The sponsors of the Ground Zero Mosque have displayed a new series of architectural renderings to show the world what their monument to Islamic victory will look like. The building is dressed in a honeycomb of abstract hexagonal shapes that some observers have said appears to incorporate the Jewish symbol of the Star of David and others have compared to the crystalline headquarters of Superman, depicted in comic books, known as the Fortress of Solitude.
The company behind the development pointed out that the hexagram is used in Islam as well as in Judaism, Christianity and in other religions.
Sharif El-Gamal, the developer, said:
We want to have a marriage between Islamic architecture and New York City…I don’t think that once this thing gets built, anyone will be picketing.
To the contrary, I am quite confident that the protests against this affront to the memories of those who perished on 9/11 will continue – before, during and (if it is ever built) after the construction is completed.
What we were once told was going to be a 13 story structure has now become a 16 story structure, as plans for today’s version of the Tower of Babel evolve. It appears that the prayer space for Muslims will be on two levels in the basement, while the 12th floor will have a 9/11 memorial and sanctuary open to people of all faiths. Other floors will contain various community center facilities such as a gym and pool – most likely segregated by sex.
The mainstream media news accounts that I have read about the design sketches focus on the design’s creativity and try to portray it as further evidence of the sponsors’ inter-faith inclusiveness.
Here, for example, is how the left-wing Guardian UK described the design concept:
Now, conceptual drawings of the building have been released, revealing a planned structure that is strikingly modern and in keeping with the spirit of New York’s most cutting-edge design…Contrary to the mass of bad publicity that has been heaped on it in recent weeks, the building is designed to be multifaith and also secular.
The opposite is the case. The Ground Zero Mosque design concept is based on Mashrabiya, a type of projecting window enclosed with latticework found mostly in Islamic countries like Iraq and Egypt but also appearing in countries of past conquests such as Spain. According to one explanation of the meaning of “Mashrabiya,” the name was originally mashrafiya, derived from the verb Ashrafa, which means to overlook or to observe.
The Ground Zero Mosque imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, told listeners on Egyptian radio that his project would be an “icon” that the Muslim world can be proud of. The latest design drawings confirm this – a 16 story building towering over any other place of worship in Manhattan that is literally intended to overlook the scene of the radical Islamists’ ‘conquest.’