Muslims Worship Near Pentagon Attack SiteAugust 18, 2010 - 7:29 PM | by: Justin Fishel
WASHINGTON — New Yorkers have made the proposal to put a mosque near ground zero into a national debate, but what most Americans don’t realize is that Muslims routinely pray in the Pentagon just steps away from where American Airlines flight 77 crashed into the building on September 11, 2001.
That’s because when the Defense Department rebuilt that section it constructed a memorial and chapel dedicated to the memory of the 184 people who were killed.
The chapel is open to all faiths and reserves time for Muslim prayer every Monday through Thursday at 2 p.m. On Friday a prayer service for Muslims is led by an Imam.
The Army runs the office of the Pentagon Chaplain, and it says the chapel is used regularly by roughly 400 people from all faiths. Army spokesman Lt. Col. George Wright says those worshippers include people from the Catholic, Jewish, Episcopalian, Hindu, Mormon and Muslim faiths. For privacy concerns Wright would not say how many Muslims use the chapel.
The chapel is located only about 20 steps from the center of the impact site and so far the Army hasn’t received any complaints about Muslims prayer.
Yet the controversy in New York City has led some people, including one politician, to incorrectly label the place of worship as the “Pentagon Mosque”. Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Democratic Congressman Jerrold Nadler said he supports putting a Mosque in New York and used the Pentagon to make his case. “There is a mosque in the Pentagon, which is also hallowed ground,” Nadler said. “No one objects to that.” Ground Zero is located in Nadler’s district.
Fox News visited the chapel on Wednesday and can confirm it is not a Mosque. In fact the chapel caters mainly to members of the Christian denominations and the Holy Bible can be found behind every pew.
On Tuesday night the Pentagon Chaplain’s office hosted an Iftar dinner at the Pentagon conference center in recognition of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.