The Crescent Report

September 20, 2010

Muslim leaders meet in NY to push for ‘Ground Zero’ mosque, beat back anti-Islam bigotry

Filed under: From the Desk of Imam Mahdi Bray — Imam Mahdi Bray @ 4:02 pm

The American Muslim leadership is united in opposing religious intolerance and bigotry. Check out the piece below.

Imam Mahdi Bray

Quote of teh Day: “United we stand, divided we fall .”

Muslim leaders meet in NY to push for ‘Ground Zero’ mosque, beat back anti-Islam bigotry

Build the Ground Zero mosque, ASAP.
That’s the recommendation of a specially convened summit of local and national Muslim leaders, who expressed concern Monday over a wave of anti-Muslim bigotry that’s been unleashed by the planned construction of the Park51 mosque and community center two blocks from Ground Zero.
“We stand for the constitutional rights of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations,” Imam Al-Amin Latif, president of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, told reporters Monday outside the mosque site on Park Place.
It was the first time in 20 years the group had convened a special gathering of Muslim religious leaders from all over the country, said its executive director, Zaheer Uddin. The closed-door summit took place Sunday. The last time was to formulate a response to the Gulf War.
Latif and other Muslim clerics plan a nationwide “Week of Dialogue” Oct. 22 through 24, when they’ll hold open houses at their places of worship in a bid to ease tensions caused by the Park51 mosque plan.
“Ground Zero belongs to all Americans,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, recalling there were Muslim victims on 9/11 and Muslim first responders.
One cleric, who likened the backlash against the Park51 mosque to the bigotry that that civil rights icon Rosa Parks faced, rewrote a line from a Woody Guthrie song.
“This space is your space, this space is our space,” said Imam Mahdi Bray of the Muslim American Society said.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/09/20/2010-09-20_muslim_leaders_meet_in_ny_to_push_for_ground_zero_mosque_beat_back_wave_of_antii.html#ixzz106b9VRg4

Muslims: “Ground Zero Belongs to All Americans”

Mahdi Bray, Executive Director of the Muslim American Society's Freedom Foundation, left, talks with Imam Al-Amin Abdul Latif, president of the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York Islamic Leadership Council during a press availability at the National American Muslim Summit, Sunday, Sept. 19, 2010 in New York

(CBS/AP) A coalition of Muslim groups called Monday for interfaith dialogue to combat religious intolerance and said they support the right to build a controversial Islamic center near ground zero.

“We stand for the constitutional right of Muslims, and Americans of all faiths, to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations,” the Muslim leaders said in a statement delivered at the site of the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan, to be called Park51.

They called for a “week of dialogue” on the weekend of Oct. 22-24, during which Muslims would conduct open houses at their places of worship to help ease tensions.

“This might indeed be another teachable moment for America,” said Mahdi Bray, executive director of a Washington, D.C.-based group called Muslim American Society Freedom.

The Muslim leaders spoke after a daylong summit meeting Sunday at a hotel near Kennedy Airport.

Groups participating in the summit included the Islamic Society of North America, the Islamic Circle of North America, the Muslim Alliance of North America and the Council on American Islamic Relations.

The developers of the Islamic center did not attend the news conference, but speakers said they support the proposed center.

“Ground zero belongs to all Americans,” said Nihad Awad, national executive director of the Council on American Islamic Relations.

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