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Weird Jews
Disrupting Yeshivas since 2002
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Islamic Center Near Ground Zero
There has been a lot of talk about the Islamic Center (sort of like an Islamic version of a Jewish Community Center, if you take a serious look at what is proposed) "at Ground Zero", aka the World Trade Center site.

I thought I should share the photo I took yesterday after the demonstration by rabbis and other Jews in favor of the Center.



The location of the Center is where there is a group of people gathered on the sidewalk on the right side of the street.  The WTC site is two blocks to the left.  Note the block long building on the left side of the street, taller than the proposed 11 story center.  There is no way that this center would be visible by anyone at the WTC site, nor is it on a street that anyone would normally walk down on ones way to the WTC site.

Here is another photo


On the left is Rabbi Ellen Lippmann.  On the right is Daisy Kahn, co-director of the Center and wife of the Imam.   Note that not only does she not where a chador, she doesn't even cover her hair.  These people are the kind of Muslim leaders who are creating a culturally American Islam, mutually tolerant with other traditions.  They should be encouraged and welcomed.

Current Location: NYC

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Comments
sir_graeme From: sir_graeme Date: August 6th, 2010 06:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
The more I learn, the more it seems to me that the Center will promote a modern vision of Islam that will drive the Islamic fundamentalists crazy.
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mimiheart From: mimiheart Date: August 6th, 2010 06:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
What? You mean that all stripes of Islam aren't exactly the same? Every single Muslim person isn't trying to blow us up? You're joking. Haven't you listened to insert latest crazy ranter/radio personality/"news" person? This is a cover! A COVER I tell you!!! They're doing this just to rub into our faces the VICTORY!!! they achieved on 9/11. It's a Terrorist TRAINING center. That's the only community they know! /sarcasm

Alas, this is the same discussion I've had with too many people these past weeks. It scares me.
chatnoire From: chatnoire Date: August 6th, 2010 06:32 pm (UTC) (Link)
I fully support the construction of the center, and thank you for this post.
tryst_inn From: tryst_inn Date: August 6th, 2010 06:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
I find it particularly ironic that the Muslim prayer group at the Pentagon has not gotten a single blip on the conservative press machine.
justapalindrome From: justapalindrome Date: August 6th, 2010 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
I have always supported the construction of this center, and this post serves as a great way to educate other people about the reality of it. Thanks.
sethg_prime From: sethg_prime Date: August 6th, 2010 07:01 pm (UTC) (Link)
Note that not only does she not where a chador, she doesn't even cover her hair.

I understand why you want to make this point, but I really don’t think it’s relevant. The relevant point was made by George Washington in 1790:

“All possess alike liberty of conscience and immunities of citizenship. It is now no more that toleration is spoken of, as if it was by the indulgence of one class of people, that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent national gifts. For happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens, in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

From everything I’ve read, the leaders of the Center want to obey the law and live peacefully with their neighbors. That’s what matters.
madhatter85 From: madhatter85 Date: August 6th, 2010 11:24 pm (UTC) (Link)
I feel it's relevant as one of the go-to arguments against the center has been out of context lines from the Quran regarding Jihads and infidels to prove Islam is a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad religion. Like small children, many opponents haven't yet grasped the concept that degrees of observance exist in all religious groups, even Islam. Opponents simply ignore this fact and lump them all into a neat little group. As they take such a childish view point, what else can you do but show physical evidence that some Muslims are *gasp* just like every other American!

Although, from the tone in this comm, it probably didn't need to be pointed out here. :)
vvalkyri From: vvalkyri Date: August 6th, 2010 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
first two photos are showing as placeholders...
countessof_roth From: countessof_roth Date: August 6th, 2010 08:10 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thank you for posting this.

I knew that its the liberal Muslim folks who are building this center and they're basically the polar opposite of the folks who blew up the WTC- and I don't understand the freak out about it- what better way to help repair the hurt than by making it a place of tolerance and understanding.

But no, people don't GET this. It upsets me.
madhatter85 From: madhatter85 Date: August 6th, 2010 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
The first photo, in particular, really ought to put this into perspective for all the naysayers, although I'm realistic enough to know it won't. If your line is, "all Muslims are fundamentalist wackos" nothing is going to change your mind. However, I really do believe this center has the potential to reach the large population that is somewhat uncomfortable but by no means Islamaphobic. I saw Sharif el-Gamal on the news after the preservation committee announced it's decision and he said something to the effect that he was inspired by a local JCC and wanted to create a center with the same atmosphere in Lower Manhattan as he saw a need for it there. I think this is going to be an excellent opportunity for everyone and I'm glad they are receiving the support of the Jewish community (well...except for the ADL...)
seiberwing From: seiberwing Date: August 6th, 2010 10:12 pm (UTC) (Link)
I winced when I clicked on this, expecting far worse--I'm glad some people are actually being realistic about this whole shouldn't-even-be-a-controversy.
kita0610 From: kita0610 Date: August 6th, 2010 10:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Thanks for this.
i_saw_the_fall From: i_saw_the_fall Date: August 7th, 2010 02:19 am (UTC) (Link)
This is nice to see. I wish people would stop equating Islam with terrorism. It's been nine years, and you would think that people would try to educate themselves about what Islam is really about. But I guess fear outweighs reason. :(

Though I heard something the other day on GMA or Today when they brought this up, and one of the guests made the comment that part of the issue is (for some people) that there was another religious group trying to get a church or something within the vicinity and they were turned down or something. I don't remember the details (I was put off by the guests' animosity towards the issue), and I haven't yet gone to look up more info about it. Anyone know anything about this?
dream_king From: dream_king Date: August 7th, 2010 03:20 am (UTC) (Link)
I am curious what that thought are of those who support the Islamic Centre's construction on the building of a convent at Auschwitz with a 26 foot cross. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Auschwitz_cross

The construction of the Islamic Centre, no matter how noble the reason is insensitive.
fabfemmeboy From: fabfemmeboy Date: August 7th, 2010 03:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
Insensitive to whom? I've yet to see any protests coming from the people who actually live, work, or spend a significant amount of time in Manhattan. The people most adamantly opposed to the center all seem to be from way, way, way out of town and also oppose the building of mosques (which they call all buildings having anything to do with Islam) anywhere by anyone for any reason. There was literally a story a couple weeks ago on multiple American news networks (and if my internet were working better right now, I could find you links) where people were trying to block the building of mosques in Tennessee, Oklahoma, and about a half-dozen other "red state" locations on the grounds that mosques are inherently violent. The audience poll question was "Should Muslims be allowed to build mosques wherever they want?" and something like 3/4 of people said no, most of them adding that they shouldn't be able to build them anywhere at all in the US. It's considered insensitive at this point for Muslims to exist in the United States.
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tinyrevolution From: tinyrevolution Date: August 7th, 2010 06:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
If a mosque in NYC is "insensitive" and "provocative" then wtf is the military occupations of Muslim countries?
dream_king From: dream_king Date: August 8th, 2010 05:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Liberation of the people from their brethren who are oppressors.
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