241 Comments

What Do You Think of a Mosque at Ground Zero?

I was driving to work this morning and saw a billboard titled “Remember 9/11” with an image of the collapsed World Trade Center.  In smaller print on the right, it said “”Stand up and be heard.  No mosque at ground zero.”  You can see the sign on a video at this website.

A few weeks ago on KSL, Carole Mikita interviewed a Muslim leader here in Utah.  She asked him what he thought of this idea to build a mosque near Ground Zero.  He said he thought it was a terrible idea.  He said they can build a mosque in many places, and thought it was quite insensitive for these Muslims to incite a controversy there.

As a Mormon, we have had plenty of problems with protests about churches or temples being built.  The Boston Temple was prohibited from building a steeple for quite some time because the steeple was considered too tall.  (It was eventually constructed, but the church was forced to reduce the size of the steeple.)  Many groups have protested the buildings of new temples for a variety of reasons.  My sister lives in Colorado, and 2 Mormon churches sit side by side because the owner of a subdivision refused to allow any churches to be zoned in a particularly large subdivision.  (As I recall, the owner was either a tobacco or alcohol owner that wanted to make sure no Mormon churches were built in the subdivision–so he excluded all churches.  How is this legal?)

I appreciate this Muslim leader’s pragmatism.  I too wonder why Muslims in New York aren’t more sensitive to the issue.  On the other hand, I don’t understand how any Mormon can support a ban on religious construction, given that we have had so many problems with constructing churches or temples.  As a matter of principle, I can’t see how it is constitutional to support a ban on a Muslim mosque anywhere.  What are your thoughts?

Edit on 10/3/2010

I thought it would be interesting to show photos of 2 Muslim women supporting this project.  Daisy Khan and her husband are trying to build at the controversial site.  Azar Nafisi escaped Iran’s regime, and wrote a controversial book.

I know looks can be deceiving, but I think these are the kinds of Muslims we should support.  From their speech, I could tell they want the same principles I want.  I think it is a mistake to characterize all Muslims as violent.    They were articulate Americans, and deserve the same rights you and I have.  I am more in favor of the mosque than I was earlier.  If we turn these moderate Muslims down, we further antagonize the Jihadists.  These are the people we should support.  If we can’t support these people, we hurt ourselves.

241 comments on “What Do You Think of a Mosque at Ground Zero?

  1. MH:

    Gallup did a poll about a year ago that you should be able to find because Charles Krauthamer linked to it in a much more recent Washington Post column. The poll made the point that only a very small percentage of Muslims in the world are sympathetic to violent jihad — no more than 7%. That poll is the minimum number I’ve ever seen estimated.

    So let’s do the math to see what kind of a threat that represents: 7% of 1.5 billion people is 105 million people who are sympathetic to organizations that commit atrocity, even if we define sympathetic as nothing more than being unwilling to risk personal safety to STOP it.

    I just looked up the population of Germany in 1938. It was 78 million. Most of THEM were no more sympathetic to Hitler than being unwilling to risk personal safety to stop it.

    As I’ve repeatedly said, we aren’t doing peaceful Muslims any favors by refusing to recognize the dangers the fundamentalists pose.

    In fact, BR has it wrong in one important respect. Historically, the Islamists have killed moderate Muslims first (to GAIN power) then Jews, then Europeans and other Westerners. Indeed, there are some military analysts who have described us as pawns first used by local powers to cement their victory in local civil wars.

  2. Well, I only mentioned an order of priority in my last post, and I wasn’t speaking in historical terms, I was speaking about nuclear warfare.

    Dropping a nuke on moderate muslims likely kills just as many (percentage wise) fundamentalists. Dropping a nuke on Israel or the US would likely only incur collateral damage on fundamentalists.

    So, I’m not convinced that I’m wrong on that point.

  3. Firetag,

    Fair enough, dude. I’m going to assume then that you don’t fear the Muslims who have lived in lower Manhattan for the past three decades and deserve their own place of worship, or hell, can choose what to do with a property they own.

    I see Bishop Rick has revealed his true fear: Sharia Law. Ignorance indeed.

  4. I think it would give radical Islam less power, and moderate Islam more power if Americans can support Muslims like Daisy Khan and Azar Nafisi. It will prevent any trend toward Sharia Law if we can reach out and support these 2 fine Muslim women. I support their cause, and encourage everyone to watch the ABC link I posted previously.

    Bishop Rick and Tara, if New Yorkers opposed an LDS temple 2 blocks from Ground Zero because of polygamy, blood atonement, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Utah War, Missouri War, and said that the LDS religion was a violent religion with a history of meddling in politics like Prop 8, and a history of racism, would you support a move of the LDS temple? What if they pointed to the FLDS (who still teach blood atonement, the priesthood ban, and polygamy as I understand it), and said they represent “true Mormonism? Would that bother you?

    That’s exactly what I see you doing to these 2 Muslim women–supporting stereotypes. (And I’m not asking the questions above rhetorically–they are serious questions.)

  5. MH,

    But there isn’t a trend toward Sharia Law in the United States.

  6. But how can we trust that Daisy Khan and Azar Nafisi are truly moderates? It has been reported earlier this year that Daisy’s husband, who is also part of the “park51” project, Imam Rauf was quoted in an article in Arabic Rights4All as saying:

    “I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue”.

    He also said:

    “Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more then just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Shariah that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed.”

    “Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws. New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad…so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Shariah.”

    This translation comes from Walid Shoebat, former member of the P.L.O. I can’t confirm it on my own or through other sources, and if there’s an explanation, I’d like to see it.

    But supposing it is accurate, combine that with the fact that Imam Rauf, in a 60 Minutes interview in 2001, said that the “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” on 9/11. He also said Osama bin Laden was “made in the USA.” I don’t see how we can so easily trust these people, particularly when they are not disclosing the funding sources for the project.

    As for the LDS temple comparison, polygamy did not cause 9/11, nor did blood atonement, the Mountain Meadows Massacre, the Utah War, the Missouri War, nor opposition to Prop 8, or our history of racism, so I’m not sure how they would draw the parallel there. But okay, suppose it were opposed on some illegitimate grounds. I really wouldn’t care so long as another suitable location could be secured. I wouldn’t be hung up on the location and I certainly wouldn’t be trying to force outreach to people who aren’t interested. That isn’t how you build bridges.

  7. Tara,

    Watch this clip

    This controversy was created by News Corp to rile people like you up. Don’t fall for it, Tara.

  8. I like how the Laura Ingraham interview was edited. I’ve seen the interview in its entirety and I know that her comments can be seen in a different light if you listen to the whole thing. Her explanations after the fact accord with what she said as well. She supports assimilation if that’s the group’s goal. The parts of the interview that you may not have seen show a more skeptical take on things, and she didn’t say she supported the ground zero mosque.

    It wouldn’t have taken a media-driven controversy to get me to question this thing. It didn’t sound right to me before I ever heard much about it. I do have a mind to think and to analyze things, and I do question the things I read and hear, even from people I generally agree with. I’m not jumping on a bandwagon because it looks like a lot of fun.

  9. Tara,

    Do you have a link to the full clip? I’d love to see it and judge for myself as well. I wouldn’t want liberal commies to dirty up my view…

  10. I’ll do you one better. All in one link, you can watch two videos of Laura Ingraham on the issue. The first one was on Aug. 25, about 6 weeks ago, months after the Daisy Khan interview which was done back last December: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2010/08/26/wednesday-night-fights-laura-ingraham-vs-ground-zero-mosque-supporter

  11. Thanks Tara. It doesn’t seem liberal groups took Laura Ingraham’s interview out of context. It is understandable that Ingraham would show concern. However, her words back then stand clear. She didn’t have a problem with it, and liked what they were doing. The actual controversy has been manufactured by News Corp.

  12. First off, when she said that no one seems to have any problem with the ground zero mosque, she named Bloomberg and Rabbis in NY. This has been incorrectly construed to mean that SHE didn’t have any problem with it. That’s an assumption, not a fact. If she didn’t see a problem with it, why would she even need to make that statement? It seems the only reason she would is if maybe she expected more people to have a problem with it. And if she didn’t see a problem with it herself, then why didn’t she include herself among those she listed?

    Then what did she say she applauded and what did she say she thought was fantastic? “A moderate approach to Americanizing people, assimilating people.” She didn’t say the ground zero mosque.

    Laura doesn’t go after Daisy because there really isn’t much of a public record of Daisy’s to go after, so what is she supposed to do? Call her out as a liar? No, she goes after Daisy’s husband who does have more of a public record. She goes after his statements about Christians who bombed civilians in Hiroshima and Dresden. Laura was giving Daisy the benefit of the doubt in everything she was saying about the efforts of her group, but she went after Imam Rauf because there is evidence there that maybe he isn’t so moderate as he’d like us to believe. He’s a big part of the project, although he’s hiding behind his wife on this one, and understandably so. If Laura didn’t see a possible issue, there would’ve been no need to bring Rauf’s statements into the interview. Why would she go after Imam Rauf’s statements if she had no issue with the ground zero mosque? I believe she was trying to raise the alert flag without attacking Daisy with no condemning evidence against her personally. Laura’s got to maintain her credibility, and she wouldn’t be able to if she went after Daisy with no evidence to bring against her.

    Then the fact that she said she’d like Daisy to go on her show means nothing. Conservative talk show hosts are always eager to talk with political opponents. It has nothing to do with agreeing with them.

    It was amazing that even Daisy didn’t seem to back down from the idea that Hiroshima and Dresden were carried out under the banner of Christianity, btw.

  13. Tara,

    It was amazing that even Daisy didn’t seem to back down from the idea that Hiroshima and Dresden were carried out under the banner of Christianity, btw.

    Right, because only Christians are allowed to make specious arguments against other faiths. In any case, Laura Ingraham’s words are quite clear. She was respectful to the co-developer of the project, she liked what they were doing, and she didn’t know of anyone who had any problem with the project. This is of course, before Laura Ingraham got her talking points from her boss, Rupert Murdoch. I remember seeing Laura Ingraham on the Today Show, and she was vicious toward Park51. Because she had been given her talking points. Now she had to stick to them.

    Manufactured outrage, Tara. This is the MO of Fox.

  14. Yeah, keep up with the demonization of Christians because it really helps your cause there.

    Manufactured outrage, Tara. This is the MO of Fox.

    That’s Democrat territory there, right? How dare we right-wingers co-opt the methods of the left.

  15. That’s Democrat territory there, right? How dare we right-wingers co-opt the methods of the left.

    what manufactured outrage, Tara? You’re just lashing out now. Should I whip out the sticks and stones crap?

  16. I’m just speaking your language Dan.

  17. @Dan

    “I see Bishop Rick has revealed his true fear: Sharia Law. Ignorance indeed.”

    Its unprompted comments like these that cause you to lose all credibility.

  18. Dan,
    I guess Rupert Murdoch ignored his own talking points on the amnesty issue considering his testimony last week in front of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration.

  19. MH:

    My, I’m a few comments behind the curve, but I wanted to touch to the credibility of statements that there is no trend toward imposition of Islamic law, that affirmations of “moderation” from mainstream media are dispositive, that mosques in the US or Europe have never been used as cover for terrorism — and most of all, that we need to examine data from all sides on this issue.

    To CNN’s report, I offer the following counter-example:

    http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2010/10/05/the_molly_norris_precedent.html

  20. FT – Interesting article. As I ponder this discussion, I can’t help but think about the Minister of Magic in Harry Potter, who refused to acknowledge the possibility that Voldemort was back. I know that Harry Potter is fiction, but art mimics life.

  21. Dan and MH,

    Just in case you guys missed this part:

    Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric – once touted by the New York Times as a moderate but in fact an al-Qaeda commander who is currently hiding out in Yemen – issued a fatwa calling for Norris to be murdered by any Muslim willing and able.

  22. Tara,
    Its not fear.
    Its not bigotry
    Its not ignorance

    Its drinking with one hand baby.

  23. @Bishop Rick
    As cool as that sounds, I’m not sure what you mean…the “drinking with one hand” part. I have a guess, but I may be totally off-base.

    Sorry to have spoiled the moment. 😦

  24. Judges 7: 4-6

  25. Love it! But yeah, I was way off-base.

  26. Firetag,

    That’s not an example of Sharia Law being imposed on Americans. That example is like saying that the Mafia has imposed its Mafia Law on Americans because they happen to threaten someone into hiding. Yeah, that happens, but it doesn’t actually change the laws, or the enforcement of the laws through the proper authorities. What happened with that incident is extra-legal, or in other words, ILLEGAL. It is up to the authorities to capture and put on trial the individuals who are attempting to kill that lady for drawing up Mohammed. But it’s not an example of Sharia Law being imposed here.

    Fear. Ignorance. Bigotry. That is STILL all you guys have.

  27. It is interesting to hear everyone; I’ve been really busy this weekend with work and new blog, so I haven’t had much time to comment. Tara, I’m so glad you finally got a gravatar!

    Tara, your comment #106 above sounds so much like anti-mormon rhetoric. Let me substitute the Muslim references to Mormon references in your comment to help you see how similar your attacks against Muslims sound to Mormon attacks.

    But how can we trust that [Mitt Romney is} truly moderate? It has been reported [Richard Bushman said of Joseph Smith who ran for US president in 1844]:

    “Smith went beyond our sense of political propriety in other parts of his platform: he blended his role as candidate with his role as prophet. He was already mayor of Nauvoo and lieutenant general of the Nauvoo Legion when he ran for the presidency. He seemingly had no sense that church and state should be separated. He gave no hint that he was going to give up his religious offices if he were to become president of the United States.

    In the closing peroration of his platform, Joseph Smith indirectly, but I think clearly, offered himself to be the priest of the people, as well as the president. “I would, as the universal friend of man, open the prisons, open the eyes, open the ears, and open the hearts of all people to behold and enjoy freedom, unadulterated freedom; and God, who once cleansed the violence of the earth with flood, whose Son laid down his life for the salvation of all his father gave him out of the world, and who has promised that he will come and purify the world again with fire in the last days, should be supplicated by me for the good of all the people.” He would be the intercessor as priest as well as prophet.”

    Isn’t it true that Mormons believe a theocracy is the most ideal form of government? When Jesus comes, won’t it be a theocracy? Sharia law is no different, and this imam seems to think sharia law is compatible with democracy, just as Joseph did. How is sharia different in principle (don’t get confused with practice) than a Mormon theocracy?

    As to your comment that the it is ok to move the LDS temple if a bunch of mobbers oppose it, have you forgotten Missouri, Illinois? Brigham and company left the United States and headed to Mexico to obtain religious freedom. Is that what you want Muslims to do–pack up and leave like the Mormons did because someone thugs didn’t want to be tolerant? I’m a bit mystified that you can’t see the parallels with early Mormon persecution. So if people start opposing Mormon buildings, Mormons should just pack up and leave?

    How would Joseph feel about this? Well let me quote him. Bushman said at my previous post on Constitutional Theocracy,

    “But by the time he got to Nauvoo, Joseph Smith saw the city as more open. One of the first ordinances passed by the Nauvoo council was a toleration act specifying that all faiths were welcome in the city and listing a number of them: Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Latter-day Saints, Catholics, Jews and “Mohammedans,” as Muslims were called. There was probably not a Mohammedan within a thousand miles, but it was a gesture of openness to every religion.”

  28. Hey Mormon Heretic,

    Did you hear the one about a certain religion that attempted and succeeded in imposing a moral code upon a public section of a local city, and that anyone that would violate the morals of that zone could be held accountable by the local law enforcement? Walk two blocks away and that moral code has no effect on exactly the same public sidewalk or street.

  29. Dan:

    “It is up to the authorities to capture and put on trial the individuals who are attempting to kill that lady for drawing up Mohammed.”

    Hmmm. Does that make the 82nd Airborne a very large posse?

    If you will the ends, you have to will the means.

    Don’t give in to the fear, Dan; it just might save your life.

  30. MH, its not necessarily the concept of sharia law that bothers folks, its what is contained in sharia law, and how it is imposed…you know, stuff like stone the girl to death for the sin of being raped by her brother.

    Christ would not impose sharia law.

  31. Firetag,

    Hmmm. Does that make the 82nd Airborne a very large posse?
    If you will the ends, you have to will the means.
    Don’t give in to the fear, Dan; it just might save your life.

    It is not me who is afraid. If the threat against this American woman comes from overseas, then work in conjunction with the authorities of the nation from where this threat emanates and have them arrest the individuals. If it is a nation we’re not well connected with, then we don’t have many options. Unless it is a nation we’re already at war with, well then, kill the people threatening her. This isn’t rocket science. But in the end, it’s also not an example of Sharia Law being imposed on America. Try again.

    Bishop Rick, your continual push for concern over sharia law indicates your ignorance of reality. There is no push for sharia law in America.

  32. @Mormon Heretic
    Tara, I’m so glad you finally got a gravatar!

    Well, back when it first became available on your blog, Gravatar kept giving me trouble and I was unable to obtain one. Some time ago, I switched browsers and finally remembered yesterday to try it again, and it worked. Yay!

    Tara, your comment #106 above sounds so much like anti-mormon rhetoric….I’m a bit mystified that you can’t see the parallels with early Mormon persecution.

    I never said that I don’t see parallels. I do. But I see fundamental differences as well.

    Isn’t it true that Mormons believe a theocracy is the most ideal form of government? When Jesus comes, won’t it be a theocracy?

    Yes, but it is my belief and understanding based on what I’ve learned, that our government was not intended to be a theocracy. In the D&C, the Lord endorses our Constitutional form of government and admits to being the inspiration behind it, so it is what we needed. That’s not to say that there wasn’t something better, but to say that it was the best form of government that the people would accept.

    Sharia law is no different, and this imam seems to think sharia law is compatible with democracy, just as Joseph did. How is sharia different in principle (don’t get confused with practice) than a Mormon theocracy?

    In principle, I don’t suppose there is any difference. I understand that the Utah Saints tried to set up their own theocracy, but they weren’t trying to force it on the rest of the country. Perhaps Joseph Smith’s political platform may have hinted that he wanted to go in that direction, but my sense of things was that Joseph may have offered and invited, but he would never have forced it on anyone. That is what the gospel does. It invites, but it doesn’t force. Ideally, anyway.

    However, there are those who want to IMPOSE Sharia on us, through violent and deadly means if necessary. That’s where the difference is.

    As to your comment that the it is ok to move the LDS temple if a bunch of mobbers oppose it, have you forgotten Missouri, Illinoi?

    I haven’t forgotten Missouri and Illinois. But no one that I am aware of is trying to force Muslims to leave the area entirely and using violent means to do so. There have been offers to move them to another location in lower Manhattan, but those offers have been refused. I don’t recall anyone kindly offering the Saints another location a few blocks away, but I suppose if anyone had, considering how the Saints had been received in NY and OH, they would’ve gratefully accepted such an offer if they knew they would be guaranteed to stay there unmolested.

    So if people start opposing Mormon buildings, Mormons should just pack up and leave?

    I think there would come a point when it would go from being opposition based on a difference of opinion to sheer bigotry. I would oppose the extreme. But a dispute here or there isn’t something I’m going to get a persecution complex over.

    “But by the time he got to Nauvoo, Joseph Smith saw the city as more open. One of the first ordinances passed by the Nauvoo council was a toleration act specifying that all faiths were welcome in the city and listing a number of them: Presbyterians, Baptists, Methodists, Latter-day Saints, Catholics, Jews and “Mohammedans,” as Muslims were called. There was probably not a Mohammedan within a thousand miles, but it was a gesture of openness to every religion.”

    I concur.

  33. @Dan
    That’s not an example of Sharia Law being imposed on Americans.

    Once again, you miss the mark.

    But it certainly IS an example of Muslims trying to conceal themselves as moderates among us for the purposes of deceiving us. They know if they are openly extreme, they will make little progress among us. That is why they hide who they really are. Not all of them, but we just don’t know how many do, and unless they reveal themselves through their words or their actions, we can’t be sure. We welcome them but for our safety, we keep them at arms length. It’s sad, I know, but that’s what terrorism does.

    It is also an example of how little we care about our liberties as evidenced by the lack of outrage over this threat to our freedom of expression. We are allowing this threat to silence us. If we can’t stand up for our constitutional rights against these kinds of threats, how will we safeguard against Sharia law in the face of similar threats?

    There is no push for sharia law in America.

    Not an open one anyway. Do you honestly think Muslims are stupid people?

  34. Tara,

    However, there are those who want to IMPOSE Sharia on us, through violent and deadly means if necessary. That’s where the difference is.

    Who?

    But it certainly IS an example of Muslims trying to conceal themselves as moderates among us for the purposes of deceiving us.

    Careful in your generalization. You might be accused of bigotry.

    They know if they are openly extreme, they will make little progress among us. That is why they hide who they really are. Not all of them, but we just don’t know how many do, and unless they reveal themselves through their words or their actions, we can’t be sure. We welcome them but for our safety, we keep them at arms length. It’s sad, I know, but that’s what terrorism does.

    oops…nevermind. You’ve already crossed that line.

    Not an open one anyway. Do you honestly think Muslims are stupid people?

    I think they’re quite intelligent, just like most Americans. If there is one Muslim in America who wishes to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If there are two Muslims in America who wish to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If there are 1000 Muslims in America who wish to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If there are 100,000 Muslims in America who wish to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. If all 1.2 million (or however many Muslims there are here) wish to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it. Why not? Because I think America is stronger and more vibrant than you do. You think America is weak and brittle, that it can break at the slightest dent from foreign incursions. That just constantly amazes me, how belittling conservatives are of the country they supposedly love. They (and you) think it’s like fine, ancient China that if even touched will become brittle and break. Do you really think this low of your own country? Do you really think she is that weak? That 1.2 million people could radically and fundamentally alter the whole makeup of existing American law? When there are over 300,000,000 other Americans who may not like that direction? Seriously.

    Fear. Ignorance. Bigotry.

  35. oh, and even if Muslims desire to impose Sharia Law here in America, what does that even have to do with the location of the Park51 project? Absolutely nothing.

    Fear. Ignorance. Bigotry.

  36. Dan, your schtick is getting tiring.
    Your comments are rude, classless, baseless and totally unthought out.
    You bring the conversation down to your level as in the following example:

    Go back to lapping with the dogs and leave us alone.

  37. @Dan
    Who?

    The Easter Bunny, Dan. That’s who I fear.

    Careful in your generalization. You might be accused of bigotry.

    Oops. You’ve already crossed that line, Dan.

    If all 1.2 million (or however many Muslims there are here) wish to impose Sharia Law in America, I’m not going to lose sleep over it.

    Well then, you should sleep well knowing that there freedom-loving Americans who will be willing to fight and die to keep you free.

    You think America is weak and brittle, that it can break at the slightest dent from foreign incursions.

    You mistake vigilance for insecurity. This country wasn’t made free or kept free on belief alone.

  38. @Dan
    oh, and even if Muslims desire to impose Sharia Law here in America, what does that even have to do with the location of the Park51 project? Absolutely nothing.

    I’m not sure a direct link between Sharia and Park51 has been made here. You are the one who argued that there was not a trend towards Sharia law here. I don’t think BR was creating a direct link when he said that there was. Here is the question that BR was responding to:

    “Why do so may Americans feel animosity towards Muslims, when it is one extremist group that is to blame?”

  39. @Tara
    Self correction…it was MH who mentioned a trend toward Sharia law, although he was talking about preventing a trend by embracing moderates. Dan then responded that there was no trend toward Sharia law in the US. BR never mentioned a trend toward Sharia law, and I still don’t believe anyone has attempted to directly link Sharia and Park51.

  40. Bishop Rick, there are many interpretations of Sharia Law. If you look at the ABC news video, there is a Muslim cleric on the front row that shakes his head every time Reverend Graham opens his mouth. Graham tries to scare people into think that Muslims want to make the US look like Saudi Arabia or Iran. While I’m sure there are a vocal minority of Muslims that want to do that, the vast majority of Muslims in the US want a Mormon-style democratic theocracy. To confuse the two is a disservice. I am 100% sure that Daisy Khan doesn’t want women beaten under Sharia Law, though I expect she probably supports a Mormon-style theocracy (with Sharia rather than Mormon theology).

    Evangelicals all want a Christian president. They don’t want a Catholic one, or a Mormon one, or a Muslim one, or a Hindu one–they want someone like Mike Huckabee. They want someone as president that holds to the Judeo-Christian principles. This seems very similar to the idea of a Mormon theocracy, or Sharia Law. The question is “would Americans support a non-Christian spiritual president like Ghandi?” I would, but I’m probably in the minority.

    Tara, I think you have forgotten some of the things in Missouri. Missourians originally opposed Mormons relatively peacefully, just as these Evangelicals on the ABC show. Due to the clashes in Jackson County, the Missouri legislature created Clay County as the safe place for Mormons. Alex Baugh of BYU referred to Clay County as “the Mormon reservation”. Hostilities ensued when Mormons wanted to live in Daviess County. I don’t think you’re advocating a “Muslim reservation”, but I fear that if we can kick Muslims out of Ground Zero, that is the sort of thing it will lead to. I don’t see this as “fighting for freedom”, but “endorsement of segregation.” That’s not the America I want to live in.

    Dan, you and I are on the same side on this issue. I agree with Bishop Rick that the constant beat of “bigotry” from you is unwelcome. I admire your passion, but I don’t think demonizing Tara and Bishop Rick is any more helpful than demonizing Muslims. In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

  41. Bishop Rick,

    Your comments are rude, classless, baseless and totally unthought out.

    I’ll give you rude, maybe classless, arguably baseless, but definitely not totally unthought out. I’m sorry that you don’t like your comments being called bigoted. Maybe you should reconsider your views of Muslims.

  42. MH,

    In the words of Rodney King, “Can’t we all just get along?”

    Ironic, I think, because that was the intended purpose of Park51. Look at who is against “getting along.”

  43. MH:

    “While I’m sure there are a vocal minority of Muslims that want to do that, the vast majority of Muslims in the US want a Mormon-style democratic theocracy. To confuse the two is a disservice.”

    I agree with that statement totally, but draw the entirely opposite conclusion than do you. Whereas you see the greater danger in uncontrollable profiling of the majority of peaceful Muslims, I see the greater danger as failure to detect the minority of violent extremists hiding among them.

    Moderates say they are moderate. Extremists ALSO say they are moderate — except when you see them talking to other extremists. Americans do not have problems with moderate Muslims, even though Muslims have had reason to wonder how long that would last since 9/11. So far, their fears remain unrealized; there are many more incidents of hate against Jews, Latinos, gays, or African Americans in this country than against Muslims. I’ve already linked to the map showing the mosques in Manhattan that people have accepted with tolerance since before 9/11.

    If the Times Square bomber sentenced to life yesterday while telling the court he was merely the first droplet of a flood had merely known more about fertilizer from having more training time while in Pakistan, there’d have been dozens of casulaties in New York again, and we would not even be having this discussion. No New York politician would touch this mosque with a 10-foot pole.

    Same thing for the Detroit Christmas bomber. The Fort Hood shooter was redicalized in a suburban DC mosque. Letting these cancers fester is only going to increase the conflict and envelop more moderate Muslims, Jews, and Christians. Even as I write this, there are predator strikes going into Pakistan on a daily basis specifically trying to disrupt the command and control of expected Mumbai-style attacks on target cities in England, France, Germany, and Denmark.

  44. @MH
    The question is “would Americans support a non-Christian spiritual president like Ghandi?”

    I wouldn’t care what religion a president was so long as they strictly upheld the constitution and endorsed conservative principles.

    Due to the clashes in Jackson County, the Missouri legislature created Clay County as the safe place for Mormons.

    I’m not talking about legal or legislative action here. I’m not sure that would be appropriate, nor am I sure there are even constitutional grounds to pursue such action. But there should be absolutely no government help or involvement whatsoever to enable the project to go forth. Sadly, there is talk of financial help from the government, which I absolutely oppose. I’m appalled at the mere suggestion of it. I’m talking public opposition and pressure (not of the violent sort either, lest someone accuse me of being a thug as well as a bigot), as well as public (not government) solutions. There have been solutions offered already, which have been rejected for some odd reason. I can’t imagine why that would be though, unless there’s just something special about the Burlington Coat Factory building. Things that make you go hmmm.

    On a side note though, have you seen the artist’s rendering of park51? Tumbling Stars of David. I’m curious about what that means and I’ve yet to find an explanation. Media Matters addresses it, but all they’ve done is show how wonderful Imam Rauf is and try to discredit Pamela Gellar throughout the article. No explanation for the building’s design is given. Not even an attempt. It may not mean anything and it may only be a proposal, but I’m very curious to understand this.

    I don’t think you’re advocating a “Muslim reservation”, but I fear that if we can kick Muslims out of Ground Zero, that is the sort of thing it will lead to.

    You’re correct. I don’t advocate a “Muslim reservation.” But I don’t think asking them to build elsewhere in the area (I’m not even talking about asking them to move out of the city, much less the county) is the same thing as what you are suggesting. That would be like roping them into a relatively small portion of town and not allowing them the ability to build outside that zone. That’s certainly not what has been suggested.

    I don’t see this as “fighting for freedom”, but “endorsement of segregation.” That’s not the America I want to live in.

    I think we’d have to go a whole lot farther than what has been proposed for it to be considered segregation. I wonder though, if people who actually endured segregation, would find it a little insulting to compare the two.

  45. @MH
    While I’m sure there are a vocal minority of Muslims that want to do that, the vast majority of Muslims in the US want a Mormon-style democratic theocracy.

    Regardless of what kind of theocracy they want, I don’t want a theocracy. I’m not sure I would support a Mormon theocracy in this country. We should all be concerned that Imam Rauf would like to see a theocracy here, assuming his words are understood correctly, regardless of how it is branded.

  46. There seems to be some confusion (which happens often with me – must be my problem) about what I’m saying. I never said U.S. Muslims were trying to impose Sharia Law in the U.S. What I have been saying is that ALL Muslims sanction Sharia Law. This fact is not debatable. That is all I am trying to say.

    Also, its not like there aren’t plenty of Mosques to worship in that area, so no one is kicking anyone out, moving them to a reservation, denying them the right to worship or anything remotely similar. The issue is only with this particular Mosque who’s proposed location was purchased post 9/11 with CASH (no donor paper trail) and there was particular interest in this property once it was known that it was damaged from shrapnel from the jetliner.

    There are things here that don’t add up and I don’t have a problem with watchdogs keeping an eye out.

  47. Tara, it’s always nice to see a little unorthodoxy from you. I don’t think a theocracy is ideal either. I guess you and I have something in common with William Law of “the Nauvoo Expositor” fame.

  48. MH,
    Would this post fall under the political category?
    It seems to be as popular as your last political post.

  49. @MH
    I cringe at the comparison to William Law, but is it really an unorthodox view? I’m not sure the church advocates a theocracy either. In this day and time, to advocate a theocracy seems to be as orthodox as advocating plural marriage, which the church no longer does. I’m not talking about merely defending the church’s past practice of plural marriage either. To advocate a theocracy might be considered fundamentalist, wouldn’t you think?

  50. I agree. An LDS Theocracy would resemble FLDS.

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