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# 911 - Saturday 10 September, 2011

Column: ‘The worst thing was the smell’ – an Irish man’s 9/11 experience

Bob Ó Mhurcú was asleep in New York when the first plane hit. Here he describes what happened next.

The 9 at 9: Saturday

Nine things you should know this morning…

# 911 - Friday 9 September, 2011

Ireland remembers 9/11 - events take place across the country this weekend Remembering This post contains images

Ireland remembers 9/11 - events take place across the country this weekend

We have a round-up of commemorative events taking place across the country this weekend.

9/11 recordings: "Somebody's stabbed... I think we're getting hijacked"

Audio recordings made on the day of the 9/11 attacks document the reactions of flight crew, air traffic controllers and the US military as events unfolded.

The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you should know this morning…

# 911 - Tuesday 6 September, 2011

9/11: New video emerges of aftermath Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania 9/11 This post contains videos

9/11: New video emerges of aftermath Flight 93 crash in Pennsylvania

The video shows the aftermath of the plane crashing in Pennsylvania.

9/11 on the web - the virtual memorials 9/11 This post contains videos

9/11 on the web - the virtual memorials

Celebrity pledges to do good, portraits of 9/11 rescuers and rescue dogs, flag tributes and a ‘living museum’ app – some of the ways the September tragedy is remembered online.

# 911 - Monday 5 September, 2011

FBI warns of small aircraft threat ahead of 9/11 anniversary

There is no specific information about a potential plot, but the FBI says small aircraft pose a terrorism and security threat.

# 911 - Sunday 4 September, 2011

9/11 memorials: Who won’t be there and what they can’t say 9/11 This post contains videos

9/11 memorials: Who won’t be there and what they can’t say

Remembering the dead ten years on – Ground Zero’s restricted guest list, and the talking points they’ve been requested to stick to.

# 911 - Friday 2 September, 2011

The 9 at 9: Friday

Nine things you should know this morning…

# 911 - Monday 22 August, 2011

Gallery: Powerful new photos show aftermath of 9/11 attacks September 11 This post contains images

Gallery: Powerful new photos show aftermath of 9/11 attacks

Photographer Nicola McClean was in New York as the twin towers fell – and these previously unseen images show the devastation.

# 911 - Saturday 13 August, 2011

Column: Why conspiracy theories are still alive, ten years after 9/11

As the tenth anniversary of the attack approaches, Tamara Lush explores why many still believe it was an inside job.

# 911 - Tuesday 9 August, 2011

FOX News Facebook page hit with threats after atheist interview Fox News This post contains videos

FOX News Facebook page hit with threats after atheist interview

American Atheists are opposing a cross-shaped structure at the Ground Zero memorial in New York.

# 911 - Thursday 4 August, 2011

From The Daily Edge Former US presidential candidate releases cartoon video of 9/11 9/11 This post contains videos

Former US presidential candidate releases cartoon video of 9/11

Mike Huckabee wants to educate American children about the country’s history but he’s been accused of cashing in.

# 911 - Thursday 21 July, 2011

Texas man executed despite shooting victim campaigning for his clemency

Mark Stroman was on death row following two murders in the aftermath of 9/11. One of those who survived his attacks campaigned for his release.

# 911 - Wednesday 20 July, 2011

Daily Fix: Wednesday

In today’s Fix: the government promises no more public sector pay cuts; Serbian authorities arrest fugitive Goran Hadzic; and one blogger’s marriage advice – “when you marry, you should marry a Chinese woman”.

Survivors of 9/11 banned from memorial service to victims

A ceremony marking ten years since the attacks will be reserved for victims’ relatives only, survivors have been told.

# 911 - Friday 15 July, 2011

Under-fire Murdoch insists: "We've handled crisis extremely well"

His comments came as an FBI investigation into alleged attempts to hack the phones of 9/11 victims was confirmed.

# 911 - Tuesday 31 May, 2011

US re-files charges against man accused of masterminding 9/11 attack

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is one of five people the US is bringing terrorism and murder charges against under revamped trial processes at Guantanamo Bay.

# 911 - Thursday 12 May, 2011

Bin Laden diary outlines plans to target US cities on significant dates

Al-Qaeda leader mused over how many Americans he must kill to force the US to pull out of the Arab world.

# 911 - Thursday 5 May, 2011

Obama lays wreath at Ground Zero

In the days following the death of the mastermind of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the American president has visited the site of the World Trade Centre in New York to pay his respects to those who lost their lives that day.

The 9 at 9: Thursday

Nine things you need to know by 9am: Taoiseach offers finder’s fee for job creation; Obama’s Croke Park gig is called off; Duck! A Potentially Hazardous Object heads for earth…sort of.

Barack Obama to visit Ground Zero to remember 9/11 victims

The president will lay wreath at the the former site of the World Trade Centre but will not be making a speech. It comes as he announced that photos of Osama Bin Laden will not be released.

# 911 - Wednesday 6 April, 2011

Bin Laden's son 'was invited' to White House by George W Bush

Omar bin Laden – son of the wanted terrorist – has claimed that he was asked to visit the White House in 2009 to help the US authorities track down his father.

# 911 - Monday 7 March, 2011

Unseen aerial footage emerges of 9/11 attacks 9/11 This post contains videos

Unseen aerial footage emerges of 9/11 attacks

Video posted online shows aerial footage taken by the NYPD after planes struck the World Trade Centre in the infamous 11 September 2001 attacks.

# 911 - Thursday 3 February, 2011

Artist Sean Hillen brings new political statement to Dail’s doorstep What's Wrong This post contains images

Artist Sean Hillen brings new political statement to Dail’s doorstep

The photomontage artist who created the Irelantis collages opens new exhibit today near Leinster House – featuring Irish literary figures, atrocities and female celebrities.

# 911 - Thursday 20 January, 2011

US pastor Terry Jones barred from UK

The controversial pastor who called a mass-burning of the Qu’ran last summer has been told he cannot enter the UK because of his “unacceptable behaviour”.

# 911 - Monday 10 January, 2011

Girl shot dead was one of 9/11 'Faces of Hope' Face Of Hope This post contains videos

Girl shot dead was one of 9/11 'Faces of Hope'

Christina Taylor Green, 9, killed in Saturday’s multiple shooting outside a supermarket in Arizona, had appeared in a book about children born on September 11, 2001.

# 911 - Monday 13 December, 2010

UK considers banning controversial US pastor Terry Jones UK This post contains videos

UK considers banning controversial US pastor Terry Jones

Preacher who threatened to burn the Qu’ran to mark 9/11 has been invited to speak at a far-right rally in Britain.

# 911 - Saturday 25 September, 2010

Obama condemns claims that US was behind 9/11 Iran This post contains videos

Obama condemns claims that US was behind 9/11

US President brands claims made by Ahmadinejad as “hateful”, while the Iranian President goes on Fox News to criticise sanctions and accuse US of propagating terrorism.

# 911 - Thursday 16 September, 2010

Twin Towers memorial traps thousands of birds - video

Birds stunned by columns of light while flying above Manhattan.

# 911 - Monday 23 August, 2010

HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE in New York took part in protests both for and against the construction of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” in Manhattan.

A heavy police presence kept the two groups apart, as one side chanted “No mosque, no way” and the other side shouted “Say no to racist fear”, according to BBC reports.

Proposed plans

The proposals to build an Islamic cultural centre two block from the site of the September 11th attacks in 2001 has inspired an emotional debate across the USA.

Critics complain that the plans are insensitive to the families of those killed in the Islamist attack, and the centre should not so close to where thousands of people were murdered. However, supporter point out that many Muslims also died in the terrorist attack and that religious tolerance is vital.

Cordoba House

It is a misnomer to refer to the proposed building as a mosque, it is in fact 13-storey Islamic community centre named Cordoba House that will contain two prayer rooms. Inside there would be a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool.

The centre would be open to people of all religions, having the expressed aim of improving interfaith dialogue. The building will not feature a dome or minaret.

Political agendas?

Some have criticised the behaviour of politicians over their behaviour on the issue. With elections coming up in November, some believe the sensitive issue is being exploited to curry favour with voters.

Critics have questioned Republican Sarah Palin’s assertion that the suggested project is to be built on “hallowed ground”, pointing out that other establishments in the area include bars, strip clubs and a McDonald’s.

Meanwhile, Barack Obama has entered the fray, stating that he believes the centre should get the go ahead. The move has been widely received in a negative light.

Last week, the Pew Research Centre released statistics that revealed 18% of Americans mistakenly believe that Obama is a Muslim.

# 911 - Thursday 19 August, 2010

THERE ARE TWO GENERAL schools of thought regarding the plans to open a mosque in a building two blocks away from the former site of the World Trade Centre.

There are those who still feel the traumas of the September 11 terrorist attacks. They say that the idea of opening a place of devotion to Islam – the same faith whose fundamentalist adherents were responsible for 2,976 civilian deaths – is an affront to those who lost their lives, or their loves, on 9/11.

Then there are those, including President Obama, who say that the United States itself is founded on pluralism: the idea that a single society can exist in spite of – and can indeed defend – a multitude of faiths and belief systems.

In between, however, there is a third group: the Muslim community of Manhattan that simply asks for a place to pray.

An unpopular population

“You know how many Muslims are in this area?,” asks Saad Madaha from Ghana, who prays in a mosque only four blocks from Ground Zero, in a basement beneath a nightclub.

“I would like to see a mosque that looks more like a mosque. I would like to go and pray and have full concentration in my prayers and not have music bashing me in my head.”

Madaha, in that case, is presumably not all that impressed with the plans for the proposed Corboda Centre, which will occupy a disused coat factory on Park Place. The glass-and-steel tower will not look much like a mosque at all: in fact, it won’t even have a crescent moon on its roof.

Some of his fellow Muslims, however, can understand why Governor David Paterson, among others, wants to move the new place of worship to a location with slightly less emotional baggage.

[caption id="attachment_12974" align="alignnone" width="544" caption="Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the man behind the 'Cordoba House Initiative' that has drawn such controversy. Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP"]Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is the man behind the 'Cordoba House Initiative' that has drawn such controversy. Photo: Craig Ruttle/AP[/caption]

“We need mosques, but anywhere but Ground Zero. It’s going to be a problem all the time,” said Sheikh Hossein, 42, from Bangladesh. ”We want to pray peacefully. I don’t want to pray and fight somebody else over the location.

“If this mosque is built here, every time there is terrorism, they are going to blame us.”

But while Hossein’s logic is also sound, Madaha say relocation would be an insult, saying an victory won by the mosque’s opponents would be “a slap on religion”.

A central focal point for a dispersed community

Another factor that muddies the waters is the fact that many New York Muslims simply don’t have the time or habit of worshipping in their own neighbourhoods, and are required to fit their prayer around their working schedules.

A downtown site in Manhattan suits their needs, therefore, because it’s well serviced by public transport and is in the heart of the financial district that employs so many Muslims.

Obama says he has “no regrets” about taking a controversial stance on the project, which has threatened to become a major issue in November’s mid-term elections which could see his Democratic party lose control of Congress to the Republicans.

Before that, however, there is a more pressing issue: the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks and a protest arranged for that date, part-organised and to be attended by the families of people killed at the World Trade Centre.

The Muslim community – who will also hold an event of some sort, with the details yet to be discussed – is worried that the event may turn violent, particularly with the anniversary coming at the end of the holy month of Ramadan.

But it seems that no matter what the outcome, there is no way to please everyone. If the mosque is opened, it will almost certainly become a target for sectarian hatred; Obama will face dissent in November’s polls and beyond, and even some of its worshippers will not appreciate the ‘un-Mosque-ish’ look of the building.

If it does not happen, then the Islamic community of New York and beyond will have reason to feel marginalised and victimised in revenge for attacks they condemn and had no part to play in.

Proof, perhaps, that the work of the terrorists has been successful in removing a little of the freedom from the Land of the Free.

# 911 - Saturday 14 August, 2010

US PRESIDENT BARACK Obama has said he supports allowing a mosque to be built near the Ground Zero site in downtown New York city. Obama was speaking at an annual White House dinner marking the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The president had not previously spoken on the issue, nor had the White House made any statement regarding its position on the mosque.

However, speaking last night, Obama said America’s commitment to freedom of religion was integral to the nation:

As a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country.

His comments were welcomed by NYC mayor Michael Bloomberg, but criticised by other New Yorkers who say that the president “is wrong.”

Over 2,750 people were killed when two planes struck the ‘Twin Towers’ – the World Trade Centre – in lower Manhattan on 11 September, 2001. Plans to construct a mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks have drawn intense criticism in the US.

Mark Williams, a prominent member of the conservative anti-Obama Tea Party movement in the US, said:

The monument would consist of a Mosque for the worship of the terrorists’ monkey-god (repeat: “the terrorists’ monkey-god.” if you feel that fits a description of Allah then that is your own deep-seated emotional baggage not mine, talk to the terrorists who use Allah as their excuse and the Muslims who apologize for and rationalize them) and a “cultural center” to propagandize for the extermination of all things not approved by their cult.

The Tea Party said the comment was expressed by Williams personally, and not by the movement. The Washington Post attempts to debunk some of the misconceptions surrounding the mosque here.

Meanwhile, Muslim groups in the US have expressed concerns for their safety as the end Ramadan coincides with the 9/11 anniversary.

# 911 - Wednesday 4 August, 2010

NEW YORK’S Landmarks Preservation Commission has given the green light to plans to build a multi-storey mosque just around the corner from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Centre.

Opponents of the building believed the $100m mosque – which will stand over 13 storeys – was an insensitive monument to the deaths of almost 3,000 people killed when two planes flew into the ‘twin towers’ of the centre.

But the mosque was approved after the city’s mayor, Michael Bloomberg, said that Muslim religious freedom had to be respected.

The mayor had been opposed by fellow Republicans Newt Gingrich, who labelled it an “act of triumphalism”, and Sarah Palin who called it “a stab in the heart of the families of the innocent victims” of September 11.

Opponents had appealed to the Commission to declare the site a landmark so as to protect it from non-municipal use, but it voted unanimously that the building – a disused former coat factory – was not considered important enough to merit the status.

Backers of the scheme, however, believe it would help to promote tolerance and that the Cordoba House mosque would ultimately become a symbol of good inter-faith relations within America.

The commission’s hearings had seen significant public protests, with protestors holding signs that claimed Islam “builds mosques at the sites of their conquests and victories” and “Don’t glorify murders of 3,000 – no 9/11 victory mosque”.

The developer behind the project welcomed the ruling and said the mosque would be similar to the famous 92nd Street Y, a mainly Jewish organisation open to all regardless of their religion.

# 911 - Wednesday 21 July, 2010

THE STATUE OF Liberty has been evacuated after smoke was discovered around a lift inside the monument. The fire department attended the scene, but no further details have been reported. The Statue was closed to the public due to security concerns after 9/11. The base was reopened in 2004, and the crown was reopened last year.