The Instigator
Maxinator
Con (against)
Losing
10 Points
The Contender
DrStrangeLuv
Pro (for)
Winning
14 Points

Resolved: An Islamic Cultural Center should be built near Ground Zero.

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 6 votes the winner is...
DrStrangeLuv
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/19/2011 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,447 times Debate No: 14435
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (5)
Votes (6)

 

Maxinator

Con

I challenge anyone to debate me on the topic
Resolved: An Islamic Cultural Center should be built near Ground Zero.
My opponent will argue the affirmative and I will argue the negative.

The format of the debate is:
1. Introduction, Definitions, Observations
2. Basic Contentions with Evidence
3. Rebuttals
4. Rebuttals
5. Summary

The resolution today questions whether an Islamic Cultural Center SHOULD be built near Ground Zero. Although the builders of this center have the legal right to build it, I believe that they should refrain from doing so for reasons I will specify in my next post. Good luck and thank you for accepting.
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

1) Introduction

I accept your challenge Con, and good luck.

ICC = Islamic Cultural Center

I hold that an Islamic Cultural Center should be built near Ground Zero. Since the owners of the property have every right to do so, it is up to my opponent to present evidence as to why they should not build an ICC on their private property.

2) Contentions

A) My opponent will most likely argue the "insensitivity" of building an ICC so close. In fact, a Muslim center known as the Masjid Manhattan has existed on 20 Warren St. in downtown Manhattan for 40 years [1], and yet there has been no media hype for its destruction, nor has anything really bad happened. The truth is much of the fear about an ICC being built is just that: fear. A fear that has been blown out of proportion by the media. This should also put to rest ideas like the "Cordoba Initiative", since a mosque already exists in close proximity to Ground Zero.

B) Building an ICC should not cause any alarm or fear because it is a Muslim building. Those who committed murder on 9/11 where radicals, the same way Charles Manson was a radical and Timothy McVeigh. We do not associate all Christians to be murderers because of the actions of a few. In addition, many good Muslim men died on 9/11, normal people who just went into work like it was any other day. Even some of the first responders were Muslim.

C) The downtown area has been experiencing rapid growth [2] over the years. In order to cater to what must be a boom in all sorts of populations, different houses of worship must be built, from synagogues to mosques.

D) I hope my opponent is familiar with the First Amendment, so I will not post any evidence. The fact is, if Americans have embraced this ideology ravenously since its inception then they should continue to do so. I want to try to make the point that allowing the ICC to be built in downtown Manhattan is a reminder to the world of our civility, and that this is what separates us from those who despise this country. Imagine trying to build a church in Riyadh [3], it would never be allowed even if the Christians in the area had been completely benevolent since their arrival.

3) Summary

In preparation for an obvious retort by my opponent I wish to state that it is foolish to assume that the actions of few represent the feelings of a whole. Given the evidence above, If I were Muslim and I have no connection to 9/11 like the other 99.99% of Muslims, I would be offended that I cannot build a house of worship because of an irrational fear spread by ignorant pundits. I realize that people who supposedly followed the same religion as me committed murder on 9/11, also killing Muslims in the process, and I have an understanding of why people may fear me but restricting my rights, or being offended by something that has no bearing on your life is completely unnecessary.

[1] http://www.masjidmanhattan.com...
[2] http://www.lowermanhattan.info...
[3] http://www.time.com...
Debate Round No. 1
Maxinator

Con

Thank you for accepting and good luck to you too.

On April 14, 1993, Pope John Paul II decided to move a Catholic covenant from Auschwitz because he wanted to respect the victims of the tragedy that occurred there. [1] Because I also respect victims of tragedies such as 9/11, I negate the resolution Resolved: An Islamic Cultural Center should be built near Ground Zero.

I would like to begin by analyzing the resolution today. The resolution asks whether an Islamic Cultural Center SHOULD be built near Ground Zero. I acknowledge that the builders have every right to build it near Ground Zero. Therefore, no one can FORCE them to move from Ground Zero. The resolution today asks whether the BUILDERS should move the Islamic Cultural Center. If the builders choose to move it, it would not violate their constitutional rights because they are CHOOSING to move it. On the other hand, if the builders choose to build it, it is not religious tolerance for Muslims. Since the majority of the American people are against the Islamic Cultural Center, building it would mean going against the will of the American people. Thus, it would not show that Americans approve of or tolerate the Islamic Cultural Center. The reasons that I think the builders should voluntarily move the Islamic Cultural Center are:

Contention 1: Moving the Islamic Cultural Center will show respect to family members of 9/11 victims.
While our opponents argue that the Islamic Cultural Center is not at Ground Zero or strictly a mosque, building a symbol of Islam so close to a place where extremists killed thousands in the name of Islam is insensitive to the family and friends of those who died. As explained by Muslim scholar Akbar Ahmed, "The wounds [of 9/11] remain largely open and when wounds are raw, an episode like constructing a house of worship becomes like salt in the wounds." [2]The least the builders of the Islamic Cultural Center can do is show respect for these victims. The Former NY Fire Department Deputy Chief, whose son was killed, who states, "this is all about location, location, location. It's not about religious freedom... be sensitive to the families." 9/11 is the site of one of the greatest tragedies in American history, affecting every citizen, and by moving the Islamic Cultural Center the builders would show compassion and caring towards those who deserve to be remembered and honored.

Contention 2: Moving the Islamic Cultural Center will break stereotypes about Muslim Americans.
Currently, 46% of Americans have a negative view of Islam. By moving the Islamic Cultural Center, the builders can prove that Muslim Americans are a compassionate and loving people, not terrorists who cannot change their views. On the other hand building the Islamic Cultural Center is extremely unlikely to promote "interfaith tolerance". The idea that one Islamic Cultural Center can heal years of distrust between Christians and Muslims is absurd. It is much more plausible that it will create an even deeper, portraying Muslims as insensitive and inconsiderate. If the Islamic Cultural Center is moved, Americans will see Muslims in a new light, which is the beginning to healing the mistrusts of Muslims. By proving that there is a distinct line between Muslim Americans and Islamic extremists, Muslim Americans can break the stereotypes often associated with them and show that they are a compassionate, peaceful, and loving people.

Contention 3: Moving the Islamic Cultural Center will prevent hate crimes against Muslim Americans.
In 2001, Muslim Americans were victimized in more than 400 hate crimes. Although this number has been steadily decreasing, the Islamic Cultural Center is likely to cause it to spike again. The Center for American-Islamic Relations believes anti-Muslim sentiment in the U.S. is "skyrocketing" because of the debate over the Islamic Cultural Center. This is disappointing because hate crime levels were almost leveling off before the Islamic Cultural Center became such a big deal. However, this debate is sparking renewed and increased hatred against Muslim Americans. Furthermore, there has been specific hate crimes linked to the Islamic Cultural Center already. For example, a California Imam recently found his mosque vandalized with statements having to do with Ground Zero. Also, a New York taxi driver was assaulted after confirming to the passenger that he was Muslim. By moving the Islamic Cultural Center, Muslim Americans will prevent the hate crimes related directly to Ground Zero. On top of that, they will also reduce general hate crimes directed towards Muslim Americans by establishing a new image for the group. By moving the Islamic Cultural Center the builders can protect the Muslim Americans from unjust hate crimes. [3]

The first argument that my opponent makes is that the Islamic Cultural Center should not be considered an issue of sensitivity because there was already a mosque near Ground Zero. However, the reason the other mosque was built was so that peaceful Muslims could pray. Imam Rauf, the leader of this project, has clearly said that he choose this building "where a piece of the wreckage fell" from 9/11 on purpose in order to show that Muslim Americans are different. [4] However, even if this is his reason, it shows that he choose to build this building near Ground Zero ON PURPOSE, which means that families can view this as deliberately close (and insensitive) and other mosques as merely near Ground Zero by coincidence.

The second argument that my opponent makes is that these Muslims are different from those who committed the 9/11 attacks. Although I agree with him, the ugly truth is that much of America does not. The best way for Muslim Americans to prove that they are different is for the builders to move this Islamic Cultural Center away in order to show that Muslim Americans want peace and love, not conflict all over the media.

The third argument that my opponent makes is that these Muslims need prayer space because there is no room. However, this is a big misconception. According to the Muslim Canadian Congress, New York has more than 30 mosques and there is no pressing need for more prayer space. [5] The source that my opponent cites merely says that there is need for more houses in Manhattan. It says nothing about prayer spaces and thus you must ignore the argument unless my opponent can prove a direct link.

The fourth argument that my opponent cites is that this is a matter of freedom of religion. However, as I have already explained, the majority of Americans are against the Islamic Cultural Center. Building it would not show that Americans continue to embrace the ideology to this day. It would actually prove the opposite, that Americans continue to stand opposed to the ideology. Similarly, moving the Islamic Cultural Center would not be a violation of rights, but rather a voluntary and compassionate move by the builders.

Thus, I urge a con ballot today.

[1] http://www.nytimes.com...
[2] http://religion.blogs.cnn.com...
[3] http://www.newsweek.com...
[4] http://www.nytimes.com...
[5] http://www.ottawacitizen.com...
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

My opponent begins this round with some assertions such as "if the builders choose to build it, it is not religious tolerance for Muslims." I am unsure of what this means or how this relates to the debate.

"Since the majority of the American people are against the Islamic Cultural Center, building it would mean going against the will of the American people."
--- Rule of the majority is a bad thing, which is why our government has laws which protect the rights of the individual citizen. Going against the will of a group of people has been the cornerstone of our government for 2 centuries because we realize mob rule is not a good thing. Therefore, I find this reasoning not sufficient for this debate. Moving on...

Rebut to Contention 1)
---It is not insensitive to the many Muslims who died that day. It is not insensitive to the Muslim first responders who worked to dig bodies out from the rubble. You are equating a building with a radical extremist ideology, which is not a good thing to do. In this country we allow the feelings of everyone to be considered, we do not ban certain ceremonies because they offend the majority.

Rebut to Contention 2)
---My opponent provides no citations for any of his statistics or speculation, so this argument is null.

Rebut to Contention 3)
--- Con's argument only goes to show that the builders of the ICC are having their rights violated. Moving the ICC on their own accord is one thing, but having to do it because violent people are threatening them is NOT a free choice. It is not the ICC or the builders fault that these acts of hatred are happening; it is the people performing them.

My Contentions

1) My opponent assumes that the Imam choose the location to purposely offend others, while the citation he provides describes the opposite. Con assumes that since the Masjid mosque was intended for prayer that this new ICC will be for something... different *que dramatic music*. My opponent also does not address the amount of fear mongering being played out by the mainstream media.

2) The best way for Muslims to assume guilt that isn't theirs would be to move the ICC. This is basically what my opponent is saying. He then says, without citation, that most of America disagrees with me. In fact, I can show that most of this nonsense is probably due more to religious motivations than anything else. in this [1] Gallup poll, Americans of different religions were polled about the ICC. What is interesting to note is that voters with no religious obligation voted more in favor of the ICC than against it, making this more and more look like a deep seated religious prejudice than anything else.

3) In one of your arguments you use the source [2] that says that Muslim worshipers have been meeting at the proposed ICC location for years now to pray. This is a great example of the need for more prayer space. You have people gathering in an old Burlington Coat Factory to pray. If there was another spot, why are they all crowding into there? If there isn't a need for more space, why is an abandoned building being used as a house of worship? Your source which says there is no need for space leads me to a message saying the article cannot be found. Update it please.

4) I am not following your logic on this. "It would actually prove the opposite, that Americans continue to stand opposed to the ideology."
---So by being threatened into moving the mosque, this upholds the First Amendment?

"Similarly, moving the Islamic Cultural Center would not be a violation of rights, but rather a voluntary and compassionate move by the builders."
---Its not voluntary if people are threatening you with violence. That's called "intimidation".

Summary

My opponent fails to address the points of:
1) Muslims murdered on 9/11 and the Muslim first responders.
2) Use of fear and intimidation to move the mosque
3) The correlation that all Muslims are terrorists, which is false.

All in all, my current arguments still stand.

[1] http://www.gallup.com...
[2] http://www.nytimes.com...
Debate Round No. 2
Maxinator

Con

Clarifications:
When I said that "if the builders choose to build it, it is not religious tolerance for Muslims", what I meant is that America will not show tolerance if the builders are building it against what America wants. If America does not approve of the building, it shows that America clearly does not approve of tolerance. I will provide evidence later that the majority of Americans are actually against the Islamic Cultural Center.

When I said "Since the majority of the American people are against the Islamic Cultural Center, building it would mean going against the will of the American people" I NEVER said that we should move the Islamic Cultural Center solely because the majority of Americans are against it. This is a dangerous assumption that my opponent made. What I meant is that the fact that the majority of Americans are against it proves that the majority of Americans do not approve of freedom of religion shows that Americans do not support this religious tolerance and thus building it will not show any religious freedom or tolerance.

PRO CASE

Rebuttal to Contention 1:
I NEVER said the Imam choose this location to purposely offend others. This is another dangerous assumption my opponent makes. I said that this is how many Americans are viewing the Islamic Cultural Center because the Imam chose the location purposely near Ground Zero. Thus, this negatively affects Muslim Americans and their images and actually is causing some people to associate peaceful Muslim Americans with terrorism. Furthermore, the hate mongering that my opponent brings up will only INCREASE if the Islamic Cultural Center is built, whereas it will decrease if it is moved.

Rebuttal to Contention 2:
While my opponent falsely equates showing respect to 'assuming guilt', the truth is that any guilt falsely put on Muslims is because of stereotypes of Muslim Americans as terrorists. The best way to remove this guilt is to prove that this stereotyping is untrue by showing that Muslims are a peaceful and loving people who respect others. While the burden should not be on the Muslims to prove they are different, the sad reality is that society will not accpet them as peaceful until they prove it to society. My opponent says that I have no citation to prove that the majority of Americans are against the building of the Islamic Cultural Center. I apologize about that and will provide some here. According to an August 10 Fox News poll, 64% of Americans thought it would be wrong to build a mosque and Islamic cultural center so close to Ground Zero, and 30% felt it would be appropriate. [1] A CNN poll conducted August 6 2010 found that Americans opposed the Park51 project by a margin of 68% to 29%. [2] My opponent says that Christians tend to be more opposed to the Islamic Cultural Center making this likely a 'deep seated religious prejudice'. However, he is making an assumption based off of the evidence that he has NO WAY of proving. This is almost like stereotyping Christians.

Rebuttal to Contention 3:
Just because they choose to go to that location, does not mean that there is not any prayer space anywhere else. There are more than 30 mosques in New York. According to a quote in my original case, these Muslims do not need prayer space. This is merely a political statement. Furthermore, assuming they do need prayer space and this center will provide sufficient prayer space (please prove that), why does that prayer space have to be located right there?

Rebuttal for Contention 4:
Can you find me proof that the builders of the Islamic Cultural Center are being threatened? While I realize that these threats may violate their First Amendment rights, my case never advocates these threats. The resolution questions whether the Islamic Cultural Center SHOULD be built. In the best interest of protecting these people, I believe it should not be built in the best interest of safety. One of thr comments on this debate refers to Gandhi, and moving this would be like what Gandhi did: fighting violence with peace.

CON CASE

Contention 1:
Do you concede that it is insensitive to non-Muslims who died on 9/11? Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, said: "I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world." [3] My opponent argues that it is not insensitive to the Muslims that died that day. However, if it is not insensitive to those Muslims, yet it is sensitive to other non-Muslims, then why shouldn't it be moved? For my opponent's point to be valid, he needs to find evidence that moving it is insensitive to Muslims, not that building it is NOT insensitive to Muslims. Furthermore, I never equated a building with a radical extremist ideology. I merely stated that this is what many Americans are doing.

Contention 2:
Although, this argument may be seen as 'speculative', it is plain and simple logic. Will building an Islamic Cultural Center more likely heal or hurt interfaith relations? It is quite unlikely that building ONE Islamic Cultural Center will cause a sudden rise in interfaith dialogue or understanding. It is much more likely that building one will show Muslims as a deaf group that do not care about other people. On the other hand, building it will prove that Muslims are people who are compassionate and loving enough to care about others and consider their feelings. Even if I provide no evidence, I challenge my opponent to logically refute this argument.

Contention 3:
My argument is that building the Islamic Cultural Center will prevent this violence from happening. The fact is that the best way to stop this violence is to take away its cause. My opponent argues that this is a violation of their rights and thus should not be considered. Is this the reason why it should not be considered? Will building an Islamic Cultural Center fix these problems in any way? I realize their rights may be violated but I don't think asserting their rights is enough ground for allowing crime to continue while it can be easily prevented.

THE RESOLUTION ASKS WHETHER AN ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER SHOULD BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO. MY OPPONENT SEEMS TO CONTINUALLY EMPHASIZE THAT MY REASONS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO FORCE THE BUILDERS TO MOVE THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FEW REASONS CAN FORCE THE BUILDERS TO MOVE THE ISLAMIC CULTRUAL CENER. HOWEVER, THE CON POSITION ONLY ADVOCATES THAT IT SHOULD NOT BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO, NOT THAT IT MUST NOT BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO. THE REASONS I PROVIDE ARE MERELY REASONS WHY THE BUILDERS SHOULD VOLUNTARILY MOVE IT, NOT WHY OUR GOVERNMENT OR ANYONE SHOULD FORCE IT TO MOVE.

Questions:
Although I have a right to make myself drink an excessive amount of alcohol and impair my judgment and thinking, does that mean I should assert this right on a daily basis or that I should consider the negatives of this right before excercising it?

Should hate crimes against Muslim Americans be viewed as something that needs to be allowed in the name of rights or something that should be prevented in the name of caring about ohers?

If the stereotyping of Muslims as terrorists is such a big problem in America, should we add fuel to the fire or heal the hatred? What is the best way to make this happen?

What is ONE tangible benefit this can offer Muslim Americans (besides asserting their rights)?

Thus, I urge a con ballot.

In case I have not made this clear, I do not necessarily support the con position on my personal beliefs. The purpose of this debate is to foster education and understanding, and thus I do not necessarily endorse any statement that has been made in my case.

[1] http://www.foxnews.com...
[2] http://www.nydailynews.com...
[3] http://www.washingtonpost.com...
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

"When I said that "if the builders choose to build it, it is not religious tolerance for Muslims", what I meant is that America will not show tolerance if the builders are building it against what America wants. If America does not approve of the building, it shows that America clearly does not approve of tolerance."
---And what are you trying to say with this? This argues my point better than it does yours. Your basically saying that Americans do not approve of tolerance, and that not building the ICC close to Ground Zero is giving in to that intolerance.

"What I meant is that the fact that the majority of Americans are against it proves that the majority of Americans do not approve of freedom of religion shows that Americans do not support this religious tolerance and thus building it will not show any religious freedom or tolerance."
--- No, building it will show that religious expression can proceed even with high amounts of intimidation from the American public. It is our responsibility as a nation that religious intolerance not disrupt the building of this ICC, because if it does, it only shows our failure as a free country.

1) "However, the reason the other mosque was built was so that peaceful Muslims could pray. Imam Rauf, the leader of this project, has clearly said that he choose this building "where a piece of the wreckage fell" from 9/11 on purpose in order to show that Muslim Americans are different."
--- You are insinuating that this new ICC, unlike the other mosque in the are, is not for peaceful means. AT any rate, upon reading his source it clearly shows that the Imam has no sinister motives. Lets say a Baptist and group of maybe 20 of his fellow church goers run into a shopping mall and started blowing stuff up in the name of Jesus. 10 years later, a Lutheran wants to build a church next to the mall. He is denied because he is a Christian, and community hates all Christians because of what happened at the mall. Just like Christianity, Islam has separate sects, but that isn't the point. The point is your hating a group of people for something they didn't do.

2) Don't you find it odd that those without religious obligation are more accepting of a mosque near Ground Zero than Christians and other religious denominations? I am merely making the correlation from the poll that indicates that religious preference plays a role in the acceptance of the ICC. The fact is that many Americans are fearful of Muslims because the Muslims themselves have been stereotyped as terrorists. Catering to this widespread phobia by not building the mosque basically says that the religion of Islam and its followers are responsible for 9/11 and not the action of a few lunatics.

3) You keep saying that there are 30 mosques in New York. Well, NY is a pretty big area, and according to what I have presented to you, there is only one other mosque in the downtown area. The population boom in downtown Manhattan, along with the crowding of Muslims into an old Burlington Coat Factory to pray, gives me the idea that there's not enough prayer space in downtown Manhattan. And so the ICC should be built because it would be beneficial to the Muslims in the area. Building it somewhere else gives these people an inconvenience to travel when they have shouldn't have to. I say again: Not building the mosque burdens others with the actions of a terrorist cell. They are assuming guilt for something they did not do.

4) First off, Gandhi's ideology involved peaceful resistance, not giving up in the face of violence. Secondly, if I have to prove to that the builders aren't being threatened then fine, I'm not. So the ICC can be built then. The burden of proof to not build is on you. You then go onto to say "in order to protect these people." What does that mean? are you saying the builder's are being threatened? In that case, we should be allowed to bend to intimidation and thus the ICC should be built.

CON CASE

Instead of going through each contention again, I will condense this debate. What it basically comes down to on my opponents side is that:

1) The claim that Muslims also feel sensitive to building a mosque near ground zero. Instead of providing a statistic, he instead quotes a single Muslim and extrapolates an emotion for an entire religious community with billions of members.

2) He claims that an ICC will do little to heal rifts in American society. He makes this claim, with no evidence, and even in face of the fact that the ICC is intended by its builders to heal that rift [1]. At any rate, the Imam in charge of the building should not be held accountable for the feelings of billions of Muslims around the world.

3) "I realize their rights may be violated but I don't think asserting their rights is enough ground for allowing crime to continue while it can be easily prevented."
--- What kind of statement is this? If I ran a hospital on street gang territory, and the gangs constantly harassed patients and staff, I would be held accountable for the violence in your views. I would have my license revoked, my hospital demolished, so that peace could return to the area. Does this sound right to you? Does giving into intimidation solve anything? Don't you believe in a code of laws that is far greater than any malevolent wishes a group of people has? Don't you think that the law should protect someone doing sometime that is not illegal?

Oh whoops, it seems my caps lock key is about to break at the same moment yours did:

THE RESOLUTION ASKS WHETHER AN ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER SHOULD BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO. MY OPPONENT SEEMS TO CONTINUALLY EMPHASIZE THAT MY REASONS ARE NOT ENOUGH TO FORCE THE BUILDERS TO KEEP THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER WHERE IT IS. I ACKNOWLEDGE THAT FEW REASONS CAN FORCE THE BUILDERS TO KEEP THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER WHERE IT IS. HOWEVER, THE PRO POSITION ONLY ADVOCATES THAT IT SHOULD BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO, NOT THAT IT MUST BE BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO. THE REASONS I PROVIDE ARE MERELY REASONS WHY THE BUILDERS SHOULD VOLUNTARILY KEEP IT WHERE IT IS, NOT WHY OUR GOVERNMENT OR ANYONE SHOULD FORCE IT TO STAY.

K, I fixed it.

Yay, some Q&A:

Question 1) It is your right to do what you want as long as it is within the boundaries of the law. Even if itmay be stupid, its your right to do it and I have NO PLACE in telling you what to do.

Question 2) If I were Muslim, and people where threatening me for something I have never supported in my life, then I would be heavily offended.

Question 3) The best way would be to learn to live with it and accept the fact that the people who murdered on 9/11 are not the same people building the freakin' mosque. Intimidating them only goes to show that we don't trust them at all, despite the fact that 99.99% of them haven't done a damn thing to us.

Question 4) Maybe they get a space to pray in closer to their home? Perhaps the ICC will heal tensions in America? We don't know for sure, but your guess is as good as mine.

I am running out of space so I will end this round with this: My opponent holds that since a small group of radial, extremist Muslims committed a heinous act of murder in the name of their god, then the entire religion and all its various denominations and sects should be feared. Any symbol which represented those killers should be banned from the place of the murder, despite the fact that they twisted the truth of their religion to serve their evil purpose. It is ludicrous at how much people have blown Islam of proportion, and because of this very fact an ICC should be built where ever it is needed.

[1] http://www.thedailybeast.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Maxinator

Con

"It is your right to do what you want as long as it is within the boundaries of the law. Even if itmay be stupid, its your right to do it and I have NO PLACE in telling you what to do."

Although you cannot tell me what I have the right to do, you can tell me what I SHOULD do. This resolution does not ask what the builders have the right to do, but rather what they SHOULD do.

"If I were Muslim, and people where threatening me for something I have never supported in my life, then I would be heavily offended."

You completely avoided the question. In case you misunderstood, let me rephrase it. If I threatened you and said I would kill your friends if you kept exercising your free speech rights in a way that 'offended me', then would you keep using your free speech rights or would you consider your friends and protect them? (Pretend you cannot call the police because that is not a solution to stopping all hate crimes.)

"The best way would be to learn to live with it and accept the fact that the people who murdered on 9/11 are not the same people building the freakin' mosque. Intimidating them only goes to show that we don't trust them at all, despite the fact that 99.99% of them haven't done a damn thing to us."

Please drop the profanity. Again, this resolution asks whether an Islamic Cultural Center should be built near Ground Zero. That decision is in the hands of the builders only. The solution cannot be something you require the American people to do. A pro ballot only means that an Islamic Cultural Center should be built, not that the American people should accept Muslims (which will NOT happen with a pro ballot).

"Maybe they get a space to pray in closer to their home? Perhaps the ICC will heal tensions in America? We don't know for sure, but your guess is as good as mine."

You acknowledge that the idea that it will heal tensions in America is solely speculation. On the other hand, it has been made very clear by our media and your own poll that it will definitely inflame tensions more than it will heal them.

"My opponent holds that since a small group of radial, extremist Muslims committed a heinous act of murder in the name of their god, then the entire religion and all its various denominations and sects should be feared."

Please don't make up things that I never said. I have acknowledged on multiple occasions that these people are different people. I advocate for their best interest. I want to stop hate crimes against them and I want America to see that they are people who have feelings for others. I don't think that they should be blamed for these attacks. All I have said is that many Americans have the view you accuse me of having. [1] To change these views, these people must prove themselves.

"If I ran a hospital on street gang territory, and the gangs constantly harassed patients and staff, I would be held accountable for the violence in your views."

Absolutely not. I never said that you would be held accountable. I merely said that you could have prevented it by picking a different location. Furthermore, this hospital has already been built, whereas construction on the Islamic Cultural Center has not yet began.

The example with the Christian extremists:
I am not personally blaming the Muslim Americans for this. I am saying that America is and there is little I can do about it. The best way to alleviate this blame is by proving that Muslim Americans are different people, which can be done through showing respect, something extremists would never do. I would believe those Lutherans can build there, but it would have to know the exact circumstances to know whether they should.

This round has come down to a few main issues.

1. What is the best way to heal interfaith relations?
As my opponent already acknowledged, it 'may' heal relations. However, citing has very own poll, more people are against it then for it. It will much more likely hurt relations. My opponent accuses me of thinking that all Muslims are extremists. If I and other Americans really held this view, would we think that building it would show Muslim Americans are any different? If those people were truly terrorists they would of course build the building with no consideration for other opinions. By moving the center elsewhere, they show that they are clearly not terrorists because they have taken a different course of action. They show they are compassionate, caring, and loving people, rather than the extremists we have accused them of.

2. Do these families deserve respect?
My opponent has never provided any good reason why these families don't deserve respect. All he has said is that Muslims Americans also died on 9/11. He never proved that their families would be offended if the Islamic Cultural Center is built. All he said is that it "isn't insensitive to the many Muslims who died that day". So if he can't prove that these people care either way, but the families DO care, then isn't it obvious that the proper thing to do is to show respect for the family members? Also, he accuses me of only providing one source, but he has not provided ANY on this issue. Clearly, I win this point.

3. Do these people need space to pray?
For one, under Islamic law, a mosque cannot be more than one story, so this is clearly not a prayer center. [2] Furthermore there is already a community center in lower Manhattan. [3] Please read the source [3]. It shows clearly that I win this point. On top of that, if I win the point, then I prove the Imam Rauf purposely chose this location although it was unnecessary.

4. What is the correct way to prevent hate crimes?
My opponent never denied these hate crimes, so they clearly exist. Since the builder are peaceful and loving Muslim Americans, they clearly should care about their brothers and sisters across the country and should move it to protect them. Although, this would be accepting threats, this is sadly the only way to deal with them. Unless my opponent provides an alternate solution, moving the Islamic Cultural Center is clearly the right answer.

In keeping with tradition...
THE RESOLUTION CALLS INTO QUESTION WHETHER THE BUILDERS SHOULD BUILD AT THE PROPOSED LOCATION. THE ONLY REASON MY OPPONENT HAS PROVIDED IS POSSIBLE HEALING OF RELATIONS AND THEIR FIRST AMENDMENT RIGHT. THE RESOLUTION DOES NOT ASK WHETHER IT CAN BE BUILT, SO CLEARLY THE RIGHT IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. THEREFORE, WHEN YOU WEIGH THE POSSIBLE HEALING OF RELATIONS AGAINST DEFINITELY OFFENDING FAMILIES, CAUSING HATE CRIMES, AND HURTING THE IMAGE OF MUSLIM AMERICANS, YOU SEE THE CLEARLY THE CORRECT WAY TO VOTE TODAY IS THE CON.

Here is some current events news...
http://www.no911mosque.org...

[1] http://www.foxnews.com...
[2] http://www.no911mosque.org...
[3] http://www.no911mosque.org...
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

Since you have not offered a rebuttal to the pre-contention statements we have been going back and forth over for 3 rounds I assume that you have agreed to my definition of your statements. To summarize, Con states that the American public is not religiously tolerant and do not support religious freedom. This is a fatal flaw in my opponents argument as it shows that the opinion of the public should be considered irrelevant as it is flawed in its logic.

1) I agree, but this does nothing for your argument as you have not cited any source for morality other than law. The law is cut and dry, whatever you are basing this "should or not should" concept from has not been mentioned at all. And it cannot be public opinion or personal feelings as both are very subjective by nature.

2) If I can't call the police and your giving me death threats, I'd probably kill you first. Is that what your looking for? I think what you got mixed up is that the people committing the hate crimes are, in fact, the criminals. I know you are trying to insinuate that I should surrender my rights to protect my friends, but how long will it be before my friends and I grow tried of this oppression?

3) What I'm trying to say is that the stereotyping is the problem, not the mosque building. You see, when you do something like intimidate someone to move a building, you set a precedent. Now, if it does move, people will see Muslims as susceptible to intimidation and so perhaps more buildings will be moved by the same method because there exists this Muslim stereotype. Thus, it should not be moved the first place.

4) I am saying that neither of us can predict the outcome this until it is actually done. Maybe there will be initial hatred, but perhaps it will sow the seeds of peace. Maybe the Muslims have the best intentions for what they hope to do and maybe it will work.

"Hospital and Gangs"

--Yes but maybe the area needed a hospital.

"Christian extremists"

--I know your argument is revolving around this idea of respect, but you have yet to actually tell me why it is disrespectful. That's why I keep saying, over and over, that the actions of these few should not represent an entire religion. Nor should what is normally a holy building be considered a trophy for terrorists.

Conceded Points

Before moving to refute your next section, I'd like to say that you offered no rebuttal to "those without religious obligation are more accepting of a mosque near Ground Zero than Christians and other religious denominations"

New Con Rebuttal

1) Have you considered yet that maybe the people who are offended by the mosque to be... misguided? Your argument is not complete as you have not given the reason as to why the building is considered disrespectful.

2) Once again, why is a mosque considered disrespectful? You have to ask yourself why the families care so much, and like I said before the actions of these few men should not be even considered a part of the philosophy of mainstream Islam. Its almost like getting mad at apples for being blue. It doesn't make sense.

3) First off, taking quotes from www.no911mosque.org should not even be allowed in this debate. That site is very biased, opinionated and it is part of the fear mongering in America. Before you fight me on that, just look at the title of the website, would you ever use that for fair and balanced information? According to my source from last round, people are crowding into an old department tore building in order to pray. I think that's a pretty reasonable sign of not having enough prayer room, despite there already is ONE other mosque in the downtown area. It is very congested area to say the least.

4) I don't deny the hate crimes, of course they exist. They exist because we let them, because we let mass hysteria and nonfactual information from places like www.no911mosque.org take hold of our imaginations. Sometimes doing the right thing is going to ruffle some feathers, but the point is that we should not let threats affect our decisions, ESPECIALLY in this country, which prides itself for its freedoms.

So if you didn't get it before, now I'm going to say it with a megaphone:
THE RESOLUTION CALLS INTO QUESTION WHETHER THE BUILDERS SHOULD BUILD AT THE PROPOSED LOCATION. THE ONLY REASONS MY OPPONENT HAS PROVIDED IS PREVENTING HATE CRIMES THROUGH SUBMISSION AND THE PERCEIVED DISRESPECT FROM WHAT SHOULD NOT BE A DISRESPECTFUL ACT. THE RESOLUTION DOES NOT ASK WHETHER IT CAN BE BUILT, SO CLEARLY THE LEFT IS OUT OF THE QUESTION. THEREFORE, BEFORE YOU CLICK THAT VOTE BUTTON, THINK ABOUT WHY IT CAUSES DISRESPECT, SEE THE FOOLISHNESS IN THAT THOUGHT, AND THEN VOTE PRO.

---------------------------

In summary, I ask Con to provide a reasonable explanation of why building a mosque is disrespectful, and then ask himself if the mosque and the disrespect are actually related.

I hope Con is enjoying the debate as much as I am and I look forward to the final round.
Debate Round No. 4
Maxinator

Con

1. Religious Freedom
I already explained the statements about religious freedom in Round 3. However, I will do it again. In America, our image tends to be represented by the majority opinion. If the majority does not support religious freedom for Muslim Americans, clearly America is not a protector of rights. Building the Islamic Cultural Center does not show anything about America being a protector of rights because America as a whole has shown that it does not believe in these rights. Furthermore, my opponent seems to believe that a lack of religious tolerance means that a person has bad logic. This statement itself is horrible logic. Let us look at the resolution again. The issue of religious freedom falls under whether it can be built, not whether it should be built. Although, I readily concede that it can be built, there is no reason why that should affect whether it should be built. Many things that I can lawfully do I should not do because of the consequences. In this case we must weigh all the consequences before we decide to build an Islamic Cultural Center because it is legal to do so. Also, it is important to remember that moving the Islamic Cultural Center should not be seen as a forfeiture of rights. It would only be such if the builders declared that to be their reason. If the builders move it out of compassion and respect, we see that it clearly has little to do with rights.

2. Interfaith Relations
My opponent continually points out that healing the rift is the 'intention' of the Islamic Cultural Center. That has no bearing on whether it will actually happen. Take the slave ship analogy. Just because a slave ship is built with the intention of transporting slaves does not mean that it will be successful or that it is a good idea. The builders of the Islamic Cultural Center are not terrorists. However, if they were, would they care about Americans? Would they take into consideration that some Americans view it as disrespectful? Absolutely not. Therefore, the simple act of moving the Islamic Cultural Center would separate these people from those with radical views because they would be doing something that extremists would never do. This will show Americans that Muslim Americans are a different people and will help break stereotypes about them. My opponent continually brings up how Americans have a false view of Muslim Americans. He also brings up that Christians are more likely to have these views. However, he merely cites ONE statistic without any explanation. He is making a horrible assumption, just like those who use 'reasoning' to justify that all Muslims are terrorists. If these false views about Muslim Americans did not exist, then this debate would be unnecessary. The sad truth is that they do exist. This is Islamic Cultural Center will be a chance for Muslim Americans to prove themselves as different. Although it unfair to put the burden on Muslim Americans, Muslim Americans are the only ones with the power to change these views. By changing these views, Muslim Americans will break an unfair stereotype, and next time they attempt something similar, the public will know that they are different.

3. Sensitivity
My opponent never responded to my question about how moving it would offend Muslim Americans whose relatives died. Clearly, he has dropped this point. Multiple times my opponent has questioned why such an action is disrespectful if Muslim Americans are different from Muslim extremists. Also, he asks why this is even considered offensive. The reason it is considered offensive is because many Americans are misinformed. The best way to change this is to show that Muslim Americans are different. My opponent continually emphasizes that these Muslims are different. I strongly agree with him. However, building an Islamic Cultural Center will not change this. Although, the reason that these Americans are offended is unjust, moving it there will only further incite the hatred against Muslims. The death of a family member is a wound that will never heal. Because it was done in the name of Islam, building a symbol of Islam so close is clearly offensive. The builders of the Islamic Cultural Center should show respect for the wishes of the victims if it is within their power to reasonably do so.

4. Hate Crimes
When I asked my opponent for a solution to hate crimes, he said "I'd probably kill [the criminal] first". However, this is not a plausible solution in this situation. Is he suggesting that we kill every person that commits a hate crime against a Muslim? Is he suggestion violence as a response to crime? Sadly, neither of these are solutions to the problem. Because, he hasn't provided a solution, you must look to my solution: move the Islamic Cultural Center. Although he argues that moving it will be backing down to threats, this is the only solution that exists. By moving the Islamic Cultural Center, future threats will actually be prevented because stereotypes will be broken. There will be no reason for hate crimes against Muslims once people realize that they are different. So actually, by moving the Islamic Cultural Center, hate crimes will not only be prevented now, but also in the future. My opponent also brings up fear mongering and media hysteria. He seems to imply that building it will cause this to stop, but actually, fear mongering and media hysteria will only INCREASE if we build the Islamic Cultural Center. Do you think no9111mosque.org is going to stop its operation if building begins? The best way to prevent this media hysteria is to move the Islamic Cultural Center and let everything die down. By moving the Islamic Cultural Center, the builders actually prevent hate crimes in the present and the future.

5. Prayer Space
My opponent attempts to discredit my source and say that it is completely non factual. [1] Furthermore, you must consider the lack of logic in my opponent's arguments. This is an Islamic Cultural Center, not a mosque. If prayer space was needed, a mosque would be built. Furthermore, it would be of a much smaller scale. The current financial situation of the Islamic Cultural Center implies that it was not meant to be done anytime soon, meaning that it is not meant to fix a pressing need for prayer space. [2] On top of that, if the builders were truly in this for prayer space, they would not be fighting public opinion and political pressure. They would simply move it somewhere else nearby and build it. The federal government has denied them millions of dollars in aid because they felt it would be offensive. If they wanted to build it for space, they would obviously want this money to aid in the process. Clearly, because this is not a mosque and the builder has shown that building the Islamic Cultural Center quickly is not their priority, you can see that prayer space is not an issue at hand.

WHEN WE LOOK AT WHAT THE RESOLUTION IS ASKING, WE SEE THAT THE KEY WORD IS 'SHOULD'. THE BEST WAY TO UNDERSTAND WHETHER WE SHOULD BUILD THE ISLAMIC CULTURAL CENTER IS TO PUT YOURSELF IN THE POSITION OF THE BUILDERS. THERE ARE FALSE PREJUDICES AGAINST YOUR RACE. YOU CAN EITHER ASSERT YOUR RIGHT YO BUILD A CULTURAL CENTER, OFFEND AMERICA AT LARGE, AND HURT THE IMAGE OF YOUR PEOPLE, OR YOU CAN CHOOSE NOT TO BUILD A CULTURAL CENTER, SHOW RESPECT FOR VICTIMS OF TRAGEDY, IMPROVE THE IMAGE OF YOUR PEOPLE, PREVENT HATE CRIMES AGINAST YOUR PEOPLE, AND PREVENT THIS FROM REPEATING IN THE FUTURE BY SHOWING THE WORLD THAT YOUR PEOPLE ARE DIFFERENT THAN THEY THOUGHT. THE CHOICE IS YOURS.

Thank you for this debate and good luck in the future.

PLEASE READ. This article explains my viewpoint very well.
http://www.washingtonpost.com...

[1] http://www.dnainfo.com...
[2] http://www.thedailybeast.com...
DrStrangeLuv

Pro

I think the arguments we provided up until this point should be enough for the voters to make their decision on the ICC.

1) "clearly America is not a protector of rights. Building the Islamic Cultural Center does not show anything about America being a protector of rights because America as a whole has shown that it does not believe in these rights."
---Haven you heard of the phrase: "I don't agree with what you saying, but 'll defend your right to say it." This is a classic example of that bit of wisdom in action. Just because we are against something does not mean we don't respect your right to do it. If we listened to mainstream America every time a critical decision had to be made I'm pretty sure things would be different tan they are today. We aren't a democracy, we are a Republic, a far better form of government because we protect the rights of the minority as well as the majority. With the evidence I have provided, specifically that the American people irrationally fear the ICC, the fact that the majority of Americans oppose the building should have no bearing on this debate. Basically, why should their opinion be considered if it is unfounded. Extrapolating the actions of a group of men with a symbol of billions of other peaceful Muslims is atrocious.

"Furthermore, my opponent seems to believe that a lack of religious tolerance means that a person has bad logic."
---This is absolutely 100% correct.

Once again, my opponent bases his argument off of the popular opinion of the American public, using this as his foundation. He bases it off no code of law, no rules of morality, just the public opinion, which we know can be flawed at time, including this one.

2) I believe everything in this point should be moot. It could go either way honestly. I can roll the dice and predict outcomes just as well as anyone else, but the fact is is that we don't know whats going to happen.

3) My opponent never showed me evidence that it offends the majority of Muslims should an ICC be built. He quoted the opinion of one Muslim woman. My opponent claims the best way to heal the rifts is for it to be not built. I contend that this is wrong, because it rewards the violence and threats made to stop the building. It basically says that okay, you kicked and screamed and threw things so now your gonna get ice cream. Its only going to reinforce the idea that violence and threats are a viable and accepted means for change.

Also, my opponent has still not decided if the Muslims who died on 9/11 and who helped rescue the survivors maybe deserve to have an ICC.

4) My opponent says I cannot call the police or protect myself, so what does he want me to do? He is fixing the argument and eliminating all other options than his own. I hold that moving the ICC would cause more threats, since it is rewarding violent behavior. My opponent is making grand assumptions that moving one single building will cause all sorts of unity and happiness and rainbows to come out of nowhere. Perhaps building it will make everyone just stop talking about it. It gives a sense of closure.

5) My opponent has been flipping back and forth on the definition of the ICC, whether it be a mosque or not, he has consistently held that is it "a Muslim building." What if it where a Muslim grocery store? would it make a difference? 2 blocks in the city is a lot to cover, having an ICC sandwiched between storefronts hardly seems as any type of threat. Would it better at 3 blocks? Perhaps 4? What distance is going to make you happy? For some reason 2 blocks is very serious, when in reality it is nowhere near Ground Zero. Maybe you'd like the Muslims in the area to move out of downtown, out of respect.

Rewriting your contentions in all capital letters is very obnoxious. I copied you to show you that it is obnoxious. You keep telling the voters and myself the same thing over and over. We understand that this debate is about "should" and not "can."

CONCLUSION

I have enjoyed this debate, but I for one am very anti-Islam, almost to the point of prejudice. I mean, if someone crashed a 747 into the Burj Dubai, I would be out in the streets singing and dancing just like many Muslims were on 9/11. Call me whatever you want, but its the truth. But in this country, I would have zero tolerance for something like that. Tearing down Muslim buildings because of our prejudices is not right, because we are becoming what we hate. Of course we have the right to not like building a mosque near Ground Zero, but goddammit we still do it anyway. And that is what makes this country great. As a matter of fact, it should be built just for that reason. To show the rest of the world the tolerance and freedom of this country, precisely the reason many Muslim nations despise us. I'm an atheist, but:

GOD BLESS AMERICA
Debate Round No. 5
5 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
The debate is whether it should be built; it is allowed. It's best moved a short distance.
Posted by Greyparrot 6 years ago
Greyparrot
Perhaps the building is passive resistance against media bias. Like Ghandi.
Posted by Greyparrot 6 years ago
Greyparrot
pro has some compelling arguments.
Posted by Maxinator 6 years ago
Maxinator
should be built
Posted by askbob 6 years ago
askbob
should be built or should be allowed to be built
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ASB
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