At Ground Zero, was the Twin Towers hit by Muslim Extremists n 2000 who hated America and the West. Thousands died on that event witnessed by the world. The violence will always remind us peace loving citizens that Islamic supremacism should not be entertained in our cities and in our democratic countries. Just as we non-Muslims respect their culture while in their Shariah countries, so they should adhere to our culture. Even today, Muslims around the world hated America and I can categorically say this is the existing collective feeling of every Muslim in the world including its ally, Israel for all they know. I believe only those Muslims within the American society are trying to be somewhat "different". Should a Grand Mosque be built at Ground Zero? I strongly believe, Muslims can build their mosque somewhere else but please spare the Ground Zero. Muslims should try this-- SENSITIVITY. It will not make them less people. Rather it will make them humans too. While non-Muslims are persecuted constantly in their land of origin, their sensitivity to others feelings also counts. Maybe an ecumenical Church building could be a better idea but NOT A MOSQUE!
Protesters descend on Ground Zero for anti-mosque demonstration
New York (CNN) -- Protestors gathered in lower Manhattan mid-day Sunday to demonstrate against plans to build a mosque near the site of Ground Zero, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.
Protest organizer Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger, and her group, "Stop the Islamicization of America," planned the event because, according to the group's website, "Building the Ground Zero mosque is not an issue of religious freedom, but of resisting an effort to insult the victims of 9/11 and to establish a beachhead for political Islam and Islamic supremacism in New York... Ground Zero is a war memorial, a burial ground. Respect it."
Geller said the NYPD and security at the rally told her about 5,000 demonstrators were there. But NYPD spokesman Sgt. Kevin Hayes said the police department's policy is to not provide crowd estimates and that he could not confirm Geller's number.
CNN iReporter Julio Ortiz-Teissonniere, who attended the rally and sent photos to CNN, said the number was closer to 200-300 while he was there for the first 45 minutes of the event. All three said the protest was peaceful.
Human rights advocates, politicians and families of 9/11 victims addressed the crowd. Both Geller and Ortiz-Teissonniere said those family members elicited a powerful, emotional response from the protesters.
Geller recently told CNN's Joy Behar that no one's telling the mosque's planners they can't build it, but "We're asking them not to."
"We feel it would be more appropriate maybe to build a center dedicated to expunging the Quranic texts of the violent ideology that inspired jihad, or perhaps a center to the victims of hundreds of millions of years of jihadi wars, land enslavements, cultural annihilations and mass slaughter," Geller said.
The project calls for a 13-story community center including a mosque, performing art center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces.
It is a collaboration between the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative.
The Cordoba Initiative aims to improve relations between Muslims and the West.
"The Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming, similar to the 92nd Street Y," its website says, referring to the cultural institution on the upper East side of Manhattan.
Daisy Khan of the American Society for Muslim Advancement told CNN it was a "community center with a prayer space inside."
She said the project was an opportunity for American Muslims living in New York to "give back" to the community.
"There is a lot of ignorance about who Muslims are. A center like this will be dedicated to removing that ignorance and it will also counter the extremists because moderate Muslims need a voice," she told CNN. "Their voices need to be amplified."
Local political leaders turned out in support of the community last month after Mark Williams of the conservative Tea Party Express reportedly said the mosque was for "the worship of the terrorists' monkey-god."
"To make room for peace there can be no room for hatred, bigotry or prejudice," City Councilman Robert Jackson said at the May 20 demonstration.
The project has the backing of the Community Board of lower Manhattan. It does not require city permission to go ahead.
The plan has split people touched by the September 11 attacks.
"Lower Manhattan should be made into a shrine for the people who died there," said Michael Valentin, a retired city detective who worked at ground zero. "It breaks my heart for the families who have to put up with this. I understand they're [building] it in a respectful way, but it just shouldn't be down there."
Others such as Barry Zelman said the site's location will be a painful reminder.
"(The 9/11 terrorists) did this in the name of Islam," Zelman said. "It's a sacred ground where these people died, where my brother was murdered, and to be in the shadows of that religion, it's just hypocritical and sacrilegious. "
But Marvin Bethea, who was a paramedic at ground zero, said it was "the right thing to do."
"I lost 16 friends down there. But Muslims also got killed on 9/11. It would be a good sign of faith that we're not condemning all Muslims and that the Muslims who did this happened to be extremists," he said. "As a black man, I know what it's like to be discriminated against when you haven't done anything."
Read also JIHADWATCH.
They started showing up long before the rally began at noon today. They came from Washington state, California, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Maine, South Carolina, Florida, and elsewhere. They were Christians, Jews, Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, atheists, Muslims of conscience. They were lovers of freedom.
An hour before the rally began, they numbered 1,000. Zuccotti Park's owners sided with the Islamic supremacists and withdrew their permit to allow us to gather there, and so the police repeatedly requested that people leave the park and move into the pens that the police had set up at Church and Liberty streets. Before noon, however, the pens were full -- and so, with free citizens having every legal right to be in the park, the park became a site for the rally despite the best efforts of its clueless dhimmi owners.
By the time the rally was in full swing, the crowd filled the pens, the park, and the other side of the street. Police estimated that 5,000 people were there, and other estimates ranged as high as 10,000. The crowd carried signs expressing their love for freedom, their contempt for Sharia, and their anger at Islamic supremacism and insult to the memories of those murdered on 9/11 that this mosque represents.
And we had a full spectrum of top quality speakers. There were 9/11 family members, including C. Lee Hanson, who lost his son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter on 9/11. There were people who experienced the oppression of Sharia firsthand, such as the Egyptian ex-Muslim Nonie Darwish, the Sudanese ex-slave Simon Deng, and the Hindu human rights activist Babu Suseelan. There was Dennis McKenna, who worked recovering remains from the ruins of the World Trade Center; Alan T. DeVona, the patrol sergeant on duty on September 11, 2001; and Keith LeBow, an ironworker who was one of the first responders on the scene on September 11. There was Herb London of the Hudson Institute and Beverly Carlson of the Band of Mothers -- and a host of other speakers, all lovers of America and lovers of freedom.
The theme among all the speakers was common: the mosque is an insult to the Americans who were murdered there. It is a manifestation of a radically intolerant belief system that is incompatible with the freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. And even with all the political elites against us, and the mainstream media indifferent or compromised (5,000 to 10,000 people at the rally, and no mainstream media coverage!), we will prevail. All we have on our side is the truth.
Pamela Geller did interviews with Al-Jazeera, AP, Chilean television, Italian television and many others; I was interviewed by Italian television and TV Asia. ABC? NBC? CBS? CNN? Even FOX? AWOL.
And the truth is powerful. The forecast had called for rain, but it didn't start raining in New York until after the rally had broken up. Many took it as a sign that we represented the cause of right and justice. And even with all the indifference of the politicians and the media, we sent a signal today: we will not let this injustice stand. We will be rallying again in September, and again when construction begins on the mega-mosque. We will be filing suit against the Federal Government, asking that the Burlington Coat Factory site where the mega-mosque is going to be built be designated a war memorial, a la Pearl Harbor, Gettysburg, etc., because of the part of one of the 9/11 airplanes that crashed into the roof there, and that is in the makeshift mosque that Muslims are using there now.
And above all: we will never give up!