"The Cordoba House, within the framework of the Cordoba projects, began before 9/11."
He went on to explain: "There is a need for a cultural center, with an agenda that differs from what goes on in some of the mosques. Here in the U.S., we need to establish an Islamic-American community".There is widespread ignorance about Islam in the U.S. One of our goals is to make people understand what Islam is and who the Muslims are. Islam is a religion that loves tolerance and peace, and the people who carried out [9/11] were not... That action was not an Islamic action."
The question the protestors ask is that if the promoters of the project realize that Ground Zero is hallowed ground and are really cognizant of and sympathetic towards the feelings of the 9/11 victims, why not build the project a little further away, specially when the mayor of New York has offered to make another site available to them at an attractive price?
True that Ground Zero has become "hallowed ground". But to claim that the area surrounding it is also "hallowed" is a stretch, Much sacrilege can be found within two blocks of Ground Zero: a strip club called New York Dolls; an off-track betting parlor; a couple of fast-food joints, and at least one Irish pub -- all as close to Ground Zero as the proposed site of the future Islamic cultural center.