Argument: Cordoba House is no act of tolerance, but of excess/arrogance

Issue Report: Ground zero mosque


Zuhdi Jasser, a physician, US Navy veteran, and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy: “For us, a mosque was always a place to pray, to be together on holidays — not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement. Ground zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans.” To use that space for Muslim outreach, he argues, is “the worst form of misjudgment.”

Equally opposed is Stephen Suleyman Schwartz, a devout Muslim and director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington. Schwartz noted that the spiritual leader of the Cordoba Initiative, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, describes himself as a Sufi — a Muslim focused on Islamic mysticism and spiritual wisdom. But ‘building a 15-story Islamic center at ground zero isn’t something a Sufi would do,’ according to Schwartz, also a practitioner of Sufism. ‘Sufism is supposed to be based on sensitivity toward others,’ yet Cordoba House comes across as “grossly insensitive.”[1]

The Directors, Redstate: “A “Ground Zero mosque” — even if only near Ground Zero, even if a “community center” rather than a mosque — is the opposite of reasoned restraint. It tramples upon the principle of a public square marked by democratic consideration. It displays a grotesque lack of generosity, while demanding extraordinary generosity toward itself. It insists upon rights — which no one disputes — and ignores responsibilities. It is, in short, a bitter vindication of the critics of American democracy at our nation’s Founding.”[2]