Last December, I wrote an article outlining the reasons for New York City to not allow the proposed construction of a Muslim Mosque and Cultural Center around the corner from Ground Zero. This project is spearheaded by two Muslim groups: The Cordoba Initiative, led by Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf and The American Society for Muslim Advancement, led by Daisy Khan who is Mrs. Rauf. The building to be called Cordoba House is slated to be 13 stories tall with a projected budget of 100 million dollars, obviously not coming from these two sponsoring organizations.
Daisy Khan has explained that “the time for a center like this has come because Islam is an American religion.” Last year, her husband said, “The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War 11 who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets.” The Imam offered no mention of the tens of millions of civilian victims of Axis Powers during that war nor any explanation for the millions of people killed worldwide in the name of Islam in the last twenty years, most specifically the 3,000 victims of 9/11 murdered in the name of Allah.
Rauf warned that no progress can be made in improving relations between Islam and the West until the US admits backing dictators and until our president apologizes to the entire Muslim world. He also advised that there was an unlimited supply of angry young Muslims prepared to die for their cause (while killing others) and this couldn’t end without fundamental change in the world.
Despite these provocative statements and attitudes, the chairman of the Financial District Committee (of Community Board 1), which met to vote on this last week, indicated that the only concern of the 15 members had to do with the aesthetics of the building and how this would fit with the surrounding architecture. “We very much need residential amenities (community centers) for the people who live here,” said chairman Edward Sheffe. (The latest census will tell us the size of the resident Muslim population in Tribeca) Sheffe also indicated that his committee was not authorized to approve or disapprove of a house of worship. No dissenters were present at this public meeting though a large protest rally hosted by the human rights group Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) is scheduled for June 6th at Ground Zero.
On May 5th, the fifteen members of the Financial District Committee of Community Board 1 voted unanimously and ignominiously to approve this project. Their names are: Edward Sheffe, Michael Skidmore, Susan Cole, Mariama James, Michael Ketring, Joel Kopel, Elizabeth Lamere, Bill Love, Megan McHugh, Catherine McVay Hughes, Patricia L. Moore, Chelsea-Lyn Rudder, Antonina Simeti, Rebecca Skinner and Elizabeth Williams.
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