Ground Zero mosque moves forward slowly

The Ground Zero Mosque is moving forward, but more under the media spotlight it has received.

There will be no more imams as the public religious face of the project, and Sharif El-Gamal, the lead developer and Chairman of the 45-51 Park Place property says he has been trying to regroup and reach out to the community to get input into the final design.

According to El-Gamal, it will take years of hard work to determine what kind of facilities Muslim and non-Muslim visitors want and need.

Despite a NYTimes poll indicating residents want the project moved to a less controversial site, and the Anti-Defamation League opposing the project, the vision remains.

Park 51, the community centre portion of the project is designed to be open to all with an interfaith space.

PrayerSpace will be the mosque for Muslim prayer services.

Fund-raising for both projects are at their beginnings and being treated separately, however according to the NY Times the same people are managing both projects.

The proposed centre prompted furious protests in New York, and this despite the support from New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg and the White House’s ‘comment’ that it supported the constitutional right to religious freedom.

Muslim leaders have said that not only did they have a constitutional right to build but they would would also help move the forward, even in the face of opposition.

It was a matter of principle, the leaders said.

The centre should not budge from its planned site.

Opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque are not seeking to restrict Muslim-Americans’ right to build mosques.

The opponents are happy to respect others’ religious freedoms but strongly believe religious pluralism is a two-way street and with rights come responsibilities.



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