Angry Kin: 9/11 Memorial in Pennsylvania 'Looks Muslim'

Dirt carvings highlight 'huge crescent pointing to Mecca,' critics charge

By Mary Papenfuss,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 9, 2010 2:48 AM CDT | Updated Sep 9, 2010 7:12 AM CDT

(Newser) – The latest Muslim brouhaha to erupt in the US involves an earthen memorial to 9/11 victims that "looks" Islamic, according to furious critics. The father of a passenger killed on Flight 93, which went down in Pennsylvania, is taking out an ad in a local newspaper blasting the planned "Field of Honor," because it looks to him like a huge Muslim crescent pointing to Mecca. The design controversy first emerged five years ago, but it has taken on a new life in the wake of the uproar over Manhattan's proposed Islamic center.

The National Park Service, which changed the title of the memorial from Crescent of Embrace to the Circle of Embrace and had a few other alterations made, dismissed the fresh criticism, saying any design concerns have been addressed. But the ad, paid for by Tom Burnett and Alec Rawls, author of Crescent of Betrayal: Dishonoring the Heroes, will still run tomorrow and Saturday. "A more obvious tribute to the terrorists is hard to imagine," it reads. The memorial will serve in essence as a "Ground Zero mosque" in Pennsylvania, Rawls told Fox News. The memorial design, created by a Los Angeles architect, includes a wind chime tower and a 150-acre landmass with missing trees to mark the path of the downed airliner.

Crosses mark the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.
Crosses mark the Flight 93 National Memorial in Shanksville, Pa.   (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The land form 'shapes a huge crescent pointing to Mecca,' charges the father of a passenger killed in the 9/11 crash of Flight 93. The opening of the crescent is along the bottom of the photo.
The land form 'shapes a huge crescent pointing to Mecca,' charges the father of a passenger killed in the 9/11 crash of Flight 93. The opening of the "crescent" is along the bottom of the photo.   (Facebook)
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