What? Ain’t none of youse New Yorkers mad no more?!
The so-called Ground Zero mosque, where proponents of religious freedom clashed with conservative pols and the families of 9/11 victims for nearly two years, opened Wednesday without controversy.
Instead of protesters, who tried to shut down the Park51 center several times, spectators milled about the center before entering to view a photographic exhibition.
NYChildren, as the exhibit was titled, was as much a tribute to New York City’s diversity as a display of mere photographs. It includes snapshots of a city children representative of 160 ethnicities from around the world.
Cultural center developer Sharif El-Gamal accepted the blame for the outrage New Yorkers felt at the idea of a Mosque opening so close to World Trade Center grounds.
“We made incredible mistakes,” Sharif El-Gamal told The Associated Press in an interview in his Manhattan office. “The biggest mistake we made was not to include 9/11 families.”
At first, “We didn’t understand that we had a responsibility to discuss our private project with family members that lost loved ones,” he said.
He added that he did not “really connect” with community leaders and activists while planning the project.
El-Gamal added that the center’s advisory board now includes at least one relative of a 9/11 victim.
No protest, no picket signs, no soapbox rants over a bull-horn? Looks like people just wanted to jump on the hot topic of the moment if you ask us.