Ground Zero mosque

August 22, 2010 at 10:29 pm (News, Rants)

A Muslim group has put in a request to build an Islamic centre near (not at) the site of Ground Zero. First let me say, the proposal is totally legit. Second, I have nothing against Muslims – even if I don’t agree with all their beliefs.

However, I don’t think this project is a good one. I realize that Muslims were also among those who died in 9/11, and that the group hoping for this mosque are not related to the terrorists who flew planes into buildings. But it still seems insensitive to me. Visitors to Ground Zero will walk by the mosque on their way to pay their respects to those who died at the hands of extremists. It is a divisive issue, rather than something that could bring people together for healing and comfort. I don’t necessarily think a church should be built there either, but a chapel or inter-faith centre would be more appropriate.

That’s not just my opinion, even some Muslim groups are saying the idea is not a good one. There have been rallies and protests against it as well, by people from many different backgrounds. Though of course some believe it would make a powerful statement that extremists have not won, and that America accepts Muslims as part of their population and culture just as much as it fights against those who want to see the nation destroyed. While that might be true, I still think the presence of a mosque at Ground Zero would just create more anger and encourage a focus on the perpetrators rather than on moving past and rebuilding as a nation.

But that’s me. I’d much rather hear about what you think. Let’s get the debate rolling – leave your opinion in the comments below.

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5 Comments

  1. Barry said,

    The following is an excerpt from the Huffington Post by Lisa Sharon Harper. I believe the media has hyped this up with much misinformation. Everyone is entitled to the view whether for or against, but please be informed before casting your stone.
    Lisa Sharon Harper:

    There has been a mosque on Warren Street, four blocks from the World Trade Center site, for many many years. My dad used to go there for prayers when I was a little kid. A lot of the Muslim people who work at City Hall or in the financial district would go to that mosque.

    The Warren Street Mosque lost its lease and had to find a new location. Some people in that community came together and were able to purchase the building on Park Place and West Broadway, where the Islamic Community Center is now proposed; two blocks closer to Ground Zero. The people in the purchasing community partnered with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who had another mosque in Tribeca — also close to Ground Zero. Imam Feisal serves on the board of the Interfaith Center of New York.

    Their vision included a full-blown community center that serves the wider community, not just the Muslim community. It’s conceived in the tradition of the YMCA, with a pool, a place for seniors to congregate, a place for the arts and a multi-faith chapel and prayer space. So, it’s really a cultural center that is being built by a group of Muslims. They’re also talking about having an interfaith advisory group to help shape the work in the building.

  2. newfcollins said,

    The New York Times had a piece recently on the fact that there’s a mosque in the Pentagon, which was also hit, and there’s no issues and no one is complaining about that.

    A sports columnist on ESPN wrote a bit about it. Basically, his point was that why is this such a big deal. Would anyone object to a Catholic church being built next to the Oklahoma building that Timothy McVeigh destroyed in the 90s? No. So why object now?

  3. Nisa said,

    it’s NOT a mosque – a mosque is ONLY for prayer and other religious activity. this is a CULTURAL CENTRE. with aims to PROMOTE COEXISTENCE WITH OTHER RELIGIOUS, with TOURS and TALKS about ISLAM to expand the tiny minds of americans like you. this is NOT about islamic JIHAD. in fact, the bloody work JIHAD means to struggle, not with other but WITH ONES SELF. do no lump all muslims under one big pile. I am muslim but i speak only english, i have a degree in psychology and marketing, i’m engaged to an American boy from Indiana, i do not wear the headscarf, and i am prepared to fight for women’s rights in islam.

  4. Cheryl said,

    Nisa – I absolutely do not lump all Muslims together, I was careful to point out that: “the group hoping for this mosque are not related to the terrorists who flew planes into buildings.” I am also not American, nor do I think this is about jihad.

    It’s true that I probably didn’t have all the facts when I wrote this blog. I hope that if this project goes forward, Cordoba House will be able to clarify their mission so it does not continue to be such a divisive issue. It would be great if it brings people together as is its aim, but right now it’s doing more tearing apart from what I can see – and yes, Barry, it’s probably due in large part to misinformation in the media. My bad. :P

  5. Equality All Around said,

    You can read about the Cordoba initiative and the Imam here.
    http://www.cordobainitiative.org/?q=content/staff-bios

    Canada has a similar group based in Hamilton.
    http://cordobahouse.ca/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=3

    This is about nothing , but trying to scare white people into voting Republican. It’s quite sick.

    The following clips from the Daily show also helps explain how right wing media (FOXnews and others) are manufacturing the fear. They conveniently neglect to mention important information. Completely unethical. The Daily Show does a great job unmasking this media manipulation.

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-august-19-2010/extremist-makeover—homeland-edition
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap

    http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/mon-august-23-2010/the-parent-company-trap

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