August 3rd, 2010
03:27 PM ET

Landmark status resolved, NYC group moves forward on Islamic center

Now that the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission has denied landmark status for a building near "ground zero" that could house a proposed Islamic center and mosque, the Muslim organization behind the project says it will begin moving forward with efforts to make the building "a model for community service and engagement."

In a statement on a new website devoted to the project now called Park51, the project's planners said, "Until the resolution of the landmarks issue this morning, we were unable to emerge from stage one, as we could not be clear on the impact of a designation on the architecture and design of the building or its program spaces, activities or programming. We are eager to begin working with our partners, supporters, neighbors and communities, to build a community center for everyone."

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- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • New York • United States

soundoff (53 Responses)
  1. Rodney

    Well said!!! I tend to follow what Jesus told a Pharisee/Sadducee(sp) what the two most important Commandments to follow:

    1. Love/Honor only God with all your heart...(my wording)
    2. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    If the whole world would follow only those two Commandments, this would be a better place to live and WE would be better people.

    August 4, 2010 at 8:06 am |
  2. Christian

    Do any of you REALLY understand Islam? It is not a religion, it is a doctrine; it does not propose reconcilitian, it demands dominance and subversion. By western standards, Islam is not an acceptable 'religion',. Their prophet Mohammed does not allow embracing non-muslims. If Islam was not couched as a religion, your constitution simply would not allow it. America, for your own sakes, get the facts straight – get to know this so-called religion that you are dembracing! Jesus never proposed the terrible atrocities that 'Christians' have committed over the ages; Jesus only preached forgiveness and love. You cannot equate the philosophies of Jesus, Buddha, etc. with those of Mohammed.

    August 4, 2010 at 5:18 am |
  3. CFontana

    @CJ, I am not a liberal. I can assure you that all KKK members are from some sort of Christian backround and I am positive that Selma, AL has their fair share of churches. Did the atrocities caused by the KKK and their association with Christianity cause a quarter of this public outcry when other Christians decided to build churches? I don't think so.

    August 4, 2010 at 4:23 am |
  4. CJ

    I wonder if these liberals would mind if the Ku Klux Klan built a monument in Selma, AL; I think not!

    August 4, 2010 at 4:04 am |
    • 3afif

      The KKK would have a right to build one in Selma, AL if they chose to. Is that not Freedom???

      August 4, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
  5. KP

    We cannot kill democracy in the war against terrorism.at last a correct decision.

    August 4, 2010 at 3:58 am |
  6. CFontana

    @DangerMOuse, Elavate your spirit and consciousness and look beyond what the Spin Drs. are injecting us with. Muslim Americans have as much of a right to build a mosque where they please as do the other religions according to our Constitution. Why must the actions of a few evil men spoil the freedoms for the rest?
    @Reality, When did I say they had that right and how is building a mosque terrorizing? It is in poor taste, but they still have that right to build. By the way, how can you be so certain what the main objective was for the crusades, since the editor-in chief at the time was the Holy Roman Empire? They were also the victors so the story might be, gee I don't know, manipulated maybe.

    August 4, 2010 at 3:45 am |
  7. tothemoon

    Lifted from some brotherhood of Islam website: "INTELLIGENCE One should be in control of his faculties, being able to interpret intelligently and rationally the claim of the Qur’an, that Islam is the only way of life for mankind to follow." A little egocentric, isn't it?

    August 4, 2010 at 12:56 am |
    • 3afif

      Not at all egocentric!!!! Christians / Catholics claim that the only way to be "saved" is through Jesus Christ and the chritian way, is that then not egocentric as well??? Common be real and fair. Ofcourse we muslims think highly of our religion and adhere strongly to its teachings. I"m a muslim and I have never tried to impose Islam on anyone. Infact Islam teaches us clearely to be tolerant of other religions and never disrespect them. The only time we are supposed to fight is when we are being oppressed, which is the case now a days all over muslim nations and why so many wars involve Islam.

      August 4, 2010 at 1:45 pm |
  8. CFontana

    Outraged? Why? Because of the insidious actions of a few who knew
    nothing but hate and revenge, worshiping Muslims, who had nothing to
    do with 9/11, must be "terrorized" by the public for wanting a mosque
    close to ground zero? Interesting. Let's take a look at Christianity during the Crusades and Inquisition, which was indeed backed by the majority of peace loving Christians, and see if they had compassion and consideration in deciding where they built their churches and monasteries after their trail of destruction. Our hypocrisy is not only foolish and unsettling, but extremely pathetic as well. Elevate people.

    August 3, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      Elevate what, exactly?

      I only ask because there are so many possibilities...

      August 3, 2010 at 11:57 pm |
    • Reality

      And Muslims now have the right to terrorize the world because what the crusaders did? So Muslims learn nothing from history? And by the way, the crusades had many objectives but the main objective was to stop the spread of Islam. Should the infidels repeat history and have another crusade to stop the spread and koranic-driven, Muslim horror?

      August 3, 2010 at 11:58 pm |
  9. A Khan

    I'm a Muslim and am fed up of people attacking Islam because a few, yes a few out of 1.5billion choose to use my religion for their extremist ideologies. I live in the UK and never thought America would become such an Islamophobic society. Just replace the words "Islam,Muslim,Mosque" with "Jews,Blacks,Synagogue,Church" in the sensationalist media headlines and maybe you'll get an idea. I believe Hitler was Christian right? Are all Bishops and Priests pedophiles? Oh by the way there is a church a stones throw from my grandfathers home in Lahore,Pakistan so please do your research before labelling us all as intolerant.

    August 3, 2010 at 10:57 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      "a stone's throw from my grandfather's house" – well, there's a surprise.

      I'm glad you're not fed up with me, because I attack your religion as being a cult based on lies and misdirection, indoctrinating children and adults in the most heinious crime against humanity. I don't like child abuse and it's pathetic when done by someone who is deluded into doing so because they, too, were abused in this way...

      August 3, 2010 at 11:54 pm |
    • DragonXI

      I am not from the USA but from Canada.

      A Khan why are you so suprised when all these Jhadist groups are tainting Islam with blood and the cowerdice of suicide bombings. Now Islam has bad publicity its just the way it goes. Various cults and extremists groups use various religions and interpretations to control a mass for the few to retain power. Do you think Catholics have a good name after all the priests doing what they did? Do you think Islam will have a good name as long as you have militants blowing people up in the name of Islam. As long as you have people following decieving leaders in the name of religion and the result is violence or abuse that religion will not have a good name. The leader is no good without followers so until people are refusing to follow you will have such results.

      I do not trust any religions right now but I do trust in God.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am |
  10. Vsevolod Semenov

    They sit on the head of American Democracy, make a poop on it, and American Democracy says: "Of course, my dear." Shame on the government of New York. Muslims can not be ashamed any way.

    August 3, 2010 at 9:56 pm |
  11. Keith Emrich

    Of course, had a son of mine been killed on 9/11 I do not know what my state of mind might be now. I can hope though that I would be able to see the Cordoba Initiative as part of a process devoted to giving meaning to the lives of all of the dead by continuing an ancient process of ever wider and more authentic living out of the Golden Rule that is universal to all religions.

    August 3, 2010 at 8:39 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      The "Golden Rule" is a loosely conceived solution to the real problem of our neurological limitations. It gets included into so many religions because it is a "useful" snippet of rational thought.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:49 pm |
  12. Miguel

    So when can we build churches and synagouges in Saudi Arabia?

    August 3, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
    • Pat

      The fact that the freedom to build mosques in the US & Europe exists is what makes them greater than repressive countries that don't have this freedom. That's what extremists hate and are trying to suppress. They shall not succeed!

      August 3, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
    • Jenna McDermott

      I agree, it should be permitted. Allowing this would be a great show of common purpose against terror of all kinds. But don't forget that the actions of the Saudi Royal Family (who author such laws) should not be construed as typical of most Muslims. Muhammed himself did not mind the establishment of Jewish and Christian houses of worship as long as they paid an extra tax. The Saudis should take this to heart.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:40 am |
    • 3afif

      you can NEVER build them in Saudi Arabia inshallah....Mosques are quite enough there thank you very much 🙂

      August 4, 2010 at 1:36 pm |
  13. Rodri

    @ numan

    The way the Quran is interpreted (by a majority of Islamic scholars) the later more violent Medina verses take presentence over the earlier more peaceful Mecca ones. Couple that with the concept of taqiyya and the peaceful verses can be used to create a peaceful facade.

    August 3, 2010 at 7:05 pm |
    • knowledgeISpower

      Absolutely! The teachings at mecca are rendered obsolete by the teachings at Medina, in which is found the infamous verse of the sword. This should not only anger Americans, but terrify them as the true aim of Islam is to convert the WHOLE world. Muhammad even gave them permission to lie as long as it puts them in a better position of power. Do your homework people, personal opinions < fact.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:47 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      @knowledgeISpower : I would like to point out that several Catholic Popes have done the same thing in their directives to church missionaries. Lies and misdirection are what religion is all about.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:46 pm |
    • Jenna McDermott

      Do any of you actually have Muslim friends? Befriend one or a few, and you will see that violence is not part of Islam for most Muslims. Islam is twisted to wicked, self-serving ends by a few extremists who justify their actions by cloaking it in religious garb. Don't be fooled.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:37 am |
  14. Whats the real problem

    If your not happy with Islamic Center you can always build a Church and a Synagogue right next to it. What is the real problem? Read on every Major Religion which one didn't shed blood? Please post in detail.

    August 3, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • Jenna McDermott

      Well said. In the United States, freedom of religion means that the government cannot sanction one religion over another solely due to who or what is being worshipped. It was a good decision–a victory for America and against terrorism–that the mosque will be allowed. If we threw away our 200+ year tradition of religious freedom and forbade construction of the Ground Zero mosque, then all we would be doing is letting the terrorists win. We can't abandon who we are as a nation–our freedoms, our democracy, or inclusivenss–that would be declaring defeat.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:33 am |
  15. B.G.

    We should REBUILD the towers. The message: They didn't get by with it.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:58 pm |
  16. Merritt

    Build the Mosque and do it in honor of the half million Muslims Bush killed in his war.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:23 pm |
    • Reality


      Why the War on koranic-driven, Islamic Terror continues:

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,488, killed in non-combat missions, 927 and 96,845 – 105,596 Iraqi civilians killed,

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops killed in action 745, 210 killed in non-combat situations as of 04/17/2010.(2001–present reported that 13,372 – 32,969 Afghan civilians have been killed by direct and indirect armed conflict through 2009.

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      August 3, 2010 at 5:16 pm |

      Reality – you are citing atrocities committed by those that have twisted Islam to suit their own evil agenda. These evil "leaders" victimize people that are usually poverty-stricken / uneducated promising them paradise if they were to do their bidding. This is not Islam. Throughout history man has time and again used anything, be it religion, nationalism, patriotism, fear, anything that will justify their evil purpose. Do not confuse Islam with the evil people that uses it.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      @reddfrog: I agree that a person is not their religion. Religion is madness. An insane person is not their insanity, yet they are insane, nonetheless. Religion is the vehicle some people are dragged behind as we are all driven over a cliff.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:42 pm |
    • Reality

      If they build the topic mosque, there should be a plaque over its entrance saying, "Entrance to the World of Koranic-Driven Terror and Horror". Eliminate the koranic passages that dictate said horror and terror against women and infidels and then and only then will mosques be considered places of worship.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:52 pm |
    • Jenna McDermott

      @Reality - don't forget that there is genocide in the Bible too. For example, "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you may nations...then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them and show them no mercy." Deuteronomy 7:1-2, NIV. Would you have Christians redact this as well? To use your words:

      "Entrance to the World of Biblical-Driven Terror and Horror". Eliminate the biblical passages that dictate speak of genocide and then and only then will Churches be considered places of worship."

      Sounds silly, right? Violence is a part of most religions, so pointing a finger of blame at certain passages is pointless unless you're willing to clean up your own (and everyone's) religion.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:29 am |
  17. Saladin

    I think the Park 51 center has a real opportunity to not only heal wounds but build bridges. I hope it succeeds beyond anyone's wildest dreams.

    August 3, 2010 at 4:09 pm |
  18. SaryBasha

    22:40 (Asad) those who have been driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying. “Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, [58] all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in [all of] which Gods name is abundantly extolled – would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. [59] And God will most certainly succour him who suc­cours His cause: for, verily, God is most powerful, almighty,

    August 3, 2010 at 4:04 pm |
  19. Reality

    Stage 2 of the koranic- "building" process:

    8:59-60 “Let not the unbelievers think that they can get the better (of the godly): they will never frustrate (them). Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into (the hearts of) the enemies, of God and your enemies, and others besides, whom ye may not know, but whom God doth know. Whatever ye shall spend in the cause of God, shall be repaid unto you, and ye shall not be treated unjustly.”

    Another translation makes this plain – “The infidels should not think that they can get away from us. Prepare against them whatever arms and weaponry you can muster so that you may terrorize them.”

    August 3, 2010 at 4:01 pm |
    • numan

      "Surely those who believe, and those who are Jews, and the Christians, and the Sabians - whoever believes in God and the Last Day and does good, they shall have their reward from their Lord. And there will be no fear for them, nor shall they grieve" (2:62, 5:69, and many other verses).

      "...and nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who say, 'We are Christians,' because amongst these are men devoted to learning and men who have renounced the world, and they are not arrogant" (5:82).

      "O you who believe! Be helpers of God - as Jesus the son of Mary said to the Disciples, 'Who will be my helpers in (the work of) God?' Said the disciples, 'We are God's helpers!' Then a portion of the Children of Israel believed, and a portion disbelieved.But We gave power to those who believed, against their enemies, and they became the ones that prevailed" (61:14).

      what do you you hav 2 say about these verses from the quran ???

      August 3, 2010 at 5:30 pm |

      Apparently people will take bits and pieces of Quran to suit their own ends...just like the terrorists.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:42 pm |
    • A Khan

      Just like the Holy Christian Bible then?

      August 3, 2010 at 10:54 pm |
    • Reality

      One more time:

      What drove the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon? The koran, Mohammed's book of death for all infidels and Muslim domination of the world by any means. Muslims must clean up this book removing said passages admitting that they are based on the Gabriel myth and therefore obviously the hallucinations and/or lies of Mohammed. Then we can talk about the location of mosques and what is taught therein. Until then, no male Muslim can be trusted anytime or anywhere.

      And if they build the topic mosque, there should be a plaque over its entrance saying, "Entrance to the World of Koranic-Driven Terror and Horror".

      August 3, 2010 at 11:48 pm |
  20. peace2all

    Oh my...! Well..... Hmmmmm let's see oh this one will all work out...

    I am sure everything will be just peachy fine...

    I am hoping for the best on this....


    August 3, 2010 at 3:41 pm |
    • Luke

      I'm placing a $5 bet with you that the first act of violence or intolerance will be on behalf of a Christian. You on?

      August 3, 2010 at 3:59 pm |
    • peace2all


      Hey Luke.....! Unfortunately, no $5 spot from me, because I am in total agreement with you.... Yep... most likely will be a christian that does some kind real stupid act.....


      August 3, 2010 at 7:35 pm |

      A real Christian will not do anything that can be construed as violent. There is a difference between those that say they are Christian, and those that are really Christians.

      August 3, 2010 at 9:40 pm |
    • DangerMouse

      reddfrog, I think your use of the word "real" is absolutely criminal.

      If a religion is based upon lies and misdirection, then calling someone a "real" member of that religion is ludicrous in the extreme.

      August 3, 2010 at 11:34 pm |
    • peace2all


      Some would argue that *real* any religion would and could do acts of violence. I have seen many a posting from so-called real christians that everyone should rise up against the evil Islam devil religion.

      Some *real* christians might look at the bible and read into it war and such, just like *real* muslims might read into the Qu'ran and read into it war and violence as well.

      Don't be fooled by your lables of what *real* means. We have seen enough damage done by *real* believers in a lot of religions.

      Just my respectful take and perspective on your post....

      Peace to you....

      August 4, 2010 at 1:30 am |
    • Jenna McDermott

      A real Christian will not resort to violence? Well, even Jesus forcibly turned over the tables of the money lenders who had set up shop outside the temple. In our day and age this would be considered a violent offence. And Matthew 10:34 quotes Jesus as saying "Don't imagiine that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword!" I have nothing against Jesus, but I don't know if you claim that Christianity always equals non-violence.

      August 4, 2010 at 11:25 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.