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. redbluegreen

    The Islamic Center looks great, but it seems out of place next to those decrepit neighboring buildings.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:30 am |
  2. Steve H.

    This arrogant act of war will not go unnoticed Muslims you need to speak up cause when the hammer falls you will feel it to as you have somewhat so far but its nothing of what will come of this. Are you to blind to see your waking a sleeping giant in America that people who didn't care are waking up and caring. There is no peace in this center and everyone knows it they can feel it wake up your families lives are worth more then your religions arrogant pride. This is so rude and you know it in your hearts its the wrong thing to do.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:26 am |
  3. NOWAY

    burn that MF to the ground.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • Ahmad

      Honestly, do you know what really happened on that day?

      October 4, 2010 at 2:09 am |
    • jano

      Ahmed, it's not just what happened at 9/11. Westerners have an awareness now of Islam in it's fuller picture. Christians do not overtake and/or dominate or kill unbelievers. Islam.....we're not so sure about what they will do if power is in their hands. There's probably a lot of muslims who would not want to see the radical factions in control, but where are these muslims? why aren't they speaking out?

      October 7, 2010 at 3:38 pm |
  4. m1sterlurk

    Wow....I never thought I'd see the day where we would be committing outright blood libel against a religion.

    Then again we did it to the Jews too. Most Americans hated the Jews right up until 1945.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:25 am |
    • Ahmed

      A blood libel is a straight out lie....usually perpetrated by muslims....what we are saying against islam here are FACTS!!!!!

      October 4, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
  5. herb

    I'am a african american. I'am a muslim. There are millions of muslim living here in the US: black, white, asian etc. We go to the same prayer centers as muslims from the middle east. So I guess that even we are terrorist? You people are a joke and just as racial and anti-social as Bin Laden. And I bet many of you were raised as Christians like I was so you've been thinking and believing that Islam is a bad faith and talk only in the negative as many of my ex-church goers and I did because you sware Christianity is the one true religion.You people are a joke just like 90% of our coutries polotics, laws and lies full of corruption. I'm not a radical I think that the US is the saftest and best country in the world to grow up in have a family and live a wonderfyl life. But I also believe this country is full of BS, hatred, racism,classism, discrimination with the same messed up government as many other countries.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:24 am |
    • India man

      Herb, you r words betray who you are.....I can see that kind of respect you have for the country you admit is a great place otherwise. That is exactly the point. If it is so bad, why don't you go to a place where all or most people think like you – Saudi Arabia comes to mind. Now don't tell me you were born there and have a right etc etc... that has not stopped millions of Muslims from leaving the hell that Muslim societies are to find a place where you can breath freedom (and then unfortunately use that to spout the same poison you got away from in the first place). It is not wrong anyone to be a Muslim in America....America gives the right for anyone to practise whatever religion one follows (which cannot be said of Muslim counties where Christians are persecuted on a daily basis) . Is is just he Muslims should learn to keep their religion out of other peopl's faces just like every other religious practioners do......Muslims are the ones who seem to have quarrel with everyone they encounter....including in India. Everything must be according to their whims and fancies, otherwise the name calling begins

      October 4, 2010 at 12:55 am |
    • johnnyhouse

      If it is a problem, there is no problem getting out of the country.I don't think anyone here wants someone to suffer the indignities of being an American who does not want to practice being one.Terrorism is Islams problem and you and your followers have the power to straighten it out, if that is really the goal to make us believe how peaceful it is.We will believe that it is a peaceful religion when that happens and they stop killing people in the name of religion.

      October 4, 2010 at 9:37 am |
    • Ahmed

      Hey, we just go by what we see...and that is that muslims are barbaric murderous evil animals....

      October 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm |
    • Ron


      October 4, 2010 at 3:25 pm |
    • Frogist

      @India Man: Do you really believe that people should "learn to keep their religion out of other peopl's faces"? Then why do you spout on about Jehovah and how America is doomed because of the "distance it has put between itself and the one true God"? You show yourself as a hypocrite.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:06 pm |
  6. India man

    It is the same story the world over....the more there is Islamic extremism and intolerance, the more inversely proportional the western world's tolerance increases. There are many well meaning people in the US who have jumped on this 'tolerance' bandwagon. Problem is you only have to look at Europe to see where it has led their well meaning lot to. The Europeans are slowly waking up from their deep slumber (and from their smug levels of tolerance that they have bandied about with pride and arrogance for a long while) and are attempting to correct the balance, but too much damage has already been done. Soon there will be no secular society to protect as the extremists use their votes en bloc to bring political parties there to their knees...the Labor party in Britain and their idealogical affiliates in other European countries..i.e unless you run our agenda, you will pay at the voting booth, and most political parties are happy to mouth meaningless inanities (Islam is a religion of peace, most Muslims are moderates, terrorists are not Muslims etc....how pathetic!). The Muslims have become experts in using ALL the rights that democratic western societies give them to their advantage, in a totally uncompromising manner. In Australia now, people re asked to cover up cross on church steeples, a Bible in a hospital etc as it is 'offensive' to Muslims. In this they are joined by the Christian haters (the greens, the atheists, the so called progressives etc). The Muslims are laughing at how stupid the westerners are – use their own systems to destroy them, and the more they do it, the more support they will receive from so called broad minded liberals. When will this madness stop.... one only needs to ask a simple question as to why Muslims come to the west in such large numbers in the first place. If their religion and social values have created a heaven on earth, why go and live in the decadent west (this idiot Abdul what's his name even openly states western women have no respect for themselves – just like that! no compunction to generalise!If this goes the other way, all hell breaks loose!) . Americans don't need to prove to anyone that they are better than anyone else. The very fact that Muslims of all persuasions leave their hell hoes in the middle east to get over to the US shows what they exactly know but will not admit. Once in the US, you bite the hand that feeds you, pledging allegiance to anyone and anything but the land that has given you a shelter. You are an 'American' only to enjoy the benefits and rights the land give you, but a Muslim first for all other things. Liberals have this habit of pointing out that the founding fathers designed the separation of state and the church, and they use this to mock the church (funny though they would use that to support building a mosque – when was the last time you heard these very groups fight the cause of a church- you yes, there is no such last time!! – they will be the first to defend soaking a crucifix in urine as 'art' and defend that to the death, but burning the Koran – hell no, that would be the act of bigots, racists and red necks). The real bigots are the liberals who cloak their bigotry in so called passion for minorities...their real agenda is to destroy the Judaeo- Christian base on which their societies were founded and became prosperous and democratic, to a Godless secular humanism that is a panacea for all ills of the world. Well guess what.... when the Muslims take over (if that is too far fetched for some, just watch Obama in the White Hose today, deeding Muslims and heir religion with a passion he rarely shows for anyone else), you will be the first ones in the firing line , with all your pet causes. You can continue to cal people who disagree with you and point to another way as people who are less than human and are the usual bigots and racists , but would only ask those among you who can still think and can come out of your blindness to wake up while there is still hope for this once great land, which today is losing its influence rapidly – directly proportional to the distance it has put between itself and the one true God and Jehovah who has blessed this land for so long.As the Bible says, one of the clear signs of the end times is that good will be deemed evil, and evil will be deemed good. How true that is as e see that everyday around us. May God bless the United States and restore its people to Himself.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:24 am |
    • Muneef

      @Made in India.
      Suggest you leave Muslims alone and go find you self an elephant or a snake to worship.

      October 4, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Indiaman: Tolerance is not a bandwagon. It is a core principle of these united states couched in religious freedom since it was founded hundreds of years ago. There is no muslim overthrow of Europe. Just the same fear-mongering that we see taking over our fair land today. Mostly from people like you, India man. You seem so afraid to share this land that you spout completely made up fantasies of totalitarian rule. This country has seen waves of immigration and political movements and religious forces and has stood the test of time for centuries. And the reason we held up is because we stuck to our principles. We are all Americans to enjoy the benefits of this country. And you do not get to choose which citizens get to be real Americans and which we discard because of your fears. I long for the day when people like you were relegated to street corners with signs saying "The End if Nigh" because obviously that is where you belong.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:55 am |
  7. CSnord

    The building looks like an industrial filter.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:16 am |
  8. Eddie

    Looks REAL frightening, doesn't it? What with all the ultra-modern architecture, escalators and glass floors. Yup. A "victory mosque" if I ever saw one....

    October 4, 2010 at 12:13 am |
  9. nilloc

    amazing! The center looks like a shattered building–even caved in like something hit it. wow.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:11 am |
  10. Mkol

    my favorite part is where the imam told us americans would be at danger if the mosque wasn't built.

    October 4, 2010 at 12:05 am |
  11. liza

    any insurance company would have to be crazy to insure this 'project'

    October 3, 2010 at 11:59 pm |
  12. jorline

    The building looks like a perfect setting for the "Chickens Coming Home to Roost."

    October 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  13. hh

    damn pakis

    October 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
  14. Amit

    If the Muslims if United States want to show their loyalty towards the nation they are living should build a church to show their sympathy towards their fellow citizens who died on 9/11

    October 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • India man

      Good point Amit....now there's a great idea. These Muslims claim to be 'American' when it suits hem, but then one of the reasons given to build the mosque is apparently how the muslim masses in the middle east will feel if they didn't!! Muslims rule with an iron first wher they are in the majority and everyone should respect their way of life....on the other hand in foreign lands, they will still insist the same and demand that they be able to live as they please as per their religion (no such allowances to other people ) , and due course, the locals have to change their way of life to accomodate them. It certainly pays to be a Muslim these days. Mulsims are the only people who can live in freedom anywhere in the world!!! And thanks to gullible westrners, they are achieving their goals one way or the other.

      October 4, 2010 at 12:43 am |
    • Frogist

      @Amit: The purpose of the mosque is not to show loyalty to any country but to the ideals of tolerance and good citizenship.
      @India Man: Isn't it a good thing we are on American soil then. We are talking about american citizens whose families have been here for decades or longer. You would divest american citizens of their right to worship freely? Park 51 and it's proponents are not encroaching on anyone else's rights when they ask for a place to worship and give back to the community. But you are encroaching on the rights of citizens of America when you refuse them their house of worship. Seems like you're the one who claims to understand America, when you truly don't.

      October 5, 2010 at 11:38 am |
  15. liza

    if the families of the dead allow this to be built, i hope their dead are burning in hell.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Not yet any one in hell nor in paradise,they all since creation are waiting in the waiting room until the date when all rise for judgment day then each will go to the location he deserves.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:14 pm |
  16. shelb2

    They can build a mosque anywhere else in our nation just not in NYC that is so disrespectful after all the people who died there.....just go build it somewhere else

    October 3, 2010 at 11:51 pm |
  17. Jessica

    parukpar –

    You realize that Muslims did not "blow up the world trade center", right? Do you think Christians were responsible for the Oklahoma City bombings? Probably not, because it was Timothy McVeigh, and he doesn't represent all white males with a Christian background. A group of extremists were terrorists here, not Muslims. Why are Muslims, as a group, being victimized for a crime they didn't commit? Saying that Muslims "blew up the world trade center" and shouldn't be rewarded for it is one of the most ignorant things I have seen in this discussion. If you are an American, I am embarassed as a fellow American that you said that.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:50 pm |
    • liza

      how much do you know about islam, you stupid idiot? don't just fla you jaws if you haven't reqad and studied this evil perverse religion. islam is the devil's means of communicating with humanity.

      October 3, 2010 at 11:55 pm |
    • India man

      Jessica , according to this logic – no crime can be committed by any religious person, as when they do that, they don't represent their religion any more even if they insist that is why they did it!!! I hear this stupidity on a daily basis. And by the way, Timothy McVeigh did not commit this crimes as a 'Christian'. He never claimed that, and if he did, it was an interesting choice of his target ??? Please....if you want to be in denial, that is your right, but please don't claim everyone should fall into this same trap of yours

      October 4, 2010 at 12:37 am |
    • Frogist

      @liza: It's hard to take someone seriously who obviously cares only about insulting people rather than having an intelligent discourse. It's even more unlikely that you know anything about Islam or muslims. Or "sensitivity" for that matter.
      @India Man: The flaw in your thinking is that not every muslim follows Islam like an extremist terrorist does. And that's the point Jessica is making and one that you seem to ignore. If we believe Islam creates violent extremists of all who follow it, then the existence of even one muslim who is not a terrorist, destroys that hypothesis. And we have many non-violent muslims in the US as well as other countries. It is not Islam that creates terrorism.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm |
    • Frogist

      Also Tim McVeigh did commit his crimes as a Christian... a Christian Ident!ty terrorist. And it's scary how many people seem to be following in his footsteps now.

      October 5, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
  18. liza

    If we allow this fcking building to go up we are weak and we have bent over and allow the lowest low-lives on earth to stick it to us.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
    • Muneef

      Just wonder who or what made you higher or special than any one else, those you call lowest of the low were the ones who spread knowledge every where they went and only them who tought the crusaders all they knew only then when crusaders went back to their countries the knowledge brought by them has taken you out of the dark ages you were living in...so better you say thank you Muslims.

      October 4, 2010 at 10:07 pm |
  19. Truth

    It almost makes me sad to see this much money spent on something that Americans will destroy. Almost 😉
    Go ahead towely. Waste your money!

    October 3, 2010 at 11:47 pm |
    • Frogist

      @Truth: "towely"... but this is about sensitivity not racism, right?

      October 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm |
  20. liza

    If we allow this fukking building to go up, we are weak and we have bent over and allowed the lowest lowlives on earth to stick it to us.

    October 3, 2010 at 11:46 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.