To me, there are two questions about the mosque at ground zero:
- Is it at ground zero
- Who are the people behind it and what are their motives
The site planned for the mosque is where the existing Burlington Coat Factory building is. Take a look at these two photos to see its location:
Part of Ground Zero
Now realize that the reason the building is condemned is because 2 floors were destroyed when the landing gear from one of the planes ripped through it (some people have said that it was the engine of a plane, but I can't find verification of that). In a very real sense, this building is part of the attacks of the day of 9/11.
Who are the people involved with the mosque?Perhaps the most annoying trope after the various attacks we've been subjected to by radical Muslims is the concern that there might be a backlash, that Islam is a religion of peace. Sadly, for many it is not a religion of peace.
The Pew Research Center found out that in the United States, 26% of Muslims 18-29 believe that "suicide bombing of civilian targets in defense of Islam" is acceptable at least some of the time (page 53-54 of the full study). So for 26% of young Muslims in the US, Islam is most certainly not a religion of peace.
The imam for the mosque is Feisal Abdul Rauf. I don't know much about Rauf, but I do know that when he was directly asked to condemn Hamas, he refused, and he wouldn't talk about the Muslim Brotherhood. To me, that tells me that he's sympathetic to Hamas and other terrorists. A few weeks after 9/11 he was interviewed by 60 minutes:
ED BRADLEY, CBS: (Voiceover) And throughout the Muslim world, there is also strong opposition to America's foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East because of its support of Israel and economic sanctions against Iraq.
Imam ABDUL RAUF: It is a reaction against the policies of the US government, politically, where we espouse principles of democracy and human rights and where we ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries.
BRADLEY: Are--are--are you in any way suggesting that we in the United States deserved what happened?
Imam ABDUL RAUF: I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.
BRADLEY: OK. You say that we're an accessory?
Imam ABDUL RAUF: Yes.
Imam ABDUL RAUF: Because we have been an accessory to a lot of--of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it--in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.See the clip over at Newsbusters. I love the passive-voice in this clip -- "the crime that happened". No Mr. Rauf, the crime was committed, by Muslims in the name of Islam. There are more problems with him -- Rauf is not on our side in this struggle, and his involvement should be a warning flag. Oh and the developer who bought the property for $4.8 million? He was a waiter in 2002. Where did all that money come from? Apparently the people involved don't have a problem taking money from Iran or the Saudis.
Add to all of this the points that Andrew already made, specifically that the name refers back to Islamic conquest of Spain, and the opening date was supposed to be the ten-year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Clearly, "sensitivity" is not their goal.
The people behind the mosque are not our friends. They are part of the Muslim community who are our enemies. They shouldn't be allowed to desecrate Ground Zero with their victory mosque.