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Live Chat: Robert Scheer on Mosque Demagogues

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Posted on Aug 19, 2010

By Robert Scheer

10:37 Truthdig

Thu, 19 Aug 2010 18:37:13 GMT

Comment:

 Welcome to our live chat session, feel free to submit questions or talk between each other as we wait for Robert Scheer to arrive.



11:02 Comment From Guest


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:02:59 GMT

Comment:when will session begin?

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11:04 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:04:52 GMT

Comment:

 Shortly, we are waiting for Bob to arrive, he just informed me he is running a little late.



11:05 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:05:01 GMT

Comment:

 Thank you for your patience.



11:07 Comment From john Luebben


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:07:02 GMT

Comment:For slightly different take on THE subject:
Cat and Mosque
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Mark Fiore, a Bay Area cartoonist and winner of the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for editorial cartooning, appears every Thursday on SFGate.
Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/g/a/2010/08/18/fioremosqueplayer.DTL#ixzz0x4eag9Re

11:13 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:13:40 GMT

Comment:

 Sorry everyone, Truthdig is experiencing technical difficulties but we’re back!



11:14 Comment From Lisa


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:14:26 GMT

Comment:It’s just like the flag-burning issue.  People want to turn it into a question of whether or not you should be able to burn the flag, and one sides says yes because saying no would infringe on your free speech rights, and the other side says no because saying yes would be disrespecting America.  And the two sides have been going back and forth for years, never thinking to ask the question, “WHOSE FLAG IS IT?” So it’s an issue of private property, not free speech.
I never used to really get the full meaning of the premise, “Private property is the bulwark of freedom.”  Now I do!

11:14 Comment From Theo


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:14:28 GMT

Comment:We need to move with speed and in great number against changes in Social Security:  Is anyone working on this?  We are livid about Obama’s and the Dem support of this and the commission.

11:16 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:16:09 GMT

Comment:

 Hi Bob, welcome to this week’s session.



11:16 Comment From Lisa


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:16:17 GMT

Comment:They left out the first part of my question, which was:  Isn’t the issue of the mosque to be built at ground zero more about the right to build what you want on private property rather than one of religious freedom?

11:16 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:16:55 GMT

Comment:

 First question from Paco in Sydney, ME—The “irrational attack on Muslims everywhere” is clearly founded in the blame that Muslims received for the attack on 9/11.  As unfair as that may be, few express doubt about the culpability of the 19 hijackers and their support network.

But within a few weeks following the fall of the towers on 9/11, the first doubts were raised about the official story-line of the 19 hijackers and since then numerous alternative narratives along with bits and pieces of supporting evidence have appeared, primarily on the internet but also in books and magazines.  These alternative views are met with wide skepticism and often careful questioning.

However, the evidence supporting the official narrative seems never to have been seriously discussed - it is simply accepted by the media and the public at large.  What exactly is the evidence in favor of the official narrative and can it stand up to the kind of serious scrutiny given to unofficial narratives?



11:17 Robert Scheer


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:17:00 GMT

Comment:

 Hi everyone!



11:19 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:19:46 GMT

Comment:

 Bob is answering the question from Sydney, feel free to submit other questions and we’ll add them to our queu. 



11:19 Comment From Steve


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:19:49 GMT

Comment:Hey Rob

11:20 Comment From Guest


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:20:34 GMT

Comment:Good morning All.

11:21 Comment From rowast


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:21:28 GMT

Comment:Robert looks very stoic in that icon pic

11:21 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:21:41 GMT

Comment:

 [you’ll notice a lag in our system, it is only so we can moderate the questions and make sure they make sense in terms of when Bob is answering them]



11:21 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:21:54 GMT

Comment:

 Seems as though we lost Bob due to technical errors. He’ll be back in a few.



11:23 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:23:09 GMT

Comment:

 And he’s back—



11:25 Robert Scheer


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:25:03 GMT

Comment:

 Well, let me just point out that what everyone thinks about the causes of 9/11, whatever version one accepts, that does not provide the justification for holding all Muslims responsible. WE don’t hold all Protestant or Catholic Irish responsible for attacks on co-religionists. So this whole notion of collective guilt and that this huge population of the world’s muslims—enormous population—should somehow be responsible for 9/11 is nonsensical. Obviously our own government both Republican and Democratic, under Bush and under Obama recognize the folly of holding Muslims responsible as a religion—practitioners of a religion—responsible allegedly for the actions of these religionists. I say “allegedly” because we haven’t held the trial of people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and the others who were supposed to have masterminded it. But anyway, that is irrelevant to the question of collective guilt for all Muslims for the act of a small group to be interpreting their religion. And the mosque—the community center, rather—in question, proposed to be built in lower Manhattan, is to be run by Sufi Muslims who are the most open and peaceful branch of the religion and who have been in fact attacked violently by al-Qaida and the Taliban.



11:25 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:25:08 GMT

Comment:

 Next question—(from the Internet)...



11:25 Truthdig


Thu, 19 Aug 2010 19:25:15 GMT

Comment:

 Is it still constitutional for a mosque to built if it threatens national security?
Nobody argues the right of Muslims to build a mosque. However if that mosque is funded by terrorist organizations and this mosque at ground zero is a rallying point for radical Muslims shouldn’t that also make it a national security issue?



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New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Tez Anderson, August 23, 2010 at 9:15 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This community center is a ginned up controversy by Republican operatives to
distract us from the BP Oil Disaster, the “Bush tax cuts” and the bad economy,
among other things. The timing of this “controversy” is conveniently close the the
mid-term elections. Nothing about this is recent this has been in the works for
years. Why are the Democrats playing into this? It is like the half-term governor
Sarah Palin why does anyone care what she “thinks” or says about anything? We
give them power we take it away. Ignore this and her and Newt and they will go
away.

Please. We have too many important things to focus on instead of these
distractions.

Report this

By walterbard, August 23, 2010 at 6:21 am Link to this comment

Yes there is a First Amendment right to build the Mosque here, even if the project’s purpose is to provoke protest demonstrations which can be shown in Arab countries to further inflame religious
passions .  It’s a Machiavellian manipulation. Yes the Moslems have a constitutional
right to build a mosque here, but does anyone have right to build a church in Mecca?
They want their rights in Western countries but they persecute non Moslems in many Moslem countries. The Coptic Christians in Egypt are a good example,  also the Christians in Sudan. 
Moslems rail against what they perceive is religious intolerance against them, but how many so-called moderate Moslems condemned Hamas’s airing of a children program in which someone dressed in a Mickey Mouse suit encouraged children to kill Jews,(not zionists, Jews. AntiZionism is a euphemism for anitsemitism.)
In almost every Moslem country, especially Egypt
Syria, and of course Iran the clerics preach hatred not only against the Jews but also against Christians.
Yes, this is America and yes there is a First Amendment, but no private citizen is obliged to defend Moslems. In America, Free Speech allows us to choose our battles. And I choose to battle for the rights of Sudanese Christians persecuted by Moslems and to battle for the right of Israel to exist against the Moslem extremists who have vowed to destroy it.

Report this

By walterbard, August 23, 2010 at 6:10 am Link to this comment

Yes there is a First Amendment right to build the Mosque here, even if the project’s purpose is to provoke protest demonstrations which can be shown in Arab countries to further inflame religious passions .  It’s a Machiavellian manipulation. Yes the Moslems have a constitutional right to build a mosque here, but does anyone have right to build a church in Mecca?
They want their rights in Western countries but they persecute non Moslems in many Moslem countries. The Coptic Christians in Egypt are a good example,  also the Christians in Sudan. 
Moslems rail against what they perceive is religious intolerance against them, but how many so-called moderate Moslems condemned Hamas’s airing of a children program in which someone dressed in a Mickey Mouse suit encouraged children to kill Jews. In almost every Moslem country, especially Egypt, Syria, and of course Iran the clerics preach hatred not only against the Jews but also against Christians.
Yes, this is America and yes there is a First Amendment, but no private citizen
is obliged to defend Moslems. In America, Free Speech allows us to choose our battles. And I choose to battle for the rights of Sudanese Christians persecuted by Moslems and to battle
for the right of Israel to exist against the Moslem extremists who have vowed to destroy it.

Report this

By Axel Ztangi, August 22, 2010 at 1:19 pm Link to this comment

Campaign for a Museum of Marxism on Wall Street


Today we begin our fundraising campaign for a long over due tribute to the world-class economic insights of Karl Marx.

The proposed Museum of Marxism will be an interactive center like the Tech Museum of San Francisco.

Visitors will be able to walk through the Hall of Materialism and see large screen displays of the history of labor’s struggle for a democratic society.

Teens can enter the Child Labor Chamber of Horrors for a scary view of the past (and future?)

Children will be able to explore the Labor Theory of Value in a large gym-like room.

The Arcade of Casino Capitalism will provide fun for all - like the “Bounce the Broker” where visitors guess how high cash-bloated Wall Street denizens will travel when dropped from various Dow Jones Indices.

Daily lectures by a host of Marxist luminaries, radical films, music, theater and dance events round out the experience.

Soon we will roll out our website and mass media campaign.

Watch for it.

Report this

By samosamo, August 22, 2010 at 11:07 am Link to this comment

****************


What a crock. This dialog going on without knowing who really
attacked america on 9/11/2001. Goes more towards the
implication that a bunch of arab muslims(mostly saudi arabians)
with a few other nationals involved than trying to get to the
bottom of who really attacked america.

So, by debating whether a mosque or community center be
allowed construction nearby, it does more to promote the idea of
islam being responsible while the real perpetrators still walk the
streets of america.

Thus the consequences of NOT thoroughly investigating 9/11.

No religious group should be allowed to build anywhere near
ground zero.

Report this
rainwave's avatar

By rainwave, August 21, 2010 at 6:08 pm Link to this comment

I second Mary’s comments

The Shriners, Freemasons already have new world order- cross triangulation pentagrams-criss-crossing across ground zero and Washington. Oh yea, can’t forget the coming invasion of the Moors

Report this

By mary bimala, August 20, 2010 at 10:17 pm Link to this comment

It - is - about Ground Zero. It’s symbolic.

It was no accident of public relations that “Córdoba Initiative” was chosen as
the title of the Ground Zero mosque project. The city of Córdoba was the
capital of al-Andalus, the Umayyad Caliphate in Iberia, and the famous
Córdoba Mosque was built atop the rubble of a destroyed church.

Peaceful conquest is a historical anomaly, however — from its inception until
its long decline began in 1683, Islam expanded solely through violence.
Wherever Islam expanded violently, it built mosques at the sites of its victories.
The minarets rose over the rubble of destroyed churches, synagogues, and
temples to stand as symbols of Islam’s conquest of the kuffar. The Córdoba
Mosque was an architectural announcement of the Moorish triumph over
Christian Iberia.

The Córdoba Initiative thus provides an obvious historical analogy to the
Islamic victory on September 11th, 2001, at Ground Zero. The significance of
the name and place will not be lost on any educated Muslim who hears about
the project.

What has NOT been revealed is the source of funding for construction. What
also has not been revealed are the parameters of the Shariah Index Initiative.
The Ground Zero Mosque has at least 6 mystery floors. We suggest that they’ll
be used by the Shariah Index Project.

The Shariah Index Project was built by at least 14 Shariah experts. We have the
identities probably of 7 of them, and Rauf should reveal the other 7 right away.

The Shariah Index Project generated at least 16 documents and maybe a final
book, and Rauf should release all of these – right away.

The issues at stake in the Ground Zero Mosque and the Shariah Index Project
are not about Americans supporting the Constitution’s protection of religious
freedom. Americans support that protection.

The issues at stake here are about Americans protecting the Constitution from
Shariah-adherent groups using the protective guise of religious freedom to
attack the Constitution itself – using a triumphal Ground Zero mosque as “the
base” for a project to institutionalize Shariah in America.

Report this

By markpkessinger, August 20, 2010 at 8:06 pm Link to this comment

Those who think they have something to gain politically by opposing the mosque, as well as those who simply don’t have the kind of first-hand knowledge of the area of the proposed center, would have you believe that the proposed Islamic Cultural Center will tower triumphantly over Ground Zero. I know the block well where the Islamic Cultural Center is to be built. Yes, it’s downtown, and yes, it’s “near” the Ground Zero site in terms of geographical proximity on a map. But in the context of the dense urban landscape that is lower Manhattan, two blocks might as well be twenty. And the site for the Islamic Cultural Center is rather obscure relative to the World Trade Center site. To help folks see what I’m talking about, and hopefully in the interest of adding a measure of rationality in the ongoing debate, the other day I created a video slide show, using Google Maps’ “Street View” feature. It’s an annotated, virtual walk around the block from 45 Park Place, the site of the proposed center. It gives viewers a sense of the reality of the location, as one experiences it as street level, and show just how out-of-the-way the site is relative to the World Trade Center. The link to the video is:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E6cpEAvvYB4 .

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Peter Knopfler's avatar

By Peter Knopfler, August 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm Link to this comment

Islam does nothing without historical intent, consequences. Cordoba because that was first Mosque in S.Spain and from that initial Mosque in Cordoba, Islam took over SPAIN. Know your Islam history, Like Fort Hood ALLAH AKBAR,9-11 Allah Akbar, yes it is where religion and State are ONE! The Supreme being will Rule. FOLLOW the MONEY. That Location has already been used this past year as a Mosque, hidden in the BLD. No reason for another Mosque, why can`t we learn from other countries who are having problems with Islam-Muslims, England, France, Germany, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, Sweden-that is Europe, Australia, Philipines, China, Indonesia, are also having problems with Islam and it all starts from the MOSQUE, Africaq another Problem, WOW now the USA TOO! Its a no brainer, NO MOSQUE!

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Blackspeare's avatar

By Blackspeare, August 20, 2010 at 4:12 pm Link to this comment

Cordoba initiative’s claim that they want to build a cultural center to promote cultural awareness and harmony between Islam and the west seem hollow. The entire project smells of triumphalism. Why on the site of a building damaged in 911 attack and why the name Cordoba House? Why is the name of a Spanish city so important at this location. This location is important for Islamists as it will in times to come to be a symbol of Islamists’ first attack on America. The name Cordoba is important because it was not only the capital of first Islamic rule in the West but also the seat of first Islamic caliphate in the west.

The spiritual father of Pakistan and a poet, Allama Iqbal made a special trip to Spain in 1931 and visited Cordoba and even though offering prayers at the site of Cordoba mosque were prohibited—he offered namaz there and wrote a poem Masjid-e-Qurtuba. In it he wrote:

“Sacred for lovers of art, thou art the glory of faith,

Thou hast made Andalusia pure as a holy land.”

For devout and historically conscious Muslims—Cordoba mosque is a holy site. The significance of naming it Cordoba house are self evident.

As far as promoting cultural awareness—it can be created through 3000 other mosques that are already in the US. What would a mosque at ground zero do that 3000 other mosques cannot do? New York is a living testimony to religious tolerance—it does need lessons in that. If they want to promote and teach religious tolerance they should open churches and temples in Saudi Arabia.

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