October 3rd, 2010
05:10 PM ET

First images of proposed NYC Islamic center

The group behind the proposed Islamic cultural center near New York's ground zero has released what it is calling the first official images of the center.

The website for the project, known as the Park51 Community Center, said that the "new images display an updated exterior and provide a first look into Park51’s interior and lend some insight on how we’re envisioning the project," in a post that went up Tuesday but that initially drew little notice.

Plans for the $100 million, 13-story center include a 500-seat auditorium, classrooms and conference rooms, space for social events, a 9/11 memorial, a pool and a gym.

Scores of Muslims are already using the Lower Manhattan site as a mosque.

The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.

The images of the project were produced by SOMA Architects, which Park51's website identifies as the project's architectural design consultants.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • Muslim • New York • United States

soundoff (781 Responses)
  1. G.M.G.

    Wow, there is an amazing number of Stars of David in that facade. Very interesting, to say the least.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:32 am |
  2. Liberal4Obama

    Looks better than the FOX News building

    October 4, 2010 at 9:24 am |
  3. Igor Kanin

    Muslims love talking about the Crusades... and Christians love apologizing for them. To hear both parties tell the story, one would believe that Muslims were just peacefully minding their own business in lands that were legitimately Muslim, when Christian armies decided to wage holy war and kill millions.Every part of this myth is a lie. By the rules that Muslims claim for themselves, the Crusades were perfectly justified, and the excesses (though beneath Christian standards) pale in comparison with the historical treatment of conquered populations at the hands of Muslims.Here are some quick facts...The first Crusade began in 1095... 460 years after the first Christian city was overrun by Muslim armies, 457 years after Jerusalem was conquered by Muslim armies, 453 years after Egypt was taken by Muslim armies, 443 after Muslims first plundered Italy, 427 years after Muslim armies first laid siege to the Christian capital of Constantinople, 380 years after Spain was conquered by Muslim armies, 363 years after France was first attacked by Muslim armies, 249 years after Rome itself was sacked by a Muslim army, and only after centuries of church burnings, killings, enslavement and forced conversions of Christians.By the time the Crusades finally began, Muslim armies had conquered two-thirds of the Christian world.Europe had been harassed by Muslims since the first few years following Muhammad's death. As early as 652, Muhammad's followers launched raids on the island of Sicily, waging a full-scale occupation 200 years later that lasted well over two centuries and was punctuated by massacres, such as that at the town of Castrogiovanni, in which 8,000 Christians were put to death. In 1084, ten years before the first crusade, Muslims staged another devastating Sicilian raid, burning churches in Reggio, enslaving monks and raping an abbey of nuns before carrying them into captivity.In theory, the Crusades were provoked by the harassment of Christian pilgrims from Europe to the Holy Land, in which many were kidnapped, molested, forcibly converted to Islam or even killed. (Compare this to Islam's justification for slaughter on the basis of Muslims being denied access to the Meccan pilgrimage in Muhammad's time).The Crusaders only invaded lands that were Christian. They never attacked Saudi Arabia or sacked Mecca as the Muslims had done (and continued doing) to Italy and Constantinople.The period of Crusader occupation (of its own former land) was stretched over less than two centuries. The Muslim occupation is in its 1,372nd year.The period of Crusader aggression compresses to about 20 years of actual military campaign, much of which was spent on organization and travel. (They were from 1098-1099, 1146-1148, 1188-1192, 1201-1204, 1218-1221, 1228-1229, and 1248-1250). By comparison, the Muslim Jihad against the island of Sicily alone lasted 75 grinding years.Unlike Jihad, the Crusades were never justified on the basis of New Testament teachings. This is why they are an anomaly, the punctuation of fourteen centuries of relentless Jihad that began long before the Crusades and continued well after they were over.The greatest crime of the Crusaders was the sacking of Jerusalem, in which 30,000 people were said to have been massacred. This number is dwarfed by the number of Jihad victims, from India to Constantinople and Narbonne, but Muslims have never apologized for their crimes and never will.What is called 'sin and excess' by other religions, is what Islam refers to as the will of Allah.

    October 4, 2010 at 9:22 am |
    • Dimidrol

      Good point!

      October 4, 2010 at 10:00 am |
  4. Igor Kanin

    simply NO NO NO !!!....
    how many innocent people have to die before we wake up?!?.... look at the news... 99 % of violence in the world is perpetrated by muslims!!!

    October 4, 2010 at 9:17 am |
    • smcmillan

      just like 99% of the stupidity comes form ignorant people like yourself. Its funny how when you watch the news that most of the violence in America is not caused by Muslims, but the majority Christians.

      October 4, 2010 at 2:55 pm |
  5. jerryherb

    That looks like a block of d1ck cheese. what is them white people doing there? is the guy on the phone calling the IED?

    October 4, 2010 at 9:16 am |
  6. Freedom

    Typical to build a temple on conquered land......

    October 4, 2010 at 8:57 am |
  7. Jim

    This article has one purpose. To make the haters angry.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:54 am |
  8. Goose66

    Not exactly in the character of the neighborhood, is it. I would think the city would reject this design, but nothing about this project is being handled in a normal fashion.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:50 am |
  9. mr. majic

    This will never be built. Where would they find an idiot to insure it?

    October 4, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  10. jason D

    Wonder what, if, any blast load requirements will be required for this structure. I doubt they will be as stringent as the Trade Center site.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:43 am |
  11. stevarreno

    I think they should get their money back from the architect. That has to be one of the ugliest building I have seen. No wonder people are objecting to it.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:37 am |
  12. AntiWar

    Good addition to NYC Beauty.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:36 am |
  13. T

    Hey, after all, isn't it the norm for islam to build temples and such on land they've conquered? At least there are enough True Americans left to make building it on ground zero not an option

    October 4, 2010 at 8:34 am |
  14. toolegittoquit

    if this is going up so fast then where is the completed ground zero memorial? something is wrong here.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  15. Pitt Cairn

    The exterior design may as well be a bulls-eye, because somebody is going to bomb it if it gets built. They have the right to build what they want, where they want, but they really picked a bad time and place...

    October 4, 2010 at 8:23 am |
  16. RT

    can we build a christian church in Iraq right next to Saddam's old palace?

    October 4, 2010 at 8:15 am |
    • skee

      Sure, you can build one. But why? Not many Christians left in Baghdad, but the Mosques in Manhattan are full beyond capasity.
      This is supply and demand my friend, not revenge.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:15 am |
  17. Betty

    Ah America. The land of the free and the home of the self righteous!

    October 4, 2010 at 8:07 am |
    • Fred Miles

      Ah, Saudi Arabian and most of the muslim world, lands of the militantly intolerant and self righteous...

      October 4, 2010 at 11:23 am |
  18. Courtenay

    Reading these bigoted comments makes me feel like my IQ is dropping. Morons are taking over America.

    October 4, 2010 at 8:04 am |
  19. Betty

    It isnt being built by anti americans, it is being built by Muslim Americans!

    October 4, 2010 at 8:03 am |
  20. alex

    the jews build temples everywhere and they killed our economy!!! where is that story CNN!!

    October 4, 2010 at 7:56 am |
    • Ahmed

      Jews killed the economy? Are you slightly retarded? With those lies you have to be muslim...muslims lie like crazy, revise history, and the sad part is some left wing weak minded people actually start to believe their lies....kind of like, the west bank belongs to the "palestinians"...oh it does, why, did the "palestinians" have a nation there? NEVER...JEWS were there long before islam even EXISTED....STOP THE MUSLIM LIES....building this mosque is just another step in destroying America by attrition since they cant do it militarily......and this time they have help from barack Hussein obama.....

      October 4, 2010 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dwain

      Possono fare molto di pi sotto il punto di vista grafico. Il cubo ha fatto cose iomligri.Ormai quando esce un gioco per wii si spera sempre e solo che sia giocabile, io preferisco sempre pensare che sia si giocabile ma che abbia pure una grafica all'altezza del wii, e la maggior parte della roba che esce non all'altezza delle potenzialit di questa console

      April 1, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.