Thursday, May 06, 2010
A 13-story mosque will be built on the site of a building damaged by the airliners that destroyed the World Trade Center and killed thousands of people on September 11, 2001. Two Muslim organizations have partnered to open the mosque and cultural center at a cost of $100 million to create a venue for mainstream Islam to worship in lower Manhattan. The intended location is two blocks from Ground Zero.
Cordoba House, a glass and steel building, will include a 500-seat performing arts theater, a swimming pool and basketball court. 2,000 Muslims are expected to pray at the mosque every Friday.
I surprise myself with viscerally negative feelings about their choice of location. I know it is only real estate and that most spiritual disciplines urge people to move on, but this is hallowed ground to many whose loved ones died on that day. At best, it seems like tasteless nose thumbing at Americans and at worst, an attempt to replace our native cultures, square foot by square foot. In fact, the planners hope to begin construction on the 10th anniversary of the attacks that changed America forever. And that's just wrong.