I’ll be visiting family in New York for the next few weeks, and I plan to check out the progress at Ground Zero while I’m there — and the proposed site of Cordoba House, a Muslim community center and mosque a few blocks from the fallen towers.
Given the emotional debate over this proposal, I want to see for myself how far removed the site is from the actual Ground Zero, what people who live and work in the neighborhood have to say, and where other mosques and houses of worship are located with respect to the planned memorial. In other words, the facts rather than just the feelings, if those can be separated in this story.
(Full disclosure: I lived in Manhattan on 9/11; my husband saw the planes hit. I don’t have the words to describe the hours and days that followed, at least none as good how Jon Stewart put it on Sept. 20, 2001. But as a seen-a-lot native New Yorker and religion reporter, the concept of a mosque within walking distance of Ground Zero doesn’t automatically appall me the way it upsets Sarah Palin and the other vocal critics from across the country.)
Some links to recent coverage of this controversy:
- The case for and against the Ground Zero mosque (CNN)
- Ground Zero mosque good for America and New York (Stephen Prothero, CNN Belief Blog)
- Is a mosque at Ground Zero religious freedom too far? (Dallas Morning News)
- A mosque near Ground Zero (Parvez Ahmed, for The Huffington Post)
- Ground Zero Islamophobia (Mark Silk, for Beliefnet)
- What mosque at Ground Zero? Why all Americans have a stake in Cordoba House (Aziz Pounawalla, for Beliefnet)
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the Comments section below.