Way Cleared for Controversial Mosque Near Ground Zero

August 4th, 2010 - 8:25 pm ICT by Angela Kaye Mason  

mosque Aug 4 (THAINDIAN NEWS) A unanimous vote was made on Tuesday by a New York City panel which rejected making a building near the World Trade Center in the the area around Ground Zero a landmark, which cleared the way for the construction of a mosque with an Islamic community center.

Those who oppose the project, which includes first responder from the 911 incident, as well as family members of the victims (close to 3000 innocent people) of the attacks on September 11, 2001 by radical Muslims, say that the location is appalling, as the mosque will be a part of an Islamic community center that will be operated by the Cordoba Initiative. This group has admitted that the center will be a place for “moderate” Muslim voices to be heard.

Approximately 50 people attended the hearing, and several of them applauded the ruling, while the others yelled, “Shame!” when the vote was announced by Robert Tierney, a commission chairman. The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted 9-0 against giving the landmark status to a building which has stood for 152 years. It will now be ripped down to pave the way for the mosque.

The New York Civil Liberties Union as well as the American Civil Liberties Union were both pleased with the decision, citing religious freedom as an excuse to approve such a painful reminder in the face of those most affected by the 911 terrorist attacks.

In what some are calling a cruel twist of our core values, these Civil Liberties Union Groups made the joint statement, “We congratulate the Landmarks Preservation Commission for promoting our nation’s core values and not letting bias get in the way of the rule of law. The free exercise of religion is one of America’s most fundamental freedoms. For hundreds of years,our pluralism and tolerance have sustained and strengthened our nation. On 9/11, religious extremists opposed to that very pluralism killed 3,000 Americans. Those fanatics would want nothing more than for our nation to turn its back on the very ideals that make this country so great.”

One of the many opponents, Linda Rivera of Manhattan held a sign which read, “Don’t glorify murder of 3,000. No 9/11 victory mosque.” Many citizens are noting sadly that this decision, like much of the ones being made in the nation today, was a prime example of the representatives who voted not expressing the wishes of the citizens. Abraham Foxman, who is the national director of the Anti-Defamation League stated that the proposals,fail to address the massive amount of criticism which opposed the decision and say that a mosque near ground zero is insensitive to 911 families. Many wonder how the “Voice of the People” could be truly heard in a voting by 9 city panel members.

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