Here are some interesting numbers that I came up with. I think they are somewhat relevant to a discussion concerning places of worship in New York City.
Thanks to Google Earth, these numbers are pretty easy to calculate. What do they represent? The first number is the distance between the a proposed Mosque near Ground Zero in lower Manhattan and Ellis Island. The second number is the distancebetweenthat same Mosque and the Statue of Liberty. The third is the distance between a proposed Mosque on Statin Island and Ellis Island. The last is the distancebetweenthat Mosque and the Statue of Liberty.
Ellis Island, of course, was the first stop for immigrants who came across the Atlantic to find a new home in the United States. Between 1892 and 1954, 8 million immigrants came through Ellis Island. Today, 100 million Americans can trace theirancestryto someone who came through Ellis Island.
Upon a bronze plaque on the pedistal of the Statue of Liberty, the following is inscribed:
Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; __Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand __A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame __Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name __Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand __Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command __The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. "Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she __with silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor, __Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, __The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. __Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, __I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"
The New York Times describes a town hall meeting in Statin Island discussing the opening of a new Mosque:
...As Bill Finnegan stood at the microphone, came the meetings single moment of hushed silence. Mr. Finnegan said he was a Marine lance corporal, home from Afghanistan, where he had worked as a mediator with warring tribes.
After the sustained standing ovation that followed his introduction, he turned to the Muslims on the panel: My question to you is, will you work to form a cohesive bond with the people of this community? The men said yes.
Then he turned to the crowd. And will you work to form a cohesive bond with these people your new neighbors?
The crowd erupted in boos. No! someone shouted.