August 23rd, 2010
09:44 PM ET

Who is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf: Join the Live Chat

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

Video clips posted today by a conservative blogger have set off a new round of bitter debate over the Islamic community center and mosque planned near Ground Zero. Are the clips part of a smear campaign or do the imam’s critics have legitimate concerns? Plus Congress has begun investigating one of the largest egg recalls in recent U.S. history. Author Michael Pollan joins us as we dig deeper.

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 (169 Responses)
  1. Sue R. ,,Canton Mi

    My prayers go out to the minors who are trapped and their families. The thought that they may have to stay in the mine for several months is mind boggleing.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  2. jameel butler columbus ohio

    i dont see anything wrong with building a mosque. im a christian and both of my younger brothers are muslim and i would be upset if they couldnt worship where they wanted to, because of the action someone esle. its flat out discrimination. blame the people not the religion

    August 23, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  3. Erica Aden

    Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf belongs to a most moderate branch of islam which is Sufism. Sufism calls for universal love and peace and invites all from any religion and belief and non-believers to come and join to pro mote love and peace. Al Qaide fiercely opposes any practice of Sufism and has just recently bombed a Sufi temple (mosque) in Pakistan killing dozens of people in prayer. So people opposing to Imam Rauf are in fact in alliance with Al Qaide, tell me who is co-operating with the terrorist?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  4. Emily

    That's great news that Karl Penhaul is telling us; that the 33 miners are alive...I sure hope that they can be rescued before Dec.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  5. Kenya

    Glad those miners are alive...but can't imagine being trapped until Christmas! Hope they can be rescued sooner.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  6. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    33 Miners are also alive they have food and drink, they are working on it dig down get miners get out safety until Christmas. that is so miracle! Thanks Karl for update for us.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  7. Abdul-london uk

    I am afraid Michael Amstrong Sr don't understand....you see it says in the Koran (muslim holy book) killing innocent people is prohibited.. so you can't blame all muslims for 9-11, all muslims(practicing the faith of islam) around the world conmdemned it ...
    You see Hitler was a christian and he killed more than 6million jews and we muslims we don't blame christianity for that ...
    There are black sheeps in every religion and community..

    August 23, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  8. Jeff Reding

    The old adage proves true once again. The more you say something, the more people will believe it. As long as the Tea Party whackos continue to say President Obama is Muslim, it keeps those words floating throughout the media and people keep hearing it, to the point where the originators utterly disappear and it's just out there.

    I hate the fact that these people keep on pushing the anti-Muslam agenda, because we will NEVER be able to get away from the international impression that the US is anti-Islam. For once I have to agree wholeheartedly with Ron Paul when he commented on the Timothy McVeigh/Christian church connection, which I read somewhere online last week and have even mentioned myself.

    Right now, there is a French company who was complicit in helping send Jewish prisoners to concentration camps in WWII which is attempting to get a contract for a high speed rail system in the US. I don't hear any outpouring of hatred toward that, even though they 'helped' kill millions of people.

    This country is becoming more and more fractured every day and it frankly scares the hell out of me. If it isn't the Muslims, it's the illegal immigrants (meaning Mexican). All this complaining about multi-lingual signs and now, possibly even election ballots, disgusts me too. People here forget that there are a lot of Puerto Ricans in this country who speak nothing but Spanish – and Puerto Rico is considered 'part' of the US.

    It all goes back to this xenophobia that is spreading like wildfire.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  9. David, Indiana

    Great rept checking for possible conflicts of interest in the state dept travels of Mr Rauf. Things seem to be on the up and up.

    I don't know if I agree with the panel, is it really a good idea to pile on all these issues on the mosque community center question?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  10. Gerald Berger

    I agree with Chris- no one says they have no right to build a mosque- but consider the context of it in that place. With true leadership from Islamic leaders and our government this could be a healing opportunity.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  11. tymalyn james

    Thank you, Ron Paul. I do not agree with your politics, your domestic or economic policies. I applaud your courage to step up, despite party politics, the fear mongering focus, and lack of integrity of our elected officials. You clarified the issue, clearly and plainly differentiated the terrorists from the religious, and even managed to call the host on his unconscious participation in the hysteria. More of us have to speak up for the freedoms due our fellow citizens, many of whom are Islamic. Part of this conversation should include education about the religion of Islam, a beautiful and peace loving philosophy, to cut through the thick and shameful ignorance gripping this great nation.
    From a proud American and a Christian

    August 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  12. Sue R. ,,Canton Mi

    I still don't see where there will be any peace with the building of this mosque. The terrorists are probably following this story and it will be a victory to them weather this mosque is built or not.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  13. Robert

    I think it would be a good gesture from the Islamic community to build an INTERFAITH cultural center instead; a place where families of 9/11 victims of all different religions may pray

    August 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  14. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Considering how much grief and hate stems from religion I am always puzzled why people "practice" or identify with any particular religion. Nobody I've EVER met can explain their complete understanding of the religion they follow.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  15. Shaheen

    I think if the mosque is prohibited from being built, a lot of people can be in danger of there rights being denied. The reason the U.S. is so successful is because the constituion has ultimate authority over everything and everyone, because of that, most corruption is eliminated. If the mosque is prohibited, then that means A LOT of people will start denying the constituion which may or may not lead to more crimes. Islam is a religon of peace, the sane muslims don't want to make mosques just to plan attacks against the U.S. There are many, many mosques in the U.S. Infact, mosques teach that all human beings are equal and everyone should be treated fairly, regardless of race, religon, or sex.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  16. Alyssa

    Okay. This is so dumb! Why is it when there's an attack & the suspect is a muslim, all of a sudden, people call Muslims terrorissts?! It's called extremists, not terrorist! And not all Muslims are either! There are christian snipers, and killers out there who kill people for innocent reasons, but we don't call them terrorists..do we? But then when it's a Muslim, we do. That's wrong! Everyone should be treated the same..right? We don't start hating ALL Christians when One of them kill an innocent person, we only hate the killer. I don't understand why it's any different for Muslims!.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  17. DJ - Central Mass

    Nina, I think you smashed that nail right on the head.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  18. Siddq

    What makes it ok to build a church in Oklahoma and not a Mosque in NYC?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  19. Emily

    @David, Indiana,

    I think that Ron Paul made some good points; they were correct constitutionally, however, this is very emotional for so many! It's unfortunate that the Muslim Community is not speaking out against the building of the mosque there.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  20. Kaytee

    Its a good thing freedom of religion isn't based on anyone's emotions or feelings!

    August 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  21. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Chris, and the freedom of America is to have respect for others who are not like yourself. The constitution says everyone has the freedom of religion and other freedoms and that all people are created equal.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  22. Blair

    Don't those opposed get it!!! While you are all sitting and opposing this Muslim centre, Osama Bin Laden and his gang are celebrating your racists attitudes at the dinner table!!!

    You are simply empowering terrorists.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  23. Sharon Hastings

    Yes, yes. It is all fear and hysteria. I think it may partially be a distraction from our real fears about the waning security of being an American. Our economy is a mess, our wars have not been very triumphant, Iran is developing nuclear weapons and probably has no qualms about using them, and we are not feeling personally powerful or secure.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  24. John Rette

    Ron Paul is exactly right about the mosque in New York. We cannot blame the entire Muslim population for the acts of a few.

    If you want to see our historical role in trying to control Afghanistan, activities that dramatically affect how we are viewed, just read the first 50 pages of Jonathan Krakauer's book "When Men Win Glory".

    We must avoid emotional denial, study and focus on the facts.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  25. Humza Qureshi

    Many of the protestors are opposed to the community center because they do not like Islam and are spreading their misconceptions and the others, I believe, are misinformed. They do not understand that, like mayor Bloomberg say that “Islam is a peaceful religion followed by peace loving people”.

    I believe that some of the protestors are secreting their thoughts about Islam by creating the sensitivity issue and demanding it be moved. How far do you think they want it to be moved? Out of long island, New York, the US?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  26. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    Let me reiterate, I don't support the building of ANY religious building, period. As we are seeing, once again, religion will eventually lead to the destruction of the world as we know it. However, until the time that religious buildings cannot be built anymore in the U.S., I absolutely support the building of any religious structure insofar as it does not violate people's rights or the Constitution.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  27. Arman

    @ Michael Armstrong Sr. some christian have done terrible things (one of which Oklahoma bombing) does that mean all Christians are responsible?? i just don't get how people can't use their common sense not to generalize more than 1.2 billion because of the actions of the few. some people make it sound like every muslim is a criminal. its hard to believe how many ignorant people are out there.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  28. chris

    !The beauty of America is Freedom!!
    If you think America is so bad, Leave, you are free to go.
    The Imam and his group should be more respectful and less entitiled. You can build, but You shouldn't. Respect for your neighbors is critical for all people to enjoy Freedom.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  29. Nina

    Not building the mosque two blocks from the WTC would be considered a victory for the terrorists that committed the crime.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  30. enala

    Its not all muslim are bad,just because of bad experiences that this country had with muslims then it shouldn't condemn all muslim, this country itself has muslim citizens who love this country.building a mosque close to ground zero doesn't mean anything. We need to stop discriminating and judging muslims!let muslims in this country be free but then again why choosing that spot? Couldn't it be build somewhere else? Is this some political or religious issue?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  31. Emily

    @Sue R.
    re. the mosque becoming "more political then personal."

    I agree with you! I don't see it ever changing either...if it's built, I think that it always will be too.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  32. michelle

    The Rabbi said it best. Maybe CNN should ask itself if
    the people who are spreading falsehoods about the
    Islamic center just making statements to control the news
    cycle and keep the facts from getting out.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  33. Humza Qureshi

    I was watching CNN and some protectors were saying their views. Once that the C.S. “is a breeding ground for terrorists”. That is just totally false.. Terrorists believe that the U.S. is at war with Islam, and building a C.S. that includes a mosque near G.Z. completely denounces their Ideology.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  34. Blair

    9/11 was the result of terrorists NOT Muslims. The fact that some Americans attempt to connect the two, just shows how racist and ignorant some Americans can be.

    The fact that individuals are trying to connect the dots of disrespect for victims of 9/11 with the building of this mosque just shows how naive these people are.

    The individuals fueling this debate are no better than Hitler and his intolerance for Jews. Shame on you.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  35. Rajiev,NY

    With 68% of the American public against this Mosque,what motivated the State Dept. to finance this Imam's trip to the Middle East?
    I think Ron Paul is absolutely wrong.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  36. Richie

    I think Congressman Paul said it right when he said this is nothing but a sideshow. Lets get to the real issues not the petty BS that does not help to fix our country.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  37. Charles: Mesa, Az

    What is being built at ground zero is an "Islamic Center", it is *Not* a mosque. Whether you're for it or against it, at least get your facts straight.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  38. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Pat, we do not have a separation of church and state like our constitution says. Just look at the past few years in the country

    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  39. Erica Aden

    Bravo Dr. Sanjay Gupta, excellent journalism, you really caught Ron Paul unprepared for commenting on his son's position on the building of the mosque. He tried to save face and in turn you got an emotional outbreak from him. It was a delightful expose!


    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  40. Manwarul Alam

    @ Jo Ann,
    I'm sorry. I disagree. I think allowing a mosque to be built there confirms a true American value... equality for everybody. I agree what Ron Paul said about Timothy Mcveigh.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  41. Larry

    Blaming all muslims for 911 is like blaming today's citizens of Germany for the Holocaust.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  42. Sandra

    Imam Rauf says the mosque is to be dedicated to understanding and religious tolerance. That is very admirable, and I would be more impressed by his sincerity if Christians were allowed to build a church in Mecca, and the Jews were allowed to build a synagogue there. It seems the Muslims are only interested in 'one-way- religious tolerance.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  43. Gerald Berger

    Dr. Gupta, I believe that Dr. Paul showed the leadership on the mosque "issue" that is sorely lacking from the White House and simutaneously pointed out the CNN agenda. I commend you for having him on your program.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  44. Nina

    These Muslims are more liberal than the dogma group. Could it be possible harassing these Muslims create more anger within this group of already people? What ever happened to "freedom of religion"

    August 23, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  45. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Mike in Syracuse-'compassion is an emotion. The Muslims should show some.'

    That is not fair to say, I have friends who are Muslim and they felt bad about 9/11 and have alot of say about what people are saying about their race in general and their religion. They are against the radicals who did that and are against the radicals that preach it.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  46. John

    Ron Paul set the record straight. No need to sidetrack about his son when he has some important points to make. Paul is on the money, and is absolutely right.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  47. Pat

    The one thing that makes the US unique is our constitution and the absolute seperation of church and state. In islamic countries religious idealogy is inseperable from day to day life. It's oppressive, brutal, misogynous, quite frankly frightening. I think that is what a lot of Americans are reacting to.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  48. Harvey

    Other side of the planet here, so AC360 is my daily breakfast news.
    Is there really nothing else to talk about than where to build a bloomin centre/temple/mosque/churc etc? What about the other 500 plus real newsworthy stories out there. Like for example the 33 guys in Chile that my be stuck 2000 feet under until Christmas, and the other 499 plus stories.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  49. Scott

    Painting a group with a broad bush, and blaming them all for the actions of a few, is the quintessential definition of racism. Racisism against Islamic people is the basis of the fundamental argument for not locating the Mosque near Ground Zero, not sensitivity to those who died in 9/11.

    August 23, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  50. Peter

    Maybe we should not allow anyone to change America, for America is great due to the fact that it is what it is. Altering our culture will break down this great nation. Then where will Muslims go to express their freedom of religion?

    August 23, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
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