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Ground Zero Gives Islamic Center Its Blessing

Defeat for opponents

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45-47 Park Place, which Cordoba House is planning to occupy.(Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Yesterday, the relevant community board okayed Cordoba House, the Islamic center and mosque planned for a lower Manhattan site two blocks from Ground Zero. Specifically, Community Board 1 recommended, by a 24-11 vote, that the building not be given landmark status (its vote is nonbinding). This is what Cordoba House advocates wanted. (Earlier this month, Tablet Magazine’s Mark Bergen reported on a heated Landmarks Preservation Commission meeting; the LPC will make the final decision.)

The mosque became a statewide issue when New York gubernatorial candidates started talking about it, and then a national issue when the Tea Party (which opposes the mosque) caught on, and then an even bigger national issue when Sarah Palin made her famous Tweets against it and Newt Gingrich specified exactly where he would and would not be okay with a mosque being built in New York City (a city whose Jewish mayor, and borough whose Jewish president, both support the project).

By the way: The project is invariably described as a mosque, and while that’s not technically false, it is somewhat misleading. As planned, Cordoba House will be an “Islamic center” in much the same way that a Jewish Community Center is a “Jewish center”—in fact, Cordoba House is explicitly modeled after JCCs. “There will be a mosque component, which will be a separate not-for-profit component of the project,” backer Sharif El-Gamal told The Jerusalem Post. “It’s going to be a small component in a community center, just like the 92nd Street Y has a synagogue.”

Vote Boosts G. Zero Mosque [NY Post]
Earlier: Ground Zero for a Fight
Palin ‘Refudiates’ Cordoba House
Related: ‘This Is A Way for Me To Give Back’ [Forward]

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Stefan says:

If, as its name suggests, this Islamic centre will be dedicated to peaceful co-existence and mutural cultural enrichment then I can think of no better place for it to be situated than near Ground Zero.
Those who espouse an ‘in-principle’ objection to it simply because it is Muslim are peddling bigotry. No more, no less.

JCarpenter says:

People want to objectify their hate and fear; a center for peace by any faith group denies that. How far away must the center be from Ground Zero to not “offend”? Stefan’s remarks aside, of what right and of what purpose do outsiders Palin and Gingrich have to make any comment on the issue?

James says:

America must awake from slumber. This isn’t about tolerance. Where in the world can you find a muslim country that is tolerant of Jewish, Christian, Buddist or any other religious values? There isn’t one!If you have done your homework,you will find that that they build mosques or so-called Islamic centers on top of former places of worship. This is about subjuation slowly, deliberately and thoroughly! Nothing less! There is no place on this earth where there is peaceful co-existence with islam. Jews or Christians might want to co-exist, but this isn’t the muslim goal. There is only peaceful co-existence when all non-muslims are muslims.

James says:

But James, won’t it be great when America is the first?

Dan Klein says:

Whoops, sorry, above is not James, it’s Dan Klein.

Oscar says:

I have mixed emotions about the project because I have not seen a list of financial backers of this 100 million dollar project.
I am not a bigot, but since ,I have not heard any World muslim leaders publically condemn 9/11, my only thought is that they will use this to try to show their theoretical power to destroy civilization as it now exists.

David says:

Perhaps New York should stop permitting Jewish Community Centers to be built. Or Catholic centers. Or Christian Science reading rooms. Or Chabad houses. How would all the bigots feel if [their favorite religion] started being targeted by OTHER haters?

Tziporah says:

David makes an important point. Freedom in the US means freedom for unpopular points of view. How far away would be far enough? 5 blocks, 10 blocks, 50 blocks? If you are going to allow other religious institutions to put up buildings how can you say Muslims can’t? I do not like the teachings of Islam but there are a lot of religions that I don’t like the teachings of. Not liking someone is no reason to not allow a building.

Don’t forget that there were Muslims who died on 9/11 in the towers too. But somehow that never gets mentioned. What this small extremist sect did hurt mainstream Muslims too. Yes, those opposed could speak out louder – but being vocal should not be a requirement for building a building.

Benjamin Entine says:

Unfortunately, mosques previously constructed have not served as the “peace-building” institutions this claims to be. If anything, they have often sheltered and at least surreptitiously, succored enemies of our free society. From what sources is this current project funded? To what extent will it be unequivocally a place teaching American values? Will it foment or reject Wahabist exclusivity and intolerance? Will it allow rejectionist (pro-jihadist) Muslims to conduct their own parallel activities and services inside or on the sidewalks and adjacent streets?
Religious freedom is a paramount value, but not the only value–and if there’s an epicenter of American loss and mourning it’s Ground Zero. Unusual sensitivity is appropriate there ( similar to the attempt years back, to shadow Auschwitz with a giant cross).Sensitivity is not the same as bigotry.
Imagine a moment the planes took-off from NYC (and not Boston). Will this be the kind of institution the hi-jackers would have found congenial ( and prayed in, prior to taking flight) or will it take a clear stance against the type of Islamic thinking which drove them? Three thousand souls on one side of the ledger and the 1st Amendment on the other–some serious answers are in order.The requirement of such is not merely a reflection of prejudice.

Adnan says:

James, dont get so hot, you will swet out of no arguments.There is no muslim country that would allow to build a chorch or synagoge and would not care about other faiths values? Don’t christians and jewes have churches and other houses of worship in: Albania,Bosnia,Turkey,Lebanon,Syria,Egypt,Algeria,Morocco,Sudan,Iran,Azerbaijan,Turkmenistan,Kyrgistan,Indonesia,Maleisia, atc,etc,etc.James before you make senceless statements in the future google up bro.

Fred Fr says:

The Muslim world is already celebrating that they have beaten America. They have succeeded in getting a mosque at Ground-Zero. Israel Nat’l News just ran an article where the author stated that the Muslim world is already bragging that they have started the conversion of America. When will we open our eyes and take notice that the first amendment IS NOT an open invitation to spit in all our faces.

Adnan says:

If muslims are celebrating in defeat of America and the conversion of americans started as Fred Fr writes, can someone imagine the “convrsion” to Judaism of americans(lots of sinagoges have been built in America) before the muslim comunity decided to building a mosque in N.Y. Houses of worship do not convert anyone into any religion. They just help belivers in their spiriyual needs.In a lot of colleges and universities in the U.S. there are designated areas for Christians Jewes and muslims to pray. They share this areas and do not try to monopolize or privatize them. America is the country where people first came to escape religious persecutions, and surprisingly today some want to ruin this American feature of pride.Americans are tolerant fanaticism should not lay roots in this country.

Muhammad says:

Approving the building of an Islamic center near the 9/11 site demonstrates the strength of America and its supremacy in the world– not the contrary! Actually that is the distinctive landmark of America today by which it REALLY supersedes even some “islamic” countries’ tolerance of islamic traditional values (for instance, American women wearing the scarf is prohibited at the workplace or school in some “islamic” countries) The religious & cultural bigots should be disappointed to awake to the fact that their era has expired! The Islamic soul has mourned and agonized for the 9/11 victims (some were Muslims) as it would have for the American recurrent wars’ victims (memorialize the A-bomb victims in Japan!). May Allah bless the USA!

Dorothy Wachsstock says:

James probably is the only informed person that I skimmed through the replies. Mosques go back in history as being built specifically to show their power over what they have conquered.

There are 3 Mosques not far from Ground Zero and 200 Mosques in New York City..so where are there freedoms to pray denied? Yet,,,this one must be on Ground Zero over the skin of the remains of the unfound bodies from the rubble while their families have no cemetary to go and mourn for them than to Ground Zero.

Can you trust this Imman who blamed America 19 days after 9/11? Who wil not denounce the Muslim Brotherhood? Recently, one of his spokespeopls said he will denounce Hamas.Ha.took him long enough.

This is not a JCC. Do we know if it will end up as a recruiting center for terrorists? Gov. Patterson has offered to help put another Mosque in New York but has been denied.

For those who say there are many synagogues and churches in New York..remember Christians and Jews did not attack the Twin Towers and the Muslim community need our trust.

Anybody see a peace march of Muslims condemning the terrorists? Well, if Farrakhan could assemble a march so could the Muslim community if they believed in America.

This Imman wants to take over our Constitutional Laws and create Shariah Law in this country. Let him stay in any Muslim state and not come back. We Americans are content with our laws.

Our taxpayer money is paying for his trip to the Muslim countrys and the State dept has made him an envoy so he can explain Islam to Muslim states????Is this nuts or just another excuse by our Pres. who probably also believes in Shariah Law.

Why else but to do a fundraising trip from our enemies are the state dept paying his way?

to me this imam has done this simply to slowly push the envelope to allow anything to go, and why not allow neo nazis to build a site near ground zero after all freedom of speech is a must you know. Last but not least freedom does not give one the right to yell fire in a crowded theater so this freedom. For this I blame both the President and Mayor Bloomberg for not putting their foot down for this nonsense and even starting this flaming war. Thanks you two for igniting this flare up when you could have simply told another 3 miles and everyone would be happy!

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Ground Zero Gives Islamic Center Its Blessing

Defeat for opponents

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