Cordoba Initiative

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'Ground Zero' Imam to Tour US to Promote Islamic Center

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf says he doesn't mind controversy

(Newser) - Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf—of the infamous Cordoba House, or “Ground Zero mosque”—has planned a national speaking tour to promote the planned community center and mosque and foster inter-faith dialogue. Wait, you’re thinking, won’t that just reignite the controversy around the project? “Controversy has... More »

Ground Zero Mosque Applied for $5M 9/11 Grant

Federal funds designed to encourage community projects

(Newser) - The Park51 Islamic center has taken a lot of crap for being located in the vicinity of Ground Zero, but now it’s hoping to cash in on that, too. The center applied for $5 million in federal funding earlier this month, looking to obtain grant money set aside to... More »

Trump Offers to Buy Out Mosque Investor

But lawyer quickly rejects $6M offer

(Newser) - Donald Trump wants to buy out the major stakeholder in the Manhattan building where a controversial Islamic center is planned, the New York Post reports. Trump offered Egyptian businessman Hisham Elzanaty a cool $6 million in cash—25% more than what he paid last year—for his stake in the... More »

Giuliani: Debate Over Mosque Is Great, Healthy

Hizzoner opposes the Cordoba House, but likes the discussion

(Newser) - Rudy Giuliani weighs in on the Cordoba House controversy in the New York Daily News today, saying he opposes the building—which he repeatedly, erroneously states is "at Ground Zero"—but thinks the debate over it “is testimony to our values as a free society. There are... More »

Moving Mosque Could Lead to Retaliation, Warns Imam

He says switching sites now would be a bad idea

(Newser) - The imam behind the mosque at Ground Zero says he would have changed sites earlier if he had known how controversial the location would become, but moving it now would be a bad idea. Were it to be moved, "the headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam... More »

Ground Zero Imam: Why the Mosque Is Important

Rauf says Cordoba House will have Christian, Jewish prayer spaces

(Newser) - The proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero will include prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews, and a multifaith memorial dedicated to the victims of 9/11, the imam behind the project says. "I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11," Feisal Abdul Rauf... More »

Sen. Orrin Hatch Backs 'Ground Zero Mosque'

'I'd be the first to stand up for their rights,' Utah Republican says

(Newser) - Sen. Orrin Hatch says that the Cordoba Initiative has every right to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero, regardless of the public outcry against it. “If the Muslims own that property, that private property, and they want to build a mosque there, they should have the right... More »

Is 'Sharia' Evil?

Muslims say word being unfairly vilified

(Newser) - The word “sharia” has become almost a slur in conservative discourse recently. Protesters at Ground Zero wave signs showing the word in blood. A pamphlet at a recent tea party event asked, “Why do Muslims want to take over the world and place us under Shariah law?” And... More »

Amid Mosque Furor, Pleas for Church at Ground Zero

Greek Orthodox church was destroyed on 9/11

(Newser) - The Greek Orthodox Church has seized on the “Ground Zero mosque” controversy to push for the rebuilding of a church that actually was at Ground Zero. Two Church officials yesterday appeared with a pair of Republican politicians to call for the rebuilding of the St. Nicholas Church, which was... More »

'Great Communicator' Not That Great at Communicating

Mosque flap reveals Obama's mediocre political instincts

(Newser) - The flap over Park51 reveals a truth about Barack Obama: the "great communicator" often has problems communicating, writes David Kuhn for Real Clear Politics . Remember how he handled the Skip Gates circus? AIG? BP? The mosque issue shouldn't have become a mess, writes Kuhn: Obama clearly supports the project,... More »

Ground Zero Mosque 'Unlikely to Ever Get Built'

'Amateur hour' developers have no money, no architect

(Newser) - As the battle over the Ground Zero Mosque rages on and on and on , insiders are offering a reality check of sorts: the odds of it actually getting built are dwindling to just about zero. The group behind the project hasn't even made a dent in the $100 million it... More »

Paterson to Meet Mosque Developers

Governor's been pushing for an alternate location for the center

(Newser) - Might there be some mosque diplomacy in the works? Gov. David Paterson says he plans to meet soon with developers of the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, presumably to discuss an alternate location, the Washington Post reports. A spokesman says no date has been set, and the Coroba House... More »

Ground Zero Mosque a Perfect Weapon for Republicans

...but it's one the GOP shouldn't use

(Newser) - President Obama's endorsement of the Cordoba House offers Republicans a crucial weapon for the midterm elections, writes Mark Halperin for Time . Conservatives are wisely hammering away at the "Obama-Pelosi-Reid" record on the economy, but Obama's skill has so far flummoxed attempts to add a national-security dimension to the Republican's... More »

Ground Zero Mosque Is Sacrilege

Some places belong to others

(Newser) - There are some places you just don’t build. Some places are sacred, and Ground Zero is one of them. “It belongs to those who suffered and died there,” writes Charles Krauthammer of the Washington Post . That’s why a commercial viewing tower near Gettysburg was taken down,... More »

Mosque Foes: Stop Catering to Feelings of 9/11 Families

Cordoba House isn't wonderful, but opponents are unhinged

(Newser) - The dispute over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque”—which is actually several blocks away, mind you—“has now sunk to a level of stupidity that really does shame the memories” of the 9/11 victims, writes Christopher Hitchens in Slate . As an arch-atheist, Hitchens doesn’t much like... More »

It's Not Just Ground Zero That's Hostile to Mosques

And the fights raise larger issue: Religious freedom

(Newser) - The ruckus over whether to build a mosque near Ground Zero is supposedly centered around the propriety of the proposal, but it's really indicative of a series of not-in-my-backyard fights ranging from not-so-hallowed grounds in Murfreesboro, Tenn., to Sheboygan, Wis., reports the New York Times. But whereas squabbles in the... More »

Bin Laden Would Love to Bomb NYC Mosque

Opponents are wrong: He'd hate this project

(Newser) - Those who think Osama bin Laden is laughing at America because of plans to build a mosque at Ground Zero are way off base, writes Jeffrey Goldberg at the Atlantic . Bin Laden would hate this thing and would love to "dispatch a truck bomb to destroy" it if it... More »

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