Tulsa Imam: Mosque Near Ground Zero About 'Religious Diversity'

Monday, August 23rd 2010, 12:56 pm
By: News On 6


NEW YORK CITY -- Hundreds of people gathered in New York City over the weekend to protest a proposed mosque and Islamic community center two blocks away from Ground Zero.

They want the $100 million project to be moved somewhere else. 

A smaller group of mosque supporters held a counter-protest nearby. 

The New York Daily News reports a growing number of construction workers in New York City say they will not work on the proposed mosque if it stays on Ground Zero.

Opponents say building a mosque so close to where the World Trade Centers once stood and then collapsed is insensitive.  But supporters say it's not about emotions.

"It's about religious freedom," Arthur Farahkhan said. "It's about religious diversity."

Tulsa Imam Arthur Farahkhan says the Tulsa community has more than 5,000 practicing Muslims. He says the entire religion should not be the scapegoat for terrorists.

"If you take that posture that a Muslim house of worship shouldn't be here because people who call themselves Muslim were responsible for destroying this, then we could take the position that we aren't going to have anything to do with Christians because the KKK are Christians," he said.

Imam Farahkhan says there are churches and synagogues in the area and Muslims should not be excluded.

"Ground Zero is to be about the beginning and not the end," he said. "So we believe Ground Zero is where we began. Faith in God. Recognizing and respecting diversity."

The News On 6 wants to know what you think about a mosque being built near Ground Zero. Supporters say it's about religious freedom, opponents say it's insensitive.

What do you think? Should a mosque be built near Ground Zero? Take the poll below.