Group Protests Islamic Center to Be Built Near Ground Zero

Some people are calling it an outrage, others a “slap in the face.” But supporters of the proposed Cordoba House, to be built on the site of the old Burlington Coat Factory, two blocks from Ground Zero, insist that it will help to heal the wounds from 9/11 and promote dialogue between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Those who see all Muslims as terrorists and complicit in the attack on the World Trade Center feel threatened by the very idea of the Islamic center. Some (although not all) of the victims’ families have already stated that it will be a constant reminder of their losses (as if Ground Zero itself won’t forever remind them). And even those who aren’t against it on principle still wonder if it’s the most sensitive thing to do.

On Sunday, June 6th, the group, Stop Islamization of America, staged a protest of a few hundred people at the corner of Church and Liberty streets (no, I’m not kidding) where two Muslim groups, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, plan to build the 13-story center. Cordoba House would be an “insult to victims of 9/11 and establish a beachhead for political Islam,” the group said on its website, where it also estimates the size of the crowd at 5,000 to 10,000.

Pamela Geller, director of the group, says that “without Islam, 9/11 would not have happened.” You might as well say that the murders of abortion doctors, or the bombing of the Federal Building in Oklahoma City, would never have happened without Christianity.

The video below was also on the group’s website. I’m not sure why, because Geller clearly did not win the debate.

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Ellen

Editor and chief writer at I, Muslimah and Femagination. Ellen also contributes regularly to Elevate Difference. She is a freelance writer, essayist and copy editor, living with two cats and a husband in Columbus, OH.