Among the questions we have heard regarding Cordoba House is what is the definition of a prayer space, and how is that different than a mosque.
Most practicing Muslims pray five times a day, at set times. While some Muslims do their prayers in a mosque, most pray where they are, whether at work, school, or home. Much like other faiths, they have a house of worship, but prayers can take place anywhere.
Prayer space does not signify a mosque. Certain aspects of Cordoba House disqualifies it as a mosque, including space for musical performance or a restaurant, which are not allowed to be in a mosque. However, additional prayer is necessary as the existing nearby mosques are no longer able to tend to the need for prayer space.
Furthermore, Cordoba House’s vision is bigger than being a mosque. It is about creating a community center that serves all New Yorkers. A prime example of this fact is the planned meditation room, where people of any faith can pray or meditate. For all these reasons we believe it is imperative to have prayer space in the Cordoba House.