Controversial Ground Zero Mosque Site Opens–Just Two Weeks After 9/11 Anniversary

Daily Mail (London), September 19, 2011

The first part of Park51, the controversial Lower Manhattan Islamic community centre, is opening on Wednesday with an art exhibition featuring photographs of children.

Just a few blocks away from the site where the Twin Towers once stood, the exhibition marks Park51’s first big public event.

It comprises portraits of children from 169 countries who now live in New York and its opening coincides with the United Nations’ International Day of Peace.

Katerina Lucas, Park51’s chief of staff, said: ‘It is a huge step forward. I hope it shows we are about inclusion, not exclusion.’

When plans to build a high-rise Islamic institution were announced last year, critics angrily pointed out that it was insensitive to have the mosque so close to the site attacked by Islamic extremists.

There was heated opposition from various politicians and some families of 9/11 victims.

Pamela Geller, editor and publisher of a blog called Atlas Shrugs, has been one of the most vocal opponents of the project.

Miss Geller organized a protest of Park51 on the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and says she is appalled at the organisation’s decision to highlight the photographs of children.

She said in an email to CNN: ‘It is an obvious and cynical attempt to manipulate public opinion and divert attention away from the Islamic supremacist ties, shady financial dealings, and contradictory statements of the mosque organizers.’

There had been rumours that the project had been put on hold, but Park51’s photography exhibit shows it is quietly moving forward.

The project has rasied $70,000 raised in under two months via KickStarter.com, a funding platform for creative projects.

The developers, led by Park51 Chairman Sharif El-Gamal, have hired a staff of six and continue to hold Muslim prayers at the space just north of ground zero.

But they are not setting a timeline for construction.

In June, El-Gamal parted ways with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric who had been the public face of Park51, over a difference in vision.

Rauf is now focusing his energy on establishing a Muslim centre in Chautauqua, New York.

Park51’s planners say they are committed to their original Lower Manhattan location and are looking to raise $7 to $10 million in financing.

Miss Lucas said: ‘We have broken some ground, but there are still many hurdles.

She said the upcoming photography exhibition is about showcasing the diversity of New York City, which includes Muslims.

‘Islam is not about extremism,’ she said. ‘We can have a meaningful dialogue across religions.’

It’s a message shared by Danny Goldfield, the Brooklyn artist behind the exhibit.

He got the idea for his children-focused series while driving from Los Angeles to New York in 2003, right after the war in Iraq started.

El-Gamal said: ‘I met Danny Goldfield when Park51 was still a new idea. I said his photographs should be the first event at Park51.

‘I am proud to say the idea has been realized. Opening this incarnation of the community centre is a fantastic accomplishment.’

Mr Goldfield photographed children living in New York City’s five boroughs from countries all over the world.

While his pictures have been on display before, this is the first time he has shown them all at once.

The exhibition will be open for nearly three months.

More than 700 people have been invited to the opening.

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  • Ben

    “‘Islam is not about extremism,’ she said. ‘We can have a meaningful dialogue across religions.’”

    I wonder if she knows what the word “Islam” roughly translates into English from Arabic.

    It is always great to see the look on someone’s face when they don’t know.

    It is even better when the DO know and try to skirt around it.

  • Spartan24

    This is just another front by Muslims to become accepted when their real intention is to get a foot in the door to attempt a potential takeover. Muslims think that they are superior and destined to rule over everyone else and they will stop at nothing to do it. Anyone who says that criticizing Islam is “racist” has no idea what they are talking about or they are just using the most loaded word in the English language at this time. Liberals have this idea that Islam consists of mostly non-whites so they are “oppressed” while Christianity consists of mostly whites so they are the opressors. Get real. There is not only no Islamic “race” but Arab Muslims are about the most racist people alive.

  • Cid Campeador

    This definitely validates the sentiments of most White people as discussed in the first article. No one represents us.

    That mosque NEVER should have been built.

    We have become the biggest pansies in history.

    When is the Beth Israel Synagogue going to be completed in Mecca or in Riad?

  • June

    So…they won anyway. This is only the beginning. We saw what happened when we gave amnesty to 3 million. Now we have probably have 30 million. The Muslims got their ground zero mosque. What will they do next? This was just a delayed celebraton of 9/11. When will we ever learn?

  • Anonymous

    “(the art exhibit) comprises portraits of children from 169 countries who now live in New York”

    ‘Innocently’ implying that America belongs to every race, whites having no special status above the rest.

  • Gentile Whitey, targeted for extinction

    At least in the Hashemite Arab Mosque, you won’t have as many White Christians being told they “must do more” to integrate their churches as you do in White Churches, so maybe the Mosque is good for something.

    Whites must SACRIFICE MORE!

    http://goo.gl/z6uXX

    “It seems rather clear that white churches will stay white and black churches will stay black until there is a recommitment to the task of adhering to God’s will for reconciliation. It will call for some sacrifices and they generally need to be made by whites who benefit the most from the privilege of the system and who need to express their willingness to take the first steps to show that they understand the new agreement and its call to reconciliation.”

  • HH

    “Cid”

    Mecca and Riad don’t bill themselves as multicultural wonderlands, so why should they concern themselves with Synagogues, etc? Only us fools in the West allow Aliens to dictate what will be socially accpetable or not in our own lands! It has been this way for far longer than many seem to realize…

  • Istvan

    I may not know who won….blacks, muslims, hispanics, indians, asians…but I know who lost, Whites!

  • Anonymous

    New York City is the national headquarters of the anti White movement. After 9/11, while the rest of the nation mourned, wealthy New Yorkers created the falsehood that White American attacked innocent peaceful muslims.

    Wealthy New Yorkers scorned the rest of us for flying American

    flags. I’m sure there a few White New Yorkers who are not anti White racists, but New York is run by anti White White racists who have supported every anti White movement around since 1920.

    Let New York enjoy its muslim infiltration. The New York Times never met an anti American it didn’t love from Lenin on. That paper is on a campaign to prevent New York city, state and federal police forces and other agencies from monitoring dangerous muslims and muslim organizations in New York City.

    Next time the muslims blow up a piece of New York, I hope the police and fire fighters (who are despised by the NYC elites BTW)

    just stand around and watch.

    Hope the atheist liberals enjoy New York when Muslims run the city.

  • There is a Fifth Dimension …

    The only fitting reaction to this INSANITY is for Rod Serling to show up at the event and tell the truth: We are living in the last days, a real-life Twilight Zone.

    In the last days, they will call good evil, and they will call evil good. Furtive and nefarious foes have previously attacked The Boy Scouts, The American Flag, and our Founding Fathers. Expect Santa Claus and 4th of July picnics to get it next.

    Our nation HAS been invaded. Our schools have been invaded. Our highest political offices have been invaded. If it weren’t for the handful of sane websites, like this one, I would feel hopeless and alone. Instead, I feel most optimistic and very powerful.

    The only analogy to this invasion that makes sense to me is the cold-war paranoia sci-fi films like “Invasion of the Body Snatchers”. About the time that I first started reading (in 2005 or so) O’s name in all of the MSM, I got paranoid, and I would hear Rod Sterling’s voice. The term Obama-zombies came into vogue for a reason. Our MTV-watching young people looked like they were intoxicated by his presence, and we heard very large crowds in Europe hypnotically chant as this imposter skyrocketed into the White House.

    What is up?

    I’m convinced the poser dropped out of Occidental College in California thirty years ago where he attended as Barry Soetero, then spent time in Pakistan and who knows where else, then miraculously got into Columbia, then Harvard (which received 20 million bucks from Saudi Arabia for the favor). I think the birth certificate is an issue. And the bottom line is that a whole hell of a lot of money bought the O presidency because only a few powerful people own the MSM. And now we have a pathetic puppet in the White House, and Islam and diversity are good, but everything that makes up a Gary Cooper or John Wayne film is bad.

    To the Muslims who for decades have been moving in huge numbers to the Western, White, Judeo-Christian and Anglophonic nations like the U.S. and England and Canada and so on: A tree is known by its fruit. The immigration is all moving in one direction everywhere on this planet. You left your homes (as festive and as colorful and as creative and productive as they are) and moved to the lousy West. Why? Because, as Jim Morrison wrote, “The West is the best.” Life is better here with the universities and the supermarkets and the freedoms, freedoms, freedoms! Yeah, you can build a mosque (as sickeningly tasteless as that is) on what is to The People Who Built This Great Nation a Hallowed Spot. That act is indicative. So is your “diversity” celebration. Every AmRen reader knows what “diversity” means: It means that you audaciously step into our great house and tell us that the rules have changed and that all that is truly good about America is now suspect.

    I hope and trust that the Republicans are ready to FIGHT for their nation in 2012. We are, unarguably, in America in a precarious situation, and the liberal leftie lunatics want to cuddle up with the only religion that I have seen in recent months rape (CBS’s Lara Logan in Cairo) and plunder (the Israeli embassy in Cairo). Remember that O wrote before becoming president that if things “got ugly” he would “stand with the Muslims.”

    I heard a radio commentator boldly say the other day that “all arab/muslim nations are unhappy.” This is obvious to the world. And they want to import that unhappiness to America, and England, and Canada, and France, and Germany, and …

  • True Blue

    When my great grandfather immigrated here in 1902(his brother was turned back at Ellis Island and sent back to Sweden for TB or something) he had to sign a statement swearing loyalty to the United States and declaring that he no longer was a subject of any ‘foreign prince, power or potentate’. (From that day forward btw, Swedish was Never allowed to be spoken in his home ‘we are Americans now and not Swedes’ -he even stopped swearing in Swedish and did his cursing in Finn.)

    Yet this… person… calls himself by the title (not first name, but title) of Sharif. A Sharif is a political title, like Sultan or Khan -so already we can see that his loyalties and those of his followers are clearly Not American loyalties, but a thinly veiled (sorry about the pun, I couldn’t resist) attempt to transplant his alien culture into our nation.

    As for this pure hogwash about Islam being a religion of peace (despite the fact that it was founded by a thieving murdurer) history says otherwise. Islam (Scientology aside) is the youngest religion in the world, having been founded around 600AD, and has been marked with turbid violence ever since.

    The Crusades (which are now fashionable targets to bash, just as Christianity in general is) were campaigns to retake the lands Muslims had themselves taken through force, bloodshed, and religious conversion (voluntary or otherwise.)Now, thanks to the political trends in this country, they needn’t bother with the sword -they can simply move in on an area and effect a ‘demographic conquest’ either by growing into a majority or by trashing the area until everyone else moves out.

    Peaceful? Tolerant? In a Pig’s eye.

  • Old Soldier

    I was looking at a photo of Mount Rushmore and began to wonder in what year those faces would be dynamited into rubble like the Afghan Buddhas, and whether it would be done by Islamists or by Obamaniacs.

  • SKIP

    “I hope and trust that the Republicans are ready to FIGHT for their nation in 2012”

    Your hopes are destined to be dashed on the rocks of compromise. DEMOCRATS/REPUBLICANS, REPUBLICANS/DEMOCRATS!!! Totally interchangeable, no difference whatsoever except the Democrats seldom surrender, choosing to force a showdown on agenda and usually winning since the Republicans are surrender monkeys.

  • Anonymous

    anyone familiar with new york’s byzantine laws knows this could have been easily prevented – especially since the building razed was a landmark. (bloomberg, in that regard has been one of the most destructive mayors in NYC history. i hate his guts)

    But liberal new york was more interested in proving they are not racist. Ironically enough I have secular muslim friends- and all of them agreed that it was put there as a symbol of conquest and you’d be stupid to think otherwise…

  • Fer de Lance

    Wealthy New Yorkers scorned the rest of us for flying American

    flags. I’m sure there a few White New Yorkers who are not anti White racists, but New York is run by anti White White racists who have supported every anti White movement around since 1920.

    Amazing isn’t it? Wealthy, lefty New Yorkers welcome their VERY worst enemy, Muslims, because they’re more fearful of “terrorist” White Americans than they are of “peaceful” Islamics. These idiots insist on diluting our numbers through high nonwhite immigration because they feel safer around Muslims than they do around us Whites! WE are the bigger threat in their warped world view.

    They have NO IDEA that they will be the first ones expelled or eliminated when Muslims, through disparate birthrates and immigration, politically take over their living spaces and impose Sharia law. These “smarter-than-us” NY intellectuals were the same ones who supported the Soviet takeover of Russia and THAT didn’t turn out too well for them (or the Russians for that matter).

  • Anonymous

    “They (leftist NY elites) have NO IDEA that they will be the first ones expelled or eliminated when Muslims, through disparate birthrates and immigration, politically take over their living spaces and impose Sharia law.”

    Actually, confrontation at home is their plan.

    Long before Muslims pose a threat to the establishment, the elites will be ensconced in their gated communities, protected by Draconian laws and a beefed up security apparatus of white police and military.

    As long as they can keep white passions focused on a patriotic war, the financial oligarchy will be unobstructed to grow their power.

  • Anonymous

    Muslims are supposed to turn to Mecca when they pray, symbolizing their obedience to a geographic center in the Middle East.

    Their first official act of observance in the new mosque will be to turn their backs on white America.

  • Anonymous

    The day of 9/11, gutless, illiterate, asleep-at-the switch King George II should have mandated background checks for everyone who had even visted the mideast over the past 5 years before they could board a plane in the USA.

    I blame Bush for Obama’s election.

  • BannerRWB

    12-Old Soldier: “I was looking at a photo of Mount Rushmore and began to wonder in what year those faces would be dynamited into rubble like the Afghan Buddhas, and whether it would be done by Islamists or by Obamaniacs.” As an aside to this comment, the granite at Mount Rushmore will erode at a rate of only 1-inch every 10,000 years. Franklin Roosevelt once gave a speech at the monument, and said something to the effect that, God willing, we too would still be here in 10,000 years. Which, I far as I’m concerned, the “we” meant White Americans. It has been 70 years since Rushmore was completed; we’ll be lucky if we’re here another 200 years, much less 10,000. And whether it is Islamists, new-age Liberals, resurgent Mexicans or resurgent Native American Indians, I think it is a safe bet that Rushmore will go at about the same time that we are pushed to being a minority.

  • South African

    First of all, audi alter partum – what do the Mosque owners say to this?

    “When plans to build a high-rise Islamic institution were announced last year, critics angrily pointed out that it was insensitive to have the mosque so close to the site attacked by Islamic extremists’.

    The crux of the matter is the 9/11 whodunnit. If it was an inside job in order to discredit the Middle-East, then it was a very successful inside job.

    If it was a Middle-East job, then it was a slap at those that plan all the disruptions in the Middle-East.

    As I understand it, New York has a special symbolic meaning for the Middle-East countries, as being the HQ of those dynasties which control the USA, which in turn controls the Middle-East policy in favor of a single country slightly smaller than the State of Jersey, of which it is written by some analyst will be the core country from which the World Republic is to be managed, otherwise known as the New World Order.