Monday, May 10, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Plans Go Ahead


Plans to build a Ground Zero Mosque are
going ahead as the 12-member New York Community Board approved the plans late
last week. The $100 Million project would replace a building across the road
from the World Trade Center site that was damaged by debris during the 9/11
attacks. Some family members of those who died in the attacks are taking offense
to the recent council approval.

Growing concern over the proposed building is causing some New Yorkers to second
guess the council. On one side, those who lost someone in the attacks say that a
Muslim church across the road would be offensive. On the other side of the
argument, Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim
Advancement says that the structure would help open America’s eyes to the
moderate Muslim community which is currently distorted by an outspoken and
violent few on the fringe.

“I don’t like it,” says Evelyn Pettigano, who lost a sister in the attacks. “I’m
not prejudiced. … It’s too close to the area where our family members were

That’s the general view of those who were affected by the terrorist attacks.
Some are enraged by the plans for a Ground Zero Mosque.

“I think it’s despicable, and I think it’s atrocious that anyone would even
consider allowing them to build a mosque near the World Trade Center,” said
Rosemary Cain, whose son, a firefighter, died in the attacks.

However, Khan says that the building would serve to ease tensions and prejudice
in the community, as well as providing a service to the growing number of
Muslims in the area.

“We want to create a platform by which the voices of the mainstream and silent
majority of Muslims will be amplified. A center of this scale and magnitude will
do that,” Khan said. “We feel it’s an obligation as Muslims and Americans to be
part of the rebuilding of downtown Manhattan.”

In addition to serving as a center for worship, the building could also serve as
a community center, housing a 500-seat performance hall, a swimming pool, and a
basketball court, all open the public.

It’s a polarizing issue that can raise conflicted feelings in some Americans. Do
you think that the Ground Zero Mosque is a good idea? Or should the victim’s
families have a vote in saying how their memorial site should be treated?


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