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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. Mike

    it shouldn't be built. Shame on the liberals in NYC that allowed this to take place. They don't understand Islam.

    October 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  2. Allison

    Really beautiful! I am so excited for them that Democracy has won!

    October 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  3. WVlady62

    Hey "Joan" what planet are you from anyway???? "Brotherly love?" These people HATE US AND CALL US INFIDELS and you want us to show them brotherly love???? These people are NOT gentle, law-abiding people as they tout. These people, in my opinion, are sneaky terrorists who have put this mosque where it is to rub salt in our wounds from "9/11." If you think they have any other agenda, you need a shrink and FAST!!!!!

    October 4, 2010 at 5:26 pm |
  4. Mike

    they should be careful. lots of suicide bombers... oh wait, my bad only Muslims are suicide bombers. they should be safe then...

    October 4, 2010 at 5:24 pm |
  5. Mike

    Hopefully someone will blow it up.

    October 4, 2010 at 5:22 pm |
  6. i like cheese

    CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  7. Sue

    I think it is lovely.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  8. sunnysmom

    Anyone who seriously objects to this is so ridiculous. I would recommend watching 60 Minutes from 9/26/10 and see how this entire debate has been started and stoked by political fanatics!! You can't even see Ground Zero from there but the media makes it out like it's right on top of the site. Also, if you follow this logic then technically muslims shouldn't able to practice their faith at the Pentagon site either- but they build a dedicated prayer room for muslims right where the plane hit. And since muslims could pray at the trade centers...how much do you want to bet there will be a dedicated space for muslims to pray in the new ones? Wake up people...don't be sheep on this.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:48 pm |
  9. Rick

    Do you think the current insurance company knows it will likely be burned to the ground?

    October 4, 2010 at 4:38 pm |
  10. Jim Blow Bob Jim

    looks like a beehive, dont poke at it the bees may storm

    October 4, 2010 at 4:34 pm |
  11. Booyah

    This is the ugliest things I have ever seen. So tasteless.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:32 pm |
  12. just_saying

    It looks like a spiders web!

    October 4, 2010 at 4:31 pm |
  13. Don Bee

    The building was originally a Burlington Coat Factory store, which was heavily damaged on 9/11/01, when the landing gear fell on it from one of the aircraft which slammed into the WTC ....does it still seem so far away from Ground Zero?

    Regardless, it is going to get built, no matter how anyone feels about it, because the feelings of we the citizenry, appear to mean nothing.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
  14. Brian

    I see a lot of geometry in the architecture resembling the Star of David. Isn't that odd for an Islamic center? Or is there a hidden agenda.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:20 pm |
    • Frank

      "I see a lot of geometry in the architecture resembling the Star of David. Isn't that odd for an Islamic center? Or is there a hidden agenda."

      I'll take 'hidden agenda' for 100, Alex.

      October 4, 2010 at 4:29 pm |
    • Steve

      No actually Islam & the Jewish faith started as one people. Then one brother got upset with the other & broke away forming a new religion. If you read the beginning of the Torah & the beginning of the Quran its like it was almost copied. The two are basically the old testament. So there is no hidden plot here. Unless you want to make one up. We have enough of that from our career policitions.

      October 5, 2010 at 6:04 am |
  15. John - Altanta

    THe number two tower at the world trade center had an actual Mosque in it before the attacks. No one saw this as a threat then, How is this center, two blocks away a threat and the mosque that was acatually at ground zero was not a problem?

    The people "outraged" by this are the same people that led the march to war in Iraq, that still insist there where WMD's and that will start another war if they get the chance. There is more blood on thier hands than on anyone trying to build this church center. These neocons will be responsible for the deaths of your children, fighting in thier next oil war and their next "surge: will deman a draft. Register your children with selective service and these people will ensure you get a free American flag for your childs coffiin. Our biggest threat remains from within, BIn Ladin was counitng on this, he told us this but these neocons will not listen.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
    • Frank

      Right on.
      Bin Laden is a CIA creation. This is well known if people would only bother to look into it. The same people armed him and armed Saddam. They are playing us all like a fiddle. There is no 'war on terror' (how can you kill an idea, anyway? To paraphrase V, "ideas are immortal"), only the carrying out of the agenda of the PNAC. We are heading down the road toward global fascism and corporate hedgemony.

      October 4, 2010 at 4:25 pm |
  16. Sam

    Beautiful. Can't wait 'till it's built.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm |
  17. kazz

    nice design

    October 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  18. al

    mohammed is the false prophet

    October 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  19. I. Chow

    it's sad that people are making such a big deal about the building of this mosque. whatever happened to freedom of religion? i guess people's true colors are showing. the mosque has every right to be built there because 99% of Muslims are peaceful people ad they shouldn't be judged/punished for the actions of a few!!

    October 4, 2010 at 4:14 pm |
  20. Indexserv

    So a while ago, the election-year issue was flag-burning. A while later, the issue was gay marriage. Now, for the mid-terms, it's this Islamic center/mosque. It is another non-issue that is being pushed to solidify votes. If you ask any American if an established religious group has the right to gather and pray in this country, invariably the answer will be "Of course! This is America!"

    But put a little spin on the same question, and you have people who are willing to take those rights away from another group of Americans, and back any politician that shares that belief. That's really sad, especially because nothing outside of a homegrown terrorist attack is going to stop this Islamic center/mosque from being built, because freedom to worship is guaranteed, just as freedom of speech applies if someone wants to burn a flag, and just as the right to a "pursuit of happiness" is guaranteed, even for gays and lesbians.

    These are all non-issues, and have nothing to do with the problems in our country. Don't let them manipulate you.

    October 4, 2010 at 4:10 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.