Argument: Mosque wrongly uses proximity to ground zero to spread Islam

Issue Report: Ground zero mosque


“9/11 Families Reject Towering Mosque Planned for Ground Zero Site” 9/11 Families for a Safe and Strong America: “Victims’ families view the imam’s expressed plan to “leverage” the mosque’s proximity to Ground Zero to engage in proselytizing and to “grow the Muslim community,” as shockingly insensitive to the history of the site where their loved ones were slaughtered in the worst terrorist attack by extremist Muslims in America’s history; following the attack, 20,000 body parts were recovered in a nine-month operation to remove 1.8 million tons of rubble from Lower Manhattan.”

Zuhdi Jasser, a physician, US Navy veteran, and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy: “For us, a mosque was always a place to pray, to be together on holidays — not a way to make an ostentatious architectural statement…Ground zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans.” To use that space for Muslim outreach, he argues, is “the worst form of misjudgment.”[1]

The Directors of Red State. “The Ground Zero Mosque Should Be Stopped.” August 2nd, 2010: “The fact is that the groups behind the “Ground Zero mosque” / Cordoba House / Park51 chose the site explicitly for its proximity to Ground Zero, and then spent months boasting about it in the press. Those groups are the Cordoba Initiative (run by Feisal Abdul Rauf, the “Ground Zero mosque’s” imam-to-be); the American Society for Muslim Advancement, or ASMA (run by Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan); and SoHo Properties (run by the aforementioned Sharif el-Gamal, its CEO). Just a few brief but illustrative examples from the principals:

A December 8th, 2009, New York Times article stated, “The location [next to Ground Zero] was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims,” and quoted Rauf as noting that they got a property “where a piece of the [9/11] wreckage fell.” ASMA then touted the piece in its 2009 Year End Report.

A simple Google search of the Cordoba Initiative’s website reveals the phrase “Ground Zero” to be seeded throughout as a rather inept 1999-era SEO tactic to bring people looking for information about Ground Zero to the mosque promoters’ website.
On May 5th and 6th, ASMA’s Daisy Khan was on her Twitter account, boasting first that the “new muslim center near ground zero gets unaminous vote of approval from community board one in downtown nyc,” and then that she had a “Media blitz day for ASMA / Cordoba [on the] muslim commuity center near ground zero.”

On June 15th, Daisy Khan told the Washington Post’s Sally Quinn that “a divine hand” led to the Ground Zero proximity.”

[…] To grasp exactly why the “Ground Zero mosque” / Cordoba House / Park51 is so objectionable, it is useful to consider a range of hypotheticals, in which a site of an infamous slaughter is appropriated by promoters of the group that perpetrated that slaughter. Ask yourself whether any of the following would be morally acceptable, if not simply rejected by an outraged world:

A League of the South monument in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
A Turkish-culture office at Deir ez-Zor.
A Shinto shrine in Nanjing, China.
A Serbian Orthodox Church on the fields outside Srebrenica.
Or even, for that matter, a Catholic convent outside Auschwitz.

There are undeniably good and laudable things about the cultures and faiths of the Southern United States, Turkey, Japan, Serbia, and European Christianity in general: yet promoting them at the very sites of their historic crimes is rightly repellent. These sites ought to be places of apology and repentance — not promotion.