August 19th, 2010
11:40 AM ET
8 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. Jeff

    Its causing pain? Maybe if the islamic center was a radical recruiting center but its not. A hand-full of extremists ruined the reputation of millions of Muslims. Its sad that people group Muslims and Radical Muslims together.

    August 19, 2010 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  2. John Adkisson

    Rudy the healer - calling the imam a warrior associated with jihad just because he wants to build a religious center!

    August 19, 2010 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  3. SweetP

    Hey Rudy, how is your daughter doing?

    August 19, 2010 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  4. Limbaugh is a liberal

    You do know that the only reason 'this project is divisive' is because racist right-wingers made it so by equating muslims with terrorists. Did you know that most muslims in America are African-Americans who love this country? Oh wait... I guess I just gave one more reason for right-wingers to oppose the center.

    August 19, 2010 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  5. Mesa Mick

    Of course he's all for mixing and blurring the lines between church and state by opposing another man'sconstitutioanl rights to his religious and private property liberties.

    Rudy's a re-thug-lie-cant pandering to the GOPs "good conservative christian" base for chrissake...

    August 19, 2010 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  6. nini

    Ok, lets build it but do the following first:

    1-Find out exactly how it is being funded
    2-Identify all involved parties
    3-Find out the past on the people that are involved and what they believe in

    Lets not be blind sided again. Lets do our homework then go forward.
    The only thing we must do is not to get intimated by the name calling and smear that left is doing,

    August 19, 2010 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  7. DJ in TX

    I noticed he didn't talk about the "right" of the people to build on their own private property. I'm in Texas, so I don't know how people really feel.

    People build things we don't like in areas all over this country. It is our way and our law's. As long as no laws are being broken, I don't see how this can be stopped. The city can't go back and change the zoning laws (thanks to Republicans who pushed that through:-).

    But it is starting to seem like if things don't fall into the GOP's way of thinking, then it is wrong. Paling talking about free speech, although she asked someone to be fired for using the word "retard", but appearing to say it is OK to use the N word. The 14th Amendment needs to be repealed, the freedom of religion is in the way. The right to build to on your OWN property is in the way. Where does it stop?? Rand Paul saying discrimination should be allowed in provate businesses. Where does it stop?? People questioning the President's religion (like it matters). Questioning his citizenship (when a GOP governor has certifed the virth certificate?? Where does it stop.

    I'm beginning to feel like some in the GOP would prefer I go to the back of the bus. I'm a veteran and I'm starting to wonder who I actually went to war for? A country that would question my religion, a country that would ask me to fight for it, but also allow me to not have lunch at a resturant just because of my skin????

    Where does it stop???? A country that wants to stop a religious building from being built because they don't lke the religion.

    How am I supposed to feel about this country? This country that can't seem to see it is isolating itself........Damn..........

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  8. Shelly

    Every time we fear the outside world, other religions and cultures , we become LESS of the tolerant and inclusive America.we are so proud of.
    Is this not what our enemies were wishing for.....a less tolerant and divisive America???? DON"T let the terroeists win!!!

    August 19, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  9. DJ

    Boy, I tell you, the so call leaders of this Country should start showing leadership and not cower to the public ignorance of the project. The leaders should be out educating the public that 9/11 happen because some idiots who so happen to be of the Muslim faith used it in the wrong manner. They need to be telling folks that building this center TWO block away from Ground Zero by no means is a reflection of that act that happen on 9/11 by those idiots that happen to be of the same religion. They need to tell the ignorant people that you shouldn’t lump all people in the same category as the people who committed the attack on 9/11. They just really need to show some leadership because right now, they are not show a darn thing but their stupidity and the need to appease the masses!!!

    August 19, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  10. Jake

    The Bible has two ways as well. Which way do the you see it? I know how i see it and i have no problem with muslim's. Why do you?...

    August 19, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  11. islamisthe devil

    I totally agree. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is most likely backed by some form of a terriost group tha hates the "west." This is a slap in the face to every american, and we need to stand up and fight to not let this stand.

    August 19, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  12. Michael from Ventura

    Rudy: Your 15 minutes are UP! GO AWAY!

    August 19, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  13. cm

    Why does anyone including CNN care what Giuliani has to say? Please post some worthwhile news!

    August 19, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  14. Joe

    That's pretty funny. Rudi was a completely failed politician who's entire career was resurrected on 9/11. You'd think he would have a little more sympathy for muslims given the fact that they salvaged his career.

    August 19, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  15. Steve

    He needs the space for his next mistress...

    August 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  16. Annie, Atlanta

    Surprise, surprise. Mr. "A noun, a verb, and 9/11" gets to talk about 9/11 once again. Will there ever come a time when Republicans stop scratching open our 9/11 wounds? Ever?!

    And, hey, weren't we founded on the freedom of religion? I'm sure in our colorful history we've seen some christians who terrorized us. Does that make all christians terrorists? NO! I'm christian, I'm not a terrorist. This issue is just masking the real problems we're facing. Is that all the GOP has these days, masking the issues instead of contributing solutions?

    August 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Tim

    I used to respect Giuliani. He's turned into a right wing, Republican party hack.

    August 19, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  18. Lee Oates

    Rudy Giuliani is simply playing politics, and roughly translated, he means that if we decide to bully and threaten you, you should be passive and withdraw, or your not a peaceful group. Seems that Adolf Hitler used the same methods to close down synagogues in Germany. Be careful what precidents we set here, the long-term consequences could be a disaster.

    August 19, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  19. Kathy S. Cloughn

    Rudy, go home and take care of your daughter. She needs you. She is crying for attention and needs you...quit politicking and do it.

    August 19, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  20. Erik

    All those that oppose this thing being built are intolerant idiots. Are these the same muslims that planned the attack? Have we stopped dealing with Saudi Arabia, (place where must of the hijackers where from), on a political level? The answers to all those questions are no. If we are really going to show Muslim people that America doesnt belong to them and they cant do what they want, how about this:

    No muslims allowed within 2 miles of the Pentagon, Site of the World Trade Center, or Stonycreek Township.

    No new Mosques or cultural centers in America at all

    Start a Muslim registery so we can track these people.

    Get a clue intolerance and zenophobia is what has gotten us into this situation. Its time to let go and realize that your family at one point or another came from somewhere else and had traditions not natvie to America.

    August 19, 2010 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  21. Jamie from Riverside

    Who cares what Rudy says; he's a loser and now a hater.
    Religious intolerace – who would have thought we'd be discussing this in modern America?

    August 19, 2010 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  22. Mike

    "islamistthedevil"...your name says it all, and means your opinion is worthless on this subject.
    Not all Muslims are terrorists (or even Arab for that matter), just like not all Catholic priests are pedophiles, and not every southern Christian is a Klan member. To coin a famous phrase, let the first religion without sin throw the first stone.
    The biggest problem in this debate is those that are using patriotism as a cloak for their racism. The next is that people are denying the developer the same basic rights and freedoms they themselves demand under the about hypocracy.
    As for those that demand to know where the funding is coming from as a way of dispelling any fears, long as all other churches, synagogues, and temples have to follow the same rules.

    August 19, 2010 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  23. blue

    You opinion does not amount to a hill of beans. Your fifteen minutes are really up.

    August 19, 2010 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Rudy . . . Is a fraud . . . a huckster and above all

    Another loser politician who will say anything to get a vote.

    August 19, 2010 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  25. Robert

    I don't like the idea of the mosque in that location, but the U.S. constitution protects muslims' rights to put one there. Go read the constitution Rudy, it's very clear on this matter.

    August 19, 2010 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
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