US News and World Report spreads false information. “The ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Is Not a Mosque (or at Ground Zero),” by Robert Schlesinger at US News & World Report, August 16 (thanks to Dave Washburn):
Despite what you might have heard, a 13-story mosque is not going to be built at ground zero in lower Manhattan. For that matter, a 13-story mosque is not going to be built within a few blocks of ground zero. Rather a 13-story building is going up which will contain, among other things, a mosque.
This might seem like an academic distinction, but in the heated debate surrounding Park51, or as the building is known more commonly, the “ground zero mosque,” it really is an important one.
First here are the facts: The building in question is planned to be a Muslim community center, a sort of YMCA (or, I suppose, YMMA). The plans are for it to have fitness facilities (swimming pool, gym, basketball court), a 500-seat auditorium, a restaurant and a cooking school, exhibition space, a library, art studios, a 9/11 memorial–the impudence! the outrage!–and childcare facilities (which no doubt will soon be referred to as a “Manhattan Madrasa”). And it’s also going to house a mosque.
Actually, the YMCA doesn’t have a church in it. The 92nd Street Y, to which the mosque organizers often compare their Ground Zero project, doesn’t contain a synagogue. The Park51/Cordoba House will contain a mosque, as Schlesinger acknowledges, but he doesn’t see how that destroys his analogy. If the mosque organizers want this to be simply a community center, why not take out the mosque? Or include a church and a synagogue?
But calling the entire building a mosque is a bit like referring to the Empire State Building as a 103-story Walgreens because the pharmacy chain has a store on the ground floor.
When people start coming out of Walgreens calling for the replacement of the U.S. Constitution with a legal system that extinguishes the freedom of speech, the freedom of conscience, and the equality of rights of all people before the law, as the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf does when he defends Sharia and calls for its implementation, call me.
And for that matter it’s important to keep in mind that it’s not at ground zero. It’s two blocks north of ground zero, on a street running parallel to the old World Trade Center site. …
That’s a false statement. If it is at 45 Park Place, replacing a building that was severely damaged in the 9/11 attacks — as it is projected to be — the mosque will be on Ground Zero, as I explained here.