Islamic center planned near Ground Zero

December 09, 2009 10:02AM

At 45 Park Place, the former Burlington Coat Factory space destroyed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a Muslim group gathers for prayer every Friday afternoon. The gathering is a preliminary sign of the group’s plans to create a larger Islamic culture center there that it hopes will send “the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11” and “push back against the extremists,” according to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric in charge of the project and a leader at the Al Farah mosque at 245 West Broadway. The group bought the building in July, and while its plans are preliminary, city officials and local non-profit organizations have expressed their support. Lynn Rasic, a spokesperson for the National September 11 Museum and Memorial, a non-profit overseeing the reconstruction of the World Trade Center site, said, “The idea of a cultural center that strengthens ties between Muslims and people of all faiths and backgrounds is positive.”


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