More on the 9/11 Families

[UPDATE: There is a report from Haaretz that “Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days.” Why Haaretz would have inside information on this matter I do not know, and I hope it isn’t true. I hate it when the bullies and thugs win.]

Josh Marshall, yesterday (emphasis added):

Also very worth noting is that none of the 9/11 Families groups who actually seem to be membership organizations made up of families of the victims seem to have taken positions on the mosque issue at all. I looked at the websites of several such organizations. And they each contain ‘about’ pages with some information about the organization, its membership and in most cases boards of directors. The website of Burlingame’s group, 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America, contains no such information. But it’s statement of purpose does give some sense of viewpoint: “The war against sharia is a struggle to preserve our Republic, our religion, and our civilization, and to set free a suffering humanity.”

Since almost three thousand people died as a result of the attacks, many thousands count as family members of the dead. And given that the public at large is at best divided over mosque question and likely on balance against it, it stands to figure that there’s a similar spectrum of opinion among these families. Yet I have not seen any clear evidence that as a group these people are against the Cordoba House project.

The website of Burlingame’s “organization,” “9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America,” really does give no indication that anyone actually belongs to it. Maybe there is an organization, but it seems weird to me that there is no board of directors, no “about us” page, no place to sign up for membership. Some guy named Tim Sumner writes most of the blog posts, but we don’t know if he’s a member or an employee.

Compare/contrast with the “about us” page of Families of September 11. This organization, btw, is acting as an advocacy group for the many people who worked on “the pile” after the atrocity and are now suffering terrible health problems as a result. So this group is doing something useful and beneficial. They’re also still steering clear of the “ground zero mosque” issue.

So whether Burlingame even leads anything remotely resembling an “organization,” or whether her site is pure astroturf, is anyone’s guess. Really, someone should check this out, although I don’t even know where to begin. Would there be tax documentation somewhere?

See also: Hendrik Hertzberg, “Zero Grounds“; Daryl Lang, “Hallowed Ground.”

28 thoughts on “More on the 9/11 Families

  1. For the record, Burlingame’s brother was the pilot of the plane that hit the Pentagon. So she herself is a “9/11 Family Member.” Thus we know her site isn’t 100% astroturf, probably 99%.

  2. I hope they don’t give up.
    The ‘right’ is not in the right, the ones who want to build the center are.
    I, too, hate it when the bullies and thugs win. And something tells me that they won’t be gracious in defeat, and will still use this as a wedge issue until November, even if the Muslim group decides to build their center in Akron, OH.

  3. I too hope Haaretz is wrong.

    Moving the cultural center at this stage would only embolden the bigots–both the terrorists who hate us for our freedoms, when they see how easily we’re willing to give them up, and the ones here in America who are opposing muslim mosques and community centers–not to mention muslims themselves–all throughout America.

    I don’t care what the polls supposedly say. We don’t vote on civil rights or Constitutional protections here in America, no matter how unpopular the exercise of those rights and protections may be.

  4. Ha’aretz was reporting that fundraising for a center in a different location could be easier. Seems like a reasonable way for the Cordoba initiative to spin it if they do choose another location.

    Sure the bigots will crow they’ve won, but is the location that important? An islamic community center in lower Manhattan would be a net positive even if it is in a different location.

  5. UPDATE: According to the Park 51 Twitter account, Haaretz’s report of a move is “completely false.”

  6. “Moving the cultural center at this stage would only embolden the bigots–both the terrorists who hate us for our freedoms”

    You can’t be serious, the jihadist’s don’t hate us for our freedoms anymore than the wing-nuts on the right believe they (the Muslims) are bent on sharia law for this country. Both sides are using the same tactic, blind ignorant fear, it is all they have. The jihadist’s don’t have any real solutions to the problems of the Arab states and the middle east anymore than the republicant teabaggers have real ideas to advance this country towards meaningful progress. So all they really can do is scare people into following them. They both desire the same thing, blind acceptance of right wing political ideology combined with strict adherence to backward religious doctrine. Someday they will combine forces, its only a matter of time, oh goody I can’t wait!

  7. I’m just curious.

    Were there any local, state, or federal laws broken by this proposal for an Islamic community center? Did its proponents break any laws?

    Unless and until the opponents can prove that such laws were broken, they have NO legitimate argument against its construction. All they have at this point are emotions and/or “feelings”.

    Per the Constitution, feelings and emotions are irrelevant.

    As such, how these haters “feel” about this proposed structure is irrelevant. Local, state and federal laws stipulate that the proponents of this center have the right to build it anywhere they wish as long as they own the property and build it in compliance with health and safety codes.

    Everything legal about this proposed center is on the side of the owners and proponents (and let’s not forget the old saw about “possession is nine-tenths of the law”)

    Frankly, the blowhards have NO leg to stand on.

  8. You can’t be serious, the jihadist’s don’t hate us for our freedoms

    I think that was a sarcasm. We’re free,yes, but not free enough to build a Muslim cultural center in any area surrounding ground zero. It’s hallowed ground consecrated to Christian Americans only. So, sorry Muslim Americans…it’s OUR freedoms.

  9. “It’s hallowed ground consecrated to Christian Americans only. So, sorry Muslim Americans…it’s OUR freedoms”

    That will most likely be the short position, with the easy money media and lack of curiosity, it is almost certain. I am waiting for the real story, when will the the tubes lay down and when will they open up?

  10. This whole matter is going in a bad direction, perhaps by design.
    While it maybe true that Muslims attacked us on 9/11, it is absolutely STUPID to hang the word “terrorist” on Muslims.
    There is a group of people who have a vested interest in pushing this crap.
    They want you to demean Islam and “Allah”, while they know the “true” magical name for the divine, but dare not utter it.
    These evil schmucks know quite well, that if you poke a kitten enough, the kitten will eventually get fed up and bite. At that point, they will point and scream “TERRORIST”.
    They are actively provolking peaceful American Muslims with the hope that some Muslim, most likely a young male, will snap; they will then have their “causis belli”.
    When these twerps are done with the Muslims, they will find another group to go after, most likely Mexicans or Gays. By doing this, they keep their idiot base distracted from the real problems.
    Set a week aside, and watch nothing but FOX NEWS, Glen Beck, and O’Reilly;
    You’ll be blown away by the level of ignorance and the delivery system.

  11. 1. stop making sense, baritone woman ! ! ! (couldn’t agree more)
    2. *why* do nine one one victims relatives have ANY say in this kind of thing ? yes, they had losses, but that doesn’t mean they get to run the country based on their tears for fears…
    i don’t care if they are 100% for it, or 100% against it, their feelings or opinions are beside the point… sure, they can comment on it, make their opinions known (which i would presume is a wide range of responses), and otherwise use the last vestiges of 1st amendment rights ALL OF US have; but otherwise, their loss and pain confer no extra wisdom or validity to their blah blah blahing…
    (in fact, quite the opposite: they are NOT objective observers)
    3. as per usual, the daily show does a terrific sendup of such whiny FUDs who are opposed to the mosque-ish thing: ‘hallowed ground’ where they have strip clubs and starbux and all the rest of the disgusting CRAP we clutter our cities with… yeah, they were so-o-o-o concerned about this hallowed ground that they have scrubbed it clean of any and all tawdry commercial establishments… *snort*
    4. not to mention, i think of it more as hollow ground, not hallowed… if we start limiting where we can build or go or make roads, or whatever, because the ground is ‘hallow’, then that would hardly leave us any place at all: we have unjustly murdered EVERYWHERE, there is innocent blood EVERYWHERE…
    nearly ALL of iraq, for example…
    (oh shit, i forgot: they are brownish and/or mooselimbs, so they don’t count as people…)
    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy
    [email protected]

  12. Forget freedom of religion, separation of church and state – not that they’re not important but in the end they’re really just abstract phrases.

    What we should consider is what binLaden can get and will effectively use out of the rhetoric being spewed from the mosque detractors. To his followers, something like, ‘Americans hate us, hate us because we’re Muslims, hate our religion. They’ve launched a crusade against all Muslims. They’ve launched a war against Islam and we must be prepared to stop them.’ Potentially, he can probably quadruple the number of his followers – ready, willing and able to do battle. So, why hasn’t this firm realty been picked up by the media, the pundits, the op-ed pages, the body politic…You tell me.

  13. Pam Geller deserves a lot of the discredit for the proposed Cordoba Center even becoming an issue in the first place. She has been in her element receiving much air time on Fox News and craves publicity like oxygen.

  14. khughes,
    This is Geller’s chance to grasp the brass ring, and she’s going for it. She was a nobody, and thinks will put her on the map.
    In todays media environment, you can make up for any lack of intellectual capacity by ramping up the hate and volume. As I’ve said before, ‘the less you know, the louder you shout.’
    She is truly a horrid human being.

  15. c u n d gulag-you are absolutely right about Pam. She has a new book out and this is priceless publicity for her unhinged writing.

  16. “BTW, who might this group be?”
    Relax, babe, the group is the Neoconservatives, no matter what their religious backround is.

  17. Can someone explain how a building standing nearly 200 feet tall, would not be visible from 200 yards away?

    • Can someone explain how a building standing nearly 200 feet tall, would not be visible from 200 yards away?

      I doubt anyone could explain anything to you, but if you were a rational person I could explain that the two blocks in between Park Place and Vesey Street (“ground zero” starts south of Vesey Street) contain building complexes that are a GREAT DEAL BIGGER than what Cordoba House will be.

      I don’t know if your measurements are accurate, but I’ve heard Cordoba House is supposed to be 15 stories tall. In lower Manhattan, that’s like a shoebox.

      The block just south of the Islamic center site is filled by a 20-story office complex. And the block just south of that is dominated by a massive federal building. Here is a satellite image of lower Manhattan that shows these buildings directly in between the proposed Islamic center site and Ground Zero.

      So, without x-ray vision, no one will be able to see the Islamic Center from Ground Zero.

      Now, let me add that people who have never even been to New York have absolutely no business butting into this issue. Most Manhattanites are in favor of the Islamic Center, because they know the neighborhood and because they aren’t pathetic little weenies like you who toss American values and the Bill of Rights out the window because they’re afraid of a bleeping Sufi imam.

  18. Jiminy Cricket, how hard is it really to use Google Maps’ Street View feature?

    Is it really that big a secret? Do people just not know it’s there?

  19. So, without x-ray vision, no one will be able to see the Islamic Center from Ground Zero.

    There’s *NO WAY* that could possibly be true! If it were, people like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich would be stupid, pathetic whiners trying to whip up hatred because it’s good publicity for them! They would have to be complete *morons* to make a big issue over a community center that’s not even *visible* from ground zero! So you *have* to be wrong, because the *very idea* that those two fine, upstanding, real Americans are pathetic, whiny losers is *unthinkable*.

  20. And even if you COULD see the Islamic Center from Ground Zero, how does that change anything?

  21. gypsy howell… Good question! The problem is… You’re not supposed to ask thought provoking questions. 🙂

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