How About A Mosque In Palo Alto? Paul Losch's Community Blog, posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 22, 2010 at 2:26 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I am totally repulsed by the objections to the buidling of mosques in varioous places around the United States being reported recently in the national press.
There are numerous denominations here in Palo Alto, although I think I am correct in stating that there is not a physical Islamic place of worship, despite the many people here in town who count themselves among that tradition.
Just as there are variations in Christianity, Judiasm, and other beliefs, there is in Islam, so one mosque may not meet the faith needs of all Muslims who are part of this community.
Places as disparate as Lower Manhattan and rural Tennessee have people protesting the notion of mosques being built to serve the Islamic communities of those areas. Even my "favorite" cheerleader, Sarah Palin, has chosen to provide another poorly informed opinion on the matter.
So here is my modest proposal: let's support the leaders of the Muslim community here in Palo Alto to help them establish a bona fide physical presence here. Mainly because it will benefit the community of Palo Alto.
And because it will send a signal that is 180 degrees opposite of what is going on elsewhere in this country.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2010 at 2:48 pm
I am not religous. If others want to believe in god, that does not bother me, as long as they don't insist that I do. However, Islam does insist that I do, at pain of death. Why are you going out of your way to protect this beast?
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Thanks for the link, I did not recall this. It has not gotten any coverage since then, and that could be viewed as a good thing--it's getting done without a great deal of hue and cry, or a bad thing--it is not moving along.
I am going to poke around City Hall with some of my contacts and find out where things stand with this proposal. Most likely next week since Fridays are not a good day to reach CPA folks.
If the report in your link is current, I think that's great, exactly the point of my posting.
Posted by Tea Party rhymes with bigotry, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2010 at 3:20 pm
I am not Muslim, but I respect their right to worship in the place of their choosing. I believe that a mosque on San Antonio Road is working its way through the various city permits and planning commissions. Hopefully, no one will try to fight this because of bigotry.
Posted by Religions, a resident of Stanford, on Jul 22, 2010 at 5:51 pm
Well, Nicholas, we have Catholic churches in Palo Alto. That religion was behind the Inquisition and were supporters and accomplices of the Nazis during WWII. In addition they say that other religions, even those that also worship christ are wrong and the only true was is the ctholic way.
In addition, the catholic church has beem involved in child molestation and the covering up of said crimes all over thw world. This coverup reaches the highest level of the catholic church, including the current pope (who btw served the nazis during WWII).
Shall I tell you about the Mormons, since they have houses of worship in Palo Alto as well?
Posted by Tea Party rhymes with bigotry, a resident of the South of Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2010 at 5:56 pm
Should Catholics and Protestant churches be banned from Palo Alto because of the religious violence in Ireland (and other places)? Should Jewish temples be banned because of the Gaza blockade? Just because some members of a religion advocate violence does not mean that all members should be run out of town.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 22, 2010 at 6:42 pm
There around 5 million Muslims in the USA and 1.7 billion world wide.
A tiny fraction of them are militant fanatics-- as are a tiny fraction of Hindus, Jews , Buddhists, atheists, etc.
America has a founding value of religious freedom-- 86% of the US population are Christian and they do not support bigotry against other religions, over the centuries we have done a very good job of integrating diverse faiths into US society without any religious wars --- a Mosque in Palo Alto would be an asset-- there are an increasing number of Islamic students @ Stanford and other local colleges as well as business people and teachers, if they want a place to worship they have that right, and we should and will welcome them.
Posted by Religions, a resident of Stanford, on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:11 am
"A Mosque in Manhattan - as soon as a Synagogue opens in Mecca."
There are already mosques in Manhattan. Walter, although he claims to be a veteran, still has no clue as to the fact that America is a democracy, with freedom of religion. We are supposed to be an example to dictatorships like Suadi Arabia--not to be like them by denying people the right to worship the religion of choice.
Walter, with his typical right-wng, Sarah palin-like, clueless reaction shows that he is against the freedoms that we all cherish
"I consider a religion to be a voluntary spiritual or social association. I do not want shrines to slavery."
That is what religion is--a mosque is not a shrine to slavery or do you claim that all Muslims are evil. Care to back that up with some facts, Walter?
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2010 at 1:51 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
What does the Koran say about apostates?
I am aware there are currently Mosques in Manhattan, just as I am aware there are no Synagogues in Mecca. I do not claim all Muslims are evil; I do claim that unlike most modern religions Islam does not grant freedom of conscience nor does it chastise and cast out those who claim Islam as justification for savagery and the keeping of slaves. All cultures are not equal, and our Constitution is not a suicide pact.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:13 pm
It looks like there will soon be 2 Mosques in Palo Alto.
There is also a very active Muslim Community @ Stanford
Good for them---
The Muslim population of the USA increasing quite dramatically-- we need to actively integrate these highly educated and enterprising immigrants into the mainstream of American society and culture by supporting their involvement in local politics and welcoming their places of worship.
well integrated groups , Italian, Jewish, Irish etc have been the best protection against subversive/ gang activity from their fringe groups-- the same approach applies to Muslims.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2010 at 7:53 pm
I have been reading this thread warily. I have no objection to mosques per se, but I do worry about where this ultimately may lead. Sharon welcomes Muslims into local politics, but when this happened in Britain, small towns became so dominated by Islam that even white policemen are unable to serve on the local police departments. When an area is so strongly dominated by Muslim residents that they are able to vote the majority of the City council into Muslims, then their true colors and their true agenda can easily be discovered. Sharia law is just a beginning.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 23, 2010 at 8:48 pm
Your comment about Britain's Muslim immigrants is naive to say the least. Organizations such as Islam4UK have political power, are threateningly worrisome to say the least and gaining in followers. The same could happen here. This is what the Telegraph has to say
Web Link. You can google Islam4UK and find many other references, all following the same terrifying agenda.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:54 am
I would like to hear more about your idea of multiculturalism in the UK, France and Germany and how it is different from the US? Also, how are these countries trying to "reverse" their failed attempt.
The US historically welcomed all and rightly so. But, there may come a time when they may regret this decision also. At present, there are "do not fly" lists and those that can't get US visas. Extremists are not wanted here. But, the question is how do we know that any immigrant isn't a latent extremist just wait to legally get settled and then start a life of subterfuge and anarchy? At what stage should the US start becoming a little wary? You accuse the European nations of having to reverse policies, but you do not seem prepared to reverse any loopholes here? That sounds like double standards. And trying to look on the situation here as different (for any reason) from other countries' statutes is naive indeed. Call it blinkers if you prefer.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 10:57 am
The bigots are the ones who try to force conversion by the sword, and execute those who try to leave.
I think we need to rethink if tolerance means accepting Sharia law. I say "no". We do not accept any other law "in the name of religious tolerance" above the USA law, even bigamy, why should we accept honor killings and enslavement?
As long as Islam followers follow OUR law, the laws of this Country, I have no problem with religious freedom. But I will not accept our freedom and tolerance being used to drive us back in time and hurt others, especially women and children, after finally coming forward out of a time in my own country where,in my life time, it was still "impossible" legally for a man to rape his wife, and a "man" was king of his house, therefore could beat his kids and wife with no legal consequences..after all, they "deserved" it if they disobeyed him, didn't they?
I will not accept going back in time to "tolerate" more of this from a group of anyone, under any reason, religious "tolerance" or not.
Posted by Not Melting, a resident of another community, on Jul 24, 2010 at 11:15 am
>’In the USA we have a much more successful strategy of " the melting pot" and E Pluribus Unum.’
Yes, but we’re not as successful at blending as we once were. My grandparents wouldn’t speak their native language at home because they wanted their kids to speak English.
Now we have signs in stores and on buses in Spanish. We have to “Press 1 for English.” Our ballots are printed in umpteen languages, even though one is supposed to be able to speak English to become a citizen. We have hyphenated-Americans. We have people who have lived here for 20+ years who can’t speak or understand English.
As Europe is discovering, overdoing political correctness can lead to severe problems.
Not all Muslims want to live under Sharia law. There are plenty of things in the Bible that are just as bad as what’s in the Koran. Just read Leviticus. IMHO, religions are all about power, and fear is a good way to gain power over people.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 3:02 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Solly, Sharon, but I believe some of our home grown terrorists have been traced back to domestic Mosques. Our so called allies, the Saudis, are pouring billions into domestic Mosques that recruit for their anti freedom cause.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 4:31 pm
The Saudis have huge investments in major US global companies like Citigroup, Apple and News Corp as well as a number of luxury hotels, including major ownership of the Four Seasons, they are huge investors in Silicon Valley
The US considers Saudi Arabia an ally in the capture of terrorists, they work closely with us in Yemen and elsewhere foil terrorist plots.
Fantasy hollywood plots about Muslim devious conspiracies are just that--delusional fantasies approaching bigotry.
In the US we have very sophisticated systems to track where money comes from and where it goes to-- we even caught Eliot Spitzer that way, and that involved only a few thousand dollars.
No one can funnel billions of dollars secretly into the US-- that is a paranoid fantasy.
World wide there are 1.7 billion Muslims-- 1 in 4 people--our US best interests are furthered by good relations with Muslims.
Around 62% of the world's Muslims live in Asia, Indonesia is the largest Muslim country by population, home to 15.6% of the world's Muslims.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 5:23 pm
I have no problem having good relations with anyone .... who treats its people well.
I have no desire to be friends with any group which condones terrorism, domestic violence, rape, and execution of "fatwa'd" individuals in the "name of God".
No. Islam has to go through its reformation, or at least begin to splinter into reformed Mosques with reformed leaders who condemn all uncivilized ( by Western Standards)practices before I will have any desire to have "good relations with" any. Show me a mosque or even just an Imam who condemns terrorism, fatwas, rape as a husband's "right" or means for punishment of women, and all domestic violence, and I will show you hope for integration into our society, and the resultant tolerance and "good relations" so many wish to have.
I will not "tolerate" and try to have "good relations" with any neighbor of mine who condones or practices any of the above, regardless of his or her religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation, etc and blah blah.
Even aside from all of the above, which is more of a philosophical point, at the very least, a big problem is that after a mosque is built, those living anywhere in hearing then must listen to the call to prayers...5 times per day, every day... or at least begin the annual fight ( and be called intolerant and racists etc) against the mosque's annual request to broadcast its calls to prayers "for the faithful".
No. I object on the grounds that one person's rights end when they interfere with another's..be they 5 times per day bells if they are brought in AFTER the neighborhood is built and inhabited, or 5 times per day ululating call to prayers.
enjoy. try to keep an open mind and understand the difference between being intolerant of intolerance, and being intolerant of "other". There is a big difference, and one which is getting virtually no distinction in the minds of those "repulsed" by objections to mosques, the assumption being that those of us objecting are somehow "intolerant".
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 24, 2010 at 6:28 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Huge Middle Eastern/Islamic population across the Dumbarton Bridge in Fremont, where my company's office is.
Similarly, the greater Detroit area has a high concentration of people of such hertiage.
Both cities have their fair share of "bad eggs," as does a city of any size. But that is true anywhere. Does not necessarily have a religious context to it, although it can.
What I find disconcerting about some statements that have been made on this thread is the notion of an Islamic house of worship becoming part of the Palo Alto community will contribute to a few fanatics fomenting some sort of "Jihad" in Palo Alto, instead of a way of supporting the Muslims who live here and re-inforcing their being an important part of our community, which they are.
I have a limited understanding of the Koran, but as has been pointed out, both the Bible (with which I have a decent familiarity,) and the Jewish Torah also have some awful sections that display little or no tolerance of alternative belief systems. I also am reminded of the Crusades, talk about religious intolerance! And the Israeli guy who assasinated the late Prime Minister Rabin, because he objected on religious grounds negotiating with the Palestinians.
I am not defending extremism, whatever form or context it presents itself. I caution that it can be found among people who follow many different traditions, and to not be supportive of the many people who follow Islam in this part of the world should not be treated any differently than Mormons, Catholics, Jews, Hindus, Evangelical Christians, and a host of others who enjoy their places of worship in this community, and make important contributions to it.
Posted by What about?, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 6:47 pm
"I have a limited understanding of the Koran, but as has been pointed out, both the Bible (with which I have a decent familiarity,) and the Jewish Torah also have some awful sections that display little or no tolerance of alternative belief systems."
What about the religions that revolve around the worship of christ and their lack of tolerance for alternate belief systems. They are always busy telling people that they will be burning in hell unless they worship christ.
Boy are they going to be in for a surprise when the elevator heads down!!!
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 24, 2010 at 7:14 pm
Freedom of speech is an important American value-- and we all hope that disputes can be settled in a neighborly manner.
However, any individuals or groups who inflame bigotry etc to attempt to stifle the exercise of religious freedom by Muslims or other faiths in Palo Alto will be the target of focused and successful Federal and State prosecution-- followed by civil litigation-- the bigots will loose these civil matters at massive expense, damages and punitive costs.
The Federal and State prosecutions will be swift-- they will set the precedent for the civil cases which will take a little longer, and will be successful.
Posted by let people be, a resident of the Adobe-Meadows neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2010 at 2:41 am
I remember someone telling me about a quote a supreme court judge made about the pornography, something to the fact that he'll know it when he'll see it. If a Church or a Synagogue or a Mosque bothers you, just don't go in and keep on driving, just like flipping the channel for a show you don't like. Otherwise, let people live their lives. The one fact I know about the Muslim religion is their oppression of females. Last year I spent time in France and England watching women look like black mummies covered from head to toe in a 90 degree weather, it disgusted me at first but then I stopped looking since those women could have shed their black bandages of oppression while in Europe.
Posted by daniel, a resident of the Embarcadero Oaks/Leland neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2010 at 6:19 am
Some fundamental christians consider out nation to be christian and claim that those who don't consider jesus their savior are condemned to hell. Christianity is responsible for the horridly murderous crusades ans for the rabid anti-antisemitism that peaked with the holocaust. Some radical Israeli(and American) ultra religious jews want to forcibly expel the palestinian arabs from their land and the most extreme among them even speak of killing them all the . Should we prevent fundamental christians and jews from building places of worship? As an atheist I find all religions offensive and ridiculous, but this country was founded on religious freedom and no one has a right to prevent others from practicing their religion and building places of worship.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2010 at 8:01 am
I was wondering when someone was going to remember that, so far, Muslim nations around the world execute folks simply for being gay.
As for comparing Christian and Jewish bibles to the Koran to find "bad parts" and thus conclude they are similar...this is silly thinking. We judge religions by their fruit, not their writings. The Jews and vast majority of Christians ( Catholics etc) figured out long ago not to be "literalists", to understand their Bibles in context of time and intent, and understanding of the world by the humans who first spoke, then later wrote the Holy Scriptures. Yes, there are still some literalist, fundamentalist components of both the Christian and the Jewish beliefs, but even they do not support killing others to "spread" their beliefs, nor do they kill their own when they leave their belief system.
So, that relativistic argument reveals more about the one saying it than the religions under discussion.
I will contribute money to help build any mosque run by a sect of Islam which will come flat out and condemn executions of gays, Sharia law over USA law, the subjugation of women, fatwas against those who leave Islam, and terrorism in all forms.
Until then, I have no trust of any part of Islam because I have yet to find even ONE Imam willing to speak out, only a few brave souls who have to live in hiding because they are speaking out in books, documentaries and public interviews.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 25, 2010 at 8:31 pm
Paul, what type of comments were you expecting from this thread? Is this what you expected? I am really intrigued to know why you think this topic was worthy of discussion? Was this something you knew much about beforehand, or have you done some research now to find why some of us are so troubled?
You say you know a something about the Bible. Do you know the historical reasoning behind the problems between Jews and Arabs? Do you know about the story of Abraham and his two sons and why his first son was sent away? Do you realise that this story is still the traditional start of the problems?
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 26, 2010 at 7:57 am Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Here what a contact I have in City Hall told me this morning via e-mail:
Yes its true that there is a proposal to build a mosque on San Antonio (near the Media Center). In fact there is an existing mosque there which they want expand with a completely new building. The proposal has been approved by the Architectural Review Board but construction has not begun.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 2:44 pm
US best interests are served by reaching out to and building good will with moderate Muslims so that together we can isolate the radical, Jacobin elements like AQ.
We have a long term NATO relationship with Turkey, for example--- they are fighting along side our troops in AfPak.
Turkey is 98% Muslim, and is a secular democracy with freedom of religious practice.
Muslims represent 1 in 4 people on the planet.
Jordan is another ally with freedom of religious practice, as does Morocco. Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim-majority nation, with 86.1% of Indonesians declared Muslim also has religious freedom in a population of 222 million.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:27 pm
Sharon, define "moderate" Muslim..for me it would be a Muslim or Muslim group willing to
1) Renounce all terrorism, and actively cooperate in finding and jailing any who participate in terrorism.
2) Renounce any physical form of punishment for those who wish to leave the religion. Practice freedom of religion.
3) Renounce rape or beatings of wives/kids.
4) Agree to live under OUR laws, and not expect us in the USA to allow any Sharia law that goes against our laws...the list that appalls us in the USA is too long to mention, but simply agreeing to abide by OUR Constitution and laws would suffice for me to welcome any Mosque, Imam and followers as my neighbors.
I don't care what religion someone practices, as long as it follows OUR laws, ( ie more or less "live and let live" principles) and allows freedom of staying or leaving for its followers.
Sharon, are there any Imams like this? I ask sincerely. I am certain there are Muslims who believe like this, I have known at least one myself..but she was "homeless", unable to find a Mosque with an Imam who agrees with her.
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 3:54 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
While I fought alongside Turks at Kunuri and my niece's husband was USAF in Incirlik, it appears Ataturk's cause is going down. Jordan's freedom of religious practice didn't keep them from driving "Palestinians" from their real homeland.
And once again, how may Synagogues or Churches in Muslim countries?
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 6:55 pm
We can reach mutual understaninding with Islam:
We must all be open to relgious and non-believer freedom of individual choice, across the world.
It is Islam, not the West which is stopping such an even-handed approach. Islam wants a one-world religion, period. Those who oppose it will be killed, starting with the so-called degenerates, like gays and aetheists. The problem is Islam, not the rest of us. If Islam changes, then the rest of us can be open to their mosques.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:24 pm
No, not more narrow, as Paul Losch and his supporters, possibly incuding yourself, on this thread have been. I want a much more open discussion of Islam, and its fundamental demand that we all beocme Muslims. It should be obvious to all free-thinking peoples that pushing back against totalitarian philosophies is the right thing to do. Do you have a problem with such an open process?
Posted by bru, a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 8:27 pm bru is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
The article is surely about as politically correct as one can get .. repulsed by objections to building mosques.
I'm not sure but I have heard only one objection to the mosque suggested for in view of ground zero of 911. I have to say that I don't think it is appropriate.
But ... let's look at this word "repulsed". It suggests and emotional knee jerk reaction, like one is trying to be even more politically correct than politically correct itself, because political correctness usually takes some thought, but this knew-jerk repusion is meant to install a shame or scolding on anyone who might not agree I suppose.
From inside the countries of Islam, we see almost universally a melding of church and state ... so frame the issue in terms of international relations and we see that become a melding of state and church, in a sense the root of the problem.
For example, this melding of state and church begs some interesting questions ... such as if there is a state where it is criminal to be a non-Muslim ... and there is ... Saudi Arabia ... what is the relation of that state to other states?
It's only the Western countries that have to behave politically correct, we are supposed to without thinking, reflexively, I suppose ignore the injustice and oppression of these countries, and maybe they are not all unjust and oppresive in the same way, but the molding of mosque and state is deliberately removed from consideration, while it is deliberately pushed into our consciousnesses by this kind of article.
Citizens of Muslims countries have been charged with crimes for merely voicing liberal ideas that may be interpreted as going against Allah, such as suggesting that relations between the West and Islam be peaceful, or that Israel should be recognized as a country.
There is good reason for American's uncertainty about having mosques built in some place, and it is not all motivated by hate, racism, or intolerance ... and in fact, why not compare the nature of the hate, racism or intolerance in the world, and realize that negative as it is, it is still worth looking at why it exists, and what are the byproducts of it.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 26, 2010 at 10:03 pm
The "Know Nothings" in this thread are those who refuse to make an effort to undertstand Islam.
Islam is not tolerant, either fundmentally or in action. There is no moral equivalence between Islam and the other major religions. It really doesn't matter how many people ascribe to a tyranny, like Islam, it is still a tyranny that the West should oppose. BTW, most Muslims don't have a real clue as to what Islam stands for, because they have not paid much attention to the Qur'an, just like most Christians have little idea what the Bible says. However, Islam is always on the march, via the Imams, to swing the sword against non-Muslims. At least the Christians only condmen us non-belivers to hell, but don't actively intend to send us there before we die a natural death.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:30 am
Kerry, though we are on the same side on this topic, I have to tell you that you are sadly misinformed about Christians condemning non-Christians to hell...Catholics are the vast majority of Christians, and they don't believe anyone is going to hell for "not believing". That "belief" went away a long time ago.
Don't get me wrong, Catholics have a LOT of problems, but that is not one of them.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 11:30 am
"I want a much more open discussion of Islam, and its fundamental demand that we all beocme Muslims."
Replace "Muslims" with "Catholics" and you got what the nuns taught me in Catholic school. Pope Benedict reaffirmed that a couple years ago. By my count there are two Catholic churches in PA. Do you think they ought to go until they "level the playing field" for you?
"At least the Christians only condmen us non-belivers to hell, but don't actively intend to send us there before we die a natural death."
But they did actively send people to hell (or maybe heaven, God dissenting) before the modern nation-state took away their fun. And do not doubt that Hagee, Dobson, et al. would do the same now if given the opportunity.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 1:09 pm
The big difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christ preached a message of love, tolerance and peace. His message of turning the other cheek and helping your neighbor with a definition of your neighbor as anyone you meet who needs your help, has no hatred or judgment attached. He told His followers then and now that they should preach the good news to all but in an attitude of love. Various denominations may talk about hell, fire, and brimstone, but Jesus Christ did not.
It is not a case of what a person can do for God to enable that person to be saved, but instead what God in the form of Jesus Christ has already done, by dying for the sins of all people everywhere. All that someone has to do is believe and repent. Nothing else.
True Christians do read their Bibles and do know what the Bible says, although we can always learn more. The Bible is a collection of writings about people living their lives and making mistakes which is called sin. God always loves the sinner and condemns the sin. The Bible is not a science textbook, or a history book. It is a recording of God communicating with His people. Don't look in the Bible for scientific answers or historical fact, although there is a great deal of both there. Look for God communicating with people, both back in Bible times and for God communicating with people who read the Bible today.
Christianity has no expectations of what man can do for God, rather than what God has already done for man. Which other religion can say that?
Posted by Walter_E_Wallis, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm Walter_E_Wallis is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
"...before the modern nation-state took away their fun."
When Islam joins the ranks of religions as modern religions did during reformation, with reason and acknowledgment of individual sovereignty, I welcome them with open arms. I recall a saying current during my active civil rights advocacy - "The South Will Rise Again - Up To The Level Of Common Decency". Imams, cure thy selves.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:05 pm
How about a discussion of the only thing that maintains religion in the modern world when everyone knows damn well that there are no metaphysical occurences, magic, or even much justice, surely none secured by an all powerful being, How about pointing the finger at people who are so weak and pitiful that they have to band together and threaten other people because they do not want to pretend to see the "emperor's clothes"?
Seriously, I am fine with religion for the sake of tradition, symbols, history, etc, these are the things that embellish life, but this stuff is not to be taken seriously by anyone once it pretends to assume the right to intrude on their secular rights.
What are the chances that a world that cannot distinguish between what is real and what is imaginary is going to be able to meet the existential challenges that the real, concrete and unforgiving universe is going to be throwing at us without a care in world about what we do or what happens to us? I put our chances at not so great.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 4:16 pm
"Bingo!, Paul. When Islam joins the ranks of religions as modern religions did during reformation, ... I welcome them with open arms."
You mean, as in beheading wives in the manner of reformation honcho Henry VIII?
"The big difference between Christianity and other religions is that Christ preached a message of love, tolerance and peace."
True, but people calling themselves Christians quickly recovered from it and made up for lost time. Modern megachurch Christians are much more enamored with the violence in Revelations than the gentle admonitions in Matthew. Buddhists, on the other hand, still revere their founderer's message of love, tolerance and peace.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 27, 2010 at 5:49 pm
No religion, nor lack there of has a monopoly on violence, or innocence from committing it.
Just for the sake of historical accuracy--- Buddhists have the same history of violence as any humans--the Japanese Buddhists in WW2 where particularly vicious to other Asians, Europeans and Americans-- Tibetan Buddhists have a long history of violence.
Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot were all atheists, they presided over the bloodiest generations in history.
The Aztec religions were genocidal etc.
One could make the argument that Quakers are a peaceful sect--Nixon was raised as a Quaker.
It is unfortunate and unfair that the current political campaigns are taking an anti Muslim slant--like the old days of the anti Catholic Know Nothings.
The fact is that we will see an increasing presence of Muslims in Palo Alto and @ Stanford who overwhelmingly decent human beings, we should learn more about their faith and adapt to live in harmony.
The strongest anti Muslim voice these day is Christopher Hitchens Web Link and he is a fundamentalist atheist.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 10:17 am
"What hypocrites Christians are ... that was just last week wasn't it?"
Half right. Henry VIII was beheading his wives almost 500 years ago, during the Reformation when, according to an earlier poster on this forum, religions achieved "reason and acknowledgment of individual sovereignty."
Actually, Christian churches, notably the Catholic church and Christian megachurches, do not recognize individual sovereignty. They preach the submission of the individual to God, through a conveniently situated earthly representative: Pope Benedict, Ted Haggard, Jim Dobson, etc.
"Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot were all atheists, they presided over the bloodiest generations in history."
Sorry. Wrong on both counts. Each of the named had a deep faith in an ideology that commanded and justified his actions. In other words, they all had a religion. And they did not "preside" over generations; there were other contemporary leaders in the world: Roosevelt, Churchill, Truman, Nixon, all alleged Chrstians, who issued orders that caused mass death and destruction - Berlin, Dresden, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 12:44 pm
The Pope, or any other name mentioned is not a spiritual leader even if said person is leader of a Christian denomination, according to the Bible.
For those of you who want to know what the Bible says on the matter
1 Tim. chapter 2. verse 5
"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;"
I suggest those of you who criticize Christians should find out what Christians believe and what the Bible says. Christians believe in the Bible. Otherwise, you are acting out of presumption and hearsay.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 1:55 pm
"I suggest those of you who criticize Christians should find out what Christians believe and what the Bible says. Christians believe in the Bible. Otherwise, you are acting out of presumption and hearsay."
Well, guilty, along with many others. I'd always presumed the nuns in my Caholic school were teaching true church doctrine when they told us the Pope was the representative of Christ on earth, and Christ was God. In addition to that hearsay, it was written right there in the official Baltimore Catechism II.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 6:25 pm
Back to the point of the thread...
I will welcome any mosque led by an Imam who rejects terrorism, jihad against any and all ( including those who choose to leave Islam), rape and torture of women, imprisonment/execution of gays, lying to anyone at all...
I will welcome these mosques as much as I welcome all the other religious buildings and congregations that have come to Palo Alto before now.
still waiting for the list of Imams who are thus moderate.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 6:43 pm
The atheist regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot all killed more people in a week than the Inquisition did in 300 years.
burhkas and face veils are a different matter, many Asian women wear the equivalent of a face veil while driving to prevent facial tanning.
Clearly people should reveal their faces for public safety and law enforcement reasons these days-- that should apply to gang members wearing hoodies and low caps as well as to burhkas and face veils.
Head scarves are a different matter, orthodox Jewish women wear head scarves as do women cancer patients.
The issue is a red herring in the Know Nothing anti Muslim campaign.
We need better monitoring and tracking of internet sites that promote violence be it Hindu, Jewish, Muslim or whatever.
We are seeing a dramatic increase in the number of Muslim engineers, business people, doctors, lawyers and students @ Stanford and in Palo Alto-- these are not tribal farmers from the 3rd World-- their values are close to those of Mormons-- family values, sobriety, charity and faith--- all of which are productive and welcome.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 28, 2010 at 9:47 pm
"The atheist regimes of Stalin, Hitler, Mao and Pol Pot all killed more people in a week than the Inquisition did in 300 years."
The comparison is unfair. Those guys had the advantages of modern ordinance and other technology. They could work wholesale, while the Inquisition had to settle for retail.
Nevertheless, Christians have always done the best they could with what they had. Consider the Crusades, which made the streets of Constantinople "flow with the blood of the heathen."
I think the lesson of all this involves the major embarrassments that Christians find in the Bible, like minding the beam in one's own eye before calling out the mote in the other person's eye. Or only a non-sinner may throw the first stone.
Or, worst for many on this thread: love your neighbor. Note that the Master allowed no conditions.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:03 am
Paul: Love your neighbor? You have left off the rest of the sentence(s).
Web Link Link to the origin of this with the REST of the sentence(s) included in the various biblical points, if your point is to bring up Bible and Christianity in this context.
You went to Catholic school, and so I know you know better, and know all the rest of the sentences.
Bottom line, Love your Neighbor AND KEEP THE COMMANDMENTS ( no lying, stealing, murder, etc)..that applies to your neighbor also..
Love your neighbor AS YOU LOVE YOURSELF: I suspect you try not to torture or kill yourself, thus I suspect you would not want to be loved by your neighbor in this way.
People often "get" the self-sacrificing part of Christianity, which has been well emphasized and good for humanity in many ways..but nowhere are we admonished to let others torture or destroy us. Before you bring in "turn the other cheek", that is not an admonition to let others beat the tar out of us or kill us. For more, a great explanation is Web Link
Trying to compare "who is worse" is silly in this discussion. Bottom line, who will join us to work against terrorism, murder, rape, torture, lying, oppression of women, gays and children, "eye for eye" mentality of cutting off hands that steal, etc?
Any Muslim leader who wants to promote a true Islam of Peace is more than welcome to build a mosque in my own backyard. Heck..I will offer up one of the rooms in my home to help build up a following for such a person...
Posted by anonymous, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:16 am
Human rights are a concern, not in the past, which we cannot alter, but right now and in the future.
The need for separation of government and religion is what I'm focused on. Like anything, there are degrees of this, but check out my examples.
I am close to people who lived and worked a quarter of a century in a country that only has Islam. It was a system whereby they kept their heads down, and they lived in a certain area. They could not openly practice religion (unless the country's particular brand of Islam), drink, etc.
A story that shocked me: the boss of one of the persons I am close to (professionals, Westerners, not Americans) decided to go to a public execution - it was a beheading held outside, in a public square as I recall. I think the offense was something relatively minor. The person I know reported his boss subsequently had a heart attack.
Another example I was told by these persons with direct knowlege/exoerience/observation of a culture is that people get their hands chopped off if they are suspected of theft. Consequently, it is extremely "safe" in this country, though piles of gold are around in the markets, etc. But what happens if/when the wrong person is suspected at some point???
Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:32 am
The mosque is being built directly opposite the Campus for Jewish Life at the lower end of San Antonio by a group located in San Jose and Los Gatos. The financing is probably coming from Saudi Arabia and other oil rich countries of the Middle East as Arab countries have provided the financing for many of the new mosques in Europe.
It is no accident that a group from San Jose has chosen a site directly opposite the Campus for Jewish Life, it is a provocative decision. This has happened in other parts of the world. When a synagogue was proposed in London a Muslim community proposed a mosque across the street.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 10:50 am
Paul says "vWell, guilty, along with many others. I'd always presumed the nuns in my Caholic school were teaching true church doctrine when they told us the Pope was the representative of Christ on earth, and Christ was God. In addition to that hearsay, it was written right there in the official Baltimore Catechism II."
Paul, thanks for proving my point. Presumption and hearsay are exactly what you describe. Go back to the Bible and find out if your teachers and text books are accurate.
Non-believer says "Christians believe in the New Testament,which is not the Bible, it is a fiction book written after the fact to attempt to codify rules that people should live by."
Non-believer, Christians believe in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, that is what the Bible is. Christians' belief includes all the prophecy in the Old Testament which has occurred in the New Testament. In other words, the Old Testament substantiates the teachings of the New Testament.
Posted by Neighbor, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 11:03 am
One contravercial issue may be the minaret which will probably exceed Palo Alto's 50 ft. height limit. You may remember when the Campus for Jewish Life was first proposed they wanted a tower over an elevator shaft to go up over 90 ft. The tower was never built due to opposition from the City. We shall see if the minaret gets approved.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 11:43 am
Note to No: Your post of 2 hours ago is a case study example of lawyerly twisting of Jesus simple words (no slander of genuine attorneys intended). I'll keep a copy for reference, and I highly recommend that everyone go back and read it.
"Paul, thanks for proving my point. Presumption and hearsay are exactly what you describe. Go back to the Bible and find out if your teachers and text books are accurate."
You need to argue that point with 2000 years of Christian/Catholic thought and thinkers, not with me. It was, after all, their early counterparts who wrote the New Testament you attempt to wield.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 12:37 pm
"Catholics are the vast majority of Christians, and they don't believe anyone is going to hell for "not believing"."
I was raised as a Catholic, and I can assure you that my priests made it very clear to us parishoners that the only people who will enter Heavan would be Catholics, and only if they had not committed a mortal sin. There was doubt about it.
I am no longer religious, but I can distinguish among the various major religions. Christianity and Judaism are no particular threat to me, but Islam is. The central tenet of Islam is that all people on earth must become believers in Islam, at pain of death or dhimitude. I wonder if the average Muslim understands how repugnant this aspect of their religion is to non-Muslims? A mosque is not just some simple place of expression of faith to the oneness god. It is also a place to organize against all non-bleievers in Islam. There is no rational reason for a non-believer to celebrate the building of a mosque.
BTW, the Crusdades were a defensive move against Islam, which was harassing Christians from Europe who were attempting to go to Jerusalem.
Posted by non-believer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 12:54 pm
"Non-believer, Christians believe in the Old Testament as well as the New Testament, that is what the Bible is. Christians' belief includes all the prophecy in the Old Testament which has occurred in the New Testament. In other words, the Old Testament substantiates the teachings of the New Testament."
No, resident, christians pick and choose what they want to believe in from the old testament. If you ask them about it , they say they are under the new covenant. Otherwise, christians would be keeping kosher, for example.
They conveniently pulled out parts of the old testament that suited their needs and incorporated them into the work of fiction known as the new testament.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 4:24 pm
"BTW, the Crusdades were a defensive move against Islam, which was harassing Christians from Europe who were attempting to go to Jerusalem."
So you think actual mass murder was the proper penalty for Muslims (including women and children) who merely harassed Christian trespassers in their country, yet you are repulsed by the hypothesis that "The central tenet of Islam is that all people on earth must become believers in Islam, at pain of death or dhimitude [sic]."
Excuse me, but I see no daylight between you and the Muslim fanatics you conjure up.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm
Kerry, I was raised a Catholic, left, and came back.
Turns out a lot of what I THOUGHT was true about Catholicism, wasn't. Human error in teaching and human error in receiving the teaching contorts much of what we THINK is true about what we have learned.
Being taught we wouldn't "go to heaven" is not the same as being taught we were "going to hell" if we didn't believe. We WERE taught that Catholic was the only one, true and full way, this is true. However, we believed in purgatory then, also, which taught us that even if we got it wrong in life, we could still get it right in death.
That is different from believing you were taught that you would "go to hell" if you left or stopped believing. I DO believe that many people grew up with this, don't get me wrong. I have heard it too many times! But somehow some of us got the right message as we grew, don't know why.
Somehow, I was lucky, I missed out on so much of what others got or think they got, that was wrong. I STILL left for years over a couple issues I simply couldn't reconcile myself with, but have returned from having decided it is still the best "overall" message there is..( and ignore the stuff I think is silly).
Don't get me wrong..through the ages, including ours, there has been and is an awful lot of superstition and plain old WRONG stuff taught and/or believed, ...in the name of power, or manipulation or whatever. But the kernel of it, the real "holy" part, the part not screwed up by us humans, is still pretty good.
Anyway, I continue to wait for the list of Imams who will proclaim themselves "moderates" as I listed above.
And, I would add to that list of "moderate" qualifications: Who are willing to state that Israel has the right to exist, and Jews have the right to be left alone....
Will check daily to see if anyone has found an Imam to come here and start a mosque under "moderate" Islam. It is time for the Muslim reformation to begin.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 5:59 pm
Resident who posted the thread from last time this came up...
the difference now is that a lot more of us are awake and aware (a la the quote attributed to Japanese Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto after his attack on Pearl Harbor, "I fear all we have done is to awaken a sleeping giant and fill him with a terrible resolve." )
Then there were few of us willing to write and/or speak..we were too busy trying to stop the momentum building for what we ended up getting in this Admin ( we failed then..but what we failed to do, this Admin's actions are teaching the American people better than all our words prior to Nov 5, 2008)...
and we knew that whatever we said then would fall on deaf ears and/or be labeled racist or paranoid etc because of all the hyperbole around Obama and his Muslim upbringing.
Luckily we are past that and able to actually listen, learn and think, more or less, more of us, anyway.
Hence this thread's depth. I like it! Interesting.
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:22 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Your arrogance in expecting that there will be people who suggest to you an Imam or Imams for your approval on this on-line blog before you can endorse a Mosque in Palo Alto is beyond the pale.
The discourse thus far has pointed out numerous flaws around numerous traditions. I defend none of them, nor do I support any of them.
I do think this thread is losing its direction. The notion is that there are many Muslims residing in this area, and it would be good for them to have acess to a Mosque.
It appears that there is one that will be built along San Antonio Road, near the JCC. There could be some irony around "settlements" in these circumstances. But it is a good thing for people of faith to have a place to worship.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 6:38 pm
"So you think actual mass murder was the proper penalty for Muslims (including women and children) who merely harassed Christian trespassers in their country"
The history of Islamic conquest is a river of blood. They massacred almost everywhere they went. The Hindu's, for example, were beyond shocked at how any culture or movement would ignore long-established 'rules' of war, and massacre women and children, burn villages, destroy property and so forth.
The crusaders knew who they were fighting, and no quarter would be offered. The Christians demanded access to Jerusalem, but their pilgrims were killed and robbed on the pilgramage. Europe fought back, and would have been content with a guarantee of free access to the Holy Lands, guaranteed by a European military presence (since previous agreements were violated by the caliphs).
Islam expanded through the sword, and the only way they could be checked was with the sword. Now, with oil money, they are back on the march. The West should not be naive. It is literally true that our lives and future are at stake.
Posted by Pele, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 8:32 pm
The mosque proposed for San Antonio will basically be built on the border of Palo Alto and Mountain View, so Palo Altans can pat themselves on the back for putting one over on their neighbors. How about building it on University Ave, in Barron Park, or in Midtown? Now the guards of the Jewish school will no doubt have to arm themselves with Uzis. I've always wondered if they were armed as I drive by in the mornings.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 29, 2010 at 9:31 pm
Just for historical accuracy-- the Easter Roman Empire was Christian for hundreds of years, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon,Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco where all Christian countries from the rule of Emperor Constantine onward, hence the original word for Istanbul was Constantinople--Christianity spread south to Ethiopia and east to Armenia and what is now Iraq as well as Russia etc, all that is in the past-- but the real estate claims by different religions in the region-- mainly the Holy land-- continue to this day.
Christians have as much right to that vast real estate, actually more, than anyone else--- but they are not pressing their claims at the moment.
Back to Palo Alto-- the more Mosques the better-- but without the amplified calls to prayer 5 times a day-- they start very early.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2010 at 6:11 am
You've got to be kidding...
You claim asking for the name of even ONE moderate Imam, as described above, is arrogance?
ONE Imam who supports Israel's right to exist, ONE who will renounce terrorism, even in the name of "jihad", ONE to renounce rape and torture under any circumstance, ONE to renounce the aspects of Sharia law that are against the laws of OUR USA, ONE to renounce the imprisonment and execution of gays, etc?
There must be many, many Muslims who read these thread...and not one can name even ONE moderate leader in their religion?
Just think of how many names of Christian or Jewish religious leaders would be listed with such a question...by their followers,students, readers of their books, etc.
Your paradigm is quite telling. It is now "arrogant" to ask for the name of even ONE "moderate" Imam.
Yet, a thread on Christianity or Judaism with the same request would produce many, many names.
The reason I ask?
I can't find even one on the internet, anywhere. I have looked. No leaders anywhere in the world will stand up and begin the reformation of Islam. Over a billion followers, and not one "moderate" Imam. A few brave individual Muslims who have to live in hiding here in the USA, yes, I can find them..but not one leader will support them.
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2010 at 6:39 am
The Crusades, though degraded over the years as most things human are, began when the first intolerant Imam sprang up and shut the doors to Jerusalem to the holy pilgrimage of Christians.
That was ..about..I forget exactly...1100?? In other words, for the first 400 or 500 years of Islam, Christians had no problem continuing their trek to their Holy Land, and completing their journey to their "real estate", I guess is how Sharon put it.
The Crusades began as enforcing the rights of Christians to continue their way to their Holy lands. Recall, the Christians were "there before" the Muslims, and had been doing their holy treks for 900 years or so already.
The unfortunate formerly peacefully coexisting Muslims ( who had been, in fact, greatly helped in their tribal society organization by their Prophet Mohammed, I might add, which helped them organize and flourish in a way they had not been able to do before hand), had to follow their Imam's ( I believe it was actually called a "Caliphate"..) directive and fight the Crusaders who were trying to maintain their access to their holy sites. Without that directive, who knows what the history of the world would look like today?
So, in fact, Paul, you have it backwards about who simply took what they wanted.
Out of this unfortunate direction from this Caliphate sprang the beginnings of push back by Christians to Muslims. And the rest is history. We probably thought that this chapter had culminated when there was the cessation of conflict when the Barbary Coast pirates were squashed, but it then re-emerged in the unholy alliance between Muslim leaders in North Africa and Mussolini and Hitler when freedom had to be defended, again.
At this point, I repeat, live and let live is all the rest of the civilized world wants. Live and let live between religions, nations, groups...and in the case of me and I hope many still proud defenders of individual liberty, a live and let live between individuals.
I defend and promote the concept that our rights end when they impinge on another's.
Any other religion I know of, mono or pantheistic, subscribes physically to this live and let live principle. Yes there are quite verbal followers who try to convert, or keep, adherents with words, but I can live with that, and fight back with my own words. Any physical "coercion" supported by anyone is simply not ok with me.
I will not support anyone, of any country or any religion or any belief system, that does not subscribe to a "live and let live" ideal.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2010 at 10:06 am
"Turkey, Syria, Lebanon,Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Tunisia, Algeria, and Morocco where all Christian countries from the rule of Emperor Constantine onward, hence the original word for Istanbul was Constantinople"
Sorry, Sharon. Although the emperor Constantine converted to Christianity on his deathbed, that doesn't mean the territories claimed to be ruled by the city named for him were Christian turf.
"The Crusades began as enforcing the rights of Christians to continue their way to their Holy lands."
Easy there, No. Try the decaf. The fact is, as I pointed out above, the Christians had no "rights" to trespass the so-called "Holy Lands." The Crusades were their attempt to take those lands by force (and, by no small coincidence, to loot the fabled wealth of the Muslim courts).
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2010 at 10:24 am
The morality of the past has to be judged in the context of the morality of the timeframe. In the past it has been ok for many things to occur that we would be shocked at today, from child labor, work conditions, crimes and punishment to yes, reasons for war. People took their religion very seriously then as since life was very hard, the rewards in heaven were valued much more than today. For someone who lived a hard life the afterlife was something to look forward to especially as lifespans were shorter.
When judging something like the Crusades, we see a different sort of society. Even the Old Testament is full of things we look at differently now. It just may be that in the future they look on the 20th century and its wars as barbaric (yes, I do mean the 20th century).
Posted by No, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Jul 30, 2010 at 6:46 pm
Paul says "Easy there, No. Try the decaf. The fact is, as I pointed out above, the Christians had no "rights" to trespass the so-called "Holy Lands." The Crusades were their attempt to take those lands by force (and, by no small coincidence, to loot the fabled wealth of the Muslim courts)."
Methinks you need to read your history a bit. But, perhaps it is like believing that Israel originally "drove out" the Muslims into Jordan's lands, and "took" land that didn't belong to them in all the wars begun by other countries attacking them...I think elsewhere you have posted these errors as "fact", and they aren't, so I suspect that you will never accept the truth about the beginning of the Crusades either.
Resident: you are absolutely correct. Even in my own lifetime some things are now considered "barbaric" that were perfectly fine and normal in my time, ..simply part of our culture. I see other things that are becoming more barbaric in our time, but that is a post for another, future time.
Oh well, I am off this subject, it has been done to death.
Posted by non-believer, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 1, 2010 at 3:11 pm
"Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Jul 29,
2010 at 7:34 pm
The population of Gaza felt the same way about the IDF when they
slaughtered women and children during the recent Cast Lead invasion."
this is the 7th time I have registered my disagreement with the above, inflammatory statement. This statement is not based on any fact and has no place on this thread
I still do not understand why the editors continue to delete my postings on this matter yet do not see fit to remove this offensive post.
Perhaps the weekend staff at the censorship desk should contact one of the responsible adults at PA weekly (like Bill or Jay) and ask for their assistance in this matter. Or perhaps someone can explain exactly why my post has been continuously removed, while the post from Sharon remains, instaed of just continuously deleting criticism of a non-personal nature from this thread.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2010 at 10:32 am
"I think elsewhere you have posted these errors as "fact""
No, I've never posted your errors as fact; I have always called an error an error. BTW, "proofs" by analogy even more feeble in history than in logic.
If Christians were being harassed going where they didn't belong, their rulers should have told them to stay home, or else they were on their own. However, superstition and greed (the fabled gold, silks, and spices of the Eastern courts) again prevailed over prudence.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2010 at 4:34 pm
" While everyone from former half-term Alaskan governors to former Georgia congressmen to heads of major Jewish civil rights organizations seems to feel entitled to offer their opinion on the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” —
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg issued a statement today injecting a measure of sanity into the debate and implicitly criticizing his fellow Republicans for their political opportunism and shameless demagoguery. Take, for instance, this passage:
Whatever you may think of the proposed mosque and community center, lost in the heat of the debate has been a basic question –should government attempt to deny private citizens the right to build a house of worship on private property based on their particular religion? That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here.Web Link
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2010 at 5:36 pm stephen levy is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I agree with Paul Losch--most of the objections to the building of mosques in America have been pretty disgusting. I am happy that the board in New York gave their approval today for that center and mosque.
Apparently there is a proposal to build a mosque in Temecula down in Southern California. Amazingly at the hearing a wave of people came out in support. See the article below and in particular scroll down to an old quote from George Bush made after 9/11
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm
>> Apparently there is a proposal to build a mosque in Temecula down in
>> Southern California. Amazingly at the hearing a wave of people came
>> out in support. See the article below and in particular scroll down to
>> an old quote from George Bush made after 9/11
Hardly amazing, unless you don't really get what is going on. Temecula is not the scene of 911. There are times when it is perfectly appropriate for the government to decide what use a private resource is going to used for ... in fact it happens all the time.
How about a Mosque right across from the White House ... how about an X-Rated movie theater right across from your home. How about a halfway-house for recovering pedophiles across from your kid's school.
If there is one thing I would like to see absent from dicsussions about political issues it is poltically correct platitudes on the order of Mom, Apple Pie, and cheeseburgers, like "That may happen in other countries, but we should never allow it to happen here".
Are Americans either so incapable of thinking or perceived as such so much that people think making these kinds of comments are going to rally support or dissent?
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 3, 2010 at 11:02 pm
>> Our risk in the US from terrorist is tiny
This is simply not true. The risk is very difficult to calculate. Previous to 911 we would have thought the risk to be almost negligible due to past experience. Then 911.
Think of this as saying leave your door open because the risk of burglary is negligible because no one in your neighborhood has even been hit before. Then your first incident may be vandalism, burglary, or home invasion ... it is too late. Going with numbers that back you up in terms of unlikelihood is not good enough when you are working with matters of life and death, and particularly unacceptable when dealing with what could next time be a suitcase nuke or some kind of mass attack as in the British subways.
Smoking is an assumed risk. The ideas that someone is intelligent or has a point because they can compare very tiny numbers and think they understand risk would laughable if it were not taken seriously by some of the public. The idea about the airport not being dangerous because people die of smoking or car accidents is a good example of irrational thinking.
In any case this is not about terrorism, it is about perceived symbols of terrorism to some and what are the rights of others in questions of propriety and good taste.
I'd like to know why it is so important for a mosque to locate itself within view of the former twin towers anyway.
How would Saudi Arabia react to a synagogue in sight of Mecca? Heck, how would Saudi Arabia react to a Jew setting foot in their country without an official waiver of national policy? Yes, it is illegal, a crime, for a Jew to be in Saudi Arabia. Not only that but there are incidents of companies with significant Saudi investment being told they must not hire Jews - IN AMERICA. Saying that we are not Saudi Arabia is like saying we are not Mexico when it comes to illegal immigrants.
It's a pity that the mosque is being built is all I can say. Let's just hope it does not get any negative notoriety for any reason.
Posted by Commander McBragg, a resident of another community, on Aug 4, 2010 at 10:58 am
The issue isn't about building a mosque. The issue is about building a mosque 2 blocks from ground zero. I think it's incredibly insensitive and offensive. Where's the sensitivity? They know people don't like it. I especially don't like the symbolism of destroying the World Trade Center (on the second attempt; if that hadn't been successful they'd still be working on it) and erecting a 15-story Islamic Cultural Center virtually in its place. Where is the "reaching out" by Muslims to their American non-Muslim friends? Why are they trying to be provocative about it? Now is the chance for my Muslim friends to show me that they care about me and my feelings, and put up their building someplace else.
Posted by Paul, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 12:12 pm
I do not see the connection between a Mosque and the WTC. OK, the hijackers were Muslims. But so what? If they were Christians, would Americans fret over building a Catholic, Nazarene, Baptist, Mormon, Methodist, Pentacostal, Anglican, or TV Megachurch near the site? No, they would not.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 4, 2010 at 12:58 pm
>> If they were Christians, would Americans fret over building a... near the site? No, they would not.
What vapid incomplete logic. Of course they would "fret" over it. There is no such thing as "Christian" in the way you use it.
There is such a thing as Muslim in the way it is feared when it comes to radical Islam, there is no radical Christianity, at least nothing in present times that is threatening, active and murdering large numbers of people.
If there were some Christian sect that was violent ... let's say for example a wacko anti-abortionist church that advocated and gave support to criminals who stalked and murdered people at abortion clinics you can be damn sure people would "fret" about where a new church of such a faith would go.
A high percentage of vocal active and militant Islam runs countries in this world in case you have not noticed, and their mosques represent more than just a place of worship, at least to some of them, and many non-Muslims. It seems to be a game with radical, or political Islam to see just how ridiculous they can make Western tolerance appear, and they show a failing in our system and philosophy to be practical and pragmatic about dealing with self-proclaimed enemies who seek to destroy us from inside and out.
It is only now after almost 10 year that some Islamic groups are standing up to dis-associate themselves with the radicals, and terrorism, and until such time as they do it is an insult to thinking people to refer thinking people "fretting" about this issue, or to oppose anything Muslim in any way short of violence and seek to use the system to peacefully express that ... that is our system, and it may well not work and be dysfunctional on issues such as these. If it is too dysfunctional the fringed start to act like a mob - which is to be avoided.
Now, THIS is the list of moderate Muslims I was asking for above... why did it take a Christian link to find them? In any case, here is a another link to a site who interviewed the founder of American Islamic Forum for Democracy
"To his credit, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a tirelessly campaigner for the eradication of political Islam and the divorce of violence from the religion, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, strongly opposed the construction of The Cordoba House at Ground Zero, saying:
“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.”
And Hossein Kamaly, Fanny Brett de Bary Term Assistant Professor of Asian & Middle Eastern Cultures at Barnard College, Columbia University, said:
“After all, it was 19 Egyptian and Saudi Arabian thugs calling themselves Muslims who perpetrated this heinous crime on September 11th. They want to send a message of friendship, but building a mosque where there wasn't one before, is not the most nuanced way of doing that.”
Sadly, these voices of reason are but muted whispers in a wind that howls with the disingenuous voices of the politically correct who ignorantly call for “tolerance” and “understanding” in the face of naked and violent Islamist aggression. Certainly it cannot be denied that the overwhelming majority – and, in fact, almost all – of violent aggression in the name of religion today comes at the hands of Islamists executing their crimes against humanity in the name of “Allah” and “Muhammad.”"
I guess both of these Muslims above are "intolerant" and "not progressive".
Careful, careful, careful. Don't let name calling you deter you from the truth.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 6, 2010 at 5:51 am
Snopes said above was true..however, the link is only true every YEAR during a Muslim parade ( which is interesting in and of itself..where is the Jewish parade and the Christian parade? but that is something else)...not every WEEK...you have to have a full cup of coffee and carefully re-read to see that little part. I wish they hadn't put "TRUE" on the top of the Snopes link, but instead "PARTIALLY TRUE"..
Editors, please delete my post that starts "For Evil to Flourish..."
I had no intention of spreading something false. I believe in facts.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:58 am
Wait a Moment!! You removed my factual posts, 4 of them over a 3 day period, all different links and facts, because of "excessive or repetitive" posts? Every single one of those posts, if you had read them, had DIFFERENT links, with DIFFERENT facts, spread out over days as I found them. All just building a pattern of thought.
All because I kept hitting the "report" button on my erroneous post!!
Ok, I will repost them here, all in one post.
Ottawa Citizen paper editorial by ...of course...Muslims in Canada who sit on the Muslim Canadian Congress (Raheel Raza is author of Their Jihad ... Not my Jihad, and Tarek Fatah is author of The Jew is Not My Enemy (McClelland & Stewart), to be launched in October. Both sit on the board of the Muslim Canadian Congress.) Aside from the fact that there IS a Muslim Canadian Congress ( is there a Christian Canadian Congress? A Jewish Canadian Congress?) I like what these folks say.
"As for those teary-eyed, bleeding-heart liberals such as New York mayor Michael Bloomberg and much of the media, who are blind to the Islamist agenda in North America, we understand their goodwill.
Unfortunately for us, their stand is based on ignorance and guilt, and they will never in their lives have to face the tyranny of Islamism that targets, kills and maims Muslims worldwide, and is using liberalism itself to destroy liberal secular democratic societies from within"
Here is a link to the history of the ORIGINALLY NAMED CORDOBA HOUSE ( now called Park 51, like this is a Monopoly Game). Cordoba was the center of Islamic power, a type of Capital, in Spain at the height of Islamic expansion
And here is a link to the Imam of the Ground Zero Mosque, Faisal Abdul Rauf, saying that we deserved 9/11 ( ok, actually we were an ACCESSORY TO THE CRIME). Not coincidentally, and completely in keeping with the Obama Apology Administration, Rauf is also now an ambassador to the Middle East, on the taxpayers dime, of course. Why is HE the ambassador of Islam in the USA, and not, for example, the founder of American Islamic Forumm for Democracy, Dr. Jasser, the emissary of the USA? ( see posts above for links to him and his center)
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 10:07 am
Obama is losing a lot of support for his support of the Ground Zero Mosque.
While what he is saying is correct, it is only correct up to a point. Yes, freedom of religion is paramount. However, Islam is not just a religion. It is a set of ideals tangled up with religion. When a religion fosters terrorism the way Islam does, and when its dogma overtly refuses to accept those who won't accept it, then it is in effect becoming a political organization more than a religion. This cannot be said about any other religion other than Islam.
If a religion can be said to bring fear into those who do not support it, then there is something wrong. A religion should unite its followers and reach others outside with love, respect and understanding, hoping to win them over. What is going on with Islam is scary as they recruit their converts into future terrorists.
The Ground Zero Mosque will undoubtedly be a source of criticism and if that is what they want (which I suspect it is) then they have won. I would have much more respect for the individual Muslims if they decided not to have anything to do with this particular Mosque.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 12:27 pm
As Resident pointed out, Islam is not just a religion, it is a governmental system, that in practice is expansionist, intolerant and oppressive.
Muslims in American and most of the West do not practice this form of Islam and the vast majority of them are not a threat.
Sadly, not all of them are such good citizens, and a very small percentage could be extremely dangerous. The government has to surveil some of these mosques, and even some Muslim communities and some trouble has been found.
So ... aside from the rights to build a mosque and all the freedom of religion talk, when the majority of Americans and New Yorkers themselves say that they are against the building of the mosque, how can the mosque builders claim they are doing it to reach out with good intentions?
I realize Barack Obama had to say something on his appearance at a Muslim event, and to ignore the mosque entirely might have sent a better local hands off message, but he chose to say something about it and affirm American beliefs and ways of life. That is fine, but I think it grates with people and was not a thoughtful thing to do, it was political correct and plays into the hands of wackos who say he is closet Muslim himself.
In my opinion the President might have said something more nuanced that recognizes that there is touchy larger situation here. The building of a mosque, now, near Ground Zero is not a very friendly or sensitive thing to do in my opinion. Forgoing building that mosque, and perhaps building it at some point in the future would be a much better gesture from the Muslim community.
I just do not think this is a huge issue, but it is symbolic, emotional and complex. With all the other problems in the world this is certainly not a good use of time or attention. The root of the disturbance lies with the builders of the mosque who should have known better and exercised bad judgement to do this now.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 2:30 pm
"Sarah Palin, has chosen to provide another poorly informed opinion on the matter."
Please provide the uninformed elements of her opinion, assuming you are referring to the lower Manhattan mosque.
The imam leading this effort is a real piece of work (e.g. "Iman Rauf is calling for a worldwide return to the most radical form of Islam in history, turning the hands of time back to an era when Muslims ruled much of the known world" Web Link )
If you support Sharia law, Paul, just say it. Ohterwise, you should probably listen to Palin, instead of criticizing her in a very uninformed manner. Do you bother to do your homework before you go public with your missives?
Posted by religious violence, a resident of the Barron Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 4:35 pm
A terrorist bomb blew up 3 children in Northern Ireland today. CNN report: Web Link
The news report does not say if the bomber was Catholic or Protestant, but both religions have caused the deaths of many thousands of innocent people. Should we ban all religions associated with violence, including the Catholics and Protestants? I would not be surprised if Christian terrorists have killed more people over the years than all other religious terrorists combined.
Posted by VoxPop, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm
Some 62 Muslims were killed in the 9/11 events. None were terrorists. They were working in the buildings. Their lives were just as important as any of the Christians, Jews, and people of other denominations who lost theirs in that tragedy.
Read New York Mayor Bloomberg's remarks on the subject. He's a staunch and eloquent defender of the rights of all of us to freely practice our religions, or to not practice any religion. He supports the First Amendment, as we all should.
Think, people, if one religion is banned or curtailed, then all religions are subject to the same banning or curtailment. Do you want that?
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 5:24 pm
Nor is anyone calling for the banning of any religion.
We are asking for good taste and sensitivity.
At the risk of deletion for repetition: I repeat, if a Shinto Shrine were proposed at Pearl Harbor or a Christian Church at Auschwitz, I would call it in horrible and disrespectful taste and oppose it.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 5:57 pm
"I would not be surprised if Christian terrorists have killed more people over the years than all other religious terrorists combined"
I would, becasue it is not even close to being true. Go back to the origins of Islam and you will see a continuous river of blood.
I am not religious, at all. I don't defend the Christians or Jews or Hindus, etc., other than on a relative basis. However, I am a rational thinker, and it is very clear to me that Islam is an international racket of terror on par with the Nazis. It is no surprise that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem donated military regiments to Hitler in WWII, since they were of the same racketeering mind set.
As a theoretical construct, let us say that German bunds wanted to erect a bund branch in lower Manhattan, within a Lutheran church, in 1939...do ya think FDR would put up with it? Note: The answer is no, he set his hounds out to get 'em, as he should have...and he succeeded. Obama cannot even begin to stand in FDR's shadow...he seems to be so vacuous.
This thing is not about religious tolerance, it is about international racketeering. This imam in lower Manhattan should be the subject of RICO laws, as was John Gotti.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 6:21 pm
The problems between Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland is very different. The religions are not important, but their political agendas and their history makes this a political war not a religious war. They are not protesting each other's religion, they are in fact divided because of their politics. The Catholic minority in Northern Ireland want to be free of Britain (apart from all the welfare benefits of course) and the Protestant majority, want to remain loyal to the Queen. Neither side are trying to impose their religion on the other.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 6:53 pm
I don't know where to put this, and it IS from the Huffington Post, so I am not sure how true it is, but I just read the guest list at the Iftar at the White House, a tradition started by Bush in ..10/11 to promote peace and understanding between Muslims and everyone else.
Anyway, do you think it is really true that the PLO Chief of Missions was invited to this event? At OUR White House?
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Aug 14, 2010 at 7:22 pm Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
I prefer to be in the company of the President of the US and the Mayor of New York City than a person who resigned after less than a full term a s Govorner of a small state and appears to be out to be generating a celebrity income for herself.
Sarah Palin should do what she sees fit, and I credit her well with that. That is not the same as having uninformed points of view.
The topic is how about a Mosque in Palo Alto. And my understanding from the City is that there will be one, across San Antonio Road from the wonderful JCC complex.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 7:40 pm
You started this thread and you are expecting this to remain a Palo Alto issue. However, Palo Alto is part of a country which is becoming more and more informed on Islam. Ten years ago very few people here knew or even cared about Muslim issues. Even five years ago, very little more was known. However, in the past few years, the Islamic terrorists all over the world have sent a message which those of us who consider ourselves up to date with what is going on in the rest of the world, if not just the US, realise that what has happened overseas can happen here.
I have said before that I am not against the Muslims having a place to worship. What I am concerned about is that a Mosque may or may not be a nest of Islamic extremists. They have been discovered in California and we all know that Silicon Valley is home to people from all over the world, all different cultures are represented and it would be easy, extremely easy, for extremists to live and work in and amongst us while going about their extremist agenda undercover. Who is going to monitor that a Mosque in Palo Alto is not going to be the headquarters of a local terrorist chapter?
Apart from that, is it any coincidence that this Mosque is being planned right across the street from the JCC? As an early poster on this thread stated, Mosques have a strange habit of opening very close to Jewish owned facilities.
We are not a sleepy town in the middle of nowhere. We are a town of diverse and well educated people who are beginning to understand the threats that a seemingly simple Mosque can present.
We are not the only ones, Sunnyvale is keeping a concerned observation on what is going on there. My present question is why is it only some members of the public taking note and not local and more widespread government?
Paul, you opened a much bigger can of worms than you expected.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 8:19 pm
"I am totally repulsed by the objections to the buidling of mosques in varioous places around the United States being reported recently in the national press."
Paul, those are your words, and that doesn't sound like being isolated on "The topic is how about a Mosque in Palo Alto".
You criticized Palin for being uninfofrmed. Please be specific. What were her uninformed points about the lower Manhattan mosque?
You are speaking to a highly informed Palo Alto audience here, Paul, and it is fair to expect an intelligent, as opposed to an ad hominen, response. Are you afraid that Palin is smarter than you, or are you just afraid of her? Be brave, Paul, and provide specific criticisms. She is out there making her views known, but you are hiding behind excuses to not do your homework.
We all know that you did time at Harvard. Now you need to act like you did time at Fresno St., and actually do your homework.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 14, 2010 at 10:57 pm
This is a typical American conversation here ... the stated topic is how about a mosque in Palo Alto, which is really a comment on how about a mosque at ground zero?
Then Sarah Palin is invoked, and the feelings about her and Republicans. Who cares. What Sarah Palin does or does not do or think means nothing to me, and why should anyone leverage Sarah Palin's actions in order to come to a decision about how to think about mosques in one's local area?
Why does every single issue have to blow up with this unrelated but provocative and inflammatory crap?
Any issue that the US faces that has not been resolved long ago is much more complicated that any single conversation can cover, but throwing all this other emotional garbage into the mix is just a guarantee of how to undermine and destroy community and democracy.
I don't care about Sarah Palin, and I really do not care about Barack Obama. NY Mayor Bloomberg has a more relevant comment, but I just disagree with him and i think it is all about putting a happy public face on a system that does not know how to handle potential internal invaders or terrorists.
Most of the radicalization of Muslims has centered around the mosque, a place that every society recognizes as special and worthy of respect and protection. This is the pattern is Islam, and also the channel for radical Islam. Fortunately, somehow, American and the west really has treated Muslims for the most part better than they are treated in their homelands, and they know and respect that so there has been very little militant activity beside grumbling about how some Americans talk and treat Muslims, and what we have done militarily abroad.
Most Western Muslims are not radical, and apparently not easily radicalized .. after all what kind of like does one really need to have to consider giving it up to kill people? Not many Muslims in America are that miserable.
Islam and its incarnation as a government seems to make people miserable - in their own countries, in their own families, in their own skins. They are great at the indoctrination and then blaming all that misery on the West and Jews and making that illogic stick.
So ... I am not so much concerned about the NYC mosque as a haven for terrorists, although I would not ignore the possibity, I just do not like the looks of it. Why? What is the purpose to put that mosque in NYC near ground zero? Why is it so important for a religious structure to be put in a place that offends over half the people in a place ... and why doesn't Mayor Bloomberg have any comment on that, even if he must side with our higher beliefs and laws on the matter?
The Pope had enough sense and sensitivity to not build churches nearby the Nazi death camps ... who would want to do that anyway, and now ... why this Muslims? Is there some overriding reason?
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Why does Obama keep changing his story on the GZM?
He has now made it a national election issue, his changing positions make him appear to be an opportunist.
He cannot get himself out of this mess through a beer summit-- as Muslims do not drink ETOH.
When Romney is President in 2012 we will have root beer summits.
Interestingly Turkey, this month, is encouraging the open performance of Christian Religious ceremonies in Turkey.
Turkey is a NATO ally, is fighting alongside our troops in AfPak, has a population of 70 million and is building an economic union in the Mid East--- they can also help us rebuild relations with Iran-- like Nixon and China.
Obama is wisely pursuing this channel for building a collaborative relationship with Iran.
We profit from good relations with both the Sunni and Shia branches of Islam-- together they comprise 1.7 billion people world wide.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 15, 2010 at 8:35 pm
Foxman and the ADL lost its moral property in its bigoted attack on building a Mosque in Lower Manhattan -- Obama supports the Mosque-- a crisis between the ADL and Obama is immanent, he has made the American position clear-- we welcome good relations with Muslim countries and welcome their alliance in curbing attacks on American interests by AQ.
Turkey has made significant moves to implement religious freedom as has Indonesia and Jordan, Iran has laws to protect religious freedom--- clearly Iran needs to change its rhetoric-- and have more open elections-- in fact the vast majority of Iranians, who are under 30, want friendly relations with the USA-- we need to reach out to them in the US Iran best interests.
Any attack on Iran will cause a world economic crisis and is not in the best interest of the USA or China-- so they will stop it
Posted by Paul Losch, a resident of Palo Alto, on Aug 16, 2010 at 8:43 am Paul Losch is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
Conservative Monday New York Times Columnist Russ Douthat has a very good commentary in today's paper about the Mosque notion at Ground Zero.
His premise is that there is a principaled view of this matter (Obama and Bloomberg are cited) and a more down to earth view of the matter.
I tend to act from my head, and not from my heart. (This is not always a good thing for me personally!) But I perceive this NYC Mosque question is that people who are coming at it from a "head" standpoint are not able on this matter to appreciate how those who take a point of view from the "heart." People who view it from a "heart" point if view have an understandable opinion.
I distinguish that from Sarah Palin, who is an opportunistic woman tugging at hearts for her personal benefit.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 1:09 pm
" I tend to act from my head, and not from my heart"
Well then start using your head. Of course there are emotional aspects to this Manhattan mosque issue, but the compelling issue is logical, not emotional.
The imam who is heading this effort is on record supporting sharia law all over the planet. He has made a number of 'blame-America for 9-11' arguments. In short he is a subversive agent againt American national security, and he should be investigated by the FBI(follow the money and the phone calls).
This issue is NOT about religious freedom, it is about national security. Obama and Bloomberg and you and yours seem to be paralyzed by political correctness, and willing to sell American security down the drain. It is no coincidence that the co-founder of Hamas is in bed with you guys.
Your stance(s) on this issue are just silly. Stop blaming Palin and start using your head.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 2:46 pm
Many of the same neocons who drove us to war in Iraq, and who are now trying to drive us to war with Iran, have jumped on the anti Mosque bandwagon and are fanning the flames.
The Russian will start up the nuclear reactor in Iran within in days, once the fuel rods are in place bombing the reactor will contaminate the whole region with radioactive fallout and bring the world economy to a standstill for a long time. China gets much of its energy from the region.
Re Israel-- Israel has a long history of good relations with Iran, under the Shah and later selling arms to Iran during the Iran-Iraq war and Iran/Contra.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is a fool who has no power.
The fact is that there are 1.7 billion Muslims in the world, trading partners and customers.
We need to negotiate with them to further US interests---there is no point in antagonizing and alienating them over the Mosque issue.
Obama could have stayed out of it by sticking with his "it's a local matter" schtick. It wouldn't have cost him a thing.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 3:35 pm
"there are 1.7 billion Muslims"
There are even more Chrisitans, at least as far as I can tell. So what?
Most Chrisitians have no idea what the Bible says or means. Their preachers tell them what it means, as the sheperds of the flocks. Same with the Muslims, they are led by the imams. The palpable issue is what the immans stand for. This guy in Manhattan is a fundmentalist believer in the words of Qur'an. The Qur'an is the issue, not Muslims, per se. The Qur'an is the Mein Kampf of Mohammed and his capos. It needs to be challenged.
Try taking a look at the link I provided (above). It is by a former Islamist fundamentalist terrorist. He lays it out in a very straight-forward way. He uses both his head and his heart.
I see no reason to invoke international trade onto this issue. Muslims are highly desirable of, and dependent on Western goodies.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 3:48 pm
We really are not significantly antagonizing Muslims inside of the US at all, they understand the West and security considerations, and many if not most of them left their countries of origin for the US for a reason. (my opinion of course) And I think we, Americans, want to go out of our war to not antagonize American Muslims, or any other group.
I think ... just a guess ... that the ground zero mosque is probably not a big symbolic issue one way or other other to US Muslims ... I'd be interested to hear Muslims's personal opinions on that though.
We are understandably antagonizing some Muslims overseas, although even overseas many Muslims seem to dislike their corrupt, false, Muslims governments as much as they dislike the US. I do not blame anyone for hate engendered by bombings or assassinations although a certain amount of that is inevitable in wartime and the blowback inevitable as well.
As far as some of what have become "signature American notions" such as everyone being forced to bear, rudeness, discomfort, insults or slaps in the face in the name of political correctness ... I suppose that is just where we are as a culture, and I hope at some point it is recognized that subgroups that engage in this kind of thing really can be dangerous and deadly and grow to an existential by abusing the freedoms of a country.
I don't like there is no "channel" for the majority to nix an issue like this on the basis that is it not really an infringement of anyone's right to worship and their ought to be a judging body that could "sensitively" make that determination in our institutions. The concept of "fitna" or provoking trouble, for example, building a mosque near the ground zero site, as well as the history of the buidlings, and the supporters, backers and financiers of such an endeavor really should be taken into consideration.
Sadly, all of this requires a lot of thought and objectivity, something that we seem to be short or as much as we are long on financial deficit. This really points to the fact that as much as we can point at "ignorant masses" .... over a billion ... living in Muslim countries, that we have a lot of work to do to educate our own society on these issues, and the way our own country works past the second grade lectures we get in our political dialogs.
We have to "triage" reason in these decisions, not because it is right, sensible, according to our values, or human rights, or any other reason other than we cannot trust ourselves, our citizens to behave intelligently in deciding them. Or ... at least we do not think that we can.
I wonder how true this is, or how much actual effort goes in by the media to stir the pot so we can then claim that our own ignorant masses should stay out of state decision making ventures ... except for the quad-annual farces we call campaigns and elections?
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 7:53 pm
"compared the mosque planned to go up blocks away from ground zero in New York to Nazis protesting next to the Holocaust museum"
If anything, that is an understatement. Nazis are no longer a threat. Islamists are a real threat. Islam came to power via an international holocaust, and they are not through, as they paddle down their river of blood.
This is not about Muslims, per se, it is about their imams and the Qur'an. The lower Manhattan imam is a national security threat, and he should be treated as such.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 16, 2010 at 8:17 pm
Invoking the ghosts of Nazis and applying it to Muslims is childish and counter productive.
Arch Neocon Wolfowitz used this tactic to inflame politicians in the Bush administration against Saddam and Iraq --- Saddams hero was, in fact, Stalin--who was a monster-- but whom we treated as an ally throughout WW 11.
AQ is more like the narco terrorist gangs in Mexico, we need to hunt them down and kill them--- but they are trivial and tiny compared to the Nazi threat.
We have key defense, national security and trading relationships with Muslim countries such as Turkey and Indonesia, India has a population of 170 million Muslims-- US best interest are to tone down the inflammatory rhetoric and do business--that is what we excel at.
Nixon went to China and changed the world for the better, Obama will reach out to Iran and achieve the same goal.
The Neocon hysteria did not serve American best interests--it is long past time to bury it and move on.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 8:17 am
Paul, we get it that you really hate Palin. Why do you keep showing who you are with your ad hominem attacks on her?
Do you hate her because she has the courage of her convictions, because you couldn't have had the courage to bear and raise a child with Down Syndrome? Because she is an unabashed Christian? Because she is the epitomy of what my generation of women fought for...the right to choose to live her life as she sees fit, which is many kids, and an at-home husband? Because she is strong enough to have her own opinions? Because she makes a ton of money even though she is an unabashed capitalist? Because her son is in the military and she is proud of him and supports him? Because she supports her daughter in her life's choices, including when she tried to "do the right thing" and marry the father of her grandchild...before the father proved yet again what a moron he is? Because she lives what she believes? Is your hatred driven by envy?
Though I admire your willingness to not be anonymous, you are really painting yourself ugly with your absurd and non-stop Palin attacks.
BTW, I would bet you we would be much better off in all ways if we had a bunch of Palins in Congress, the Senate and the White House, being more libertarian than most, though she is still not libertarian enough for me.
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:22 am
What is Sharon talking about now?
Now she is bringing up "the ghosts of Nazis", "Arch Neocon Wolfowitz" , the Bush administration, Saddam, Iraq, Stalin, narco terrorist gangs in Mexico, Turkey, Indonesia, India, Nixon and China all in one-post!!!
problem is the thread is about a mosque in Palo Alto--butthe rant is amusing. BTW--the Daily Post reports today the the ARB will look at the mosque plans early next month.
I seem to recall Sharon being a big supporter of Bushand his neo-cons on this forum for a number of years. We can go back and pull out her relevant posts on this matter. So what game is Sharon playing at?
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:50 am
Some think the thread is about a Mosque in Palo Alto. Even Paul says this is about a Mosque in Palo Alto even though he was the first to mention problems with Mosques appearing in other parts of the country. This is actually a thread discussing Mosques and what they mean to the community and country in which they appear.
What exactly is a Mosque? Is it a place for Muslims to worship? Is it a place for them to use as a community center? Is it a place for Muslims to learn about the Koran? Is it a place for them to learn from a Muslim teacher about what it means to be a Muslim? Is it a place for them to share their beliefs about what being a Muslim in America means? Is it a place for them to be indoctrinated into a way of thinking, acting, treating their wives and children, which is contrary to the accepted manner in the US? Is it a place for taking impressionable young men and getting them involved in terrorist training camps somewhere else?
At what stage does this list of things stop being OK and start being not OK and downright illegal? Who is going to monitor that any Mosque keeps within the realms of being OK and not starting on the others? At what stage should we start being worried?
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 9:52 am
The neocons are using the Mosque issue to inflame anti Muslim sentiment.
True Conservatives, in contrast, have fought long and hard for private property rights and the rights of religious freedom.
The problems we have had in Iraq were the direct results of neocons fanaticism.
Wolfowitz claimed that the Baathists were the same as the Nazis and he was obsessed with a "denazification" program in Iraq--- he and the neocons got their way--unfortunately.
The result was that the whole Iraqi military was dismissed and unpaid---leading to total chaos and violence that lasted for years.
More reasonable voices in the Pentagon argued that the mission should be to topple the Saddam Regime but keep the Iraqi military in place to maintain order while we introduced a process of political and economic reform----this would have been a much more sound strategy with much fewer American casualties.
The neocons are at it again---this time to get us to attack Iran--and the demonization of Mosques and Muslims is part of their strategy.
Fortunately Gates and Petraeus are True Conservative and this time the Pentagon will strangle the neocons in the cradle.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 10:20 am
>>> More reasonable voices in the Pentagon argued that the mission should be to topple the Saddam Regime but keep the Iraqi military in place to maintain order while we introduced a process of political and economic reform----this would have been a much more sound strategy with much fewer American casualties.
History tells us now that we had several connections into Saddam Hussein's regime that were ready to remove him if the US supported them. Not only that but they were accurately relaying intelligence that Iraq had to weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam was loosing his grip on sanity, that he and his sons were the biggest problem in Iraq.
The reason we invaded Iraq must have been not about oil or even just Saddam, it was a strategic grab of real estate in the Middle East to ensure we get our oil.
Without oil the United States would crumble in weeks, so whoever just jumps on these facts and says "see, we just did it for the oil", or any other reason just does not understand the realities of the world.
As far as civilizing this area of the world, it is certainly problematic in many ways, as the Time Magazine cover shows, women's rights is just one of the important things that needs help. The sooner we get past the military phase of whatever we are doing the better for everyone, but does it occur that we are just doing this to bolster the military spending and sector of the economy?
As we engage in this process of "civilizing" Southwest Asia, we are going to kick up enemies who do not want to lose their power or see an opportunity to grad power, such as the Taliban, Al Qaeda, Iran, etc. Much of the traction of these groups comes from the institution of religion, and the mosque is the central nexus where radicalization happens. For an example look at the Army Psychiatrist who went crazy a while back and went on a shooting rampage. Mosques can be dangerous and evil places in this time. Why is it that we want to ignore the symbolism of this source of danger? At certain times symbols can be just as powerful as guns or bombs, and the arguments about rights and the Constitution ignores that.
Maybe it is the right thing to do at this time to ignore it and let the mosque be built, although I'm with the majority of locals in not liking the idea much. I just wonder if there is a way in a case where there is perhaps more or real danger is there anything we can do.
For example, hypothetically, say the builders of the mosque were avowed radicals with ties to overseas radical groups, funded by the Saudis. Would there be nothing at all that the US can do about that. Would the Nazi's had they called themselves a religion have been able to build rallying centers in our major cities without so much as anyone taking notice or raising the question?
There needs to be some valid way for the public to express themselves and have some teeth behind it in certain cases under well defined circumstances. In this case an alternate site sounds reasonable. Why is it not reasonable for this mosque to relocate somewhere less controversial? Why would Muslims in trying to reach out to the community want to force themselves in a place where they would cause offense to many?
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 10:23 am
Sorry ... typo, meant to say intelligence from Iraq had no WMD, which agreed with multiple sources from US intelligence. There was not credible intelligence which said they did, yet our government, specifically, Dick Cheney, forced the issue. Why was that not a crime?
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 1:12 pm
"I am confident that I and other Palo Altans can tell the difference between religious practice and Al Qaeda terrorist activities should the need arise here"
How would you go about doing that? You have already fully endorsed the Manhattan mosque, the leader of which is a fundmentalist Islamist, fully dedicated to spreading sharia law across the globe.
Are you going to monitor which charities the Palo Alto mosque endorses? Will you support FBI infiltration? Will you personally become engaged with the imam and other mosque leaders, and demand that they denounce the idea that it is just peachy for infidels to remain infidels around the world?
Posted by VoxPop, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 17, 2010 at 2:55 pm
Actually, the imam has advised the FBI on counterterrorism, and, "Imam Feisal has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance," Walter Isaacson, head of The Aspen Institute told the Huffington Post. "He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism, and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. Some of this work was done under the auspices of his own group, the Cordoba Initiative. I liked his book, and I participated in some of the meetings in 2004 or so. This is why I find it a shame that his good work is being undermined by this inflamed dispute. He is the type of leader we should be celebrating in America, not undermining."
I find many of the anti-mosque comments on this and other threads to be profoundly anti-American, denying, as they would, First Amendment protections. Next you people will be claiming that every synagogue harbors Zionist terrorists bent on imposing strict Orthodox laws on all Americans, or every Roman Catholic church harbors expansionist Catholic priests bent on imposing papal rule on all Americans.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2010 at 10:07 pm
Sorry about the double spaces ... can't the Palo Alto Online do something about formatting these posts so this does not happen? By the way to be readable for everyone it would also help if the columns are less than or equal to 70 or 80.
Please, can something think about the readers and usability on this website as much as they think about deleting and redacting people's posts ????????????
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 18, 2010 at 10:44 pm
Pelosis statements are very revealing---
Nancy Pelosi thinks the reason why questions about the Ground Zero mosque are following her around is because it’s been “all ginned up” and she has called for an investigation into who is funding those raising the questions.
Pelosi’s remarks provide a telling insight into a world in which nothing happens unless it is bought and paid for.
Since these are the rules the denizens of that universe have lived by, they cannot conceive of a world that does not run on pure corruption----
In the world they live in, everything has a price.
Whenever anything is observed to happen, the question is always “who sent you”?
An increasing number of people don’t need to be paid to feel antipathy towards the likes of Pelosi.
Posted by Nick, a resident of Mountain View, on Aug 18, 2010 at 11:15 pm
I am torn with this topic and not sure what to think. One side of me tells me what is the big deal of a mosque or islamic center being built near 9/11 location. But other times, I think that if there is an overwhelming majority who opposes to have it built in their community, then I think it should not be built. I don't think this issue is about religion, I think it should be about the "majority rules" and if New-Yorkers feel angry or sensitive about this, muslims should just understand and find a new place to build their mosque far away from 9/11 spot. I also think that the proposed area is so crowded, can you guys imagine how Friday afternoon prayer would be? Streets congestion is much worst than now. I lived in a moderate arab country 18 years and I noticed whenever minority christians decided to build a church, some muslim investors would pay so much money to buy a land or a house near the newly proposed church so they can build a mosque right next to it. So most likely these muslims in NY are going after this location, near 9/11 spot, to make a statement for Islam. Read Al Quran and read the bible and tell me from a very objective view, which book would you find encourage killing and violence of some sort? I read most of the Quran and I find the word "to Kill" or "Kill" is repeated so many times and almost in every verse throughout. I think anyone who reads this book gets the feeling that some kind of killing should happen whether to kill infidels or kill christians or Jews. Seriously - take a look and see for yourself. Maybe that should help you make up your mind. I hope I am not offending anyone out there!!!
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 3:07 pm
Even worse, we have the 3rd most powerful elected rep in the Fed Govt trying to silence dissent by demonizing and impugning via "investigation". True, my first thought was your thought...she can't conceive of a people who independently rise up without a "leader", without "pay", without "ginning up", being of the Party which offers bus rides and meals to vote, rock bands to bring out crowds at political events etc.
But, the scarier thought to me is the concept that one of MY governnment actually believes she has the right to call for an "investigation" into the free speech of millions and millions of
Totalitarianism, Chavez Style, always bubbling right below the surface.
The utter indifference and intolerance to the sensibilities of all the appalled Americans who are objecting to the placement of the Mosque thumbing its nose at the site of 9/11 will only backfire against Muslims. It is sad and too bad, but Dr. Jasser is out there doing the best he can to stop the hijackiing of Islam in the USA..join him.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 3:35 pm
>> But, the scarier thought to me is the concept that one of MY governnment
>> actually believes she has the right to call for an "investigation" into the free
>> speech of millions and millions of Americans.
Get real, the government is not and does not want to investigate anyone's free speech - PERIOD, EXCLAMATION POINT.
After all this hyperbolic silliness, comparing everything to Nazis, Hitler, Chavez, etc, most Americans seem to have no idea, and to be completing uninterested in these idiotic claims of totalitarianism at this point.
Why can't either side seem to stick to the facts of the matter. The facts are that there are conflicting rights here. The broad right of freedom of religion, and freedom of money - whoever can pay for anything seems to think they have a right to whatever it is.
Versus the right of individuals that live in a community, city, state, country, to have be human, that is, to have feelings about symbols and other groups within their borders.
Just saying anyone can do anything anytime is a big problem, just as saying that an elite minority can decide what we all see, hear or say.
If the majority in the area, city, or state of NY do not want a mosque built near the site of 911, I don't really see where that much of an imposition, or restriction of freedom of religion. For example, is someone said we should built a church on the site of 911 I and I think most would be against it.
Why not respect and at least try to have a channel for people to be able to fairly express and enforce their sensibilities in some way that is "Constitutional" instead of blindly interpreting rules to whosever benefit in whatever way?
Just as the environment was not recognized as having any regard in the business of industrial and that had to change, so human values and sensibilities cannot be allowed to be used against people ... in either way, and we need a way to do that without silly arguments about Chavez.
This is not an attack on anyone's freedom, but a refinement of what freedom means, just as the law was a refinement of what fairness meant to human beings after might makes right showed that it did not help most people.
Posted by Norm, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 4:26 pm Norm is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
News flash for some folks-----------------
Jesus was NOT a Christian, he was Asian, and probably looked more Imadimwad ("Erected" president of Iran) than Mel Gibson.
Thomas Jefferson didn't really "buy in" to the Christian concept (eidt personal version of the Bible), But is revered as a "God" of freedom -- and by folks who would denounce his beilefs, or lack there of.
Bottom line in my head on first impluse ---- it becomes sacred ground and a safe place protected by vile act except those done by vermin awaiting, begging for, extermination.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:01 pm
"It is about a blatant attack on our sovereignty by people whose ideology ultimately demands the elimination of our way of life. While Imam Faisal Rauf may not share their violent tendencies he does seem to share a belief that Islamic structures are a political statement and even Ground Zero should be looked upon through the lens of political Islam and not a solely American one."
Thanks for the links. The quote, above, is from one of your links, by Dr. Jasser.
The Manhattan imam is a national security risk, and he needs to be addressed in that context. I don't care what god he believes in, or how he goes about it, as long as he does not, in any way, threaten my non-religious views, as he does by promoting global sharia law.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:03 pm
More than 70% of Americans concur with the premise that proceeding with the plan would be an insult to the victims of the attacks on the World Trade Center.
1/4 of the population believe that Obama is, in fact, a Muslim--In all, just 47% of respondents believe Obama is a Christian; 24% declined to respond to the question or said they were unsure, and 5% believe he is neither Christian nor Muslim. Web Link
Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 26% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president.
Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -18 (see trends).
Twenty-eight percent (28%) believe the United States is heading in the right direction.
Other data shows that just 22% believe Members of Congress care what their constituents think.
Sixty percent (60%) disagree. Seventy-one percent (71%) say purpose of town hall meetings is for Members of Congress to listen, not speak.Web Link
These poll numbers are astounding and very disturbing-- how did this happen?---looks like the nation has completely lost trust in the current administration---very hard to redeem that
Obama should have said that he supports freedom of religion and private property rights on principle and that the details of the case are a local matter-- if he backtracks anymore now he will loose even more credibility--no wonder Pelosi is calling for a witch hunt---but that has backfired big time--
Posted by svatoid, a resident of the Charleston Gardens neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:40 pm
What is Sharon talking about now?
Polls on whether Obama is a Christian? Obama's approval rating? Polls on Members of Congress???
What does that have to do with the topic of this thread which is a mosque in Palo Alto.
Can Sharon ever stick to a topic, instead of using this forum as a vehicle to propogate her "ideas".
BTW--does it matter which religion Obama is? Or is that an issue for you Sharon?
Just another point--the mosque will not be visible from Ground Zero. And the imam of the mosque has been sent as a representative of many US governments, including George Bushs',
The relgious intolerance shown by the republicans (or are they just trying to make political hay from it?) is disgusting.
Saw an interesting letter in today's paper--since the Oklahoma City bombing was carried out by a republican, who was Catholic and an NRA member and his co-conspirator was a born-again christian, none of those organization should be within any distance of the Oklahoma City bombing site.
BTW, what is an acceptable distance from the WTC for a mosque? What about a church or a synagogue? Oh, did you know that the mosque has been there for years?
Oh and did you all know that a chapel at the pentagon is used for muslim prayer? No outrage over that?
Posted by Commander McBragg, a resident of another community, on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:45 pm
Obama rhymes with Osama. I think that has something to do with people being confused about whether he is Muslim or not.
I think the president did just what he's supposed to do by supporting the mosque. Uphold the constitution and represent all Americans. I think any other president would have done the same. Since I'm not president, I can be more opinionated about it, at least until my post gets deleted.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 19, 2010 at 5:53 pm
To us it does not matter if Obama is a Mormon, Jew--whatever--as long as he protects the US interests and defends the Constitution.
The relevance of the Mosques in NY, PA and across the country is that neoconservatives are using the issues to inflame hostility towards Muslims as a whole-- as a prelude to their campaign for American Soldiers attack Iran. Which is not in American best interests--
maybe Pelosi is correct in asking who is behind this ? who benefits?
Above, a well-written article asking the question WHICH Islam will prevail in America? My daily prayer is that Dr. Jasser's Islam will prevail, not the one of that NY Imam travelling the world on my dime. Why isn't Dr. Jasser our Ambassador of Islam from the USA? He actually believes in the USA!
We really don't give a flip what religion anyone is, as long as they follow our laws and cultural "live and let live" ways
We really don't give a flip what religion our annointed..sorry..elected officials are...as long as they uphold their (stumbled over) oath to defend and protect the Constitution...
However, where it becomes relevant is...is this yet another huge lie in a long list of lies? And, of course, the American people are awaking and connecting the dots.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 5:31 pm
The apologists of the Islamists are, slowly but surely, starting to recognize that a mosque is not, per se, a simple place of worship.
Even Christopher Hitchens who, only a couple of weeks ago, was fully politically correct about anti-Islam hatred, is now rethinking his position. Apparently, he decided to actually read and listen to this imam from Manhattan. He is starting to see that this issue is about national security and not religious freedom. Web Link
It is regrettable that Paul Losch and Stephen Levy did not bother to do due dilgience before reflexively jumping aboard the PC bandwagon. Apparently they do not put national security above their acceptance among their Palo Alto PC peers. The shame is theirs.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 5:59 pm
Christopher Hitchens is a paid organ grinder's monkey.
His latest shtick is for the US to attack Iran--- which is, in fact, the drive behind the anti Mosque campaign-- Hitch is going along with the ADL in this demonization of Muslims-- a few weeks ago he was condemning the ADL and expressing hatred of all religions-- follow the money, in his last weeks of life he wants to bring in as much cash as he can.
This anti Muslim hysteria is against our nations best interests and it is pathetic that opportunist politicians-- republican and democrat -- are inflaming this prejudice against a Sufi Mosque-- the Sufi are persecuted by our enemies
Posted by stephen levy, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:14 pm stephen levy is a member (registered user) of Palo Alto Online
The facility is to be a Muslim community center with a space for prayer along with the usual community center activities. The wife of the iman has been on television several times with a representative of the local Jewish Community Center who she turned to for advice on developing a community center facility.
The mosque in Palo Alto is proposed for a place across the street from the Koret Campus for Jewish Life has their support.
For most people the argument seems to be about proximity to the World Trade Center--not about terrorism. Are recent posters now arguing that no Muslim place of worship should be allowed anywhere in the U.S.? What next? Should all Muslim places of worship be closed?
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 6:41 pm
All mosques are about what their imams believe. The Manhattan mosque imam is not only extremely insensitive, and anti-bridge-building, he is a true national security risk. He supports sharia law, worldwide. It is hard to fathom how any non-Muslims, espeically Jews, could entertain his hatred and bigotry. However, that is up to them. The essential issue is that he is a national security threat.
The Palo Alto mosque probably does not rise to the level of the Manhattan mosque, but the imam of the PA mosque should be asked, by the Palo Alto human rights commission, if he supports sharia laws and rules and, if so, does he believe that they should be made part of local laws and regulations. These are very fair questions.
This is not about religious freedom, it is about national security. Apparently, Stephen Levy refuses to take a hard look at the Manhattan imam. The question is, why?
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:05 pm
The Know Nothings--who were anti Catholic- had the same argument as the anti Muslims --- We are not Muslim-- and we realize that it may be painful for some bigots to accept Muslims--too bad it is not your choice.
Muslims are 1.7 Billion customer and trade partners-- we need to focus upon US commercial best interests.
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 7:31 pm
Sharon, this discussion is about the know somethings vs. the willingly-blinded know nothings. Do you defend the Manhattan imam's call for spreading sharia law?
I am not religious, so I don't give a darn about somebody's mythical beliefs...unless they believe that I should be killed if I don't believe like them. That is problem with Islam. Apparently, I know something, and you do not.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 8:24 pm
Muslims are 1.7 Billion customer and trade partners-- we need to focus upon US commercial best interests, and our national defense best interests, both Petraeus and Gates have told us that we need to focus upon saving the lives of American troops and furthering American interests, NOT sacrificing American troops lives for religious / colonial tribal dreams by foreign religious factions in the Holy Land.
Some people do not like Baptists,Quakers, Catholics, etc our American Constitution was designed to stop this conflict between Christian sects and has been expanded to end this conflict among other faiths-- if you want to live in the USA. Get used to it.
Posted by Perspective, a resident of the Meadow Park neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 9:33 pm
Please read anything written by Dr. Jasser...he is a faithful AMERICAN Muslim...and eloquent in his disapproval of this victory mosque being built with a full view of the missing towers.
While you are at it, listen to the interview today between Dr. Jasser and Mark Levin, Web Link# ( click 8/23/10 audio link) and Dr. Jasser's comments on this radical Imam's beliefs regarding suicide-murder bombers, and 9/11, and Sharia law, ..fascinating, and gives me tremendous hope for the Islam of love and peace to rise above the hatred I have seen exhibited as "Islam" in the Muslim "brotherhood", Al-Qaida, Saddam Hussein, and across the Muslim lands in stonings, mutilations and executions performed as "justice".
Thank you Dr. Jasser. You are a light to Islam.
Repeat..of course anyone has the right to follow the zoning laws and build a place of worship of any type that follows our laws...this is not in question. What is objectionable is the LOCATION. Ms. Daisy Kahn can insult us all she wants, I don't care ( in fact, go ahead, Ms. Kahn, keep it up!!). The bottom line is the only ones hurt by this persistent tone-deafness are Muslims themselves. It is a pity.
Next, a Shinto Shrine over Pearl Harbor, a Lutheran Church at Auschwitz ( actually, there WERE some Catholic Nuns going to build a convent there with the intent to pray FOR the prevention of such horrors again, but didn't because of sensitivity to the issue), a mosque on the field of Flight 93's demise....
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Aug 23, 2010 at 11:45 pm
All you have to do is listen to Mark Levin for 5 minutes and you will hear him raving like a madman, and taking callers who say they are "Liberals" from the "Liberal" line, insulting them, yelling at them, raving like an idiot and hanging up on them before they get a chance to utter so much as hello.
This kind of crap should be illegal. If we have some kind of fairness doctrine idiots like Levin would either not be on the air, or would have to somehow acknowledge the existence of reality and the rest of the world and not just foam at the mouth and wave in their own private Idahos. The guy is sickening and quoting him in any kind of serious way is foolish.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Aug 24, 2010 at 7:44 am
Muslims are more numerous in this country and are integrating into society. This is not worrying in itself and provided we do not have ghettoes of Muslims which do not welcome outsiders we do not have to be concerned.
There is now the first Muslim college opening in Berkeley and one of their courses is Muslim affairs.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 9:00 am
This country needs to be less politically correct and start using a bit of common sense. Individual Muslim people are often the nicest people we know, but amongst their numbers are some of the worst type of terrorists we have known. These terrorists are using their religion as an excuse to cause terror - it is not just that they happen to be Muslim (as opposed to it being a coincidence). Therefore it follows that keeping tabs on Muslim hierarchy makes sense.
I would say exactly the same if any religion was causing havoc. This is how Britain treated both the IRA and other Northern Irish factions on both sides of the religious conflict, and it has to be done here.
Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, on Sep 2, 2010 at 7:00 pm
"Anon was being funny?? " posting from Leland Manor/Garland Drive neighborhood ... must be Mark Levin.
Since unusually I am the only Anon. posting on this subject and I don't recall saying anything that was remotely like or could be construed to be remotely like your claim of "making free speech illegal" and you did nothing buy make the claim (typical) ... so I just have to question your reading comprehension.
If I had made such a claim, it's funny that you think you can educate me by suggesting I read Mark Levin books, a guy who does take away people's right to speak by baiting them to call his show and, then unbelievably, often hanging up on them before they can say a single word, is that a commercial, Mark?
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm
Great to have a new Mosque in Palo Alto.
A side effect may be a very constructive dialog between Palo Alto Christians and Muslims about common values--- charity, sobriety, family values etc-- clearly there are differences and we are not suggesting a naive ecumenism.
There is an increasing population of productive Muslims and their investments in the Stanford/Palo Alto area.
There are 1.7 Billion Muslims in the world-- they are customers, trade partners and allies--- the US best commercial and foreign policy interests are to build collaborative relationships with like minded representatives of Muslim interests.
Posted by Sharon, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 7:02 pm
We now have an unemployment rate of 9.6% heading to 10%
The Gulf oil states have lots of money for investment in American business, the Muslim states have 1.7 billion potential customers for American products and services -- lets get to work and put America back to work,
Posted by Kerry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 3, 2010 at 8:42 pm
If you get the Islamists to denounce sharia law, then it might be a deal. After all, 1.7B people is a huge market. However, I am not willing to give up my life, my kids' lives, my grandkids' lives and liberty for a market. Are you?
Posted by Jay, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Jun 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm
Damn, I wish I had heard of this before. I moved out of Palo Alto more than 10 years ago but my family is still there (6th generation Palo Altans). The building on this site has historical and cultural significance, which has been overlooked and ignored for years. This is where the Grateful Dead played their first gig after changing their name from The Warlocks and where they met their manager who got them signed to a major label. It is also where one of the first Acid Tests was conducted (that very same night of course) by Ken Kesey and The Merry Pranksters. The Big Beat Club is mentioned in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe. One could argue that the 60s counter-culture movement came out of Palo Alto and this building was one of the few with significance to that movement. If the building can't be saved it would be nice to see a commemorative plaque on the spot.