Daisy Khan – Bridge-Building Initiative at Ground Zero

by on June 10, 2010      

in History & World Events, Spirituality

Daisy Khan

Daisy Khan

Two blocks from Ground Zero and up the street from one of the Christian Science Reading Rooms, a new community center and mosque will be built and open to people of all faiths. Cordoba House and its founders – among them Daisy Khan – have been at the center of tremendous controversy. Some individuals and groups around the world feel that building an Islamic center near ground zero is a slap in the face of those who perished on 9/11 as well as the families and friends who lost loved ones that day.

I was led to invite Daisy Khan to the show. Daisy is the founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA). ASMA’s sister organization, the Cordoba Initiative, is led by Daisy Khan’s husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The initiative is supported by hundreds of Muslims, Jews, and Christians who have been acquainted with this couple and their work for decades, and share their dream of creating an atmosphere in which a vibrant, pluralistic American Islam can take root. Join us with Daisy Khan for a dynamic discussion about healing the pains and cultural suspicions that have plagued the hearts and minds of people everywhere since September 11th, 2001.

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Joe Leary August 10, 2010 at 1:05 pm

“KKK is not what founded Christians.”

I never said it did. But just like the Mormons interpreted the mark of Cain as black skin in order to deny black people the right to join the clergy, the KKK uses the Bible (albeit not uniquely) to justify racial hatred.

Those “Fundamentalists” of Islam actually follow to Koran.

I’m sure Christian fundamentalists follow the Bible too. Literally.

“The Koran speaks of murder, but nowhere in the bible does it say it is alright to kill another human.

Deuteronomy 21:18-21
18 If a man has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him,
19 his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town.
20 They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a profligate and a drunkard.”
21 Then all the men of his town shall stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

Deuteronomy 22:23-24
23 If a man happens to meet in a town a virgin pledged to be married and he sleeps with her,
24 you shall take both of them to the gate of that town and stone them to death—the girl because she was in a town and did not scream for help, and the man because he violated another man’s wife. You must purge the evil from among you.

Deuteronomy 13:5-10
5 That prophet or dreamer must be put to death, because he preached rebellion against the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt and redeemed you from the land of slavery; he has tried to turn you from the way the LORD your God commanded you to follow. You must purge the evil from among you.
6 If your very own brother, or your son or daughter, or the wife you love, or your closest friend secretly entices you, saying, “Let us go and worship other gods” (gods that neither you nor your fathers have known,
7 gods of the peoples around you, whether near or far, from one end of the land to the other),
8 do not yield to him or listen to him. Show him no pity. Do not spare him or shield him.
9 You must certainly put him to death. Your hand must be the first in putting him to death, and then the hands of all the people.
10 Stone him to death, because he tried to turn you away from the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

Leviticus 24:16
16 anyone who blasphemes the name of the LORD must be put to death. The entire assembly must stone him. Whether an alien or native-born, when he blasphemes the Name, he must be put to death.

Therefore this invalidates your statement.

Deuteronomy and Leviticus invalidate yours. Let’s drop all this nonsense about whose side is uniquely valid, shall we?

“And I am tolerant of other religions. But when you build a Mosque in the proximity of where 2,976 Americans were slaughtered in the name of Allah, is disrespectful to families who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001. Lives were forever changed that day. Children no longer have a father and/or mother. Husbands lost their wives. Wives lost their husbands.”

So we blame all Muslims for the actions of a few terrorists (assuming the official story is true)? Yeesh. It’s an Abrahamic community center and a Halal food court, not just a mosque. And given that something like 9 of the “terrorists” have been found alive and well and completely uninvolved, I think it’s legitimate to question whether this all happened in the name of Allah or Islam at all. Who knows about the others?

“Also, prove to me that the founding fathers as a whole said that they intend for america to be a nation thats not based on Christianity in any way, rather than give me a baseless opinion.”

The burden of proof is on you. You made the claim and posted up some excerpts that mention God. That’s not proof, that’s proof that the writers were religious. They never explicitly stated that America was to be a Christian nation. They stated that America was to be a FREE nation. I posit that Christianity did not found America; rather, FREE MEN founded America, and Christianity was incidental.

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2 Private August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm

Joe,

“Fundamentalists no more represent the entirety of Islam than the KKK represents the entirety of Christians.” This statement is flawed in so many ways. KKK is not what founded Christians. Those “Fundamentalists” of Islam actually follow to Koran. The Koran speaks of murder, but nowhere in the bible does it say it is alright to kill another human. Therefore this invalidates your statement.

And I am tolerant of other religions. But when you build a Mosque in the proximity of where 2,976 Americans were slaughtered in the name of Allah, is disrespectful to families who lost their loved ones on September 11, 2001. Lives were forever changed that day. Children no longer have a father and/or mother. Husbands lost their wives. Wives lost their husbands.

Also, prove to me that the founding fathers as a whole said that they intend for america to be a nation thats not based on Christianity in any way, rather than give me a baseless opinion.

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3 Joe Leary August 5, 2010 at 9:44 am

To David:

“What should we expect to happen if this parallel effort were made in the Arab countries?”

With all due respect, it’s apples-and-oranges. America ousted Mossadeq, a democratically elected leader in Iran, and installed the Shah. Brzezinski (under Carter) was instrumental in organizing militant Muslims leading up to the Russia-Iran contra, and when they won, America said “see ya” and left their country in shambles; in other words, we used them. And we’ve been bombing and sanctioning that region for 10+ years, all while outfitting Israel with the second largest air force on the planet while Zionist extremist (which I’m sure do not encompass all Zionists) policy admittedly involves killing and kicking out Arabs. I really don’t see how these two situations are alike.

“It was in the name of Islam that ground zero happened.

No, it was in the name of extremism that it happened. Islam was incidental, although a predictable candidate based on my statement above. And arguably the official 9/11 story is flawed no matter what you believe, because a bunch of the “terrorists” blamed for the event are alive and well and had nothing to do with it.

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4 Joe Leary August 4, 2010 at 4:27 pm

“DO NOT COME AND TELL ME THAT AMERICA WAS NOT FOUNDED BY CHRISTIANITY”

I won’t deny that the founding fathers were generally Christian, but nowhere did they say they intended America to be a Christian nation. “Yelling” at me in caps does not help to prove your point. America was a nation founded, above all, on a profound respect for, and value of, freedom.

“lying is not always bad, to be sure; there are times when telling a lie is more profitable and better for the general welfare, and for the settlement of conciliation among people, than telling the truth.”

You can find all sorts of morally abhorrent suggestions in religious texts. For a balanced perspective, why don’t you acknowledge those that show up in the Bible or the Torah?

Also, I’m not entirely sure how your statement about Shari’a law applies to my response, or to the guest’s vision for a less violent Islam. You seem to be promoting an anti-Islamic view, at the expense of good, kind people who happen to be Muslims. Fundamentalists no more represent the entirety of Islam than the KKK represents the entirety of Christians.

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5 Private August 4, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Let’s take a history lesson.

The first continental congress said in March 1776:

“That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.”

“That it is an indispensable duty which we owe to God, our country, ourselves and posterity, by all lawful ways and means in our power to maintain, defend and preserve those civil and religious rights and liberties, for which many of our fathers fought, bled and died, and to hand them down entire to future generations.”

“I now make it my earnest prayer, that God would have you, and the State over which you preside, in his holy protection, that he would incline the hearts of the citizens to cultivate a spirit of subordination and obedience to government, to entertain a brotherly affection and love for one another, for their fellow citizens of the United Sates at large, and particularly for their brethren who have served in the field, and finally, that he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of mind, which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed Religion, and without an humble imitation of whose example in these things, we can never hope to be a happy nation.”  (Circular to the Governors of all 13 States, Newburgh, New York, June 9, 1783).

“When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the laws of nature and of nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.” (Declaration of Independence; July 4, 1776)

DO NOT COME AND TELL ME THAT AMERICA WAS NOT FOUNDED BY CHRISTIANITY
As for sharias law”

“An Islamic court in Nigeria yesterday upheld a sentence of death by stoning for a woman accused of adultery. The case is the latest in a series of sentences passed under sharia law – a set of religious laws adopted over the past two years in northern regions of Nigeria, which have predominantly Muslim inhabitants.” (news source: Guardian)

“lying is not always bad, to be sure; there are times when telling a lie is more profitable and better for the general welfare, and for the settlement of conciliation among people, than telling the truth.”( Afif A. Tabbarah page 247)

I suggest you also read the Hadith. This is the section concerning sharias law. It will basically go into the law and explain the consequences for certain actions. Do you honestly think they would go against the Koran?

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6 Joe Leary August 4, 2010 at 9:08 am

To Paul:

“Maybe I am one of those ignorant Christians but from what I understand peace only applies to fellow Muslims and that it is okay to lie to an infidel.”

I have to ask… why do Christians get so upset about other religious doctrines (i.e. the Talmud and the Qur’an) approving harmful or dishonest treatment of people outside their religions when the Bible does it too?

Exodus 34:12–13
12 Take care not to make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you are going, or it will become a snare among you.
13 You shall tear down their altars, break their pillars, and cut down their sacred poles

I do my best to avoid labeling others (“If you label me, you negate me” – Kierkegaard), but your statements seem xenophobic. Other cultures aren’t as bad as you’re making them out to be.

“For example, what are her beliefs about Shari‘a law?”

The guest stated in the interview that she believes the values associated with negative perceptions of Islam (i.e. that it is inherently violent and mysogynistic) are rooted in bad social programming. She also stated that she wants to develop Muslim leaders who hold modernized, non-extremist values, and develop an American Muslim identity that can set an example to the rest of the Muslim world.

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7 Joe Leary August 4, 2010 at 8:16 am

“Christianity is what united the original colonies and Christianity is what formed America.”

I would argue with you on this, although not to attack Christianity (so please don’t misunderstand me).

Article 11 of the Treaty with Tripoli declared in part that “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion…” (Treaties and Other International Acts of the United States, ed. Hunter Miller, Vol. 2, U. S. Government Printing Office, 1931, p. 365)

“America is the most generous country in the world, but when I look to all the Islamic countries, all I see is corruption, greed, and militant laws such as Sharias law.”

Let’s be fair. The same corruption and greed are evident in corporate America. A lot of corporate generosity is fueled by tax incentives.

I don’t know quite how to feel about the mosque, but why are we scrutinizing it as if it were an attack on America by militant Islam? Mrs. Khan says in the interview that she wants to develop modern Muslim leaders who don’t espouse the violence and misogyny that people associate with Islam. Wouldn’t that be a good thing?

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8 Private August 3, 2010 at 10:44 am

Christianity is what united the original colonies and Christianity is what formed America. America is the most generous country in the world, but when I look to all the Islamic countries, all I see is corruption, greed, and militant laws such as Sharias law.

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9 David June 24, 2010 at 6:55 am

No, no way should a mosque be built at or near ground zero. It was in the name of Islam that ground zero happened. Regardless of the right or wrong of Islamic religion, it would be an insult. Build bridges if they feel they must….but not there.
Can anyone imagine if we did the same and build a Christian church on top of or near one of their mosques that we had bombed during an air raid? All in the effort of “healing the pains of division”. What should we expect to happen if this parallel effort were made in the Arab countries? If we could even get it approved, it wouldn’t last the time it took to build it.

No, no, no…

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10 Robin Datta June 20, 2010 at 1:58 am

Building a mosque on a site associated with sanctity would be reminiscent of building of the Masjid al Qubbat as Sakhrah and the Masjid al Aqsa on Temple Mount.

A wiser move would be to build that mosque elsewhere.

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11 Paul Braho June 13, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Take a look at http://www.militantislammonitor.org/article/id/2860

From what I read, their goal is to convert America “peacefully” and not to embrace the principles that has made America the great nation that it is (even with all of the problems that we have). They are trying to get “the camel’s nose under the tent” and use political correctness to accomplish their goal. You should be able to get four hours of questions out of the above web site but I doubt you will get any straight answers from her.

Thank you for the opportunity to express my opinion. Maybe I am wrong but I think not. None the less, I will continue to listen to other opinions. Change my mind Kim.

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12 Paul Braho June 12, 2010 at 3:26 pm

While you gave the guest plenty of time to say how misunderstood Muslims are, you did not ask any questions about what her ultimate goals are as a Muslim. For example, what are her beliefs about Shari‘a law? Does she look forward to the day that America is Muslim? Maybe I am one of those ignorant Christians but from what I understand peace only applies to fellow Muslims and that it is okay to lie to an infidel. The more I hear about what Muslims want, the more I distrust them. They do not hold the Constitution and Bill of Rights in very high regard and would love to see the day that America can be “converted”. Stop with the touchy-feely stuff and ask some pointed questions.

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13 Kim Greenhouse June 13, 2010 at 11:32 am

The woman has had very little media that have actually let her speak her mission and what they are about.
What questions did you have in mind that have not been asked somewhere else already?
I offered to invite her back so now is the time to contribute what you think are important questions.
Thank you for listening.

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