August 19th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
4 years ago

Giuliani says Islamic center should not move forward

 Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani says a planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero should not move forward.
Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani says a planned Islamic community center near Ground Zero should not move forward.

(CNN) - Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani said Thursday that if the developer of a proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero was genuinely concerned with healing religious wounds, "he [would] not go forward with this project."

"This project is not healing," Giuliani, the mayor of New York during the 9/11 attacks, told Matt Lauer on NBC's Today Show. "This project is divisive, this project is creating tremendous pain to people who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice."

Giuliani said the developer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, appears to "recognize that there are two ways to interpret the Koran: the better way, which is the peaceful way; or the warrior way, which is the way in which you get into trouble with jihad."

"The reality is that, right now, if you are a healer you do not go forward with this project. If you're a warrior, you do," Giuliani added.

The imam has so far declined to talk with New York Gov. David Paterson about finding a less controversial location to build the facility.


Filed under: Religion • Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (152 Responses)
  1. emma

    The Community Center merely brings the pain to focus because of the religious link. The pain is for real and there are ways to resolve it and come to grips with the grief and loss without banning a group from having a Community Center. Giuliani again is oversimplifying an issue as he is prone to do.

    August 19, 2010 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  2. Robert J

    Why does anyone ask him or anyone about this – it's not for him or anyone to decide – it is simply a matter of following the law and our constitution- Why should everything be overly complicated and subject to every nitwits percepction. I have yet to hear an opinion from anyone in New York who would utilize the mosque? don't they count? get over your childish resentments and get in the real world people. Our (and yours) ancestors came here because someone didn't like something some others believed deeply in. What has changed – people are free to speak, live, and be as they want to be as long as their choices are within the law. Thats why the FIRST Amendment of the Constitution is the FIRST amendment! Only self righteuos moral bigots are the ones complaining.

    August 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  3. Jim

    Of course. He still has aspirations on the Presidential nomination, and wants America to back him. Hateful SOB...

    August 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  4. Augustus

    Giuliani is a great leader. Too bad he is not in a political position now. He has a lot of wisdom.

    August 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  5. Joe

    More Giuliani BS. There is already a mosque only blocks away from that site in lower Manhattan and it's been there for years. BFD.

    August 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  6. Michael

    This whole issue is confissing. On one hand, to deny the building of the mosque at that location is like saying all Muslims are terrorists. On the other, it's bit insesitive on the part of those who want to build it at that location. Those who oppose it are doing so more for politicla reasons than anything else. That is a shame. I feel both sides have a legitimate argument. Yet, to a certain extent, both sides are wrong. In WWII, we rounded up innocent Japanese because we blamed all of them for the war. To deny this mosque would be very similar to that act.

    August 19, 2010 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  7. Dem in California

    This "Islamic Community Center" is only devisive and painful because the Republicans are whipping their base and the media with their psycho talk on this non-issue of a story. The Republicans are stoking a very dangerous fire of racism and prejudice because they have become so desperate to beat the black man in office and drive him out. This could lead to further civil conflicts between ethnic and religous groups right here in our own country. So what happens when real violence breaks out, just like with the abortion doctor who was killed at his church they will just wash their hands of it and say that they never told anyone to do that.
    Did anyone catch the Associated Press report yesterday stating that there are already several Mosque's withinn blocks of the Trade Center grounds as well as a Protestant and Catholic church. Guess not. Also that the Pentagon even has a prayer space for their Muslim Officers. Oh were's the pain now.

    August 19, 2010 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  8. Reality Bites

    Dozens of innocent Muslim-American New Yorkers perished alongside everyone else on the fateful day.

    Many of our beloved first responders were also followers of Islam.

    How convenient for the bigoted Giuliani to have forgotten this...

    FREEDOM OF RELIGION...FOR ALL!

    August 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  9. mike

    Rudy rudy rudy get a life you stupid idiot this is the reason why this country is in trouble if this was some christian church we be singing
    in the streets but because it is a faith that most americans don't believe in it must be evil can you imagine if we tried to stop a church from being built there the bible thumpers be yelling and screaming

    August 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  10. Lisa P

    Giuliani should know about divisiveness - it's his stock in trade. The very idea that he would want a peaceful solution to the "controversy" drummed up and hyped by his political fellow-travelers is just laughable.

    "This project is divisive, this project is creating tremendous pain to people who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice."

    "[P]eople who have already paid the ultimate sacrifice" are already dead. What we have left is drama queens, bigots and political opportunists like Giuliani. Many 9/11 survivors are in favor of this Muslim-built community center - why isn't Giuliani speaking for them?

    "recognize that there are two ways to interpret the Koran: the better way, which is the peaceful way; or the warrior way, which is the way in which you get into trouble with jihad."

    There is, however, only one way to interpret the Constitution: only Muslims get to decide what Muslim religious practice is or isn't, where it happens and when. The same with this Muslim-planned community center. Giuliani and all the other political loudmouths and opportunitsts need to butt out.

    August 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  11. Brian E

    Where was Mr. Giuliani when his Rebublican cronies in Washington were voting against extending health benefits for the first responders of 9/11? Perhaps if he stated his position on that, we might determine if his opinions still matter.

    August 19, 2010 12:08 pm at 12:08 pm |
  12. beth

    Rudy Guiliani is not a Highly Evolved Being. I would never expect him to have the vision to see how this would, in fact, be a healing agenda rather than a devisive one. He just thinks in the old ways.

    August 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  13. Al-NY,NY

    I'm sure Ghouliani did not fail to mention his "involvement" in the 9/11 recovery effort, thus further interjecting his own insatiable lust for acknowledgement since he is now insignificant

    August 19, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  14. g

    i use to like him till he turned to the dark side

    August 19, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  15. BudInTexas

    Rudy:

    Shut the hell up!

    August 19, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  16. Leonid Brezhnev

    The sheep are over reacting to this. There is already a mosque at the proposed site. The people just want to build a new one. It is not a big deal.
    All the crap has been stirred up by pundits and bloggers who have nothing better to do, and want the attention...and the sheep are reacting accordingly.

    August 19, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  17. Jim

    Another stupid comment for Mr 911. How is having an Islamic center disrupt the the healing? He assumes that all people who died in 911 are Christians???

    August 19, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  18. Nelson, Colorado Springs Co

    What the big deal New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city leaders support the Islamic center. These people approve the Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero. Than Why is a lot of American are hateing on President Obama he had nothing to do with the Islamic Center. Be mad at New York City

    August 19, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  19. Author@godsandnegroes.com

    Seriously now: We in the west do not want a place of sacred worship to be built in a place where mosques already stand – yet we want to run prisons in muslim countries, impose rulers, and want to stand back and be truly perplexed when we are not welcome or when we are attacked.
    On a personal level, I prefer if the mosque is built somewhere else, but I will look at the positives and potential for healing – after all Jesus himself admonished that we not repay evil with evil, and that we "turn the other cheek...."if it is built 'there'.
    People like Giuliani and Gingrich are no different from those who attack western interests because of perceived slights and insults.

    August 19, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  20. a little sad

    The only devisivenes is that which has been fostered by the rabid right.

    August 19, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  21. Ben in Texas

    Since Giuliani is totally irrelevant, I'll comment on one of the sinister aspects of the Repugnant Party.

    Remember all those "Support the President" bumper stickers on pickups and SUVs between 2000 and 2008? You don't see those anymore. Instead of support, the entire GObP if focused on undermining the president, and by extension, the country. Examples: Is the president an American citizen? Is the president a Muslim? Is the president totally inexperienced?

    For eight years, a total incompetent inhabited the White House, and the Repugnants ignored that. Now, they are willing to see the country destroyed, as long as Obama is destroyed with it. That is treason.

    I fully expect, before the 2012 elections, that there will be a segment of the GObP that totally believes that President Obama is actually a woman, and demands that he show his package to prove otherwise.

    August 19, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  22. Tracy-Oakley

    Of course he does; he's never read the Constitution.

    August 19, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. independent

    "This project is not healing"
    So kicking them out is healing?

    August 19, 2010 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  24. Avi Shlolo

    The controversial thing in this is the attitude of Juliani and his likes and it is NOT the Islamic center. not long ago we jews could not purchase a home in some areas of the south. It seems to me that despite the progess on civil rights , The sleeping cells of bigotry are waking up as we have seen in the opnions og many Republicans such as this bufoon, Palin and even Dr. Laura.

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  25. GOP Scorched Earth Politics

    How be-fitting to hear from the Mr. I exploit 9/11 for political points. How is your sidekick Kerik doing in federal prison btw?

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
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