Theodore's World: Imam says NYC mosque site is not 'hallowed ground'

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September 14, 2010

Imam says NYC mosque site is not 'hallowed ground'

"I don't think you can overstate the importance that the rise of Islamic fundamentalism will have to the rest of the world in the century ahead-especially if, as seems possible, its most fanatical elements get their hands on nuclear and chemical weapons and the means to deliver them against their enemies." --Ronald Reagan


Imam says NYC mosque site is not 'hallowed ground'

It is two blocks from ground zero, but the site of a proposed mosque and Islamic center shouldn't be seen as "hallowed ground" in a neighborhood that also contains a strip club and a betting parlor, the cleric leading the effort said Monday.

Making an ardent case for the compatibility of Islam and American values, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf reiterated that he is searching for a solution to the furor the project has created. But he left unanswered exactly what he had in mind.

If anything, Rauf only deepened the questions around the project's future, telling an audience at the Council on Foreign Relations think tank that he was "exploring all options" — but declining to specify them — while also arguing that a high-profile site is necessary to get across his message of moderate Islam.

While opponents of the project see it as insulting the memories of the thousands killed by Muslim extremists in the 2001 terrorist attacks, Rauf said he doesn't see the spot as sacred memorial space.

"It's absolutely disingenuous, as many have said, that that block is hallowed ground," Rauf said, noting the nearby exotic dance and betting businesses. "So let's clarify that misperception."

Some Sept. 11 victims' families and others view the proposed mosque site — in a building damaged by debris from the attacks — as very much part of the terrain of death and sorrow surrounding the trade center.

"I just think he's being very insensitive to say it's not hallowed ground because of who's occupying the buildings," said Jim Riches, a former New York City deputy fire chief whose son, Jimmy, was killed at the trade center. "The strip club didn't murder my son."

Rauf said a project meant to foster understanding has become unduly mired in conflict and what he described as misconceptions of a fundamental clash between Islamic and American values.

The Kuwait-born Rauf said his own faith had been shaped by the sense of choosing one's identity that American society provided, compared with the Muslim milieu from which he emigrated in 1965.

"I'm a devout Muslim ... and I'm also a proud American citizen," said Rauf, noting that he was naturalized in 1979 and has a niece serving in the U.S. Army. "I vote in elections. I pay taxes. I pledge allegiance to the flag. And I'm a Giants fan."

While not answering that, Rauf suggested the locale's high profile served an important purpose for the proposed $100 million Islamic center, which will feature prayer space as well as a swimming pool, culinary school, art studios and other features.

"We need to create a platform where the voice of moderate Muslims would be amplified," Rauf said.


Wild Thing's comment..........


Hallowed Ground = Entire United States of America!

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf knows better ~ this site is PART of GZ. An airplane undercarriage as well as an engine that'd just then been scooping up human beings, crashed into the roof of this building and fell in. The ashes of those cremated in the flames on the upper floors spread in the dust cloud that filled in all the surrounding blocks — including the one 500 feet away, where you could buy a store cheap because it had been damaged by falling debris.

"I just think he's being very insensitive to say it's not hallowed ground because of who's occupying the buildings," said Jim Riches, a former New York City deputy fire chief whose son, Jimmy, was killed at the trade center. "The strip club didn't murder my son."

Neither strippers nor bookies brought down the WTC towers. Also the Pussycat lounge is where firefighters, engineers and rescue workers got free food and a few minutes of R&R between digging through rubble and body parts caused by savages inspired by your religion you FREAK! The atmosphere there in the few weeks after 9/11 was indescribable. I'd say that “strip” joint is far more hallowed than this mosquestocity will every be.

How dare this MUSLIM tell US what is or isn’t hallowed ground here in America.

This guy is trying to milk this situation for as much jihad as he can getout of it - and he seriously creeps me out. He needs to be defeated and crawl back into his own personal hellhole.

Posted by Wild Thing at September 14, 2010 04:55 AM


Well said Wild Thing.

Posted by: BobF at September 14, 2010 07:39 AM

"Hallowed Ground = Entire United States of America!"

"Meanwhile people who have gone on international news and called Bush far worse are invited to the USA to speak at colleges."

"Obama is thinking of adding 500,000 public sector workers. We are trending against Cuba, who would have thunk the US would be more Communistic than they are?"

Wild Thing is on a roll.

You go girl !!!

Posted by: Carlos at September 14, 2010 09:22 AM

Excellent commentary Wild Thing.

This asshole Rauf thinks islam has already taken over America. He thinks he will define our hallowed ground. Just remember that he calls himself a "moderate" muslim. If this is moderate then we need to run all these islamic bastards out of America.

Creeping invasion.

Posted by: TomR,armed in Texas at September 14, 2010 10:07 AM

I think this son of a bitch needs an attitude adjustment, with a brand new 'Louisville Slugger', made from hickory, then when we get his attention throw the son of a bitch off his old building and tell the jerk to fly.

Posted by: Mark at September 14, 2010 10:21 AM

Rauf just thinks he's not a psychopath because it's Allah that inspires him.

Posted by: Anonymous at September 14, 2010 12:21 PM

Thank you all soooo much!!

Posted by: Wild Thing at September 14, 2010 11:46 PM