Springingtiger's Blog

A House of Prayer for All Nations and the Ground Zero Mosque
September 22, 2010, 23:55
Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , ,

It is understandable that many people do not want a mosque at Ground Zero because in many minds the 9/11 atrocity, is an outcome of Islam whereas it is in reality merely an expression of a world in which violence is an acceptable instrument through which to accomplish a goal. Just as violence is used as a tool by people of all religions so those who died at Ground Zero belonged to all religions. I think we should perhaps look more carefully at the idea of a mosque at Ground Zero.

It was not only Moslems who died nor American Christians. A mosque is not appropriate alone because it does not adequately reflect on the tragedy. Something inclusive, something for people of all faiths and of none is called for. I say build a House of Prayer (and reflection) for All Nations.

I see an eight sided building with a door facing each of the cardinal points of the compass. Topped by a dome surmounted by a lantern. Into the outside walls are engraved the names of everyone who lost their lives. Inside a large circular space surrounded by stepped seating. On the inside walls a niche indicating the direction of Mecca but also showing the bearings of the major holy places of the world such as Jerusalem, Varanasi, Lhasa, Mount Fuji, Machu Pichu, Iona, Glastonbury, Rome. In the base of the dome windows to catch the sun at the solstices and equinoxes. Hanging from the lantern of the dome a lamp containing an eternally burning flame.
The building should contain no religious symbols and so exclude no one.

Beneath the building there shall be a library and reading room. Close to the building there shall be a visitors centre with displays about 9/11 and a visitors book to sign, a (tasteful) book and souvenir shop, and a restaurant and cafe.

The House of Prayer shall be administered by representatives appointed by the major religions with oversight by the leaders of those religions but also with representation from Humanists and the secular. It should be a place of sharing and mutual support but above all a declaration that the people of the world are not willing to allow their faiths to be an excuse for hatred and that they will not allow another 9/11.


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