Cordoba Community Center: A Conversation with Daisy Khan
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