NTR Is President Obama being insensitive?

Discussion in 'General' started by momof5, Aug 15, 2010.

  1. momof5

    momof5 Well-Known Member

    Should a mosque be built so closely to where the attacks occured on Sept 11? Is he letting people express their right to religious freedom or is he being insensitive to those who have fallen and those who are still fighting the war on terror?
  2. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    No. This should not be built so close to ground zero. Yes. He is being insensitive. But I am not surprised. 2012 can not come soon enough.
  3. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    There's been a mosque four blocks from ground zero for 40 years. It was there before the WTC were built. Muslims were killed in the WTC attacks, too. I'm going to paraphrase something a friend of mine said.

    I like to think that it shows how we accept that America is made up of all different types of people, with all different beliefs, and they all deserve respect. Are we going to condemn the entire religion because of the actions of a few extremists? In the past people have objected to the building of Catholic churches and synagogues in the "wrong" places. If people want freedom of religion in this country, they have to be willing to extend that to everyone, not just their own personal religion. That's what the First Amendment means, and that is, absolutely, the intent of the Founding Fathers. Jefferson owned a copy of the Koran, he recognized Islam as a major world religion.

    Certainly other religious extremists have done unpleasant things (covered up pedophilia, bombed abortion clinics, killed doctors who perform abortions). Should we also ban the type of church they attended, tarring all members of those congregations with the extremist brush?

    We should hold ourselves to a higher standard of religious tolerance, because that is what it means to be American. Our national identity is based on our welcoming and accepting people of many beliefs and cultures. I'd like to see us get back to that identity, rather than this one where we huddle between our circled wagons shunning people.
    58 people like this.
  4. Chrissy Nelson

    Chrissy Nelson Well-Known Member

    Why because the people that happened to carry out these attacks were Mulims?? They were extremist!!!
    1 person likes this.
  5. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    well said! i'd give you many, many points if i could.
  6. Callen

    Callen Well-Known Member

  7. Anne-J

    Anne-J Well-Known Member

    You are a wise woman Ruby! And, so is our mutual friend. [​IMG]

    Exactly! How well would it go over if everyone judged Christians based on Fred Phelps actions? What's that familiar phrase used here so often? Oh yeah.... "Not ALL xyz are like that, let's not generalize."

    P.S. Such a Den worthy thread. [​IMG]
    1 person likes this.
  8. Jill R.

    Jill R. Well-Known Member

    As you state, there are many mosques already in NYC (40+ I believe), so no one's freedom of religion is being affected. The request for this mosque in this location is an intentional provocation. If their intentions were innocent, they would have respected our position and not pressed the matter further. Instead, it is designed to elicit this kind of politically correct sympathy for a religion that has not done enough to separate itself from its fringe that is at war with us. America will be more tolerant of the Muslim faith when they are as brave in the face of Al Qaeda as we are, and when they're less active in trying to change this country to fit their beliefs.

    Other religions are denied zoning permits all the time, and when they sue, they lose because freedom to worship is not freedom to worship anywhere you want. Giving Muslims preferential treatment is not tolerance, it's surrender.
    3 people like this.
  9. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    It's not just a mosque, it's a whole community center. It benefits the community.

    I don't have particular sympathy for any religion. They could all disappear tomorrow and it wouldn't bother me.

    It is my respect for the people I know in each religion that matters to me. If anything, rising to this occasion shows we can rise above these inter-religious squabbles that have led to war after war throughout history. I'd like to see people get past that entirely, and not hold on to this "they did this, so now we have to do that" mentality would be a big step in the right direction.
    11 people like this.
  10. momof5

    momof5 Well-Known Member

    I, thank God, didn't have any loved ones killed on Sept. 11 nor do I know anyone personally who is fighting the war protecting our country. I wonder how they feel? I wonder if they think more sensitivity should be used in this particular situation or if they feel like many of you do, that a mosque should be able to be built there to show respect for all religions? I feel like it is a bit insensitive and this is a special case but that is just my opinion.
  11. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    My son-in-law, who is enlisted, and who has deployed to the war zone, does not have a problem with it. I just asked him.
    3 people like this.
  12. a1cbrandy

    a1cbrandy Well-Known Member

    I believe if we want freedom of religion..it has to apply to all religions. I have friends who are muslim and lived in a muslim country, I don't blame them for what happened on Sept 11th..I blame the people who did it! I have to agree with ruby on all of this. Obama is not my favorite person..but I do believe him not allowing a mosque would be more dangerous than allowing one. Brandy
    19 people like this.
  13. twin_trip_mommy

    twin_trip_mommy Well-Known Member

    The US has the strongest religious tolerance out of any Country.

    This is not about religious tolerances it is about sensitivities. Sensitivities to those who lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks. I do not feel it was appropriate for him to make this announcement the way he did on this matter. Yes, there is and has been a mosque 4 blocks from ground zero for many years and as Jill shared there are many more in NYC. I am not asking for this or other mosques to be removed. No one has and if they did I would not support it. The question stated in this thread was should another mosque be built so close to ground zero? my answer is "No".

    Jill you got a point from me for your comments.
  14. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    I texted my son, who has also enlisted, and asked if it bothered him to build a mosque there.

    He said:
    It's not just a mosque, it's a whole community center. I'm sure if someone wanted to build a church of whatever Timothy McVeigh's denomination was near the Federal Building we would not hear people kicking up a fuss, because we don't hold all Christians of his denomination responsible for his actions.
    8 people like this.
  15. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    Who is the "us" here? Are the muslim americans any less affected by the 9/11 attacks? Muslims were in those towers too; they suffered losses. Then they felt the brunt of everyone's anger and sadness because extremists, who share their religion in name only, caused the attacks and they're still feeling it today.

    From what I understand the proposed mosque is just filling a need; the mosques in the area have to turn people away because they are at capacity. Just because you don't agree with it, doesn't mean it's an intentional provocation. There is outrage across the country in many towns when there is a proposed mosque. So if everyone is so darn tolerant, just tell me.. where can you build a mosque?
    14 people like this.
  16. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    i'm so flustered that this is even being debated that i can't think straight enough to offer any thoughts, so i'm just giving points to everyone who is saying it much better than me.
  17. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    They are not denied zoning permits because no one wants them to practice their religion there though; it's more likely that someone wanted to put a starbucks in that location instead. If Christians or Jews or Buddhists or anyone had applied to open a place of worship in exact same space as the proposed mosque first no one would be having this discussion and that's just wrong.
    4 people like this.
  18. kma13

    kma13 Well-Known Member

    If there was ever a question, here is your answer: The framers of the constitution meant to include Islam in the 1st Amendment's Free Exercise Clause: "Even if the Mufti (chief jurist) of Constantinople (fromthe Muslim Ottoman Empire) were to send a missionary to preachMohammedanism to us, [he] would find a pulpit at his service." Benjamin Franklin, TheAutobiography of Benjamin Franklin, p. 160 (1790).
    I just can't even believe this is a question. I lost college friends in the towers, my BFF was in seminary and was on call at St Vincent's right after, he is a strong Christian pastor in a famous church in Boston. AND he supports the building of this community center. I don't get it. Should we ban certain extremist Christian churches from being built near doctors who perform abortions?
    3 people like this.
  19. tinalb

    tinalb Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    I'm with you, Rachel. I can't even wrap my head around the fact that this is a problem. Terrorists attacked the WTC. Yes, they claimed to be Muslim but they were not representative of their religion, no more than terrorists who kill supposedly in the name of Christianity are representative of theirs. If they have the land & the permits, they are entitled to build their mosque/community center. I find the lack of respect to be on the part of the people protesting, not the Muslims. I think there are a lot of people in the world who talk the talk of tolerance, but they don't seem to be able to follow through with their actions.
    3 people like this.
  20. Rollergiraffe

    Rollergiraffe Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    It seems I can't say enough on this topic. In response to the original question about whether President Obama was being insensitive.. if he came out against the mosque, would he be decried for not upholding the constitution? That's his job; he's doing it.
    3 people like this.
  21. twinstuff-old

    twinstuff-old Well-Known Member

    Regardless of what side of the issue you back, this is a fairly complex question. Just look at the spirited discussions it's created in the streets of New York, the political landscape and then on communities like ours that may not have specific ties to the site of the proposed mosque.

    I've been to ground zero once since 9/11 and was there many times before the attack. I discuss the events of 9/11 every year with my history students and debates like this show me that we will continue to discuss the significance of the attacks on our nation for many years to come.

    To answer the original question, I don't think President Obama is being insensitive; however, I'm very surprised he even voluntarily weighed in on the subject during an election year. I think it would have been easier to stay out of the debate as it's not something that the federal government really has a say in - it really is a local issue for New York City government. Although it does sound like the White House is trying to do some spin control on this one.

    On Saturday, while spending the day in the Gulf, the president clarified, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about."

    Later in the day, spokesman Bill Burton issued a statement saying "the president is not backing off in any way from the comments he made last night.

    "It is not his role as president to pass judgment on every local project. But it is his responsibility to stand up for the constitutional principle of religious freedom and equal treatment for all Americans," Burton said.

    I guess I personally feel the way most American do - the New York City group proposing the mosque certainly does have the right to build a mosque there, but perhaps it's being a little insensitive to actually build it there.
    1 person likes this.
  22. TwinPeshi

    TwinPeshi Well-Known Member

    Objections to this community centre have nothing to do with sensitivity. The people that do not want this built object to it because it reminds them of their own prejudices. It reminds them not of who was responsible for the attacks (in numeric terms, an insignificant number of lunatics) but of their own prejudices that they would rather not admit to but which have become almost acceptable since 2001 in the guise of "security", "vigilance", "protecting freedom" and "remembering the victims". It is this phenomenon - the same one that has placed responsibility for the attacks on all Muslims - that makes this community centre not a desirable project but a necessary one. The claim of trying to ensure sensitivity for the victims' families is a smokescreen. The objection of some of the victims' families to this community centre is regrettable, based on faulty logic and although somewhat understandable given what they have been through is really a desire for revenge. Whilst the rest of the population can certainly sympathise with what these families are feeling, they should not allow these sympathies to erode the very freedoms that they claim to be protecting (at the cost of thousands of lives and trillions of dollars).

    The unfortunate truth is that regardless of where this community centre is built, the local population will always object to it. Why? It is because tolerance is easy to claim when you don't need to prove it every day. The building of this community centre makes public a prejudice and superficial tolerance that was previously hidden. That can only be a good thing.

    I'm not singling out Americans here, people in all countries behave in exactly the same way given the opportunity. For a somewhat humorous take on this watch this video from an Australian television programme.

    What have you done "in the face of Al Qaeda" that Muslims have not? Denounced Al Qaeda's attacks and statements? [they've done this] Joined the military operations in Afghanistan and (despite the lack of connection, Iraq)? [they've done this too] Participated in inter-religious discussions? [they've done this too and what do you think this community centre is?] Were victims of the same attacks? [sadly yes]. Muslims are no more responsible for the behaviour of other Muslims than Christians are responsible for the behaviour of other Christians and Jews are responsible for the behaviour of other Jews.

    The United States has one of the strongest protections of religious freedom. Religious tolerance is a different issue entirely as this issue is demonstrating.
    26 people like this.
  23. Eleven

    Eleven Well-Known Member

    I don't think Obama is being at all insensitive, to me he just seems to be doing his job as President and defending the constitution.

    I read this comment on another site discussing the same issue and thought it summed the situation up rather well:

    10 people like this.
  24. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    darn it! i'm out of points. :gah:

    i'll be back...
  25. lianyla

    lianyla Well-Known Member

    Precisely. This is not an "it is what it is" situation.. here folks. This is the opposite. This is raising the white flag. This is surrender. This is incredible.
  26. TwinRichard

    TwinRichard Well-Known Member

    It seems to me that surrender would be refusing to allow it to be built and in so doing reject the very principles your country was founded on and is purporting to defend in its "war on terror".
    6 people like this.
  27. Snittens

    Snittens Well-Known Member

    1. The mosque is also a community center.

    2. What does Obama have to do with it?

    3. It's not "at" Ground Zero.
    2 people like this.
  28. MeredithMM

    MeredithMM Well-Known Member

    I don't have a problem at all the with mosque. Having Muslim friends and being somewhat familiar with the faith I don't see the terrorists who attacked us to be anything more than extremists, the likes of which every religion has a bunch of. I'm a Christian, and it wasn't that long ago that slavery in this country was defended by so-called Christians just to name one example. Or, like others have mentioned, the OK City bombing example. I am all for freedom of religion, and as a Christian I am especially for it because I deeply appreciate being allowed to believe what I believe openly. I am also a big advocate for inter-faith dialog because I think too often religion pushes us away from one another rather than brings us together.

    Many people I know (Christian and otherwise) who are against it are not very familiar with Islam outside of what they have heard related to 9-11 or post 9-11. I think if you don't know Muslims or have never been to a Mosque (a place where I have been welcomed with open arms as a Christian and as just a regular person), then it's really easy to see this building as problematic.

    I don't know if that's the case with the posters here who find it problematic. I just know that's the case where I live.

    If you know Muslims, have human faces and stories to put with the faith, care about these people, and know that these people have nothing at all in common with extremism, then the mosque becomes less scary and "insensitive." The extremists look like just that: extremists.

    And from what I have read about it, that's a large part of why they want to build it: to counter the belief that so many Americans have about Muslims.
    From what I understand, there is already a prayer space there. They meet in an old Burlington Coat factory building and have outgrown the space. They owned the property before 9-11 ever happened, I do believe. And they are New Yorkers. The prayer space will be one small part of the community center.

    As for Obama and what he has said, I think that's a separate issue to some degree. He did not support the mosque in the way many people say he is. Read his comments closely. I know I have. He supported freedom of religion and also supported local laws and ordinances. I don't always approve of what he does, but at a time when people are constantly saying he is going against the Constitution I think it's interesting that when he does something that is *blatantly* in support of the Constitution then people say he should not be doing this.

    I think freedom of religion is really easy for us to swallow when the religion being practiced is close to our own. It's harder to deal with when it's a different faith that we know little about. But the Constitution could simply not be more clear on this issue. We are granted freedom of religion. To deny that sets a very scary precedent in my opinion.
    3 people like this.
  29. BellaRissa

    BellaRissa Well-Known Member

    I could not agree more. I will freely admit that I struggle with holding a grudge because so, so, so many Muslim leaders gave half hearted condemnations in the wake of 9/11. On one hand that denied that the groups represented the Muslim faith, while on the other hand they pointed the finger at America & crowed "you got what was coming to you." The builders of that mosque, if their hearts were not hard, cold & arrogant, would not purposefully do anything to bring more pain to the survivors of 9/11 and the family members that lost loved ones. As far as Obama....his principals extend all the way to the end of what is good for himself.
  30. rubyturquoise

    rubyturquoise Well-Known Member

    No kidding. This is not a battleground, this is a bunch of people who, as Richard pointed out, are uncomfortable confronting their own feelings making a big fuss about a community center that has a mosque as part of it. To call this a surrender when it is so clearly the opposite, is in fact standing by the principles in our Constitution, is absurd. How does preventing people from joining something that is a version of the Y accomplish anything positive? It just makes us as a nation look small and weak, and too afraid to stick to our convictions as laid out by the Founding Fathers.
    2 people like this.
  31. TwinRichard

    TwinRichard Well-Known Member

    Actually it was Adrian who said that ;)

    The Economist had a good article on this last week.
  32. Her Royal Jennyness

    Her Royal Jennyness Well-Known Member

    I don't feel like it's a surrender, slap in the face, provocation or any number of other things I've heard this community center called. I think it's an American church group that has run out of space for their services and has decided to build a larger place.

    The problem with black and white thinking (all Muslims = terrorists) is that it leaves no gray space. As Obi Wan Kenobi said "Only a Sith deals in absolutes."
    1 person likes this.
  33. miss_bossy18

    miss_bossy18 Well-Known Member TS Moderator

    i completely agree with this.

    and this is a huge problem. until we (general we) can truly walk the walk of acceptance & tolerance we will only continue to create extremists on both sides of this argument to spew hate & violence at each other while innocent people suffer.
    1 person likes this.
  34. AlphaBeta

    AlphaBeta Well-Known Member

    Many have said it better than I can, but the community center/prayer room should be allowed, for many reasons, religious freedom being foremost. The president is not being insensitive, he's upholding our nation's constitutional rights. I liked his first statement; the second, "I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there." sounded too much like backtracking (and, it's not just a mosque.) I was disappointed with that sentence. So many good points made in this thread. I hope the project goes forward.
  35. momofangels

    momofangels Well-Known Member

    9/11 and losing the WTC was a tragedy of monumental, ghastly proportions. But don't allow that awful event to take even more from this country.

    I don't think Obama is being insensitive; I think he's doing his job. I think that the proposed new community center brings up highly emotional issues, and there will be disagreements to any opinion. To be able to disagree vocally is part of American freedoms, as is religious freedom.
    If we stop being able to voice our opinions eventually we won't be able to have them, and this whole discussion about religious tolerance wouldn't be happening.
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