1. davefromtampa says

    He is so thoughtful, a Republican that should speak out more often in terms of tolerance. So lacking in that party these days.

  2. Eric says

    His wifes plane hit the pentagon. I wonder if he’d feel the same if her plane had hit one of the towers.

  3. Chic Aqua says

    Wow. What a moral coward that Howard Dean is.

    He like the rest of “centrist” Dems love to compromise Americans’ rights. He did it with us when he was governor of Vermont, and he wants to do it with the rights of Muslims.

    Thank FSM he isn’t in any position that matters. I’m so sick of the spineless Dems who cave into right-wing, anti-human bullshit as soon as they come face to face with it.

    Why are we always running away from, rather than standing up, for our principles?

  4. Chic Aqua says

    Oh, and Dean’s cowardice is especially glaring when compared to the words of Ted Olson. Good for Ted!

  5. Sean says


    There is already a mosque at the Pentagon!!! Besides, you are missing the point. It’s called FREEDOM OF RELIGION!!! There were many Muslim Americans killed at the site as well. Also, the terrorists were NOT Muslim Americans.

    Incidentally, there is a Catholic church two blocks from my nephew’s elementary school here in Chicago. Should I call on them to dismantle it because of it’s closeness to so many children. Are all Catholics to be blamed and ostracized for the acts of pedophilia by some of it’s priest?

  6. TANK says

    He’s endorsing their right to do it, not whether he believes it’s the right thing to do. Big difference, and I don’t blame him for not wanting to get involved in this.

    What undercuts say, Ibrahim Ramey’s (the director of the civil and human rights division of the muslim american society freedom) argument for the it not only being legal, but an ethically permissable decision (the new mantra of many of its supporters)…is that if you were ask him what his opinion on gay rights are, or even the heads of the muslim american society what their views on lgbt equality are…you would clearly see the inconsistency in their reasoning here that not only is it legal (which they’re more than happy to conclude that it’s a good thing simply because it’s legal), but it’s ethically permissable. Rights for some but not for others, and it’s very selective about what they say and do in this time…very political and not genuine.

  7. Sean says

    OMFG!! REALLY HOWARD DEAN???!!!! WTF? I am shocked by his comments!!! I have long respected this man but his comments disgust me!!!

  8. TANK says

    And howard dean is not saying the opposite, as he’s addressing the tastelessness and insensitivity of the complete disregard for the causes of 9/11 and those who suffered. Howard Dean is not saying that it’s not their right to do it…so no disagreement is happening.

  9. nodnarb says

    Wow, Tank, wrong AGAIN! Ted Olson clearly believes that supporting religious freedom IS the right thing to do.

    Just more logical acrobatics from you.

  10. Sean says

    But Tank this is still a short-sighted and intolerant view to take!!!! The imam advising the cultural center is a moderate Muslim. Even the Bush administration employed his service for Muslim outreach following 9/11.

    Using the word “tasteless” and “insensitive” is the height of YOU being tasteless and insensitive to not only this country’s unalienable right to freedom of religion also the memory of those Muslim Americans who died in those towers and those Muslim American first responders who tried to rescue EVERYONE regardless of race, religion, creed, gender or sexuality. The folks who will be attending this center DID NOT ATTACK OUR COUNTRY!!!!!

  11. TANK says

    “Wow, Tank, wrong AGAIN! Ted Olson clearly believes that supporting religious freedom IS the right thing to do.”

    So do I. But I also think that fred phelps is an unethical degenerate (as is my right)…apparently you don’t to remain consistent (legal=ethical).

    “Just more logical acrobatics from you.”


  12. nodnarb says

    Don’t bother, Sean. Tank’s extreme distaste for Islam colors his thinking on this issue. You can’t reason with bigots.

  13. TANK says

    “The imam advising the cultural center is a moderate Muslim.”

    Right. So what? Islam caused 9/11, and though the imam disagrees with those muslims who perpetrated it and their underlying beliefs, they emphasize different aspects of the same religion, and share a religion.

    “Even the Bush administration employed his service for Muslim outreach following 9/11.”

    I don’t believe muslims should be discriminated against because of faith. But criticism of islam and religion in general, and particularly toxic religious extremism is not discrimination.

  14. TANK says

    “I don’t believe muslims should be discriminated against because of faith. But criticism of islam and religion in general, and particularly toxic religious extremism is not discrimination.”

    And moreso, if you think it is, then you also believe that dr. laura’s first amendment rights were being infringed upon somehow…square that with reality.

  15. nodnarb says

    “Islam caused 9/11″

    More shock talk from an unthinking buffoon. Anne Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tank… all the same.

  16. TANK says

    “More shock talk from an unthinking buffoon. Anne Coulter, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Tank… all the same.”

    If you’re denying that the muslim faith of the terrorists (a different pick and choose version of islam, but islam nonetheless) didn’t cause them to commit those atrocities on 9/11, you’re an apologist for radical islam. You don’t believe that beliefs have consequences in behavior, and deny causality itself by holding religion responsible for what you like and denying its culpability in what you don’t.

  17. justiceontherocks says

    Many innocent Islamic people were killed in the 9/11 attacks. Terrorism is the problem, not religion. The Christian religion perpetrated the Crusades, one of the worst acts of terrorism in history.

    No further away from ground zero than he mosque would be one finds peddlers with tacky t-shirts “in memory of.” That offends me far more than a mosque ever would.

  18. nodnarb says

    Copy/paste job from yesterday? You’re like a bad fart that lingers.

    The more you say it will never make it come true.

  19. Sean says

    Tank -“Islam” did not cause 9/11. A radical, misguided view of the religion did.

    Listen, I am not a religious person at all. I am a twenty-five year veteran of the Culture Wars who has battled with insane, cross-bearing, aborted fetus doll holding religious fanatics at family planning clinics. I have even had encounters with the Westboro nutcases. Heck, I have even had endless debates with more “moderate” evangelicals who spew their own (calmer) brand of hate. That is the price we pay as Americans. People are allowed to be as stupid and wacky as they want to be about religion or whatever else they want to be wacky about (see Glen Beck or Sarah Palin).

    If we go by your logic than all houses of worship of all faiths would be outlawed in this country. And Fox News would be censored!!!

  20. TANK says

    that’s right, some (not many, but some) of the victims of islamic terrorism are muslims! I don’t deny this anymore than I deny that there are gay muslims. Muslims are victims of muslim terrorists often in the world. That doesn’t mean that religious faith and islam aren’t responsible for those behaviors and the harms it causes, and that all muslims are responsible for the behaviors of members who claim the same faith…they defend it, and as an afterthought condemn the radical elements…or not at all (many don’t condemn at all, and are silent). Christianity is a horrible blight on society and civil rights, too (though not all christians believe as the toxic elements do).

    Look, there were some nazis who were opposed to the treatment of jews, religious minorities, roma, and gays and lesbians, racial purity, and ethnic cleansing…does that mean that nazism shouldn’t be condemned or criticized? Nope…

  21. TANK says

    “Tank -“Islam” did not cause 9/11. A radical, misguided view of the religion did.”

    This rests on affirming a logical fallacy…and it’s called the no true scotsman fallacy. There is no true islamic faith (no true version) and no true christian faith (no true version)…just people disagreeing with each other and no hope of resolution. Because of that, in any faith, it’s the moderate’s faith just as much as the fundamentalist’s.

  22. nodnarb says

    When all else is lost, invoke Godwin’s Law, the final sign of thoughtless reason. Keep being stupid, Tank.

  23. Tone says

    The whole anti-Islam movement being fomented by the GOP is the most offensive thing I have ever seen them do. They don’t deserve to call themselves Americans for the disdain they show their own constitution.

    What a disaster if they somehow took back the White House in two years in the state they’re currently in.

  24. Sean says


    All I can tell you is that I have many friends brought up in the Muslim faith. I grew up near Dearborn, MI which has the largest Arab and Muslim population in the country. I don’t know any that are completely “orthodox” in the practicing of their religion. Some are more religious than others but most are pretty secular. I can only tell you what I have experienced: Islam is taught very differently in this country than it is in the Middle East and North Africa. Yes, they follow many of the same customs, like women having to worship separate from the men for example. But, for the most part they live very modern American lives and the mosques are deeply accepting of this. Of course, just like in most Christian churches and many synagogues homosexuality is frowned upon. But, there are no fatwas or terrorists act supported in these communities. In fact, we have more to fear from the radically religious CHRISTIANS in America than we do American Muslims. Think about all the abortion doctors, gay folks and, yes, Muslims that have been targeted by these people.

    I think that is the context most people are missing from this debate. This is a MODERATE Muslim, AMERICAN community center they want to build. We are not talking about Al Queda or Hamas here.

  25. TANK says

    It’s not godwin’s law at all. It would be godwin’s law to compare you to hitler erroneously, and then conclude that you have no point because of that false parallel…or conclude that you’re wrong simply because you’re like hitler. What I was doing was pointing the same reasoning behind your argument to not criticize islam applies to faiths and all ideologies…including nazism…there are some people who aren’t extremists or harm people or believe that harming people is right in all ideologies…therefore no ideology should be criticized. That’s an invalid argument on purely logical grounds.

    So your accusation is closer to the spirit of godwin’s law than my example. But when in doubt and you disagree…apparently for no good reason…just repeat yourself or resort ad hominem attacks…because…when you can’t reason your way out of a situation, be irrational…that’ll surely…oh, might makes right…

  26. TANK says

    I agree, sean. There are some moderate muslims in the world who believe in rights based democracy and just want to live their lives…that doesn’t change the situation at all. So what is it about what I’ve said that you don’t understand?

  27. nodnarb says

    Your lack of knowledge about Godwin’s Law rivals your lack of knowledge about Islam.

    Do you even read your sentences before you hit Post? They are unreadable! I haven’t seen so many leaps in logic and continuity since Inception.

    And LOLZ at “just repeat yourself” which is exactly what you’ve been doing ad nauseum for two days.

  28. TANK says

    Alright, since I know that no one can defeat my reasoning on this matter (not here, anyway…and I’d admit it if someone could), I really couldn’t care less about this issue even though it’s insensitive and tasteless(i.e., I don’t care whether the community center mosque is built or not), and that the only people who do are, for the most part, big time idiots and jagoffs…really…the most vocal political opponnents to this are almost all idiots and extremists themselves (gingrich, palin, fischer, and the christofascists)…but there are some muslims who are opposed to it, too…and one of them lost a mother in the attacks…and I don’t think she’s an idiot because she’s morally opposed to this center mosque. Anyway…that’s it, and I’ll never think about it again.

  29. Sean says

    Hey Tank-

    I actually liked talking to you about it. I respect your opinion even though I don’t really agree with much of it. We actually probably have the same view on religion anyway. I think has been responsible for way too much pain in the world.

    Anyway, just wanted to say that…

  30. nodnarb says

    LOL! It’s like your keyboard is equipped with a pretentious bullshit amplifier. Yes, you’re so much smarter than everyone else because you’re able to justify your personal prejudice. Good job.

  31. anon says

    I don’t think Tank is saying they shouldn’t be allowed to build their center. He just thinks it’s offensive, as he thinks almost all religion is.

    It’s kinda the one drop rule for him. One drop of evil sullies it all. Since we know there are buckets full, in all of them, well…

    Perhaps those drawn to faith because of the principles of loving kindness can realize loving kindness can be expressed outside of religion. Or maybe they can create a new religion. As it stands, one cannot escape the old testament in the J/C/I traditions, which justifies all manner of atrocities. I think that what’s lost, is that people don’t really believe what they say they believe; they just believe the ‘good stuff.’ Go ahead and believe the good stuff, but call it something else–like personal choice.

    But, yes I’m 100% for the constitution, and think this is being used by a whole bunch right-wing jingos.

  32. anonymous says

    It’s interesting to note that a gay blog like Towleroad sees the majority of commenters arguing in favor of equal rights for Muslims (regardless of whether those Muslims would support equal rights or not.)

    But a quick search for “homosexuality” on a site like MuslimMatters sees commenters arguing over the best way to work to take away rights from American gay people.

  33. Hollywood, CA says

    Just realzed that TANK plays the devil’s advocate here just to play it, not to get a discussion going or pose real views. Here’s an example:

    Comment – The sky is blue.

    TANK Response – Muslims and Islam caused 9/11 and The Jersey Shore to get another season on MTV.

    If you ignore him, he’ll go away…

  34. Mike says

    Howard Dean didn’t really touch upon the right to build the Mosque, but simply that there should be a compromise. Ted Olson is impressing me more and more each day. I believe this is basically yet another idiotic issue being propagated by Faux News and the Democrats are falling right into the trap. First of all, it isn’t ground zero – this is private property. They can do what in the frick they want, as long as it meets the zoning requirements. What kills me is the Fox News folks and the religious right would be having a major cow if someone was trying to build some Christian thing and someone even made a passing comment about it not being built. This is religious hypocrisy, pure and simple. There are plenty of self-identified Christian murderers throughout history – why are we singling out Muslims? The democrats need to get off of their collective asses and stand for something and stop backing down to these idiotic Fox News folks. Simply say – this is a 1st amendment and private property issue; the government can’t stop it, and move on. Stop allowing yourselves to be sucked into the ridiculous Fox News fake issue. Second, Support Marriage equality and repeal DADT – the democrats need to get a pair and grow a spine. This is ridiculous. Reminds me of being bullied in the school yard. Pitiful!

  35. megamike says

    ahhh religions
    “In late October, [1838] Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issued an official decree, declaring, ‘The Mormons must be treated as enemies, and must be exterminated or driven from the State.'”

  36. Peter says

    I am torn on this issue. The fear mongering has me question where the money came from, out of my own ignorance.

    Part of me questions why I question where the money came from, but I don’t question where the Mormon church or Christianity money comes from.

    Part of me is angry that the group is not creating a public awareness program; why they are building it and trying to sway public opinion, when part of its purpose is to educate.

    Part of me asks why are they so in your face about it, when it is their vary faith that is in question.

    Part of me questions why they can’t be so adamant about it?

    Part of me questions why am I so against it?

    All of me, is very very tired of the hate and division that religion creates, simply when gods loves all.

  37. clubboi69 says

    omg these threads are soooooo boring .. when are we going to get some more kellan lutz photos

  38. ratbastard says

    Do they have a legal right to build it? Yes. Should they build it with such opposition and anger? No. A good question is why do they want to build there, under the circumstances? If the real desire is to foster understanding and tolerance, they’ve failed; all this proposal has done is create anger, genuine anguish, even hate.

    As for Bloomberg, he’s an obnoxious, disingenuous politician. He knows perfectly well building proposals are routinely blocked and denied, often solely for political reasons; there’s a million ways a local government can block a building project outside the courts, including sending in teams of city inspectors with with white gloves and fine tooth combs, to approaching the financial institutions loaning the $ with threats and intimidation. These tactics are employed all the time. And I won’t even discuss eminent domain and how it’s frequently grossly abused.

    Citizens in Seville, Spain strongly opposed the building of a mosque but the courts refused to block it. As a last resort they brought in a bunch of dead pigs and dropped them off at the proposed location. The mosque wasn’t built.

  39. ratbastard says

    The mosque proposal isn’t a genuine effort at community outreach and interfaith understanding, it’s an outright provocation. Dig a little and the real reasons why they’re adamant about this location will become obvious. History will show you the way.

  40. Patric says

    Agree with Sean and Chic Aqua that Howard Dean’s comments are very disappointing. I have admired him but find these comments very, well, disappointing.

    Ratbastard, you claim that if we “[d]ig a little” we’ll discover “the real reasons why [the community center’s developers are] adamant about this location” but yet you fail to identify those “real reasons”. Another looney Newt Gingrich “Cordoba” theory, perhaps?

    You also contend that “[i]f the real desire is to foster understanding and tolerance, they’ve failed; all this proposal has done is create anger, genuine anguish, even hate,” yet the community center’s developers are not responsible for the anger, anguish or hate. I live a few blocks from the proposed community center and, like the vast majority of my neighbors (and as a person who has a generally negative view of all of the world’s major organized religions, including the one in which I was raised), I not only support the right of the center’s developers to build the center but also am not in the least offended by their desire to build a place where young members of their community can play basketball and learn to cook and, yes, pray. Had outsiders stayed out of this and had this issue been left to members of our neighborhood and to our community board, there need not have been anguish, anger or hate. The anger, anguish and hate have occurred because of the reprehensible actions of individuals who are very much seeking to foment a clash of civilizations, many of them with a personal (political) interest in doing so and at least one of whom Salon rightly describes as a “viciously anti-Muslim blogger.” It is these horrible people who are responsible for the anguish, anger and hate, not people who simply happen to be among the quarter of the world’s population who share the same historical faith as the 9/11 hijackers.

  41. nic says

    as long as Andy keeps posting true republican, conservative statements like those of ted olsen’s, i will keep repeating this statement: there is nothing unethical or even insensitive about building a mosque 2 blocks away from ground zero. it was not the whole of islam which brought the towers down. it was 19 radicals. should we object to building a catholic church next to the site of the Alfred P. Murrah building? Timothy McVeigh was raised a roman catholic, after all. should we object to building any type of xtian edifice next to every abortion clinic that has been vandalized or bombed or where an abortion doctor has been slain? it is dismaying to me how, all of a sudden, towleroadies are embracing dick army, rep. peter king, sen. john cornyn, and every right wing yahoo from faux news. though i am loathe to support modern-day repuglicanism, and as i am a dyed-in-the-wool democrat, i still applaud reason. ted olsen has gained my respect as a lone, rational cry in the dismal, oppresive woods of polemics.

  42. Ishaq says

    I’m a gay Muslim man of Islamic faith. People who share my faith have every right to construct, and congregate anywhere they want to in this country. No TRUE American would ever hinder the rights of thousands for personal reasons or political gain. Unless______________.

  43. Sean Mac says

    Please change the headline on this article. It’s a former Burlington Coat Factory located two full city blocks from the twin towers site. The use of the term “Ground Zero Mosque” is meant to invoke a negative emotional response, so using it is basically allowing neocons and cultural xenophobes to control the dialogue and win an argument before it’s even started.

    Two thirds of NYers feel it’s inappropriate (likely based on the use of the term GZM), but two thirds also feel it’s proper to allow them to build. (Sienna poll)

  44. nic says

    @ISHAQ, my sympathies are with you. not one of us americans needs to suffer the indignities of racial or sexual profiling. for example, if i were to travel to arizona, should i carry a passport? never mind that my family has been in the south-western united state for hundreds of years. but that makes no difference. if you are an american citizen, you have every right to take advantage of the powers that our constitution affords you. i am sick of gay people who would as soon deny the rights of the constitution to people who look different without understanding that we are they. no matter how one rationalizes it, the ‘other’ that we fear is always us.

  45. LG Wilson says

    Imagine if a Gay & Lesbian center was bombed by a right wing catholic extremist and killed 3,000 gays & lesbians and then a decade later a cath church wanted to erect a church on the site.
    franklly I can’t defend a religion that still condemns gays to death and treats women like 2nd class citizens.
    Build something INCLUSIVE there not a shrine to a 6th century misogynistic and homophobic religion.

  46. Dave says

    This is America people. We get to choose for ourselves, not for others. It looks like some of you would like to live under totalitarianism. I may and I do disagree with most religions as they are a means to control free will, subjugate the masses and enrich an established ruling class; that said feel free to choose to be a slave, I could care less. Your freedom ends where mine begins and I can see no reason why they can’t develop a community center in that blighted community. At the very least it will help spur economic activity. Since 9/11 that neighborhood is a rat hole.

    I can’t help but think that this is just another red-haring thrown up by the real perpetrators of the events on September 11, 2001. It saddens me that we are so eager to throw our common man under the bus and piss on our own American values in the name of what? I saw squibs from the towers and tower 7 fell at free-fall, nor was it struck by a plane. Have any of you read the 9/11 report? It’s a disturbing work of fiction. I love my country and I refuse to surrender it to xenophobic stupidity.

  47. Trinity says

    one Muslim woman writing at the NewYorktimes, a an eloquent, personal voice:

    “Every day I watch . . .this country become . . . more hateful, and yet you tell American Muslims to become more moderate. You speak as if we have not assimilated, but we have, beautifully. American Muslims do not practice polygamy, we are educated, we speak English, our women are active and visible members of society. And through the past 10 years, through all the propaganda and hate and accusations, we have remained in this country and stood our ground, and we have refused to become involved in this so-called “global jihad” against America. We are a vision of moderation itself, even by American standards. . .

    And yet you give in to those who would use their own prejudice to attack us, as if we are the ones who are responsible for 9/11. American Muslims died that day in those towers. We were not the perpetrators, and we have not become the perpetrators. Americans have lost sight of who their real enemy is.

    . . .my family has been in this country for over 300 years. My ancestors fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, WWI, my grandfather fought in Normandy, my father was in Vietnam. Yet you are telling me to be moderate and assimilate. Into this country which my family has helped to build!
    . . . I cannot fully express in words the frustration I feel.”

  48. Reid says

    according to most of your guys logic, MUSLIM AMERICAN should not be near Ground Zero at all.

    Moderate Muslims need to be more visable. Bigotry is nourished by ignorance. By keeping quiet in the face of the behavior of the fanatics among them moderates foster the impression that they are in sympathy. It appears that what Mr Rauf is trying to do is just what is needed at this time of tension.

  49. Fajr says

    @ Tank,
    Thank you. I am a Muslim.

    It saddens me to witness the vituperance against a CULTURAL CENTER, with a space set aside, for reflection,prayer, whatever. It saddened me much more, that our President BACKTRACKED. Shame, shame, shame. One must have the conviction etc.. etc… I am, nevertheless, quite optimistic and confident in the Spirit of America.

    Thank you

  50. ratbastard says

    Gotta laugh how some bring up the Arizona immigration law. It requires only that you be able to offer positive proof of your identity if requested by cops during a legit police action like traffic violation stops, etc., WOW! Then L.E. may run a check and discover you’re illegally in the country. Again, WOW! EVERYBODY should carry proper I.D. on them at all times, especially obviously when driving. When I lived outside the U.S. every place required that I have proper I.D./passport always on me, and one country required I inform local cops where I lived. Who could argue with that? Ridiculous.

    The cultural center/mosque should not be built at that location. It is not building bridges, it’s burning them. Muslims must realize that under the circumstances it’s a very provocative location. Imagine if Christian terrorist in the name of Christianity crashed a jet into a Muslim nations skyscraper, killing 3000 and destroying the structure; do you seriously think a Christan church would be allowed to be built a few blocks from the site? Of course not. There would be riots and deaths. There are plenty of other places for this cultural center/mosque to be built. I’m DEEPLY suspicious why those behind the proposal are so intent on this site…not to mention the fact they are openly admitting they’ll accept money from questionable sources. It’s all VERY insulting to the folks who went through 9/11 and MOST of the family and friends of the dead.

  51. unknown says

    Ratbastard…this Islamic Center is being run by Sufi. Al Qaeda despite them as they think they are NOT real muslim. Trust me, if do they get the chance, they will assassinate the Iman.

  52. henry says

    They have the right to be there, it is the bedrock of The U.S. Constitution.

    If the area beyond the World Trade Center foot-print was so “hallowed” , then the New York Dolls strip club, off-track betting and other less than sacred establishments should move too.

  53. anon says

    Where’s all the “religion sucks” comments here? Normally, a topic like this would have half the comments repeat that idea.

  54. nic says

    @ANON, religion does suck. as far as i can tell, it is a foregone conclusion for most towlies. however, the question at hand is whether islamists are being insensitive to white, right-wing, bigots’ sensibilities. i have to say no. of course, it all depends on the aggrieved. and the aggrieved are the aggrievers in this circumstance. white americans have become in toto a group of cry-babies. dubya bush would blubber and gush at the drop of a hat. this was our chimp-in-chief, and he set the tone for Glen Beck, Maggie Gallagher, Billo, et al. but, getting down to brass tacks, the building of a mosque 2 blocks from the “hallowed” ground (excuse me while i stifle a rare gag reflex) is not an affront. rather, it is an affirmation that we hold certain truths to be self evident. to paraphrase Shakespeare, let us not to the marriage of logical minds create impediments.