Nov. 8 Public Forum at Rutgers-Newark Examines the Rights of Memory, 9/11 and the “Ground-Zero Mosque”

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A civic dialogue on the legacy of 9/11 and the “Ground-Zero Mosque” controversy will be held on November 8, 2010 from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the Rutgers-Newark campus. 

Organized by The Center for Migration and the Global City at Rutgers-Newark, “The Rights of Memory” is a free forum for a public conversation about the social, religious, cultural, and political issues raised by the controversy sparked by the Cordoba Initiative/Park 51 project. The animating question of the forum is what this civic Rohrschach reveals about our collective memory of 9/11 and the competing visions of the society we imagine ourselves to be a decade later.  

In four separate sessions, panelists from academia, the media, and religious, cultural and civic organizations will frame the topic and then participate in the open discussion that follows. Sessions 1, 2 and 3 will take place in the Essex West room of the Paul Robeson Campus Center; Session 4 will be held in Bove Auditorium in Engelhard Hall.

  • SESSION ONE (10:00-11:15) will focus on how we are remembering 9/11. Panelists will discuss how it has been commemorated on the street, in print and museums, on the web, and around the site of what we now commonly refer to as “ground-zero.”
  •  SESSION TWO (11:30-12:45) will explore the historical role that opposition to minority religions has played in the United States, and how that history is influencing the characterization of Islam and Muslims in the wake of 9/11 and in relation to the Park 51 project.
  •  SESSION THREE (1:15-2:30) will look at how the Cordoba/Park 51 controversy is being reported and interpreted by Muslims in the United States and globally.
  •  SESSION FOUR (4:00-5:30) will bring together leaders from multiple religious traditions to strategize how the mosque controversy might generate new multi-faith initiatives that foster cross-cultural understanding and collaboration.

 The conference is free and open to the general public. For more information, please contact the Center for Migration and the Global City, 973-353-3699 or email Tim Raphael at