Skip to main content

A Muslim Community Center is being built near Ground Zero.

O.M.G.  This cannot be happening.  

This community center will include not just a mosque but performance space, community-event rooms, fitness facilities and prayer space. It is modeled after the the 92nd Street YMCA. No objections were raised by downtown residents at the hearing, and many downtown residents look forward to  the completion of the facility because the area now lacks community-based spaces.

Hardly a threatening specter.

Yet anti-diversity groups, including some 9/11 family members, from outside the area are crying "inappropriate!" and "too soon!".

What, exactly, are they afraid of?

"People often say, ‘Where are the moderate Muslim voices?’ A building like this will be an amplifier for that often silent majority," Daisy Kahn, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement said in the Wall Street Journal. "What most people don’t know is that the people who are driving this forward are very integrated into the community downtown. We are nothing to be feared."

So why do some from outside the community want to interfere with a NYC neighborhood's self-determination?

9/11 families are a diverse group of individuals. A minority of them have not yet found ways to deal with their grief and in a positive way. Intolerance is just one of the ways such unresolved emotion comes to the surface.

We don't condemn churches because Timothy McVeigh was a Christian, yet here are those condemning mosques because some terrorists are Muslim.

People of all faiths died on Sept. 11, 2001, a reflection of the fact that the United States is a nation of diverse cultures and religions. First responders from the New York City Police and Fire departments, including Muslim-Americans, sacrificed their lives trying to rescue those trapped in the burning towers.  They did so irrespective of their faith, race or ethnicity.  
There are some 8 million Muslims and 4 million Arabs in our country - hardworking, decent people who take active roles in their communities and schools and are law-abiding citizens. We must make a conscious choice about what kind of nation we aspire to be. We cannot rationally blame all Muslims for the acts of a deranged few.  

The cultural center is a good idea. It will promote understanding among the residents of downtown New York, which will hopefully have a ripple effect into the rest of the nation.  We need more, not less, peaceful interaction with people of the Muslim faith in America.  

From an international standpoint, the Muslim community center will send a message that America is not in conflict with the Muslim world.  And it will dispel fears of Arab-Americans and Muslim Americans that their own government somehow distrusts them.

Is the cultural center inappropriate?  Hardly.  Very appropriate, in fact.

Too soon?  Not at all.  Perhaps it is not soon enough.

(Thanks to 9/11 victim's family members Bruce Wallace, Talat Hamdani and Adele Welty for their contributions to this piece.  Find more on this topic at

Originally posted to Nancy Meyer on Wed May 19, 2010 at 06:17 AM PDT.


Did this post help inform your understanding about the community center?

50%5 votes
20%2 votes
30%3 votes

| 10 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site