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Count me out: CFI statement on NYC Islamic Center
Posted: 27 August 2010 06:51 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 16 ]
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Lindsey seems like he is being simplistic when you contrast “it would be inappropriate to build any new house of worship in the area immediately around Ground Zero, not just mosques ” with “CFI fully supports the free exercise of religion;”

How do the two relate?  One supposes that in making this statement that he is referring to the Islamic center being within an immediate area around ground zero.  After all, how else would the phrase “not just mosques” fit into his other messages.  So what is in this area immediately around Ground Zero?

http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode;=&q=twin+towers,+NY&sll=36.949892,-81.914062&sspn=48.721344,92.900391&ie=UTF8&hq=twin+towers,&hnear=New+York&ll=40.709979,-74.011191&spn=0.005725,0.01134&t=h&z=17

A lot, and that is just the stuff marked on google.  Everyone can see that pretty much every single thing you can think of that you would find in a normal city is within 5 blocks of ground zero.  Should we challenge ourselves for someone to name a type of business and activity that isn’t within 5 blocks of ground zero and see if we can’t find it.  I mean take a look there are stores, banks, churches, cemetery, schools, department stores, train stations, chapels bars, restaurants, etc all with in 5 blocks of this spot.  It is a city.  And what does “close” mean in a city, when you have so much activity packed in to so little space, how equitable are you being really when you draw these lines?


In a country that values free activity, how can you say you are supporting the free exercise of religion, but drawing a line here with a straight face with all that other stuff going on.  Frankly, at the moment, I have more respect for the people that say: “I don’t like islam it is a dangerous religion”;  because at least it is more difficult to find blatant contradictions in their writings.

Anyway, take a look at the map.  Take a look at the claim that you support freedom of religion, and take all of about 10 seconds to conclude “no you don’t”.  You’re just saying it.

[ Edited: 27 August 2010 07:00 PM by qutsemnie ]
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Posted: 27 August 2010 07:15 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 17 ]
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qutsemnie - 27 August 2010 06:51 PM

 

A lot, and that is just the stuff marked on google.  Everyone can see that pretty much every single thing you can think of that you would find in a normal city is within 5 blocks of ground zero.  Should we challenge ourselves for someone to name a type of business and activity that isn’t within 5 blocks of ground zero and see if we can’t find it.  I mean take a look there are stores, banks, churches, cemetery, schools, department stores, train stations, chapels bars, restaurants, etc all with in 5 blocks of this spot.  It is a city.  And what does “close” mean in a city, when you have so much activity packed in to so little space, how equitable are you being really when you draw these lines?

I believe there is also at least one ‘adult’ business, like a strip joint or adult bookstore in the same area.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 05:36 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 18 ]
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For those who wish to contact me directly, my email address is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). However, as indicated by my comments here, I am aware of the posts on the Forum and their criticism of the CFI statement on the Ground Zero controversy.

CFI has collective leadership on policy matters. The CFI statement was reviewed and approved by our 6-member Management Committee. Any retraction or clarification would have to be approved by the Management Committee. I will be in contact with my fellow members on the Management Committee this weekend.

The foregoing is not an attempt to disclaim responsibility. To the contrary, I accept full responsibility for the statement, which was based to a large extent on my draft.

For now, permit me to observe that nowhere does the statement call for any legal ban on construction of any sort of building, religious or otherwise, at Ground Zero or its area. As the statement expressly states, CFI fully supports the free exercise of religion. Defense of the rights of believers and nonbelievers is part of our mission, as reflected in our mission statement. Assuming compliance with zoning laws and other neutral regulations, people of all faiths are, and should remain, free to put up any religious building they want anywhere.

Whether such a building would be a good thing for humanity, all things considered, is another issue.  My understanding of CFI’s perspective on the broad question of whether faith-based institutions are good for humanity reflects the principles that can be found in the Affirmations of Humanism (written by Paul Kurtz). Those principles assert that “We are committed to the application of reason and science to the understanding of the universe and to the solving of human problems” and “We deplore efforts … to explain the world in supernatural terms.”

Having drafted the CFI statement on Ground Zero, I can say that part of its message was that faith-based reasoning is not a good thing and, further, without in any way implying that Ground Zero is “sacred,” there is a special poignancy to a new faith-based institution being placed at Ground Zero when the 9/11 attacks were an instance of faith-based terrorism.

I thank everyone for their comments and, as indicated, they are being given careful consideration.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 10:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 19 ]
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Seems to me that, as a matter of law, there cannot be any other considerations but the law. Everything else is knee jerk reaction to a perceived injustice and cannot be allowed to replace or inhibit lawful conduct.

[ Edited: 28 August 2010 12:40 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 August 2010 11:21 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 20 ]
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Write4U - 28 August 2010 10:16 AM

Seems to me that, as a matter of law, there cannot be any other considerations but the law. Everything else is knee jerk reaction to a perceived injustice and cannot be allowed replace or inhibit lawful conduct.

Apparently there are a lot of pissed off New Yorkers who were affected by 9/11 who aren’t going to be tolerant. In seeking retribution I don’t think what the law says will concern them greatly.

Unfortunately I suspect there is going to be a lot of trouble because of this community center. Not because of religious reason but because people who lost people they love identify Muslims as the cause of their loss.

Of course I have no vested interest in New York or Islam, however if it were up to me, I think it’d be a great chance for Muslims to mend the fences a bit with the people of New York by agreeing to move the community center instead of demanding their rights under the law.

Otherwise I suspect the problem there is only going to escalate and people are going to get hurt.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 11:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 21 ]
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Gnostikosis - 28 August 2010 11:21 AM

Apparently there are a lot of pissed off New Yorkers who were affected by 9/11 who aren’t going to be tolerant. In seeking retribution I don’t think what the law says will concern them greatly.

Unfortunately I suspect there is going to be a lot of trouble because of this community center. Not because of religious reason but because people who lost people they love identify Muslims as the cause of their loss.

Of course I have no vested interest in New York or Islam, however if it were up to me, I think it’d be a great chance for Muslims to mend the fences a bit with the people of New York by agreeing to move the community center instead of demanding their rights under the law.

Otherwise I suspect the problem there is only going to escalate and people are going to get hurt.

Speaking as a New Yorker, I’m inclined to agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s recent statement, which is that this is basically a fake issue, stoked up to coincide with the 2010 congressional election cycle.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 22 ]
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This got started on the national scene not the local scene.  Now that it is an issue though, do you know the place you can find more support for building the mosque than in the nation, the place where you can find more support for the mosque than even in the entire city of new york?  That place is Manhattan[1]. 


[1] http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x1302.xml?ReleaseID=1473

24a. Do you support or oppose this proposal?
Manhattan residents: 46% support / 36% oppose

25. Some people say that building a Muslim mosque and cultural center near Ground Zero will foster understanding and teach people that not all Muslims are terrorists; others say that it is an insult to the memory and families of the 9/11 victims - which comes closer to your point of view?
Manhattan residents: 54% indicate “Foster Understanding” / 27% indicate “Insult to Families”.

Now you might say that the people that work in Manhattan don’t live there.  But there is something else in this poll. How might this have gotten to be such a big issue? I think question 25 has a morsel that fits with an appropriate narration for me.  For question 25)
Republicans: 13% indicate “Foster Understanding” / 77% indicate “Insult to Families”

No other group is this polarized in this question.  You’ll see bouncing around 40s here 30s there.  The other groups display the sort of noise you would expect for a complex issue, but not so for the republicans.  The republicans have a fairly united view that the mosque is an insult to families.  How do you suppose that happened?  They just all got together and got in sync on their own?  Just a characteristic of the character of republicans?  Or maybe, it is a direct manifestation of the power of the republican media machine over its voluntary constituency, and it is those members of that machine that have made this an issue by branding it an insult to families of 9/11.

The answer to question 25 would seem to have less to do with where you live, but what are the prevailing political ideologies.  Consider the political breakdown:
Liberal: 63% “Foster Understanding”/ 23% “Insult to Families”
Moderate: 41% “Foster Understanding”/ 42% “Insult to Families”
Conservative: 17% “Foster Understanding” / 68% “Insult to Families.

What is fascinating though is that republicans are more extreme to one side than the conservative ideology, while democrats are less extreme to one side then the liberal breakdown; suggesting the self identifying democrat tabulation is formulated with more of self identifying moderates than the republicans.  I would like to see the cross tabulations.  In the end, that would indicate a republican party slipping even more to the right on the backs of these issues marching in any even closer lockstep with its media drummers.  The self identifying republican response has passed the self identifying conservative response its homogeneity of their response to this question.

[ Edited: 28 August 2010 12:47 PM by qutsemnie ]
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Posted: 28 August 2010 12:47 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 23 ]
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qutsemnie.  “Republicans: 13% indicate “Foster Understanding” / 77% indicate “Insult to Families”

Do we know what percentage of Republicans are Christian?  Perhaps there is a correlation here, where a majority of Christians see this as a “religious war” with Islam.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 12:58 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 24 ]
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Edit: Short version, Republicans appear to be more like a logical intersection of Christians and Conservatives on this issue, so that their average response is pushed away from split 50/50. While Democrats appear to be more like a logical union of several different groups, so their average response is pushed towards split 50/50.

Original long version:

Now that you mention religion, it would seem to be more than a correlation, it is likely an interaction of religion and conservatism that makes the republican response so homogeneous.  Though, we wouldn’t be able to tell for certain without the cross tabulations. White self identifying religious (at the bottom) are less extreme in homogeneity than either conservatism or republicans.  Being a white christian tends to be positively associated with “Insult to Families”; however, not with the homogeneity that republicans display.  And conservatives tend to be positively associated with “Insult to Families”; however not with the homogeneity that republicans display (just barely).  Those two groups forming the base of the republicans though we should postulate the reason the republicans exceed them both in the extremity of their response is an interaction in that they tend to select out people that are not friendly to both Christian influence on government and conservatism at once.  Not just being friendly to white Christian culture, not just being friendly to conservative culture, but being friendly to both at once should be postulated as republican characteristic it would seem.  It is in this way that they are filtering through this interaction to get their stronger association than their component constituents.

[ Edited: 28 August 2010 01:03 PM by qutsemnie ]
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Posted: 28 August 2010 01:02 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 25 ]
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Gnostikosis - 28 August 2010 11:21 AM

Apparently there are a lot of pissed off New Yorkers who were affected by 9/11 who aren’t going to be tolerant. In seeking retribution I don’t think what the law says will concern them greatly.

Nevertheless, law is the only thing that counts and is enforcable.

Unfortunately I suspect there is going to be a lot of trouble because of this community center. Not because of religious reason but because people who lost people they love identify Muslims as the cause of their loss.

I can certainly identify with that, having lost family members during WWII. But that does not give me the right to demand that no German can live next to me.

Of course I have no vested interest in New York or Islam, however if it were up to me, I think it’d be a great chance for Muslims to mend the fences a bit with the people of New York by agreeing to move the community center instead of demanding their rights under the law.

True, such a gesture would be magnanimous. If it would have the desired result is questionable. Such a decision might be considered a “victory” in the eyes of many, encouraging them to widen the scope of “restrictions”.
But on a practical note, if you had invested several million dollars in a property, would your neighbor’s complaints compell you to “make nice” (Walmart doesn’t pay much attention to complaints from the neighborhood residents).

[ Edited: 28 August 2010 01:07 PM by Write4U ]
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Posted: 28 August 2010 02:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 26 ]
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dougsmith - 28 August 2010 11:43 AM
Gnostikosis - 28 August 2010 11:21 AM

Apparently there are a lot of pissed off New Yorkers who were affected by 9/11 who aren’t going to be tolerant. In seeking retribution I don’t think what the law says will concern them greatly.

Unfortunately I suspect there is going to be a lot of trouble because of this community center. Not because of religious reason but because people who lost people they love identify Muslims as the cause of their loss.

Of course I have no vested interest in New York or Islam, however if it were up to me, I think it’d be a great chance for Muslims to mend the fences a bit with the people of New York by agreeing to move the community center instead of demanding their rights under the law.

Otherwise I suspect the problem there is only going to escalate and people are going to get hurt.

Speaking as a New Yorker, I’m inclined to agree with Mayor Bloomberg’s recent statement, which is that this is basically a fake issue, stoked up to coincide with the 2010 congressional election cycle.

Perhaps, as I have to rely on the media, however Bloomberg’s ratings apparently fell in New York after giving a speech and 53% of New Yorkers disagreed with him.

http://gothamist.com/2010/08/11/bloombergs_approval_rating_falls_be.php

Still there’s only been one pissed off drunk trying to stab a Muslim Cabby so far. So maybe they’ll keep it civil. However it only takes a few idiots.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 02:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 27 ]
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Gnostikosis - 28 August 2010 02:12 PM

Perhaps, as I have to rely on the media, however Bloomberg’s ratings apparently fell in New York after giving a speech and 53% of New Yorkers disagreed with him.

I am aware of that. (And it’s questionable to point at this as responsible for Bloomberg’s failing ratings). Nevertheless it does not contradict my basic point, which is that nobody would have cared about this if it hadn’t been ginned up for political consumption.

Gnostikosis - 28 August 2010 02:12 PM

Still there’s only been one pissed off drunk trying to stab a Muslim Cabby so far. So maybe they’ll keep it civil. However it only takes a few idiots.

Sure. That’s one reason it’s foolish to politicize this sort of thing. But those doing the politicizing have everything to gain in case some idiot decides to escalate.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 02:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 28 ]
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Write4U - 28 August 2010 01:02 PM

Nevertheless, law is the only thing that counts and is enforcable.

Sure, that’s why people are upset I imagine.

I can certainly identify with that, having lost family members during WWII. But that does not give me the right to demand that no German can live next to me.

Germany has done quite a lot in the way of reparations and accepting responsibility for the Holocaust.

True, such a gesture would be magnanimous. If it would have the desired result is questionable. Such a decision might be considered a “victory” in the eyes of many, encouraging them to widen the scope of “restrictions”.
But on a practical note, if you had invested several million dollars in a property, would your neighbor’s complaints compell you to “make nice” (Walmart doesn’t pay much attention to complaints from the neighborhood residents).

I think it better not to worry about who’s wins and who loses as long as we can get along better. Of course I haven’t suggested anyone be compelled to do anything. Kind of would defeat the purpose. I’m just saying what I would do.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 02:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 29 ]
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dougsmith - 28 August 2010 02:19 PM

I am aware of that. (And it’s questionable to point at this as responsible for Bloomberg’s failing ratings). Nevertheless it does not contradict my basic point, which is that nobody would have cared about this if it hadn’t been ginned up for political consumption.

True, if it never got media attention. Sorry IDK who escalated it into the spotlight.

Sure. That’s one reason it’s foolish to politicize this sort of thing. But those doing the politicizing have everything to gain in case some idiot decides to escalate.

Also true. We have to support freedom of speech, freedom of the press regardless of how both are used to for political manipulation?

Individually I suppose we can only decide for ourselves the best course of action and be willing to live with the results.

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Posted: 28 August 2010 02:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 30 ]
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Count me in! I’ll take any misguided(or guided) demonstration against all forms of religion! It’s a means to an end. Do you want rationality? Or do you just want to walk around and be content in your humanistic views of irrational humanity.
These places of worship(any religion) are erected so people can go inside and commune with an imaginary being of providence and source.
To say nothing of the eons of untold damage they have done on social-political-cultural mechanisms.
It is just as rational-if not more-to protest new places of religion wherever they may pop-up.

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