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The Ground Zero CHURCH and SYNAGOGUE...objections, anyone?


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See the bolded part.

Op-Ed Contributor

Building on Faith

By FEISAL ABDUL RAUF

Published: September 7, 2010

AS my flight approached America last weekend, my mind circled back to the furor that has broken out over plans to build Cordoba House, a community center in Lower Manhattan.I have been away from home for two months, speaking abroad about cooperation among people from different religions. Every day, including the past two weeks spent representing my country on a State Department tour in the Middle East, I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels.

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We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become. The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship.

Many people wondered why I did not speak out more, and sooner, about this project. I felt that it would not be right to comment from abroad. It would be better if I addressed these issues once I returned home to America, and after I could confer with leaders of other faiths who have been deliberating with us over this project. My life’s work has been focused on building bridges between religious groups and never has that been as important as it is now.

We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners. I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons.

Above all, the project will amplify the multifaith approach that the Cordoba Initiative has deployed in concrete ways for years. Our name, Cordoba, was inspired by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims. Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures.

Our broader mission — to strengthen relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to help counter radical ideology — lies not in skirting the margins of issues that have polarized relations within the Muslim world and between non-Muslims and Muslims. It lies in confronting them as a joint multifaith, multinational effort.

From the political conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians to the building of a community center in Lower Manhattan, Muslims and members of all faiths must work together if we are ever going to succeed in fostering understanding and peace.

At Cordoba House, we envision shared space for community activities, like a swimming pool, classrooms and a play space for children. There will be separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths. The center will also include a multifaith memorial dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11, as are my fellow leaders of many faiths. We will accordingly seek the support of those families, and the support of our vibrant neighborhood, as we consider the ultimate plans for the community center. Our objective has always been to make this a center for unification and healing.

Cordoba House will be built on the two fundamental commandments common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam: to love the Lord our creator with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength; and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We want to foster a culture of worship authentic to each religious tradition, and also a culture of forging personal bonds across religious traditions.

I do not underestimate the challenges that will be involved in bringing our work to completion. (Construction has not even begun yet.) I know there will be interest in our financing, and so we will clearly identify all of our financial backers.

Lost amid the commotion is the good that has come out of the recent discussion. I want to draw attention, specifically, to the open, law-based and tolerant actions that have taken place, and that are particularly striking for Muslims.

President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg both spoke out in support of our project. As I traveled overseas, I saw firsthand how their words and actions made a tremendous impact on the Muslim street and on Muslim leaders. It was striking: a Christian president and a Jewish mayor of New York supporting the rights of Muslims. Their statements sent a powerful message about what America stands for, and will be remembered as a milestone in improving American-Muslim relations.

The wonderful outpouring of support for our right to build this community center from across the social, religious and political spectrum seriously undermines the ability of anti-American radicals to recruit young, impressionable Muslims by falsely claiming that America persecutes Muslims for their faith. These efforts by radicals at distortion endanger our national security and the personal security of Americans worldwide. This is why Americans must not back away from completion of this project. If we do, we cede the discourse and, essentially, our future to radicals on both sides. The paradigm of a clash between the West and the Muslim world will continue, as it has in recent decades at terrible cost. It is a paradigm we must shift.

From those who recognize our rights, from grassroots organizers to heads of state, I sense a global desire to build on this positive momentum and to be part of a global movement to heal relations and bring peace. This is an opportunity we must grasp.

I therefore call upon all Americans to rise to this challenge. Let us commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 by pausing to reflect and meditate and tone down the vitriol and rhetoric that serves only to strengthen the radicals and weaken our friends’ belief in our values.

The very word “islam” comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew. The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”

How better to commemorate 9/11 than to urge our fellow Muslims, fellow Christians and fellow Jews to follow the fundamental common impulse of our great faith traditions?

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative and the imam of the Farah mosque in Lower Manhattan.

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Why is it called the Cordoba House? What significance is that?

A place where all religions can co-exist. Nothing like the Mosque propaganda put out there for the baby birdies to gobble up. Such as, "this is a victory Mosque referencing Cordoba, Spain where those evil Muslims were rubbing victory in everyone's face!" In fact, that's absolute bullsh#t.

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Why don't they just call it a cultural center, make it secular and take religion out of the equation?

but why? this is america and we support religious freedom. Also this country is mostly Christian, doesn't Christ teach :

For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins. (Matthew 6:14-15)

and

43"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor[h] and hate your enemy.' 44But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? 47And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that? 48Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5:43-48)
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A place where all religions can co-exist. Nothing like the Mosque propaganda put out there for the baby birdies to gobble up. Such as, "this is a victory Mosque referencing Cordoba, Spain where those evil Muslims were rubbing victory in everyone's face!" In fact, that's absolute bullsh#t.

Mind citing a source that claims this is bs? I've heard both arguments about Cordoba, Spain, but haven't seen any real references. Just a bunch of mud slinging.

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Why is it called the Cordoba House? What significance is that?

From the article:

"Above all, the project will amplify the multifaith approach that the Cordoba Initiative has deployed in concrete ways for years. Our name, Cordoba, was inspired by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims. Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures."

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History cites it as BS. You can say you haven't seen anything when you ignore it. Kinda convenient.

You're sounding like another poster here that pretty much likes to tell people what they know or don't know and think what they do or don't think. How convenient for you.

I'd like to see your historical citation if you don't mind. While you're digging yours up, I'll provide you with one I found last night after a brief search for Cordoba Spain Islam via Google. I found a piece by Reinhart Dozy called A History of the Muslims in Spain that talks specifically about the Moorish control over Spain and Cordova/Cordoba specifically. It was published in 1861. This book is available for free via Google Books.. just do a search for it. It's fairly long, but there is a specific section from pages 236-241. I find it pretty interesting. This particular section talks about some of both the good and the bad that arose from the occupation.

As with most things there are two sides to the story and the truth is somewhere in between.

Edited by Porkins
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You're sounding like another poster here that pretty much likes to tell people what they know or don't know and think what they do or don't think. How convenient for you.

I'd like to see your historical citation if you don't mind. While you're digging yours up, I'll provide you with one I found last night after a brief search for Cordoba Spain Islam via Google. I found a piece by Reinhart Dozy called A History of the Muslims in Spain that talks specifically about the Moorish control over Spain and Cordova/Cordoba specifically. It was published in 1861. This book is available for free via Google Books.. just do a search for it. It's fairly long, but there is a specific section from pages 236-241. I find it pretty interesting. This particular section talks about some of both the good and the bad that arose from the occupation.

As with most things there are two sides to the story and the truth is somewhere in between.

You need to dig further. There isn't two sides to this story.

There is the truth and there is media bullsh#t.

Edited by Mojo Risin
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No. The intent of another human being is only known to him. There aren't 'two sides' to it, there are only numerous opinions.

Intent of another human being is only known to him.

But there are still two sides to a STORY.

You need to dig further. There isn't two sides to this story.

There is the truth and there is media bullsh#t.

I take it you're digging up that historical citation then.

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Intent of another human being is only known to him.

But there are still two sides to a STORY.

There is never a purely good side when talking about a place that is occupied by a foreign entity. It was an occupation and so there are certainly oppressive aspects involved. However, the Cordoba era in between muslim and Christian occupations being referenced here is one of multifaith sharing, cooperation, and societal advancement. That is a historical reality.

A lot of conservatives talk about returning to the "principles of our founding". At the time, blacks were slaves and women were second-class citizens. Someone referencing the "founding principles", however, is not referring to slavery and oppression of women anymore than someone referring to the Cordoba era is referring to the occupation of that city.

To suggest the name has sinister motives is dumb given the history of Imam Rauf and the Cordoba Initiative.

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There is never a purely good side when talking about a place that is occupied by a foreign entity. It was an occupation and so there are certainly oppressive aspects involved. However, the Cordoba era in between muslim and Christian occupations being referenced here is one of multifaith sharing, cooperation, and societal advancement. That is a historical reality.

A lot of conservatives talk about returning to the "principles of our founding". At the time, blacks were slaves and women were second-class citizens. Someone referencing the "founding principles", however, is not referring to slavery and oppression of women anymore than someone referring to the Cordoba era is referring to the occupation of that city.

To suggest the name has sinister motives is dumb given the history of Imam Rauf and the Cordoba Initiative.

Well written except the last sentence. I'm reserving judgment for the time being. I'm not going to agree that it is "dumb" because I can't say for certain what's going on. There's so much going on behind the scenes here that I find it difficult to really understand.

My gut feeling? Rauf seems to be a legit guy who wants to do the right thing. I also think he made a mistake in trying to build this close to GZ and he in all liklihood realizes it. However, to back out now would probably incite outrage from some of his Muslim backers. He's in a lose-lose situation I think.

Referencing Cordoba was a mistake as well in my opinion even if his particular viewpoint was one of peace, prosperity, etc. There are too many out there that saw what eventually happened in Cordoba (and Spain at large) as a decidedly BAD thing to think otherwise. By referencing Cordoba he's calling up images of Christian disenfranchisement. It got pretty bad in Spain after the Moorish occupation even if things went quite well initially. Two sides of the story.

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Well written except the last sentence. I'm reserving judgment for the time being. I'm not going to agree that it is "dumb" because I can't say for certain what's going on. There's so much going on behind the scenes here that I find it difficult to really understand.

My gut feeling? Rauf seems to be a legit guy who wants to do the right thing. I also think he made a mistake in trying to build this close to GZ and he in all liklihood realizes it. However, to back out now would probably incite outrage from some of his Muslim backers. He's in a lose-lose situation I think.

Referencing Cordoba was a mistake as well in my opinion even if his particular viewpoint was one of peace, prosperity, etc. There are too many out there that saw what eventually happened in Cordoba (and Spain at large) as a decidedly BAD thing to think otherwise. By referencing Cordoba he's calling up images of Christian disenfranchisement. It got pretty bad in Spain after the Moorish occupation even if things went quite well initially. Two sides of the story.

Okay, I'll play this little game of yours.

John Boehner said just last year that we need a return to the founding principles of this country and need to return to the values of the Founding Fathers.

While he says that means limited government and more economic freedom, it could be that secretly he's making a reference to slavery and oppression of women. Does the person who would be Speaker of the House and third in line to the presidency wants us to own blacks and to disenfranchise women?

I'm reserving judgment at this time as to whether or not he wants to enslave blacks and disenfranchise women, though. There's so much going on behind the scenes right now, after all.

Now, my gut feeling is that Boehner is a decent guy who wants to do the right thing. Referencing the Founding Era was a mistake even if his particular viewpoint was one of limited government and economic freedom. There are too many blacks out there whose ancestors were slaves that saw what happened during the Founding era as a decidedly BAD thing to think otherwise. It got pretty bad for blacks during the Founding era even if things went quite well for whites. Two sides of the story.

See how dumb it sounds?

Edited by AcworthFalcFan
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