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The “Ground Zero Mosque” Subject of Our New One Week Atlas Poll

August 19, 2010

The site of a proposed "mosque" on Park Place is seen in lower Manhattan (AP Photo)

It’s been in the news for weeks.

Now, we want your opinion on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” which is the controversial subject of our new Atlas Poll.

Some, like Anushay Hossain, point out that the complex being built isn’t a “Ground Zero Mosque” in the sense of the term. She describes it as more of an Islamic Community Center:

This Community Center plans to house a culinary school, an auditorium, a swimming pool, a basketball court, and yes, space for prayer. But it is not a mosque, so we all need to stop calling it that. Calling this Center the “Ground Zero Mosque” not only makes people think up dramatic images of an actual mosque right on the site of Ground Zero, but it also misconstrues the entire debate.

Point taken.

On the other hand, 13th Congressional candidate Mike Grimm takes a very hard line approach, saying on Fox and Friends recently that the money being used to fund the mosque needs to be tracked down and investigated.

His primary opponent Michael Allegretti also came out hard against the proposed “mosque”:

Defending the building of this mosque on legal grounds is something we accept; but justifying its construction as an exercise of constitutional rights and freedom of religion is sticking it to the very countrymen you are expected to serve. It is yet another example of the American people thinking one thing while our leaders in Washington think something totally different, like the insistence that public terror trials for Khalid Sheik Mohammed be held in Lower Manhattan. This trend of disconnect is disturbing.

It was based on these various positions we’ve seen that we crafted the new Atlas Poll, which will close next Friday.

Mike Grimm has emphasized the need for an investigation of the mosque funding and has been overall unfavorable toward the plan. Allegretti, on the other hand, seems to be emphasizing the insensitive nature of the builders in locating this facility so close to Ground Zero. Others, including many libertarians, believe that nothing should preclude the free exercise of religion on the part of government, except maybe criminal funding or some other genuine reason. And finally, there are those who just don’t believe a mosque should be built near Ground Zero for any reason given the events of September 11th.

Now, we want to know what you think.

This is your opportunity to let your fellow readers and politicians known where you stand on this issue, and please vote in our Atlas Poll.

We will offer commentary regarding this subject and any important developments as time goes by.

Be sure your vote is counted!

  1. Will Craig Eaton Try To Organize and Get-Out The Vote For This Poll permalink
    August 20, 2010 12:23 am

    Craig Eaton and Mohammad “An American Mohammad” Barkeshli are now working together on quite a few things it seems. What is Barkeshli’s position in the Cipriano Campaign, liaison with State Senator Martin J. Golden, or is it special assiatant to Republican Chairman Craig Eaton?

    One wonders if they’ll be working together to try to stuff the ballot box on this poll.

    Late reports indicate that some Iranian money might be part of what will fund this mosque. M”AAM”B is an Iranian who has been present at official dinners honoring the current Iranian leadership.

    btw, when Craig Eaton and Barkeshli are together do they sing a duet of:

    “…I’m going to a town that’s already burned down…I’m so tired of America…I’m so tired of you America…after soaking the body of Jesus Christ in Blood…”

    I guess that means the blood is really on Eaton’s hands now.


    Now that Justin Brannan isn’t running against Marty G, maybe Craig Eaton can join Brannan’s heavy metal band too. Eaton has special affection for at least one of Brannan’s CDs, the one with the catchy cover.

  2. A different choice permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:17 am

    My choice would be that I would not want to trample the constitution, however, I would desire that any legal intervention be used to persuade the religious group to build at another less sensitive, non-government owned site.

    I do not like the idea of investigating for the sake of “finding” something wrong. It sets a bad precedent. Isn’t it possible that if someone were to fish through each of our backgrounds someone in our family will be involved in wrongdoing? I also don’t like the use of emminent domain. There has been too much abuse of that.

    I hate having an Islamic Center so close to ground zero. However, I love my country’s constitution and am unwilling to dismiss it. I also love my freedom to worship that is so unique in this country.

  3. August 20, 2010 10:33 am

    There are two issues at hand here: the legal and the societal.

    Can they legally build a mosque there? Of course.
    Should they? Considering the inevitable fiasco that has sprung out of this issue, what it really worth the trouble?

  4. Young Republican permalink
    August 20, 2010 7:34 pm

    Does anyone see what is going on with Brooklyn’s Democratic county committee? Looks like they’re having fun.

    Nydia Velazquez Goes With Anti-Vito Lopez Slate In Brooklyn Elections

  5. What Constitutional Rights? permalink
    August 20, 2010 10:17 pm

    Let’s see, hm, the theatre really looks crowded, tonight. I hate this little clip with the hotdog and the soda anyway — “Let’s go into the lobby…” that song is just annoying. More people coming in looking for a few empty seats…this should be a laugh-and-a-half…

    FIRE!!! Everybody, RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!

    Okay, that covers “Free Speech”.

    Hm, “Freedom of Religion” … I’ve got it…how about building a Mosque and Islamic Cultural Center right near “Ground Zero” (actually part of the real ground zero, if you count where some of the airliner debris landed).

    Instead, why not use the same funding to build an Ecumenical chapel along with monuments to the heroic Christian fighters of Tours, Malta, Lepanto and Vienna and build it somewhere in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; maybe, a memorial shrine for 21st Century Christian martyrs in Mecca; or an Institute for the Study of the Revelations of Our Lady of Fatima in Teheran.

    I guess we could never do that, or else somebody would want to build a Mosque and cultural center near Saint Peter’s in Rome.

    • Fabian permalink
      August 25, 2010 1:47 pm

      America is supposed to have a higher standard of liberty than countries run by kings and dictators. They can build whatever they want wherever they want to. Anyone who believes in property rights supports this view. And property rights happen to be the foundations of capitalism and individualism.

  6. Allegretti looks better to the Islamic Republicans permalink
    August 21, 2010 10:28 am

    Part of Bay Ridge politics involves engagement with the Bay Ridge Islamic Community at their cultural and religious meeting places at the the times of (or shortly after) their religious observance and/or activity. The start of Ramadan was especially significant.

    Along with various other politicos, the Republican MIKES running for congress were “there” for the start of Ramadan and the Democratic incumbent MIKE was “not there”.

    Michael Allegretti scored many more points than Mr. Grimm because he stayed longer and engaged in a more meaningful way with the Muslim who had attended the services.

    Even though it’s only a small piece of the Republican primary vote, Allegretti got the inside track to the handful of religious Republican
    Muslims that were there, or who will hear about Allegretti’s fuller appearance and participation at the start of Ramadan.

    • Correction to the above: Allegretti did well with "Muslims" [plural] permalink
      August 21, 2010 10:36 am

      A key passage above should have said:

      “Michael Allegretti scored many more points than Mr. Grimm because he stayed longer and engaged in a more meaningful way with the Muslims [plural] who had attended the services.”


      “Michael Allegretti scored many more points than Mr. Grimm because he stayed longer and engaged in a more meaningful way with the Muslim [singular] who had attended the services.”

      Sorry for the error.

  7. Let Them Build It permalink
    August 24, 2010 1:06 am

    Where do we draw the line? 5 blocks? 10? 20? How many miles will we keep a people of faith from congregating?

    The fact is that the people who want to build this community center, whether in poor taste or not, have every right to build it. It says a lot about how great this country is that Muslims can build a center like this in lower Manhattan just as much as Jews can build a synagogue within blocks of a mosque or a Christian church.

    Let’s not forget what makes America great. That which separates us from the terrorists.

  8. Jerry Kassar permalink
    August 24, 2010 1:33 pm

    Hey, this is good stuff! Do you mind if I use it for next week’s Common Sense? It’s going to be a big issue. We just got a new bowling alley as a sponsor!

  9. Balkan Ghosts -- The Legacy of Islam In Europe permalink
    August 24, 2010 6:11 pm

    Those who don’t know history are doomed…

    Our patriots have to kill their zealots or the zealots will win.

    It’s not a battle of ideas, it’s a battle of filling in the boxes.

    Not like the ones in this poll — pine boxes — Right now, in lower Manhattan their side up by almost 3,000. (And that’s the side that wants to build this mosque)

    Wake up folks, if the car bomb in Times Square were properly primed, fused and ignited the 3,000 NY count from 9/11 could have gone to a new NYC death count of four or five thousand (4,000 – 5,000), and the total of New York City casualties possibly even doubled or tripled (that’s in one day that almost did happen this year, May 1, 2010); see conservative estimates of the possible carnage at: ).

  10. Fabian permalink
    August 26, 2010 9:31 am

    There is only one issue here. And it is property rights. So with that settled the controversy of this issue should be significantly diminished. People of any race, religion, or creed have the right to build whatever they want wherever they want. The implications of insensitivity indicate a certain insecurity and disdain toward Islam, as if somehow Islam is responsible for 9/11.

    In my opinion this issue is a non-issue. And the scheduling a burning of the Koran day for 9/11, stabbing of a muslim cab driver, and peeing on muslim religious items on a mosque certainly don’t help the situation.

    America is supposed to have a higher standard of liberty than countries run by kings and dictators. They can build whatever they want wherever they want to. Anyone who believes in property rights supports this view. And property rights happen to be the foundations of capitalism and individualism. If the rest of the world is upside down, we don’t have to be upside down too.

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