05 December, 2010

Green: the Park51 Mosque, New York

The controversial community Center with a prayer space for Muslims and other faiths: the Park51 Mosque - is planned to be built at 45/47 Park Place in lower Manhattan, New York. There is so much heated debate and controversy about the building of this mosque, that - most forget that: many Muslims died too during the Twin Tower attack; most ignore the fact that there are an estimated 600,000 Muslims now living in New York and they represent one of the fastest growing religious communities in the City. And even more, ignore the fact or do not know that - Park51 will be one of the most environmentally friendly places of worship, not only in America but, on Earth.

The Center will also be dedicated to pluralism, service, arts and culture, education and empowerment, appreciation for our city and respect for our planet. Park51 will join New York to the world, offering a welcoming community center with multiple points of entry. And will also have prayer spaces for use by all faiths; it will have multiple points of entry, offering programming in the areas of arts and culture, education and recreation. Within that larger vision, Park51 will be a center for multi-faith dialogue and engagement.

It is reported that the proposed state-of-the-art mosque will cost about 100 million Dollars to build; if built - it will be thirteen to fifteen stories high of glass and steel; and it will have no minarets or domes like traditional mosques. And most impressive of all - it will be the first green mosque in the US; it will not only comply with very strict LEED green standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), but it will also become an interfaith cultural center that will emphasize “the intricate relationships between Islamic teachings and environmentalism”. LEED certification requires developers to embrace high standards of energy and water efficiency, and encourages them to use sustainable building materials and renewable energy technologies. The Park51 Mosque intends to comply with that.

+More on the Mosque: The Cordoba Movement, sketches of the Mosque and Wikipedia.

+Read articles on the building of the Mosque on: gbNYC Magazine, The Huffington Post, Time, the Economist and the New Yorker.