Controversy over Islamic Center at Ground Zero Brings More American Muslims into Conversation

Controversy over Islamic Center at Ground Zero Brings More American Muslims into Conversation

Controversy over Islamic Center at Ground Zero Brings More American Muslims into Conversation

The controversy surrounding the proposed building of an Islamic center near ground zero has led to a summit of U.S. Muslim organizations.  Discussions at the summit, which began Sunday in New York City, are believed to focus on the controversial project.

It is not known if the groups participating will emerge from the summit with a common stance on how to move forward with the project.  While the planned Islamic cultural center will no doubt receive much of the conversation time, the original reason for the meeting was to focus on combating religious bigotry.

One of the organizers of the meeting, Shaik Ubaid of the Islamic Leadership Council of Metropolitan New York, said that the opinion American Muslims have of the project is beginning to change because of the anti-Muslim comments being made by some opponents of the proposed building site.  He said that Muslims who were initially indifferent, and even opposed to the building site, are beginning to offer their support to the project.

The summit expects to hold a news conference on Monday after holding private discussions on Sunday.  One of the things expected to be discussed during the talks is the possibility of building a non-denominational prayer area in the center.  Many Muslims have called for the center to be open to people of all faiths, and a prayer center, much like the one at the Pentagon where different denominations hold services on different days of the week, is an idea that many Muslim groups have endorsed.


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