From the Saturday New York Times by Scott Shane:
Some counterterrorism experts say the anti-Muslim sentiment that has saturated the airwaves and blogs in the debate over plans for an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing into the hands of extremists by bolstering their claims that the United States is hostile to Islam.
Opposition to the center by prominent politicians and other public figures in the United States has been covered extensively by the news media in Muslim countries. At a time of concern about radicalization of young Muslims in the West, it risks adding new fuel to Al Qaeda’s claim that Islam is under attack by the West and must be defended with violence, some specialists on Islamic militancy say. MORE
From the Sunday afternoon New York Daily News website:
Anti-‘Ground Zero mosque’ protesters descend on downtown Park51 site
Mosque hysteria reached fevered pitch Sunday as angry protesters opposed to building an Islamic center near Ground Zero squared off with supporters of the project.
In mostly peaceful counter-demonstrations, hundreds braved the rain in Lower Manhattan to voice their position on the contentious project that has spiralled into a national political issue. MORE
From the Sunday afternoon New York Post website:
By REUVEN FENTON and JEREMY OLSHAN
Supporters and opponents of the “Ground Zero mosque” clashed as they took to the streets this morning and held dueling rallies near the controversial site.
A group of 150 supporters of the planned mosque and community center gathered at the corner West Broadway and Murray Street in Lower Manhattan and shouted, “Fascists get out!” while waving signs declaring, “Stop the fear and hate.”
Some 500 opponents of the project stood just a block away on the corner of West Broadway and Park Place chanting, “USA!” as they waved signs demanding, “No clubhouse for terrorists.” MORE
From the Sunday afternoon New York Times website:
Islamic Center Attracts Protesters on Both Sides
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
Two protests on Sunday morning, in the normally quiet blocks north of Ground Zero, claimed to be on the side of tolerance. One camp stood in favor of the mosque and Islamic center that has been proposed for the area; the other argued against.
Around 500 of those opposed gathered in a cordoned-off area, heavily monitored by police. They sang patriotic songs and spoke of a hijacked Constitution, a renegade presidency and tolerance toward the sensitivities of New Yorkers whose relatives died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks
A counterprotest, smaller but equally passionate, gathered steam two blocks away, where about 200 people chanted that tolerance should be directed toward members of different religions, and that the values of the Constitution supported their side of the argument. MORE
From the Monday morning Los Angeles Times website:
New York mosque controversy worries Muslims overseas
By Borzou Daragahi
From the Monday morning Washington Post website:
Far from Ground Zero, other plans for mosques run into vehement opposition
By Annie Gowen
MURFREESBORO, TENN. — For more than 30 years, the Muslim community in this Nashville suburb has worshipped quietly in a variety of makeshift spaces — a one-bedroom apartment, an office behind a Lube Express — attracting little notice even after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
But when the community’s leaders proposed a 52,900-square-foot Islamic center with a school and a swimming pool this year, the vehement backlash from their neighbors caught them by surprise. Opponents crowded county meetings and held a noisy protest in the town square that drew hundreds, some carrying signs such as “Keep Tennessee Terror Free.” MORE
For further consideration:
“Ground Zero mosque”? America needs a reality check (The Guardian UK)
Fuelling fundamentalism (Daily Times of Pakistan)
Trapped at Ground Zero (Al-Ahram of Egypt)
President Obama backs mosque near Ground Zero (Daily Star of Dhaka)
Additional links to international coverage of the issue are available via a prior post. My purpose is not to endorse the opinions offered by those outside the United States. But given the homeland security focus of this blog, such international perceptions are relevant and often not referenced by US media.