Cordoba House began as a concept designed to encourage people in understanding the inherent value found amongst religious beliefs. Cordoba House is intended as a place where people gather to identify ways to help reverse the downward spiral of fear and mistrust that is fueling extremism on all sides.
Cordoba House intends to develop a series of multi-faith, multi-cultural institutions that will help make possible those one-to-one introductions necessary for true learning and harmonious engagement. Our dream is to have a Cordoba House in every nation where religious tensions exist. Encouraging people to work together, learn together, celebrate together, aid one another in daily life provides an environment where there is no motive, inclination, or wish to do harm to one another.
Under the leadership of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the proposed Cordoba House will serve as a community center with facilities and services similar to those traditionally provided by a YMCA or a Jewish Community Center. It will also house one or more prayer spaces that will be available for all to use.
Each Cordoba House plans to provide a physical space housing the programs necessary to bring different people together – a place to gather, to take classes and learn together, to pray together, to eat together, to relax together, to exercise together, to dance together, to sing together, to become familiar with different customs practiced by people from different walks of life. Through regular participation in such activities people of all faiths will be able to forge and multiply the bonds that transform human dislike into human understanding and acceptance. The global Cordoba Initiative will provide a scalable model for instilling tolerance for the beliefs of others.