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. Matrix

    I like that idea. Make this site a community for all religeons. That is respecftul. If they really want to promote peace, then share the place. That way its not so negative. We all have a right to prayer and believe in what we believe, I just dont like where it's at.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      They actually do plan to make it a site for all religions.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Pauls

    Yes there is already a mosque there, if that's what you want to call it. Muslims gather there to pray but you wouldn't know that it was a mosque. Which is part of what makes this discussion so ridiculous.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  3. ThinkforUrSelves

    We are in Iraq and Afghanistan to bring them our way of life- liberation via "democracy"...I think we are intolerant hypocrites and sad to say we have no moral standing in the world because the majority refuse to understand others human beings as equal in this world we share. Should we be prevented from building churches next to concentration camps of Nazi, because Hitler was a Christian who happen to be a terrorist (including his million man army). Lets educate ourselves we do not live in a box, come out and discover the world...brotherhood, peace and tolerance.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  4. JustAGirl

    Ah, of course the developer is Muslim. Maybe, Mr. Sharif el-Gamal, 'infamous' might be a better word. Twist that knife just a little more why don't you? *shakes head*

    August 18, 2010 at 2:47 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Dan

    THANKS for your service to our country!! Even though I may not personally agree 100% with your opinion I do respect it because of your service. As they say if you don't vote you have nothing to complain about!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Too many comments about the Christian Crusades here. The Crusades can be narrowed down to one simple point. That is that Christians fought to restore the Holy Land and put it back in their hands after Muslims, yes Muslims, fought to steal it away.
    So while you say Christians have done this, that, or the other to Muslims during the Crusades let us not forget WHY they did it. That is to conquer those who first conquered them.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      After the Christians took back Spain from the Muslims, they kicked off the Spanish Inquisition, and killed any Jews that wouldn't leave, along with an awful lot of Muslims and insufficiently doctrinal Christians.


      August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. jonny

    You "tolerant" people need to wake up in a hurry. Europe is being turned into a sewer by the immigrant Muslims. They do nothing to blend in. They just want to push their way in, live off the gov't. You women out there are especially ignorant when you see how they treat the females of their society and place their offspring directly in harms way.

    When you give them a concession, they only want more. They will keep on pushing and we will keep giving ground until they dominate and they will one day dominate. We have largely lost our will to fight back because we basically don't even like our own country. We have US troops getting fired upon who are not allowed to fire back. Absolutely insane.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Why are the troops in those countries to begin with?
      You are afraid of USA getting swamped by Immigrant Muslims like Europe. But i thought we were already doing something about it by kicking the illegal Hispanic out of this country? oh by the way, Hispanics are all Christians (over 99.99%). SO we have Illegal Christians who are getting kicked out of USA by their LEGAL Christian Brothers!!! so its not just the Muslim who are making things difficult for US, the Christians are responsible also

      August 18, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yahwh1

    Anahata, Sorry, but God does not agree with you – read the Bible and see what God says .... Comparing God with a golf game does not do your response justice. God will will not tolerate those who think they can believe in whatever they want – God makes it clear who He is and His commands – however God does give us free will to choose and sadly most choose the road to destruction. Choosing a game of golf is easy must deciding to know and belief in the One True God is difficult for many.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      great response!

      August 18, 2010 at 2:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anahata

      Your reasoning is circular because your conclusion restates your presumption. "If it is in the Bible is the Word of God and God said it, then it must be true" and "The Bible says it, and it is the Word of God so it must be true."

      The trouble is, anyone else can say the same, because the argument isn't based on empirical evidence. "If it is in the Koran and Allah said it, then it must be true" and "Because it is in the Koran, Allah said it so it must be true." I cannot debate that, nor would I be correct in doing so, because you hold your convictions to be true because you believe them to be true. I respect your beliefs and convictions; what I am saying is, someone who is Muslim could say the same thing for his/her God and use the same reasoning as you do for yours, and you'd both be right because neither of your claims are supported by anything other than your simple belief that you're right, even though those claims could contradict.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  9. TL

    It really makes me sad to think that there are so many closed-minded people in this country. This is AMERICA, land of the FREE. If we cannot let other citizens express themselves through their religion then we are not America. Would people be making a fuss over a Christian Center being built in that exact spot? I don't think so. What happened to the World Trade Center was an act of selfish terrorism by a group of evil people who did not share the same beliefs as their whole religion. And as for this being a "victory" or a slap in the face, that is so far from the truth. I totally support their decision to not budge in changing the location of this mosque because they shouldn't have to. And for anyone who says they should, well then you my friend are a hypocrite.
    We only get one life and one planet and it's pathetic how we all take everything way too seriously and cannot just get along with each other. Yes something very very horrible happened 9 years ago, but it's something that should have brought us all closer together and made us stronger. Instead it has made us hate an entire population that is completely innocent. It's time to let go of the hate for the people who are not guilty.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      TL – the triumphant idiot! I’ll say it again....Christians didn't crash planes into the world trade center. This country is not at war with people who practice the Christian Faith. Pull your head out of your rear and really think long and hard. How often do you hear of extreme Christian terrorists being busted by the feds monthly for trying to plan terrorist attacks on America?

      August 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      TL – very well put!

      KRS – You need to join REALITY! It was not Muslims that flew planes into the trade center, it was TERRORISTS. You know that not all terrorists are Muslim, right? There have been terrorists from EVERY religion throughout history. And YES – there have been Christian terrorists that have been caught planning attacks in the US, in fact – there's an entire wikipedia page devoted to it! You need to get your facts straight and research BOTH sides of an issue before you make asinine comments...

      August 18, 2010 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Heck, Catholic Christians in the IRA practically invented modern terrorism.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. John777

    The Dutch are the most tolerant country in the world and they are recognozing that they have a problem with an influx of muslims. A Dutch film maker was murdered by a Muslim because he made a movie about the opression women endured under sharia law.

    A quote from a dutch politician
    "The Koran is above all a book of war, a call to butcher non-Muslims (2:191, 3:141, 4:91, 5:3), to roast them (4:56, 69:30-69:32), and to cause bloodbaths amongst them (47:4). "Jews are compared to monkeys and pigs (2:65, 5:60, 7:166), while people who believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God must according to the Koran be fought (9:30). "

    I wish we could be tolerant but how can a person extend the olive branch when our intended recepient is looking to jam it back down our throats.

    August 18, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Netherlands/Dutch is not the most tolerant country. They went to Various countries to rule them and they slaughtered many people in those countries. Dutch were supposed to protect UN Refugee camp IN Bosnia but they opened the gate to the Serbian Military who then GENOCIDED over thousands of Children, Women, and man in front of their family. Dutch is a Christian country, just like Serbia who were Christian. Any comments John777? Just because POT is legal doesn't mean they are tolerant country, they are just High and they will become who they were once they run out of their POT

      August 18, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Report abuse |
  11. jbrazealle

    I have an idea for the new location. pakistan...underneath water!!!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      good idea. how about New Orleans?

      August 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      Perfect idea!

      August 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Tim

    What should the local, state, or federal government do to stop this building from being built? Do you propose that government get in the business of picking which religions have more rights than others? Are you arguing that the government should be given more control over the religious activities of the population? Instead of simply ripping on the president, say exactly which law you want changed to stop this from being built.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • jeff

      No. not any religion, just the one that nurtured the terrorists to kill and maim, and the land that the poor dead people landed on as they jumped out the g#^^*(&$am windows, thats all !!

      August 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. MRC1975

    If a different group proposed putting a Hitler youth-center next to a Holocaust museum this would be a different conversation entirely. The fact that this group is insistent on placing the Islamic center at this location despite the idea that many Americans find it insensitive demonstrates that this group has no respect for the country that affords them these rights. Tolerance is supposed to go both ways, but only seems to keep moving in one direction. Let’s also allow bars and strip-clubs outside of public schools. That way the youth in this country can see where they will end up due to lack of job growth and continued economic decline. Keep on tolertatin’

    August 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Chevy

    As I read each and everyone of these replies I noticed that NO ONE has said they should not buil the Mosque. We as Americans believe in freedom of religion. What everyone is upset about, and rightfully so is its location. I am a Christian and I know that if someone wanted to build a church in a contraversial place they would consider a new location. So why is it right for americans to turn our head to such a contraversial subject. If Muslims want to fit into America and not be seen as a radical religion why won't they just build it in another location? Wouldn't that show america that they are here as a loving peaceful religion and not a controversial one?

    August 18, 2010 at 3:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      Yes!!!! You hit the nail on the head

      August 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • capnmike

      That's very nice, Chevy, except that they are NOT A LOVING PEACEFUL RELIGION. Look at their history.,..the Ottoman Empire (Islam) took over the world thru violence, and they're at it again.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      Since when is a Burlington coat factory controversial? Oh, and what pray-tel would be an "acceptable" radius from ground zero for an Islamic center to be built...5 blocks, 10 blocks... Have you even ever been to NYC – it's a mega metropolis with everything on top of one another... The only way to truly overcome the horrific attacks of 9/11 is to show the true colors of the American spirit as close to ground zero as possible by supporting one of the foundations of our country – religious freedom.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ


      Why do we have so many churches in Germany where the GENOCIDE occurred? Wasnt/isnt this insensitive to the Jews, Gypsy and others?

      August 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  15. capnmike

    I got a great site for their stinking mosque....out in the desert in Saudi Arabia.

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