August 18th, 2010
09:20 AM ET

Reports: Site of Islamic Center up in air

Editor's note: New York Gov. David Paterson joins Larry King in his first interview about the Islamic cultural center controversy. "Larry King Live," 9 p.m. ET Wednesday on CNN.

New York Gov. David Paterson may meet with developers who had been pushing to build an Islamic center near ground zero.

Paterson is set to meet with the group this week to offer them state land to construct the controversial mosque at another location, according to CBS 2 and other news outlets.

However, New York 1 is reporting in an exclusive interview with the developer that he has no intention of budging. Sharif el-Gamal imagined what he hoped the center would mean in a story Tuesday. "A landmark, an iconic building that will have people come and visit it from around the world," he said. "This looks like it is going to be the most famous community center in the world."

The Islamic center's leaders say they plan to build the $100 million, 13-story facility called Cordoba House two blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks. El-Gamal has describe the project as an "Islamic community center" that would include a 500-seat performing arts center, a lecture hall, a swimming pool, a gym, a culinary school, a restaurant and a prayer space for Muslims.

iReport: What's your take on the issue?

Filed under: David Paterson • New York
soundoff (1,062 Responses)
  1. KW

    Let them build it there then we should fly a 'Drone' into it and blow it up....sound familiar...

    August 18, 2010 at 12:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mike

      Have terrorist tendencies do you? Maybe Homeland Security should be advised...?

      August 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Mike

    Ignorance and racism disguised as patriotism...will America ever learn? Sadly, no.

    August 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  3. RG

    What do you tell the families of the hundreds of Muslims that died in the 911 attacks? I would ask the builders to include a memorial to these fine American heroes that died that day, many right from this very neighborhood. Why is a nation of NIMBY's so concerned with someone else's back yard?

    August 18, 2010 at 12:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. N

    I'm not sure why there is an arguement of why Churches aren't built in in some muslim countries. We aren't talking about those countries. We are talking about why American "The greatest Nation in the World" does not want this law abiding citizens to build a youth center. Other countries have their own problems which we can't control. We have our own issues as you can see and we probably need to work through that first

    August 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • ldsmom02

      Yes, we have our problems, but in order for those who are Muslim to expect Americans and especially Christians to believe them when they say they are all about tolerance, love, and peaceful dialog, they will need to show that they are tolerant enough to allow others to build places of worship as well. And, they will need to develop some American understanding and American thinking which would then allow them to understand that they should not build that mosque anywhere near the twin towers. This is about what is morally right and not about what right the muslim community thinks it has. If they are truly American Muslims then they would be more concerned about being American and caring for those of their American community and wanting to help them, but instead they only care about themselves.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      N, I agree with you. What goes on in other countries is irrelevant to this conversation. This conversation is about America and our values. I seriously doubt that the Muslim Americans who want to build the "Community Center" in New York would have any influence on the policy makers in the Muslim countries that don't allow the construction of churches. But I also think a lot of what Americans value is not insulting or distressing your neighbors unnecessarily and it is obvious that the construction of this "Community Center" is insulting and distressing to the families of the 9/11 victims and to the vast majority of New Yorker who oppose it by 76% to 24%. This is a time when being a good American means not doing what our law gives you the right to do.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ldsmom02

    I'm wondering why no one here is concerned with who is financing the mosque. Once we know that, then the issue should be settled. No one is questioning whether the Muslims have a right to build a mosque – of which there are already numerous ones in NYC – but they are questioning rather whether it is the right thing to do. Especially in light of the fact that Muslims love to build mosques on conquered ground. Whether these people perceive it as such doesn't matter, what matters is what those radical muslims abroad think. If our enemies are emboldened by this mosque, who knows what else will happen? It is simply a matter of common sense and decency. Two qualities that the Imam obviously does not have. Nor anyone else posting favorably for this mosque has.

    August 18, 2010 at 12:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • N

      This has already been covered numerous times here. Christians built churches on conquered land too. This is what they did back in the day. Lets not point fingers a one group.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Idsmom02, This is a really good question and no one is answering it and no one in the media is asking it. The answer to this question could go a long way towards easing fears or establishing the validity of our fears.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. evrgreen

    Pls do not let them build the Mosque in groung zero location. The idea of building that Mosque there is not a coincidence. It is a statement, is a second "victory" for them. A rubbing it – in – your face monument.

    August 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Tom, Long Beach, California

    genius.........we will never let the Muslims declare victory on 9-11.......building a mosque signifies that conquest in their culture.....are there NAZI's signs of success in Israel or US signs in Hiroshima or Nagasaki?....all examples of low points for the human race

    August 18, 2010 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  8. annie44

    i have no respect for any religion that does not recognize the rights of women, we are not subservient to men..

    August 18, 2010 at 1:00 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Gman

    This has really gone on long enough. Let the Muslim community build it and then right across the street from it someone can erect a shrine to the Knights Templar and the crusades. Or better yet, the Muslim community can remember how it felt to have the Knights Templar Headquarters in the Al Asqa Mosque on the Temple mount

    August 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  10. gordon

    msn just did a poll here in Canada today on building a mosque near ground zero. There were app. 30 Canadians killed in that attack. Seventy one percent are against it.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • aubrie

      It is really nice and refreshing to know that our good neighbors are in support of us. Thank you!!

      August 18, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tony S

    Would a Nazi community center ever be errected in a Jewish neighborhood? No! Some may think that there is no correlation between that and a mosque at Ground Zero but there is. Some wounds heal with time and the 9/11 wound never will heal- so don't pour salt in it!

    August 18, 2010 at 1:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • WhittyG

      There's a BIG difference between Nazism and Islam. The overwhelming majority of Muslims are not extremists. Now, if someone wanted to build a Jihad training center two blocks from Ground Zero, then of course we'd all say no because that would be ridiculous. But it's a community center.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • N

      Wow. I hope you are not that clueless. They are not building a extremeist training camp with flight simulators and caves with war machines and weapons. These are American muslim citizens that you probably sit next at work everyday that obey the laws of this country and help the needy and are by your side in a time of need. Please don't confuse yourself

      August 18, 2010 at 1:09 pm | Report abuse |
  12. ldsmom02

    When the majority speaks and asks for it not to be built, then any self respecting good American would consider their plea and probably not build on the site. Who are these people on the side of? The have totally rejected any plea for them to reconsider. They show their "fruits" by their actions. They can build that mosque anywhere. They just want to do it there and for their own peculiar reasons which I think we need to investigate. Where is that money coming from?

    August 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe G

      If you actually think that we should all just be sheep to the majority then you clearly don't understand what it means to be an American.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:47 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Peaceconquershate

    On September 11th, 2001 many Muslims lost their lives at Ground Zero as well.
    Some died working in the World Trade Center others died trying to rescue the victims.
    The media does not publicize this information because it is NEVER convenient to portray the positive things about Muslims.

    For those of you that believe that the community center should not be built. Research the truth about September 11th, 2001 on the internet. Secondly, those of you that say that Muslims are trying to conquer the U.S. That is ridiculous, Islam is a religion where you have to accept it within your heart and NO ONE can force you to become Muslim. After all we live in a free country and everyone has a chance to compare and read about religions. Perhaps those who convert to Islam have found what they can not find in other religions.

    The problem with America is that most Americans opinions are taken from the Media and not from true facts or readily available factual information. Mosques have tours for visitors that you can go and visit and get the real feeling of what goes on inside its not like its a secret. Christians come during the month of Ramadan and share meals with Muslims.
    There are many positive things that Muslims do for the communities that they live in however, there is NEVER any positive publicity.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:04 pm | Report abuse |
  14. WhittyG

    Look, I'm not so culturally insensitive to say that having this building that close to Ground Zero is a GREAT IDEA. But it's a community center, not really a mosque. A prayer facility is one small part of it. And it's a few blocks away, it's not ON Ground Zero. Let's stick to the facts here. This has been a non-issue for years since they've come up with the idea. Why is it that suddenly NOW it's this big issue?

    August 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Burn it to the ground

    Hey Jaleel? I am not much of a religious person, but iI do know some. You sit here and mock Christianity with your comments of Jeus Christ relieving himself. Let's figure something out. Your (false god) Allah, preaches murder (kill all infidels)to all non muslims. Isn't that something Satan would say? See the conncection? People like you who are the ones that make us HATE Islam.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • N

      You are so misinformed my friend. You state you are not a religious person but you you claim to know what Islam teaches? Islam does not to kill. It actually states the opposite. I suggest you sit down and research a bit before you make some outlandish claims.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Burn it to the ground

      I have learned not to even bother with you. You honestly have nothing intelligent to say. Just try to insult people and say what you want without backing up with facts.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      Burn it to the ground, thy name is irony.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:46 pm | Report abuse |
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