Copyright © 2003-2011, Aishah Schwartz. Permission granted to circulate among private individuals, groups, or in not-for-profit publications in full text and subject title. All other rights reserved.

August 19, 2010

Park 51/'Ground Zero Mosque' - The Crux of the Matter

Bottom line? Business as usual; it's all about the money.

As an American Muslim citizen and activist, I wholeheartedly agree with and do not deny the right of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) and the Cordoba Initiative, who purchased the building at 51 Park Ave. for a reported $4.85M, to do with it as they like; in accordance with applicable laws.

However, given that it was known that this building was grazed by one of the jet liners that crashed into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001, and that the information - being the potent symbolism that 'became a compelling rationale for the project' - was insufficient to cause the organizers to re-evaluate the choice of location for their Islamic cultural center and mosque, further substantiates the confrontational nature of the choice made when purchasing the property. 

The estimated cost of constructing the 13-story project is reported to be upwards of $100M. What better way to garner support from donors than to incite them into contributing monetarily to the project by choosing a site that would inevitably become controversial - politically or otherwise - leading ultimately to mainstream media attention. Ka-ching. Free advertising.

At what cost?

Unnecessarily providing ammunition for the islamophobes citing constitutional rights violations; alienating survivors and family members who lost loved ones on 9/11; and contributing to the exacerbation of divisions that already exist in the Muslim community that the organizers purport the project is aimed at supporting?

What do you think was behind the President's comments about the wisdom in choosing 51 Park Avenue as the project's location? The writing was on the wall from day one. And the organizers knew it.

Bottom line? Business as usual; it's all about the money. And you can bet eyes will be watching to see where every penny of the $100M comes from.

MWA Director Commends New York Governor in Step Toward Compromise on Ground Zero Mosque

No Islamic Community Center at Ground Zero


Aishah Schwartz, an American Muslim revert to Islam since April 2002, is founder and director of the 2006 established Washington, D.C.-based Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) and a retired 17-year litigation legal assistant. She is also a published freelance non-fiction writer/journalist and internationally renown human rights activist with a focus on the rights of Muslim women and the plight of the Palestinian people affected by the Israeli imposed illegal embargo on Gaza.


  1. Now here's a deal! It has a whopping, don't miss conclusion!

    No Islamic Community Center at Ground Zero

  2. Check this: Some Muslims question mosque near ground zero