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August 11th, 2010
03:12 PM ET

Controversial New York Islamic center will not relocate to public land

CNN's Alona Rivord filed this report:

Developers of a Muslim community center near the site of the September 11, 2001, terror attacks in New York Wednesday declined an offer by Gov. David Paterson to relocate the project.

Paterson had suggested Tuesday that state-owned property could provide an alternative building site for the controversial project.

"If the sponsors were looking for property anywhere at a distance that would be such that it would accommodate a better feeling among the people who are frustrated, I would look into trying to provide them with the state property they would need," Paterson told reporters.

Developers say the current location for the project - two blocks from ground zero - was selected intentionally to serve the Lower Manhattan community.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for our governor, and we are always interested in hearing what our leaders have to say, and what their ideas and proposals are. But this has always been about serving Lower Manhattan," said developer Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties.

The proposed $100 million, 13-story facility, which is being built by the Cordoba Initiative, will include a mosque, performing arts center, gym, swimming pool and other public spaces. The Cordoba Initiative describes itself as a Muslim outreach group.

The project has drawn fierce opposition from many families of victims of the 9/11 attacks, as well as from several members of Congress and some religious groups. Some have argued that building a mosque near ground zero is disrespectful to the victims of the attacks.

"I don't have any objection to it being built there," Paterson said Tuesday. "But I am very sensitive to the desire of those who are adamant against it to see something else worked out."

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

"Those of us in public service are going to have to create a greater dialogue right now to try to make sure those feelings are heard to whatever extent we can," Paterson said.

- CNN Belief Blog

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

soundoff (859 Responses)
  1. Kris

    This is the direct result of democracy. Do these guys allow a church or temple to built near Mecca/Medina in Saudi.
    The Politicians can go to any level to get the votes from the particular group. This is happening every where on the planet.
    This is a direct stabbing in to the hearts of dead souls, families and friend's of victims of 9/11. The People should know that there were alot of people of all religions died during 9/11. None speaks of 3000 indian Hindus from india died during 9/11, who were working in various companies in Twin Towers.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • Americano

      KRI...

      THE TOTAL TOLL WAS 3000+ GET YOU FACTS STRAIGHT...

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:33 pm |
  2. pockets

    it is very likely that some Christian will fly a plane into the building once its completed. Its highly likely actually. I'm just sayin

    August 11, 2010 at 7:07 pm |
    • Dorianna

      I dont Condone violence however as I said earlier this place will not stand long! Some idiot just like the idiots that flew those planes will do something in what they see as justification.

      August 14, 2010 at 8:38 pm |
  3. T

    Whether or not there is some underlying reason behind the building of this center in that location makes no difference. It is as simple as this. There is opposition to this idea from a group of people, who have every right to oppose it. If this center is truly nothing more than a building to serve it followers then why argue over its location. It is simple to move the location and make everybody happy! My opinion was very open when this all began, however the idea that the builders can simply not find another location just isnt good enough for me. Especially when it comes down to the fact that these are family and friends of 9/11 victims who are so against its location. BE RESPECTFUL! Muslims state all the time that "They are different" and "Muslim Terrorists are just the extremists"...my issue is that if you really are different then compassion for those who lost loved ones must be shown in this instance. 9/11's impact may have, sadly, faded from current history in some ways, but in other ways it will always be a gaping wound. I SAY AGAIN. BE RESPECTFUL TO THE VICTIMS AND THEIR FAMILIES! that is the most important topic about this project

    August 11, 2010 at 7:04 pm |
    • Mike Honcho

      They do not owe you anything. ESPECIALLY to make you or anyone else happy. It is their land, this is the US of A. We are free here. No one is subject to having to do anything because of what others think or feel. You do not speak for those who died there. My freedom will not be bought off by some land offer. It legal, it is their right. I was born free, We are all free.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • Americano

      T,

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:31 pm |
  4. Dave Solis

    The insistence of building a mosque near ground zero is a clear sign of arrogance and ignorance of muslims. I'm atheist btw. How if somebody build a gay bar next to the mosque??

    August 11, 2010 at 7:03 pm |
    • pockets

      Now a gay bar next to the mosque is not a bad idea at all actually. What is wrong with that???

      August 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
  5. MIke

    In my 55 years Americans have always had the same problem.
    Americans never know when to mind their own damn business.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:02 pm |
    • KRS

      then take your own medicine MIKE and shut your mouth and mind you business. posting a blog contradicts your "I mind my own business belief" goof off!

      August 11, 2010 at 7:11 pm |
    • Americano

      NO YOU NEED TO SHUT UP AND STOP TERRORIZING THIS BLOG...

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:30 pm |
  6. Reflections

    This planet has people of so many faiths and religions. A very casual observation makes we feel that the Muslims are the most violent and rather primitive and uncivilized.
    What happened on 9/11, was unthinkable. Instead of respect the sentiments of the rest of mankind, Muslims seems to take pride in what people of their faith did.
    I am pretty sure, they are doing no one a favor. By doing this, do they think they are being liked by others ?
    Does the Muslim Leadership have any decency ? What do they stand for ?
    If they choose to lead a life that is very uncivilized, why come to America. Do not want to be judgmental, but they should go to the chosen land of their founder. Well I am sure someone will issue a Fatwa to kill me. How barbaric.
    I have never written an online comment. But when I see the Muslims behave this way, I feel all of us should stand up and express ourselves, otherwise EVIL wins.
    Final reflections. Not all Muslims are evil. But if the fair minded Muslims do not tell the misguided ones to STOP, they are
    infact in other words endorsing them.

    f act silently endorsing the Evil amongst them. Silence and

    August 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm |
    • Americano

      REFLECTIONS,

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  7. MIke

    The United States was founded on the right of it's people to religious freedom...no where does it say as long as it's approved by the RW Christian fanatics who seem to think they own this country.
    They own the land they can build what ever they want on it they do not need your permission or approval if you don't like it to damn bad for you. These people are Americans weather they are Muslims or any other religion they damn sure don't have to bow down to the wishes of other Americans. The vast majority of you are not New Yorkers and most you have never ever set foot in NY. Mind your own damn business.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
    • FrankinNJ

      Well Mike I live very close to NYC, a stones throw away and am in NYC almost everyday. Like most I have been touched by the 9/11 murders and like most I am not questioning the 'right' to build. I am questioning people who say be sensitive towards this place while not expecting the Muslims who want to open it to be sensitive to the people touched by the sensless murders that took place there. If proximity is no big deal as they claim, great, you can have another spot in the proximity about 2 miles away. Every argument made for this mosque in that spot is invalidated by their refusal to allow thousands to grieve. The argument this will build bridges is invladid if 60% of the community is outraged by it. Their argument of location being no big deal is invalid if they themselves do not want to move. I am sorry if the argument thousads were murdered and millions grieve isnt enough to outweigh a few hundred dont want to take a bus 2 miles away.

      So you can talk 'right' all you want, but every argument for

      August 11, 2010 at 7:17 pm |
  8. Andrew in NYC

    As a New Yorker, I'd like to say to those against the mosque: you have no right to make the decision for us New Yorkers. Next, take your intolerance and bigotry somewhere else. The constitution, which you conservatives seem to value (when it suits you) protects these people. Or do you want to amend the first amendment as well?

    August 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  9. julie George

    They can have a mosque in New York if we can have a church in all Muslim countries. We do not need developers intent or intention. Leave political correctness behind and care for the real Americans.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:58 pm |
  10. freefall55

    In my opinion, the Ground-Zero mosque should be allowed to open ONLY after the memorial for the September 11 victims is finished and opened for one year. It is a disgrace that a mosque is allowed to open before the memorial is opened.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  11. christine

    Wait, wait. Let me guess. Next they are going to break ground on 9/11 and then say "Whoops, what a coincidence!". Jeezus.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  12. tone-loc

    Enough of this we have to understand and respect Islam. I am neither Christian or Muslim. If any one cares to understand the history of Islam, do some reading and you will come to realize that violence, murder and treachery are the basis of Islam. Throughout the modern history of the Asian countries, muslim leaders, dating back to the times of Aurangzev, a muslim king, they have lined people up when attacking them and gave ultimatums, choose Islam or you die. And not just men. Women, children and the elderly all slaughtered in the name of Islam if they did not convert. The muslims talk about peace yet not for one moment in the history of Islam has peace been the means to an end. For those who are muslim, read about your history, not the one that your Imam tells you but do some outside investigations and you will realize that Islam is a violent, backwards religion with only one goal in mind, and that is world domination. Isn't it kind of curious that most of the modern recruits to Islam happen to come from jail. Gutter cockroaches think alike.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:56 pm |
  13. debill

    Britain put the past behind them and allowed Irish terrorists into their government (terrorist who were in large part financed by US citizens. Can the US also not move on instead of continually living in the past. Why not show the world, for a change, that we are a thinking, forward looking country.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:55 pm |
  14. Keith Long

    Americano, do you think if you say the same mantra over and over enough times someone is going to agree with you. RAGHEAD!

    August 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
  15. Marc

    Muslims are troublemakers the world over. Just look at how the muslim inhabitants are behaving in European countries like France, UK and Germany not to mention the Middle East. Most of the wars (if not all) being waged around the globe, as we speak, involve muslims, on one side or another. Does anyone expect we should be gong ho about another invasive mosque, especially next to Ground Zero, which was caused by muslims..

    August 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
    • Americano

      MARC...

      YOU ARE SO INTELLIGENT... YOUR INTELLIGENCE IS OOOOSSSSING OUT OF YOUR BRAIN.

      Most wars are caused by Muslimsss???? hmmmmmm

      Let's see...

      Israel bom, kill, innocent civilians using AMERICAN weapons for the past 60 years... demolished homes by the hundred of thousands... killed hunderd of thousands in the past 60 years with FULL SUPPORT OF OUR AMERICAN GOVERNMENT...

      AMERICAN NUKED Japan civilians killing hundred of thousands

      AMERICAN helped SADDAM to attack Iran causing the death of millions of Muslims.

      French killed more than million civilian in Algeria

      French killed more that a million civilian in Libya

      Soviet killed hundred of thousands civilians in Afghanistan

      The crusader killed millions of muslims during the crusade

      AMERICAN GOVERNMENT CAUSED THE DEATH OF over a millions Iraqi babies because the sanctions.

      AMERICAN GOVERNMENTS SUPPORT EVERY AND EACH DICTATORS IN THE ARAB WORLD because they want a PUPPET dictator to control and keep the population in control to APPEASE THE ISRAELI GOVERNMENT.

      ETC......

      SO stop watching "KING OF THE HILL" AND "700 CLUB" because IGNORANCE CAN KILL YOU...

      AGAIN

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  16. Mister Jack

    Each and every person living in the United States is granted protection from religious persecution and people have a right to use their land for whatever purpose they wish, as long as it meets any legal requirement. So why don't all you Christians out their practice the most important tenet of Christianity: forgiveness. Let these guys alone unless you can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Islamic community associated with this mosque is engaged in supporting terrorism.

    By the way, I'm sure that the construction companies contracted to build this building will not turn down the jobs, nor will the workers.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:43 pm |
  17. Mike Honcho

    I am an American... America to me is better than this bigotry and hate we are displaying towards the building of this mosque. This country stands for freedom. Freedom to build whatever you want as long as it is legal. Just because you oppose this mosque, does not mean you speak up for the people who lost their lives there. I was born free, We are all free.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:42 pm |
    • KRS

      shut up mike....it's sissys like you who weaken the fabric of this country with your pansy way of thinking. peace to all...shut up!

      August 11, 2010 at 7:01 pm |
    • pockets

      The last thing you have is freedom, your a slave to the system, look around fool. These people are going to win whatever they are trying to win, and the 'good hearted' folk like you are paving the way for them to take over. Watch as they slit the throats of the unbelievers.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
    • Americano

      KRS,

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  18. Joe

    Am I ever glad I'm not an American. You people haven't won a war (despite getting involved in them regularly) since WW2, and better yet, get pwned by 11 hijackers. Those 11 managed to turn you guys against everyone in the world... including yourselves. Face it. The mosque will go up while you bicker and squabble amongst yourselves. Such is the new american way.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:33 pm |
    • Jango Davis

      Hey Joe, I'm as liberal as they get, but if it wasn't for America the Germans would have won WWI and WWII. Despite the fact I was and am against America hgetting involved in Iraq, guess what dumbass, Iraq has taken over its own security and the country has not fallen to terrorists, that's called a win whether I like it or not.

      August 11, 2010 at 8:01 pm |
  19. FrankinNJ

    So I am supposed to be sensitive towards Muslims who want to build there, but Muslims who want to build there do not have to be sensitive towards New Yorker's and people murdered there. Did I get that right?

    Then it would be my right to go open German Heritage Center a few doors down from Treblinka? After all most Germans now a days aren't Nazi's and didn't have anything to do with the atrocities of WWII.

    Serioulsy this feigned outrage of the Muslims and others who want this built is as amazing as it it hypocritical. Does there come a time when you actually believe your own propaganda SO much you can't see this will only hurt the cause you are supposedly espousing. Build bridges on the ashes of murdered people? Since I do not believe Muslims are stupid I can only believe this is being built for a differant reason.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Americano

      FRANKIN...

      IT IS NOT BEING BUILD ON ASHES...

      SECOND

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:15 pm |
    • FrankinNJ

      Americano, you just called people bigots THEN proceeded to use racial and bigoted terms yourself. That is as silly as the arguments that support the building of this mosque there. NO ONE is saying a mosque can not be built. People are asking that the Muslims who supposedly wish to build bridges to the community simply move it a few miles down. How can you say you want to build bridges and have the community see you in a new light, when the community is overwhelmingly against it. IT invalidates the entire premise.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Suraj

      They fought for this... "Freedom"....they are part of the US army and they shed their blood for this country...if they have the money that should build where every they so chooses

      August 11, 2010 at 7:37 pm |
  20. dwight huth

    Since the Islamist's have not decided to move to public land being affered by the state then it is clear and obvious that they intend to be disrespectful towards The World Trade Center's of which their faith brought down. If they were truely of a peaceful faith then they would understand the implications of moving and would not have a problem of moving. But since they are refusing to move they are in fact showing their militant mentality towards Ground Zero of saying "We took down your towers and now we are going to build our center of hate towards America in honor of our taking down The World Trade Center's close to Ground Zero just so we can look out of the windows everyday and glorify oursevles with the sounds of American's crying and dieing as your tower's came down."

    I wonder how many people siding with this building are in fact symptomatic of wathcing the movie? "The Siege" America had best pull it's head out of it's but and get a president in office that would never allow such a defacery move by the enemy who we are trying to defeat.

    I also hope that New Yoker's put a permanent watch on their building and track every single person that goes into the Mosque and out of the Mosque.

    I also think that the military commander in charge of the forces in the Middle East needs replaced with someone who does not sympathise but only puts the enemy in their place.

    Let the Republican's be born again hard this coming election and get Obama and Hilliray out of office before every state is overan with Middle Eastern mosque's that are like was mentioned places of military power for those in the Middle East that are attacking the innocent and American and allied troops.

    August 11, 2010 at 6:32 pm |
    • Mister Jack

      First of all, why should my taxpayer dollar that purchased the land the State is offering be used to support a religious organization - any religious organization, to be specific.

      Get over it.

      August 11, 2010 at 6:51 pm |
    • Americano

      DWIGHT THE DIMMWITT.

      NOTHING TO DO WITH FEELING....

      TODAY ABOUT THIS GROUP FEELING, TOMORROW ABOUT THE OTHER GROUP FEELING AND SO ON AND SO ON....

      Until no more freedom to talk about...

      The only reason BIGOT, ISRAELI MOSSAD, WHITE TRASH HILLBILLY, FOLLOWERS OF PAT ROBERTSON are all over this subject because their IGNORANCE, RACISM, AND BIGOTRY...

      AMERICA IS THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
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About this blog

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.