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. abdullah moqtasadeh

    i don't agree that it's hideous, but it's not pretty.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      I don't believe anyone with Park51 asked you for your opinion Abdul

      October 3, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      I think Abudu is Imam Rauf 🙂

      October 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
  2. tewrobert

    You all need to build that mosque at Guantanamo bay:)

    October 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • Ray

      This is a brilliant idea! Since Obamuslim wants to shut down the Waterboard Factory, they can convert that into a Giant Spider Tower...and perhaps even get Sauron perched on top to torment the Ents! This should work in their favor since it's much easier to hear the Jihad cry 50 stories up in the air. I like it!

      October 3, 2010 at 6:50 pm |
  3. Fight the fight

    That thing is going to go up like a roman candle. Can't wait to watch.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • tewrobert


      October 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • T

      So, you're an advocate of terrorism against any idea and/or religion with which you don't agree?

      October 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      Wonder what these giys would say if the Ground Zero mosque were brought down like the Twin Towers. Would they still blame the US Govt like they do now " US govt made 9/11 happen" ?

      October 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
    • kanon

      So you support terrorism? Thanks for admitting it.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:59 am |
  4. Ray

    Abudu Hurka-Durka is just mad that his camels won't give him any love. He's just waiting for that Jihad message from the East so that he can go out and stab Americans in the back in the name of Allah Hurka-Durka.

    As one of your great prophets once said, "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee".

    October 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Mad? Who's mad ray? The mosque will be built. BTW, I was born and raised here bud. You're the one that's angry because all of your bigotry has been answered and explained away here as being stupid nonsense. You have no idea about what you are talking about.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • Ray

      Exactly. And that makes two of us then. 🙂

      October 3, 2010 at 6:52 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      So the FBI surveillance team is wasting their time outside your house Abu Mukaram ? 🙂

      October 3, 2010 at 7:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Ray: But this is all about sensitivity not racism, right?

      October 4, 2010 at 7:56 pm |
  5. tewrobert

    you notice we cannot say like or dislike here? Only on CNN

    October 3, 2010 at 6:35 pm |
  6. NO WAY


    October 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Brandon

      Your statement is flawed. It's not YOUR country. It's OUR country. All of ours. Just because things are happening that you don't like doesn't mean the country's been taken over, it just means this is a democracy and you lost the last election.

      I personally want the country back to the way it was when I grew up: before all of the blatant ignorance, intolerance, and blind hatred.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • T

      I'm with Brandon!!

      October 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Get a life noway. The mosque will be built and your tax dollars will pay for the protection while we pray 5 times a day at the mosque. In the South people just like you build buildings, parks and roads everyday and name them after Confederate traitors everyday.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Brandon: Well said!

      October 4, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
  7. Sara

    It is very nice from what I can tell – I also like the address. It will be an improvement to that block

    October 3, 2010 at 6:34 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      Glad you like it – watch for even more amazing things to start from this address

      October 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  8. LMD

    Sorry,I do not support the building of this center,in the area where it is. I understand the area is a pit to begin with,the bars,the strip joints,but as there is a Mosque not too far from this sight,why there? It will always be a controversial place and will detract from those who go to pay their respects at the memorial. I am sure that there will be groups no matter what day or time will be outside protesting,and family,friends and any citizen who passes will have to endure this. If it is for the greater good,a rec center educational center,put it somewhere else.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Sara

      Why not there – these people themselves did not fly into the twin towers. They also lost family and friends.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:36 pm |
    • T

      So you are the arbiter of how close is too close?

      Please provide an answer...how close is too close, oh sagacious one?

      October 3, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Frogist

      @LMD: I'm sorry but I disagree. The site is quite far from the WTC ruins and absolutely not visible from the proposed memorial. Also even if you go to visit WTC by subway and you have to walk to ground zero you will not go past the center unless you plan to. And if people are still protesting after it is built, which I doubt will happen for very long, then it is the protestors who will be disrupting the peaceful atmosphere... not the center.

      October 4, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  9. tewrobert

    Thats not a mosque, Its a devils worship temple.....

    October 3, 2010 at 6:29 pm |
    • Brandon

      No. It's a community center. Nice try, though.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:38 pm |
    • Sara

      you have such a small small mind.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:39 pm |
    • Bob

      I assume you speak as first hand knowledge of the Devil!

      October 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • T

      The devil does not exist, nor does god, except in your imaginations.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      It's not a devil worship temple – it's a Holy Revolutionary Sanctuary of the Freedom Fighters for God

      October 3, 2010 at 7:57 pm |
  10. tewrobert

    Abudu Mukarram keep stirring the pot 🙂

    October 3, 2010 at 6:27 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      If you mean by telling the truth, then yes, I have a large ladle in hand.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  11. nate

    That thing is an eyesore.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:21 pm |
    • Bob

      You're right, let's keep an abandoned dress factory there....it is far more beautiful and useful....I hope you understand sarcastic comments.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:47 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Go and take a look in the mirror Nate. So are you...

      October 3, 2010 at 7:26 pm |
  12. Gaurav

    How about constructing a Temple, Church and Mosque in the same building. That should solve most of the Problems. Temple is because I am a Hindu and respect religious belief of all the other religions.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Brandon

      It wouldn't help. There would still be people complaining that it's just a Muslim attempt to take over a church, or some b.s. like that.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:20 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      If you and your Hindu friends want to convince some people of other faiths to contribute to the mortgage, utility and water bill and the property taxes I'm sure they might consider your ridiculous thought.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:44 pm |
  13. tjc360

    Clam Chowder.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
  14. Ray

    Terrorists: 2
    America : 0

    Keep being "tolerant", it's doing America wonders.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:16 pm |
    • Brandon

      This country was founded on tolerance. Tolerance and acceptance is what has made America great. I'd say it's done some pretty huge wonders for this country.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • Behebbak bin Sharif

      Tolerance and capitulating to the enemy are two vastly different things. History is repeating itself as Islam has once again become a scourge upon Western cultures. It is time to abandon political correctness and drive Islam out of Europe and America. Coexistence with those who would kill you is an impossibility dreamed of only by fools.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:37 pm |
    • abdullah moqtasadeh

      wow, America really needs to get on the board here.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:40 pm |
    • Ahmad Hosein


      America 2
      Terrorists 0

      unless you are a redn eck republican watching the match on fox news.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:49 pm |
    • T

      To Behebbak bin Sharif,

      One word for you...Idaho. You'll be comfortable and in like-minded (Aryan) company there.


      October 3, 2010 at 7:00 pm |
  15. NF911

    Exterior looks like the twin towers crumbling to me. But I'm sure that's not what they intended, is it?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm |
    • T

      Really? That's what you see? Strong evidence that evolution is slowing...human minds have begun shrinking...

      October 3, 2010 at 6:54 pm |
    • Pachuey Chong

      @T – you know just because you can do something doesnt mean you should...

      October 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
  16. Lisa

    And how long will it be before some stupid American goes and blows it up?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:14 pm |
  17. Truth

    I like to know from educated Muslim people, how they will explain that in Quran ayed 51.?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:13 pm |
    • Brandon

      I'd like to know from an educated Christian how they explain Deuteronomy 13:13-19.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:17 pm |
    • Truth

      What about that?

      October 3, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Ahmad Hosein

      I'd like ignorant idio ts like you to explain in the Quran Verse 2:62 "Believers, Jews, Christians and Sabaeans – whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does what is right – shall be rewarded by their Lord; they have nothing to fear or regret."

      October 3, 2010 at 6:48 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      It was explained very plainly to you no truth...

      October 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      You dared touch the Quran ?

      October 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
  18. SK

    Did you notice all the Jewish stars carved into the outside of the building?

    October 3, 2010 at 6:11 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      That's not true but, the six point star is also the Islamic star in the crescent moon.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Al Hatf

      They're saying the days of the Jews in this country are numbered – it's a message

      October 3, 2010 at 7:47 pm |
  19. Truth

    I suggest to take a look Quran Islamic Holly Book go to 51"ayed" and read it, how hates Jews and Christians, no kidding, I just find out today from Turkish Newspaper then I went site to see, yes is unfortunately right, there is a writing about Jewish and Christian, suggest don't lesson to them they are supports each others and add it "Allah does not lead to unjust society". How come with this hate message in holly book they will have tolerance for other religion even here in united States (we know they have almost no where in their countries) and build Masque just next to 9-11 victims side. I can't get it.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Brandon


      October 3, 2010 at 6:08 pm |
    • Mendoza NYC

      How do you explain Jesus in Islamic teachings?

      October 3, 2010 at 6:19 pm |
    • tjc360


      October 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      What a silly and asinine comment. The surah was speaking of Muslims when they were at war with Christians and Jews. The prophet was relating to them not to take their enemy (at the time) to be their trusted friends, which is only common sense when you are at war with another people. Just like now, you and many other Americans of many different faiths will not take Muslims to be your trusted friends. You're making a bunch of asinine comments against people who had nothing to with 911. If what you said were true, and it's not, why would the Qur'an say it's okay for Muslims to marry the people of the book, which are Jews and Unitarian Christians? Please answer that sens e you claim to have read the Holy and not the "holly" Qur'an.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:31 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Hey Truth, I was interested in seeing your response to the truth that I believe you already knew. That's why you can't respond because know you were lying in the first place.

      October 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • Truth

      This is from Quran but Turkish: "51-ey iman edenler. yahudi ve hristiyanların evliyalarını evliya edinmeyin. onlar kendilerinin evliyasıdır. (sonra gelen şeriatı kabul ettikten sonra , evvelki şeriattaki evliyalar senin şeriatından lütfedilmiş evliya değildir. kendi evliyana tabii ol.geri döndüğünüz zaman evvelki şeriate dönüşünle nefsinize zulüm etmiş olursunuz.) allah zalimler toplumuna yol göstermez." You can translate with good translation tool. I didn't want to believe it but unfortunately right, you can find from any Quran site in internet for AYED 51.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:33 pm |
    • Truth

      And go this site, to see....http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:IkrTpJGmmmsJ:forum.islamiyet.gen.tr/kuran-tefsiri/54009-maide-suresi-51-ayet.html+kuran+ayet+51&cd=2&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us

      October 3, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
    • Truth

      Yes, Abudu Mukarram there is controversy about that, some of say in war time some of them say always, another think they hanged it recently in the masque and there was complain about that. Still dangerous but maybe can be good explanation about that and Muslim people won't be confuse.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • Truth

      THIS IS A ENGLISH VERSION OF VERSE OF QURAN 51-Qur'an (5:51) – "O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people." WEBSITE: http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/Quran/009-friends-with-christians-jews.htm

      October 3, 2010 at 10:13 pm |
  20. Mendoza NYC

    I won't visit if they don't allow bikinis at the pool.

    October 3, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
    • Abudu Mukarram

      Well, I know we won't see you or your half dressed girlfriend there.

      October 3, 2010 at 6:22 pm |
    • Ballz

      Wow, is there no stopping this foreign named troll? 😛

      October 4, 2010 at 3:16 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.