Ground Zero mosque to go ahead

Planners have cleared the way for a mosque to be built near New York’s Ground Zero site, despite fierce opposition.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision not to declare the building a landmark allows organisers to transform into an Islamic community centre, just blocks from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks National and local politicians and pressure groups spoke out against plans for the mosque, saying it “disrespected” the memory of September 11 victims.

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Tennessee politician’s remarks on Islam raise uproar

Comments by Tennessee Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey suggesting that Islam might be a cult and that Muslims might not qualify for constitutionally guaranteed religious freedoms drew criticism from Islamic groups Tuesday and an eruption of national media attention.

Ramsey, a Republican candidate for governor, said at a mid-July campaign event in Chattanooga that he is “all about freedom of religion,” which is guaranteed by the First Amendment.

“But you cross the line when they start trying to bring Sharia law into the United States,” he said. “Now you could even argue whether being a Muslim is actually a religion, or is it a nationality, a way of life or cult, whatever you want to call it? We do protect our religions, but at the same time, this is something that we are going to have to face.”

There are approximately 1.2 billion Muslims in the world and 7 million in the United States, according to the Council on American-Islamic Relations. Ibrahim Hooper, that organization’s national communications director, called Ramsey’s comments “part of an unfortunate trend in our society.”

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Anti-mosque protesters to harrass Muslim worshippers with dogs

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) on Tuesday denounced a planned anti-mosque protest by California Tea Party supporters who are being told to bring dogs to harass Muslim worshippers during Friday congregational prayer, or the jum ‘ah.

CAIR’s office in Greater Los Angeles called on local officials and interfaith leaders to demonstrate support for the Islamic Center of Temecula Valley, the target of the July 30 protest by the Southwest Riverside County (SWRC) Tea Party group. The protest is in opposition to a proposal for a new mosque in the area.

An e-mail declaring the anti-mosque protest sent to area newspapers by “a leader of a conservative coalition that has been active with Republican and Tea Party functions” stated: “An Islamic Mosque is planned to be built in Temecula. Islam is not a religion. It is a worldwide political movement meant on domination of the world. And it is meant to subjugate all people under Islamic law… Islam treats women as second class people and they also hate dogs. Women are forbidden to sing and dogs are killed. We will not be submissive to Shariah Law. Tennessee was able to stop the mosque, so bring your Bibles, flags, signs, dogs and singing voice on Friday.”

“Californians of all faiths should repudiate those who would target a house of worship using tactics specifically designed to cause offense,” said CAIR-LA Executive Director Hussam Ayloush.

“National and state Tea Party leaders should explain why their campaign has apparently deviated from its agenda on fiscal responsibility and limited government to the promotion of Islamophobia.” (Source)