Backstory: Park51 and Sharif El-Gamal

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Sharif El-Gamal, the developer of the Park51 project, talks about the passionate national debate that was sparked last year when the Islamic Community Center and mosque was proposed. Yesterday, Park51 opened its doors.

Frontline tells the story of Sharif El-Gamal and the story of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy. “The Man Behind the Mosque” airs Tuesday, September 27, at 9 pm on PBS.


Sharif El-Gamal
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Comments [8]

Henry from Manhattan

stuart from NYC
“The term 'victory mosque' is actually a reference to the Islamic practice throughout history of building mosques on the conquered sites of non-muslims.”

Actually, no. it isn’t.

Historically, religions have repurposed other religions places of worship, sometimes intentionally since religion and state was one and the same, but also because an existing nice worship space is an existing nice worship space. There’s little motivation to build a new structure when a perfectly good one exists and you just need to swap religious icons.

That was a good try at perpetuating bigoted nonsense though.

Sep. 22 2011 03:07 PM
Smokey from LES

There was an amazing story on All Things Considered 21 August, 2011, about the Heartsong Church outside Memphis. A new mosque down the street wasn't going to be completed before Ramadan, so the church invited the Muslims to come use their building.

How I wish this story had originated at any of the Christian churches in downtown Manhattan - or better yet, a synagogue!

Listen to a real "Christian" story:

Sep. 22 2011 02:17 PM
Amy from Manhattan

stuart: *most* religions build worship sites in the places they conquer--and generally in places where their believers live. This isn't specifically a Muslim practice, or always a sign of conquest.

Sep. 22 2011 02:14 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Wouldn't an Islamic JCC be an ICC? Or maybe an MCC--after all, the J in JCC means Jewish, not Judaic. I guess we're just lucky both of *our* adjectives start w/the same letter!

Anyway--mazel tov!

Sep. 22 2011 01:57 PM
stuart from NYC

The term 'victory mosque' is actually a reference to the Islamic practice throughout history of building mosques on the conquered sites of non-muslims. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is an example of this.

Could you please ask your guest to comment on this?

Sep. 22 2011 01:54 PM
RL from the bowery

Why not repurpose the current building and make it better instead of tearing it down? I could care less about the 911 religous stuff, but I can't get behind Park 51 as long as your are planning to tear down a wonderful nyc building.

Sep. 22 2011 01:52 PM
DarkSymbolist from NYC!

Oh opened and the country didn't die, the earth didn't open up and swallow us whole, we weren't smited by God....

wow...imagine that..

Sep. 22 2011 01:50 PM
Henry from Manhattan

Congratulations on opening Park51!

It’s a victory against the disgusting fear and bigotry displayed in opposition to it’s construction.

Sep. 22 2011 01:00 PM

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