http://rationalists.wordpress.com/2010/07/20/islamic-cultural-centr...

This is the final straw. How many died at Ground Zero. I cannot imagine how I would feel knowing that people will be praying at the very site to a god who through their belief of him had a part in this evil event,..if I had lost a loved one.
 Is this the beginning of the end.
 What do you think?

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I personally think this entire GZM issue is a smokescreen to hide the fact that Republicans nearly unanimously voted down a bill that would extend health benefits to first responders from 9/11.
PolitiFact rates False the statement that the new project is not a Mosque but a cultural center.

http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2010/aug/23/al-h...

Of course, they recognize the nuance that many political demagogues refuse to.

We agree with those who say it's imprecise to simply refer to the New York project as a mosque. As is clear from the organizers' comments and formal web pages, the big picture plans are for a $100 million, 15-story Muslim community center that would be open to New Yorkers of all faiths. But those comments and websites also make clear that the plans do include a "mosque." It may be a "small portion" of the overall project, but it is a part. And so when Hunt said, "This is not a mosque. It's a cultural center that has a prayer area," that's not accurate either. It's a cultural center that includes a mosque. And so we rate Hunt's comment False.
So does that mean that YMCAs include entire churches? The distinction needs to be made between a mosque and a prayer room. It's the same distinction between a church and a prayer room.

This is NOT a mosque. At the very least, it may include a mosque, which is very different.
As a whole, it is not a mosque. But there will be a mosque there. You can't say they are not building a mosque just because the mosque is part of a larger project. That is as dishonest as claiming the whole project is "just" a mosque. However, even if the entire project were a mosque, they have the right to build it.

According to PolitiFact, the mosque is not a multi-faith prayer room. It is for Muslim prayer. That makes it a mosque. Unless there is more information I am unaware of that would suggest otherwise.
I agree that they'd have a right to build it either way... so I guess the semantics of it don't really matter. I just feel like the right wing called it a mosque as a whole to generate as much fear and hate as possible. That's the only reason I oppose calling it solely a mosque.

Think of this way: if there was a YMCA being built somewhere, would it be honest to say they're building a church there?
I just feel like the right wing called it a mosque as a whole to generate as much fear and hate as possible. That's the only reason I oppose calling it solely a mosque.

Oh, you are correct about the right wing's use of "mosque" to instill fear. It's too bad that it is so effective. Much more so than the complex reality of it. But the real issue is not what exactly it is called, but the fact that it doesn't matter if it is a mosque or not. They have the right to build it.

Think of this way: if there was a YMCA being built somewhere, would it be honest to say they're building a church there?

You could say that there is a church within it. It depends on how people define "church". Most people see church's as stand alone buildings filled with pews. stained glass windows, and used for the sole purpose of god worship. But, a church doesn't have to fit that stereotype to be considered a church. A congregation that meets weekly in a little room in the YMCA I would consider a church by its broader meaning.
Exactly my point: you can say it contains a church, but you can't call it the "Fifth Avenue Church" or the "Johnson District Church". ;)
Yeah, I see where you are coming from. I agree.
even if the entire project were a mosque, they have the right to build it.

I've said this about 497 times in the last couple days.

That difference in definitions between "mosque" and "cultural center with a mosque" doesn't change the larger issue and those constantly responding to people with "it's not a mosque, it's a cultural center" and "it's not AT ground zero, it's 2 blocks away" are unintentionally implying that it would make a difference if it were just a mosque and it would make a difference if it were a block closer.

I've greatly enjoyed reading the opinions on both sides of this issue, but it's turning into a huge semantics wank and I've started to bring this up in discussions with friends who are supporters asking "would you be on the other side if it were just a ginormous mosque?" and "is there some arbitrary line where you would find the location of a "just a mosque" structure too close to ground zero?"

Their answers have surprised me.
That difference in definitions between "mosque" and "cultural center with a mosque" doesn't change the larger issue

Exactly!
The only reason I point out that it's not a mosque at Ground Zero isn't because I think it makes a difference, but because it's too often phrased that way to incite fear amongst people that THINK it makes a difference. "Mosque" and "Ground Zero" are terms that evoke emotion from less educated people, so people (like those at Fox News) use them rally up their minions to "take a stand against this injustice." I don't point it out because I think it makes a difference, just trying to prevent people from using this term as if it makes a difference.
I think that 1.5 billion people are being unfairly characterized based on the actions of a few dozen. I don't agree with the tenants of Islam, but this isn't an issue about religion, it's an issue about the Constitution. We have to understand and respect that the same right that allows us to be atheists is the same right afforded to everybody to believe as they choose. As an atheist, if it were up to me there would be no mosques or churches anywhere; as an American I accept that being tolerant of others is part of the responsibility of enjoying the luxury of these freedoms.

The people building the "mosque" (it's not even a mosque) at "Ground Zero" (it's not even at Ground Zero) aren't part of Al Qaida, they are Americans just like you and I. If we start stripping Americans of their rights out of fear, then the terrorists' mission will be accomplished. It's up to us to rise above the fear and paranoia that is in our human nature and do what's right. If we want to stick it to the terrorists who want us to live in fear, we should stop being afraid. We should embrace the Muslim sect into American culture, give them a reason to WANT to call America home. That will be the most effective way to prevent moderate Muslims from sympathizing with the extremists and combatting extremism; if we persecute them we are only causing more division, more friction between the two ways of life, and adding fuel to an already out of control fire.

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