The Animatress Pipeline

Filmmaking Adventures

In Memoriam of 9/11 and a discourse regarding the Islamic Center near Ground Zero

How could you? How could you do such a thing to 3000 people and worse, do such a thing to your religion? Al-Quaeda, you are nothing but the KKK. A militia group hiding behind the veil of your religion to justify your twisted ideology.
You are not emulating your Prophet, you are just murderers! And what did your efforts bring you and your people? The onslaught of a sleeping giant called the U.S. Military. that’s what!

If you wanted to cripple the United States, why didn’t you boycott our interests and withhold your oil? Clotting the flow of money is the way to get our attention, not murdering innocent people!

Idiots. Led by a well-educated demon who prays on the marginalized poor by enticing them with short sighted rewards in his recruiting techiniques. Shame on you, Osama Bin Laden! Look what you did! The U.S. has recovered, but you have made Islam synonymous with terrorism. Now all Muslims know what it’s like to live as a Black or Hispanic in this country, for they will always to be feared to be a dangerous monolith. It’s horrible to cringe in anguish whenever someone turns on the 6 o’clock news. “Oh, please don’t let it be one of us.” To rarely be celebrated for the positive contributions you’ve made to society. To only be accepted as an individual by the well educated few and treated with suspicion by the very loud layman masses. How do you feel about that, Mr. Bin Laden? You are the Muslim world’s Nat Turner! Are you proud of yourself?


Islam was struck the hardest blow when the World Trade Center fell. An imam would like to build a Islamic center near ground zero in Soho. Before 9/11 no one would have blinked an eye and would’ve seen an entirely different reason for the location: Soho-Tribeca is the religious center of Manhattan.

There are houses of worship of a wide variety of faiths all over the area. As a Buddhist, I was delighted to see a Mahayana temple in this area and then there are the churches and cathedrals. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a stupa or Hindu temple here either. Therefore, a mosque is due to join the furl of religious real estate.
Donald Trump made a nice offer to help the imam move the Islamic center somewhere else nearby, The center would still be in Soho-Tribeca and therefore be in good company with it’s faith based neighbors. However, the discourse over the Islamic center has gotten so heated, that the imam refuses to move the site for the proposed mosque based on principle.

Now that the imam has refuse Mr. Trump’s offer, I think now the argument is a mix of principle and stubbornness myself. Donald Trump is a huge influence in the Manhattan real estate world. He could get the imam just about any vacant site he wanted, perhaps even better. Why hang on to a plot of land so close to Ground Zero?

Freedom of religion should be observed by all Americans of course. However, as a gesture of goodwill, moving 5 blocks away isn’t unreasonable. I’m not saying that the imam should lose face by rolling over to abate the xenophobic anit-Muslim sentiment. No. What would be a great trade off for the gesture, is an extensive government funded campaign to educate people about Islam. I would love to see a School House Rock continuation of America Rock featuring freedom of religion and another animated PSA on the basic philosophy of Islam. Islam is the second largest religion in the world and growing in America and Europe. Some people may feel inundated and intolerant are always the first to turn to violence first. Therefore, there should be an effort to prevent a culture war, before the rift tears society apart!

However….
If the Islamic center stays at it’s current site, it would be a good idea to have an prominent annex that educates non-Muslims about Islam as well as a memorial to honor the casualties of 9/11. For in the end, it is very important that everyone knows the distinction that it was not Islam that flew two planes into World Trade Center. It was the act of a handful of crazed haters acting under the orders of an evil individual named Osama Bin Laden and his evil organization Al Quaeda that the world needs to bring to justice.

—-

Below are pics of the Soho/Trbieca, Financial District and Battery Park area. I took these on the very last day of my summer in New York in 2009.

I did not want to visit Ground Zero until the very last day of my trip because, first, I find gaping at tragedies morbid and disrespectful and second, I did not want the gloom of sadness to hang over me. I wanted my internship-vacation to be a happy one. However, in the end I decided to pay my respects. Despite the sunny day, depression and awe did hit me. Oddly what I found most poignant was how close the surrounding buildings are the site and that they were perfectly in tact. Not to mention how close the center of the American art world shares the same neighborhood with Ground Zeroa and so many religious centers. Even the financial district with the famous New York stock exchange is close by. Very close by.

I hope these pictures will give those who don’t know Manhattan well an idea of were the Islamic center will be and hopefully not see it as such a violation. Although I did not take pictures, there other non-Judeo Christian based houses of worship in the area. Therefore an Islamic center with a mosque or prayer room would not be out of place. If you look at the landscape, it’s a bit easier to take the Islamic center out of the context of Ground Zero and place it with it’s neighbors who provide comfort for their followers who toiling long hours in office high rises nearby.

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