Source: The Wall Street Journal
Ground Zero is going to get a new neighbor: a mosque.
The project is driven in part by the needs of a growing Muslim population in Lower Manhattan. The nearest existing Islamic prayer space, the Tribeca Mosque, has been holding three evening prayer services on Fridays to keep up with demand.
“New immigrants coming to the area — you see a lot of people coming to Canal Street, a lot of street vendors and laborers,” says Daisy Kahn, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. “But also a lot of people in the financial community coming to prayers as well.”
When Kahn’s organization found a vacant property on Park Place, the former site of a Burlington Coat Factory that had been damaged by airplane debris on September 11, 2001, the potent symbolism of the site also became a compelling rationale for the project. “We decided we wanted to look at the legacy of 9/11 and do something positive,” she explained in an interview. Her group represents moderate Muslims who want “to reverse to trend of extremism and the kind of ideology that the extremists are spreading.”