Since the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement first announced they wanted to finance a mosque at 9/11 Ground Zero, the outpouring of emotion from the people of New York City and beyond has been tremendous. While some view building an Islamic mosque on the site of a national tragedy as a needed gesture of religious tolerance, others believe that doing so is an affront to those who died at the hands of orthodox Islamic operatives whose holy book advocates killing non-believers. Regardless of the objective truth – if such a thing exists – construction of the mosque at Ground Zero is set to commence, according to Associated Press reports.
Manhattan Community Board 1 says yes to Mosque at Ground Zero
The AP reports that a New York City community board voted 29-to-1 in favor of the Cordoba House mosque at Ground Zero building project. Ten members of the board abstained. While the vote by the Manhattan Community Board 1 wasn’t required for the project to move forward, it is widely viewed as being essential to obtaining the support of New York City residents. Construction should take three to five years and possibly require installment loans, sources indicate. There is a nearby building that may receive landmark status, however. That could delay the project.
‘A seed of peace’
Board member Rob Townley said the motion planted a seed of peace. “We believe that this is a significant step in the Muslim community to counteract the hate and fanaticism in the minority of the community,” he told the Associated Press.
The board meeting was anything but peaceful. Opponents yelled at various speakers, claiming the project was being built over a “Christian cemetery” and that the board should “show respect for 3,000,” referring to those who died there on 9/11. According to various sources, many of the opponents were not opposed to the construction of a mosque in general – just a mosque at Ground Zero.
Establishing an inclusive facility
The founders of the mosque at Ground Zero project told the press they are seeking to build a “vibrant and inclusive world-class facility” that would include a “performing arts center, swimming pool, culinary school, child care facilities and worship space,” according to AP reports. Cordoba House would also provide New York City with 150 full-time and 500 part-time jobs, not to mention a $100 million-plus infrastructure investment for the city, said Cordoba House spokeswoman Daisy Khan.
Not a recruiting ground for terrorists
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, executive director of the Cordoba Initiative, made a point of saying that the group fully condemns the activities of terrorists on 9/11, and that the Cordoba House will strive to ensure that the mosque is not a center of hate. New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly told the media that there are no security concerns that would impact the mosque at Ground Zero project.