Why is the Muslim Canadian Congress OPPOSING the Islamic Community center two blocks from the WTC?

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Cueball Cueball's picture

They get a lot of ink because they say what the mainstream press wants them to say, basically.

George Victor

sanizadeh wrote:

I think that the article's point about the role of Canadians like  Tarek Fatah and Irshad Munji in reforming Islam is exaggerated. They don't have much following.

I know nothing about their following.  But the MCC , whatever its membership, certainly seems determined to carry out some kinds of "reform" in thinking and practice.

Stockholm

The MCC sounds to me a like a bit of a fake "astroturf" organization that has a high fallutin' name and represents about a dozen people - if that. Makes me think of how about ten years ago there was a so-called gay organization that was against same sex marriage and kept denouncing Pride Day for being too provocative and sexual. It was called HOPE "Homosexuals Against Pride Extremism". I seem to recall at the time, that some research revealed that "HOPE" consisted of one guy who created a website - and furthermore the one guy was later "outed" as advertising as a prostitute in a gay newspaper - while putting out "press releases" apologizing for how Pride Day was offending straight sensibilities because there were some men in leather in the parade.

sanizadeh

Stockholm wrote:

Why do you only find the building of a 100-million mosque deplorable "at this time"? Why not all the time? Any day o the week there are better ways to use the money. I think a new mosque is being built right now somewhere in Brampton. I assume it will cost millions - as would any largish building. Maybe you should picket the construction site and demand that plans for the mosque scrapped and any money raised instead be sent to fee the starving children of Zimbabwe.

Once you join the muslim community, we will be happy to benefit from your great wisdom about how to run our community. Until then, this is our issue. To me, yes if the Brampton mosque costs anywhere near this project, it is not justifable to me. 

As for your comment about muslim organizations closing doors and send all their life savings to flood victims, I think the difference is very clear. Yes every muslim is obliged to help victims if he can on a personal level, and muslim organizations have been collecting donations for that. Which is a role one epxect muslim organizations to play. But building a Mosque - which is supposed to be a place to promote islamic teaching - in a manner that is opposed to very principles of Islamic teachings is an outrage for many muslims.

Stockholm

George Victor wrote:

 

I know nothing about their following.  But the MCC , whatever its membership, certainly seems determined to carry out some kinds of "reform" in thinking and practice.

If that is the case, then MCC's only concern ought to be over the theology that is likely to be preached by the clergy at the mosque in Manhattan. For all we know, maybe the imam at the mosque near ground zero is a super progressive liberal minded reformer who supports gay marriage and wants to be the Muslim equivalent of the United Church of Canada! If that's the case, hen the MCC should should send a bouquet of flowers to the opening night reception. If on the other hand, MCC has reason to believe that the new mosque will be staffed by total reactionaries who plan to venerate Osama Bin Laden - that's a different story - but then I would find that totally objectionable regardless of whether the mosque was across the street from ground zer or in Anchorage, Alaska!

sanizadeh

Cueball wrote:

They get a lot of ink because they say what the mainstream press wants them to say, basically.

That pretty much sums it up. Their reformist ideas are not original either. There are many real thinkers who are working on the issue of compatibility of Islam and modern world.

sanizadeh

Stockholm wrote:

If on the other hand, MCC has reason to believe that the new mosque will be staffed by total reactionaries who plan to venerate Osama Bin Laden - that's a different story - but then I would find that totally objectionable regardless of whether the mosque was across the street from ground zer or in Anchorage, Alaska!

I'd be interested in knowing more about the sources of their funding. It does not seem like the kind of amount you can collect from local American muslims.

6079_Smith_W

sanizadeh wrote:

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Assuming Raza is observant I don't know how she can square her faith with being ashamed to build a mosque just to appease others' prejudices. Does she stand up for her beliefs or not?

Don't know about her, but the wisdom of the action (building of the mosque) is in question; not to mention that building a 100-million dollar mosque while millions of Pakistani muslims and elsewhere are suffering from floods and other problems is clearly against Islamic teachings.

Sorry. But that argument is flying off in a direction that is completely irrelevant. Do you think the people who have made donations to that mosque are not doing anything to help the relief efforts?

It has been 10 years since i lived in Winnipeg, but back then it cost $1 million every time they needed to do a full snow removal - something which they did several times a year. I went to a wedding a few weeks ago in a hall in Middleofnowhere Alberta that was worth $1.2 million. $100 million in downtown Manhattan is not a lot of money, and unless you want to consider giving up everything you  have, your plumbing, electricity, roads and all the infrastructure in the community around you it is a hollow argument.

My mom used to use that argument to get me to eat parsnips. It didn't work.

Stockholm

sanizadeh wrote:

 But building a Mosque - which is supposed to be a place to promote islamic teaching - in a manner that is opposed to very principles of Islamic teachings is an outrage for many muslims.

Well then, by your logic every mosque on the face of the earth was built in a manner that was opposed to the principles of Islamic teaching - so ever since the foundation of Islam in the 7th century - there has ALWAYS been poverty and misery somewhere in the world that would have been a better thing to spend money on than a new mosque. I wonder how much it cost to build the Ka'aba in Mecca or that gorgeous mosque in Isfahan? Surely all that money could have gone to the poor and starving of the Muslim world rather than on these "white elephants".

sanizadeh

6079_Smith_W wrote:

Sorry. But that argument is flying off in a direction that is completely irrelevant. Do you think the people who have made donations to that mosque are not doing anything to help the relief efforts?

It has been 10 years since i lived in Winnipeg, but back then it cost $1 million every time they needed to do a full snow removal - something which they did several times a year. I went to a wedding a few weeks ago in a hall in Middleofnowhere Alberta that was worth $1.2 million. $100 million in downtown Manhattan is not a lot of money, and unless you want to consider giving up everything you  have, your plumbing, electricity, roads and all the infrastructure in the community around you it is a hollow argument.

My mom used to use that argument to get me to eat parsnips. It didn't work.

I don't know who has donated the money, and that would be an interesting question to ask. However regarding your point on Manhatan, a mosque does not necessarily need a 13-story steel and building house in the centre of Manhatan. If it was better times I would say maybe.

jrootham

Again, it's mostly not a mosque.  It's a community center with a mosque in it.  It will be a useful building.  Let us not have the facts get in the way of of a good story.

sanizadeh

Stockholm wrote:

Well then, by your logic every mosque on the face of the earth was built in a manner that was opposed to the principles of Islamic teaching - so ever since the foundation of Islam in the 7th century - there has ALWAYS been poverty and misery somewhere in the world that would have been a better thing to spend money on than a new mosque. I wonder how much it cost to build the Ka'aba in Mecca or that gorgeous mosque in Isfahan? Surely all that money could have gone to the poor and starving of the Muslim world rather than on these "white elephants".

Well I don't take a lecture on Islamic teaching from someone who does not even know that Ka'bah was built long before Islam! A new mosque does not have to cost this much. Many of those gorgeous ancient buildings where built at times when the Muslim world was the centre of wealth and civilization. If someone tries to build the same thing today I would question its wisdom as well.

Stockholm

Would you like the Muslim Centre better if it was in Queens instead of Lower Manhattan? It seems like the mosque opponents keep changing their story. First, they say they only object to the location of the proposed mosque - implying that if only it was - say - ten blocks from ground zero instead of two evetything would be hunky-dory. Then they change their tune and say that the real issue is that $100 million is being spent on a mosque when there is a natural disaster in Pakistan - implying no mosques shodl ever be built again anywhere!! Then suddenly arguments turns agian to who is funding the mosque? But if the mosque was being built anywhere else - would we care about who funded it?  I see mega-churches being built all the time and no one asks where the money is coming from.

sanizadeh

jrootham wrote:

Again, it's mostly not a mosque.  It's a community center with a mosque in it.  It will be a useful building.  Let us not have the facts get in the way of of a good story.

It could be. But the main question of the thread was "why a muslim organization would oppose this building". I am trying to give reasons for such objections. Obviously there are other muslims who think it would be beneficial. However I think the question of whether this centre would be useful to muslims or not, should be left to the muslim community. In that sense MCC is more qualified than Stockholm to comment on the issue.

Stockholm

sanizadeh wrote:

However I think the question of whether this centre would be useful to muslims or not, should be left to the muslim community. In that sense MCC is more qualified than Stockholm to comment on the issue.

I think that the only people who can answer the question of whether this centre will be useful or will be needed are members of the Muslim community who live in Manhattan and who will potentially pray there and use the facilities. I think that the Muslim CANADIAN Congress knows less than nothing about whether this centre will be useful to Muslims in New York and quite frankly - its none of their fucking business whether Muslims in New York City want to build a mosque.

The opinions of Canadians in the MCC about this matter are as worthless as the opinions of non-Muslim Canadians such as myself. But I'm not issuing press releases - I'm just expressing my opinion in an anonymous chat room.

sanizadeh

Stockholm wrote:

sanizadeh wrote:

However I think the question of whether this centre would be useful to muslims or not, should be left to the muslim community. In that sense MCC is more qualified than Stockholm to comment on the issue.

I think that the only people who can answer the question of whether this centre will be useful or will be needed are members of the Muslim community who live in Manhattan and who will potentially pray there and use the facilities. I think that the Muslim CANADIAN Congress knows less than nothing about whether this centre will be useful to Muslims in New York and quite frankly - its none of their fucking business whether Muslims in New York City want to build a mosque.

Comparatively, yes the New York muslims have a higher say in that; though the sensitivity toward the issue could affect all muslims in North america, so the rest of us do have a bit at stake; and finally based on your own argument, it is absolutely none of your business because you have absolutely nothing at stake other than shedding crocodile tears if a backlash against muslim community does happen.

Stockholm

I'm actually very concerned as a human being about any "backlash" against the Muslim community - though these days it seems that it will happen anyways regardless of whether this mosque is built.

I think that groups that purport to want to defend the Muslim community from a backlash - would do a lot more good if instead of buying into the racist arguments that "the religion of Islam is responsible for 9/11" - they would fight that misconception and make the case that Muslims were VICTIMS of 9/11 along with the rest of humanity. Islam is no more responsible for 9/11 than the the Catholic Church is responsible for every Mafia slaying in Italy - even though almost everyone in the Mafia claims to be Catholic and wants a Catholic funeral! 

For that matter, maybe Jews should stop building synagogues in majority Christian countries since it might offend the sensibilities Christians who think that the Jews killed Christ!

 

George Victor

What makes you think that the leaders of a "backlash" would give a fiddler's fart about your very rational, laudable perspective on the universe?

Cueball Cueball's picture

They might not, this is true. Though I am sure they would be delighted to hear your call for total surrender. Bill O'reilly simply could not contain his delight in hearing Rahell Reza capitulate on air, here. You would think he is congratulating his dog on getting the morning newspaper for him or something.

Stockholm

Maybe groups like the MCC should be trying to create a backlash of their own - against bigotted people who are exploiting the issue of this mosque to feed into their own racist, xenophobic claptrap.

...and by the way, if ANYTHING is going to fan the flames of "extremism" in the Muslim world and cause more people to want to join Al-Qaeda - it is publicity about bigoted Americans going on a gratuitous vendetta against some Muslims in NYC who just want to build a community centre. Similarly, i think that every time jurisdictions like France or Quebec or the Netherlands pass laws against wearing veils etc... the result will probably be a messive INCREASE in the number of Muslim women in those jurisdiction who will start to WANT to wear a niqab - just to show their contempt for the xenophobic attitudes that led to these laws.

Haroon Siddiqui has had some good columns in the Star pointing out how almost everything that is being done right now in "western countries" that is supposed to fight so-called Muslim extremism is 100% counter-productive and is only fanning the flames of Muslim extremism.

NDPP

Canada Imams Condemn Radical Islam

http://life.nationalpost.com/2010/08/13/canadian-imams-condemn-radical-i...

"The views of the silent majority of Canadian Muslims..." ?

Ripple

George Victor wrote:

As a Canadian muslim I might be inclined not to rattle the cage of that element in the U.S - the element with the guns - and opinion hereabouts seems to be coming to the firm conclusion that they are a forward element of a nasty totalitarian or even fascist outcome. I'm not a Muslim, but I can respect folks who are not about to hang a red flag out there in the name of "freedom", or "liberty", or any of the other founding catchwards that have been ignored south of the 49th lately.  I would think first of my children and their chances in North American society.

Do you think Muslims who are outspoken, name racism and Islamphobia when they see it and are victim to it, advocate for their rights, for our rights, condemn reactionary policies are not thinking of their children first?  Perhaps I misunderstand you?

genstrike

George Victor wrote:

As a Canadian muslim I might be inclined not to rattle the cage of that element in the U.S - the element with the guns - and opinion hereabouts seems to be coming to the firm conclusion that they are a forward element of a nasty totalitarian or even fascist outcome. I'm not a Muslim, but I can respect folks who are not about to hang a red flag out there in the name of "freedom", or "liberty", or any of the other founding catchwards that have been ignored south of the 49th lately.  I would think first of my children and their chances in North American society.

So, would you similarly say that black people in the US in the 1960s shouldn't have "hung a red flag out there"?  Would you tell a black family not to move into white neighborhoods on that basis?  How about the Little Rock Nine, should they have just stayed home "for their children"?  After all, when it comes to racism and insanity, Orval Faubus and the Tea Parties have nothing on Sarah Palin and the KKK.

Fidel

Stockholm wrote:
Islam is no more responsible for 9/11 than the the Catholic Church is responsible for every Mafia slaying in Italy - even though almost everyone in the Mafia claims to be Catholic and wants a Catholic funeral!

I think the difference here is that Al Capone was given a fair trial. The feds didn't torture confessions from the mafia. They collected real evidence and eye witnesses testimonials to the crimes committed. Iows. they followed US Constitional law.

Otoh, they have nothing on "Al-Qa'eda", the unseen enemy. There are things about Al-Qaeda they don't want the public knowing about, which is why there won't be a real investigation and the military will handle the kangaroo court end of things. US Constitutional law is out the window. Nowadays it's US state secrets privilege and the very fascist national security state mumb-jumbo.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

This has been a really informative thread so far, and I thank everyone for what they've posted.

BTW...just to clear up any confusion I may have caused by starting this...I support the ICC-for whatever that's worth.

Just couldn't get my head around why this group opposed it.  Now I know.

And does anybody know why the graphic in the thread intro was deleted?  It was just meant to be an interesting visual.

6079_Smith_W

@ sanizadeh #64

I hear your argument about the question of whether to build the mosque or not being primarily for Muslims, and I do respect that. Certainly a Muslim group is going to have more understanding of what is at stake than non-Muslims.

On the other hand, this does not just concern Muslims, but the reaction of the community at large, and that is a matter which concerns all of us.  If non-Muslims were to let a racist, discriminatory hate campaign shut down freedom of religion and freedom of association that would be a crime against everyone, because who is to say who would be next.

Plus, if the MCC has made a decision which I think is wrong, I reserve the right to question it, even though I acknowldege it is their business more than mine. Again, because it concerns appeasing discrimination in the general public it is in part everyone's business.

I don't think the mayor of New York and other religious leaders standing up and supporting the muslim community is in any way railroading their decision. I think it would be far worse if they had kept silent for fear of interfering. - especially when the media has already polled the entire U.S. public on the issue. For good or ill, it is a public issue now.

So while I do respect your position, and I realise that speaking up can be a sentitive thing, there are times when it is the right thing to do - especially when the group concerned has opened the door to that support.

 

sanizadeh

6079_Smith_W wrote:

So while I do respect your position, and I realise that speaking up can be a sentitive thing, there are times when it is the right thing to do - especially when the group concerned has opened the door to that support.

For clarification, my response was aimed at a few people who were rejecting that any muslim can have an objection to this project (the main subject of this thread), and Stockholm trying to determine for me what a muslim has to do in this regard. Of course I also understand that non-muslims may also have an interest in this issue as it relates to racism or bigotry, as Cueball pointed out. These are two different angles of this issue.

6079_Smith_W

@ sanizadeh

Gotcha. Thanks.

6079_Smith_W

@ sanizadeh

Gotcha. Thanks.

Stockholm

I think this is an American issue and Canadians have no right to intervene. If there was a Muslim-American Congress that took the position that the MCC took and essentially said "yes, we as Muslims admit that we are collectively responsible for 9/11 - therefore we agree that it would be insensitive to have a mosque so close to the place where so many people were killed by Islam" - I might not think that was a wise position to take. I might even think that for a Muslim organization to essentially agree that the entire Muslim religion is collectively responsible for 9/11 is likely to create a backlash and feed Islamophobia. But ultimately, I think that since it is an American mosque - I do acknowldge that American Muslim organizations can and should take a position.

I see no role for a CANADIAN muslim organization in lecturing their American counterparts on where they should situate their mosques. 

BTW: No one has answered my original question. Two weeks after 9/11 a Muslim prayer room was opened IN THE PENTAGON and has operated ever since. How come no one had a problem with that?

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

Is Chritianity and Western Democracy responsible for the War in Iraq resulting in some 1 million dead and tens of thousands more genetically poisoned while another 4 million are displaced (a genocide by some measurements)? And would it be insenstive to open a church or a campaign office in Baghdad?

 

Unionist

Stockholm wrote:

BTW: No one has answered my original question. Two weeks after 9/11 a Muslim prayer room was opened IN THE PENTAGON and has operated ever since. How come no one had a problem with that?

Because the U.S. military hasn't got a prayer.

NDPP

Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world were in Iraq. Under Saddam they freely functioned. In the new Iraq they have been ethnically cleansed and terrorized. As for a Muslim prayer room in the Pentagon, it wouldn't be the first time religions are exploited by various  oppressors to legitimize or even implement  that oppression...the British empire even invented new Muslim sects to broker various sellouts and imperial schemes

Stockholm

I actually don't think its a conspiracy by the Pentagon. I think the reason why the Muslim prayer room in the Pentagon attracted no controversy, whereas this mosque is causing people to scream bloody murder is as follows:

When the prayer room at the Pentagon was opened - a man by the name of George W. Bush was President and he endorsed the idea. Remember that in the days after 9/11 there were fears of major "reprisals" against Muslims by American vigilantes etc... and Bush was running around visiting mosques and proclaiming Islam to be a peaceful religion etc... (that was probably the one and only thing he did as President that I agree with. The people who are fanning the flames of hate against Muslims today are almost all rightwing Republicans from the Tea Party etc...they are the ones who are protesting the mosque in Manhattan. It was difficult for them to make a stink about the prayer room at the Pentagon because they hero Bush was President at the time and he supported it.

Now Barack HUSSEIN Obama is President and is suspected by a distubingly large number of the Tea Party crowd of being a closet Muslim or being the anti-Christ. The Tea Party crackpots are taking aim at the mosque now - because its part of a larger strategy to undermine Obama

Frustrated Mess Frustrated Mess's picture

NoDifferencePartyPooper wrote:

Some of the oldest Christian communities in the world were in Iraq. Under Saddam they freely functioned. In the new Iraq they have been ethnically cleansed and terrorized. As for a Muslim prayer room in the Pentagon, it wouldn't be the first time religions are exploited by various  oppressors to legitimize or even implement  that oppression...the British empire even invented new Muslim sects to broker various sellouts and imperial schemes

I was directing the question to those who support the Tea Baggers in blaming Islam for 9/11. I agree with Stockholm. Islam had nothing to do with 9/11.

Skinny Dipper

If supporters of the MCC want to change the shape of Islam, why don't they start their own branch where men and women can pray side-by-side?

As for the NYC Muslim community centre that will contain a mosque, this is nothing new in any religion.  Jews have centres that combine the synagogue, school, and social centre.  Christian groups have community churches that include schools and community activities.  It may seem strange, but the more conservative religious institutions in North America seem to be stronger than their liberal counterparts.  I'm not sure why.

If the Muslims of NYC should not build their institution within two blocks of ground zero, how far must they be away in order to be acceptable by their opponents?  How much of NYC should be Muslim-frei?

genstrike

Skinny Dipper wrote:

If the Muslims of NYC should not build their institution within two blocks of ground zero, how far must they be away in order to be acceptable by their opponents?  How much of NYC should be Muslim-frei?

Evidently, that radius extends all the way out to Murfreesboro, Tennessee

KenS

Skinny Dipper wrote:

If supporters of the MCC want to change the shape of Islam, why don't they start their own branch where men and women can pray side-by-side?

Some broader context is useful here. And to the degree I make observations about Muslims in Canada, the intention is to stick to what I think there is some fairly broad agreement among Muslims here.

Here's some elements the MCC taps into:

** There is no question that some very broadly held liberal and progressive views among Canadian Muslims are not merely repressed by the hierarchies, they are stomped on.

** That said, there is no lack of progressive places of worship. The MCC has no need to be doing that. Not to mention that they stand also, very much, for Muslims who do not want to worship in any way.

** There is LOTS of money from Saudi Arabia and elsewhere in the Middle East for the funding of mosques and religious insitutions in North America. This Manhattan project just gets more attention. But of course no funding for the non-mainstrean liberal or South Asian focused institutions. And this funding is used to make sure the religious hierarchies remain MUCH more conservative than are Muslims themselves. [To that end- they actively discourage the training of imans here, as well as subsidizing keeping up the flow of imans trained in the Middle East.]

** It is not ipso facto paranoid or NECESSARILY just feeding Islamaphobia to question the motives of those who want to build this Manhattan project. And it is reasonable to question that the mainstream mosque and other insitutional hierarchies are giving any more than lip service to not supporting jihadist tendencies.

But the MCC has transformed itself into a single issue crusade: if you are not making the rooting out of jihadists and jihadism the single most important thing, then you are enabling them. And they mean that most of all to non-Muslims generally, and very much specifically targeting progressives opposed to beating the war drums for further intervention.

No exceptions: apparently for the MCC, even pointing out Islamaphobia and the danger it poses to Muslims [and non-Muslims] everywhere is to be ignored,and subsumed to the greater struggle against the paramount threat posed by jihadism.

jrootham

I have trouble with this.  What's different between the Muslim conservative hierarchy and the Catholic church?  Except that Rome is more controlling.  This is NOT our business.

Exactly what is the difference between this argument and the claim that all mosques in America are dedicated to the destruction of America?  I can see some, but it is getting awfully close.

It's also very much not what is going on in the objections to this community centre.

 

KenS

Just to clarify:

I'm guessing that you cross-posted with my post#88. Different points, but I dont see anything contradictory between them.

Elaborate if you are including a significant problem also with my post.

=========

And to clarjfy for others: its not my intention to speak for North American Muslims. The intenion is to provide some broader context to non-Muslims for the MCC's intervention in the topic.

jrootham

I did not cross post with KenS.  I am responding specifically to his post.

Your clarification helps a lot.  I originally read it in the context of the raving nutbars opposition.  Given that it is speaking specifically to the MCCs position, rather than your own, it makes more sense.

 

George Victor

quote:

"** There is no question that some very broadly held liberal and progressive views among Canadian Muslims are not merely repressed by the hierarchies, they are stomped on.

** That said, there is no lack of progressive places of worship. The MCC has no need to be doing that. Not to mention that they stand also, very much, for Muslims who do not want to worship in any way."

 

I'm reminded very much of the condition of the Anglican Church in England within the world "family" of Christian churches (1300 sects last count?). The late John Mortimer (Rumpole of the Bailey) loved to point to the variety of political opinion/beliefs within the Anglican Church, including the closet Marxist priests. Is it possible that the British tolerance for idiosyncracy and eccentricity could someday be extended to parts of the Muslim community that so many want to contain within one mould?

That writer in the Hamilton Spec., Tahir Aslam Gora also applauded the work of "Mustafa Kemal Ataturk"...(who) "brought a modern secular structure to  Muslim Turkey in the 1920s," his "blunders" aside. The attributes of Ataturk aside, I find it very interesting that the MCC constains such a variety of reformist ideas.   I'm hopeful that this can be seen as a "progressive" development and not as another plot.

KenS

I agree with the principle of your point George.

But only the generality, not the actual application to the MCC.

The MCC only represents the views and aspirations of some reformers. And they are SO in to fighting conservative forces within the Muslim community that it appears that nothing matters to them anymore.

"Helping stoke Islamophobia? Well, doing ANYTHING that helps the jihadists is worse than that."

"Helping beat the war drums for full scale military attacks on Iran or others? Well, if we think it will help push back the juhadists, we wont say anything about that; and we'll atatck as enablists for jihadists any misguided anti-militarists."

Now maybe I'm missing something, and they arent really that bad. But I've yet to hear a good argument of that.

And if they are that bad- yes it does concern AND impact me as well as it does Muslims. So I will speak my opinion.

No Yards No Yards's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Haiti is an overwhelmingly Catholic country and was almost destroyed by that earthquake in January. Does this mean that no Catholic churches are to be built anywhere in the world until Haiti has been rebuilt and that any money raised to build or renovate any Catholics achurches anywhere on the face of the earth should be turned over the Haitian relief?

I am not a catholic and don't judge how Catholics view their own church. As a Muslim I find building of a 100-million dollar mosque at this time anywhere quite deplorable. More particularly this one as the largest muslim community in New York are of Pakistani origin, whose mother country is suffering the worst floods in their recent history. In Islam, prayer houses don't have any special requirements; any room or house can be used for that purpose. So spending this much money needs a great deal of judtification.

Additionally, while we perfectly have the right to build the mosque there, Creating sensitivity over a location that does not really matter to muslims is foolish at best and smells of trying to pick up an unnecessry fight.  There are more important issues in the community and this battle is the least important of them. I understand that the issue would be important to those (especially non-muslims) who want to preserve religious freedoms, however I am not sure if it is wise for muslim community to allow itself to become the focus of such battle.

 

Leaving aside the "money" arguments, how about we look at the reality of this cultural center before we go claiming this is some sort of "sensitivity" issue.

First, this is not as though Iran decided it would be good fun to build a mosque in the middle of "whiteyville" for no particular reason other than it would be a delicious slap in the face to America ... there is actually a sizeable and very active Muslim community in that area (Rachael Maddow and I believe The Daily Show as well, did segments about that "sensitive area" and the vibrant Muslim community living and working near ground zero ... maybe the real reason that a Muslim Community Center is being planned for that area is because there is a MUSLIM COMMUNITY LIVING THERE snd should have a right -- no duty -- to service that community.

What exactly is your plan for this Muslim community? Are you saying they can't build anything "Muslimey" in their community becaues that community happens to be within a couple of blocks of a "sensitive" area? Are you aware that all across the USA there are protests going on in butt-hole communities against planned mosques ... if they still protest mosques in places like Connecticut, how far do you figure Muslims need to be from Ground Zero before they stand up for their rights?

So, this Muslim community is too close to ground zero to build even a community center ... so right now we know for sure that no mosque is allowable in this community, so then how does a Muslim community really claim to be a Muslim community if they are not permitted a mosque? Not even permitted a community center? Obviously this is just the first step in removing the Muslims themselves from the area around ground zero.

Look, the thing about the USA is that everyone is suppose to be free and equal ... that ideal is probably the only thing that the USA has going for it these days (not the reality of it, not even the practice of reaching it, as those no longer exist, but the ideal itself is still mouthed every once in a while,) but if that ideal is to mean anything at all, then it can't be sacraficed to false "sensitivity" ... besides, if USians really understood anything about "sensitivity", there wouldn't be US military bases in the Middle East, and they wouldn't be financing the murder of Palestinians.

 

No Yards No Yards's picture

skdadl wrote:

Stockholm wrote:

Is that the first time in 7 years that you've ever agreed with me?

I agree with you sometimes too, Stockholm. It's an interesting experience.  Wink

Tarek was on babble for a while years back, and through one extended discussion I was actually agreeing with him -- in opposing public funding for private schools, which I do oppose.

But then we got on to the subject of Muslim women, and he became puzzling to me, and eventually deeply boring. It was like reading Hirsan Ali or whazzername, the Canadian equivalent. I locate fixations on entire "religions" or on alien cultural customs somewhere in the neighbourhood of neurotic, so I ended up losing all interest.

Tarek is a hypocritical ass hole when it comes to issues of Muslims, and especially Muslim women.

He claims to have experienced first hand the Muslim culture where there was no freedom, equality, or democracy ... then he comes to Canada and goes on a crusade to "reform" Islam and his preferred means to do this reform would be to suspend freedom, equality, and democracy and force it on Canadian Muslims ... I'm pretty sure if you confronted him with this statement he would accept it as true and simply say it is the only way to make it happen ... which makes him no better than any other tin pot dictator who throws a sop to the ideal of democracy and freedom but then claims the people aren't ready for it.

He is more or less a regular on CFRB 1010 talk radio in Toronto ... CFRB is as right wing as you can get in Toronto, which is still pretty far right wing, and when the subject turns to issues of Muslims, Tarek can debate with any member of the CFRB right wing talkers, and come out making even that lot of culturally insensitive twits look like Amnesty International spokespeople ... what a backwards knob.

al-Qa'bong

Quote:

Skinny Dipper wrote:

If supporters of the MCC want to change the shape of Islam, why don't they start their own branch where men and women can pray side-by-side?

 

And the United Church of Canada can change its shape by having more men in the kitchen helping out during fowl suppers.

[ed. I just found this...]

Sean in Ottawa

I find it somewhat ironic that anyone here not at all associated with the Muslim community think they have the gravitas to not only criticize the position of the MCC (which is of course fair to do) but to do so in insulting and personal terms-- even invoking "Uncle Tom." The tone of some of the earlier posts in this thread, although well-intentioned to be sure, is disturbing.

Yes, it is indeed relevant to discuss the reality that people may feel that they should not be able to build a mosque there because it would cause a battle they do not want. That reality is offensive but it is also not deniable.

The fact that construction of a mosque there should not be an issue is as obvious to all who are here, I think, as is the reality that it has become an issue. But considering that it is indeed a battle and that it is one that can affect muslims outside of New York as well, how do we think we can go after a person who is basically saying as a Muslim they don't want to take on that particular battle at this time and therefore urging their colleagues to avoid it by not building the mosque there.

There is a wider North American Muslim community and surely they ought to be able to debate where they choose to fight their battles and they ought to be able to count on the respect and support of tolerant people to have that discussion without insults  from well-meaning outsiders. I agree intolerance, bigotry and racism must be opposed by everyone. But in all of that the focus should not be on their internal debate with name-calling but rather on the wider issue. There are non-Muslims who have opposed the mosque, perhaps we can direct our anger towards them. There is a wider context of Islamaphobia we can address, and some here, thankfully, have put the focus there. But to go after someone from a targeted community to point out why we think they should react differently to bigotry that comes from outside-- is a little rich don't you think?

Can we not have this conversation, complete with addressing the issues that are most important here without the name calling and outside advice for how they should choose to fight their battles.

Nobody here is being a bigot and nobody here is intentionally not being tolerant but a second look at some of the rhetoric perhaps editing and deleting the worst of it might be fair.

You can't elbow aggrieved people out of the way to fight their battles for them based on an assumption that you know best without being a part of the victimization, the very problem you want to stand up to. And nobody should say you can't express an opinion-- everyone who cares enough to have one ought to be able to share it but surrounding that opinion with awareness and respect is not too much to ask.

Stockholm

Do people not see that at this point if the groups building the mosque - suddenly were to say - "We have decided not to build the Mosque near ground zero because we don't want to offend the sensibilities of New Yorkers" it is another way of saying "Muslims are collectively responsible for 9/11 and we are hereby acknowledging that it was all our fault".

 

George Victor

KenS wrote:
I agree with the principle of your point George. But only the generality, not the actual application to the MCC. The MCC only represents the views and aspirations of some reformers. And they are SO in to fighting conservative forces within the Muslim community that it appears that nothing matters to them anymore. "Helping stoke Islamophobia? Well, doing ANYTHING that helps the jihadists is worse than that." "Helping beat the war drums for full scale military attacks on Iran or others? Well, if we think it will help push back the juhadists, we wont say anything about that; and we'll atatck as enablists for jihadists any misguided anti-militarists." Now maybe I'm missing something, and they arent really that bad. But I've yet to hear a good argument of that. And if they are that bad- yes it does concern AND impact me as well as it does Muslims. So I will speak my opinion.

 

Opinion without evidence?  Maybe they aren't "that bad"?  I think they are struggling for middle ground in the cacaphony of holier-than-thou pronouncements.  I think they are being sacrificed on the alter of sanctimony. I think they mean well...but what the hell does that count for among all the humanitarians  hereabouts, eh?

Right on, Sean. 

quote:

"The fact that construction of a mosque there should not be an issue is as obvious to all who are here, I think, as is the reality that it has become an issue. But considering that it is indeed a battle and that it is one that can affect muslims outside of New York as well, how do we think we can go after a person who is basically saying as a Muslim they don't want to take on that particular battle at this time and therefore urging their colleagues to avoid it by not building the mosque there.

There is a wider North American Muslim community and surely they ought to be able to debate where they choose to fight their battles and they ought to be able to count on the respect and support of tolerant people to have that discussion without insults  from well-meaning outsiders. I agree intolerance, bigotry and racism must be opposed by everyone. But in all of that the focus should not be on their internal debate with name-calling but rather on the wider issue."

Sean in Ottawa

Stockholm wrote:

Do people not see that at this point if the groups building the mosque - suddenly were to say - "We have decided not to build the Mosque near ground zero because we don't want to offend the sensibilities of New Yorkers" it is another way of saying "Muslims are collectively responsible for 9/11 and we are hereby acknowledging that it was all our fault".

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