Cordoba House, Ground Zero and the American Fear of Islam

On June 6 several organizations, such as Stop Islamization of America, Jihad Watch and the Tea Party movement, organized a demonstration in New York to protest the building of a cultural and community center called the Cordoba House, two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The center’s founder, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has said that one purpose of the Cordoba House is to “bridge and heal the divide between Muslims and other Americans.”

The resistance to building the Cordoba House has demonstrated the need for such a center, which can educate and inform Americans about Islam and show that Muslims are partners in building a prosperous and peaceful America. The protesters, however, were concerned that the center will be disrespectful to the lives lost on 9/11 and will fuel terrorism, a claim that not only incites tensions between the local Muslim and non-Muslim community, but distorts the image of Muslim Americans.


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