitivity, what nerve, what audacity, what callousness.....What are these people thinking?~~~
I can't believe how so many are saying it is a Constitutional issue, a racial issue, a religious issue, etc. It is far from the truth. Many of us understand that the Constitution protects them, but just because it does doesn't mean it is right. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf says it is to promote relations and understanding. He should then practice what he is saying, and build someplace else, and REALLY show good faith. I am a Republican, that has voted Democratic. I am NOT saying they can't build. I am saying to show understanding, and empathy, and build some where else. Some are asking how far is "far enough"? Well, if that is an issue, I have a suggestion. Ground Zero is NOT only where the buildings stood. We all know how horrendous their destruction was, and how much ground they covered when they came down. Measure the buildings height, and apply that measurement from Ground Zero all the way around. All that area should be Hallowed Ground, and off-limits to constructions of any future mosques/commumnity center. Problem solved.
Every time these people tear a church or synagogue down, they build a mosque in it's place, as an "IN YOUR FACE" psychological statement. I have read about Islam and Muslim's history, and that is how I also see it. Muslims may not "conquer" the way they did years ago, but conquer they do. Why is it that in every country they are in, they feel Sharia Law is perfect or better, and want to "improve" on those countries laws and constitutions? Why is it that the deeper they get in a government, they start "demanding" changes. Then if they don't achieve what they want, they complain that it is descrimination. And then it escalates to religious intolerance. If Muslims have a problem with other countries' laws, why don't they stay where their roots are? Or better yet, go back, and practice your beheadings, cutting of hands, or barbaric practices like crucifixtions.
PROVE US WRONG IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUL!

HONOR KILLINGS BY "MODERATE" MUSLIMS IN AMERICA!
This site did NOT let me include links to articles because they can be considered "spam". So, I will type the names. You can research. KNOWLEDGE IS WONDERFUL.

PS. Have you read about Sharia Law? Do you know about the problems other countries like Switzerland, England, Ireland, etc., are having with "moderate" Muslims?
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marieclaire dot com honor-killings-in-america

U.S.-born Muslim cleric urges the killing of American civilians
Published: Monday, May 24, 2010nhregister dot com

huffingtonpost dot com2010/02/05/turkish-girl-buried-alive

atlasshrugs2000.typepad dot com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/happy-birthday-rifqa(18 year old)

amnesty dot org/en/news-and-updates/news/man-beheaded-and-crucified-saudi-arabia-20090601

usatoday dot com/news/nation/2009-11-29-honor-killings-in-the-US_N.htm

dakotavoice dot com/2010/08/muslim-honor-killings-in-america-wave-of-the-future/

stop-killing dot org/node/307

compassdirect dot org/english/country/pakistan/22542/

islam-watch dot org/AbulKasem/Moderate-Islamic-Beheading-honor-killing-in-Buffalo.htm

newser.com/story/31991/georgia-dad-charged-in-daughters-honor-killing.html

“Honor Killing” Secretly Taped Girls
liveshots dot blogs dot foxnews dot com/2010/08/06/honor-killing-dad-secretly-taped-girls/
THIS IS A PSS. TO MY POST:

"If we wish to be free, if we mean to preserve inviolate those inestimable privileges for which we have been so long contending, if we mean not basely to abandon the noble struggle in which we have been so long engaged, and which we have pledged ourselves never to abandon until the glorious object of our contest shall be obtained.....we must fight!" (TO BE FREE OF SHARIA LAW!)
~~~Patrick Henry
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"The Constitution is NOT an instrument for the government to restrain the people, it is an instrument for the people to RESTRAIN the government."
~~~Patrick Henry
Hey Malen,
Thanks for playing,
but you are really off base here.

1 - anybody puls a quarter of the stuff you are saying in this country they go to jail.

2 - All religions have their own tribunal systems.

3 - you are not an American since you would stop people from building their own house of worship.

please go back to the country that expelled you ancestors.

this is America - they get to pray their way.

NOT YOURS