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Author Topic: New York mosque plan stirs up 9/11 memories  (Read 1218 times)
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« on: May 20, 2010 06:34 AM »


I like when he says it's not Islamophobia but he doesn't want a mosque built.  Roll Eyes

=====================================


New York mosque plan stirs up 9/11 memories

Page last updated at 17:57 GMT, Wednesday, 19 May 2010 18:57 UK

The site of a planned Islamic centre is two blocks from the Ground Zero site

It doesn't take long to walk from Ground Zero to the old, crumbling Burlington Coat Factory on Park Place. Two or three minutes at most.

From the outside it doesn't look like much. Paint peels from the walls. An old, iron fire escape zig-zags up the outside of the building.

At the front door a sharply dressed man, in a black suit, white shirt, black tie, ushers in the worshippers. Men to the right, women to the left.

For now, this former clothing shop is a makeshift mosque, a place of worship for lower Manhattan's rapidly growing Muslim population.

If plans to develop the site go ahead however, within five years it will be a landmark Islamic cultural centre, a celebration - in the minds of its backers - of the religion.

A place for Muslims and non-Muslims to gather, it will include a mosque.
'Powerful symbolism'

This is a deliberate attempt, Imam Feisal Rauf tells me, to present what he sees as the real face of Islam to a city where some - since the terror attacks of 11 September, 2001 - have come to distrust the religion.
Continue reading the main story

    What better place to show that we, as Muslims, condemn the acts of 9/11 than making this stand and making this statement here

Imam Feisal Rauf

"This space [Ground Zero] has very powerful symbolism in the perception of the world," he says.

"It is important for us to be stakeholders in what this symbolism means.

"What better place to show that we, as Muslims, condemn the acts of 9/11 than making this stand and making this statement here. When we say it here, we will be heard."

Had the centre been planned elsewhere in this multi-cultural city, it would possibly have gone largely unnoticed.

But situated just two blocks from Ground Zero, it has raised concern among some of the relatives of those killed in the 9/11 attacks.
'Not Islamaphobia'

Mike Burke's brother - a fireman - was one of the almost 3,000 who died as the World Trade Center's towers collapsed.
Mike Burke stands by cranes at Ground Zero Mr Burke says families of 9/11 victims do not want a mosque by Ground Zero

Mr Burke wears badges commemorating the event on the lapels of his denim jacket.

It is not Islamaphobia, he insists - it's just that he and others do not want an Islamic institution nearby.

"I think the first concern for the families is that the religious beliefs of the terrorists who struck is going to have such a prominent place right around the corner from Ground Zero," he says.

"This is not an… anti-Muslim effort. It is understandably… emotional for them to be suddenly told that around the corner from where their loved ones were killed they're going to put a mosque."

The project's leaders say they have gone out of their way to bring people living nearby on board with the plans.

They own the building and under city law have the right to build what they want there. Nonetheless, they spoke to the local community board and asked for its approval - something they didn't have to do. They got its support.

Sharif El-Gamal, the chairman of Soho Properties, which owns the building says he wants "a place where I could show off my hospitality, my culture, my background".

What he and the others involved envisage is a world-class facility - an environmentally-friendly building constructed with cutting-edge technology. It would be a place to show off what they consider Islam has to offer.
Sensitive issue

For some this has become a useful chance to voice popular fears about Islam.
Charles Wolf Charles Wolf says it would be wrong to prevent the building of a mosque

One group that says its aim is to defend freedom of speech against what it calls "Islamic supremacist intimidation" is arranging a rally at Ground Zero in protest at the plans.

Many wholeheartedly reject such a stance. Among them is Charles Wolf, an energetic man who has been heavily involved in the discussions over what should be built at Ground Zero in place of the Twin Towers.

He says many of the victim's families - like him - believe the Islamic centre should be built.

"The Muslims are not responsible for 9/11. There have been extremists in all religions," he says.

"Denying them the ability to build a mosque… would be like London denying the Roman Catholic Church the opportunity to build a church during the years of the IRA bombings."

All sides know this is a deeply sensitive issue. It's one that raises important questions about the place of Muslims in American society today.

Almost a decade on from the 9/11 attacks, this country is still grappling with their aftermath.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/world/us_and_canada/10127563.stm
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« Reply #1 on: May 26, 2010 05:05 PM »

There is now a news item on the homepage of Yahoo about the mosque at ground zero. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100526/ap_on_re_us/us_ground_zero_mosque

I clicked on it to read the article, and, of course, there are a bunch of stupid anti-muslim comments after it.  If anyone here wants to add some reasonable comments and balance things out, that would be nice... Wink
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« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2010 05:44 PM »

salam


Going by the vitriol, can someone kindly tell me, did not a single Muslim lose his/her life in the 9/11 tragedy?

It's disgusting that people can say things like we're american so no muslims anywhere in the US, like it's mutually exclusive. Disgusting, but typical!


Wassalaam

And when My servants question thee concerning Me, then surely I am nigh. I answer the prayer of the suppliant when he crieth unto Me. So let them hear My call and let them trust in Me, in order that they may be led aright. Surah 2  Verse 186
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« Reply #3 on: May 27, 2010 05:30 PM »

There is now a news item on the homepage of Yahoo about the mosque at ground zero. 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100526/ap_on_re_us/us_ground_zero_mosque

I clicked on it to read the article, and, of course, there are a bunch of stupid anti-muslim comments after it.  If anyone here wants to add some reasonable comments and balance things out, that would be nice... Wink


Salaam - Whenever there is an article on us on Yahoo, such as this one, yes, there is just a boat-load of hateful comments and I am assuming if we did try to balance things out, they would fire back even more egly things, but yes, if someone is willing to do comment, I'm all for it. I left a comment on YT on an atheist channel and I got two very ugly comments, one of which swore at both our Prophet  saw and Hz. Is'a  as.

Anyways, just wanted to add this video I just saw on CAIR's channel that touches on the subject and some more:


The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another:  [9:71]
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« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2010 11:45 AM »

More opinions...

Near Ground Zero, the Sacred and the Profane

New York Times

Published: May 27, 2010

Since long before the Islamist terrorist attack of Sept. 11, 2001, a storefront mosque has been sitting on West Broadway in TriBeCa, a dozen blocks from the World Trade Center. No one seems to have ever minded its being there.

Now, assuming he can raise the money and clear some remaining bureaucratic hurdles, the spiritual guide of that mosque intends to build a multistory Islamic community center, including a space for prayer, on Park Place, two blocks from what is routinely called ground zero.

Cries of protest have been loud and insistent from certain quarters. They include people who lost relatives on Sept. 11 and who describe the trade center site with words like “hallowed” and “sacred.” To put an Islamic center so close, they say, would amount to a defilement.

At least now, in terms of geography, we know where outrage begins. That point is somewhere between 12 blocks and 2. The exact spot remains a mystery, though. Would it be O.K. if the Islamic center, called Cordoba House, were to be put four blocks from ground zero? Or is that still too close? How about eight blocks away?

The intention here is not to be flippant. But the question of what constitutes proper respect for the dead of 9/11 has never been simple. For some, it seems to turn solely on religion, and that puts everyone on slippery constitutional terrain.

No one is known to have protested the fact that three blocks from ground zero, on Murray Street off West Broadway, there is a strip joint. It prefers to call itself a gentlemen’s club. A man stood on the street corner the other day handing out free passes to willing gentlemen.

On Church Street, around the corner from where Cordoba House would rise, there is a store that sells pornographic videos and an assortment of sex toys. A few doors east of the planned Islamic center, there is an Off-Track Betting office. Spilling onto the sidewalk in front of it the other day were men who would have been described in my old Bronx neighborhood as degenerate gamblers.

A strip joint, a porno store and a government-run bookie operation. No one has organized demonstrations to denounce those activities as defiling the memory of the men and women who died a few hundred yards away.

But an Islamic center strikes a nerve for some. At a bruising hearing that Manhattan Community Board 1 held Tuesday night before giving Cordoba House its blessing, one protester held a sign that said, “Where is sensitivity to 9/11 families?”

A corollary to that question, however, might be: Which families? They are hardly a monolith.

Some 9/11 relatives see anything Islamic near ground zero as a slap in the face. Others couldn’t care less. Still others share the opinion of Donna Marsh O’Connor, who is on the steering committee of a group called September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows. She said it was “the American way” to have a cultural center that its founder, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, asserts is dedicated to interfaith tolerance.

New York officialdom, while sensitive to the displeased families, has long made it clear that it is not about to hand them veto power over how the city builds and rebuilds. Officials from the mayor on down have endorsed Cordoba House, in large measure because of Imam Feisal, a Sufi who has cultivated relations with other religions and who has spoken out against the violence of Islamist fanatics. He has given no one a reason to doubt his sincerity.

OUTRAGE over the project seems at times to increase in direct proportion to distance from the site. A columnist for the tabloid Washington Examiner recently called it “the second attack on the World Trade Center.” Columnists and editorialists for New York’s tabloids who are rarely given to kumbaya moments have described such denunciations as “hysteria.”

One 9/11 relative observed ruefully this week that the Islamic center would attract noisy protests to a scarred area of the city that should be, he said, a zone of tranquillity. If that proves to be the case, it is up to the demonstrators to decide how loud they want to be in the shadow of the trade center.

But they have a right to protest. It is guaranteed in the First Amendment, the same one that ensures freedom of religion, with no asterisk that says “*except for Islam.” It is the same amendment that allows a strip joint and a porno shop to exist a couple of blocks from hallowed ground.
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« Reply #5 on: Aug 20, 2010 05:19 PM »


The Believers, men and women, are protectors one of another:  [9:71]
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