Ground Zero Mosque Debate

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The following is a transcript from a recent debate regarding the Ground Zero Mosque. Participants in the debate included Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne, Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie, and British Aristocratic Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors.

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Q: IF A MOSQUE IS BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO, WHAT WILL IT SYMBOLIZE?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "It will symbolize a healing of wounds and the beauty of religious tolerance. I believe faith is strong in America because we have a long and colorful history of accepting all forms of religious extremism, no matter how bizarre they may be ... just look at the Mormons in Utah, or the Scientologists in Hollywood."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "It ain't nothing but a symbol of terrorism and building it on the mass graves of 9/11 means the terrorists have won. America is a Christian nation and most of the fallen heroes of 9/11 were Christian, therefore we ought to honor their souls by building a Christian Church, not a terrorist mosque."

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Quite simply put, the mosque is a symbol of Islam, and the location of its construction is irrelevant. Islam is a diabolically misogynistic religion, completely incompatible with Western Civilization, and it will continue to spread fear and hatred regardless of whether or not the mosques are built."


Q: IN AMERICA, IS FREEDOM OF RELIGION A STRENGTH OR A WEAKNESS?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Freedom of religion is the strongest pillar in the foundation of America, and much more important than any other freedom, such as the freedom of speech which we take for granted. Without religious freedom, there would be no need for any of the other freedoms."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "I reckon we ought to revise that bit about religious freedom to exclude crazy Muslamics from taking advantage of it. They don't have freedom of religion in the middle-east, so why do we need to have it here?"

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Freedom of religion is merely an excuse for tolerating radical fundamentalists who threaten civilization with their Draconian beliefs. Tolerating violence simply because it is shrouded under the protective umbrella of religion is morally reprehensible and self-destructive. America would be stronger if 'freedom FROM religion' was cherished above all else."


Q: SHOULD THE MOSQUE BE RELOCATED FURTHER AWAY FROM GROUND ZERO?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Ground Zero is a sacred place of worship and banning anyone from the area is an outrage. Ground Zero should become a shrine of religious tolerance and welcome people of all faiths with open arms. Everyone should come together to pray so we can open up a meaningful, multi-faith dialogue."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "Yeah, they should relocate that mosque back to Arabia, and take all the other mosques with them."

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "This is not the first mosque ever to be built in New York City, yet it has been manipulated into a controversy by right-wing Christian zealots who would rather turn Ground Zero into a memorial of holy war and the subsequent crusade into the middle-east. Mosques should not be built in any place, nor should a church or a syngogue. The human race can simply do without another place of worship."


Q: IS ISLAM A 'RELIGION OF PEACE'?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Like all religions, Islam is mostly peaceful, but sometimes a few atrocities are committed by a minority of extremists. We must ignore those atrocities and only focus on the positive aspects of Islam. Most of the world has forgiven the crimes of Christianity and Judaism, so it is only right that we do the same for Islam."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "Islam is a religion of terror. Muslims want to wipe Israel off the map and attack any country that supports the Jews. They encourage suicide bombers to attack innocent people and praise them for killing 'infidels'. And don't forget ... Muslims hate women."

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Peacefulness is not a characteristic of any Abrahamic religion, and Islam in particular is by far the most vile and treacherous of the three. Certainly, the others had their moments, but right now Islam is the primary threat to civilization. Peace is impossible to achieve when the vast majority of the world still believes in subjugating themselves beneath an imaginary deity, and then using their idiosyncratic interpretation of ancient scripture as an excuse for committing the most horrendous acts of violence. Or, to put it another way, perhaps you should ask any of the millions of Muslim women who have suffered under the tyranny of Islam whether or not living life as a shrouded and abused animal is considered 'peaceful'?"


Q: SWITZERLAND BANNED MINARETS, SHOULD AMERICA DO THE SAME?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "The United States will never ban any form of religion. In my experience, outlawing something only makes it more mysterious and desirable to young people -- like drugs. Excluding Islam from America only fuels the fires of intolerance."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "What's a minaret?"

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Western Civilization should not tolerate Islam in any shape or form, and the small but important steps to limit the spread of that religion in Europe are necessary in America as well. The long-term goal of any society must be to move forward, not backward into the Dark Ages. It is deplorable for a modern society to tolerate the existence of a religion that contradicts everything Western Civilization has achieved since the Enlightenment."


Q: IF THE MOSQUE IS NOT BUILT NEAR GROUND ZERO, WHAT SHOULD BE BUILT THERE INSTEAD?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Ground Zero should have a permanent monument of religious tolerance which treats all dogmas with respect and dignity."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "They should rebuild the World Trade Center and rename it the Christian Trade Center. Dare the Muslims to attack something like that!"

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "A rebuilding of Ground Zero should acknowledge the reasons why the World Trade Center was destroyed. Perhaps one day Americans will understand that religion is responsible for such atrocities and realize it was a mistake to ignore the spread of Islam. I would recommend a modest memorial plaque simply stating, 'Like so many things, the World Trade Center was destroyed by religion'."


Q: WHY ARE SOME AMERICANS AGAINST BUILDING THE MOSQUE?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Maybe it is still too soon for some Americans to consider a mosque near Ground Zero. Time heals all wounds ... even the massive gaping hole left in the ground where the World Trade Center used to be."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "Americans are afraid of Islam, and justifiably so. Americans know mosques are breeding grounds for terrorists."

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Americans are against the mosque for the wrong reasons. Most of the people who condemn the mosque have an irrational fear of Islam and foreigners in general, yet harbor extremist religious views of their own. Indeed, right-wing Christian conservatives oppose this Ground Zero Mosque simply because it is Islamic. Americans should be against the mosque, Islam, and the idea of religion as a whole."


Q: WHY DO SOME AMERICANS SUPPORT THE BUILDING OF THE MOSQUE?

Unitarian Minister Pat Leslie: "Some Americans realize we all share one world and the only way to heal wounds is through acceptance and forgiveness."

Tea Party Activist Dusty Dwayne: "Americans who support the building of mosques? They must be terrorist infiltrators, or liberal pacifists who think building a mosque there will protect New York from future terrorist attacks. Appeasement is treason."

Atheist Sir Archibald Llewellyn-Majors: "Many Americans are simply delusional and blindly accept the exercising of so-called 'freedoms', such as the false sympathy toward the building of this mosque. What they don't realize is that by supporting a mosque, any mosque, and by tolerating Islam they inadvertently reinforce one of the greatest crimes against humanity, and I'm not referring to the destruction of the World Trade Center, but the crimes committed against millions of Muslim women everyday. Those who tolerate Islam support the ritualistic abuse of women. If you allow them to build a mosque, you therefore condone their treatment of women. Americans, especially American women, ought to be against any organization that openly disdains their very existence."


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