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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. Americano

    TO ALL WHITE TRASH, HILLBILLIES, TEA PARTYING, 700 CLUB PAT ROBERTSON FANS, "KING OF THE HILL" FANS...

    THIS IS AMERICA FOR ALL AMERICANSSSSSSSSS

    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 7:36 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Gee Americano, you call people bigots and white trash in the same sentence. This double standard shows your obvious stupidity. You are the typical new age liberal. Full of screaming emotions and no logic.

      August 11, 2010 at 8:40 pm |
  2. Rick Geary

    Jeaneemac I applaud you for stating this even better than I could. You are absolutely correct. Think God there are a few people in this country that can still think and reason beyond the canned ideology of those who are ignorant of history.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:35 pm |
  3. James Daniel

    Dear Islamic Center of NY. I am happy you have collected 100 million $, but what is the fun to spend this on mosque, while you have already more than a thousnd in USA, spend this money wisely on your muslim brotherns in poor Pakistan which is begging the whole world for help. That will be hundred times more a an act of generosity than constructing merely a buildin only to irritate the local community.If I want to build a church in Saudi Arabia will that country allow me to do so.If not why you guies take the undue advavtage of American Laws. JD

    August 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Americano

      JAMES DANIEL...

      NOTHING TO DO WITH SAUDI ARABIA OR....

      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 FOR ALL AMERICANS. THE LAND OF THE FREEEEEEEEEEEEE......

      August 11, 2010 at 7:42 pm |
  4. ordinaryguy

    Islam is cancer and there is no true good in it. They will say or do what ever will achieve their goal(world domination) and that ok OK by Allah. I do not claim to be a scholar or anything like that and I have never read the holy corn(yes, I mean to be disrespectful!) either. All I know is that actions speak louder that words and Islam preaches peace and tolerance out of one side of its mouth, and hate and discontent out of the other, AT THE SAME TIME by clerics who both claim to be more knowledgeable that the other. Islam it not soluable and you can throw it in the "Great Melting Pot" you want but it does not blend in because they choose to! The only blending in they do is so their plots are not discovered before they can wreak havoc and murder. Have you seen ANY attempt to hurt Mecca or Medina? NO because Christians and Jews dont do that kind of stuff. Gullible fools, weak minded idiots, spineless politicans and regular old stupid Americans that see the world thru rose colored glasses, will cost us all dearly before its over. Islam and the west are at war, so lets just get it over with and whoever wins gets the planet and who ever is left shuts the hell up and plays nice or is treated just like cancer and exterminated. The choice is yours. And yes, call me a hater. Your damn right and I will NOT apologize for it either.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Americano

      ORDINARY GUY

      WHY DON'T YOU PACK AND GO BACK TO YOUR WHITE TRASH VILLAGE IN EUROPA WHERE RELIGION PROSECUTION STARTED...

      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 7:40 pm |
  5. abbydelabbey

    Of course not. They want that mosque exactly where some bozos gave them the permits to build it. They know exactly what they're doing. Every council member that supported this should be thrown out of office.

    Across America large tracts of land and huge mosques are being constructed. Where is the money coming from? Isn't anyone a bit curious about this sudden surge mosque building in America? Just remember what one of the leaders in Turkey said - a minaret is a bayonet of Islam.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:29 pm |
  6. Rick Geary

    A true Muslim would not insult us this way.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  7. JEANNIEMAC

    Of course the offer of another plot of land was refused. The whole point of building the mosque in the shadow of the World Trade Center is to shout a Muslim victory to the world. Throughout history, whenever Muslims have conquered a city or nation, they build mosques on the ruins of the most significant building in the conquered land. The Dome of the Rock was built on the Temple Mount. In Damascus, a mosque was built on the ruins of St. John's Basilica. And so on.
    Also, to open this mosque on September 11, 2011, is a deliberate spit in the face of America.
    Bloomberg knows this, but maybe there is money involved for himself or his friends.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:28 pm |
  8. Matt

    Just another case of Americans descriminating against someone because they are different...This is the reason everyone hates Americans...For anyone that is against this you should be ashamed...Now if they were to name it after Osama Bin Laden then we might have a problem but its not...America it is time to grow up...

    John 15:12
    “This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. FYI...there is no disclaimer that says this doesn't apply to the blacks and browns of the world....!!!!

    August 11, 2010 at 7:25 pm |
    • kendallpeak

      Of course we should love the other races and cultures, and we should rule them kindly and paternally for their own happiness as well as ours.

      August 11, 2010 at 8:27 pm |
  9. muchogroucho

    watch this about the imam behind the mosque. he is a wolf in sheeps clothing..

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1fq6TsUUDU&w=640&h=360]

    August 11, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  10. Rick Geary

    This clearly demonstrates what this is really all about, While this is not quite as dramatic as building a mosque over the ruins of the temple of Solomon, it amounts to the same thing. Americans, whatever their religious affiliation should be appalled and not allow this to happen.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:21 pm |
  11. Kris

    Hey Guys,

    Take it easy. You are getting a chance to see Burqa/Veil clad girls/women to swim in the swimming pool as they are building one. Keep the Binaculars ready now itself, as the price of binaculars will go up as they finish building mosque, GYM and Swimming Pool ready..lol

    August 11, 2010 at 7:16 pm |
  12. Red Hook

    So once again, organized religion chooses it's own self interest over what would be the right thing to do...At this point , how can anyone be surprised at this?

    August 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  13. Jay G

    Cool – a huge facility for the storage of weapons (and even weapons of mass destruction) for use by Islamic extremists in the middle of New York. Brilliant idea.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
    • KRS

      now now jay...according to MIKE(the pansy), they are free to store all the weapons they want. maybe MIKE(the pansy) would like to share a room with a free extremist.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:18 pm |
    • Mike Honcho

      @KRS, you need to first finish going through puberty, become an adult, then we can actually talk. You are still a COWARD and a Communist. If you dont like America and freedom then you can just leave this wonderful country of ours. Say it to my face you limp noddle.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  14. Frederick Barberossa

    Just make sure they put some showers in it please.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:14 pm |
  15. kendallpeak

    It is the duty of the Christian white world to rule the rest of the world and cultures with a firm, paternal, and kindly hand. It is because we have not fulfilled this sacred duty that we have to put up with this and all the other silliness.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  16. james

    It's got to be George W's fault.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:12 pm |
  17. Mike Honcho

    Hey KRS. I am the sissy? You attack me while you hide behind a computer screen and screen name and call me names? What grade are you in? Grow up! I know for a fact if you saw me on the street you would not have the guts to tell me that to my face. COWARD. I am an American. Live FREE. KRS you are a communist.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  18. NewsJunkie

    And there you have it. If they aren't willing to relocate, as most would so that they could worship, then it is most assuredly about 9/11 and what those Muslims did. I said some time ago that if they were offered an alternative site and they refused, it is about conquer as opposed to worship.

    August 11, 2010 at 7:10 pm |
  19. qwerty

    How about a trade... They build the Mosque near ground zero, and we build a bunch of BBQ restaurants that serve PORK right next to the Mosque. Plus, we'll submit plans for Mecca Disney World...

    August 11, 2010 at 7:08 pm |
    • Mike Honcho

      Guess what? if its legal, then I will fight for you to build those things. Because this is America. We are all free, build your PORK BBQ place, Build your adult movie rental place, Whatever you want, you are free.

      August 11, 2010 at 7:13 pm |
  20. jefferson adams

    wouldn't it be hilarious if some fanatical christian ran a plane into the mosque!

    August 11, 2010 at 7:08 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.