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. TurkeyBurgers

    Let us Pray...Prayer = telling God the grand cosmic plan is a pile of garbage and you want God to change the plan because you are a little whiner. GG no respawn.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
  2. Candymanfl

    Welcome to the honeycomb hideout.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:32 pm |
  3. ZimZimminy

    Why do they have it looking like the WTC rubble ? A reminder ? No thanks, design EPIC FAIL

    October 3, 2010 at 8:29 pm |
  4. Keith

    What's with the Stars of David in the design?

    October 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
  5. ZimZimminy

    I don't like it. To my eyes it looks as if they're symbolizing freezing that moment right after the collapse when the beams were all crumpled, like they're saying " And never forget what we did to you that day" I don't like it one bit. It's nothing like their traditional architecture for such a facility, I'd like to hear them explain their reasoning for that abstract!

    October 3, 2010 at 8:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      I'm not sure what you're seeing but it reminds me of mosaic pattern tiles that decorate muslim buildings.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:52 pm |
  6. ME

    This is a Nice futuristic design, and i wish more american buildings would remodel like this. It s 2010. Places should be looking like that. These comments on this board are so EVIL. I am ashamed to be AMERICAN. There I SAID IT. If you are a so called christian and writing nasty comments on here.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:24 pm |
    • Ray

      Darwin is my God and my aim is true.

      October 3, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
    • Ron

      @Ray-They would really love to believe that you were a Christian...It makes the liberal snarl much nastier.

      October 4, 2010 at 3:12 pm |
  7. jleoxii13

    omg...it looks like a gutted world trade center.
    am I the only one that saw that?

    October 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm |
    • Ray

      It's definitely a Warhol-inspired piece of work to be certain. If you look closely, you can see 3,000 holes in the front representing the broken lives of those this cult destroyed in one day in America.

      October 3, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
    • jleoxii13

      to Ray...and how come our news media doesn't report this? Is CNN and the other outlets complicit in the building of some strange victory monument. I was open-minded about this, until I saw the design. We will let them build it, and then they will trumpet their monument to victory, and how us stupid americans encouraged them to do it. I am not mistaken...this is a gutted world trade center, and the holes are intended to remind us of the lives cruelly taken on September 11, 2001.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:02 pm |
    • Michel

      You may be the only one. You probably won't see it after the effect of whatever you've been sniffing wears off.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:04 pm |
    • Matt McHugh

      It's very clearly meant to look like an Islamic screen or lamp. You folks seeing rubble should go have a talk with Dr. Rorschach.

      October 3, 2010 at 9:51 pm |
    • jleoxii13

      Did you folks ever go to the world trade center? Did you lose your best friend there, and another on flight 77? Are you completely insensitive? Clearly, yes.

      October 4, 2010 at 7:27 pm |
  8. TheRationale

    I highly doubt religion will outlive the human race.

    October 3, 2010 at 8:04 pm |
  9. Andy

    Oh my gosh, a community center! It's teh ennd of th' world ebrybuddy run! *rolls eyes*

    Can we please stop obsessing over this and pay attention to things that actually matter day to day?

    – A

    October 3, 2010 at 8:03 pm |
    • Ray

      Yes, like freedom, livelihood, happiness and peace! Well, guess what...all that is in jeopardy with all this free-love hippie Liberal spew you are buying into. There won't be any of that once Jihad is called in America.

      October 3, 2010 at 8:28 pm |
    • Ahmed

      You are very ignorant if you think this is "only a mosque"......

      October 4, 2010 at 11:49 am |
  10. Real talk...

    First, I would like to point out that I am agnostic. Religion and tyranny have been synonymous for centuries. Many Jews, Christians, and Muslims think they are right. Many Jews, Christians, and Muslims want to impose their will on others. According to all the polls, the overwhelming majority of American people do not want the “community center” a.k.a. mosque that close to ground zero. I thought this country was a democracy. Yes, a large number of Muslims are law abiding citizens and generally good people. However, it is hard to separate the good Muslims from the bad. The fact is there are a large portion of Muslims around the world that want to “convert or kill the infidels”. Most of the time religion is good because it promotes universally acceptable morals, and it gives people something to look forward too. Pious people will be rewarded in eternal paradise, and they will be reunited with their family members forever. Sounds good…who or what created God anyway? How could God create itself? No more people should die because of religion. No mosques or churches!

    October 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  11. mojeze

    A beautiful building with a very unique design for saying ."God Bless their souls" every single day. A spiritual place for prayer and for remembering those who lost their lives on september 11 2001..

    October 3, 2010 at 7:58 pm |
  12. crawbar

    Jay Schuller, I salute your service to our country but otherwise you seem to be very confused.
    We are not comparing religions here.
    Look the problem straight into its face. The world's barbarism and darkness called Islam is on attack on the Western world. It is a very active cultural and ideological aggression that has the purpose subdueing the Western countires demographically and culturally, make them live according to the Sharia law. It uses a number of methods:
    1. Muslim migration to the Western countries.
    2. Building mosques and "cultural centers" on the money coming from abroad from islamist countries, i.e. our oil money
    3. Slowly but surely pressuring the host countries to change our way of life and to turn toward the sharia laws.
    4. Terrorism

    I must say that the terrorism is not the most dangerous method out of the 3 preceeding it.
    You may ask what can we do to stop this aggression? Here are two most obvious answers:
    1. Stop muslim immigration.
    2. Moratorium on building mosques and "cultural centers" anywhere in America, not only at Ground 0.

    Can it be done? I doubt it. Americans more precisely liberals are stupid. They don't understand the danger and like rabit go into the snake's mouth... Too bad...

    I emphacise again, it has nothing to do with religion. It has to do with the barbarians who are using their religion to do what I said above.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:55 pm |
    • Ray

      I absolutely agree with this 100%, all grammatical errors aside...

      October 3, 2010 at 8:26 pm |
    • Frogist

      @crawbar: I think you are the one who is confused. Have you ever spoken to any muslims? Where do you get your information? Please do some on the ground research by learning about muslims from muslims.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:45 pm |
  13. Arash

    There are tons of moderate Iranian Muslims who support this project. I myself am one. No, I have no affiliation with terrorist organizations and have been raised in Canada since the age of 5. It's very upsetting to see Iranians who have turned against believing and now have nothing better to do than spread their hatred for another's faith. God Bless you all and I hope that those who have lost God may be reunited someday in the near future. And to those who do not support this project, remember, if anything this mosque will further stop extremists from both ends. It is an act of peace, not hate, not separation, but unification of all peoples of all faiths and all nations. SO PLEASE TRY TO BE RESPECTFUL AND STOP ATTACKING PEOPLE WHO HAVE A CERTAIN FAITH, WE ARE NOT FORCING YOU TO BELIEVE BUT WE HAVE THE SAME RIGHT TO BELIEVE AS YOU DO TO NOT.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • Acroyear

      YOU might not be forcing your faith, but thousands and millions of other are. My niece can not marry the women she loves because of faith, millions around the world are persecuted because they don't have faith or not the same faith as the ruling powers and throughout history no other single force other than the virus has brought death to so many of us as religion. "Have respect" you say to me? EARN IT! I say back to you. Respect is not something that given... it is earned. If I met you I might respect you as a person. But your religion? Never. And I would say the same to virtually every religion on the face of the earth. Religion is a plague... and the comfort you find in it is not worth my or anyones life!

      October 4, 2010 at 8:07 am |
  14. Bill in Florida

    The proposed Islamic Center will be a beautiful landmark, and I will be proud of America's diversity and tolerance when it opens. We are not like other countries who ban religions that are not sponsored by the state. The USA is way better than that. The Islamic Center will be a tribute to our humanity as well as an artistic masterpiece and a cultural icon. It will pay tribute to the victims of 911 and exult the American spirit. I hope to visit it one day and share Christ there.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:52 pm |
  15. Mike

    Will never get built. America only needs to look to Europe to see what Islam will do to our country.

    "Lets Roll"

    October 3, 2010 at 7:51 pm |
  16. R. Mussared

    I think its butt ugly.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:48 pm |
  17. D.N. Clark

    Al Hatf:
    As an architecture major, I feel I have a basic understanding of architecture and design principals. I do also understand and have briefly studied Muslim architecture history. So riddle me this, If architecture and aesthetic values are so important to your culture, where does the rendering of this building display any precedent to previous Muslim architecture?
    Regardless, this is not my point. The point is, aesthetics are not the primary objective in creating a building.
    i.e. pompidou center in Paris. Do you find this aesthetically pleasing? The objective of this building was not to look pretty but to provide a certain function and display the "truth" and inner-workings of how the building acts.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:45 pm |
    • Ray

      I definitely agree with this. In fact, I think every major city needs an eyesore Giant Spider Tower to throw rocks at in their spare time. It's a great stress reliever, after all.

      October 3, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
  18. JamesNM

    Just a comment about religious tolerance @ Abudu Mukarram, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Islam and Christianity are the only formally recognized religions in Iran. Other religions such as Bahai are persecuted to various degrees. Despite the fact Bahai are totally peaceful, the current regime treats them as second class citizens.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  19. gene

    to all the muslims here, you can waste away your Sunday posting away, but all in the West know you lie so....waste your time

    October 3, 2010 at 7:38 pm |
    • Frogist

      @gene: Because, of course, no one in the west ever lies.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:37 pm |
  20. Acroyear

    To build a monument to religion, when it was religion that murdered those people, is an affront to us all...period. It has nothing to do with Islam or Christianity or ANY particular religion. It was the insanity of religion that did this... and for ANY religious group to build a monument to itself is a sick insult to every person who died that day... even the religious themselves who died.

    October 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
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About this blog

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.