While some have called the Cordoba House a mosque, most people that it is being built to serve as a community center. However, some ask what does a community center entail?
A community center, much like the YMCA (Young Men’s Christian Association) or the Jewish Community Center, is where people from any faith are allowed to use the facilities. Beyond having a gym, the Cordoba House will house a pool, restaurant, 500-person auditorium, 9/11 memorial, multi-faith chapel, office and conference space, and prayer space. After speaking extensively with the residents of lower Manhattan, we found that these were some of the most vital needs for the community.
Beyond having a community center in its traditional form, the auditorium and conference space creates a platform for lectures and meetings that magnify voices for peace and collaboration. Also, it will house prayer space needed for Friday prayers that nearby mosques are unable to host.
A community center is a also an ideal hub for hosting local projects that serve the greater community. All of these aspects combined affirm that Cordoba House is a community center, which serves the greater New York community.