New York Governor Paterson to meet with ‘Ground Zero mosque’ developers to discuss possible relocation

August 18th, 2010 - 10:51 pm ICT by BNO News  

NEW YORK (BNO NEWS) – New York Governor David Paterson announced on Wednesday that there are plans to meet with the developers of the ‘Ground Zero mosque’ to discuss a possible relocation for its intended cultural and religious center in order to avoid controversy, CBS2 reported.

Governor Paterson will offer the developers, as early as this week, state land in another location for the construction of the mosque. Before going public, Paterson discussed the issue with Congressman Peter King.

“The purpose of the meeting would be for the governor to discuss with the leaders of the mosque where state property is available and whether or not people from the mosque would be willing to consider that property,” King said.

Paterson has been trying to promote understanding to both sides. Park51, the developers of the Ground Zero mosque project, said they are open to any sensible discussions. Paterson saw this as a sign that they are open to a compromise.

There are two issues that may threaten the meetings, however. One is the continuous support from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and from President Barack Obama who may have encouraged mosque leaders to insist in the current location.

The other issue of importance is the separation of church and state. For decades, the state has remained separated from interfering in religious topics and vice versa. However, a mosque is a religious center and if the state provides land for its construction, this statute would be broken.

Rep. King said that in this case it would not be a mistake as the compromise will meet the need of both sides. He added that the openness of Park51 to a compromise will be the real test of their intentions.

Many people fear that denying the construction of the mosque two blocks away from Ground Zero will trigger a national backlash. Although protesters against the mosque assure that they are not against Muslim but that they see the new mosque as an insensitive sign for those who lost someone in the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Religious leaders from other faiths have joined the Muslim voices against the restriction of certain places to put up a religious center. The proposed location for the mosque is not visible from Ground Zero or vice versa.

On September 11, 2001, two hijacked airliners crashed into both towers of the World Trade Center in New York City. Another airliner crashed into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., while a fourth crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

Both towers of the World Trade Center, which both had 110 floors, soon collapsed. The smaller towers, 7 WTC and 3 WTC also collapsed, while 4, 5 and 6 WTC were eventually demolished as a result of damage they sustained.

In all, 2,976 people died as a result of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks that were committed by al-Qaeda. More than 6,000 people were injured.

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