Hallowed Ground ?

New York Photoblogger Daryl Lang decided to take a walk and see what else is within a two-block radius of the former site of the World Trade Center.

You’ll find, among other things, a strip club, an Off-Track Betting parlor, a bar, fast food restaurants, and t-shirt vendors.

Lang comments:

What’s my point? A month ago, I wrote about my support for a group of Muslim New Yorkers—whom I consider my neighbors—and their right to put a religious building on a piece of private property in Lower Manhattan. Since then, the debate over the Park51 community center, inaccurately nicknamed the “Ground Zero Mosque,” has jumped from talk radio to mainstream conversation, and turned nasty in the process. Sarah Palin wrote that, “it would be an intolerable and tragic mistake to allow such a project sponsored by such an individual to go forward on such hallowed ground.”

Look at the photos. This neighborhood is not hallowed. The people who live and work here are not obsessed with 9/11. The blocks around Ground Zero are like every other hard-working neighborhood in New York, where Muslims are just another thread of the city fabric.

Perhaps before people start commenting on this issue, they should spend some time in that neighborhood.

FILED UNDER: Religion, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Gwen says:

    Why don’t we just start with the fact that the First Amendment Rights are NOT up for debate. Nor is the State or City law that governs the zoning for that property. Done. End of discussion. Let’s move our attention to something that actually needs tending. Unbelievable.

  2. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Oh creator of strawmen. NO ONE HAS SAID THEY DO NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO BUILD THE ISLAMIC CENTER AT OR NEAR GROUND ZERO. What people are saying is that it is insensative to do so. Doug, where is the money comming from to build that mosque? Why is Hamas endorcing the building of that facility? I guess 70 % of Americans who feel this is a very bad move for muslims as they are not being sensative to the feelings of those who lost loved ones on 9/11 are somehow wrong. This will sting in November.

  3. An Interested Party says:

    “What people are saying is that it is insensative to do so.”

    This from a person who has openly endorsed bodily harm for people around here that he disagrees with…

    “This will sting in November.”

    Ahh, the true motive for so much of the outrage about all of this…it is hoped by some that it will deliver votes for the GOP…

  4. Gwen says:

    The GOP is based on fear. And the majority of their flock live in fear. It’s an old Burlington Coat Factory. Let’s get real. It’s blocks away from the old Twin Towers. What religion was Tim McVey? Should we tear down any church he might have belonged to? Or stop a new one from being built? When do you decide to stop living your life in fear? It’s a personal decision. I believe the majority of the US that will vote, will vote in favor of our First Amendment rights and not against. What is true here is that this sort of intolerance for others will bring out the Blue in force this November. Just like we did when we elected the President. Those of you that live in fear, lock your doors, turn on FAUX news and watch it all go down!

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    IP, I do not endorce bodily harm for anyone, except those who might foolishly try to harm me. However I did hope those who think Islam means us no harm be involved personally when the next demostration of Islamic tolerance goes off. You guys really have trouble with the truth don’t you?

  6. legion says:

    Zel, you’re always nutsy when you post, but with that first comment, I will look you in the eye and call you a flat-out, bald-faced liar. LOTS of people are saying they have no right to build “near” ground zero. Anon-trivial number of people are saying they shouldn’t have the right to build mosques _AT ALL_. Your general wrongness and stupidity are par for the course, but the intellectual dishonesty really peeves me.

  7. baldilocks says:

    When pole dancers start banding together and flying planes into buildings in the name of hoochie-hood, I’ll protest their intent to build a 9/11 Victory strip club next to Ground Zero whether they have the right to or not.

  8. anjin-san says:

    > IP, I do not endorce bodily harm for anyone

    Actually, that is a lie too. Everyone remembers your recent comments in the threads related to the imaginary “invasion” of Arizona by Mexican drug gangs.

  9. Jim Treacher says:

    Perhaps before whining about the phrase “hallowed ground,” people should read the transcript of Obama’s speech Friday night.

    Wow, there’s an OTB and a McDonald’s there? Take that, wingnuts!

  10. I read Obama’s Friday speech at the Iftar dinner. I agree with it 100%. I wish he hadn’t walked it back on Saturday afternoon

  11. Jim Treacher says:

    If you agree with Obama’s speech 100%, you agree with the part where he called Ground Zero “hallowed ground.”

    It just blows my mind that lower Manhattan isn’t an open pasture. Thanks for filling the rest of us in, NYC!

  12. Juneau: says:

    For someone to state that if you are against building the Mosque you are against freedom of religion is like saying that if you are against Wikileaks posting national secrets then you are against freedom of speech. There are qualifying factors in both of these scenarios which are obvious to most Americans. This is why approximately 70% of the nation is against the mosque being built in that location.

    The notion pushed by liberals that “Ground Zero” applies only to THE specific real estate where the towers stood, and that “hallowed ground’ requires some sort of official acknowledgment or monument to grant it that status, is simply willful ignorance of how the vast majority of Americans view the situation.

  13. William Teach says:

    Last time I checked, strippers and food workers weren’t a threat to hijack airplanes and fly them in to buildings. People who sell XXX DVD’s aren’t a threat to strap on a suicide vest. The street vendors are not hiding explosives under their tables, then walking away to watch them go boom and kill the infidel.

  14. john says:

    I’ve heard that they’ll be using non-union labor to build the mosque. Are you still in favor of it?