• Swimming Pool to Heal Religious/Cultural Divide at Ground Zero

    Ground Zero disaster tourists in search of spiritual fulfillment will have one more option pretty soon

    After a protracted battle that set off a national debate over freedom of religion, a Muslim center and mosque to be built two blocks from ground zero surmounted a final hurdle on Tuesday.

    The city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9 to 0 against granting historic protection to the building at 45-47 Park Place in Lower Manhattan, where the $100 million center would be built. That decision clears the way for the construction of Park51, a tower of as many as 15 stories that will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool. Its leaders say it will be modeled on the Y.M.C.A. and Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.

    Wait. A pool?! Why haven't we heard a whole bunch about this pool before? All we heard was "mosque, mosque, mosque" not "mosque and nice fancy auditorium and OH BY THE WAY A BIG BEAUTIFUL POOL!" Did the protesters and folks who wrote angry letters to the editor know that there was going to be a swimming pool? That is awesome.

    Oh, and what's this? It's also going to have a RESTAURANT? OM NOM NOM!

    Looks like not everybody is happy, though.

    After the commission voted, several members of the audience shouted "Shame on you!" and "Disgrace!" One woman carried a sign reading, "Don’t Glorify Murders of 3,000; No 9/11 Victory Mosque."

    Um, hello?! It's going to have a swimming pool. In a neighborhood where some of us (namely, your authoress) live, sans swimming pools.

    This brouhaha ultimately raises one serious question: is it wrong to convert to a religion just to have access to a fun indoor water park?


    Tags: 9/11, Islam, New York City, Religion, World Trade Center

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