If the ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America

Michael Moore

Michael Moore is an Academy-Award winning filmmaker and best-selling author

September 11th, 2010 9:40 AM

If the ‘Mosque’ Isn’t Built, This Is No Longer America

Muslims in Iran hold vigil to honor those killed on 9/11 and to support America (September, 2001 – back when the world supported us)

OpenMike 9/11/10
Michael Moore’s daily blog

I am opposed to the building of the “mosque” two blocks from Ground Zero.

I want it built on Ground Zero.

Why? Because I believe in an America that protects those who are the victims of hate and prejudice. I believe in an America that says you have the right to worship whatever God you have, wherever you want to worship. And I believe in an America that says to the world that we are a loving and generous people and if a bunch of murderers steal your religion from you and use it as their excuse to kill 3,000 souls, then I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.

There’s been so much that’s been said about this manufactured controversy, I really don’t want to waste any time on this day of remembrance talking about it. But I hate bigotry and I hate liars, and so in case you missed any of the truth that’s been lost in this, let me point out a few facts:

1. I love the Burlington Coat Factory. I’ve gotten some great winter coats there at a very reasonable price. Muslims have been holding their daily prayers there since 2009. No one ever complained about that. This is not going to be a “mosque,” it’s going to be a community center. It will have the same prayer room in it that’s already there. But to even have to assure people that “it’s not going to be mosque” is so offensive, I now wish they would just build a 111-story mosque there. That would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently. The remains of over 1,100 people still haven’t been found. That site is a sacred graveyard, and to be building another monument to commerce on it is a sacrilege. Why wasn’t the entire site turned into a memorial peace park? People died there, and many of their remains are still strewn about, all these years later.

2. Guess who has helped the Muslims organize their plans for this community center? The JEWISH COMMUNITY CENTER of Manhattan! Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It’s been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York’s “founder,” tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that’s a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular — no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:

“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. … 

“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens … 

“May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”

3. The Imam in charge of this project is the nicest guy you’d ever want to meet. Read about his past here.

4. Around five dozen Muslims died at the World Trade Center on 9/11. Hundreds of members of their families still grieve and suffer. The 19 killers did not care what religion anyone belonged to when they took those lives.

5. I’ve never read a sadder headline in the New York Times than the one on the front page this past Monday: “American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?” That should make all of us so ashamed that even a single one of our fellow citizens should ever have to worry about if they “belong” here.

6. There is a McDonald’s two blocks from Ground Zero. Trust me, McDonald’s has killed far more people than the terrorists.

7. During an economic depression or a time of war, fascists are extremely skilled at whipping up fear and hate and getting the working class to blame “the other” for their troubles. Lincoln’s enemies told poor Southern whites that he was “a Catholic.” FDR’s opponents said he was Jewish and called him “Jewsevelt.” One in five Americans now believe Obama is a Muslim and 41% of Republicans don’t believe he was born here.

8. Blaming a whole group for the actions of just one of that group is anti-American. Timothy McVeigh was Catholic. Should Oklahoma City prohibit the building of a Catholic Church near the site of the former federal building that McVeigh blew up?

9. Let’s face it, all religions have their whackos. Catholics have O’Reilly, Gingrich, Hannity and Clarence Thomas (in fact all five conservatives who dominate the Supreme Court are Catholic). Protestants have Pat Robertson and too many to list here. The Mormons have Glenn Beck. Jews have Crazy Eddie. But we don’t judge whole religions on just the actions of their whackos. Unless they’re Methodists.

10. If I should ever, God forbid, perish in a terrorist incident, and you or some nutty group uses my death as your justification to attack or discriminate against anyone in my name, I will come back and haunt you worse than Linda Blair marrying Freddy Krueger and moving into your bedroom to spawn Chucky. John Lennon was right when he asked us to imagine a world with “nothing to kill or die for and no religion, too.” I heard Deepak Chopra this week say that “God gave humans the truth, and the devil came and he said, ‘Let’s give it a name and call it religion.’ ” But John Adams said it best when he wrote a sort of letter to the future (which he called “Posterity”): “Posterity! You will never know how much it cost the present Generation to preserve your Freedom! I hope you will make a good use of it. If you do not, I shall repent in Heaven that I ever took half the Pains to preserve it.” I’m guessing ol’ John Adams is up there repenting nonstop right now.

Friends, we all have a responsibility NOW to make sure that Muslim community center gets built. Once again, 70% of the country (the same number that initially supported the Iraq War) is on the wrong side and want the “mosque” moved. Enormous pressure has been put on the Imam to stop his project. We have to turn this thing around. Are we going to let the bullies and thugs win another one? Aren’t you fed up by now? When would be a good time to take our country back from the haters?

I say right now. Let’s each of us make a statement by donating to the building of this community center! It’s a nonprofit, tax-exempt organization and you can donate a dollar or ten dollars (or more) right now through a secure pay pal account by clicking here. I will personally match the first $10,000 raised (forward your PayPal receipt towebguy@michaelmoore.com). If each one of you reading this blog/email donated just a couple of dollars, that would give the center over $6 million, more than what Donald Trump has offered to buy the Imam out. C’mon everyone, let’s pitch in and help those who are being debased for simply wanting to do something good. We could all make a huge statement of love on this solemn day.

I lost a co-worker on 9/11. I write this today in his memory.

“The man who speaks of the enemy / Is the enemy himself.”
                                                                        — Bertolt Brecht

Posted September 14th, 2010 9:42 PM

I don’t understand how this issue, that should be a non issue got hijacked by the neo conservative “we hate everyone who’s not us” party. I think of my self as all American, my mother is from OK , father from Mexico, and I married a Muslim, a wonderful husband and
father, who worships devoutly and is kind, generous and well loved man in our community, I am catholic and have agreed to raise my children Muslim, because I studied Islam, and think it’s a beautiful religion, full of love, forgiveness and actually extremely democratic. It never occurred to be after attending Mosque with my husband all these years that he or any of his family or friends were ‘anti-democratic” terrorists or fell they will “have won” by having a mosque built were dozens of fellow Muslims dies that day. It makes me scared to see people hate so much something they know absolutely nothing about. It makes me sick to think that’s one more thing I have to protect my children from, is all this misguided hate fueled by the neo conservative media. A mosque was in the twin towers, a mosque has existed 2 blocks closer than the proposed one for over 30 years, Islam is not the enemy, Al-Queda is, and I have never meet a Muslim in any country that agrees with their rhetoric. Why do these people want to punish my children for some sick act 19 screwed men committed? My children are American, I am an American, her Mexican father, grandfather and Dutch grandmother are all American, that’s the beauty of America, were supposed to be able to live as different as we are in harmony, not persecuted, not judged ,not in fear of worshiping openly. I want to believe that my children can wear a hijab to school and not get beat up, that they can tell people they are Muslim with pride and not be blamed for such a horrific tragedy as occurred on 9/11. When you spew hate about Islam, you are spewing hate about my children, forgiveness is the heart of Islam, as it is for Christians, if you don’t feel you’re wrong, study, seek truth, learn about something BEFORE you judge it, don’t let the news make your mind up for you, remember they are trying to sell a product, they don’t really care about you. If you really love America like I do then remember my kids are American too, and Muslim, and they have right NOT be scared to be who they are, and the Constitutional right to worship freely in America.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 7:57 PM

I’ll be quite honest. I’m not your biggest fan. That said, I fully agree with you on this one. I’ve been watching this situation evolve from Toronto, and I can hardly believe that the far right believes Obama is a bigger threat to the constitution than they themselves are. They worship the founders, then spit on their ideals. 

I want to be part of the statement. Discrimination is not acceptable. I’ve just donated to the “Ground Zero Mosque.” 

An atheist donates to a “mosque”. There’s a joke in there somewhere.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 6:26 PM

Mr. Moore is in his usual mode of distorting the truths and beliefs that our founding fathers put forth that made this great nation a place where people from all over the world want to live and pursue happiness with religious freedom. The founding fathers NEVER said “this county has to be secular” Judeo/Christian concepts are the cornerstone of our republic. Mr. Moore needs a refresher course on article one of the Constitution. His like thinking friends always get this wrong. It state’s clearly there will be no state supported church but the individual will have unrestricted freedom to pursue the religion of their choice.

Mr. Moore claims that anyone who disagrees with his thoughts on the mosque are bigots, liars, whacko’s,
bullies, thugs and the list of name calling goes on and on. If an opposing viewpoint is aired, vitriolic name calling is his first defense rather than a mature substantive discourse on the matter. This leaves the opposing person spending all their time trying to defend the name calling rather than talking about the issue at hand. This is a strategy is used quite commonly by Mr. Moore and friends.

The issue regarding the mosque is not about religious intolerance at all. It’s about RESPECT for the 3,000 AMERICAN citizens who lost their lives in a cowardly attack by religious zealots who have a high intolerance for anyone not of the same beliefs. 
Mr. Moore, I implore you as a American citizen to show your respect for the innocent victims of 9 – 11 and join the MAJORITY of Americans who feel that the mosque should be built elsewhere. 
Most Americans do not want religious persecution of Muslims. No decent person has called for any kind of restrictions for them. 
Yet, I’m stunned at the overall silence of the Muslim community on the issue of respecting the slain Americans and their still grieving families. Lets turn the tables around here for a moment. Nineteen Christian’s and Jews crash a plane into a mosque and kill many innocent people. So the next step is to build a Church or a Synagogue next to where the mosque once stood? Of course not! Christian that I am, I would be mortified to see this happen. 
Wouldn’t a better Muslim outreach be for them to build a few Churches and Synagogues in area’s that are predominately Muslim? We all know the answer to that. If they find a bible it is burned. Christan missionaries are slaughtered. 

I have yet to see a Baptist suicide bomber or a Jewish Jehadist. Yet time and time again, in the name of Allah. Innocent people are slaughtered. Not to mention the barbaric treatment of women and homosexuals.
Yes, I see intolerance. I wonder how Mr. Moore would like living under strict Shariah law? He claims he’s ashamed of American because of a he
adline in the paper reading “”American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?”
The shame should be of the Muslim’s who refuse to assimilate into America if they choose to live here. 
Mr. Moore is fed up? Well so am I. 
I’m fed up with people who become successful in this great country of ours and want to trash it every chance they get.
I’m fed up with people who think America should be like the lyrics in a J. Lennon song about how to live life like a communist.
I’m fed up with people who are afraid to speak up for fear of offending someone or some group of people.
I’m fed up with people in this country who can’t appreciate all who have given the ultimate sacrifice so that we
can all pursue our lives in how we see fit. 
I’m fed up with people who think it’s un-cool to be a patriotic American. I thank our school systems for this who no longer teach history about all the great things people have accomplished because of our opportunities given by the Constitution.

Go ahead and build your mosque, just don’t do it on or around GROUND ZERO!

“Proud to be an AmericanReply

Posted September 14th, 2010 5:21 PM


Posted September 14th, 2010 5:04 PM

I agree with so much you have to say, but am especially grateful to have you state what I believe–that ground zero is a sacred graveyard. I could not agree more that a peace garden is the only thing that should go on that spot. I am disgusted and gravely disappointed that instead new monuments to greed will rise instead.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 2:41 PM

“. . . I want to help you get your religion back. And I want to put it at the spot where it was stolen from you.” Mr Moore, you have always struck me as a person who shows no favoritism. Each person is to be valued. That includes all the victims of 9/11. How about the people of St Nicholas Greek Orthodox church whose place of worship was stolen from them on 9/11? Their church at ground zero was destroyed. They have been denied a permit to rebuild – not to build anew, but to re-build, on the place where they were. Will you stick up for them? Will you really put your words into practice?Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 1:11 PM

In my younger days, when I had a lot more energy and hope, I thought if people were educated about the dangers and expense of nuclear proliferation, they would agree that the Trident missle system and “Star Wars” was not a good idea and would convince their federal representatives to vote accordingly. What an idiot I was!
The system has now become so corrupt that the proposed mosque, which is located two and a half blocks from Ground Zero, is a political issue. The fact that politicians and media whores are manipulating the public (once again) for their own personal/financial gain is one more example of the rank stupidity of a growing portion of the American public. 
I believe a great number of Americans shun introspection in favor of hate, which requires less re
flection, fires up the insides, and somehow introduces purpose into formerly mundane lives. The fact that we still have measurable percentages of our population believing that President Obama is a foreign-born Muslim, that Sarah Palin is intelligent enough to be president, that Glen Beck is sane, that evolution is false, that global warming is a hoax, that taxes and unions are bad…need I go on…is testiment to our fragile grasp on reality. 
My hope now comes from Martin Luther King, Jr. who said a lie can’t live forever. Let this be our mantra.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 12:56 PM


I think you are the only celebrity …correction a TRUE American that looks out for our (The Citizens at very least) Rights! Keep up the good work!
May God be with you!Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:55 AM

Don’t forget about terrorist #1, John Lennon, hes said he was more better than Jesus! I’m going to host a giant burning in my backyard. Bring your white sheets to wear, and we will burn Beatles Records, some Qurans, and a 1000 year old Mayan Text that explains Astronomy. Other things you can bring include, any old books on Alchemy, anything not written in English, books on Evolution, Heavy Metal shirts and records, smutty magazines, old furniture, Barbie Dolls, flat tires, etc. Remember “When someone strikes you on the right cheek, you kick him in the balls and then burn all his shit.”-Jesus Christ from Mathew 5:38


Posted September 14th, 2010 11:52 AM

St. NIcholas Greek Orthodox Church was destroyed on 9/11 by the falling Trade Center Towers. This church has been refused a permit to rebuild. Mr Moore’s comments will be worthy of consideration when he acknowledges this Christian group’s right to rebuild at Ground Zero. Or is if freedom of religion for everyone but Christians now?Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:13 AM

Thank you Mr. Moore. Donating to the Cordoba Initiative felt really, really good. It’s a small thing, but I have to believe that if enough of us do a small thing, it will become a big thing.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 10:19 AM

I am a foreigner and thus appologize to comment on whats strictly USA’s internal matter. However, i have only one question to those who oppose this mosque/ cultural center etc? Would you mind a church being built next to a holocaust memorial? Hitler claimed himself to be catholic right? Does that make a church symbolize nazi-ism?

Alqaeda is to Islam, what Nazis are to christianity. Muslims world over reject terrorists just like christians reject Nazis. Infact terrorists have now killed four times more muslims in Pakistan then 9/11 casualties. A mosque represents muslims, but your rejection makes it represent alqaeda – not differentiating between two is so worryingly dangerous because it means you believe 1.3 billions muslims to be your enemy.

I hope sense prevails and we can fail the plans of extremists on both sides trying to create this clash of civilizations.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:49 AM

The Catholic church did approach the German people about that and respectfully decided against building near a concentration camp. There is a true peace in Christianty that is not found in Islam. And that is what the American people are trying to say: the isuue is not with the Mulsim but with an ideology that stands against freedom and peace.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 8:56 AM

In a letter to the Buffalo News daily in New York state McVeigh said he was an agnostic.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 7:37 AM

I have always supported you…….even when a lot of people were calling YOU a whacko ! 
But this time I think you are way off base. 
And I take offense to your referring to Glen Beck, or any of the others on your list, as a “whacko”. 
As someone who has been painted with that brush himself, I would think you would know more than most people how hurtful that is and you would not label others. Shame on you Michael !

As for the mosque, or community center, at or near ground zero ; 
I absolutely support the building of mosques, or community centers with prayer rooms, by peace loving Muslims who just want to practice their religion. 
I love the fact that everyone in this country this country is allowed freedom of religion, and the right to practice their faith anywhere they choose.
But having a mosque or Muslim community center with a prayer room on or near the site where thousands of people were murdered by Muslim jihadists is an extreme insult to the people who died there, and the families and friends who mourn them. 
That would be like building a memorial to Adolf Hitler on the grounds of Auschwitz, or like building a memorial to Timothy McVeigh on the site of the federal building he blew up ! 
It is insensitive to say the very least.
There is a huge city, and in fact a huge country, in which Muslims can build their mosques and community centers. They don’t have to pour salt into the wounds of the families of the people murdered on 9/11. 
I agree with you that no commerce center should ever be built on the grounds where the remains of the victims lie and I think the building of a memorial park there is the right idea.

Dianna EllisReply

Posted September 14th, 2010 2:07 PM

Diana, you say, that building the community center “would be like building a memorial to Adolf Hitler on the grounds of Auschwitz, or like building a memorial to Timothy McVeigh on the site of the federal building he blew up !” That is simply ridiculous. Building a memorial to the hijackers would be like that; building a community center for Muslims is nothing of the sort. I am sick and tired of people being unable to distinguish between Muslims and terrorists.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 12:43 PM

Hi Dianna, You have not provided any reasonable argument on this subject to ncontest what Michael Moore has stated, which happens to be very accurate. A few members of my family lived next to WTC and were impacted by the WTC tragedy, but none of us share your views. First and foremost, it would be helpful for you to familiarize yourself with all the facts. One of these facts is that a lot of muslims died in the WTC. You don’t seem to worried about the insensitivity on that matter. IRA, a catholic outfit has killed a lot of innocent people, but I do not recall any such outcry. In fact USA was where they got majority of their funding!. Catholics are decent people as are christians, jews and rest of the other religions. No religion teaches people to commit crimes or hurt other human beings. However terrorist who perpetrate their crimes regardless of their religion, do it it to further their own twisted agendas and motives and certainhly use the name of religion, and it is very dangerous to get confused between the two. We have killed more innocent Iraqi people than umpteen 9/11. This issue is bringing to the forefront a lot of racist, biased and bigoted views that probably were dormant in some people. You might want to sit down and calmly reflect on the dangerous turn we are taking as Americans, and once we have lost our ethics, integrity, honesty and sense of fairness, there will not be much to lose. Everyday we are losing the moral right to speak to the rest of the world becuase we are now demonstrating that we are no different than the terrorists (the bad guys), not muslims who did this.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:33 AM

An Islamic community center is nowhere near the same thing as a memorial to Adolph Hitler or Timothy McVeigh. A memorial to those two, ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD, would be an insult. Just as a memorial to Mohammed Atta would be an insult to every New Yorker and sympathetic person who cried over the attacks. There’s no salt being poured on a wound here. Only if you lack an understanding of the New York grid could this building be seen as an insult. Otherwise it’s just another building in an overcrowded city that is packed tight with buildings. If they don’t build this, and I don’t see how they can be stopped anyway, then the Islamic services in the Pentagon should be canceled. For me, the greater insult to AMERICANS is that nut job in Florida.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:03 AM

Hey Nurse Whacko, American Christians are responsible for the 911 attack, we have footage of their confessions!

Larry Silverstein WTC building owner describes in plain English that they detonated building 7

This is 1 minute from mainstream news broadcast, Bush lies about seeing the first plain crash into the world trade center on T.V.- problem it wasn’t on T.V. yet

Mayor Giuliani admits he was told the towers were going to collapse, and then tries to take it back.

WCT Engineers describe how buildings are designed to withstand the impact of multiple plane crashes, and how planes have crashed into buildings before including Empire State Building.

Retired General of U.S. Special Intelligence warns 911 is a hoax

Footage of an actor pretending to be Bin Laden-ie. The reason we are at war.

Footage of Bush admitting he lies to the press only sometimes.

Donald Rumsfield admits flight 93 was shot down

This is a report about the important 911 who not only sacrificed their careers but their lives to try and bring out the truth.

Posted September 14th, 2010 6:09 AM

Today Shirley Phelps (or should I say Westboro baptist church?) has forfilled promise she gave few days ago, she burnt Qur’an and nobody stopped her. Why? Mr. Obama is clearly not doing anything to stop this despite his ‘I-love-everybody’ attidute. I am confident that such act is not act of real Christianity (or Christian), just as attack that happened on 9/11 is not act of real Islam (or Muslim or any sane person) but it is what spreads much faster and harder than anything said or done by normal people. Burning Holy Books is act of stupidity that is gonna have huge consequences unless it is stopped. It is act of stupidity, just as burning flags, drawing prophets etc.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 11:42 AM

There is no “stopping” the book-burnings without a shift to even greater oppression, so I’ll take the lesser of two evils on this one. Moreover, there is no stopping the hate-driven media juggernaut, which all but ignores the fact that there was a Muslim prayer center AT the Trade Center site! The media could focus its lens on the many interfaith peace initiatives that are making progress toward peace and tolerance between Christians, Muslims and Jews, but for the most part it runs stories which convey an image of humankind as inherently hateful and divisive. 

The media’s obsession with people fighting one another is a manufactured self-fulfilling prophecy. I say “manufactured” because it plays into the hands of elites whose agenda of centralized control hinges on portraying the general populace as a irresponsible, reactionary, and dangerously unstable. The more they can convince us that this is who we are as a people, the more they will be able to play stern parent to a bunch of ignorant children who are always acting out (it’s no surprise that one of their foremost goals is to undermine education for all but the nation’s most privileged citizens). They want to convince us that a small cabal of ultra-wealthy people obsessed with power are the only ones with the focus, knowledge and resources needed to dictate sensible rules which everyone must follow. Every victory on their part is a loss for democracy, equal opportunity, and other Constitutional principles.Reply

Posted September 14th, 2010 3:50 PM

Problem is of course, that today it is Islam under fire, tomorrow it already could be Christianity, maybe Judaism or some other religion. Oppression is merely a tool that should be used to stop whatever this mess could turn into. It’s better to close this closet before too many idiots get out of it and start smothering
us with their filth and hatred. For as long as we have to discuss this matter (actually for as long as we have to discuss any matter of any religion), there is no real democracy, not here not today. In my book, democracy is defined by freedom and equality, tolerance. My strong belief is that this media frenzy on Islam will eventually die-off but only God (whatever his name is) knows when.Reply

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