On August 20, Rami Fakih, Miss USA 2010, told CBS-TV’s “Inside Edition” that the planned mosque shouldn’t be this close to where the Twin Towers stood.
Fakih is the first Arab-American to wear the Miss USA crown, and says she is a practicing Muslim.
The reason she gave Inside Edition for objecting to the mosque being situated at the 9/11 site is because at this point there should still be more sensitivity for the tragedy rather than [centering in on] religion.
Her announcement came only days after President Obama announced his public support for the Cordoba Initiative Mosque Project in close proximity to where the majority of the World Trade Center was destroyed on September 11, 2001.
Fakih said she agrees with President Obama on religious freedom, but that this is her viewpoint on the mosque location. The interview was also carried by both the New York Post and New York Daily News.
Fakih’s parents immigrated to the United States from Lebanon. She will be this year’s United States Representative in the Miss Universe pageant.
Other Muslims objecting to the Mosque at this location:
The President of The American Islamic Forum for Democracy, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, told The Daily Caller that this mosque would be like casting a shadow over the hollowed ground cemetery of 9/11.
The executive director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism, Stephen Schwartz, advised in the same article that many Muslims question the wisdom of this location, but are feeling called to be silent for religious reasons. Schwartz, who converted to Islam in 1997, also wrote an August 3 article for the Center’s website, “A Muslim Case Against the Mosque.”
The Muslim Canadian Congress website released an August 9 article asking the Imam to reconsider the 9/11 Cordoba Initiative site. The article states that even if his reasons are noble, it is still an obvious offense to America because some of the attackers were from Saudi Arabia. This article also asks why a monument commemorating those who died hasn’t been built on or near the 9/11 tragedy’s site.
From the other perspective:
Stories can be seen about how some 9/11 victims’ families support the mosque here at Yahoo News; and how a mother who lost her pregnant daughter in the event still supports the mosque near the site (here at TPM).
Sources (no direct quotes):
“Miss USA Weighs in on Mosque Controversy,” CBS-TV, “Inside Edition,” 8/20/10.
“Miss USA Rima Fakih, first Muslim winner, speaks out against mosque near Ground Zero,” Samuel Goldsmith, New York Daily News, 8/20/10.
“Muslim Miss USA: Move the Mosque,” Jennifer Fermino, New York Post, 8/21/10.
“Obama’s mosque moment frustrates Dems,” Glenn Thrush, Virginia PilotOnline.com, 8/21/10.
“Moderate Muslims oppose location of Cordoba Mosque – on religious grounds,” Caroline May, The Daily Caller, 8/18/20.
“Muslim Canadian Congress urges New York’s Ground-Zero Mosque Imam to abandon project,” The Muslim Canadian Congress website, 8/9/10.
The American Islamic Forum for Democracy website.
“Mosque near Ground Zero divides Sept. 11 relatives,” Samantha Gross, AP, found at Yahoo News, 8/20/10.
“Pro-Mosque Mom Who Lost Pregnant Daughter…” Christina Bellantoni, TPM Muckraker, 8/16/10.