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Qatar Tribune: Ground Zero Mosque

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CHARLIE BROOKER | GUARDIAN NEWS SERVICE

THINGS seem awfully heated in America right now; so heated you could probably toast a marshmallow by jabbing it on a stick and holding it toward the USA.

Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a “victory mosque” slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.

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The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs.

The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.

I’m exaggerating. But I’m only exaggerating a tad more than some of the professional exaggerators who initially raised objections to the “Ground Zero mosque”.

They keep calling it the “Ground Zero mosque”, incidentally, because it’s a catchy title that paints a powerful image – specifically, the image of a mosque at Ground Zero. When I heard about it – in passing, in a soundbite – I figured it was a US example of the sort of inanely confrontational fantasy scheme a proselytising Islamist might issue a press release about if he fancied winding up the newspapers for the 900th time this year.

I was wrong. The “Ground Zero mosque” is a genuine proposal, but it’s slightly less provocative than its critics’ nickname makes it sound. For one thing, it’s not at Ground Zero.

Also, it isn’t a mosque. Wait, it gets duller. It’s not being built by extremists either. Cordoba House, as it’s known, is a proposed Islamic cultural centre, which, in addition to a prayer room, will include a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool. Its aim is to improve inter-faith relations.

It’ll probably also have comfy chairs and people who smile at you when you walk in. To get to the Cordoba Centre from Ground Zero, you’d have to walk in the opposite direction for two blocks, before turning a corner and walking a bit more.

The journey should take roughly two minutes, or possibly slightly longer if you’re heading an angry mob who can’t hear your directions over the sound of their own enraged bellowing.

Perhaps spatial reality functions differently on the other side of the Atlantic, but here in London, something that is “two minutes’ walk and round a corner” from something else isn’t actually “in” the same place at all. I once had a poo in a pub about two minutes’ walk from Buckingham Palace.

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The Prophet (SAW) has taught us the best of deeds are those that done consistently, even if they are small. Click here to support MuslimMatters with a monthly donation of $2 per month. Set it and collect blessings from Allah (swt) for the khayr you're supporting without thinking about it.

Muslim American born in Brooklyn, NY with Guyanese parents currently living in Virginia working full-time as a web developer.

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