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Ground Zero Mosque

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No dice. Maybe you could copy/paste the text?

http://www.fivethirtyeight.com/2010/07/polls-reporting-on-ground-zero-mosque.html

 

Polls, Reporting on "Ground Zero Mosque" May Mislead

by Nate Silver @ 5:15 PM

 

A group of Muslim businessmen and religious leaders have proposed building a 12-story facility called Cordoba House (or sometimes alternatively Park 51) in Lower Manhattan. The project would include a number of resources -- "a 500-seat auditorium, swimming pool, art exhibition spaces, bookstores, restaurants," its developers say -- in addition to places of worship, probably including a mosque. The goal of the project is ostensibly to improve Muslim-West relations and show New York a more modern face of Islam; on the group's website, for instance, most women involved with the project are pictured in contemproary Western business dress.

 

But the location of the proposed facility, in Lower Manhattan two blocks from Ground Zero, has drawn both local and national opposition, with a Republican candidate for governor in New York, Carl Paladino, going to far as to say he'd use eminent domain laws to block its construction. The opposition gained momentum today when the Anti-Defamation League, an influential Jewish-American group, came out against the facility, albeit in a somewhat nuanced way. "Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam," a statement by the group read in part. "But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right. In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right."

 

Local, statewide, and national polling, furthermore, has shown majorities of New York City residents, New York state residents and Americans opposed to construction of the facility.

 

There are several things to unpack here. First, a bit of a geography lesson is in order.

 

To be clear, Cordoba House is "in the neighborhood" of Ground Zero, and this seems to have been a deliberate choice made by its developers. But to suggest that Cordoba House is "at" Ground Zero, as some reporting and opposition groups have, is either negligent or willfully misleading.

 

The World Trade Center campus, shown in purple in the map below, is quite large, roughly two-tenths of a mile by two-tenths of a mile across. Eleven different streets abut or intersect it, and there are numerous points of access by foot, by cars or taxi, or on public transportation networks.

 

cordoba.png

 

(For an interactive version of the map, see here.)

 

Cordoba House, shown in a red outline on the map, would be on Park Place between West Broadway and Church Street. Park Place does not intersect Ground Zero; instead, it runs parallel to it, two blocks to its north.

 

It is unlikely that very many people commuting to the World Trade Center site would pass by Cordoba House -- walking on that particular stretch of Park Place would not be a natural route except in unusual circumstances. Nor, does it appear to me, would Cordoba House be visible from ground level anywhere at the World Trade Center complex. The Federal Office Building across from Vesey Street on Ground Zero's northern perimeter is sixteen stories high, as is the office building between Barclay Street and Park Place; they would presumably block the view of the more diminutive Cordoba House, which although somewhat architecturally daring does not contain minarets or other spire-like features that would give it greater prominence than an ordinary, 12-story building. Like dozens and dozens of other buildings, and several other places of worship near to Ground Zero, it would be quite well concealed among Lower Manhattan's dense street grid.

 

Interestingly, although the Quinnipiac poll showed a majority of New York City residents opposed to the project, a 46-36 plurality of Manhattanites were in favor of it. There could be a variety of reasons for this, but one might be that they have a superior understanding of the borough's geography. It is not as though there's just one road to Ground Zero and some huge mosque would be built right next door to it.

 

Although the Quinnipiac Poll described Cordoba House fairly completely -- as "a Muslim mosque and cultural center" -- the Rasmussen poll describes it merely as "a mosque near the 9/11 Ground Zero site", omitting any description of its multipurpose nature. It is hard to say how much difference this makes, but Rasmussen, which often has problems with question wording, would probably do more to inform its respondents by referring to it as Quinnipiac did.

 

Another problem with both the Quinnipiac and Ramsussen polls is that it's a bit ambiguous what it means to "support" or "oppose" the project in this context. I imagine there is a spectrum of about five different positions that one might take on Cordoba House:

 

1) I support the project: its goals seem laudable, and it would be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.

 

2) I am indifferent about the project itself -- I can see the arguments both for it and against it. But this is a free country, and the developers certainly have a right to express themselves.

 

3) I'd rather that the project weren't built, especially so near to Ground Zero. But it's certainly not the government's business to stop its construction.

 

4) I'm opposed to the project and hope that it isn't built. But I'm indifferent about whether or not the City should act to stop it.

 

5) I'm definitely opposed to the project, and the City should exercise its authority to prevent it from being built.

 

Arguably, responses 3 through 5 all qualify as "opposition" to the project, whereas only the first one indicates clear support. But one's personal position on the mosque is not necessarily the same as thinking that the City should take affirmative steps to prohibit its construction by eminent domain laws by or other means, a position held by only those in Group 5. This is somewhat analogous to asking: "do you support or oppose flag-burning?". Without additional context, it would be quite natural for someone to say they opposed it, but they might nevertheless consider it to be Constitutionally protected activity. Likewise, while Cordoba House is clearly not popular, none of the polling speaks to whether a proposal like Paladino's would find much support.

 

A final ambiguity -- and not one the pollsters can't do anything about -- is the question of just who "owns" Ground Zero. Is it the whole country? The residents of New York State? Of New York City? Just the people of Manhattan? Just the people who live or work in the neighborhood or who were personally impacted by 9/11? I'm a New Yorker now, but I wasn't at the time of the September 11th attacks; should my opinion count less than someone who was?

 

But instead of a considered discussion over these issues, we have a battle of 140-character soundbytes, and polling and reporting that often does not do justice to the nuances of the issue.

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I must admit that my gut reaction to this was rejection. However, after reading about it, I don't understand why a conservative (obviously liberals are all for this) wouldn't want this mosque built there. Please, do not spam about neo-con war mongerers. There are stupid conservatives just like stupid liberals, and I would like to believe that most of us qualify as the smart variety of our respective viewpoints. Personally, I am quite sick of hearing how evil and intolerant America is, and how imperialist and hateful we are. Not to deny the horrible things we have done, but we are hardly the evil, demonic nation seeking out any and every chance to squash the racially inferior members of this world beneath our hegemonic hooves that we are sometimes made out to be. This mosque is the perfect example to prove that. It is far enough away to pose no threat of possible offense, and the argument about the name is stupid at best. I'm also rather convinced by the brightline argument--how far is far enough? The only justification I can see for not wanting this mosque (and this is more excusable where personal trauma from the attack is in effect, less so where ignorance is the problem) is a failure to differentiate between extreme sects of Islam and other forms. The Ku Klux Klan is not indicative of your standard Episcopalian any more than the people who flew the planes into the twin towers are indicative of your standard Muslim. I will not pretend to know a great deal about the different sects of Islam, but I know enough to understand that this mosque will most likely not be filled with blood thirsty terrorists. Additionally, I think that the mosque's proximity to Ground Zero would be a great tool in the hands of the moderate Muslim community to display tolerance. The empowerment of this section is without a doubt a necessity, both for Muslims sympathetic to extremism and Americans who fail to make the previously stated differentiation. I fail to understand how this has become a political schism, considering for conservatives it poses an excellent point to show the left that, contrary to popular belief, we do, in fact, have souls.

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For a debate website,

 

Everyone just makes straw man arguments and personal attacks.

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For a debate website,

 

Everyone just makes straw man arguments and personal attacks.

 

a) this topic doesnt lend itself to any other type of argument. the idea that people cant worship freely in this country because of who they are is a straw man argument and an attack on an entire faith in the first place.

 

B) you are obvi a typical michigan elitist

 

c) if you connect Islam with radical jihadism, and use it to limit what everyday muslims can do in a free country, it is fair to call you a racist/a dick. even if it is a personal attack.

 

d) social acceptance of racist/discriminatory beliefs perpetuates the problem. calling people out on it/making it unacceptable/shunning people who do it is a step towards fixing the problem.

 

e) when retired/foxonsox/maxxpow/others are being funny, who the fuck cares?

 

i did these in letters like debate points for you just like in real life

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d) social acceptance of racist/discriminatory beliefs perpetuates the problem. calling people out on it/making it unacceptable/shunning people who do it is a step towards fixing the problem.

 

Calling people out on shit won't do anything if they truly believe in it. Telling a Klan member that they are the scum of the earth won't stop them from being racist :o

 

^Straw man argument ftw

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It isn't a word (derp), hence the need of grammar nazi steven

 

Seems pretty obvious?

 

Gawd u guise take everything so seriously

Edited by thisissparta

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a) this topic doesnt lend itself to any other type of argument. the idea that people cant worship freely in this country because of who they are is a straw man argument and an attack on an entire faith in the first place.

 

B) you are obvi a typical michigan elitist

 

c) if you connect Islam with radical jihadism, and use it to limit what everyday muslims can do in a free country, it is fair to call you a racist/a dick. even if it is a personal attack.

 

d) social acceptance of racist/discriminatory beliefs perpetuates the problem. calling people out on it/making it unacceptable/shunning people who do it is a step towards fixing the problem.

 

e) when retired/foxonsox/maxxpow/others are being funny, who the fuck cares?

 

i did these in letters like debate points for you just like in real life

 

Woah there bro, SLOW DOWN.

 

Michigan elitist?

 

I'll have you know sir.

 

Those are fighting words.

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http://www.newyorker.com/talk/comment/2010/08/16/100816taco_talk_hertzberg

 

couple of weeks before the last election, the Republican nominees for President and Vice-President granted a joint interview to Brian Williams, of NBC. “Governor,” he asked, turning to the distaff half of the ticket, “what is an élite? Who is a member of the élite?” Sarah Palin replied, “Anyone who thinks that they are, I guess, better than anyone else—that’s my definition of élitism.” “It’s not geography?” Williams pursued. “Of course not,” she said. The ticket’s other half blinked and smiled a tight smile. John McCain had something to say.

 

MCCAIN: I know where a lot of them live.

WILLIAMS: Where’s that?

MCCAIN: Well, in our nation’s capital and New York City. I’ve seen it. I’ve lived there.

 

These élitists, he went on to explain, “think that they can dictate what they believe to America rather than let Americans decide for themselves.”

It was nice of Palin not to go all geographical on us back then. She has forgotten her patron’s admonition about Americans letting other Americans decide for themselves, but at least she says please, or its Twitter equivalent. In a follow-up to her quickly famous, quickly removed “pls refudiate” tweet, she tweeted, “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real.” Sic, sic, sic.

 

Ah, the “Ground Zero mosque.” Well, for a start, it won’t be at Ground Zero. It’ll be on Park Place, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site (from which it will not be visible), in a neighborhood ajumble with restaurants, shops (electronics, porn, you name it), churches, office cubes, and the rest of the New York mishmash. Park51, as it is to be called, will have a large Islamic “prayer room,” which presumably qualifies as a mosque. But the rest of the building will be devoted to classrooms, an auditorium, galleries, a restaurant, a memorial to the victims of September 11, 2001, and a swimming pool and gym. Its sponsors envision something like the 92nd Street Y—a Y.M.I.A., you might say, open to all, including persons of the C. and H. persuasions.

Like many New Yorkers, the people in charge of Park51, a married couple, are from somewhere else—he from Kuwait, she from Kashmir. Feisal Abdul Rauf is a Columbia grad. He has been the imam of a mosque in Tribeca for close to thirty years. He is the author of a book called “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.” He is a vice-chair of the Interfaith Center of New York. “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists,” he wrote recently—in the Daily News, no less. He denounces terrorism in general and the 9/11 attacks in particular, often and at length. The F.B.I. tapped him to conduct “sensitivity training” for agents and cops. His wife, Daisy Khan, runs the American Society for Muslim Advancement, which she co-founded with him. It promotes “cultural and religious harmony through interfaith collaboration, youth and women’s empowerment, and arts and cultural exchange.”

Pretty scary. Leading the pack of scaredy-cats, along with Palin, was her fellow Presidential mentionee Newt Gingrich, a leading intellectual light of the Republican Party. According to Gingrich, Park51 is “an assertion of Islamist triumphalism,” part of “an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.” Those who think it’s O.K. are “apologists for radical Islamist hypocrisy” who “argue that we have to allow the construction of this mosque in order to prove America’s commitment to religious liberty.” Gingrich argues for proving our devotion to religious liberty by taking it hostage: “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.”

Not all the project’s opponents have embraced the Gingrichian apocalypse. Most, like Palin, have appealed to hurt feelings—“especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001,” in the words of a statement issued by the Anti-Defamation League, the venerable Jewish civil-rights organization, which (disgracefully, and in opposition to local Jewish organizations such as the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan and the U.J.A.-Federation of New York) takes the Palin line. There are many 9/11 families who feel differently, and just as strongly. Defending the A.D.L.’s position, its national director, Abraham H. Foxman, reflexively likened the families—the anti-Park51 ones, that is—to Holocaust survivors: “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would characterize as irrational or bigoted.” No doubt. But, as a guide to public policy, anguish is hardly better than bigotry. Nor is it an entitlement to abandon rationality itself.

Where the “Ground Zero mosque” is concerned, opposition is roughly proportional to distance, even in New York. According to a recent poll, Manhattanites are mostly for it, Staten Islanders mostly against. Community Board No. 1 endorsed it, twenty-nine to one. That’s the council that represents a corner of Manhattan that includes both Park51 and the 9/11 site—and us, too, in the not too distant future. The New Yorker is set to move from 4 Times Square to 1 World Trade Center, once it gets built. Opinion here is divided, depending on whether one’s subway ride will be longer or shorter. No one has a problem with Park51.

Last Tuesday, after the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, in a unanimous vote, gave Park51 a green light, Mayor Michael Bloomberg celebrated the occasion with a speech that, in its gruff eloquence, will be remembered as a high point in his distinguished tenure. “We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors,” he said.

 

That’s life. And it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11.

 

That should have been the end of it, but it isn’t. The midterm elections loom. Locally, partisanship—Republican partisanship, to be specific—trumps propinquity. The two leading Republican candidates for governor of New York have made the “Ground Zero mosque” an issue, urged on by Rudy Giuliani, the ex-mayor, and by George Pataki, the ex-governor. Nationally, opposition to Park51 is rapidly becoming a matter of Republican discipline and conservative orthodoxy. By the end of last week, John McCain had joined his former running mate’s chorus. (“Obviously my opinion is that I’m opposed to it.”)

In a famous letter—the one that holds that the United States “gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens”—George Washington offered a benediction:

 

May the children of the stock of Abraham, who dwell in this land, continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants, while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.

 

Lower Manhattan is a little short on vines and fig trees nowadays, though there are some excellent wine bars. Washington’s point remains. His letter was addressed to the Jews of Newport, Rhode Island. But, as he knew, Muslims are Abraham’s children, too. By the McCain standard, George Washington was a three-time loser: as President, he lived in New York City; the nation’s capital bears his name; and, even by the standards of his time, he was an élitist. Nevertheless: he was right.

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I'm sorry - what it is it you are trying to tell us? That the Mosque is a touchstone for a lot of feelings and viewpoints? That most agree that it has the right to be where it is being built, that an almost equal number of people feel that it is wrong to build it there?That some see Rauf as a moderate, others see him as a radical? That the Mosque has been endorsed by Hamas, opposed by the ADL? I'm confused....as are most people on this issue - the right to build it does not make building it 2 blocks from the WTC a good idea.

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the right to build it does not make building it 2 blocks from the WTC a good idea.

 

That's understandable, but does that mean it shouldn't be built because some think it isn't a good idea? Also, if 2 blocks is too close (despite the fact that the two buildings aren't within sight of each other), how far away does it need to be?

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I'm sorry - what it is it you are trying to tell us? That the Mosque is a touchstone for a lot of feelings and viewpoints? That most agree that it has the right to be where it is being built, that an almost equal number of people feel that it is wrong to build it there?That some see Rauf as a moderate, others see him as a radical? That the Mosque has been endorsed by Hamas, opposed by the ADL? I'm confused....as are most people on this issue - the right to build it does not make building it 2 blocks from the WTC a good idea.

 

sorry what? i'm having problems understanding the words between the bullshit.

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Betty: Yeah, that's what I thought about your article......Still not sure about what you're trying to say.

 

Skool: I don't believe i said that Rauf is an extremist. I just said that almost an equal number of people think he is and isn't.

 

Mr: I don't know. I wish I did. On one hand, if the Center does what it's billed to do, then building it there would represent a rebuke to the extremists who say the US doesn't respect religious diversity, and that we hate Islam. On the other hand, the first time you have an incendiary Friday sermon preached there, or you, God forbid, get a terrorist who used that as his/her Mosque, it sets off another set of problems. While these are generic examples and could happen to any Mosque, such as the Mosques here in Virginia - which were not extremist Mosques - it would take on a monstorous dimension in the media "Terrorist, responsible for deaths of X, worshipped at Ground Zero Mosque" would be the headline.

 

I don't know. I know I support their right to build it there, I'm just not sure its a good idea. I guess I won't have an answer until its built and I can see how it goes. Rauf strikes me as a person who is good intentioned and who really wants to make a difference in Muslim/US relations, but who has said some odd things in the past. But hey, who hasn't..so we'll see...but I don't know.....I wish I did.

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