August 3rd, 2010
09:40 PM ET

Ground Zero Islamic cultural center?: Join the Live Chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Should an Islamic cultural center be built near Ground Zero. Everyone's got an opinion, we'll have the facts and the debate tonight. The static kill operation is underway in the Gulf. We'll have the latest on its progress. The debate over illegal immigration rages on, with the newest concern over whether American-born children of illegal immigrants should be granted automatic citizenship.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (370 Responses)
  1. alicebeth

    9/11 will always be remembered whether the building is there or not. We have to remember that there will also be a gym, a restaurant and a library. We should stop looking at it as just a mosque, think of it as a place to rest when visitors go to pay their respects.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  2. Nita

    Yes, the community center should be built. Either we believe in freedom or religion or we don't. You did a great job of keeping Rick Lazio honest because you knew the facts and his argument was hot air. This community center or mosque, will hopefully give young Muslims a place to go for healthy religious counseling and social activities monitored by adults who do not want to see them become terrorists. it could have a very positive effect for our national security. Why not give it a chance?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  3. Octavia -Baltimore

    It seems to me that everyone here has nailed the point.

    There isn't a clear-cut right or wrong answer here, but what can be clear is our passion to keep our nation as solid and united as possible, aside from religion or politics.

    We all need to take care of each other, and keep in mind the importance and significance of the past and the future.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  4. BOB

    you know only in america will the american people let something like this happen. Don't forget we lost 3000 american american people there. I think these people that are investing in this mosque should be invested to the fullest to see why they are doing this. Its a sad day when we let this happen.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  5. Jessica

    All these comments just go to show that America still blames an entire religion for what happened that day, and that in itself shows the ignorance of America. Muslims died that day, too, and no one wants to think about the benefits of a community center in a city full of diversity. If you think it's in bad taste, it's because you yourself are still playing a misguided blame game. Grow up.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  6. steve

    I think having a mosque near ground zero is an big mistake. It seems as thought the media and many politicians are scared of the moslems. If this was a christian church being bullt near ground zero lt I am sure it would have opposed by the media as being unnecessary. What has happended to America? it is very obvious that most major news networks have a world view that does not have the USA"s interests in mind.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  7. Donna Luciani

    I feel it is disrespectful to build a mosque near grpund zero.Its like pouring salt in the wound.Never been to ground zero but have much respect for those who died that day.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Nicolas

    Of course there should be transparency on where the money is coming from. Without thinking of the families that had losts and all the hurt caused to the United States puting all that aside there shouldn't be a problem with the building of the Islamic Center. But we have to consider all the lives that United States lost.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  9. Hossein

    Let us keep religion out of politics, and let us keep the politics of terror out of this country, our home. Harmony and peace requires that they respect the genuine feeling of people and do not build. They seem to be testing the waters and this is a way to push and shove. It is amazing how rationalism has given grounds to political correctness and then we are forced to kowtow to pressure put on society by religious groups. So once again: No to religion in our public life, at all,never. PERIOD.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  10. Carole Miller

    I am not a New Yorker, Yet to build a Multi-million dollar Islamic Center in the Ghostly Shadow of the Twin Towers is terribly Disrespectful to the people of New York and all Americans.. Their lack of sensitivity is obvious and outrageously contradictive to their spoken words about the purpose of "bridge building." Bottom line: It is an "In Your Face" tactic to use our laws to make fun of our way of laws and use them against us. Just Once, Can America remember and Do the Right thing? Stand up for the people who died that day in September and Stop this nonsense.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  11. David Salper

    I understand the emotion around this issue; I don't understand the willingness to throw out fundamental elements of our Constitution, like freedom of speech and religion in our First Amendment, and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, our Fourth. And why is Rick Lazio suddenly eager to have our Federal government expanding its power by telling religious institutions where they can assemble? Mr. Lazio is probably picking a political winner; American freedoms, sadly would be the loser.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  12. Mike

    It's sad that the politican is ignorant to the Islamic culture. If he knew anything about Islam, he'd know that it's a peaceful religion and that no true Muslim agreed with the attacks on 9-11. Many people were lost, Muslims included and it's not fair to punish an entire race when there are a few bad seeds.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  13. Matthew

    I believe that the presence of an Islamic Center should be allowed assuming that the funding of this instituion is opened up just like any other program should be. I do not believe that the location of this recration center is meant to be malicious in nature, but they should understand the sensitivity that some may feel toward the program and treat the situation with compassion as their faith promotes.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  14. Jon B Wa

    Its interesting to look at the money aspect of it and it does make you wonder where the money comes from and Even though I am much against the location of the mosque I also am far more agains the government getting involved into something that has no evidence. The last thing we need is for the government to start harassing the citizens of this country. Freedom, thats what this country is all about, you shouldnt give away your freedom for security. Whats the point to give up what we are to protect what we are!!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  15. Linda Goodliffe

    Considering there is an Islamic Jihad being waged against us, I see no other option than to investigate where the 100 Million dollars are coming from. The only religious group that has attacked us is Islam, even if it is an extreme fringe of the millions of Muslims, it's still an Islamic Jihad we are fighting.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  16. Fatah

    The funny thing is that everyone is saying that the majority doesn't support it but in fact some people don't and hundreds of families are up for it.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  17. Ismail Farid

    I am a Muslim, and a naturalized American Citizen.....and very proud to be one. We all need to understand that it's not the religion that promotes terrorism but fundamentals that distort the religion and puts the rest of us Muslims to shame and having to withstand hatred from others. We all need to be more "educated" in terms of understanding how peaceful Islam actually is.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  18. Martha NY

    Emotions range from anger to tolerance. There are over 100 mosques in NYC now. I think that the Muslims would show a great deal of respect to the USA to abandon this plan. I am afraid that a mosque in this location may cause further violence.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  19. wade

    no way this mosque should be built! if not because of the EXTREME sensitivity of the site! obviously there is some serious shadiness about the financial support!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  20. Bonita

    I am undecided on this one. However, I don't understand how the same political representatives against building the mosque are also against giving financial support to the first responders that are ill right now as a result of their heroic efforts. Make up your mind, if we are to believe in you, stay on one side of the fence. Don't flip flop.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  21. pat

    can you imagine what the reaction would be if a group that denied the holocaust wanted to build there, what is the difference with a group led by a guy who blames 9/11 on America? What if racial supremacy group wanted to build a ku klux clan museum? Is that ok or do we only protect politically correct minority views?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  22. Kelly - Harrisburg, PA

    If children born in the U.S. are not U.S. citizens, then would the country of their parents accept them as citizens? If not, where are these kids supposed to go? And if being born in the U.S. does not make you an American citizen, should we all take citizenship tests as infants?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  23. Bob

    Building such an expensive Mosque (monument) that close to ground zero is a slap in the face to the american public.Especially those who lost loved ones at 911.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  24. Tim -- NH

    I think building a spectacle mosque is in bad taste however, if its legal it must be allowed. Its a dangerous precedent to discriminate based on perception.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  25. mitch

    The fact that the mosque was to be called the Cordoba project shows the intent in building the mosque. Cordoba (not a Muslim name) was conquered by Muslims from the Christian Spanish in the year 711 and made the capital of Muslim Spain. This indicates the motivation of the builders.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  26. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    The 14th admindment and all this other immigration stuff only shows that the states are at war with the administration and thats not good our constitution is not working .

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  27. michael atlanta

    get a grip . you either believe in religious freedom or you dont . you cant tailor your actions to fit whatever emotional state you happen to be in . if they cant build there , where can they build ? how many blocks away does it have to be ? is two blocks away ok ? or is it 3 blocks ? or exactly where do we draw the line ?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  28. Essam

    Hello Anderson,

    I am a Muslim American, born and raised in the middle east. I have served the US army as an Arabic Linguist. I do agree with the gust, the Mosque should be built away from 911 site to promote more healing. I believe building this Mosque near 911 site will do more harm than good to Muslims in US.


    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  29. Daniel Polowetzky

    The issue as to whether a mosque may be built two blocks from Ground Zero is an issue of Separation of Church and State and religious freedom.

    Anyone familiar with the area knows that the building in question is anything but a landmark, was a former Burlington Coat Factory outlet, and not visible from Ground Zero.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  30. charlene

    If the terrorists were american christians would everyone object to a christian center being built? All religions had persons who suffered in 9/11.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  31. Dave

    i think if they really cared they wouldnt build the mosque at that location what next a japanese consulet at peal harber. I am not agaist them building but my God give me a break.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  32. Noreen

    Moslems have a long history of building on top of conquests. They have built on top of churches, synagogues and now ground zero. It is a long known fact that they do this and they are doing it again in New York.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  33. Adrian opiyo

    The mosque should be located elsewhere in new york and not ground zero. Building it there would bring back sad memories ,thus widening the rift and not building the bridge

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  34. Monroe

    9/11 was a very dark time in our history. Over the last 9 years I feel that we have established the fact that we are not at war with islam. We have healed as a nation and continue to move forward. I have no problem with a mosque near ground zero, as long as it is done within the rule of NYC law. Also, 100 million dollars will only benefit the local economy.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  35. John Sacho

    Hi Anderson,

    I think in first its our duty to do a research on what category do the people building the mosque belong to as now there are multiple sects / believers in Islam. The sunni group seems to be peace loving group among muslims. If its a sunni islamic center then they certainly have the "right" to be there& there is no harm in having a mosque at ground zero.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  36. RebeccaPR

    I'm more concerned that some Yahoo will feel justified and take it upon himself to terrorize the mosque and bring about more violence and conflict between Muslims and Americans on our own soil.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  37. Norma

    they should find out where the money is coming from, I am totally against it, it's a slap in the face of 'America, the mayor should be ashamed of himself for approving it

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  38. joe curtin

    The first bombing on the trade center was planned in a mosque in Jersey City. The same mosque was probably involved in the 9/11 attack. We are hiding our heads in the sand if we deny the connection between Muslims and violence.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  39. darlene

    PLacing the mosque so close to Ground Zero is adding insult to injury. Also they should comply with efforts to see where their funding of the mosque comes from. At least lets check things out fully before giving the approval of the mosque – open our eyes!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Mursel

    Having a Mosque near what will serve as a historical site will assist all to see the true colors of one of the dominant growing religions in the US. It will be portraying the truth for American by Americans. We owe it to ourselves, as well as our fellow Muslim Americans, to show our solidarity and support. We are all in this together. United.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Paula in WI

    The mosque would do the opposite of what they are thinking.It would prevent further attacks in that area because they would never do anything to destroy anything near one.Also it is time for Republicans to stop using the 911 disaster as a political ploy on a regular basis.The heroes who died there would not want to be used in the way that republicans have used them for political purposes.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Atif

    Nothing but political stunt!

    He has been working with inter faith communities for decades, known to have spoken out against extremists – and suddenly it becomes such a big issue.

    Lazio need to pick up better topic to gain vote count.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  43. mike

    I am disappointed in the gaboratorial candidtae for not giving a straight answer to a very importannt question, is "racial" or "religous" profiling ok in the USA? he is insisting on investigating a religous group even though there is NO EVIDENCE in any wrong doing!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Sofia

    I have no problem with a mosque and cultural center being built near ground zero. Like with any religion, there is a complete difference between extremists and moderates. We need to be able to differentiate the two.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  45. David P Vernon

    How come ALL the opponents to this are Republicans? How come these opponents conflate, misstate, and misrepresent the facts about the Imam and the Islamic center? These Muslims have been operating in this building, from which you cannot see the WTC site or vice versa, for years, since long before the WTC attack. If we had not abandoned Afghanistan to the Taliban, the 9/11 attack would have not happened – so, in fact, the 9/11 attack WAS an unintended consequence of US foreign policy! Fazio is, in my view, either an idiot for not knowing the published truth, or a liar for making an issue out of a non-issue.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  46. Eric Krueger

    The mosque so near to Ground Zero is akin to putting up a shrine to Nazism two blocks from the holocaust museum in Washington, D.C.
    Yes, the mosque is legal, but the lack of taste, the insensitivity, is overwhelming.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Alpha Jannah

    The pepole that attack us in set, 11, there are not Muslim, period

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  48. suraji

    Hi Andeson, for those who speak against building a mosque blocks away from ground zero, have they forgotten moslems also were killed?Please let us take politics out of this.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Adil Mistry

    People need to understand that Islam and Muslims are not terrorists. To say building the mosque is an insult is to say that Islam perpetrated the attacks. It did not. Islam does not tolerate such violence against innocent people. Hearing certain comments, I feel like some people do not take the time to differentiate the countless peaceful, moderate Muslims from terrorists. We are Americans too.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  50. Thomas Palmer

    Sure........allow this mosque near Ground Zero.... just like we would allow Japan to build a shrine at Pearl Harbor !

    Americans are really not of this mindset.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
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