The "30 Mosques" guys visit "The Ground Zero Mosque"

Former Boing Boing guestbloggers Bassam and Aman (who've been working on a documentary film in Pakistan) hit the road for Ramadan, on a new "30 Mosques in 30 Days" trip around the United States. First stop, the so-called "ground zero mosque" in New York City:

Dude, it's just a mosque.

Bassam and I walked into Park 51, the site of the so called "Ground Zero Mosque," expecting to feel transformed, knowing the fact that I was praying inside the place that's practically been mentioned in the news every 20 minutes.

But all it felt like - was praying inside a mosque.

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  1. Just a mosque, just a church, just a synagogue, just a mandir, just a shrine, just a temple, just a henge, just a painted rock….

  2. There’s actually been question of whether it’s even a mosque. It might be more appropriate to say “It’s just a Muslim community center”.

  3. Personally I’m offended whenever they build a Catholic Church near a school.

    But to many shoppers of Burlington Coat Factory, it truly was hallowed ground to them…and this Community Center is a desecration to every American who cares about a large assortment of current, high-quality, designer and name-brand merchandise at up to 60% less than other department stores. Choose from a large selection of coats, clothing, and shoes for the entire family. And don’t forget our great assortment of linens and home décor, PLUS everything you need for baby, from baby bottles to cribs! Burlington Coat Factory — a convenient one-stop shopping experience with the labels you love, at prices you’ll love even more!

    Think of the children…and their outerware needs!

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/08/11/stewart-takes-on-ground-z_n_678224.html

        1. But we don’t want reciprocity with Saudi Arabia. That would bring us down to the level of scum. We’re supposed to be better than them.

    1. Sojac,

      You’ve been consistently sub-pontine lately. If you want to stop sniping and go back to participating in discussions, let me know.

    2. Notary Sojac, I’m not a muslim and that’s a mean-spirited and irrelevant comment. These guys don’t live in Saudi Arabia, they are Americans living in America. There is separation of religion and the state here thanks to the founding fathers. That’s why WE ARE ALL here: freedom and opportunity! The pilgrims came because there was not enough freedom in Christian England, and there was lots of land to settle. There are muslims who leave muslim countries and become americans for the same reasons. And apologizes to our native americans citizens who are the only ones who were here to begin with. If you’re proud of America then be proud of that americans (these guys) can practice their faith in freedom, why diss their faith by association?

  4. It looks like the building is operating mainly as a mosque now, and the community center facilities haven’t been finished yet. If anyone knows more about this, feel free to correct or elaborate!

  5. I thought this was genius last year, and this is even more so. I look forward to reading this as the month goes along!

  6. Great

    I guess the “Christian Summer Camp Tour” posting is next?

    Sigh…I just can’t figure out why a bunch of sexist people kneeling and talking to themselves warrants attention?

    1. Way to make sweeping generalizations, bub.

      Maybe when people quit with the raging bigotry regarding all things Muslim (here I’m refering to all the protesting and whatnot, not your comment), then such posts won’t be of interest. There’s a huge, HUGE about of ignorance regarding Islam and Muslims festering. As much as Americans have proven time and again we love being ignorant doofuses, there’s merit in making posts such as this to enlighten the few who aren’t hell-bent on believing whatever they feel like.

    2. I guess the “Christian Summer Camp Tour” posting is next?

      Furthermore, I demand that every post having to do with gay rights is balanced by one post about straight people and every mention of steampunk is accompanied with an example of sensible postwar modernism.

    3. Oh come on, don’t you get it yet? Sexist and intolerant subcultures, as long as they are despised by the Palin/Teabag/Militia types, are guests of honor amongst snarkular humanists. (I come here for the links to pop culture tidbits — certainly not for any principled or coherent postings on politics or religion… )

      1. That’s a diverse group of over a billion people you’re calling a “sexist and intolerant subculture.”

      2. (I come here for the links to pop culture tidbits — certainly not for any principled or coherent postings on politics or religion… )

        And yet you feel compelled to comment on them anyway.

        1. Well, don’t know if I feel compelled to comment… but I did comment, true enough. I think you’re trying to make a point, but that even you aren’t quite sure what that point is.

          1. The point is: you’ll have a happier time on the internet if you just skip over the stuff that doesn’t interest you.

          2. I’m quite happy reading opinions that I disagree with, and also happy to state my opinions when I feel like it. My guess is that you’re the one who finds such abrasive things disagreeable…

          3. “That you find it stupid that I find the need to call this stupid is frankly stupid, but it’s not stupid for me to point out that stupidity.”

            He already mated you three moves ago, sir. The game is over.

          4. That’s fine as long as you’re not joining agates in his earlier “why does this blog have posts about X but not about Y” rant.

    4. didn’t the prop 8 supporters just trot out an argument about the need for marriage to protect all the poor little women? oh yes, they did:

      Sam Schulman, writing in the Christian Science Monitor rests his opposition to Judge Walker’s decision on the need to protect women:

      “What protects women, ultimately, is that marriage laws and customs confer upon her independence something extra — dignity, protection, sacredness — that others must respect. And if this quality can be bestowed upon anyone, even those not in intersexual relationships — it reduces, even dissolves its force… We are merely voicing a sensible desire to preserve an institution that recognizes and protects the special status of women. If marriage becomes a legislative courtesy available to everyone, like a key to the city, it will be women who will lose.”

      https://secure.deseretnews.com/article/700055364/Proposition-8-overturned-Responses-from-other-dissenters.html

    5. Sigh…I just can’t figure out why a bunch of sexist people kneeling and talking to themselves warrants attention?

      I couldn’t agree more. DESTROY CAPITOL HILL!

    1. Which one?

      Personally, I can think of several imperialistic religions that could doom us. Maybe I’m just more creative.

    2. Just like Muslims in Malaysia and Indonesia doom the predominantly non-Muslim Singapore? Oh, wait, they don’t. Outside of trade squabbles, they get along just fine.

      Try having some actual understanding of real world Islam, rather than the bullspit you read on right wing hate sites.

    3. Goddam Middle Eastern religious fanatics who come to civilization and impose their barbaric ideas on our enlightened culture. And goddam Emperor Constantine for letting them in. The next thing you know they’ll be converting our basilicas and building churches where our brave soldiers have died so many times to protect the Temple of Iuppiter Optimus Maximus.

        1. Gay sex and nudity and acceptance of new gods aside, Western civilization used to lie on couches while eating dinner. We’ve really gone to hell.

  7. WAIT!!! Now I have a bit of a theological question! Now, apparently, some folks are excluded from the daily fasting — young children, pregnant women, nursing mothers, etc. If I’m not mistaken, this includes travelers… does this mean you guys won’t have to fast while going from state to state, or am I wrong on travelers not having to fast?

    1. I’d assume he’s taking traveling to mean 7th century desert trekking level shit, so this sort of thing doesn’t quite qualify. Or that just because he isn’t required to doesn’t mean he can’t, whatever.

  8. Way to make sweeping generalizations, bub.

    No, I am specifically responding to the article.

    “Turns out I was a moron trying to go through the women’s entrance and he went inside to see if there was a path where I could walk around to not disturb any of the women.”

    So this religion (or it’s practitioners), mandates a separation of women and men?

    Or do you think that delightful “separate but equal” chestnut applies here?

    You can view this example of sexism through a cultural filter, if helps you justify it, or call me all the names you like.

    But it still doesn’t make it not stink.

    1. To be honest, the separate women’s entrance didn’t exactly rub me the right way either. However, I’ve read a good bit about the Cordoba Initiative, and it does state that equality and empowerment of women is one of its goals, so I’m willing not to jump to too many conclusions.

    2. Guess you missed the comments on the article — the women’s entrance was added because there was so much traffic the place needed two entrances to avoid crowding. The initial entrance was on the side of the room that men pray on, so they added a second one on the other side of the room, where the women pray (and it’s just one room, not separate rooms).

  9. didn’t the prop 8 supporters just trot out an argument about the need for marriage to protect all the poor little women? oh yes, they did:

    Hi Sum Zero

    They sure did. So..?

    If your, in any way, insinuating that I believe that Christians (or let’s clarify here, ANY faith based religion) are not sexist, well then your making an assumption based on no evidence.

    1. if you feel equally negatively about all religions why single out just the one for condemnation in your comments:

      “So this religion (or it’s practitioners), mandates a separation of women and men?

      Or do you think that delightful “separate but equal” chestnut applies here?

      You can view this example of sexism through a cultural filter, if helps you justify it, or call me all the names you like.

      But it still doesn’t make it not stink.”

  10. That’s fine as long as you’re not joining agates in his earlier “why does this blog have posts about X but not about Y” rant.

    Sorry, your wrong. I was just complaining about X. Not Y.

    And I’ve never known any of the Boing Boing writers to care if someone criticizes the validity or interest of a posting.

  11. I’ve actually always kind of thought that, like hospitals and college campuses, any large skyscraper should logically include small mosques/chapels/etc for convenience, the same way they might have cafeterias or a postal area. So I’m always surprised by the furor over the ground zero mosque being near ground zero when really, there should be one *inside* whatever is the new building that eventually gets built.

  12. Why can’t they just plant a great big bloody park in the place.
    Lovely, Great for the city.
    Everybody happy.

  13. arguements defending this project always beg the question.

    Just because its a non-mosque opposed largely by prejudiced individuals and grandstanding politicians doesn’t mean that it isn’t in bad taste.

    Which it is.

    Lets build a center to explore moderate American imperialism on the site of the battle of little bighorn. Or to moderated Catholicism next to a center that treats the victims of child molestation.

    Hey guys, some Muslim fellows perped a terrible act right up the block. Maybe you can kick off the moderation PR over in jersey and work your way over to the sight of a horrendous crime done in the name of your religion.

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