October 20, 2010
IT'S JUST TOO CLOSE TO GROUND ZERO...:
Nationalists Calling for 'Clean Moscow': Planned Mosque Sparks Controversy in Russia (Maxim Kireev, 10/19/10, Der Spiegel)
The leaders of Moscow's 1.5 million strong Muslim community say they desperately need more places of worship. But a plan to build a new mosque has run into local opposition which is being fuelled by nationalists calling for a "clean Moscow" without Muslims and foreigners.Posted by Orrin Judd at October 20, 2010 6:39 AM
Small trees are supposed to be keeping the Muslims out of Tekstilshchiki, a district in south eastern Moscow. A young man sets to work with his shovel, pushing it into the earth with a determined kick. Then he places a seedling into the hole and sprinkles earth over it. Using her watering can, Maria Sotova pours some water onto the seedling. "We want a park here and not a mosque or a church or anything else," says the mother who is here with her six-year-old son. There are about a hundred residents of Tekstilshchiki gathered on this lawn --and they want to prevent the start of construction on an Islamic religious center.
The Moscow media have already christened this patch of green "the Russian Ground Zero" in a reflection of strife over the mosque being built near Ground Zero, the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center stood in New York before the terror attack of 9/11.