Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Plans For Islamic Center Near Ground Zero Reveal Ironic Elements

Architectural renderings of the Islamic center near ground zero were recently revealed, including certain ironic elements:

Visitors to the upper floors of the Muslim community center planned for near ground zero would walk through lofty spaces — for art exhibitions, for contemplation and prayer, for programs on interreligious dialogue, for a 9/11 memorial — as sunlight streams through irregularly shaped windows between white crisscrossing beams.

...There would also be a 9/11 memorial and a space open to people of “all faiths and of no faith” for prayer, contemplation and meditation, Mr. Gamal said.

The space for Muslims would be in the basement. Technically, it would be a prayer hall known as a musalla, because its construction would not meet rules required to sanctify a mosque.

How do interreligious dialogue, a 9/11 memorial, and spaces for people of all or no faiths jibe with the center's being a "victory mosque"? Don't these elements interfere with the center's purpose as a "headquarters for terror"?

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