Paterson: Mosque Developers ‘Hybrid, Almost Westernized’ Muslims

Hofstra Professor Slams Gov, Says He Has No Idea About Islam

NEW YORK (CBS 2) — For weeks we’ve heard Gov. David Paterson say he’s got a plan to move the so-called ground zero mosque to another site.

On Thursday he’s admitted that his idea is going nowhere.

Over the past few weeks Paterson has embarked on an intense campaign to get developers of the ground zero mosque to find another location. He even offered a state land swap, but on Thursday he conceded his efforts haven’t gotten very far.

“They have publicly taken the position that they’re not interested in considering an alternative site,” Paterson told CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer.

To hear the governor tell it, the developers don’t want to change because they want to separate themselves from the terrorists who bombed the World Trade Center.

“The alternative site now starts to suggest that they have to take some responsibility for what people who look like them or have the same religion as them did,” Paterson said.

The governor did, however, try to talk up the developers of the site, saying they were not the same “kind” of Muslims as the attackers.

“This group who has put this mosque together, they are known as the Suffi Muslims. This is not like the Shiites,” Paterson said. “They’re almost like a hybrid, almost westernized. They are not really what I would classify in the sort of mainland Muslim practice.”

“The governor is trying to do anything he can to soften this whole environment up,” political consultant Hank Sheinkopf said.

But Hussein Rashid, a professor of religion at Hofstra, was stunned by the governor’s remarks.

“I think Gov. Paterson is firmly in the percentage of the American population that admits it knows nothing about Islam. His simple statements about Suffis being good Muslims as opposed to whom, people who aren’t Suffis?” Rashin said.

Meanwhile, CBS 2 has learned that Archbishop Timothy Dolan and an interfaith group of rabbis and ministers met Thursday to discuss ways to diffuse this very contentious situation.

The group of religious leaders expects to issue a statement in the next few days. One member told CBS 2 he hopes they will find a way to bring the two sides together.

  • Dilara

    The world is filled with good people and bad, its as simple as that. There are bad whites, blacks, Asians etc and just like there is bad there is also good. You cannot simply discriminate on a group of people because of the color of their skin and their religion (not what America stands for). Unfortunately the religion Islam has been put into suck a negative light because of the tragic events caused by sick and twisted extremists, who have truly succeeded in their mission, they have succeeded in terrifying America and the rest of the world. The more we let these stereotypes live on the more we prove that they won. 911 happened because they did not like how in America we are so religiously tolerance because in their sick and twisted extremist minds that way of thinking is wrong, so they did something to try and stop it. By People of different religions fearing each other only proves the point that religions cannot coexist and that is wrong. Every religious has extremists but none has really affected America as much as these Muslin extremists. Look at other countries and the extremists groups of other religions it is just as awful. The bottom line if extremists, no matter what religion/race, are never a good thing. Why blame a whole entire religion for the acts of several groups. I will NEVER forget 911, to this day i can recall the fear I felt for my friend sand family that lived near ground zero and my aunt who worked across from it. I remember the pain i felt when my best friends father died while trying to help people escape the building.
    I remember how after words how i lost a friend afterwords because her parents didn’t want her to be associated with a Muslim. I remember 911 and always will because it turned me into a terrorist in the eyes of my peers. When I was Younger when asked by people what I am my answer would always be the same, an American or Turkish American, and to this day my answer is still the same. I was born in America raised by my Turkish Immigrant parents so why should I, an American Citizen, be judged by my religion. This country is my home like it is my friends and neighbors so why does me calling what most call God Allah change anything? I am an American Muslim and nothing is going to change that.

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  • Mzhkhan

    Can’t believe people of such high position could be so ignorant .

  • DawnD

    Paterson is an ignoramus. Let us not forget his contacting a witness about to testify in a lawsuit. As if New York didn’t have enough problems on its own, they are being governed by this stupid stupid racist man.

  • cleanupnynow

    David Paterson is calling the developers of the Mosque “almost westernized” Muslims.

    Is David Paterson for real?

    This type of comment makes one wonder if David Paterson was born yesterday.

    David Paterson should simply stay away from the Mosque issue. Paterson has a habit of making matters worse. This highly insensitive and outlandish comment only shows what everyone already knows about Paterson – he simply has no ability or credibility to govern. In fact, “The Democratic Conference: Organizational and Operational Structure Report” is an eyewitness account of Paterson’s DYSFUNCTIONAL governing nature while Senate Minority Leader.

    Paterson’s office was criticized for PATRONAGE, LACK OF LEADERSHIP, INDECISIVENESS and INFIGHTING.. Those interviewed in the report indicated that its chief of staff the disorganized Michael Jones-Bey had no management skills, was neglectful in his duties – often boozing it up with staff and coming to the office with a hangover – and should be relieved of his position.

    Amazingly, for running such a DYSFUNCTIONAL CHAOTIC office, the
    disorganized Michael Jones-Bey was hand picked by David Paterson to mismanage MWBE program at Empire State Development Corporation

    That’s the Paterson way – being rewarded for your incompetence.

    Unfortunately, New Yorker’s have had to put up with this clown of a governor for almost two years now.

    New Yorkers do not deserve to be punished any further by David Paterson’s presence.

    David Paterson, please do everyone a favor and RESIGN NOW.

  • zippy

    I can’t be bothered reading all the comments to this article but if it’s like most everything else i’ve read online today, then the US has a lot to worry about. Does it not occur to any of the people expressing some seriously hateful sentiments towards muslims that they doing exactly what the terrorts did in the past?

    Humans have a tendency to escalate and its obvious that this hatred is set to grow. The terrorist ideology grew from similar roots to these protests, people in colonizer nations believed that they were being conquered and brutalized by the faith of their colonizer. With escalation, we then had a group of people acting on behalf of a faith to which they’ve forgotten its most basic of tenets, not to murder. For the record, as a muslim arab who grew up in the middle east, first of all, the references from the quran being used by people in the US needs some seriously revision. To call it out of context and poorly translated would be a severe understatement.

    Secondly, american’s are acting like the schoolboy bully who got slapped for the first time and now is whining. Every nation on earth has been attacked by someone other group at some point but people move on. America must move on.

    People must move on, this petty rhetoric that is being used as a deliberate tool for causing division should be seen for what it is. Hate mongering.

    I, for one, feel that religious freedom is a human right. I would support a synagogue or church or a temple for the worship of slippers in any country. I have friends of many faiths to whom I would defend at any cost because they are good people regardless of their religion. I judge people as human individuals and not representatives of their creed. It’s true that the Islamic world is missing more of this type of thought. However, evidently so is the US.

    I’m tired of this hate, this ignorance. Americans must realize that as the world empire, they must accept responsibility for what they’re government does in their name. This must include the hate they foster with the support of suffocating regimes and the damage caused to lives through the endless.

    We the normal and rational human beings of this planet are being attacked not by religion but by idiots from all sides and I hope the silent majority will one day take control back from them.

  • Byron Raum

    People keep on talking about sensitivities of everyone except Muslims. Has anyone considered how Muslims feel about this?

    The unfortunate answer is “yes.” This controversy is deliberately generated in order to be in-your-face to a bunch of “foreigners” who many feel have no right to be in America. Unfortunately for them, these people are as American as anyone else, and quite often, more American: they are not the ones trying to shred the Constitution.

  • karen lifke

    thank you IIP, i could not have explained it better myself. thank God somebody understands what is going on.

  • NM
  • Mohammad

    It’s probably an excellent opportunity for the Governor or any true peaceful group gathered to defuse this contentious situation to admit the historic irony that always the little differences among the schools of thought in Islam has been a good place for the power/satanic elite to play around and as the old saying goes” Divide and Rule” has caused this mess, and all the conflicts/blood baths in many parts of the world. And I’m sure the board of Masjid to be built are already very hurt of this much publicity and vicious politicization and alienating/annoying public.

  • Alexander Patico

    Given the following facts, the Governor’s remarks are absurd and unhelpful:
    1. Most of those we support in Iraq are Shi’e.
    2. Most of those who have attacked the United States are not Shi’e.
    3. Sufis can be either Sunni OR Shi’e.
    4. Such distinctions are not appreciated by Muslims, even those whom the Governor sought to “compliment.”

  • Samantha

    For people who don’t know, all of the accused terrorists from Sept 11th were sunnis.

    Please think about the fact that you are judging an multimillion population by the acts of a few. Would you like the 5 y/old Iraqi kid who lost both his parents and is missing a leg to blame it on YOU, as an individual?

  • haha626s

    there is only one god.but he is called by many names.trying to make fun of one religon to make yourself seem so pure is wrong and does not help you.god is one a only one sovereign ruler.but christians focus on his son based on that gospel no one belives that christ is god he is the son.and the holy sprit is the connection of soul to your lord.but if your not a christian you dont care of these things. I think its sad that we all want to think our god is right and everyone else is wrong or can be proved so in stead of keeping faith and peace. But as for the mosque, we all know this is not about free worship.this is personal this the stick it in your face type thing.after the bush blow out the ecomony has taking a hit and the are hundreds of other locations to put this. But you the muslims must put happened because we trust to much and dont learn from passed mistakes.but knowing this country we are about to make another one just because we want save face.

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  • doug denunzio

    why we disagree with us is up to violence lowering rates over a two year period.

  • BF

    My friend was shot to death in 1975 while in Turkey. His wife and child watched as Muslim radicals ended his life. He was a Christian missionary. This happens all the time. If the moderate Muslims disagree with this behavior why don’t they formally separate themselves from the radicals Why is there not serious outcry agains such violence.

    • karen lifke

      bf, why dont us americans separate ourselves from all of the murderers, rapists, and child molesters in the states.? now you are talking speaking like gov. paterson. dont be so ignorant. i live in a muslim county and it is so safe here. but when i visit america, i fear for my live when i walk outside. and i am not afraid of muslims. it is all the other kind of people.

    • bdingram

      Hi, there has been MUCH outcry against such violence. After 9-11, and ever since, Muslims and Muslim organizations around the world have roundly rejected terrorism.

      Here is a list of about 200 prominent Muslims and Islamic groups who denounce terror and their statements about 9-11:

  • Nick

    So where did the muslime developer that bought that $$million+$$ property in cash get the money from? Especially since his credentials are that of a waiter?

  • Greg

    I was there on September 11th 2001, And as far as I am concerned, when the Muslim people produce Osama Bin laden, then they can have the right to be INSENSITIVE to ME!. What about MY feelings. It is insensitive for the Muslim People to even WANT to build a mosque so close to “Ground Zero”.

    So for ALL the people who say that we have to be more PC, screw you!
    Were the attacks PC. Did my friends have ANYTHING to do with USAMA’s master plan? The resounding answer is NO! DID he CARE how INSENSITIVE he was. Oh OH yeah they were extremists!, NO they were MUSLIMS and they did it for ALLAH. They said so on Black Box recordings, remember.


    • karen lifke

      poor greg, i feel really sorry for you. and guess who created osama bin laden? give you one guess and it wasnt the muslims. i pity you.

    • Peter North

      Greg, you really need to let go and forget about it. This is the only way you will heal. Stop and think .

    • IIP

      The Central Intelligence Agency trained those folks when the Cold War was still in effect. At that time it was an American strategic plan to keep the Russians from building a nuclear site to target the United States from Afghanistan. Since the Taliban was against the Russian invasion, we sent the CIA and whoever else to train those folks in combat techniques as a strategic move to combat the Russians. Now that training has come to bite our behinds, and innocent Muslims who have had their religion hijacked by those who are not practicing Islam, are suffering for it. Much like the KKK, David Koresh, the compound of the ‘Fundamentalist Mormons’ practicing polygamy, those who kill doctors at abortion clinics who claim to do it in the name of Jesus, who hijack Christianity to serve their twisted agendas. This is the fact that there are bad people in the world and this effects everyone regardless of religion, regardless of ethnicity. There are a great deal of people who know nothing to very little about Christianity and are Christians in name only. That goes the same for Islam, there are a great many who do not learn correct scriptural teachings and what is religion, and what is not. It is time that America realizes the world does not speak American English, and the world is full of diversity. If we are to up hold our U.S. Constitution and its Amendments, we need to acknowledge, that our society is diverse, and that it is the individual themselves who are bad or good. If we were living by Christian principles, our businesses would not be based on usury and if by the Old Testament, Christian Americans would not be eating pork products. Religion is to make life easier, not more difficult. It is time we hold the individuals themselves accountable for their individual actions and STOP BLAMING RELIGION.

  • Karina

    I do not think that when the U.S. Constitution was written the Founding Fathers could have ever imagined a situation such as this one. I am sure they would have been heartbroken if they had known someday their words would be used to support the rights of individuals who failed to acknowledge the sensitivities they are so selfishly trampling on. This is an especially unique situation in which the words “freedom of religion” should not be taken so literally by politicians and certainly be put in the right context. The 9/11 hijackers and assorted terrorist groups were and are not in favor of freedom of religion because they are interested in imposing their own. But as others have already mentioned, this is not as much a matter of freedom of religion, but more a matter of location.

  • R. Sleister

    The mosque is a war memorial for the terrorists. In the middle east, they will point at the video and brag of their success against America. If that were not the case, then a Mosque anywhere sould be okay with them. Why there, only there?

    I am a Christian American. My God said that He was the only One. My Bible says there are three witnesses in Heaven. God, the Word and the Holy Spirit. Allah is not among those mentioned and is not the name of my God.

    As an American I accept the freedom to worship and suffer eternity as you wish. As a Christian, I do not recognize Islam as an acceptable religion for reaching Heaven and I do not support War Memorials of any kind, anywhere.

    • Samantha

      So now because you are Chrisitan, you can’t build anything next to the Oklahoma City bombing site, k? IT would be a memorial to Timothy McVay

      Get your facts straight. It’s a cultural center.

      Allah is the Arabic word for God. Not another name

    • KPMc

      Your bible said God is the one and only.. the Alpha and Omega… Then along came JC. Now you have two gods.. but no its one.. but no it’s three. It easy to justify anything to have things conform to your own beliefs. By the way… Allah is god. The same one Jews worship too. In fact only Jews and Muslims believe that GOD is the one and only, the first and the last. Christians are the only ones (of the three western religions) that have introduced another god.

      But that’s ok… because you are free to worship as you wish. It is my personal belief that God does not care how you get there, what journey you take or who provides inspiration… as long as you get there. It seems to me most people are more wrapped up in their structured religion and not at all interested in living the way a benevolent God wants them to. In the absence of good guidance why don’t we just live by the “golden rule”? If we did… we would all get to where God wants us to be.

      My two cents…. rip it apart as you wish but know that as an American I cherish my freedom of speech and religion so nothing you can say can take either from me. But try to deny them and the great experiment that is America will be a noble failure.

    • Rick

      Um, because they have a community there? Because the guy behind the initiative has been leading a congregation at a (smaller, no longer sufficient) mosque?

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