News / USA

New York Revisits Plan to Build Muslim Center Near Ground Zero

New York Revisits Plan to Build Muslim Center Near Ground Zeroi
X
May 12, 2014 7:46 PM
For many Americans, memories of the September 11 terror attacks in New York are still vivid. A new World Trade Center is soon to open at the site where the original one was destroyed. There is also a plan to build a Muslim community center and mosque nearby, though it is a more modest version of a previous one steeped in controversy. VOA’s Bernard Shusman has an update from New York
Bernard Shusman
For many Americans, memories of the September 11 terror attacks in New York are still vivid.  A new World Trade Center is soon to open at the site where the original one was destroyed.  There is also a plan to build a Muslim community center and mosque nearby, though it is a more modest version of a previous one steeped in controversy. 

The new World Trade Center is nearing completion, 13 years after the September 11 attacks.

There is also a plan to build a Muslim Center with a museum and mosque three blocks from Ground Zero.  Even though it's a scaled back version of a previous one, it too is controversial.
 
Location where a new Muslim Community Center is planned near New York's 'Ground Zero'
Location where a new Muslim Community Center is planned near New York's 'Ground Zero'


The proposal includes a three-story building with a small mosque, a community center and a museum devoted to Islam.

Imam Talib Abdul Rashid - president of the Islamic Leadership Council - says the project should reflect the full story of Islam.

“...Islam itself as one of the three Abrahamic traditions, and, then, two -- and I kind of lean toward the second -- is a discussion and an accurate depiction of Muslims in America, generally, and New York City in particular,” he said.
 
In 2010, there were loud protests at the site against the previous plan. It called for a 15-story Muslim mosque and community center.  The demonstrators, including relatives of those killed in the September 11 attacks, argued it was insensitive to build an Islamic complex so close to Ground Zero.

The original plan, called Park 51, was dropped.

But the new one is drawing opposition too although its details have yet to be released.

“Honesty, what we need is candor about Jihad and the Jihadic doctrine," said Pamela Geller, president of the American Freedom Defense Initiative.  "Is this museum going to explore the total 1,400 years of Jihadi wars, land appropriations, cultural annihilations and enslavements?  I think not.  It think it’s going to whitewash, and I think it’s inappropriate at Ground Zero.  We have to see the plans.”

This visiting group of college students and professors from Canada had an exclusive briefing by one of the developers at the site.

 Alexandra Bain, a professor of religious studies, believes a  living history of Islam is important to the community and the world.  

“Muslims have been in America since the slaves came over," she said. "And they were among the first Americans, and they continue to be an important part of the American culture.
 
The developers have not fully disclosed the plans, nor where all the funding is coming from.  But they insist these buildings will soon come down and be replaced with an exciting structure dedicated to exploring the faith of Islam and its arts and culture.

You May Like

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

There is growing uncertainty over whether West’s response to ISIS is adequate More

China Crackdown on Dual Citizens Causes Concern

New policy encourages reporting people who obtain citizenship in another country, but retain Chinese citizenship; move spurs sharp debate More

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

Losing ground to Islamic State fighters, Syria's government says it is ready to cooperate with international community More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid