The Ground Zero mosque that was there before Ground Zero

Masjid Manhattan wants to keep a low profile — which is understandable. At the top of their home page is a bold disclaimer:

Please be advised that we are by no means affiliated with any other organization trying to build anything new in the area of downtown Manhattan.

That blanket disclaimer is their way of distancing themselves from the controversial Park51 project (aka Cordoba House, aka the Ground Zero mosque).

It’s sad that Masjid Manhattan feels the need to do this when it could reasonably describe itself as the Ground Zero mosque that was there before Ground Zero.

If two blocks away from the site of the World Trade Center can be described as “at Ground Zero” then so can three blocks away.

Do those who now object to the construction of a new Islamic center also favor that the existing mosque be removed?

In all likelihood, most Americans who object to Park51 don’t even know that there is already a mosque nearby — one that opened the same year as the World Trade Center and now lacks sufficient space for all those Muslims living and working in the area who wish to gather for prayer. Neither would they know that one of the staunchest defenders of the project is the Jewish Congressman who represents the district, Jerry Nadler.

Unlike the rest of the Democrats in the New York congressional delegation, who have said as little as possible about the issue, Nadler has unabashedly supported the congregation’s right to build the mosque.

“It’s only a slap in the face if you think that the people in the congregation are responsible for al-Qaeda,” Nadler said as he sat in his office, where outdated posters, some featuring the Twin Towers, hung on the wall.

A staunch defender of Israel, Nadler said that it is logical that he is fighting for the rights of a Muslim congregation that he said he might very well vehemently disagree with. “Jews, of all people, should know that we have to support religious liberty,” he said. “Because if you can block a mosque, you can block a synagogue.”

And lest there be any doubt that the current controversy has been fomented by political opportunists, Frank Rich notes:

We owe thanks to Justin Elliott of Salon for the single most revealing account of this controversy’s evolution. He reports that there was zero reaction to the “ground zero mosque” from the front-line right or anyone else except marginal bloggers when The Times first reported on the Park51 plans in a lengthy front-page article on Dec. 9, 2009. The sole exception came some two weeks later at Fox News, where Laura Ingraham, filling in on “The O’Reilly Factor,” interviewed Daisy Khan, the wife of the project’s organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Ingraham gave the plans her blessing. “I can’t find many people who really have a problem with it,” she said. “I like what you’re trying to do.”

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Comments

  1. i totally disagree with the mosque being built in that area, if you want to build
    a shrine, why not build one for all religions to come together and pray for our countries to be at peace.

  2. How about building a community center that will provide a place where individuals, regardless of their culture or background, will find a place of learning, arts and culture, and, most importantly, a community center guided by the universal values of all religions in their truest form – peace, compassion, generosity, and respect for all.

    Sounds good? Then support the Park51 project. That’s their description of what they intend to build.
    http://www.cordobainitiative.org/?q=content/frequently-asked-questions

  3. Nell, that should be put on the Ground Zero site, not on private property. How are you advocating anything different that redlining that Blacks experienced in the 60’s. “Sure, you can buy that house, but we don’t want niggers in our neighborhood” Why not call them “sand niggers” and complete the circle of bigotry.

    It’s really ironic that conservative who so embrace the Constitution are now full of contempt for the First, and Fourteenth Amendments, and the principle of private property rights. Assalam Alikum, inshahallah you will find wisdom and the ability to have compassion for even your enemies, as Jesus and Mohammad taught us.

  4. Nell —evidently you need community support/assistance to help you with your obvious READING difficulties. Your complaint makes no sense right below the article which explains that the Park51’s neighboring mosque called “Masjid” Manhattan was on site and opened the year that WTC opened. About 30 yrs ago. Cordoba Initiative most certainly could offer literacy classes….thanks to Paul who re-iterated Project’s mission …and to Scott who re clarified the clarification for Nell. sigh. waaleikum salaam.

  5. CORRECTION…….Masjid Manhattan has been on that site for more than 40 years.!

  6. DE Teodoru says

    Would anyone deny Jews the right to build a synagogue in Norfolk Virginia because that’s the homeport of the USS LIBERTY, the US Navy ship the Israelis attacked, slaughtering its crew, even though it was clearly identified as an American ship? Let’s never forget that WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND!! Hate campaigns will ALWAYS bite back!!!

    Yet anti-democratic Zionist right types running NY POST started this whole campaign. Neocons can be identified, if left long enough to speak uninterupted, by their racism, bigotry, hate of Muslims and attempt to dominate America. I REPEAT: The whole mosque at ground zero broohaha is part of a campaign to turn right wing whites against “schwartza” Obama and Muslims in service of their “World War IV” on Islam. Now that the Christian right is coming apart, neocons are going for right wing extremists as a Zionist base. Hate of Muslims is their Leninoid “vehicle” to mobilize “lumpen proletrarians.” Like a tiger, an old Leninist’s stripes never change. It’s timer for American Jews to tell the neocons to go to Hell and Foxman to find himself a nice sanatiorium in Florida where he can calm down in retirement.

  7. Thank you George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, and all the rest of that gang. You are responsible for doing what Al Qaeda could only dream about. “O” is doing the same thing. This gang of the past & the present have put the ugliest face on America towards the World to view. Give credit where credit is due. “O” has to share in this, because he has allowed the bigotry to flourish since his election. The Politicians who back such bigotry are traitors to the constitution. I agree with Mr Teodoru about the American Jews to speak up. Yet, it will be the American public who will suffer the blame for the Government’s lack of action to quell this B.S. Where has any call by the Administration been about the distance between ground “Zero” & where the Mosque is to be built? This isn’t average town U.S.A. It’s New York City, which isn’t a quick walk in the park between the distance of the two. It’s a sad time in America, for it seems that Bigotry rears its ugly head at the drop of a pin. The crowd mentality is astounding. But, realize that this is part of the cover up for what really is taking place behind the scenes. Sight has been lost as to what’s taking place. Time America opens its eyes to how they are being taken.

  8. At this day of age, every American and/or non-American who has read a little knows well that Al-Qaeda was a Made In USA organization who fought our war with the Soviet Union in the same Afghanistan we’ve been trying to invade. The same Al-Qaeda that is butchering no other than Muslims in Iraq, Lebanon and elsewhere. Having said that, that is not the point I want to make in here, but a mare reminder.

    I’ve been growing up in a house of ancestries most baring the American flag on their hearts and shoulders. My grand-fathers, my father, my uncles and cousins all fought wars from WWII to Korea, Vietnam, Iraq… So I’ve been growing up knowing well my country’s real enemy. The Soviet Union (today’s Russia), communist China, North Korea are all still there and threatening. And if anyone does have the common sense to look at the world map, you’ll find that Islamic Nations are actually the first line of defense for our Constitution and democracy. More proof? Name me one Islamic Nation that has been/is today communist. Read my friends, read… The first and natural enemy of communism is Islam… And you want us to do what? Create a new enemy called Islam? I don’t think so. It’s time that Judaism, Christianity and Islam gather against the others… Others, meaning the ones who doesn’t believe in the one and same God. And if you add the numbers of all the above mentioned religions; you’ll agree that the Party Of The One God on earth is losing. I say, let them build a Mosque, let us build a Church and let the Jews build a Synagogue right next. This is what America is all about, let’s not walk over our own old great Constitution just for the haters few. Yes to freedom of religions.