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Ground Zero mosque developers reject New York governor's offer at a compromise

New York Governor David Patterson, left, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a file photo.
New York Governor David Patterson, left, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in a file photo.
Getty Images

Governor David Patterson of New York has offered a piece of state land in exchange for the property within two blocks of the World Trade Center site on which Muslim developers wish to erect a Muslim cultural and worship center, also known as a mosque. The Governor observed that  the plan "obviously ignites tremendous feelings of anger and frustration." A blog site has suggested the developer has rejected the governor's offer.

In Canada, Tarek Fatah, a Muslim author, in an interview with Fox News, called the project "a deliberate provocation." He said in the interview, "They might have the right to build the mosque, but they do not have the wisdom." Elsewhere, in an opinion piece in the New York Post, Mayor Bloomberg was called sanctimonious for declaring that opponents of the project "ought to be ashamed of themselves."

Research into Muslim opinions about the matter shows a wide range of views and name calling, not unlike the dialogues between liberal and conservative factions in this country's political theater. The writer on a site called in an article entitled,"Tarek Fatah Does Not Represent Me: Muslims 101 for Media," finishes his (her) diatribe against Mr. Fatah by asking the question, "Who represents mainstream Muslims?" and answers the question in favor of the Sunni  'mainstream' version. The comments to the  article are worth reading and provide insight into the complex world of Muslim opinion.

The Washington Post ran a recent article written by the Iranian-born daughter of a 9/11 victim who was on one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center that day. Her opposition to the mosque, as well as to any other religious or nationalistic structure at that site is poignant.

It's interesting to note that Muslim opinions often seem to differ on grounds of scriptural interpretation even as American political opinions differ on mainly economic and political philosophy bases. The mistrust existing between Americans and Islam appears to be rooted in this difference. Where Muslims see the Koran and its various interpretations as the only arbiter and are often quite emotional about the matter, Americans have a fundamental distrust of theocratically-based opinions as the only basis for argument. In their own way, both are polarizers, allowing no middle ground unless the arguers agree to  discuss their differences and come to a compromise or an understanding to disagree.

I would again encourage comments on this topic.


  • amad 4 years ago

    Dear Gus,
    Thanks for pointing to my "diatribe". I would agree that Muslims are indeed not monolithic.

    In my article, I did not mention Shia scholars because I just not aware of who the mainstream shia scholars in the States are, and sunnis form a significant majority in North America anyway.

    However, outside the main sects of Islam, there are voices that do NOT fit in the mainstream, who represent very fringe voices. This includes both the extremely liberal voices like Fatah who doesn't belong to any mainstream sect, and also extremely conservative voices like the revolution muslim crowd. Both these elements usually create acrimony, and come out with positions that defies 99% of the Muslim populace. Why then are they given ANY platform?

    Think about it. Do we hold up Westboro Church as representating Baptism? Why are they set aside as being kooky and kept away from MSM platforms, and yet we have folks like Tarek Fatah whose Islam is as foreign to a Muslim as is Scientology to Chrisitans, on the public airwaves.

    When we hold up people like Fatah and the revolution Muslim on the other side, it greatly irritates and disappoints the vast majority of Muslims who don't see either of these characters or their ilk, as being remotely representative of our faith or its adherents.

    There is a huge spectrum of Muslims to choose talking heads from, from the left to the right. I am not arguing for one group over another. All I am arguing for is mainstream, "normal", "average" Muslim representation.

    Hope this makes more sense now.


  • Anonymous 4 years ago

    Mayor Bloomberg declared that opponents of Ground Zero mosque project "ought to be ashamed of themselves."
    Why did he say that?
    The real answer that is not known to most Americans is: because he is a Jewish man from his root, therefore he doesn’t care about the feeling of the American people.
    Not only that but also as a Jewish, he enjoys seeing The Christians hurt by his decision and enjoy seeing the result of their anger at the Muslims and vice versa, that what was always done by the Jews to win the Muslims heart and mind against Christians in the Middle East Countries that were invaded by Muslims in the past according to history.
    If he doesn’t enjoy it he would have approved the building elsewhere and respect the feeling of the American people.
    A question to Mayor Michael Bloomberg:
    As a Jewish, do you accept building A Mosque in Israel or in Tell Aviv?
    Of course not, they want even to get rid of the Al- Aqsa Mosque.
    So who is the one that should be ashamed of himself ??
    Here he is:

  • Riaz 4 years ago

    Amad I have no idea about your ethnicity but if you are Arab it shows your arrogance towards non-Arabs. If you are non-Arab forgive me for my ignorance.

    All sunnis are not the same. You are being disingenuous. There is not one group of sunnis that can be called mainstream. Are Barelvis, Deobandis, Tableeghis, Salafis, Ahl-e-Hadith, Sufis, Takfiris mainstream? Who is a real Sunni? Saudis? Pakistanis? Indonesians? Four Maddhabs? Please enlighten us. Who should we be speaking to? Are they all fringe?

  • David Johnston 4 years ago

    Just what land does the state government own in Manhattan?

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