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. all you idiots are retarded

    so why is CNN suddenly hiring known FELONS like Spitzer for their crew? Don't they have enough useless liberal criminals working for them???

    October 3, 2010 at 11:44 pm |
  2. nemo

    So called Lana and other idiots: read comment by Ahmad Hosein here:
    "why do u need a christian center in tehran? if u want to worship God, there are lots and lots of mosques in Tehran. They all worship the same God as you."
    Got the idea how THEY think? Try to tell them same thing : hey ya go to christian church, it's the same God, you don't really need to break the floors with your stupid heads every day.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:39 pm |
  3. Rooster

    I hope they put in a gay bar next door and a pork sandwich cart on the sidewalk.
    Let's see some of that toleration they are always talking about!

    October 3, 2010 at 11:28 pm |
  4. Susan

    Isn't it ironic that it "towers" above all the other buildings. We are fools to allow this, once again America has sold itself out . Build bridges eh? They threaten the US, call it an act of war if we dont allow it. I wonder how they are going to react when some American blows it to kingdom come? Oh yeah, they cant declare war on us, they already did...can you say jihad?

    October 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
    • Brandon

      No. That's not what irony is. Go back to highschool.

      You do realize that one small group of Muslim extremists doesn't speak for all Muslims, right? That's like saying that all gay people have a right to hate ALL Christians simply because of the crap the westboro baptist church does.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:31 pm |
  5. Reality

    Once more: The Solution aka Conversion of All Muslims to Securalists:

    How do you do that?

    With the Five Step Method for Deprogramming 1400 Years of Islamic Myths-

    Using "The 77 Branches of Islamic "faith" a collection compiled by Imam Bayhaqi as a starting point. In it, he explains the essential virtues that reflect true "faith" (iman) through related Qur’anic verses and Prophetic sayings." i.e. a nice summary of the Koran and Islamic beliefs.

    "1. Belief in Allah"

    aka as God, Yahweh, Zeus, Jehovah, Mother Nature, etc. should be added to your cleansing neurons.

    "2. To believe that everything other than Allah was non-existent. Thereafter, Allah Most High created these things and subsequently they came into existence."

    Evolution and the Big Bang or the "Gi-b G-nab" (when the universe starts to recycle) are more plausible and the "akas" for Allah should be included if you continue to be a "crea-tionist".

    "3. To believe in the existence of angels."

    A major item for neuron cleansing. Angels/de-vils are the mythical creations of ancient civilizations, e.g. Hitt-ites, to explain/define natural events, contacts with their gods, big birds, sudden winds, protectors during the dark nights, etc. No "pretty/ug-ly wingy thingies" ever visited or talked to Mohammed, Jesus, Mary or Joseph or Joe Smith. Today we would classify angels as f–airies and "tin–ker be-lls". Modern de-vils are classified as the de-mons of the de-mented.

    "4. To believe that all the heavenly books that were sent to the different prophets are true. However, apart from the Quran, all other books are not valid anymore."

    Another major item to delete. There are no books written in the spirit state of Heaven (if there is one) just as there are no angels to write/publish/distribute them. The Koran, OT, NT etc. are simply books written by humans for humans.

    Prophets were invented by ancient scribes typically to keep the un-educated masses in line. Today we call them for-tune tellers.

    Prophecies are also invali-dated by the natural/God/Allah gifts of Free Will and Future.

    "5. To believe that all the prophets are true. However, we are commanded to follow the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
    Mohammed spent thirty days "fasting" (the Ramadan legend) in a hot cave attended to by his wives before his first contact with Allah aka God etc. via a "pretty wingy thingy". Common sense demands a neuron deletion of #5. #5 is also the major source of Islamic vi-olence i.e. turning Mohammed's "fast, hunger-driven" hallu-cinations into horrible reality for unbelievers.

    Accept these five steps and we guarantee a complete recovery from your Islamic ways!!!!

    Similar programs are available for deprogramming Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Paganism.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:22 pm |
    • Brandon

      Frankly, I'd rather fix the southern baptists in this country first.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:27 pm |
    • Fred Miles

      Know many devout Southern Baptists that attacked a major US City and mass murdered innocents by the hundreds and thousands, and continue to preach the same hatred and destruction, do you, Brandon?

      October 4, 2010 at 11:27 am |
    • Brandon

      No, Fred. But I personally haven't met any nice, accepting, intelligent southern baptists either. I have, however, met quite a lot of intelligent, kind, tolerant muslims.

      October 4, 2010 at 3:03 pm |
  6. Shawn Davis

    I'm more concerned that the building will be ugly. It would be cool to see a fusion of Islamic, Jewish and Christian architecture in the site - that would send a good message I think as well as being interesting.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:17 pm |
  7. fishkitty

    Immediate gut reaction is that it's ugly and looks out of place. Second, if it's supposed to be such a symbol of good will and compassion, why the Muslim's insistence, in the face of such hurt and controvesy, to build it there?

    If they really wanted to show compassion and some care, they's have the sensibility to build elsewhere, not turn this into a battle of wills in the name of rights.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:08 pm |
    • Brandon

      They are building it there because of two reasons:
      1. They need more space in Lower Manhattan. The current mosque in that area is decades old and is too small now.
      2. That land was available. It's not like there a whole lot of available land in Lower Manhattan.

      That's it. It's not some sinister motive. It's just necessity combined with land availability.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:26 pm |
  8. Niki Geordano

    From an aesthetic POV, this building is wretched in comp/cont to its environs.
    Though I incredibly admire and appreciate Islamic art, form, and architecture,
    this thing is so OUT OF PLACE in SO MANY WAYS!
    For the love of God, Yahweh, Allah.... take Trump's cash and move it somewhere else.
    You know, at first I supported the movement to build this where it has been designated.
    But, looking at the design, I find myself scratching my head?!??!???!
    What a horrid plan and an even more horrid message to the rest of the USA who are not neurotic!
    You do not care where or what you do or how you do it – Islam seems very Very VERY blatant, ignorant, and disrespectful!

    October 3, 2010 at 11:06 pm |
    • Brandon

      All religion is ignorant and disrespectful. Why don't you fight the construction of churches in your city? Christians have killed millions of innocent people.

      And really, you are the one that sounds stubbornly ignorant, not the people building this center.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:23 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Niki: I find it hard to believe you admire anything Islamic if you conclude that you will fight any mosque in your town ever.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:41 pm |
  9. johnnyappleseed

    This is insane. All animosity aside, a Mega mosque 3 blocks away from ground zero is an awful idea. It is as unfair to the people of the Muslim faith as it is to the families of the victims of 9/11. It starts with threats on imam's and his wife's life, whats to stop it from turning into senseless hate crime towards all Muslims? All because someone thought it would be a good idea for a religious super center where the shadow of the twin towers once stood.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:59 pm |
    • Frogist

      @johnny: Please explain to me the logic that muslims should not exercise their freedom of religion as citizens of this country so they can prevent their freedoms from being taken away? In other words, hate crimes are being committed against muslims but it's hardly fair to blame that on the existence of muslims rather than the bigots who commit the crimes.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:38 pm |
  10. anon

    When did the crazies migrate to CNN? Go back to FOX, children. Adults are debating.

    (This is directed to Truth, Al Hatf, SI, and the other trolls)

    October 3, 2010 at 10:52 pm |
  11. Chris

    Just wanted to remind people that some 200+ american muslims died on 9/11 too. the attack didn't discriminate.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • cristian

      so why would I care that 200+ american muslims got killed? it's a known fact that they kill their own people just to achieve their goals.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:20 am |
    • Frogist

      @cristian: Maybe because you care about human life. Don't you have a moral code of your own or does it all depend on what someone else is doing? Honestly...

      October 4, 2010 at 9:34 pm |
    • Muneef

      Unfortunately I agree with you that Arabs and Muslims kill their own to achieve their political goals wether for their own sake or for the sake of an enemy, you see with greed & Money they forgot or pretend to forget principals. Corruption has reached and touched all levels it is the era of the corrupt messiah, Dijal. No wonder all this happening non at any levels at any where on earth there is any sincerity left. Of course among all nations and not only among Muslims.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:50 pm |
  12. keith

    Yuck! its disgusting – but go ahead and build it – shove it down peoples throats like the good americans we are.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:50 pm |
    • Frogist

      @keith: How is this building shoving anything down your throat? No one is forcing you to go to it. Your choices and freedoms are still in tact. But if you force the building not to be built you will be taking away the freedoms and choices of someone else. Don't be so petty. Live and let live.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:28 pm |
  13. catmonkey

    Relocate park51 to Nevada right next to area51... Nobody will care!

    October 3, 2010 at 10:48 pm |
  14. Jesse Jackson


    October 3, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  15. Zack

    Thats great why not build it so all the terrorists can get together in one place to plan the next attack. Also so they can see ground zero and admire there work.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  16. Truth

    THAT'S THE WAY QURAN TEACH BUT THERE IS CONTROVERSY ABOUT WHEN QURAN SAID, SOME OF THEM SAY IN WAR TIME AGAINST CHRISTIANS : 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."

    October 3, 2010 at 10:15 pm |
    • Brandon

      Have you ever read the Bible? It's just as if not more violent than the Koran.

      "Whoever sacrifices to any god, except the Lord alone, shall be doomed." – Exodus 22:19
      "If your own full brother, or your son or daughter, or your beloved wife, or you intimate friend, entices you secretly to serve other gods, whom you and your fathers have not known, gods of any other nations, near at hand or far away, from one end of the earth to the other: do not yield to him or listen to him, nor look with pity upon him, to spare or shield him, but kill him." -Deuteronomy 13:7-9

      October 3, 2010 at 11:20 pm |
    • Iqbal khan

      Watch this


      October 4, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
  17. remccoy

    What a beautiful building. Nice addition to the eclectic architecture of New York City .... something to be proud of.

    October 3, 2010 at 10:11 pm |
  18. Iqbal khan

    One of the five Pillars of Islam is Hajj the annual pilgrimage to Mecca is to follow in the foot steps of prophet Ibraheem or Abraham(PBUH) watch ....


    October 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
    • AntiWar

      Very informational. Thanks for sharing.

      October 4, 2010 at 8:33 am |
  19. bible belt wearer

    This is just another place to hold cult activities. All religions are really cults, focusing on things that aren't really there, spreading fairy tales about winged creatures, and asking people for money. The building does look like a drunk spider weaved it though... As far as where they are building it, ya it is disrespectful but hey that's what religion does to people. Draw a cartoon of Muhammad and see how the muslims speak of free speech lol! Its the same boring rhetoric, your church did this so our church hates that. I mean all religions, almost all I mean, worship the same god. They share the same books and pray just the same. Maybe if they all united there would be a real problem but for now let's let the christians and jews fight the muslims and hopefully kill each other out leaving paradise ripe for the picking for us atheists. 🙂

    October 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm |
  20. Iqbal khan

    please increase your knowledge about Islam

    October 3, 2010 at 9:57 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.