Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Cordoba House on Park 51, the so-called Ground Zero Mosque

For the past month or so, along with the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico (link) the planned community center at 51 Park Place in New York City has dominated the news. Now, normally a community center would sound like a great idea; a place for kids to go to stay off the street and others to take classes. So what's the problem with it you may ask? It just happens that this planned community center is located six blocks from Ground Zero and it's being run by Muslims. Because of those two factors, the fanatical right has gone on a rampage trying to prevent it from happening.

Now this is just Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin's views, but as you can see, Fox News has been all over this issue. There are however some fallacies with this story. First of all, this is not a mosque. A mosque is a place of worship only. The Cordoba House at Park 51 is a community center with a recreational area, classes for people of New York to take, and a prayer space on the top two stories of the proposed building. So in other words, it's basically a Muslim version of the YMCA. Critics are saying that it's going to be a breeding ground for terrorists, if basketball players and creative writers are now considered terrorists. Secondly, it's not even located at Ground Zero, but six blocks away in the former Burlington Coat Factory store that closed after it was hit by debris on September 11, 2001. They chose this location because they were able to purchase the property for a great deal. You won't be able to see Gound Zero from the center and vice versa. This is not going to be a monument to the terrorists who orchestrated attacks but an attempt by the Muslim community to reach out to the rest of New York and say "we feel your pain." Muslims are peace loving people and the terrorists are just a fraction of a fraction of that, just as the protestors of the Westboro Baptist Church don't represent all of Christianity. I have friends from high school who were Muslims and they were very nice people. So far the fanatical right hasn't come up with a real reason for not building it other than that it wouldn't be right. What do you mean it wouldn't be right? Wasn't our great country founded on the notion of religious freedom? The first amendement to the Constitution guarantees that freedom and now Republicans want to take it away. What if it were a radical Christian group that attacked the Twin Towers? Would we be against the building of a YMCA six blocks from Ground Zero? I don't think so, because then the Bible-belt south would be up in arms.

I could go on about my views about this proposed community center, but I think Keith Olbermann's special comment on it from the August 16 episode of Countdown on MSNBC sums it up pretty well.


  1. My real issue is lower Manhattan where this will be located is not, repeat not a residential area. Why if this community center is so important to the community would in not be build where there is a community and not in the heart of Manhattan's Financial district. Look up the address or even one nearby, this in not a Christian, African-American or Muslims populated area, it is a major commercial district.....if i were quite the radical, i would go so far as to say this would be the perfect site to finish off what is left of a crippled Wall street. The churches down there are historical sites. If you are building a community should be in the center of a community. I worked down in that area and its a ghost town by 1900, when all the commuters are gone. Just my two cents...and something to ponder if, maybe never, a dirty bomb, a chemical attack or even a 13 story building detonated packed with explosives...the risk is too great...and by refusing to talk with NY only make yourself more suspicious. Frankly isn't this what the left despises...when the rich buy property at a steal for their own gains. I would again seriouly question the location of a community center in the middle of the financial district...

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.