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Cordoba Community Center: A Conversation with Daisy Khan

August 26, 2010

Yesterday, I participated in a conference call with Daisy Khan about the controversy in the news over the so-called “Mosque at Ground Zero.”

The conference call was hosted by The Council on Foreign Relations in New York City.  You can listen to an audio recording of the conversation at www.cfr.org where you then click on the audio item “Daisy Khan on the NYC Community Center.”


Daisy Khan is Executive Director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a non-profit organization dedicated to developing an American Muslim identity and to building bridges between the Muslim community and general public through dialogues in faith, identity, culture, and arts.

Daisy’s centered, calm, and thoughtful remarks and responses to questions bring clarity and hope to the public ranting about the misnamed “Mosque at Ground Zero.”  As  you know, the proposed Cordoba Community Center is neither a mosque nor is it at ground zero.  (I hasten to add, from my view point, were it a mosque and were it at the 9-11 Ground Zero — which it is neither — I would still say build it to build a stronger America.)

Daisy explained that the proposed Cordoba Community Center would be in a neighborhood where that American Muslim congregation has been for nearly thirty years.  Their neighbors want the Community Center to be built.  The Center would not be a mosque but would be more like a Y (formerly YMCA) or a Jewish Community Center.  It would have a prayer room, plus classrooms, swimming pool, gynasium, art workshop, meeting rooms, and a performing arts area.  Interestingly, the governing board is composed of an interfaith membership, including Muslims, Christians, Jews, and others.  Why an interfaith board?  The leadership is committed to religious pluralism, to building bridges between communities, and to upholding American values for diversity.

You can learn more about the Cordoba Community Center and get acquainted with the Cordoba Initiative by visiting its website www.cordobainitiative.org –  JV

One Comment
  1. Mark Grantham permalink
    October 26, 2010 10:23 am

    I welcome the Community Center, just as I welcome a new Synagogue or a new Catholic Church. We all have a right to worship as we see fit! Perhaps if the people who feel the need to scream, would be quiet and listen, they will learn something!
    There is a reason this Community Center is planned there, the reason might not be apparent soon, but it will eventually appear! The reason, in my opinion, is reconciliation ! All faiths have extremists in them, we need to pray for these people!
    The children of NYC do not have enough pools to swim in, schools to learn in, places to feel safe in, places to worship in, this Community Center is catering to this need! Everyone has a reason for their belief, I hope this belief is based on sound judgement and not emotion!

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