Det er planer om å bygge et stort muslimsk senter med stormoske to kvartaler fra Ground Zero. En del finner dette insensitivt, og ønsker å stanse prosjektet. Demonstrasjoner er varslet 6. juni.
Bygningen ligger i 45 Park Place og huset tidligere Burlington Coat Factory. En del av understellet på 9/11-flyene falt på bygningen og ødela de to øverste etasjene. Nå skal det forvandles til et muslimsk senter, kalt Cordoba House. En regner med å tiltrekke 2.000 troende til fredagsbønnen.
Byggingen begynner 11. september neste år.
En del pårørende og politisk engasjerte finner det støtende å legge en moske så nær Ground Zero.
Rosemary Cain, whose fireman son was killed, said: ‘I think it’s despicable. That’s sacred ground. It’s a slap in the face.
‘How could anybody give them permission to build a mosque there?’
Bill Doyle, whose son was also among the 3,000 victims, said: ‘What I’m frightened about is that it’s almost going to be another protest zone – a meeting place for radicals.’
Paul Sipos, a member of the New York community board, said the £68million community project should be located somewhere else.
‘If the Japanese decided to open a cultural centre across from Pearl Harbour, that would be insensitive. If the Germans opened a Bach choral society across from
Auschwitz, even after all these years, that would be an insensitive setting,’ he told the New York Post.
‘I have absolutely nothing against Islam. I just think, why here?’
Menneskene bak moskeen sier de valgte beliggenheten nettopp på grunn av nærheten til Ground Zero. De ønsker å vise at muslimer ikke stiller seg bak ekstremismen.
But the organisation behind the mosque has said they picked the spot precisely because of its location near Ground Zero.
Building a mosque ‘where a piece of the wreckage fell…. sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, told the New York Times last year.
‘We want to push back against the extremists,’ Feisal, 61, added.
Director of the mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs Fatima Shama told the New York Times: ‘We as New York Muslims have as much of a commitment to rebuilding New York as anybody.’
The FBI has also given Feisal its seal of approval after he helped them reach out to the Muslim population in the wake of the attacks.
‘We’ve had positive interactions with him in the past,’ a spokesman was quoted as saying.
Since the attacks, Ground Zero has become a shrine to the victims, with millions of visitors paying their respects every year.
Det er denne nasjonalreligiøse betydningen av Ground Zero som gjør beliggenheten av en moske sensitivt. Prosjektet må behandles ytterst varsomt for ikke å støte og spørsmålet er om man har den fornødne conduite.
But Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, said: ‘The time for a centre like this has come because Islam is an American religion.
‘We need to take the 9/11 tragedy and turn it into something very positive. It will also serve as a major platform for amplifying the silent voice of the majority of Muslims who have nothing to do with extremist ideologies.’
Akkurat uttalelsen om å snu 9/11 til noe positivt er neppe den rette innfallsvinkel.
Bak demonstrasjonen 6. juni er bla. Pamela Geller og organisasjonen Stop Islamization of America. Geller legger ikke fingrene imellom:
Pamela Geller, executive director of the Stop Islamisation of America activist group, is organising the June 6 rally in protest against the development, which will be called Cordoba House.
She said: ‘What could be more insulting and humiliating than a monster mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Centre buildings that were brought down by an Islamic jihad attack?
‘Any decent American, Muslim or otherwise, wouldn’t dream of such an insult.’