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August 2nd, 2010
06:27 PM ET

NY panel to vote on landmark status for ground zero mosque site

By Allan Chernoff, CNN Senior Correspondent

New York (CNN) - The building slated to house a proposed Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero leads Tuesday's agenda for a meeting of New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission.

The 11 commissioners will vote whether to grant landmark status to 45-47 Park Place. It and an adjoining building are owned by real estate developer Soho Properties which intends to build an Islamic center two blocks north of Ground Zero.

Watch the commission's vote now on CNN.com Live

While the public vote has been the focus of much debate about the planned Islamic center and mosque, the commission cannot prevent the developers from building such a community center. The commission, by designating the building a landmark, can only prevent Soho Properties from demolishing the building or significantly altering its exterior.

"We will continue going forward with the project. It's a project that will build bridges," said Oz Sultan, spokesperson for the Cordoba Initiative, the organization behind the planned center that says it is "committed to promoting positive interaction between the Muslim world and the West."

Cordoba opposes landmark status for the five-story building because it would like to build a taller, modern building. "It's not minarets," said Sultan, who described a mock-up of the proposed center as consistent with the latest architecture found in New York City.

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city leaders support the Islamic center.

Opponents, including former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have argued against a mosque being so close to the scene of the nation's worst terrorist attack.

"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing," tweeted Palin last month on her Twitter account.

The Anti-Defamation League, an organization that battles anti-Semitism and other forms of bigotry, is asking for the Islamic center and mosque to be built further away from Ground Zero in consideration of families who lost loved ones during the September 11, 2001, attacks. "Building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain - unnecessarily - and that is not right," said the organization in a statement.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission points out its decision has nothing to do with the planned use of the structure.

"The purpose of tomorrow's vote is to decide whether the building has a special character or special historical or aesthetic interest or value as part of the development, heritage or cultural characteristics of New York City, New York State or the nation," commission spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said Monday.

Most recently a Burlington Coat Factory retailer, 45-47 Park Place was completed in 1858. The Landmarks Commission describes it as "a prominent example of the store and loft structures that dominated the dry goods warehouse districts of Lower Manhattan" during the era.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Islam • New York • Politics • United States

soundoff (702 Responses)
  1. priyath

    ///////////////////////////////CNN POST OF THE DAY////////////////////////////////////
    Someone once said,
    NOT ALL MUSLIMS ARE TERRORISTS.......
    BUT MOST TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIM
    /////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////

    August 3, 2010 at 3:27 am |
    • Emma the Grey

      Well that would be wrong. But thanks for playing. Now please go away. Your spelling makes it clear that you are not American, so perhaps you could go sow your hatred in the country in which you live, and they could deal with it.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:55 am |
  2. Trev1980

    Every religion has extreme followers, I repeat, EVERY religion has extreme followers, so you cannot condemn an entire religion because a few pervert the belief of million of others.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:26 am |
    • DangerMouse

      I won't speak for others, but I condemn every religion for being based upon lies used to defraud and manipulate.
      –the actual actions of the deluded is simply an additional cause for more condemnation. The truth is reality is truth.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:45 am |
  3. Emma the Grey

    It is not at ground zero and it is not a mosque. So there's that.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  4. DangerMouse

    I definitely agree with mary. She is pointing out the very negative side effects of having a "melting pot" of immigrants. We have no common culture, no common values, no common religion, and no common sense of things.
    It is why so many facets of American culture are so messed up in so many ways.
    Add all the psychological response mechanisms of any and all cult members, and you have this mess. This totally ridiculous mess.
    People have got to stop acting like the world will Fit in the Procrustean bed of their religious delusions. Geez.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:18 am |
  5. Melissa

    Yeah, let's honor those that flew planes into the two buildings and killed hundreds in the first place.
    Of all stupid ideas, this one goes right to the top of the list.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:13 am |
  6. jj

    The 'terrorist' didn't blow up the world trade anyways, it was the u.s. government provoking an invasion for oil. are we still all blind to this fact?

    August 3, 2010 at 3:10 am |
  7. Dinesh

    So the message is Israel can ram a plane into any building in Saudi Arabia, destroy it and then build a synagogue on the rubble. It will help build bridges between Muslims and Jews.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:10 am |
    • Emma the Grey

      What? You are talking about a state action into a country, neither of which have anything to do with us, and just, what? How about if we talk about Catholics and little children, eh? No churches near schools, right? Get a grip.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:54 am |
  8. redlightdeath

    wow, most of you on here are idiots, not to mention a bunch of cow-towed pansies. for those of you who say "maybe if you meet a moslim, you will realize they're not that bad." I have spent a fair share of my short life in places like Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, and even other countries occupied by moslims NOT in the middle east such as Albania and Kosovo. and know what? ALL MOSLIMS ARE THE SAME. violent, self righteous liars who will kill you for not agreeing with their religion. this isn't just "the actions of a few," this is "the belief of all enacted by a few." you libs, get off your politically correct high horse and realize your own beliefs are being used against you. if you are so sympathetic to moslims, go move to Iran and see how well you are treated there. People are so stupid and blinded by their ignorant efforts to please everyone. wake up and do something before its too late and youre being convicted in a shari'a court for something as simple as shaving your beard.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:08 am |
    • DangerMouse

      What sort of beard are we talking about, here?
      LMAO
      ...sorry, I couldn't resist. 😀

      August 3, 2010 at 3:39 am |
  9. jack

    In 2002, just months after the September 11 attacks, one-third in Pakistan said suicide bombing was often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam, while 43% said it was rarely or never justified.
    There are a lot of posts that discuss the beliefs of Islam. You can go on the internet and read may polls about whether Muslims support the type of suicide bombings that occured in New York and around the world. Please go read them. Right after the 9/11 attacks a very high minority or Muslims worldwide supported suicide bombings agsinst the western nations.
    As high as 50% or more in may muslim countries. As the bombings started happening in their countries, the numbers have gone done. Search for Pew polls muslims suicide attacks and you will see that even today hundreds of millions of muslims still believe that killing non muslims by suicide bombings is a justfied act approved by their religion. No relgion except Islam teaches this behavior. Just do some basic research and you will see that the moderate calm muslim posts on this site are not the belief of hundreds of millions of muslims in the world. Islamic terrorism will be a problem for many years and until the muslims reject the teachings in the Quran that justify the killing of infidels, the fight will go on. Sadly, they also believe that the Quran is the literal word of god and cannot be changed. Allah, all powerful wants one group of his creations to murder everyone else. Kill a lot of gods children and go to paradise and get 72 virgins. As they say, God is Great!
    Here is part of a survey you can find on line.
    "In Lebanon, the percentage of Muslims that say suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified has plummeted to 38% from 74% in 2002. Still, support for this kind of violence against civilians among Muslims in Lebanon is one of the highest among the publics surveyed. Lebanese Shias are about twice as likely as Sunnis to endorse suicide bombing (51% vs. 25%)
    Even the most moderate muslim is taught that Islam should rule the world. The religion teaches that the state should be Islamic and impose Islamic law. It is the enemy of a secular culture. Read the approved version of the Quran published by Saudi Arabia. You know, the country where we get a lot of our oil and where most of the 9/11 attackers were from.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:06 am |
    • DangerMouse

      Please don't quote so many statistics taken from polling data. I think such nonsense is only useful for lining bird cages.
      I hope you can see your way clear to ceasing and desisting...

      August 3, 2010 at 3:36 am |
    • ymalik11

      Good ideology. Muslims supporting terrorism after 9/11. After a group had shot an image around the world of a muslim holding an ak 47 with a bomb strapped to their chest.

      Get real.

      August 3, 2010 at 4:25 am |
  10. Edwin

    Emma: why are you trying to argue with them? The Americans Who Hate Muslims (and there are a great many) do not hate them because of rational arguments. They hate muslims because deep down they feel anger and hatred, and those emotions need a target. They are thoroughly convinced muslim=terrorist=evil, and there is no way you can convince them otherwise.

    If you try to convince them with logical arguments, they will gloss over your words - anything that does not fit into their world view that muslims are evil is wrong, in their minds, so your words are lost to them.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:06 am |
    • mary

      As our words are lost on you...

      August 3, 2010 at 3:10 am |
    • Emma the Grey

      I know, but I still need to argue. I'm hoping that maybe one person will see the discussion and think about it for a minute. There are people who never hear any viewpoint other than the Fox one, so if I can do one good thing to make one person think, it's worth it. I'm also arguing so that any Muslim posting on this site understands that they are not alone. So, basically, I'm standing up for the values of this country because that is what decent people do.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:19 am |
    • Edwin

      mary: your words are not lost on me. The problem is that they are based on emotion, not logic. You have made arguments that immigrants do not come here wishing to be American anymore, but you offer not evidence to support this claim, nor do you support the conclusion that they remain loyal to their own country.

      Do you feel that British immigrants are somehow trying to turn the U.S. into a British colony? Or that Canadians who move here are secretly loyal to Canada and against the U.S.? What about Chinese immigrants - do you distrust them, too? Or does Islam hold a special place in your analysis for some reason?

      August 3, 2010 at 3:21 am |
    • DangerMouse

      I think the problem is that you appear to assume that every immigrant is instantly converted into this glowing super-American, when moving to a different country is a difficult emotional process different for every individual.

      In my neck of the woods, thousands of Mexican-Americans celebrate every single Mexican holiday and fly the flag of Mexico constantly. It is a distressing thing to see them so unwilling to let go of their "heritage". They have not yet "melted" into the pot, you see...

      August 3, 2010 at 3:29 am |
  11. jack

    In 2002, just months after the September 11 attacks, one-third in Pakistan said suicide bombing was often or sometimes justified in order to defend Islam, while 43% said it was rarely or never justified.
    There are a lot of posts that discuss the beliefs of Islam. You can go on the internet and read may polls about whether Muslims support the type of suicide bombings that occured in New York and around the world. Please go read them. Right after the 9/11 attacks a very high minority or Muslims worldwide supported suicide bombings agsinst the western nations.
    As high as 50% or more in may muslim countries. As the bombings started happening in their countries, the numbers have gone done. Search for Pew polls muslims suicide attacks and you will see that even today hundreds of millions of muslims still believe that killing non muslims by suicide bombings is a justfied act approved by their religion. No relgion except Islam teaches this behavior. Just do some basic research and you will see that the moderate calm muslim posts on this site are not the belief of hundreds of millions of muslims in the world. Islamic terrorism will be a problem for many years and until the muslims reject the teachings in the Quran that justify the killing of infidels, the fight will go on. Sadly, they also believe that the Quran is the literal word of god and cannot be changed. Allah, all powerful wants one group of his creations to murder everyone else. Kill a lot of gods children and go to paradise and get 72 virgins. As they say, God is Great!
    Here is part of a survey you can find on line.
    "In Lebanon, the percentage of Muslims that say suicide bombing is often or sometimes justified has plummeted to 38% from 74% in 2002. Still, support for this kind of violence against civilians among Muslims in Lebanon is one of the highest among the publics surveyed. Lebanese Shias are about twice as likely as Sunnis to endorse suicide bombing (51% vs. 25%)
    Even the most moderate muslim is taught that Islam should rule the world. The religion teaches that the state should be Islamic and impose Islamic law. It is the enemy of a secular culture. Read the approved version of the Quran published by Saudi Arabia. You know, the country where we get a lot of our oil and where most of the 9/11 attackers were from.

    August 3, 2010 at 3:04 am |
    • Edwin

      jack: I appreciate your ability to create an actual argument, as opposed to many of the rantings on this board. Nevertheless, I do have a few problems with your argument as a whole.

      1) You criticize Islam for the beliefs of a minority of its members, the vast majority of whom live in foreign countries and will never get to New York;
      2) one of your chief criticisms is that this minority approve of suicide bombings, yet you fail to mention that a minority of U.S. christians wholeheartedly approve of murder and the bombing of abortion clinics - it IS different, but only slightly; and
      3) you also appear critical that some muslims believe the Qu'ran is the literal word of god, in spite of the fact that a great many mainstream christians espouse nearly identical beliefs (except for the choice of book).

      It may indeed be true that Islam is the only major religion to admire suicide bombings, but MANY others have approved of the murder of 'infidels' - those who do not believe - directly or by the use of bombs or other means. Islam is not unique in this regard at all...

      August 3, 2010 at 3:17 am |
  12. Diane

    WOW! WOW! WOW! I am shocked at the PURE ignorance of my fellow American Citizens and the crap statements of rhetoric anti-Islamic myths that so many people actually believe and continue to repeat! I personally have traveled extensively to Europe, South America, Asia and to MANY Middle-Eastern Countries and apologize for the ignorance and hatred I keep reading on this and so many other blogs. I have seen CHURCHES in the Middle-East, CLEANLINESS, Manners and extreme hospitality. Other than a few major cities, (not mentioning) most are incredibly safe and the people very honest. A practicing Muslim is a neighbor that I would WELCOME, as they are sincere and God-fearing and caring to their neighbors! A KKK Christian, Muslim Radical or Jewish extremist , is not welcome by me or anyone's standards!

    August 3, 2010 at 3:00 am |
    • mary

      What about compassion, understanding and consideration for the people effected by 9-11 in the name of this religion?
      Think a mosque sitting there is really such a compassionate thing to do ?

      August 3, 2010 at 3:03 am |
    • Edwin

      mary: the compassionate thing is to build a community center, to teach all people that many muslims are kind, decent, caring people. Community centers bring people together - they show that the things we have in common are more important than the differences. They are quite common in many places, including New York.

      In my small town, we have several community centers, including several large churches and a university. We used to have a synagogue, but it closed down due to repeated vandalism and death threats. Apparently, Americans share a common hatred towards islam and judaism...

      August 3, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  13. Hubert

    Don 't you remember the cries of joy of moslims in Europe after the attack of the twins???

    August 3, 2010 at 2:58 am |
    • Emma the Grey

      No, I don't. I remember the tears. And I was there.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:27 am |
  14. newsfreakx

    Don't you remember the cries of joy from moslims in Europe on september 09?

    August 3, 2010 at 2:55 am |
    • Emma the Grey

      Oh, I was so hoping for a comment like this. I was in a Muslim country right after 9/11, and all I got was, "we're so sorry," "we are all with you," "this is such a tragedy," "what can we do for you?" If you said you were from New York, you were royalty, nothing was too much to do for you, there was no expression of grief that was sufficient. I have never been treated so well in my life.

      August 3, 2010 at 3:26 am |
  15. Vinny Randy

    If you put a mosque there, we can be sure it won't be attacked again. It is like a safety device.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:54 am |
  16. Diane

    "but I really want to know why do they want it near the 9/11 site?" I'm SURE they took great pains to look into many real-estate properties and THAT property happened to fit their financial, building and location needs. And after purchasing and investing engineering companies to draw up proposals, NOW the locals are saying get out of Dodge, you are not welcome! You have to realize, for a community center, it has to be accessible. That would include the metro and other parking needs. There is a lot involved. This may have been a few years of investment!

    August 3, 2010 at 2:40 am |
  17. Ishnyakh

    This just shows the hatred against Islam and muslims, I thought the US is a free country but it seems not !!!

    August 3, 2010 at 2:37 am |
  18. freepalestine

    yes to the mosque!

    August 3, 2010 at 2:36 am |
  19. Edwin

    I'm disappointed with the Anti-Defamation League, but this is not the first time.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:35 am |
  20. mary

    NO..NO mosque.
    There is plenty of land other places. It is obvious what the reason for this is..The fact they have even considered, much less have pushed to do it there.. Shows no compassion or respect for the people effected on 9-11.
    That Americans must 'fight' to stop this, is beyond understandable.

    August 3, 2010 at 2:33 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.