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. Roger Shore

    It's very ovious that some that have left comments have done little for this country's defense. Meaning some have never left their families to defend what this country was founded on. Some where some how we as Americans need to draw the line as to what we will accept in this country. You should only have a right of ownership if you have paid some price for it. The mosque should not be built near ground zero. For those that want this then let them put the mosque in their back door. Wake up America and take a stand!!!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  2. Vicki

    Ok wake up folks this building of the mosque sounds questionable to me. You mean to tell me there is no other area in New York where a
    mosque can be built. Why so close to the ground zero site? It just sounds shady to me. If the builder is such a sincere person why throw egg in our face.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  3. Ross

    Why not show the other side of the story? I hear blurbs about crime & violence from illegals, but where are the actual stories where victims are interviewed and their stories documented? Why do we only see pieces on the hard working illegal that we are suppose to feel sorry for? There's a ton of down and out folks now.. and they pay taxes.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  4. Elana

    I believe everyone has made some good points on both sides, but the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero seems to fly [disrespect] in the face of victims and survivors.

    Why not make it the World Peace Center – appropriately named after WTC as well as the objective most of us are trying to achieve? No religion in particular...

    We all lost friends, family members or co-workers on that horrific day. We are not all Islamic, so why on earth would a mosque even be considered?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  5. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    @ Jeannie, Charleston, SC
    "Why is there the Dome of the Rock right on top of the Temple Mount in Jerusalem?"

    Good point Jeannie! And what happens when the Temple someday is rebuilt on that location (or at least what biblical scholars say)?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  6. Dulcie - Denver

    I haven't seen the new set til tonight! I love it! Glad to see you again Anderson.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  7. Janis Hewitt

    Why aren't any of the correspondents interviewing employers of illegals?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  8. Beth

    No mosque – America does not need a terrorist training center next to one of our greatest tragedies. Does anyone remember 9/11 or care anymore? Wake up America, your too gullable!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  9. David, Indiana

    Roland has a pt about this being a sideshow, it would take a couple years at least to amend the constitution. Not sure how long.

    It would be wrong to rescind this protection that the constitution affords to children. This applies to the newly born children of immigrants who are here legally too.

    This is not the way to deal with illegal immigration.

    Watching Gary Tuchman's rept. 21 years is a long time.

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

    Simple suggestion. Issue a challenge to the most senior moslem cleric associated with the project. There must be an opening ceremony at which the cleric states in plain language that this mosque represents the true and original non-violent Islam, and is intended to condemn the terrorist branch of the Moslem religion.

    If the man really believes this, he should have no problem saying so in public.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  11. Jean, Lakeshore, Ont. N0R1A0, Canada

    Hasn't New York suffered enough? New York is a large state, there is no need for a mosque to be built at Ground Zero, have some respect for the innocent people of many different countries who were massacred there. It would be like 911 all over again to let this happen. I know we can"t paint everyone with the same brush, but at the same time we cannot allow one sector of the planet to take over the rest of the world. As an immigrant myself, we have to remember the old adage, ""when in Rome, do as the Romans do"". It is the USA!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  12. David, Winter Park, FL

    I am vehemently against a mosque being constructed so close to Gound Zero. I have interpreted many references to the Qu'ran as being a violent text toward "the infidels," we Americans. I think it would be an outrage to construct a building representing those that hate Americans. I am not a bigot, but the few that did what they did in 1993 and 2001 have given a bad name to those innocent Muslims that live among us. Building such an edifice so close the our sacred ground would be a slap in the face of those that lost loved ones and friends in these heinous attacks. If Muslims need to worship, then let them choose another site far away from the site of the destuction and loss caused by a few fanatics.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  13. Gail Hedrick

    There is no neutral ground with Islam which pursues the upper hand in the U.S. with great patience and tenacity and deception the past fiffty years as in Europe and England. CNN, I challenge you to quote the abrogation per Chapter 9:5 of a reliable translation of the Qur'an. Muslims are commanded to kill all idolaters who do not accept Islam and they know it. Even Muslims who do not submit will be killed. Quoteand teach what Islam according to the Qur'an says about Islam. I challenge you to post this comment.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  14. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    The Muslims hate Christians just put a memorial of Jesus in front of it and they will build else where .

    August 3, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  15. Jan

    The city of New york should 1st be sensitive to the feelings of wounded families about ground zero, and Moslems, no matter how well meaning, should not be allowed to make their presence felt in any new way; not in this area, their presence is felt already. This man is allowed to continue to live here, even with the comments he's made, that's enough consideration for all Moslems.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  16. pat

    i have a simple question, what countries other than the U.S. grant automatic citizenship to children born within its borders? No agenda, just looking for a straight answer. Thanks

    August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  17. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Barb in Pittsburgh, Im with you and totally agree!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  18. Chris NYC

    The concern over the Mosque is two fold:
    1.) Who is paying to build the Mosque matters. By refusing to disclose where the financing is coming from, when there are so many groups in the Muslim world who support Bin Laden and hate us, the lack of transparency is very troubling.
    2.) Let's give Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf the benefit of the doubt. Even if he is entering into this with the purist of intentions, this Mosque will be viewed throughout the Muslim world as a shrine to Bin Laden. Whether that is his intention or not.

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

    Hi everyone
    I just like to fix one of misconception that many people have. Opposing and condemning terorism is different thing, opposing and condemning Islam is different thing. 911 might be executed by some people who were claimed to be muslims, but that does not mean that The Quran or Muhammed(pbuh) ever order to commit such chaos and terrorism within a sociaty. In fact 'Fitna' meaning chaos and terror is strictly forbidden in our the most peaceful relegion.
    I think it s time to distinguish terrorism and Islam.
    Yes for the Mosque, No for terrorism

    August 3, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  20. nate

    No. If your a patriot, its offensive. Build it somewhere else. If I was a truely peacefull Muslim I would not want my Mosque anywhere near a place that would make my God look offensive. If I was a true follower of Christ I would not want my church anywhere near a place that would make my God look offensive.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  21. Dushan

    I like your work, Anderson. One of bloggers said: "They certainly have the "right" to be there. It is America. " I agree, but one of the main featurese of the Americans is to be free to criticize and even scoff at various forms of religiosity, including Islam.
    So, allow to build the moslque, but under the condition that Americans of all persuasion should be allowed to gather, either inside or in front of that mosque, and express their critical views of one of the most ambiguous forms of "religiosity" – Islam. Dushan

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  22. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    That's a first...to hear an illegal alien say it's harder to live here than in Mexico. Really?! Why did he leave in the first place? I thought the tyranny south of the border was what drives many Mexicans to cross the border in the first place. Very bold of Pedro to show his face and talk of his situation.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  23. Dulcie - Denver

    Holy Geez, it makes me gnash my teeth when someone claims to know what our founders' 'intentions' were. Please. No one can possibly know what our founding fathers intents were.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  24. Jane

    Anderson, be a little curious and look at Cordoba initiative website. Main project of Cordoba initiative is "Sharia Index". Does not this concern you? Imam Rauf and people who sponsor him (one of the sponsor is Saudi Arabia, site of Whahabbi version of Islam and I have proof if you need it) have long reaching political goals in mind. If you think that media will have a lot of freedom under Sharia law – just look in any islamic country. You can not be tolerate to what is intolerant. We all loose our freedom and it can happend very soon!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  25. Dave O

    the argument that not all muslims are bad is an absurd argument....the fact that the people who perpetuated these attacks were all muslim is the issue....there are good and bad in every religion, but the people who committed these crimes were ALL muslim, they were not christian/buddhist/jewish/etc.... the crimes were committed by hateful muslims

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  26. april

    What happen to American loyaty? The Mosque is a symbol of hatred an intolerance, to American's way of life. Let the muslims find tolerance, and acceptance with American's, Woman, Gays and all walks in life in this great country, who say NO to building this hate building near ground Zero.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  27. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    It's good illegals have a hard life here. we should do all we can to make it harder so they self deport.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  28. Josh H. - Houston

    Building a symbol of Islam at the site where radicals of the religion murdered 3,000 people is offensive to many Americans, no matter the background or expressed intentions of the Imam. Rick Lazio will and should attract votes from Americans who don't see this as an issue to be tolerant about. Anderson went too far in the interview.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  29. Kathy

    common decency tells me not to build a mosque there. No religious buildings should be built there at all. For the sake of those who died and those left behind.....build a memorial. Oklahoma City has a beautiful memorial. What has happened to common sense?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  30. Mike - Las Vegas

    It's more of a slap in the face that Ground Zero is still an open pit that has not been rebuilt yet. So much delay, all in the name of greed. Where is the memorial to the innocent victims? Are they waiting until a Rushpublican is elected president so they can take credit for reopening the WTC area? More than most likely.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  31. Rocky

    Saudi Arabia does not even allow anyone to go there with a bible or a cross in their possition, Egypt economically blocades its Chrisitan citizens not to mention that they kicked all the Jewish out, and the list can go on and on in ALL the islamic countries. The ideology of Bin Laden is imbeded deeply in the Islamic religion and in its believers. Look at the probems in France and England.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  32. Chi

    @Anabela Must agree with you. Couldnt agree with you more!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  33. Nelson

    US is too worry about illegar Mexicas and when the real problem is coming from the midle east. Muslim shouldnt be allow to build at ground zero at all.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  34. Barb

    With so many New Yorkers and Americans against it, why would an Imam concerned with healing the wounds choose that sight? Wonder if those who died such a terrible death at Ground Zero would be so tolerant? Ground Zero belongs to all Americans and the majority oppose it.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  35. Sue R. Canton MI.

    Wow,,,so many issues that have to be dealt with regarding the immigration battle. What do you do with children of illegal immigrants who are born here ,,went to school and so forth and then they are forced to leave?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  36. Lori, CA

    @Majid, usually churches are subject to a conditional use permit in almost all land use zones. The conditional use permit gives the city discretion in a decision for approval or denial. This permit gives the city the opportunity to review the project based on the individual circumstances of the proposed parcel and the surrounding neighborhood. The city can consider things like whether the church will be a safety issue which will drain police resources and to require conditions such as fee payments for facilities to mitigate impacts prior to issuing building permits.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  37. Kathy

    Why is it that we, the victims of such a horrendous attack, are the ones who are called on to show sensitivity and religious tolerance? Why isn't this Imam and his followers called on to show respect and tolerance for what we've been through? Are there no other vacant buildings in N.Y? A multimillion dollar mosque is not going to work toward religious tolerance; it will over-shadow everything else in the area and rub salt in the wound. No, plain and simple.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  38. Tiffany

    What happened on 9/11 was a horrible tragedy. However, we must keep in mind that not all Muslims are evil. What if Muslims formed their opinion of Christians by what happened with the Branch Davidians at Waco, for example?

    I have an idea. . .why not make the building a religious center that houses a synagogue, mosque, and church??? Now everyone's happy; until the atheists start complaining!

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  39. Kristen

    What is so funny is that people actually believe we are at war with Islam. Osma Bin Laden worked for us in case everyone forgot. The Bush's were great friends with the family.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  40. Barb, Pittsburgh PA

    Acceptance of others and freedom, especially freedom of religion are one of the many things that make our country the greatest nation on earth. Should NYC allow a mosque within blocks from ground zero, yes, but should assimilated peaceful Muslims who have chosen to make the US their home want to incite and offend the people who have suffered directly and so deeply from the worse act of terrorism – NO. I appeal to the compassion and sensitivity of Muslims everywhere to urge the NYC Muslim community to find another suitable location for their mosque and once built, invite all New Yorkers to join them in honoring the victims of 9/11.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  41. Mary - Oklahoma

    I don't want the mosque to be built by ground zero because it is a sentimental location and disrespectful.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  42. Melanie

    How quickly people are willing to forget the hatred of 9/11. Americans have every right to question where the funding for this gigantic mosque is coming from. American lives die every day due to Islamic fundamentalists and IF there is any possibilty that 1 of these groups are funding this mosque, then Americans have every right to step in – for the safety of US citizens and out of respect for lives lost.

    The magnitude of this project seems to lack all respect, sense of community, and ethics.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  43. Ray

    You didn't mention the idea of building a monument at the scene of their victories. If that is what happens, then, of course, it is wrong to argue for it. To do so would seem to me to be anti-American. You appear to be on their side.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  44. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    Pedro is abedding criminals that are sponging off of tax payers .

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  45. Alon from Manhattan

    Mr. Anderson, there is no doubt that it is their right based on city, state and federal laws to build there whatever they want. The question however is, is this the right thing to do it there, so close to ground zero. Pls refer to how the Pope solved a similar sensitive situation in when Carmelite Nuns wanted to establish a convent in a close proximity to Auschwitz in 1980s. If their intentions are so pure there shouldn't be any problem to relocate to another place not so close to ground zero. And yes, too blocks, is too close.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  46. Amadou Busso

    these rhetoric make muslims around the world who have nothing to do with terrorists to hate American, why is the hate toward the muslims every single day American are getting help from muslims around the world to fight terrorists. Muslim conutries are fighting terrorist like the American (Saudi Arabia, Yemen etc) remember the war on terror was first in the Muslims countries before american involve in it after the september 11.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  47. Kelly - Harrisburg, PA

    About how many Mexicans receive US citizenship each year? and how many apply?

    August 3, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  48. Chi

    Hi AC and AC360 🙂

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  49. Leslie

    Building a $100,000,000 mosque-community-center so close to ground-zero is not illegal, but is certainly in poor taste. It has caused so much controversy and acrimony that it really does lead some to question the motivation behind it. Do it's sponsors reall believe it is the best way to help the community heal? It would certainly be much better PR and much more sensitive for the sponsors to build a monument to the victims of 911 instead.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  50. David

    BTW, Lori CA: Rezoning Ground Zero to disallow places of worship would shut down old Trinity Church and St. Paul's church, where G.Washington went for services after his inauguration, and where volunteers assembled to help with the recovery after 9/11.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
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