As supporters held signs extolling religious freedom at the site of the proposed Islamic center Wednesday, a stripper who gave her name as Cassandra was working the afternoon shift at New York Dolls on Murray Street — just around the corner. She worried that calls to prayer from the mosque at Park51 might wake up neighbors. But when she was told that the organizers aren’t planning loudspeakers, she said she didn’t have a problem with the project.
“I don’t know what the big deal is,” Cassandra said. “It’s freedom of religion, you know?”
... Workers near the World Trade Center — including those working in the site — have expressed opposition to the proposed Islamic center. Some of the construction workers have even taken to wearing stickers and signs that demonstrate their opposition to the project...
But if Ground Zero has been made sacred by tragedy, it’s hard to say the same for the Pussycat Lounge one block south of the site... Inside, a bartender who said her name was Dasha offered brief remarks against the proposed Islamic center. She said she’s uneasy about organized religion in general.
But Chris, the stripper who volunteered in the Ground Zero recovery, sat on a barstool in a tiny, shiny red dress and defended Park51. “They’re not building a mosque in the World Trade Center,” she pointed out. “It’s all good. You have your synagogues and your churches. And you have a mosque.”
Chris said she lost eight friends on Sept. 11, 2001 — firefighters from the Brooklyn firehouse next to her home at the time. “The people who did it are not going to the mosque,” she said.
More at the Wall Street Journal link. Bravo to those young women.
Photo: Flickr user niznoz.