Updates
:: Dec 10, 2012 – Fox News Reignites Islamophobic Campaign Against The ‘Ground Zero Mosque’
:: Aug 1, 2011 – Developers of Islamic Center Try a New Strategy
:: Aug 13, 2010 – The great “Ground Zero mosque” hoax

Monday, I spent some time with Google. I wanted to see the neighborhood where the Islamic community center that Sarah Palin called “an intolerable mistake on hallowed ground” was planned. And I wanted to know more about the center than I was seeing in press reports. Fortunately, we have the Web: we don’t have to rely on someone else’s interpretation of events or facts.

NY Dolls

Google Map - New York Dolls Strip Club

First, I knew that the neighborhood included the New York Dolls “Gentlemen’s Club” — courtesy of Jean Marbella at the Baltimore Sun. According to its website, it is “The Ultimate Ny Strip Club.” As you can see, it’s around the corner from Ground Zero. It’s next door to “Uncle Mike’s” where the bartenders “make amazing CockTails” and “wear Sexxy & Naughty Costumes EVERYDAY!”

The Burlington Coat Factory that is to be the new home of the community center is next door to the Amish Market (misnamed) and the Dakota Roadhouse, “Where too much is never enough.” Miller Lite is only $3.00 from Opening-5PM from Monday-Wednesday and on Thursday
“BUCKETS OF BUD AND BUD LIGHT $13.00 ALL DAY AND NIGHT!”

“Hallowed” ground? Yeah, right.

Second, I wanted to know more about the cultural center. Here’s “the mosque” — read this to truly understand how Palin et al have deliberately perverted the purpose of this facility in order to score political points. Park51 will contain:

  • outstanding recreation spaces and fitness facilities (swimming pool, gym, basketball court)
  • a 500-seat auditorium
  • a restaurant and culinary school
  • cultural amenities including exhibitions
  • education programs
  • a library, reading room and art studios
  • childcare services
  • a mosque, intended to be run separately from Park51 but open to and accessible to all members, visitors and our New York community
  • a September 11th memorial and quiet contemplation space, open to all

Notice that last item: a September 11th memorial and quiet contemplation space, open to all. No Republican has talked about this bit, have they?

Third, what does the area look like? For that, I turned to Google Street View:

Site of Proposed NYC Islamic Community Center - Former Burlington Coat Factory - Looking Southeast

Burlington Coat Factory

Burlington Coat Factory - Looking Northwest

This building is located on a narrow, one-way New York Street (on the north side of Park). Buildings are tall in NYC and shut out views and light. The views up and down the street provide not one hint of the World Trade Center site. Nor does it look anything like a street where you’d find a church in much of mainstream America.

This is not at Ground Zero, a term FOX News first applied to the project in December 2009, when conservative host Laura Ingraham couldn’t “find many people who really have a problem with it.” Then in May, another Rupert Murdoch property, The New York Post, inaccurately labeled the project the “WTC Mosque.” Pamela Geller, “a right-wing, viciously anti-Muslim” blogger went wild, headlining a post “Monster Mosque Pushes Ahead in Shadow of World Trade Center Islamic Death and Destruction:”

What better way to mark your territory than to plant a giant mosque on the still-barren land of the World Trade Center? (Note: Palin isn’t the only person who is geographically challenged.)

[…]

This is Islamic domination and expansionism. The location is no accident. Just as Al-Aqsa was built on top of the Temple in Jerusalem.

So there you have it. See for yourself, don’t take Geller’s (or Murdoch’s) word for what is going on where.

This community center is, for all intents and purposes, in a world far away from the financial center that was the Twin Towers.

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More shots of the New York City TriBeCa neighborhood, from Daryl Lang.

KATHY GILL, Technology Policy Analyst
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