Look at beautiful Park51 (neither a mosque nor at Ground 0)
Ed Pilkington writes in the Guardian:
In fact, the proposed scheme for the much-slated “Ground Zero mosque” is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero – it is a multifaith community centre with an Islamic prayer area, two blocks north of the site where the twin towers once stood. Now, conceptual drawings of the building have been released, revealing a planned structure that is strikingly modern and in keeping with the spirit of New York’s most cutting-edge design.
. . .
Contrary to the mass of bad publicity that has been heaped on it in recent weeks, the building is designed to be multifaith and also secular.
Sharif el-Gamal, the developer of the $120m (£76m) project, told Associated Press that nearly a quarter of its space would be devoted to a sports and fitness centre, which, it is hoped, would attract New York residents of any faith and ethnicity for a fee of up to $2,700 a year per family. Another floor would be given over to a playground and childcare area.
In addition, there would be a restaurant and exhibition space, and on the 12th floor a memorial and sanctuary remembering the events of 11 September 2001 that would again be multidenominational.
. . .
Equally, at least four floors of Park51 are to be given over to a gym and spa, and only two basement floors to a Muslim prayer hall. With a restaurant, artists’ studios and a childcare centre, this $140m building clad in an abstract play of Islamic patterns could hardly be less militantly hardcore.
The Park51 Web site explains that the architectural renderings were “prepared by our Architectural Design consultants SOMA Architects. These new images display an updated exterior and provide a first look into Park51’s interior and lend some insight on how we’re envisioning the project.”
Only the most absurdly strained view of the Park51 as made visible now can be made to support objections by the Southern Baptist Convention’s Richard Land and others to its construction.
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