A new play, based on fictional events set in a Chicago suburb, explores the tension around building Mosques in the United States. Mosque Alert started out as a reaction to the debate surrounding the mosque planned, but never built, near the World Trade Center, New York City. The play revolves around three families in Naperville, IL, just outside of Chicago, as a mosque is planned to be built on a beloved historic site in their neighborhood. Written by Jamil Khoury, Mosque Alert was originally conceived as an online civic engagement project. In that spirit, the play was developed through community based workshops, with over 2,500 Muslims and non-Muslims participated over the last five years. As such, the characters of the play represent a broad demographic and set of ideologies around the topic. “I should thank Donald Trump,” playwright Jamil Khoury said in a press release. “If Mosque Alert was relevant when I first started, that relevance has since exploded. Today the play exists within a cultural zeitgeist animated by fears of immigrants, fears of Muslims, demographic anxiety attacks, and calls to erect walls and impose bans—a more optimistic read is that of one big messy America struggling to work it out for the better.” Director and Chicago native Edward Torres recently directed Macbeth for the Public Theater. He reflected on the themes of the play in a press release, saying “Mosque Alert gives voice to multiple American perspectives and exposes the fears at the heart of intolerance.” Silk Road Rising, the playhouse producing the play describes the production as “the intersections of zoning and Islamophobia with humor.” Park51, the mosque and community center planned for Lower Manhattan, and inspiration for the play, was controversially dubbed the “Ground Zero Mosque" due to its relation to the World Trade Center Site. The original name of the project, designed by Michel Abboud in 2010, was "Cordoba House.” The reference was meant to evoke the peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in the 8th Century Córdoba, Spain. After much debate, the project was eventually suspended and new plans were made for the site. Currently the owner is planning to build a Luxury condominium tower at the location. Mosque Alert will show from March 24th – May 1st, Thursdays through Sundays at the Historic Chicago Temple Building in downtown Chicago.
Posts tagged with "Mosques":
The Saudi Arabia civil defence authority reports nearly 200 injured as preparations were being made for the annual Hajj pilgrimage. The authority said the crane fell as a result of a storm in the vicinity, however, it is not yet known if this was the sole reason or whether there were any structural faults with the crane. A tweet below appears to show lightning hitting the crane minutes before it fell which may have caused the tragedy. If so, questions will be asked as to why it wasn't fitted with a sufficient electrical grounding mechanism. https://twitter.com/flyroundthewrld/status/642379123655053313 https://twitter.com/CNN/status/642406517648527361 https://twitter.com/BBCBreaking/status/642391030793433089 https://twitter.com/aamirsagar/status/642396441831448577 Every year hundreds of thousands of Muslims make their way to the site as part of the Hajj Pilgrimage. According to Al Jazeera, the crane fell at approximately 5:45p.m., with the mosque being packed 45 minutes before prayer. Some viewers may find footage in the video below disturbing and so viewer discretion is advised. https://youtu.be/SqxwoQLpC0A
It looks like New York isn't the only city with a controversial mosque on the horizon—and in the case of Marseilles, that's quite literally where it's going. Archinect points us to a BBC report about the Grand Mosque, a huge new complex atop one of the city's northern hills. As the video above shows, the complaints are akin to those surrounding the proposed mosque around the corner from the World Trade Center site—concerns about culture, paternalism, terrorism, and community, though in France the concerns are obviously less direct. In a favorable sign for the NYC mosque, the local community board voted against landmarking the former Burlington Coat Factory ahead of a binding review at the commission next Tuesday. The vote is non-binding but tends to carry some wait, though we're curious to see what actually happens, as this should be one of the more interesting commission meetings in recent memory. Do check back for a full report.