CT Muslim Leader: Move Mosque from Ground Zero Site

Johnny Walsh

A leader in Connecticut’s Muslim community is taking a stand that she knows won’t make her popular with the Muslim community. Rabia Chaudry says it’s time to think about finding a new site for the mosque proposed for the area near Ground Zero.

Chaudry is vice president of the Muslim Coalition of Connecticut, Fellow of the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, and a Connecticut immigration lawyer and she wrote a column for the Hartford Courant, taking a stand on an issue that become a controversial one nationwide.

“Because I cannot be excommunicated, I am going to go ahead and take it: It's time to reconsider the Park51 project and make the concession of moving it,” she said.

The roots of her decision go back to the year 628 and the Treaty of Hudaybiyah and a story of a Muslim Prophet making major concessions to promote peace and trust among Meccans, even though it caused anger and humiliation for his group, she wrote. You can read more on the Treaty of Hudaybiyah in her post on the Courant’s Web site.

The decision about building a mosque near Ground Zero has parallels to that story and this is a modern day opportunity to apply the lessons learned so long ago, she said.

“Although it's important to acknowledge that this issue has become highly politicized and been used by fear-mongers with broad anti-Muslim agendas, it is equally true that there are people who do not hate Muslims but are genuinely fearful of the implications of this project,” she wrote.

“For the past decade American Muslims have spent most of their energies explaining to others who we are not - not extremists and not terrorists. But now, like the Prophet, we have an opportunity to instead show who Muslims are, compassionate for the sentiments of others and willing to compromise for the greater good,” she wrote.

You can read her full column on the Courant’s Web site.

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