Published On: Tue, Aug 3rd, 2010

New York Commission Clears Way for Ground Zero Mosque

The 11-member 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 commission’s chairman, Robert B. Tierney, said the building at 45-47 Park Place “does not rise to the level of an individual landmark.”

Police made their presence known at the commission’s vote, taking place at Pace University in Lower Manhattan. The move to designate the community center as a landmark would stop the mosque. That said, commissioner after commissioner said the building, constructed in 1857-58, is not unique and lacks the characteristics necessary for a landmark.

cover of a Quran  photo by crystalina  via wikimedia commons

cover of a Quran photo by crystalina via wikimedia commons

Manhattan has more than 11,000 landmarked properties.

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

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” while 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.”

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.”




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  1. Ground Zero Mosque response: Fred Phelps to build anti-gay church near Stonewall - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] Maybe you see this coming since they are going to build a mosque next to ground zero. (Read Here: Commission clears way for ground zero mosque) […]

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