BAFTA award-winning director Dan Reed explores why the proposed building of a mosque at Ground Zero (Park 51) was one of the most explosive issues in American political history, with repercussions felt around the world. Property developer Sharif El-Gamal was the driving force behind it, claiming he simply wanted to find a new mosque for his community: when he chose the proposed site, he had no idea just how big or out of control the issue would get – even President Obama stepped in to comment.
Sharif stayed out of the limelight at the height of the backlash but here for the first time he gives his account of the events that unfolded from the very first inception of the idea. With unique access to all the major players for and against the project, the Ground Zero Mosque recounts the press frenzy surrounding the plans, the vitriolic attacks on its high profile spiritual leader, Imam Feisal, and reveals the fury of the critics who continue to block plans to build what they believe is a jihadist plot linked to this ‘house of evil’, particularly the family members of those who died at 9/11.
Ten years on from the events that shaped a nation, this is the story of a country struggling to understand its own psyche, and ultimately one man trying to justify his shockwave decision.