[Your thoughts] Mosque approved at Sept. 11th Ground Zero

The New York City Landmarks Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to deny landmark designation to the site of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, paving the way for the controversial community center and worship space to rise two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The 11-member panel is appointed by Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has vehemently defended the mosque as an example of religious freedom.

The proposed community center has become the center of an intense national controversy, prompting opponents to call on the commission to grant landmark status in hopes of blocking the plan.

The commission’s vote – taking place under heavy police presence at a theater at Pace University in Lower Manhattan – is viewed as the principal municipal hurdle for the mosque, which is now free to move forward. Commissioner after commissioner said the building, constructed in 1857-58, is not unique and lacks the characteristics necessary for a landmark. Manhattan has more than 11,000 landmarked properties.

Manhattan resident Linda Rivera sat in the audience holding a sign that read “Don’t glorify murders of 3,000—no 9/11 victory mosque.”

As the commissioners left the room, another audience member, Andy Sullivan of Queens, asked if any of them had lost a loved one during the terrorist attacks. He said commissioners should look into the television cameras and “apologize for this disgrace.”

Mr. Sullivan, who is in the construction business, predicted that some construction workers will refuse to build the mosque. “You’re going to have a problem getting labor there because everybody I talked to — they will not lift a finger to construct that disgrace.”

Megan Pugney, a New Jersey resident who works for the Muslim Consultative Network, a local advocacy organization, came out Tuesday to support the mosque. She praised the commission’s decision.

“Regardless of their personal opinion of what they believe of a community center being built, they made the decision based on fact,” Ms. Pugney said.

Asked what she would say to families who lost loved ones on Sept. 11, she said, “I know your pain. I know many of the people who also passed…I feel your pain. It was not real Muslims who did that.”

0 responses to “[Your thoughts] Mosque approved at Sept. 11th Ground Zero”

  1. I don’t think the memory of the WTC attack should be labeled as a Muslim attack. The mosque has every right to be there and I’m glad that someone in City Hall felt the same way.

  2. Like the affirmative action issue, this is a great one for bigots and other religious intolerants to shine an enormous spotlight on themselves. This is a great time for increasing understanding. It’s been nine years since the attacks and there is a sincere desire on behalf of a multi-denominational group to begin this type of important communication. Of course, it’s also a great time for people to demonstrate their ignorance and misguided anger towards Muslims.

    Ultimately there’s a lesson in the mosque being built, or in it being stymied by the moronic and belligerent.

  3. I think that is a hard pill to swallow. I was in NYC on 9/11 and watched the towers and devastation go down. Even though I admit most Muslims of this world and our country do not condone or support the actions by these few men of the Islamic faith who performed these horrible acts. I also feel a lot of love and compassion for my brothers and sisters of all faiths and walks of life who were harmed or murdered on that horrible day. I think that this hollowed ground in Lower Manhattan is sacred and the wound is still very tender (we are still at war after 9 years). With this reality the decision to designate landmark status to this house of worship and prayer is going to be an emotional decision. I think that it is natural that people would be offended and upset by this action to uplift a mosque to landmark status at this location and at this time. …and YES I know all about justice deferred.

    For example: Pooty catches a Tyson beat down by Jimmy after school in his neighborhood in the parking lot in front of his girlfriend, friends, and enemies (embarrassing and painful). Jimmie’s cousin Larry lives one block over and use to kick it with Pooty at the club on the weekends. Larry had nothing to do with the beat down that Jimmy put on Pooty, but you best believe he heard ALL about it. Should Larry be quick to run up on Pooty to buy him a drink at the club? Should Larry ask Pooty to make an investment in his next get rich quick scheme when he runs into him at the grocery store? Or should Larry fall back for a minute. Sometimes it takes time to get over being beat down by someone’s cousin.

  4. I have to snicker when I hear “limited government conservatives” cry out for big brother action against the mosque. It seems that they only want small government when it suits them personally. However, when it suits their desires, a big government is just fine.

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