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Muslims In Manhattan Need A Place To Pray

From al-Reuters:

(Click to enlarge)

Muslims in Manhattan say they need a place to pray

By Daniel Trotta Daniel Trotta Wed Aug 18, 2010

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Muslims in lower Manhattan who have prayed in a crowded basement or in the streets say they are not looking for confrontation with opponents of a new mosque. They simply need the space.

Some New Yorkers traumatized by the September 11, 2001 attacks have emotionally opposed a proposed Muslim community center and mosque two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center

You see, all of the objections to building this mosque is based upon emotional hysteria. It is irrational. (By the way, note that even al-Reuters is not pretending that this will not be a mosque.)

Republican politicians seeking to wrest control of Congress from Democrats in November elections have seized on the issue.

And all of this irrational fear is being whipped up by the evil Republican office-seekers.

The controversy has sucked in President Barack Obama and stirred debate about the meaning of religious freedom in a nation founded in part on that principle

A “debate” that is entirely the fantasy of our professional left media, since no one in their right mind is questioning anyone’s freedom of religion. (Though it is amusing to see the media and the rest of the radical left, like the ACLU, suddenly discover this freedom.)

Competing rallies for and against the Muslim project are planned to mark this year’s ninth anniversary of the attacks.

Stuck in the middle are Muslims who work in downtown Manhattan and need a place for daily prayers.

"You know how many Muslims are in this area? On Friday the street used to be packed, and we had a pass from the police to block the streets," said Saad Madaha, 32, a consultant originally from Ghana who prays at Masjid Manhattan in a narrow basement beneath a night club.

"I would like to see a mosque that looks more like a mosque. I would like to go and pray and have full concentration in my prayers and not have music bashing me in my head."

We would like a pony. By this logic, everywhere there are Muslims there would have to be a handy mosque, since they pray so often.

The Masjid Manhattan, one of two mosques in the area, is four blocks from the World Trade Center but has gone largely unnoticed.

They have not gone unnoticed by us. As we have oft noted, the other mosque, the Masjid al-Farah, is run by Imam Feisal Abdul al-Rauf himself.

A door with a modest sign "MASJID" — Arabic for mosque — leads from the sidewalk to the prayer space below.

The proposed Cordoba House, which has won local government approval, would not look like a traditional mosque either. The 13-story glass and steel tower would have straight lines, 90 degree angles and no crescent moon and star on the facade.

Not right away, anyway. And what difference does it make what it looks like?

Modeled after a typical Young Men’s Christian Association (YMCA) facility, it would include an auditorium, swimming pool and meeting rooms in addition to a prayer space

Except that YMCAs are ‘interfaith centers’ and this mosques will most certainly not be. But who’s counting?

Peter Awn, a professor of Islamic religion at Columbia University, said a study he was part of found Muslims in New York rarely worshiped in their neighborhoods.

Downtown Manhattan suits their needs because it is well connected by public transportation and has a large concentration of jobs, for example, in the Wall Street area.

"The downtown place is perfect because it would be a hub for people in Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and if you work downtown it’s a great place to pop in for noon prayers if you are observant," Awn said.

Actually, the area around the former World Trade Center is a transportation nightmare because so many streets have been closed off thanks to the 9/11 attack and subsequent security measures. And who do we have to thank for that?

Besides, if there are so many Muslims in Wall Street area, why are they always trying to blow it up?

And for the record, there are plenty of Mosques in New York City and specifically Manhattan. From the archives of Columbia University’s Columbia News:

SIPA Conference Discusses New York City’s Growing Muslim Population

By Abigail Beshkin
May 03, 2001

Before 1970 there were fewer than ten mosques in New York City—now there are well over a hundred, indicating the rapid growth of New York City’s Muslim population.

This was one of the findings released April 30 by researchers from the Muslim Communities in New York City Project, which held a day-long conference at the School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA) to present their results. The Muslim Communities in New York City Project is the most extensive research ever undertaken on New York’s Muslim communities. Funded by a grant from the Ford Foundation, researchers spent three years canvassing all five boroughs, mapping the areas where Islamic communities are centered and conducting focus-group research with the community members.

The group presented the results of the mapping research. One of the larger concentrations of Muslims is in the Bay Ridge neighborhood in Brooklyn, with other major centers in Crown Heights and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods in Brooklyn. The group found 28 mosques in Queens, 27 in Brooklyn, 20 in the Bronx, 17 in Manhattan and eight in Staten Island; however, all participants said they thought they had underestimated the number of mosques, because worshippers often set up small mosques in their apartments that are not visible from the street.

The mapping was undertaken between 1998 and 1999, when a research team of graduate students canvassed nearly every neighborhood in the city’s five boroughs to record the location of mosques, Muslim-owned stores, professional offices, and service and cultural centers. They then built a database and generated maps to assess Muslims’ visibility in the city. These detailed maps were shown for the first time on April 30…

Mind you, these last numbers are more than ten years old.

The number of mosques in New York has (perversely) skyrocketed since 9/11.

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, August 19th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

7 Responses to “Muslims In Manhattan Need A Place To Pray”

  1. canary says:

    NYC Americans should look into Israel’s safety measures.

    Israel News: Israel’s ‘Judgment Day’ shelters
    by Ofer Petersburg 08-18-2010

    “The State of Israel is preparing to build additional large underground spaces which would be able to absorb tens of thousands of people and protect them from non-conventional weapons for a long period of time,” Major-General Ronny Seri, head of the Home Front Command’s fortification department told Yedioth Ahronoth on Tuesday.

    Construction sped up

    The Home Front Command is still searching for additional places which could be used as shelters against non-conventional weapons.

    …include huge underground halls which will be able to take in tens of thousands of people.


  2. NoNeoCommies says:

    Give them the first five floors of the UN building.
    They already have undue influence there, so ti won’t change things (except for maybe making the representatives a little nervous).

  3. Liberals Demise says:

    I’ll be your huckleberry………..
    Take your sick, twisted, inhumane religion and go back to the hovel, shiite hole that bore you for….. your call to prayer.

    While our gubamint shields and covets islam, it turns a blind eye to Christian freedoms.
    This makes my blood boil to the point that…………….

  4. beautyofreason says:

    The statement that Muslims need a place to pray is perhaps one of the most baseless in the debate.

    If all they want is a prayer room, why the opening date of September 11th? As close to the two towers as the owners can buy? And why does it have to be the largest Islamic site in the Western hemisphere – given all of the above?

    I’ve been to the area. There are some Muslims around on some days (as in veiled women), but not a ton. Most live in Queens and the outer boroughs because rent in Tribeca for a one bedroom is at least $2,500 dollars in most apartment buildings.

    You think a group trying to acclimate itself to Western culture would have the decency to create a prayer room instead of a dog mark.

  5. wardmama4 says:

    Reading this article why does the air somehow suddenly smell of Sharia Law being imposed upon NYC? “Have to have a place to pray” If you are a good muslim, shouldn’t you live and work near a mosque – not force the building of mosque to accommodate you? And why now? Why all of a sudden – has this ‘need’ suddenly appeared?

    No not at all, not ever. No mosque – move. It’s just that simple – inconvenience yourself – do not force America to accommodate you – most especially at this particular spot which has such meaning because 19 radical terrorists who happened to be muslim – MADE IT SO

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