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August 23rd, 2010
12:56 PM ET

Protesters rally against, for planned Islamic center in New York

CNN Wire Staff

Those in favor of the construction said freedom of religion was the main issue in the debate.

Those in favor of the construction said freedom of religion was the main issue in the debate.

With chants and banners, opponents of the planned construction of an Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero faced off Sunday with demonstrators in favor of the facility.

Hundreds of critics and supporters of the proposed center in New York showed up despite an overcast and drizzly sky to express their views amid the national debate over the facility.

Police estimated that supporters of the center numbered up to 250, and critics numbered about 450 during the demonstration.

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Filed under: Islam
soundoff (24 Responses)
  1. Ibn Fulan

    Well, the article is actually the freshest on this laudable topic. I concur with your conclusions and will thirstily seem forward to your future updates.

    November 1, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  2. Damien K.

    Are Park51's dissenters intentionally disregarding the fact that there are several other religious institutions near Ground Zero ? St. Paul's Church, for example, is just across the street ! So the argument about religious sensitivity/neutrality is null and void, because the Islamic Centre (not mosque, Islamic Centre) would be one of many religious institutions in the vicinity of Ground Zero. Is the proposed site of the IC "too close" to Ground Zero ?
    Well, how close is "too close" ? 2 blocks ? 5 blocks ? Manhattan Island ?

    August 24, 2010 at 8:22 pm |
  3. Bill

    Here is my opinion as someone grow up on the land of Islam, Middle East! I will tell you what the politicians know but don't want to say it! First of all 90% of people who talk about the mosque issue in the media miss a lot of facts! simply they use the American parameters to judg things! Ok Americans don't know Islam as much as Muslims Know Americans! Simply whoever say that AL Quaed-not Islam- is responsible for 9/11 attacks, I ask those, What you think is the reference of AL Quaeda to comet these attacks? The answer, it is Islam, specificely Quran verses which invite Muslims to fight all infidels and destroy any non muslims.This is the real Islam- as in Quran- and if there are moderate muslims, there is no moderate Islam.Islam is Islam no moderate or radical, just Islam, these are not my words It's for Turkish prime minister and he is Muslim! One more thing, why you don't let Americans who have experience in the Middle East like former Ambassadors, CIA analysts who know exactly what is Islam instead of naive activestes or people from the public who think it's about Democrates and Republicans.No it is not!

    August 24, 2010 at 2:48 am |
  4. Michelle

    I don't think it's right for any religion to put a place of worship near the sight. Many different religions were affected!

    August 24, 2010 at 2:03 am |
  5. Yvonne

    Those that attacked on 9/11 were an extreme group of Muslims, they do not stand for all Muslims. On the contrary, Muslims feel that what those men did goes against the Qu'ran and Islam. To deny the construction of the mosque is to deny religious freedom. If you protest this because ground zero is sacred ground and it is too close to it (on that note, how far would it have to be to be ok?), then you should deny the construction of Christian institutions all around the world because of the sacred ground where so many innocent people were killed in the name of Christianity by extremists during the Spanish inquisition, Crusades and Salem trials and by the KKK. Those extremists do not represent Christians just as the 9/11 attackers do not represent all Muslims. These protests create more racism and hate in this country. Hateful actions are taking place in different parts of the country because of this ignorance and misunderstanding. There are bonfires being held destroying Qu'rans?! That is so disrespectful! All of those people would be in an uproar if a group of Muslims were doing the same with Christian Bibles. These protestors are becoming more like the extremists they fear by promoting hate crime and racism rather than peace and coexistence. Now, on 9/11 they want to hold another protest at the Mosque. If there is anything that should be taken from that event is the importance and need for peace and understanding, not ignorance and hate. These protests would go against what everyone was talking about when the 9/11 attack happened. That day should be kept sacred and not be about protesting and hateful remarks, but rather peace and remembrance. We as a country, or just as people, should be at peace with one another so that we may be more united as a community. Fear is a powerful thing, but rather than engage that emotion with irrational and extreme behavior that creates hysteria, we should look to our friends, families, and neighbors for comfort and security. What happened since 9/11? I remember when it happened, everyone felt united, in mourning and prayer. Everyone was being nicer to each other because we all felt that fear together. All these protestors around the country need to remember that it was hate, not religion, that caused 9/11 and we should not be like the attackers.

    August 24, 2010 at 12:12 am |
  6. omar

    what is your problem let the muslim build a mosque cause we rock and cannot wait for eid

    August 23, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  7. alondra sanches

    let them build it

    August 23, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  8. omar

    we rock

    August 23, 2010 at 11:40 pm |
  9. omar

    what is your problem let the muslim build a mosque and we cannot wait for eid

    August 23, 2010 at 11:36 pm |
  10. Stefan

    I cannot believe it took this long but thank you Ron Paul. THe real issue is why are we persecuting an entire religion over the acts of a few obviously demented people. This has happened in the past as Ron Paul said and that is the issue,. We cannot blame all muslims for that. Excellent point Mr Paul Thanks, again

    August 23, 2010 at 11:35 pm |
  11. Patricia

    I am against building a mosque at ground zero or any where in the U.S.. Islam is the only religion practiced in the U.S. (besides cults and such) that promote killing the "infidel" or "make no friendship with the Jew or the Christian." It this what America wants to promote as a "religion"? The mosque (N.Y. the big prize) will be just one step in the slow but sure progression toward converting the country. With God being removed from the schools, and much of American life, American will be ripe for picking and conversion to Islam. Then, like the Koran says, "tell them yes, yes, until it's too late." It is almost too late!!

    August 23, 2010 at 10:56 pm |
  12. G.I.Joe

    How come Moslims teach their children in school to hate?

    How come they reward terrorist bombers 72 virgins in paradise?

    How come these bomber families get paid?

    How come they bomb innocent people in Israel?

    With that type of behavior are we to respect this religion?

    This reflects on all Muslims who don't stop these activities.

    I don't want them near me.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  13. sane

    US, See how UK and Europe going trough with Islam and Wake Up.

    August 23, 2010 at 5:33 pm |
  14. Shazia Arain

    What nnsense is this, ALL US media is full of bigotry. Where is the discussion how protestors are trying to curb adnlimit the rights given to US citizens byt he law and cosntitution, Everyone is trying to play up the controversy without the discusion of religious freedm and of rights.
    Noone canor shoudl stop this mosque/islamic centerfrom being built. I have been listenignto anti Muslimsentiment for 9 yrs and nwo it is getting too much, WE are moslty moderate muslims,nto extremist, Most muslim women in US DONOT wear a hijab, most Muslim womenin US are not suppressed, we are educted professional women, my self a physician !, whoare serving this community for decades adn we cannto even worhsip where we want, This place was old Burlingotn coat factory for gods sake , why was it not sacred then!!! Why now allof a sudden it cannot be made into a mosque. Most of the red neck Republican, narrow minded people are antisemitic and racist . I am appaulled and hope Andercooper to dothis tipic justice.
    Trust me most of us are NOT extremist nor terrorist and are totally against the 91 attacks, According to true Islam death of one innocent person is equalt o the death of entire humanity!!. People including Anderson cooepr, please try and understand the true religion, what extremsist have made is not the true Islam and that is why most of s Muslimedo nto follwo it and nor do we support it. Saudia Arabia is full of idiots them selves. They have distorted Islam to the max to keep kingdom heirarchy (there is no role of Kings in Islam), to keep their control on the wealth basically and their so call ed laws are all made to keep the rulers in control, they are Not Islamic.
    Sharia laws were written hundreds of years after the death of Prophet Mohammad! and they were written when Sultans and Abbasis basically wanted to keep their rule and hired Maulvis on payrollto and gave them wealth to come up with laws to suppress the people and women so they can do what ever the hell they want , without any body calling them wrong or raising their vocie. That is nto Islam, True Islam is about equality and peace and is modern and broad minded, liek the US constitutiaon, True islam is inclusive not exclusive.

    Pleaase, please news anchors adn journalist , pelase try and read a book or too about the true Islam. I can send soem referances if u need. WE need to get oer the misunderstandings of Islam, otehr wise this great Nation of which I ama part and Citizen will mock itself internationally become chaotic not just racist. WE are going back instead of forward.

    August 23, 2010 at 4:21 pm |
  15. MITConserv

    This should put an end to the debate. He is not so Moderate. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.....his own words:

    "We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it."

    August 23, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  16. Obamboozler

    Greetings: Muhammad killed his enimies, oppressed people. Muhammad is nothing but a false prophet that the deceived follow. Muhammads true followers reflect their leaders actions...Jesus Christ on the other hand died for his enemies and is Gods Son, the only way to be saved.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:58 pm |
  17. Tai Carnot

    What happened on 9/11 was a tragedy which affected all Americans, regardless of religion, race, gender, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. We have soldiers fighting for the very thing these protestors are tyring to deny these citizens.... FREEDOM. I personally feel it's not the wisest decision to build the Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero however that is my opinion and I'm entitled to it. I'm sure the individual(s) who came up with the idea thought long and hard prior to deciding on the location and I'm sure they knew there would be individuals against it. With that said, according to the 1st Amendment, they do have the right to build their religious establishments near Ground Zero just as others have the right to peacefully protest. There is no side note stating "unless you are Muslim because that automatically makes you a terrorist". Muslim terrorism is a minority of Islamic faith. There have been Christians who have done terrible things in the name of Christ but again that is a small group compared to the majority of law abiding Christian citizens. Like the rest of the world, I'm waiting to see the end result.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:39 pm |
  18. Janine from PA

    There's the argument that the Muslim counties would not let a Synogouge be built in their country. Are we Americans becoming like that too? This should not be an issue, we are not at war with Islam we are at war with al queada.

    August 23, 2010 at 3:23 pm |
  19. IKHAN

    if the planned Community Center in lower Manhattan is shelved or moved, it will a triumph for ant-American forces everywhere.

    We will be saying o.k to forces of racism,intolerance & religious persecution. An insurgency against the American spirit & its Constitution & we will have joined hands with those handful of extremists we are fighting.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Caren Kozal

    Building a Mosque in ground zero: meaning raising a victory flag for those who won the war against our freedom and democracy. They can call it racism or whatever . Our constitution and American rights could not be sold for million of dollars and should not be twisted around and used as part of what we call "equal rights." Let's see if we can build a church or a temple in Saudi Arabia, would they allow that ? the answer is no.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  21. Dave

    A thought...if the Muslim people want to build a mosque at ground zero of where 911 took place then how about "in the spirit of All Nations praying together" that they open up the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem (the most contested piece of land on the planet) to include in the very same spirit; the multi faith prayer, which they themselves desire.

    August 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  22. Vickie Show Me State

    Former President George W. Bush sent our troops to protect the Muslims.Our men and women have died, protecting them! So, what in the world is wrong with the Americans? Muslims live in the United States. They have every right to worship. Nit picking shows lack of knowledge. And, lack of Christianity! Be grateful that they worship God!

    August 23, 2010 at 2:18 pm |
  23. Mohammed A.S.

    Sincerely, Americans (non muslims and muslims) died at the 9/11 incident and for some, the lost will still be felt within their families for a long time but we must understand that bombing, killing and holding people hostage isn't a part of the teachings of Islam. These terrorists who engage in these acts all in the name of Islam are doing the very wrong thing and it brings shame to Islam too. Let everyone practice their religion freely and fairly...

    August 23, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
  24. Swithin Chandler

    Hurray for the protestors, we cannot let out siders tell use how to live our lives. That man said that he would build that Mosque no matter what, well no matter what it must not be built. we have our own laws not theirs, if they want to live teirs they can go back home. We are the leading democracy of the world, those that hate us fear us. WE must stand strong.

    August 23, 2010 at 1:21 pm |

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