Saturday, September 11, 2010

Near Ground Zero, mosque supporters gather to show their support

Washington Post
September 11, 2010

Hundreds of supporters of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero gathered Friday evening near the site in Lower Manhattan, where they lit candles, sang and prayed on the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The participants said they came to show solidarity with the plan to build the Park51 Islamic Center on Park Place, about two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The project has sparked fierce debate in recent weeks about whether it was appropriate to build such a facility so near the "hallowed ground" of the trade center's fallen twin towers, and it has prompted fears among some that anti-Islam sentiment is on the rise in the United States.

Organizers said they decided to hold the gathering a day before the Sept. 11 anniversary so that Saturday could remain a day of solemn mourning for those killed in the attacks nine years ago.