All but Franklin Graham support Park51, or at least a good majority.
A report on Time magazine shows how many of America’s most prominent religious leaders support Park51, the now-infamous Muslim community center to be built close to Ground Zero in New York.
The article though, incorrectly calls Park51 a mosque, as have a number of other media outlets.
Mr. Graham, when asked whether he supported or opposed the complex, descended into a tirade on women’s rights in Saudi Arabia while conveniently neglecting to mention the fact that the so-called Ground Zero mosque is neither a mosque, nor is it situated on Ground Zero.
Here are the remarks from some of the other community leaders, only one of whom was Muslim:
“I’m afraid that politicians have gotten hold of this and are using it to pander to extreme voices that are really Islamophobic. I think theologically, there is nothing inside of Christianity that would indicate that we are to treat people of other religions with anything but the utmost respect and friendship.”
Heidi Hadsell – President, The Hartford Seminary
“[We’ve often heard,] ‘Why don’t the moderate Muslim voices speak out against terrorism?’ Well, here we have it: a center that’s devoted to reconciliation that witnesses against terrorists and against Muslims who use the Islamic faith as a pretext for that. And yet we are shutting that voice — that makes no sense to me.“
Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, National Council of Churches
“It’s really kind of a sad moment for me in local American history that this [controversy] has happened.”
Jerry Campbell – President, Claremont Theological Seminary
“I think we need to stop demonizing the whole of the Islamic world because of the actions of Islamic radicals. I hope this project will go forward.”
Harold Attridge – Dean, Yale Divinity School
“Our support is conditional support. It doesn’t say it doesn’t matter who the funders are, and it doesn’t matter what the founders believe. It says in a positive way, We want to support it. Our instinct is to want to support it.”
David Harris – Executive Director, American Jewish Committe
“All those things being said, I think this group has a right to build a mosque.“
Albert Mohler – President, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“This idea that the vast majority of Americans are against the project — well, I think the vast majority of Americans are seriously misinformed about Islam, are really misinformed about this project, and if we were to base our rights on majority vote, then civil rights in this country would never have gone forward.“
Sohaib Sultan – Muslim Life Coordinator, Princeton University
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