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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. teri

    There's no grey area here. I believe the placement of this mosque at this site is deliberate. These organizations know how to manipulate our system and what better way than to use our own human rights and freedom of religion against us by building a monument to those who attacked us under the guise of peaceful observance in the same area as the attack. Absolutely NOT.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  2. Alex

    Some people are asking how close or how far two blocks are from the ground zero. On 9/11 I was two blocks from Twin Towers and I can assure you its really close. We were walking home to Brooklyn and we were walking through the war zone. I support freedom of religion. I just have one question: why somebody wants to build Mosque there? Brooklyn has much bigger Muslim community and I am sure those money can help a lot of people in Muslim community and that Mosque would have better appreciation among worshipers.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  3. Sondra

    Anderson,
    This is the first time I've felt in necessary to express my thoughts and concerns regarding anything on a blog; but enough is enough. I question the sincerity of this and am stunned by it's insensitivity. If Muslims wish to pay restpect to those killed I wonder why it took all these years to be articulated. In addition, if they now wish to express their feelings, they could build a memorial or send a plaque to each of the respective houses of worship of each of those killed–not build a mosque. Doing either would be far less expensive for whomever is providing the money. Transparency on that point should be manditory. Thanks, S.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  4. jason

    Religion is not to be mistaken for a race. Muslims are not a race. thier is plenty people of Arabic descent that are christians and so forth. I am tired of people making it a race issue. It is a religious ideology issue.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  5. pete

    We are not at war with muslims. Let them proceed with this project. It's not a act of war - they're trying to communicate that they're a peaceful religon.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  6. kiko

    Good Evening,

    Ground zero, why cant we build a community center for all no matter what religion. So many people where killed they came from so many countries, so many belives.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  7. Connie Sue-Lee

    They terrorized our country and blew up part of our home land. So you decide to build a shrine for them? On the anniversary of 9/11 are you going to give them a trophy next? Is money so important that we do not care where it comes from? Are we going to look the other way for them until another attack? Are we going to sit back and wait until we experience another tragedy? By building this you are giving them a home base in America for terrorism.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  8. Rick

    Anderson
    I can't believe this country. Our President goes out of his way to tell the world that we are not at war with Islam. That statement is true, but Islam is at war with the world. in this since. Islam from the beginning of the religion wants the world to convert to this religion. The majority of Islamic or Arab countries are "Sharia" compliant. These Muslims want England, U.S., Canada, and every other western country compliant also. The so called "Moderant Muslims" are closer to the beliefs of Osama Bin Laden and if they have to choose between him or the beliefs of Billy Graham, Osama wins. No mosque at this site in N.Y. City!!!!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  9. carol

    if you had a child, parent,spouse,friend or relative who was driven to jump to their death to escape the burning fuel – who was blown apart from the plane crashing into the building – who was crushed or burned to death by men who committed this atrocity "in the name of Allah" – anything reminiscent of this would cause you pain – does that make you a bigot? – no- we don't hate anyone but please respect our pain – to build a mosque where believers will pray 6 times a day is a reminder to anyone grieving over these horrendous deaths of the cause behind their deaths – the whole concept is insensitive, cruel and arrogant – stirring up the ashes of this pain doesn't bring people together.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  10. Levantria

    I think the Mosque should be placed there as a testament to the strength and beliefs that America was founded upon. In America we are free to worship as we see fit, if it be in a hut or a multi-million dollar facility is up to the religious group. The day we tell a religious group where they can worship will spell doom for any group or individual who may not fit into the majorities standards. Today the Mosque tomorrow your home it's a very slippery slope I say we avoid. To me this would blur the line of separation between church and state. Be ye for warned!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  11. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    If Islam is really a religion of peace, they should exercise some compassion and NOT build the mosque near ground zero.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  12. mike

    agree with danny but there is local community disaffection with this project, it does offend some in a way that is legitimate and should be taken into account, the building here provokes many in america, it's an unnecessary provocation that needlessly promotes division and stokes the conflict between muslims and americans, these guys should have the wisdom to build a few blocks away and avoid this non issue.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  13. Margie P. Cole

    We are our own worst enemy.....using the Constitution and The Bill of Rights to rationalize allowing "subversive forces" disguised as innocent law abiding Americans is totally unacceptible to those who see through this farce. When are we going to start protecting our great American Ideals, Values and Heritage? WAKE UP AMERICA !

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  14. Jeannie,Charleston,SC

    Know your history, people. Why is there the Dome of the Rock right on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem? It's the Islamic way of pouring salt in the wound of those subjugated . It is NOT intended as symbol of healing and tolerance but will be viewed as a symbol of victory to the Islamic haters worldwide.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  15. Dustin Byington

    Rick Lazio totally contradicting himself at the end of the interview when Anderson asked how far away Muslims could pray and Lazio said that wasn't the issue all they cared about was the financing when two seconds earlier he went on a huge rant about the 'important significance' of the location....

    If there is one thing I'm sure of its that we can not allow government to start moving the line in the sand – if we start saying no mosques around ground zero, where does it end??

    Great interview Anderson, best I've seen in some time.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Kevin

    I can partly understand the ignorant associations being made between Muslims and terrorism. But, really? Yes, those that attacked us were Muslim. No, not all Muslims are associated with those that attacked us. Period.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  17. albertlombardo

    Let the Muslims build their Mosque, but only after Muslims give us permission to build Christian churches in their native countries with protection. ...Albert Lombardo

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Katie

    I think that it should not be built there – too many memories of what happened. I agree with Rick Lazio on many points. I think that we need to be sensitive to the feelings of others.
    I am Christian, but I have many Muslim friends who definitely wish me no harm. I, however, do not feel the same toward all Muslims and am sure that all Muslims do not feel the same toward me.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Arthur (the potted plant)

    Respect is the one thing I did not hear Lazio say. I do think that foreign governments need to be better moderated as far as what they do on U.S. soil. Show us where the money is coming from. Show us the money!!!
    Cuomo, develop a backbone and look into this.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  20. Troy

    Lets build a Southern Baptist church in Meca next to Mohammad's tomb and see how they goes over.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  21. wes

    Why don't we build a monument\prayer/rec center at the location we dropped the bomb in japan? Because its in poor taste. Our govt is way to soft when it comes to this type of stuff. What a joke, noway that shrine to 3000 american deaths should be built by the people that did the killing.

    Wes
    A very concerned american

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  22. mary

    No mosque- if the principals were truly interested in assimilating into american culture and were at all spiritual people they would be "sensitive" to the obvious and not build there and yes they should be fully transparent voluntarily, that would also be "sensitive"

    August 3, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  23. John Baptiste

    The history for Moslems to impose themselves on others' holy places should be learned by all. From the Al Aksa Mosque atop the Temple in Jerusalem, a mosque next to the Church of the Annunciation in Nazaraeth, to name a few, show an insensitivity at best, and aggression more likely. This is never discussed in polite discussion.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  24. Madeeha

    Even if the mosque money comes from Saudia Arabia, so what?? And if other nations don't allow synagogues and such in their countries, please remember that they also don't preach freedom of religion, don't talk about it, be about it then. The USA utilized Saudi's help when they needed it, now what?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  25. Dino

    Building a mosque near ground zero will prove to the world that this country is not fighting a war against Islam.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  26. molly

    What if my great grandparents came to this country illegally? Would I lose my citizenship? How far do we go back with regard to children of aliens? I've already voted! Don't get it.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  27. Cate Gardner

    Both sides of the question are right in their perspectives The issue seems to be: why push to build a Mosque now and why two blocks from Ground Zero? THey have no money for the project; so, where will the $100Mil come from? There's a lot of real estate to be had in Manhattan for Mosque building. It's not about what's being said; it's about what isn't begin said or withholding of information.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  28. Rudy

    Building a mosque at ground zero, How about building a church near their mosque or palace of the King in Saudi Arabia. Do you think they would allow it. I tell you don't even think about it cause it will not happen. I had been there for ten years and even praying with our friends in our residence is not even allowed and in fact we were being raided by the police for doing so. They want to bring their mosque everywhere but they don't even allow you to practice your religion and even in privacy to their country. What do you see from this?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  29. marsha

    Legally they can do what they like, but it is highly insensitive. If they can raise $100 million for a bulding, wouldn't their money be better spent on doing something for the benefit of the entire community? Why not set up a fund for the families or workers suffering from toxic exposure at the site? If their goal is really to heal, then do something to encourage healing.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  30. Lin Stevens

    Compassion for the victims of 9/11 dictates that a Muslim Mosque should not be close to the ground of death and wounds

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  31. Niko Akita

    man...seriously, have we as a country gone THAT low to argue about this stupid situation? Seriously, we have better stuff to argue about and more things to be concerned about than this. Man 9/11 sparks so much radical nonsense... I guess over time people would forget just like Pearl Harbor or the dropping of the Atomic Bomb.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  32. Adolfo G,

    Why are we so darned understanding of islamists? Let them choose another site. Would they allow construction of a church in the center of Mecca after a similar attack by people of other faiths?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  33. John F.J. Sullivan

    If the people supporting the mosque own the property, let them build. As Americans, we respect property rights and religious freedom, right? Sept. 11 doesn't change that.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  34. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Since when do we let criminals have a voice in our laws why should a law breaker make up rules to suit his crime .

    August 3, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  35. Joe Avena

    Lazio is correct, full transparency is required to the finding of this center or mosque. I lived through 9/11 and lucky to be alive. Why do we as Americans always have to be sensitive to others, we should expect the same from them. This is not government repression of Islam it's common sense.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  36. barry c

    republicans are missing the point...our jobs are in china not mexico...and the mexicans are not taking jobs any of us want...but again the repulicans go to the lowest common denominator in our society..rise up..stand up....and do the right thing...

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  37. khaled

    An Islamic center near groud Zero Would Be great idea .That Would bring Lots Of tourisem to New York city .We Dont have a special masq in united states like other contries.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  38. Ann, Maryland

    I agree with Rick Lazio that this proposal is totally insensitive to the feelings of 911 victims' families and is not the way to foster reconciliation and bridgebuilding. A small memorial would be nice but not the proposed large Islamic Center envisioned. I am usually in agreement with Anderson's positions and questions, but find it difficult to believe that anyone would think that such a project would promote reconciliation and healing.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  39. John L. Barnes

    The organization has every right to build where they please; however, at best they demonstrate a gross lack of taste and good judgment. Of all the locations w/in the city from which to choose, they’ve located almost a stone’s throw from Ground Zero. It seems they've elevated insensitivity to an art form and it will hardly serve to do anything other than galvanize anti-Muslim groups and turning off the moderately minded who might otherwise engage in some rapport.

    John

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  40. Sam

    I, too have mixed feelings about the mosque. Why near ground zero? But then why not?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  41. Brenda, SC

    Why would we even consider putting a mosque!! Yes, Muslins did die that day...but this is again part of their belief...We will never forget what happened that day and who did it! Ask the poor families that lost that day how they feel???

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  42. Mike RI

    The mosque will not be out of site. It will be 18 stories up. It is a mosque. They called it a mosque. Just be sensitive to the victims! I'm so sick of Islam getting to do what ever they want and if people object it is racism or discrimination! Cartoon artists are getting death threats and Comedy Central will not show cartoons that depict Mohammed. Really, but it is totally fine for them to mock Jesus and Budda, and every other God? Wake up America! We are losing our freedoms!!!!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  43. Shelby

    I believe it's okay that a mosque is built near the sep. 11 sight. The Muslim faith is not a terrorist religion, the terrorist group al qaeda that was branched off islam had to do with it. Even though I am a christian I defiantly know that muslims are not bad people, and did not support what had happened. But I do see how, and completely understand how, it can be very offensive to be put close to the sight.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  44. Sara

    I dont support building the mosque. From all the place why they select this place? I think they want to send a messeage to the world what they position is. Do you know you are not allow to wear a cross neck lace in Saudi Arebia? I think they taking the advantage of this countrys freedom to acomplish their points. I belive thier motive is far more than just building a recreation place. America need to take a lesson from Europians.No mosque.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  45. lweaton

    Michael Armstrong, Sr., you are absolutely right; our laws and the demands that we be tolerate will be the end of this country as we know it.

    Think not, people? Take a look at England.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  46. Gilles E, Petit

    Ground Zero is a place of tragedy, created by Muslim extremists. The Muslim faith is not at issue here, but the terrorists were members of that religion. The Mosque should definitely be built, but no where near the grave site that we now call Ground Zero. Why in the world would they want to build there anyways...it is extremely disrespectful to the families that lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  47. Farris

    There is no problem with building mosque there, there is no proof that says that the imam is in link with Hamas. Also the Muslims have been in the community for years and have the right as any other person to build a mosque where they please. There is no proof that the mosque is in league with any terrorist organization.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  48. Barbara

    I really did not like the interview; tone, interrruptions, etc. However, from the little bit of information I obtained from the interview I think New Yorkers deserve to know who is funding the project.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  49. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    'Senator does have a point there!"

    August 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  50. Tahir

    Any kind of racism of race, religion, age, nationality, color, etc. is unconstitutional and unethical. We should not discriminate any person based on his/her religion unless we have evidence of criminal act.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
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