Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque proposed near Ground Zero receives international attention. Proposed new structure known as Park51 is planned to be built two blocks from the main World Trade Center area and just one block from already standing new 7 WTC. Currently existing building at 45-51 Park Pl. was partially damaged in the September 11 attacks by the landing gear from the second plane that hit WTC.
Opponents are concerned that close proximity of the mosque offends families of nearly 3,000 people killed on September 11, 2001. New building would not be visible from the Ground Zero site, but controversy is growing. Despite the well-known religious freedom in the USA, many Americans closely link Islam with terrorism. Problem is complicated by the fact that most terrorist attacks around the world and in the United States are carried out by Muslims. Incidents like failed Times Square car bombing on May 1st, 2010 do not help to improve an image of Islam. August 2010 polls show that 61% Americans are against the mosque near Ground Zero and only 26% are in favor*. The whole debate regarding future of Park51 sends a wrong message and is damaging an image of America as country of religious tolerance.
* source: TIME magazine, August 30, 2010
The building of previously criticized the Islamic Cultural Center near WTC has not change a bit and lost the public attention. Over last years it has opened its doors to all New Yorkers. The center welcomes everyone who wants to experience arts and culture, explore spirituality and strengthen their bodies. Park51 advertises itself as open to all people for interfaith workshops, films and lectures.
Next gallery: Former WTC Site