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. Scotty

    this is whole 'center' is just a way for them to celebrate the real tragedy that occurred.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe G

      You can't be dumb enough to actually think that, can you?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Report abuse |
  2. SJtR

    Mike seems to have a problem with the fact that just because someone is NOT an allopheist like him, then they are instantly a RACIST! Mike needs to learn that while racism is on one side of the Cartesian line... tolerance is NOT on the other side, but in the middle. The other side of the line is something just as bad and radically extremest; which is called allopheist. Allopheism is the opposite of racism. So opposite that you embrace other races to such a point that you do two things wrong. #1. you hate your own race unconditionally, and #2 you accept all other races unconditionally. However Mike needs to not only learn this, but the other ugly truth is, any and all allopheist cultures in history, and yes there were many, died as fast as they started. Mike needs to stop being a passive aggressive like spoiled brat and grow up. Try learning a few things before blasting ones feces cannon and use some facts first

    August 18, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  3. joel

    Is it possible that we have so many idiots in the country that we can't see this ruse of logic. Muslims care about the planned location of the mosque solely because they want to inflame attention worldwide as to what a bunch of fools we are in the U.S. Any honest Muslim would tell you the same thing. The Muslim lack of sensitivity to the feelings of 9/11 victims and families is deplorable.

    It's time people in the U.S. realize that we as a country and a people have to recognize that Islam is not a peaceful religion but rather a shield behind which Islamic terrorists can hide and that we must be confrontational with them. To do so otherwise would mean that in a few years the U.S. will be in the same situation as England, France, and Holland are now. Victims of Islam in their own countries. And having a Muslim president has only made the situation worse. Confrontation behind Christians and Muslims didn't start with 9/11. It started with the Crusades and has continued ever since.

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

      A Muslim president? Really? Let's not just make up things. He's Christian.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • aubrie

      Yes he is. Read his book.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joe G

      WOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOWOW. I completely agree, Joel. But why are you singling out the Muslim religion? Christians have committed acts of terror in the name of God since before you were born. What in the world makes them special?

      So get a clue. If you're going to label Muslims as terrorists because a few of them are muslim, then you damn sure better keep on going. I personally would love to see the end of Christianity, so I hope you suceed.

      By the way- You're a F-ing moron.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:53 pm | Report abuse |
  4. SJtR

    islam is a cult started by basilades as a heretical Christian doctrine 300 years earlier. A Nestorian monk named Bahira looking to seize power in the Byzantine throne from the Orthodoxy developed a plan by training a young boy named mohammud from those earlier mentioned Basilidean texts. The whole story of islams history points out its no more a religion then basken and robins ice cream can be called a farm fresh salad. Check it out for yourselves.

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

    First, I certainly don't think the government should disallow this religious establishment. However, the idea of this mosque (get real, it's a Mosque) being built at this site does enrage me. Not because it's muslims, or the islamization of america, but because I see this as a celebration of terrorism. This connection is very easy to make, and even the group building it had to know of this risk. If more muslims came out more strongly against the terrorist actions right after 9/11, I think I would feel different. But instead, it seemed like more Muslim Americans were sympathizing with the terrorists than denouncing it. So rather than this location feeling like it was selected to serve it's member in this geography, or as a way to bridge their faith with other Americans, it comes across more as a celebration of killing. I agree with freedom of speech and religion and therefore there are some things that we should not stop by force. But by moving ahead with plans to build the center at this location instead of sympathizing with the victims and showing that they are of different set of beliefs (#1 being that terrorism is bad) it just confirms in my mind that this group does celebrate the deaths of those at the WTC. And while they may want to excercise their rights to speech and religion, it is also every other citizens right to speek about not wanting the center at this location and how insensitive this group is. I don't think this center has built bridges to America, instead it is making it harder to come together. That is an unfortunate outcome when we needed the opposite.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Evan, give me your email address or mailing address. I can send you a message every time i see a stupid person doing something terroristic. Otherwise you will always say that" IF Muslim condemned the 9/11 on time..... we wouldnt...." blah blah. Tell me in which form, format, and forum you want Muslims to denounce terrorism? what would be a satisfactory number to you? but at the same time i would like you to denounce terrorism every time there is one by a Christian country or a country supported by a Christian country. Fair enough?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
  6. joel

    Furthermore, it doesn't matter what any of us think about this "Mosque." It will simply serve as a terrorist recruitment center. And it's not going to be built at that location. No union construction crew in New York will lift a finger to build this travesty.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Joel, you are a union member or president of all the unions? Do you also represent the Muslim workers union in NY city?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
  7. drussman

    Did George Bush lie when he said "Islam is a peaceful religion and we are not at ware with Islam"?

    August 18, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      drussman do you think that George Bush lied when he said that there were weapons of nuclear weapons in Iraq? Now he could of been lying or he could have been ignorant of the facts. Or he could have been both because I think he a liar and as dumb as a sack of rocks. So was he lying when he said that Islam is a peaceful religion or was he just wrong? I don't know.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:23 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Bush lies sometime and speaks truth sometime, just like you do. So when he said Islam is a religion of peace, he was truthful but when he talked about Weapon of Mass Destruction, he was being lied by people around him (people like you) to destroy a muslim country

      August 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Y

    I totally with annie44.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:14 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Thomas

    Matt says "it's hateful of you to assume that these people are out to rub 9/11 in our faces." Well all I can say is what possessed them to announce that the inauguration will be September 11, 2011?! Are they trying to say this new construction is in memory of those who died? Why choose THAT date?! At best, the Muslims involved in building this are arrogant and insensitive.

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

    Mike? Stop using the racist card man. It is pathetic and old. Just because iI disagree with the islamic religion doesn't make me a racist. Do you honestly think that muslims like Christianity or Judeism? Heck no. Well, aren't they racists under your theory? You are supporting and backing racists then. Are you not therefore a racist as well? People need to stop the racist card. Take a look at our First Lady. That is a racist pig. Before you tear into me. Google her college thesis and read for yourself. And again, when this thing is eradicated, I say we build a memorial and call it a community center. Let's watch the muslims SCREAM about that one.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Abraham Lincoln

      No, it doesn't make you a racist, it makes you a bigot. There's a subtle difference.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:44 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Aldewacs2

    The movie under this link is a must-see for both PRO and CON – it's a BRIT adding his penny's worth.
    This is an interesting viewpoint by a non-American, looking in from a distance.

    (Not sure if it was posted here before, but it's really worth a few minutes of your time. You might NOT like it, though)

    August 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  12. SJtR

    whittyg, wanna make a bet that 0bama is muslim? his own mouth: "you can better know who he is by who he surrounds himself by"... his own book audacity of hope : "when the political winds ever shift I will side with my brother muslims" . As for his fake Christianity... do I hear a God D*** American anyone?

    August 18, 2010 at 1:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Bklyngrl66

    IMHO I believe those who are not from NY or were not present during the 9/11 devastation should keep their opinions to themselves. Why can't NYers vote on this matter? This is way too important an issue to leave it up to a-wipes who are mostly never truly representative of the people. The wounds are much too deep to even consider an Islamic cultural center so close to Ground Zero. To keep pushing back hard on this issue shows that this Islamic Center is being built for very evil reasons. Why can't theiri so-called religious leaders involved in this project understand the moral implications????? Why should any American respect their culture or religion? Until the Imams get a hold on their people using Islam as a means to continue war with basically everyone on this planet, I don't want to hear or see any symbol of theirs near Ground Zero! It's absolutely barbaric reasoning to think NYers want to see this center go up.

    August 18, 2010 at 1:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      you are not the only one who lives in NY. These people also lives in NY city who wants to have a place to pray neaby.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Y

    I totally agree with annie44.

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

    I suppose most of you wouldn't mind putting all the muslims in a concentration camp and smogging them? Where are you people from?

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

      Where do I sign up? Are the muslim lovers going to be there too? Please?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      What is smogging?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      like how Christians Germany treated the Jewish people?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
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