Encourage moderate Islam

I am writing because I am dismayed by the stance of the Lewiston Sun Journal on the Cordoba House issue.

You are in a city with a growing Muslim, Somali population that has been targeted by hate groups. But when it comes to the issue of religious freedom and tolerance, you continue to print, day after day, the hateful ranting of right-wing Islamophobes who are unable to distinguish between Islam, one of the great monotheistic religions of the world with more than a billion followers, and terrorism, a tactic of asymmetric warfare that has been adopted by a particular militant strain of Islam that is opposed by most moderate Muslims.

On Aug. 19, you chose to print another bigoted column by Cal Thomas, in which he quotes Feisal Abdul Rauf out of context, completely distorting his message. It was filled with innuendo and guilt by association. 

Your editorial of Aug. 20 failed to acknowledge the important efforts at bridge-building that Cordoba House would support. 

The United States would be wise to encourage moderate Islam and heed the wisdom of Mike Bloomberg and Chris Christie, avoid demonizing followers of an entire religion, and encourage the construction of Cordoba House as an example of the American value of support for religious freedom. 

Both your editorial and your parade of intolerant columnists are disappointing.  Freedom of religion is one of the principles on which our country was founded, and your failure to support the construction of this building is deeply discouraging.

Diana Cundy, Paris

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RONALD RIML's picture

Frostproof BS'ing about Greek Orthodox Church

Frostproof writes: "One of those houses - a Greek Orthodox church - was destroyed on 9/11. NYC has blocked its reconstruction for nine years, but it is bending over backwards to accommodate Islam. I agree there's bigotry evident here."

Sorry, Frostproof

The Greek Orthodox Church has always had the right to build on their own land. NYC merely withdrew an offer to give them land and up to $20 Million to move their church a hundred yards away from the original site. It seems they waffled, and the offer was withdrawn.

There's nothing to stop them from using their own money as the Muslims are doing. It appears they already own the land. But then someone got greedy.

Fox News Rekease

Greek Orthodox leaders trying to rebuild the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks expressed shock this week after learning, via Fox News, that government officials had killed a deal to relocate the church.

The St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, once a tiny, four-story building in the shadows of lower Manhattan, was destroyed in 2001 by one of the falling World Trade Center towers. Nobody from the church was hurt in the attack, but the congregation has, for the past eight years, been trying to rebuild its house of worship.

Though talks between the church and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey stalled last year, church leaders say they've been trying to kick-start discussions ever since. But amid debate over whether a proposed Islamic community center should go forward near Ground Zero, government officials threw cold water on the prospect of any deal with the church -- telling Fox News the deal is off the table.

Confronted with the Port Authority's verdict, Father Mark Arey, of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America, said it's the first he's heard that.

"Negotiations did break off last year. We were expecting to hear from their lawyers -- we never did. We're still expecting to hear from them," he told Fox News. "We're disappointed. ... 130 Liberty Street was promised to us."

Arey was referring to the address, about 100 yards away from the original site, where the government earlier proposed relocating the church. The Port Authority and the church announced a deal in July 2008 under which the Port Authority would grant land and up to $20 million to help rebuild the church -- in addition, the authority was willing to pay up to $40 million to construct a bomb-proof platform underneath.

Within a year, the deal fell through and talks ended -- apparently for good, according to the Port Authority.

The archdiocese and Port Authority now offer sharply conflicting accounts of where things went wrong. The Port Authority has claimed the church was making additional demands -- like wanting the $20 million up front and wanting to review plans for the surrounding area. They say the church can still proceed on its own if it wishes.

"St. Nicholas Orthodox Church has always had and will continue to have the right to rebuild on its original location. The question was whether public money would be spent to build a much larger church at a separate location on the site and ensuring that construction wouldn't delay the World Trade Center further," spokesman Stephen Sigmund said in a written statement. "On that question, we worked for many years to reach an agreement and offered up to 60 million dollars of public money to build that much larger new church. After reaching what we believed was an agreement in 2008, representatives of the church wanted even more public commitments, including unacceptable approvals on the design of the Vehicle Security Center that threatened to further delay the construction on the World Trade Center and the potential for another $20 million of public funds."

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Why should we believe

"Why should we believe that?", said the parrot. "It's from FAUX News."

RONALD RIML's picture

My - What else will the golf balls hit???

Mosque gets all the press, but area near Ground Zero full of bars, porn, liquor stores, salons

Opponents of a proposed lower Manhattan mosque and community center speak in hushed tones about the sanctity of the "shadow of Ground Zero."

Tell that to the patrons of the Pussycat Lounge, a strip club where a photo of a nearly naked woman marks its location just two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood.

Or the Thunder Lingerie and peep show next door, where the marquee sports an American flag above a window display of sex toys and something called a "power pump."

Many come to the scene of the worst terrorist attack on American soil to pay tribute to pain and unspeakable tragedy. They're welcomed by solemn memorials and a visitors center amid the noise of reconstruction.

If they're so inclined, they can also buy porn, play the ponies and take care of all manner of personal business within steps of the former World Trade Center.

In a walk of the streets within three blocks of Ground Zero, the Daily News counted 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10 shoe stores and 17 separate salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed.

"There is something for everyone downtown, from mom-and-pop establishments to luxury retailers such as Tiffany's and Hermes," said Jeff Simmons of the Alliance for Downtown New York.

There are at least 10 churches in lower Manhattan south of Canal St., three synagogues, one Buddhist community center and a Hare Krishna facility. There's also a Muslim prayerhouse that, on its website, denies any connection to "any other organization trying to build anything new in the area of downtown Manhattan."

It may be sacred ground, but the streets surrounding Ground Zero are also a place where New Yorkers work, eat and buy shampoo.

"Ground Zero is pizza, cafes and apartments," said Nick Champa, 21, a lower Manhattan student who says he opposes the proposed mosque, but would like to see better bars and restaurants in his neighborhood.

It's one thing to see liquor stores in a neighborhood trying to return to normalcy - there are at least three - but critics say it's entirely another to talk about a mega-mosque.

"A 13-story, $100 million structure stands out as something that can be opposed," said Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.).

He says the mosque planners should sit down with the families of 9/11 victims to find a more appropriate location and suggested that conversation could kick-start a larger discussion about what belongs in the area and what doesn't.

King says zoning laws could be used to clean up lower Manhattan the way they were once used to attack smut in Times Square.

"There are limits to what you can be opposing just as a practical matter," King said, but he added, "Tomorrow, if some guy were to build some eight-story strip club a block away, we would do what we'd have to do."

Critics have been reluctant to draw a line in the sand around the sacred area, but some say that's not the point.

"I don't have an interest in policing every square inch of lower Manhattan to purify it," said Debra Burlingame, spokeswoman for some Sept. 11 victims' families and the sister of one of the pilots killed in the attacks. "We're trying to prevent an imam from appropriating 9/11 to push [Islamic law] in America, an ideology at the heart of why our loved ones were ripped to pieces."

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Why would they want to build

Why would they want to build their mosque so close to that combat zone?

 's picture

This area of Manhattan is 99%

This area of Manhattan is 99% commercial. The "community" it would serve consists of stockbrokers and insurance executives on their lunch breaks. That said, there are several houses of worship in the greater Wall St. region - Trinity Church comes to mind. There are plenty of alternative sites available for the proposed whatever-it-is that would not provoke any controversy. Pick one.

One of those houses - a Greek Orthodox church - was destroyed on 9/11. NYC has blocked its reconstruction for nine years, but it is bending over backwards to accommodate Islam. I agree there's bigotry evident here.

Some of you gentle posters insist that the site is "several large city blocks away". This is from MapQuest. Note the scale at the bottom left. A decent pro golfer could drive a ball from Ground Zero to 51 Park Place.

RONALD RIML's picture

No Mosque - but a Driving Range is O.K.......

FrostFree writes "A decent pro golfer could drive a ball from Ground Zero to 51 Park Place."

So you'de put a Driving Range right at Ground Zero.......

How many Strip Clubs and Sex Shops could you also hit???

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Lol...pretty good stuff.

Lol...pretty good stuff.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Outstanding post,

Outstanding post, Frost...Unfortunately, it won't change a thing; the blind and the dumb will remain blind and dumb.

 's picture

Nice post, hard to argue with

Nice post, hard to argue with his facts isn't it?! Too bad so many others can't apply any facts to their statements.

 's picture

NYC Peace Mosque

Any opportunity will get the hate mongers out. And unfortunately Diana has provided that opportunity by telling the truth.
First, this is a zoning issue in NYC. Has nothing to do with Lewiston/Auburn or Maine or California or anywhere else.
Second, every proposed Mosque or Cultural Center currently planned in the US is being opposed by the extreme right. Tenn., kentucky, Michigan, California its all the same. 2 blocks from ground zero, 500 miles from hallowed ground, 3000 miles from ground zero how can we possibly tolerate a Mosque this close to the 3000 who died on 9/11. Never mind that the people who will use these mosques condemn the 9/11 attack with the same ferver that every other american condemns it. Never mind that innocent muslims are among the dead.
Third, the fanatical right is smearing the Mosque's Imam as they are smearing Obama and anyone else who opposes their attempt to rip up the Constitution. The Imam has been helping the US government for more than 14 years. Training FBI agents to recognize radical muslims, teaching real Islamic principles, going overseas to show other muslims tha America is not Islam's enemy.
Fourth, the christian right wants a war of extermination so that they can finally be rid of Muslims throughout the world. Many right-wing christians in the US are funding radical Jewish groups in Isreal that want to destroy the dome of th rock and replace it with a new Jewish Temple in hopes that this will instigate a Christian-Islamic holy war. We should be no part of their plan.
Fifth, this is also part of a right-wing political strategy which says all muslims are terrorist, Obama is a muslim therefore Obama is a terrorist.
Sixth, fanatical republicans have submitted 42 constitutional amendments which will radically alter the constitution in the current congress. They say they are defending the Constitution when they are in fact the Constitution's bitterest enemies.

RONALD RIML's picture

Old Bill - Who told you that Crap???

Believing that Saudi Arabia has control over all Mosques in the U.S. is similar to believing the Rome has control over all Churches in the U.S. - it just ain't so, and it would piss the Southern Baptists and Presbyterians off to no end if they thought Rome was running Christianity.

The Saudi's for the most part belonging to a conservative Sunni Islamic sect known as Wahhabism. They have less than 28 Million population

The largest Muslim country in the world is Indonesia; it has eight times the population of Saudi Arabia at 230 Million population, and is 86% muslim.

We were attacked by fifteen Saudi's on 9/11 - but they don't run Islam - not by a long shot.

You have to beware right-wing religious whack-jobs; be they Islamic or Christian. It's the extremists who screw it up for everyone.

RONALD RIML's picture

If it IS true - then you should be able to cite the reference

If it IS true - then you should be able to cite the reference;

So have at it, Old Bill.....

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

If you're walking down the

If you're walking down the street and get mugged at gunpoint and it isn't referenced in the media or in some dot org domain, does that mean it didn't happen?

 's picture


obsessed with conspiracy theories much?

 's picture

NYC peace mosque

I was with you on points 1, 2 and 3 but then you went crazy on points 4, 5, and 6.

 's picture

As usual, lots of accusations and not one shred of evidence.

Just take the 6th item. Albrecht, please read (for the first time) the US Constitution, the document you pretend to revere. Republicans cannot impose amendments, no matter how much you want to believe they can. An amendment requires first consent of 2/3 of both houses of Congress, then 3/5 of the states. No one could get even one of your unspecified 42 amendments through by the end of the current Congress, 1/1/11.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Arguing/reasoning with a

Arguing/reasoning with a liberal is like trying to pick up a turd by the clean end.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great post, seek....long

Great post, seek....long overdue.

 's picture

Sorry, Tronnie.

I never did well with fractions in the 7th grade. You must have done well. When does your 8th grade year begin?

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

The parrot sez 5 out of 4

The parrot sez 5 out of 4 people don't know squat about fractions.

 's picture


From AP yesterday: "Republicans have proposed at least 42 Constitutional amendments in the current Congress, including one that has gained favor recently to eliminate the automatic grant of citizenship to anyone born in the United States." http://tinyurl.com/29ue8x7

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Those 42 amendments should

Those 42 amendments should just about get it back to where it was before the liberals started screwing with it.

 's picture

I clicked the button to agree with you.

Now, so what? Proposing an amendment is easy, it's done all the time by congresscritters on both sides. The hard, and time consuming, part is getting it ratified.

The real threats to the Constitution are simply ignoring the existing parts that are inconvenient and making up new parts to support your objectives. That's how we got ObamaCare, stimulus, bail-outs, ... These threats too are made from both sides, but the current administration, aided and abetted by their Democrat sycophants in Congress, have raised it to an art form.

 's picture


Of course you'd be happy to share your reliable sources on anything Obama has done that has been found unconstitutional, right? Or would you like some cheese with that?

 's picture

more sources

Of course you'd be happy to share your reliable sources on anything GWB did that has been found unconstitutional? Or would you like some crow with that?

 's picture

Here you go

We could start here: "(CNN) -- A federal judge on Thursday ruled that the U.S. government's domestic eavesdropping program is unconstitutional and ordered it ended immediately." 8/17/06

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

This is "peace mosque" like

This is "peace mosque" like the Jap Zeroes were on a peace mission on December 7, 1941.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Diana; Cal Thomas was

Diana; Cal Thomas was expressing his 1st Amendment right of free speech. Because his viewpoint differs from yours you would have him silenced? Few in this forum agree with your point of view, but your freedom to express your warped ideas was not impeded was it?l
Rauf said, " America has more muslim blood on its hands than Islam has non-muslim blood on its hands". You write that Thomas quoted him "out of context". Why does that statement even require a context? It's pretty clear to me; he hates America and everything it stands for. Are these the kind of people you wish to side with?

RONALD RIML's picture

Let Cal Thomas keep making an ass out of himself....

But why encourage him??

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Been a fan of his for

Been a fan of his for decades. I like him, just as I like you, even though we don't always agree. That's what America's about isn't it?

RONALD RIML's picture

Scott - Provide link to back up Sept 11 opening date claim.

Scott - Provide link to back up Sept 11 opening date claim.

Your claim - your burden of proof.

Go get it, Big Boy.... We're waiting.....

Me'thinks you're full 'o crap.

RONALD RIML's picture

That was from "Andrea Peyser" - a Columnist, in her column

That was from "Andrea Peyser" - a Columnist, in her May 13 column "Mosque Madness at Ground Zero" - which hardly qualifies as a 'news story'.

Do you have an actual press release?? - Two different things.

Performing a search on the New York Post web site for "opening date mosque" - that is the only article which appears.

Me'thinks she's stepped out on a limb..........

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

What are you saying, nothing

What are you saying, nothing can be "truth" unless it comes from or through a press release"

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Truth sure is hard to accept,

Truth sure is hard to accept, isn't it T.

RONALD RIML's picture

Your point was proven???

Sure, Rob.... Sure.... ROTFLMFAO!!!!

RONALD RIML's picture

Mainah49 made the same claim - but then recanted.

He discovered that he had been taken in - anbd then let his cooler self prevail

RONALD RIML's picture

Landing gear site??? OK, Gizmo Gearloose....

Landing gear site??? OK, Gizmo Gearloose....

How about the plume from the burning and collapsing Twin Towers, which spread out over many, many square miles, and no doubt contained the incinerated remains of the victims which was probably entered the air people breathed, and the water they drank......

Nice thought, eh.

Using your reasoning, we should have abandoned perhaps hundreds of square miles of the most expensive real estate in the United States. But it wasn't even considered.

Not until some Muslims bought some land to convert commercial real estate into a Community Center.

Then you climbed on your Bigot-mobile.....

Not too transparent, are ya......

 's picture

Wasn't Cordoba the first city

Wasn't Cordoba the first city taken by the Muslims in Spain? Wasn't the mosque there erected to show power and gain a foothold? Just saying.... "Encouraging the moderates" is like saying "Encourage the Christmas and Easter Christians"

 's picture

Uh, no...I believe it was

Uh, no...I believe it was Western Civ several years ago. Way to get your panties in a bunch, though. The truth of the matter is that all of the big monotheistic religions have been, or still are, invasive. Islam and Judaism are currently the biggest sabre rattling of the three. I would encourage people to take a look at our former colonizer, England. They have even allowed parts of London to be "ruled" by Islamic law for the sake of getting along.

 's picture

How is that, "Again no."? Oh

How is that, "Again no."?
Oh look, this isn't an argument. Just for you... the Monty Python Argument Department Sketch. Enjoy
A: Yes it is.
M: No it isn't. It's just contradiction.
A: No it isn't.
M: It is!
A: It is not.
M: Look, you just contradicted me.
A: I did not.
M: Oh you did!!
A: No, no, no.
M: You did just then.
A: Nonsense!
M: Oh, this is futile!
A: No it isn't.
M: I came here for a good argument.
A: No you didn't; no, you came here for an argument.
M: An argument isn't just contradiction.
A: It can be.
M: No it can't. An argument is a connected series of statements intended to establish a proposition.
A: No it isn't.
M: Yes it is! It's not just contradiction.
A: Look, if I argue with you, I must take up a contrary position.
M: Yes, but that's not just saying 'No it isn't.'
A: Yes it is!
M: No it isn't!

 's picture

Fox News

Did you know Faux News is a terrorist organization? Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, a Saudi, is the second largest stockholder in Faux News and one of the biggest supporters of the Cordoba House.

 's picture

Some of the other holdings

Some of the other holdings with the company are Citigroup, Savoy Hotel London, FourSeasons Hotels, Pepsico, Saks, Walt Disney Company, Apple, Ebay, Motorola, Priceline, Timewarner to name a few, so if you buy a pepsi at disneyworld do you support terrorists? If you buy and iphone on ebay do you support terrorists? Watch HBO that you paid with a citigroup credit card? Supporting terrorists I see. The better question is if you support the anti-drilling no growth enviro-marxists in this country that force us to buy saudi oil then are you are supporting terrorists?

 's picture

From the Huffingtonpost:

From the Huffingtonpost:
"Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a nephew of the Saudi king and who was listed last year by Forbes as the world's 22nd richest person, met with News Corp.'s chief executive Rupert Murdoch on Jan. 14 in a meeting that "touched upon future potential alliances with News Corp.," according to a statement released by his Kingdom Holding Co. late Saturday.
Media reports have indicated that News Corp, parent to Fox News and Dow Jones & Co., among others, may be thinking of buying a stake in Alwaleed's Rotana Media Group, which includes a number of satellite channels that air in the Middle East.
Neither company has commented publicly on the possible deal, but the talks offer an indication yet that such an agreement may yet be in the offing.
Kingdom Holding's statement said Alwaleed is already the second largest stakeholder in News Corp., with 5.7 percent of the shares of the media company. The stake is held through Kingdom Holding, in which Alwaleed holds a 95 percent stake."

5.7%? omg alert the thought police!!!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Awww, Geee; now that changes

Awww, Geee; now that changes everything.

 's picture

Cundy: Freedom of religion is

Cundy: Freedom of religion is one of the principles on which our country was founded ...

It's interesting that Ms Cundy mentions only one part of the 1st Amendment. Another is freedom of the press, what's left of it. Most of the MSM has has already surrendered that freedom for fear of being labeled bigot.

A third is freedom of expression. It's still legal to hold an opinion that's different from the party line. Enjoy it while you have it, because it probably won't survive the coming Autumn Surprise.

 's picture

When rauf says America is

When rauf says America is guilty of murdering 500,000 Iraqi children how is that taken out of context? As for being against building the mosque, most Americans are against building it there, almost everybody asked says build it two miles away but not there.
What is irrefutable is that living under Islam, the non-Muslim population is always mandated to submit to Islam, accept discriminatory laws, and make payment of a mandatory Quranic tax imposed upon every non-Muslim. For a period of about 800 years, most of Spain was ruled by Muslims and this area was known as ‘Al-Andalus.’ Islamic rule ended in 1492, when the city of Granada, the last Muslim kingdom in Western Europe, capitulated to the Spanish Catholics.
The Cordoba Initiative is an organization whose name is taken form what was, 1,000 years ago, one of the world’s most advanced cities, Cordoba. This was a city that was politically and religiously dominated by Islam, and a city that was conquered by jihad. Today, Al-Qaeda that has a dream of seeing an Islamic world that would extend from Spain. This is based upon Islam’s principle of dar-al-Islam, which means a world where Islamic rule prevails over the people. Dar-al-Islam is attained through jihad and the media is full of Al- Qaeda’s calls for jihad and their claims to Al-Andalus and its major cities such as Cordoba.
Sorry, but I am not quite ready for that here. A phobia is an irrational fear. My fear of islamic terrorists trying to destroy this country is based on their actions in the past and their repeated attempts to continue attacking this country.
By the way Diane have you been fitted for your burka yet? Are you going to give up your drivers license? Is there a male family member always available to escort you in public? Do you have any gay or lesbian friends to which you want to say good-bye? Oh and that glass of wine with dinner, forget about it.

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Great post, Gil...

Great post, Gil...


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