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. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    Who cares what Rudy thinks? He's no longer mayor. Bloomberg and the President got it right! Rudy needs to pay more attention to his shoplifting daughter and keep his nose out of politics.

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  2. Jim

    Well, if the President of 9/11 says it, then it must be so! if two blocks away isn't enough, how many blocks away would be enough? BTW, the Republicans still haven't released the details of what they want to do if they should gain more power, which I suspect is the reason for all this mosque nonsense.

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  3. John

    Something like 60-70 innocent Muslims died in the twin towers, I figure it wasn't a Christians-only tragedy, or even an everybody-but-Muslims tragedy. It was an American tragedy, and giving up our rights in the name of fear would also be an American tragedy.

    The towers were centrally located in Lower Manhattan, it'd be hard to find a place there not close to ground zero. There's a lot of Muslims living and working peacefully in the area, and having to travel north up the island at rush hour on Friday for the weekly friday evening prayers, however far they have to travel to get to a site fear-driven people are comfortable with, just seems wrong.

    They're already holding Friday prayers at the place now, but it only has enough room to support 450 people. The new place, in addition to having a lot of other cool stuff, would be able to support 2000 people. With 800,000 muslims in New York and only 200 mosques (breaks down to 4,000 people per worship location), I can't say I blame them.

    Lumping these muslims in with the Islamic terrorists is like lumping the Anabaptists in with the Catholics who persecuted and executed many of them, or like lumping in the Pilgrims with the Anglicans. Worldwide, Islamic terrorism kills more Muslims then they kill anybody else. Take the example of the 60 Iraqi Army recruits who were killed by a suicide bomber in Iraq a couple days ago. Yeah, the suicide bomber probably called himself a Muslim, but I'd bet just about everyone he killed was a Muslim also.

    When I was stationed in Baghdad, I wasn't allowed to practice my religion. Not because of any local rules, but because of military rules. As a pagan, I could only get together and have rituals or ceremonies with other pagans, legally, if we had a "Distinctive Faith Leader" there, somebody approved by some overall governing body of pagans. Well, there aren't a lot of those in the military, there weren't any on the base, and it would have taken too long for one of us to go through the training for DFL, even if we could have found some group back in the States approved by the chaplaincy to train us.

    So, I had the right to *be* a pagan, just not the right to get together with other pagans and observe my religion. Meanwhile every morning coming back from the power plant I'd pass a christian prayer group with all the squadron leadership holding hands in a circle and praying outside their offices. As a result of this, I've got a bit of personal empathy for the Muslims in a similar situation in New York, they're being told, yeah, you can be a Muslim, you can live here and work here and pay taxes here, but you just can't get together with others of your faith here. You can’t exercise your rights as Americans to practice your religion because people don’t like your religion.

    Given that European colonization of America was driven in no small part by people of minority sects looking for a place to freely practice unpopular religions, this seems downright horrific. Colonial America, particularly Pennsylvania and New Amsterdam (now NYC) were sanctuaries for persecuted Quakers, Jews, Muslims, Baptists, and so on.

    Politicians, spineless pansies the lot of them, are tripping over themselves with it being an election year, none of them have got the brass to make some pretty simple points about what’s right and what’s wrong in America.

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  4. Darth Vadik, CA

    Now this PIG speaks...

    Remember this dumba55? HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    This is the moron that decided to forgo the early Republican states in the Republican primaries in 2008 and decided to make his stand in Florida.......HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    by the time he got there even the idiotic Ron Paul with a steady 5% of the vote beat him, HAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Maybe they should ask Giuliani's family what they think about him, they will tell you best, HAHAHAHAHAHAA

    August 19, 2010 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  5. RICK FROM PA

    This "project" as Giuliani puts it has absolutely nothing to do with "Ground Zero" but rather "Political Talking Points" from mostly Right Wing Republicans. Giuliani should know that reasonably priced property in lower Manhattan is at a premium. I do not believe that the Imam and his committee did not intentionally attempt to find property close to Ground Zero – you certainly want to take the best deal that is being offered you – just ask Donald Trump.

    August 19, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  6. Cindy

    The great panderer.

    August 19, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. Rickster

    this is a NON ISSUE. these people need to have their heads examind. they are lying through their teeth and spreading hatred for political gain. it is sickening. how about no cathloic churches near playgrounds? (thanks colbert!) or no priests allowed within 500 feet of any child that is from the age of birth to 21? these people are complaining when at the actual ground zero they are putting up retil space! that's is some really hallowed ground! they's putting up a mall!

    August 19, 2010 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  8. Voice of Reason

    Add your name to the list, Rudy. The list of people who have taken the low road.

    At this point, it's no longer about whether they have a legal right to build the mosque, it's about SHOULD they. OK – so here's why they SHOULD: If we deny them the right to build a mosque in Lower Manhatten (or even vilify them for doing it), then we have set a precedent. And it's an Ugly precedent. It means that maybe Wiccans wont be allowed to build a meetinghouse in Texas, or that maybe Jews wont be allowed to build a Synagogue in Utah, or that perhaps Hindus wont be allowed to build a temple in Idaho.

    WHY? Because blocking this mosque makes it ok for the bigotry of the majority to overrule the rights of the minority. It would mean that we stand up for what is popular, not what is right. Thats not what America is about, Rudy.

    August 19, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  9. Pangloss

    The King of 9/11 never misses a chance to get public attention about his one issue. What about religious freedom Mr Guiliani?

    August 19, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. PGelsman

    Even if they do go forward with this offensive building, what union NY contractors are going to participate? Just curious.

    August 19, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  11. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Well, I guess the Global War on Terror (TM) is over and the terrorists won. The United States of America, Inc. is now a paranoid, intolerant corporate-police state. All that's left to do is install the "Christian" theocracy to power. Have a nice day!

    August 19, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  12. MichaelK

    I presume Mr. Giulani is a Christian. If he thinks NY Muslims should bear the burden for 9/11, I wonder what burden he is willing to bear for Christian Terrorists Timothy McVeigh, the inquisitor Torquemeda and the murderers of civilian innocents in Jerusalem during the Crusade.

    Pay for your sins of proxy, you hack!

    August 19, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  13. reggie from la

    911 families and supporters, make no mistake about it, I'd RATHER the COMMUNITY CENTER be someplace also, considering the sentiment, but I will not support oppression. These folks are being treated like terrorists from foreign lands. I'm sensitive about guns. They've killed more innocent people in the U.S. than 911. Been around them all my life and use them better than the average bear. Pun. Just seeing them strapped around civilians roaming around the streets is disturbing ...period. I DARE any politician to stand up for what I believe is right. See, I'd RATHER carriers keep them at home. How about you, Mr Guliani? Will you stand up for my preferences? Or does the Constitution trump my sensitivies. Guess it depends on the political climate as to when we exercise Constitutionality, huh?

    August 19, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  14. T'SAH from Virginia

    OMG – Giuliani just made up his own rule of thought that EVERYONE should follow!!!

    "...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." "...if you are a healer you do not go forward with this project. If you're a warrior, you do,"

    So now Iman is a TERRORIST, according to Googli-Ansi!!! You would have to THINK like Giuliani to come up with the CONCLUSION he made!!! I don't THINK like Guiliani, therefore, I see something different in what he is saying!!

    Is Iman thinking like Giuliani? Are others thinking like Giuliani?? AND, what took him so long to RESPOND!! Oh, I guess he wanted to come up with his OWN way of thinking and expect everyone to agree or follow!!

    This is getting UGLY and DANGEROUS – where's PALIN??? Is it time to RELOAD yet Ms. PA'INnDneck???

    August 19, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  15. Whatever

    The City Council has already given approval. So now the owners of the community center should say to Governor Patterson and everyone else that wants it moved – - give us $200-500 million plus our choice of prime real estate along the NY harbor in addition to another $100 million for the pain, suffering and aggrevation in having to move – - then we will agree to move to another location!!!!! They should be paid for all the aggrevation!!!!!!!!!!!! If they move it will not be just because they want to make peace – - it is private property and if the state/city/country wants them to move they should PAY them to do so -that will stimulate the economy!!! Moving the community center is not going to stop some radical (American or non-American group) from trying to blow up something. NYC will let the bulding fall down rather than develop it.

    August 19, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  16. Millie Bea

    People- and the media ambulance chasers need to just shut up. Is there nothing- nothing that you wull not pick apart with Mr. Obama. No matter where he went there would have to Secret Service. He can afford to pay for his own rooms. Get lives, start acting civilized and start participating in government- like figuring out who represents you in Congress and if they are doing their job.

    August 19, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  17. Henry Miller, Libertarian

    Of course that's what Giuliani says–he's a typical neo-con paranoiac.

    August 19, 2010 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  18. hypocricnnation

    Who's The Mayor Of New York City Again? The Last Time I Checked It Was Michael Bloomberg (Marvin The Martian), And Not Rudy (Pooh) Guiliani (Dumb *ss Fooliani!). So Why NBC's Matt Lauer (Lousy) (Resident Jerk) Seeking Mr. Guiliani's Opinion (Clinic) About The Subject. Mr. Guiliani Was Only So Happy To Present Both Sides Of The Argument. It's Just Too Bad That 99.9% Of The Argument He Presented Were His Own Ideas And Not Both Sides.

    August 19, 2010 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  19. Not move forward......

    "Ditch" joke is on Obama: If the (D..ems) D..rive the little red car into the ditch, then the (R..eps) must R..everse to get the little red car out from the ditch. The GOP knows how to R..everse and R..evive an economy in the D..itch............................................................................!

    August 19, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  20. Ken, AZ

    I think this message should also be directed to the American people. These Muslims had nothing to do with 911 and therefore should not be singled out for our wrath. And, my understanding is that this group is proposing to build a community center that contains a prayer room within, not a mosque. Lets call it what it is and stop trying to politicize and sensationalize it by calling it something that is intended to inflame.

    August 19, 2010 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  21. Bob(Illinois)

    Well, I guess that settles that! Rudy the Clown has spoken.

    August 19, 2010 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Fou

    Rudy Giuliani is right.

    August 19, 2010 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  23. VonMoore

    So Giuliani echoes the wimpy noise of the right-wing zombie set. Good for him. He must need the money.

    August 19, 2010 12:45 pm at 12:45 pm |
  24. Kathy

    Considering this guy makes a living off the backs of those dead on 9-11, he shold shut his mouth. He couldn't make a political speach without mentioning 9-11 at least every other line!!!!

    August 19, 2010 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  25. jim

    "Giuliani says Islamic center should not move forward" ....

    ... along with all basic American Freedoms.

    Glad I can say this today. With Freedom haters like this, I doubt I will be able to say this tomorrow.

    August 19, 2010 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
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