Muslim Prayer Room Was Part of Life at Twin Towers

  • metta

    Posts: 38671

    Sep 10, 2010 7:55 PM GMT
    Muslim Prayer Room Was Part of Life at Twin Towers

    Since you have to be signed in to view the article, I will post some important quotes from the story:

    "Muslim prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower"

    Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center.

    Opponents of the Parc51 project say the presence of a Muslim center dishonors the victims of the Islamic extremists who flew two jets into the towers. Yet not only were Muslims peacefully worshiping in the twin towers long before the attacks, but even after the 1993 bombing of one tower by a Muslim radical, Ramzi Yousef, their religious observance generated no opposition

    “We weren’t aliens,” Mr. Abdus-Salaam, 60, said in a telephone interview from Florida, where he moved in retirement. “We had a foothold there. You’d walk into the elevator in the morning and say, ‘Salaam aleikum,’ to one construction worker and five more guys in suits would answer, ‘Aleikum salaam.’ ”


    Moreover, the prayer room was not the only example of Muslim religious practice in or near the trade center. About three dozen Muslim staff members of Windows on the World, the restaurant atop the north tower, used a stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors for their daily prayers.

    Without enough time to walk to the closest mosque — Masjid Manhattan on Warren Street, about four blocks away — the waiters, chefs, banquet managers and others would lay a tablecloth atop the concrete landing in the stairwell and flatten cardboard boxes from food deliveries to serve as prayer mats.

    During Ramadan, the Muslim employees brought their favorite foods from home, and at the end of the daylight fast shared their iftar meal in the restaurant’s employee cafeteria. “Iftar was my best memory,” said Sekou Siby, 45, a chef originally from the Ivory Coast. “It was really special.”

    Fekkak Mamdouh, an immigrant from Morocco who was head waiter, attended a worship service just weeks after the attacks that honored the estimated 60 Muslims who died. Far from being viewed as objectionable, the service was conducted with formal support from city, state and federal authorities, who arranged for buses to transport imams and mourners to Warren Street.

    There, within sight of the ruins, they chanted salat al-Ghaib, the funeral prayer when there is not an intact corpse.

    “It is a shame, shame, shame,” Mr. Mamdouh, 49, said of the Parc51 dispute. “Sometimes I wake up and think, this is not what I came to America for. I came here to build this country together. People are using this issue for their own agenda. It’s designed to keep the hate going.”
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    Sep 10, 2010 10:35 PM GMT
    metta8 said

    Since you have to be singed in to view the article, I will post some important quotes from the story:


    Just like those copies of the Qu'ran burned by the Taliban, purely collateral damage, and terrorists don't care about collateral damage.