CFI Restates its case on the “Ground Zero Mosque and Rec Center”

The statement is not a lot different than before, and it is still one I agree with:

… CFI is committed to the position that reason and science, not faith, are needed to address and resolve humanity’s problems. All religions share a fundamental flaw: they reflect a mistaken understanding of reality. On balance, CFI does not consider houses of worship to be beneficial to humanity, whether they are built at Ground Zero or elsewhere.


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10 thoughts on “CFI Restates its case on the “Ground Zero Mosque and Rec Center”

  1. And of course that statement from CFI, unlike the first, has absolutely nothing to do with the building proposed by those muslims in NYC.

    I still wonder what the hell people expect to accomplish by poo-pooing the mohammedans and harassing them over building their “cultural center” (as they call it). All religions are dangerous and encourage fuzzy mindedness, but I don’t see any great effort to prevent any but muslim buildings being put up.

  2. Well, from a moronic position on the community center, to one that has nothing to do with the community center at all. I guess that is an improvement of sorts.

    Since when has the CFI become an atheist organisation?

  3. “And of course that statement from CFI, unlike the first, has absolutely nothing to do with the building proposed by those muslims in NYC.”

    That seems to be certainly true.

  4. I’m with MadScientist and Sailor. 🙂

    To be precise, I’m glad they made more explicit that CFI rejects the politicization of the mosque/cultural center/whatever. The final paragraph of the CFI statement quoted by Greg is spot-on. If that’s the point they were trying to make in the previously released statement, they can be faulted for clumsiness or a lack of clarity at worst.

    IMO, CFI could have just posted some Daily Show clips on the issue and been done with it. 🙂

  5. IMO, CFI could have just posted some Daily Show clips on the issue and been done with it. 🙂
    Yes, but maybe they thought it would be more fun to watch rationalists, skeptics, atheists, vie for “be nice to the unicorn lovers so we don’t look like dicks” awards for a few days first.

  6. Actually, there is a large difference between the first version of the press release and the revised version. The original version called for no new houses of worship of any religion “near” Ground Zero (whatever that means) AND implicitly equated all religious people with religious terrorists like the 9/11 hijackers. The new version simply says that on balance CFI doesn’t consider houses of worship to be a good thing. If the revised version were the original version, my reaction would have been a big yawn, not to mention wondering what the point of releasing such a vague and pointless press release was. My reaction to the original version was, of course, “WTF, CFI, calling for no new religious buildings ‘near’ Ground Zero, demonizing religious people, and buying into the frame of Glenn Beck et al that Muslim = terrorist supporter?”

  7. The problem with this issue is that because it has become a cause celebre, what ever happens one side will crow about it as vindicating their position.

    Neither side can back down without losing face and without gaining anything.

    The anti-side disingenuously says “don’t build it there”, but gives no alternative place that is acceptable (because there aren’t any places they do find acceptable). If the anti-side was serious, they would find an alternative acceptable site, and put up money to facilitate acquisition of the site by the group building the 51 place.

    The pro-side jumped through all the hoops necessary to buy the site and get the permits and now at this late date is told to abandon the time, money and energy they have put into it? For what? For nothing. Actually for less than nothing. If the anti-mosque (it isn’t even a mosque, it is a cultural center) succeeds, they will seek to block every future mosque too.

    If the anti-side had kept quiet, no one would have said boo about it. Now, if it is built, Osama bin Laden will crow about how it is a monument to the destruction of the WTC. It isn’t, but bin Laden wants to frame it in the way that causes the maximum amount of strife between one group of Americans and another group of Americans; the maximum strife between Americans and the Muslim world; the maximum strife between Sunni and Shia.

    If the anti-side and Osama bin Laden have the same position, what reason exactly is there to follow it?

  8. In all honesty daedalus, I am quite confident that Bin Laden (if he’s still alive) and al Qaeda (most certainly alive and kicking) could care less whether it gets built or not. They do not view the Muslims who want to build this structure as being all that different from you or I.

    What they do appreciate, is this sort of controversy (not the CFI controversy, but the xenophobic fucking loons). Anything that inflames anti-Muslim sentiments in the West, anything that foments discord for Muslims in the West is a major win for them. This is how al Qaeda recruits young males in immigrant communities in the West.

    The bottom line is that al Qaeda doesn’t need to do anything with this. It’s been the brilliance of their strategy all along, a strategy that succeeded beyond their wildest possible dreams. We have managed to almost completely negate their need for dishonest propagandizing. The truth is enough to foster major discontent – ironically something that is less of a problem here, than it is in Europe.

    Fanatical teabagger xenophobes aside, for the most part the U.S. makes it easier for Muslims to integrate into society than many European countries. That is partly selection bias, as it is more expensive to come here. Those who do come tend to be better educated and have more wealth to build on. But our fundamental belief in religious freedom also makes a difference.

    It is hard to forget sometimes that the hardcore xenophobic, teabagger loons are a minority. A very vocal minority with frighteningly disproportionate political muscle to be sure, but a minority nonetheless. While I am sure that the rather small Kalamazoo metro area has it’s share of nuts, there aren’t enough to cause any problems with our Muslim population. I imagine that is not so much because they don’t want to cause problems, but because even those who don’t care much for Islam care even less for violence and harassment. This is pretty much true of all of MI (though I imagine that there are areas of Northern MI, lower peninsula, where it would not be a good idea to be Muslim – but it is also best not to have brown skin in those areas (embarrassing but true)).

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