Muslim Community Center Rumbles Ground Zero in NYC

By Michelle Chen May 25, 2010

Nearly nine years after the Twin Towers collapsed, Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan is still smoldering. The public response to a proposal to build an Islamic center near the site has reignited the embers of anti-Muslim animosity. The right-wing blogosphere was apoplectic about plans to create a Muslim-oriented community center two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The Cordoba House, a project of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, which work to improve interfaith and community relations, would offer a prayer space alongside other public amenities like a performing arts center and fitness facilities. In an otherwise uncontroversial development plan, the political subtext is straightforward: any symbol of Islam is an affront to the victims of 9/11 and American values. Cue the wingnuts.