In my experience a "prayer room" is a worship center i.e. Church, which for Muslims is a...yep you guessed it a MOSQUE!
And no I'm not even going to pretend I'm familiar with NYC, never been there.
And I never said racism didn't exist (which you can gather yourself if you read my earlier posts), it absolutely does but huge progress has been made in the west in that area (which we're almost never given credit for, it's no wonder there's been a bit of a resurgence lately-don't give credit where it's due and people stop bothering) and it's thrown about randomly these days on nearly everything when overly liberal, touchy-feely people hear things they don't like.
What you're talking about is prejudice, not racism. And it seems to me that what you're saying is that if a person doesn't consider all cultural values and world-views equally good than they are prejudice or racist. You know what, if that makes me those things fine, whatever, I don't care, I have no problems with Muslims being in America and openly worshipping their god, but no law says we have to allow them to put up structures supporting their world-view wherever they want. Islam is not synonymous with terrorism or the views of the Taliban, however the teachings of the Qur'an, whether radical or not, are not in line with traditional American (or western actually) philosophy in terms of government and law (i.e. separation of Church and state, basic punishments for crimes, place of evidence, religious freedom, democracy, etc etc-this comes from my reading of their book and from what I've seen in Muslim countries I am NOT saying there is nothing beautiful or respectable about Islam-there is).
To put ANY religious institution so close to a place that represents America should not be forced. And personally I'm not on board with the idea. Now if they want to put a place that ties all religions together, fine, despite my atheism that's a possible aid in peace so ok, but a Muslim cultural center? Why Muslim only? That benefits no one but Muslims. Why not something that ties us together? How many Muslims actually seek out other religious leaders for talks on various issues, like, say, the Catholic Church maybe they do, idk, not that I can tell though).
I would have an issue if they put up a Baptist Church that close to ground zero.
Trust me, I'm the last person who is in favor of throwing out Muslims or messing with them in America, hell I think we need to train Muslim Chaplains here in the states under strong, moderate, devote Muslim Imams and send them back to Afghanistan and Iraq. I think we should build bigger Mosques or rebuild broken down Mosques in those places, that is the way to show we are not the enemy, but come on, lets respect our own people's wishes as well. As far as I'm concerned, what it comes down to is what the majority wants. This is a democracy afterall. No law is broken by blocking this thing from being made.
Member of DaJoGen MMA school under Dave Hagen and Team Chaos fight team under Denver Mangiyatan and Chris Toquero, ran out of Zanshin Martial Arts in Salem Oregon: http://www.zanshinarts.org/Home.aspx