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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Praying towards ... stuff


A new mosque in Atlanta seems all too American:

"the Muslims, whose faith teaches them to let go of all material desires, are praying not just toward Mecca but also toward a massive Ikea store that sits squarely in their line of sight."

So how did this happen?
"When planning for the mosque first began some 20 years ago, the property was adjacent to a defunct steel mill, a brownfield site so contaminated that no one expected it ever to be developed. In 2001 an ambitious builder announced plans to clean up the tract and turn it into a 138-acre mixed-use development"

But when you are handed a lemon, make lemonade:
"Having Atlantic Station as a neighbor has actually been a bit of a public relations boon for Al-Farooq...with the mosque already drawing curious visitors from the shopping complex.

“We’ve had ... a lot of people wanting to visit...They want to know who you are and your beliefs. Most people don’t know what a mosque looks like on the inside, and they want to know what we’re doing here.”"