ground zero

Discovering “Little Syria”—New York’s Long-Lost Arab Neighborhood

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The seven of us stood in the parking lot of the office building across the street, and Joe opened the zippered cover of his three-ring binder full of painstakingly collected photographs of the old neighborhood gathered for the exhibition. As he began reading aloud an oral history from Marian Sahadi Ciacci—“A Syrian who married an Italian!”—it felt like a religious occasion, a conjuring out of almost nothing of an entire world gone by.

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Liberal Defenders of “Mosque” Get it Wrong

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That the kindergarten logic of “hear no evil, see no evil” is being used in order to sway public opinion in favor of the Center, but while the success of these maneuvers remains to be seen, its damage is immediately apparent: if Park51 ‘sounds’ nothing like mosque, claims to ‘be’ nothing like a mosque, and, ‘looks’ nothing like a mosque, then, and only then, does it emerge a defensible endeavor within the United States.

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The Anti-Defamation League Jumps the Shark

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There was a fair amount of surprise when ADL went on record opposing the construction of a progressive, moderate, multifaith dialogue-oriented Islamic center two blocks from Ground Zero in Manhattan. Wait a minute, my (non-Jewish) boyfriend asked me, did they drop a letter from their name? Are they the Defamation League now?

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Is Religious Freedom a Casualty at Ground Zero?

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New York City’s Landmark Preservation Commission’s unanimous decision on August 3, 2010, to allow plans for the construction of a mosque and community center near Ground Zero to move forward has been hailed by some as a victory for religious freedom, but it has also provided more fodder for latent anti-Muslim sentiments that have surfaced nationally.

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