A mosque has sprung up in what at first seems like the unlikeliest of locations in Manhattan: around the corner from Ground Zero. But those who frequent the Muslim place of worship say that its proximity to the worldwide symbol of Islamist violence is key to the city’s healing process. While in other parts of the world, governments have banned minarets and burkas, in New York City, Muslims and Christians are taking a more tolerant approach to living side by side. The mosque, whose founders want to expand to include a museum and cultural centre, is sandwiched between an Amish market and an Irish pub. As Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, explains: “It was almost obvious that something like this had to arise from the ashes of 9/11 […] In some way, this has the hand of the divine written over it. It’s almost as if God wanted to be involved.”
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