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Another 600 Feet


I’ve seen several posts about all the other things within 600 feet of the WTC site. Strip bars, fast food joints, and pretty much eveything a big city offers. The point of the posts, I think, is to counter the notion that the proposed Hamasque site is sacred ground. If there are so many vices so close, how sacred can that spot be?

The counter-counter fielded by the Hamasque opponents is that the building in question was struck by a piece of one the planes. That damage somehow anointed the structure with socio-cultural holiness.

I see merit in both points. But I am not persuaded. On one hand, we’ve got the beginnings of a “George Washington slept here” farce. And we open ourselves to phony relics from “the one True jetliner”. Yet, the surrounding vices only increase the importance of holding some places sacred. If we promised to Never Forget, we do have to be on guard against the encroachment of the mundane.

Then Cobb played a card that trumps both sides of the argument. Go another 600 feet away from the site (in the same direction), and you’ll find a mosque:

Since 1970, Masjid Manhattan has been a peaceful, not-for-profit organization located in the area of downtown Manhattan. Our members are City, State and Federal employees, as well as professional employees of the Financial area who come to our Masjid to perform their daily prayers.

Please be advised that we are by no means affiliated with any other organization trying to build anything new in the area of downtown Manhattan.

The Muslim community is already being served in the shadow of Ground Zero.

Can this be allowed to persist so close to hallowed ground? Don’t we owe it to the memory of the fallen to buy out Masjid Manhattan? Or, is the Hamasque proposal further exposed as an insult or a victory symbol?