'Islamic Center Shouldn't Be Near, but Inside Ground Zero Site'

Controversial documentarist Michael Moore parallels plight of N.Y. Muslims with the struggles of the Jewish community in city's early years.

The controversial Islamic center due to be built near the site of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks in New York City should be moved onto the Ground Zero site itself, documentary filmmaker Michael Moore wrote on his blog on Saturday, saying that such a move would be a way to tear Islam away from the extremists who have kidnapped it.

Michael Moore AP 4.3.2010

More than 1,000 protesters on both sides of the issue were expected to converge at the mosque site, a former clothing store two blocks north of where the twin towers stood, on Saturday, the ninth anniversary of the attacks. 

Moore wrote Saturday that he believed 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," Moore added.

Commenting further on the planned structure, the controversial filmmaker said that, contrary to popular belief, it was 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," Moore said, adding that that "would be better than the lame and disgusting way the developer has left Ground Zero an empty hole until recently."

Moore also commented on the support the intended community center received from the local Jewish community center saying that a local rabbi had been advising the Muslim clerics "since the beginning."

"It's been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in," Moore said, later invoking the history of the Jewish struggle for recognition in the New York.

"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 okay, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home," Moore said, adding that 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," Moore said, indicating Washington's wish to see Jews receive equal rights.

In his characteristically direct fashion, Moore said he was more offended by the existence of a nearby McDonald's than he was about an Islamic community center, saying: Trust me, "McDonald's has killed far more people than the terrorists."

To read the full blog post, click here