Although on the other hand, it does seem like a symbol of conquest to put a mosque at such a place.
Yes, it does. Its been pointed out that the name Cordoba is a reference to a city in Spain with a large central building which was at one time a mosque. Like many cities in Europe, Cordoba bears the consequences of numerous conquering civilizations. The site was first a Roman Temple, and then a Visigothic Christian Church, and then a Mosque, and then it was converted into a Catholic church (which is what it remains today).
Its not clear to me what the motives of the individuals building this mosque are. Wikipedia has some interesting critical observations from other Muslims:
Another founding member of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Zuhdi Jasser, who is also the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a group of Muslim professionals in the Phoenix Valley of Arizona, strongly opposed the mosque, saying:
For us, a mosque was always a place to pray...—not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement. Ground Zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans." Neda Bolourchi, a Muslim whose mother died in 9/11, said: "I fear it would become a symbol of victory for militant Muslims around the world."
Authors Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, board members of the Muslim Canadian Congress, said:
We Muslims know the ... mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith, ... as "Fitna," meaning "mischief-making" that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.... As Muslims we are dismayed that our co-religionists have such little consideration for their fellow citizens, and wish to rub salt in their wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.
There doesn't seem to be a smoking gun regarding this community center but there is a lot of smoke. Nevertheless, in a free country certain things are outside of the realm of politics and opposition to this mosque is one of those things. It should not be a political issue.
Muslims don't respect free speech
I think thats a silly generalization. Of course there are muslims who respect freedom of speech.
I'd be happy to support their freedom of expression they day they realize it's a two way street.
I don't think its a two way street. Freedom of speech means tolerating the expression of views you dislike. Let the totalitarians speak. Their ranting opposition to freedom of speech is easily refutable. People who are capable of independent critical thinking do not believe this sort of tripe, although unfortunately there are an aweful lot of people who fit into that category.
RE: At Ramadan Iftar dinner, Obama supports new mosque on private property near Ground Zero | Top of the Ticket | Los Angeles Times