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. BarakHUSSEINObama

    The Muslim cult has rights you know!! They have;

    a.) The right to remain silent.

    b.) The right to an attorney.

    c.) The right to a speedy trial.

    Let's honor these rights today and put them into action before it's too late.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  2. jeff

    Seems to me the terrorists acted out against our society and all that it stood for, in the name of Islam. So, what does our society do , we open our arms again to Islam. You can not have it both ways, it is up to the Muslims to conform to us, not vice versa. If they don't, then they have the freedom to go home !! Whether they like it or not, ground zero is not the place, and we don't really have to explain it, as we died for this piece of ground. Seems to me that is enough, time for them to sacrifice, and out of respect for America, build somewhere else.

    What, no respect you say??

    August 18, 2010 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      Agreed!!!! finally...people who think with wisdom and not conformances

      August 18, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      Jeff – But here's the thing...they ARE HOME! You do know that (depending on your source) there are between 1 million and 7 million Muslims in the US. It sounds like you're the one that needs to conform to "us" (meaning Americans) in that this is NOT A CHRISTIAN NATION and we practice FREEDOM OF RELIGION, meaning – you can practice any religion you want without any interference from the government as long as you don't break the law. These were not Muslims that represent all Muslims – they were extremist terrorists. Also, many innocent Muslims died on 9/11...

      August 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  3. yeah

    I will say this again:

    This entire "controversy" It's just a way for conservatives to run on 9/11, yet again. People wake up. Beginning of the year Republicans thought they had mid-year elections locked. They started to lose some poll numbers mid-year and had no other platform to run on. Here comes this "controversy", media all too willing to jump on board during August's typically low ratings cycle and ta-da, here we are talking about this every freaking day! Really how can people not take a step back and realize they are just being used time and time again? I just don't get it.

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

      You get lying very well actually.

      This was a New York issue until Obama spoke up about it. Obama took it national, but I guess you are so used to blaming Republicans for everything that you just can't stop your addiction.

      Call me a teabagger racist whever, but it wasn't Bush who stole your garage door opener, you misplaced it!

      August 18, 2010 at 3:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angry Denizen

      Actually, CNN ( the definitive Democrat news channel) brought this issue up a week before Barack Hussein ever mentioned it. You are right in that it is a zoning issue for New Yorkers to debate, but in the heat of this issue...just about everyone and their mom has an opinion about the muslim cult and their motives.

      I find it even more amusing that Barack Husseim has to correct himself the next day because elections are coming and he didn't want to come across as "too supportive" of his native cult. I say don't even worry about elections cause if the Demoncrats keep on this path, they won't be elected again until 2189.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Doug

    If you don't support re-naming our 7th largest city Infidelphia you are a teabagger!!!!

    It is time for every Democrat woman to show how tolerant and open-minded they are and put on that Punjab!

    August 18, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Accepting the beliefs of others does not mean adopting the beliefs of others.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I agree with you John, but then again I don't vote for the party that says that if you don't support us you are a racist, seems that your typing of those words would be an exericse in hypocrasy if you are a Democrat.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      No, you belong to the party that says if you don't support us you're a terrorist.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:16 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Binta

    Bill Hannigan has it right! The developer said the mosque is nowhere near "ground zero." Is two blocks away "nowhere near ground zero?" I have respect for the religion of Islam and because the developer would not consider another site is evidence to me that this is a victory mosque. I don't agree with Palin on anything else except this!
    I have prayed in Mosques all over the Middle East and America and there is no reason to build this one there.
    What should go there is a memorial museum to the World Trade Center victims!!!

    August 18, 2010 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      We're not talking 2 blocks in po-dunk Iowa, we're talking 2 blocks in Manhattan! There are a few hundred stores, gyms, clinics, coffehouses, offices, schools, bars, and a just about anything else you can think of between the center and ground zero. NY is a mega metropolis with hundreds of things on top of one another... What can I ask is an "acceptable" radius from ground zero to build the center. If it was 5 blocks, would it be ok – how about 10? It was not the Muslim religion that attacked, it was terrorists. You're wrong there is no reason NOT to build one there...

      August 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      What if the government came to your house and said were gonna put a county dump 2 blocks from your house. Would you be mad? I mean I am just comparing apples to apples folks.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Lisa P

      Do you have any idea how tough it is to put up a new building in Manhattan? This isn't some cornfield in Iowa - first you need to find a parcel (or more likely adjacent parcels) for sale, then you need approvals to put up what you want to build and to tear down what's already there. It ain't easy, and one way or another the proponents of this community center idea have been at it for ten years or more - before 9/11/01, in fact. Now that they finally have a project put together and neighborhood backing and city approvals all lined up you want them to start over? Why? Because you say so? It's just nuts. You clearly have no idea what you're talking about.

      If you would like to work on assembling and developing an alternate site, however, I'm sure the neighborhood would welcome the activity. They were kicked down hard by 9/11 and redevelopment so far has been pretty disappointing. How about you put up a YMCA to compete with the proposed YMMA, since according to you it's all so easy?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ahmed Akmood

    I personally think that this infunded by Islamic radicals. The head of this project will not comdemn Hammas nor Al Queda. He also will not disclose the source of the funding. I say to be fair, christian radicals should storm this mosque and pelt the inhabitants with swine juice and alcohol.

    God willing these yankee infadels will not let the mosque project go through. The mosque is nothing more than a most needful statement that – hey we knocked your yankee buildings down, now infadels, we smite you with the fury of allah by building a needful mosque.

    Um, derka, they should not allow this travesty of goat johad proportions.

    Assa al malekem my brotha

    August 18, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Mike KCK

    Some of the postings on here are laughable. Those who say "Oh, it's the right or it's the left" need to pull their heads from their political arsses. This country is made up of many more "sides" and to generalize like that shows how little you know. I would assume that you are too young to have much knowledge of worldwide facts, and I do mean facts, not blog talk or lopsided news agencies as they call themselves. Wake up, open your eyes and do your research and ablove all, stop relying on a single news source for your information, This is America full of many beliefs not one or two as some would suggest.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
  8. KRS

    Again...Mandy the Moron. Wikipedia is not a valid source of correct information. A ten year old kid can post articles on Wikipedia. Choose your sources wisely. Until about you leave this blog and go enroll yourself in a critical thinking class and stop being a moron.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      You aren't good for anything but alliterations – you must be a sad person that all you can do is insult people rather than actually debate someone with facts. There is absolutely no logic in your statements. I suggest that YOU attend a logic or debate class and stop posting unintelligent comments with NO BASIS IN REALITY...

      Yes, idiot, I understand that anyone can post on Wikipedia – it's not the ONLY place to find information – Here's some of the Christian terrorists for you (sans Wikipedia) – the Ku Klux Klan, the IRA, the Hutaree, Timothy McVay, the LRA, La Familia Michoacana, The Army of God, as well as countless others. NOT ALL TERRORISTS ARE MUSLIM – THEY ARE ALL RELIGIONS, AND HAVE BEEN SPREADING TERROR FOR THOUSANDS OF YEARS.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Will

    Religion aside, think of the wisdom of it... who did this to New York, terrorists did, hatred did! Islam is not the issue, it is wisdom that's the issue. I do not live in New York, so I cannot comment on how New Yorkers felt when 9/11 occurred. All I can say that building anything near the site of the 9/11 attacks, AT THIS TIME, is unwise.

    Putting my personal view aside, let's think how the people that lost family members, loved one, and friends must feel... Anything that reminds these folks of their loss, their pain, their terror, is just going to bring those vivid memories back. Have you ever heard any song, smelled any scent or seen or smelled any food remind you of something unpleasant of the past? Or even traumatic? With these wars, terrorist attacks, etc, it's just like pouring salt on a fresh wound: ANYTHING THAT REMINDS YOU OF THAT EVENT HURTS.

    If these builders were really sensitive, they would just stop insisting and listen! Wisdom is about timing, and the timing is not now! The builder would gain more sympathizers if it showed some sensitivity and not took it personally that people don't want this emotionally charged project to be built; just salt on a fresh wound!!!

    Insensitive, insensitive, insensitive! Very unwise!

    August 18, 2010 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      70 innocent Muslims died in the twin towers on 9/11.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
  10. AnneSD

    For all of you people whining about why they should build a mosque there, are you aware that there are TWO mosques very near ground zero and they have been there for years - one of them since the 70's and the other (I believe) the late 80's.

    Those mosques are overcrowded because the number of Muslims in the area has increased in the last 30-40 years. If that is where their congregation is, why should they be forced to build a mosque miles away? These people are not terrorists, they are regular New Yorkers with jobs and lives just like yours. HOWEVER, if you continue to insist on marginalizing and denigrating them, you are actually encouraging some to become more radical in response. If people showed you every day they hated you, wouldn't you think about fighting back?

    I am not impressed with the extreme adherents of ANY organized religion. Whatever the tenets of their faith, they do it a disservice by acting like jerks. And the more they feel "persecuted", the more extreme they become. Don't believe it? Just read through these message boards. The most extreme Christian responses also include a strong sense of paranoia and martyrdom.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      can they not worship in the sewers where they came from?

      August 18, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Yum buddy, why dont you tell us since you came from there. we will take your word for it.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      wow! I am glad you got the courage to type that AJ. Did you get a little chubby? I mean little bitty chubby wubby?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Shiki

    Luckily none of you bigots has any real say in it. I will applaud when the mosque is built and American values are upheld.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      I cant wait until its built too. Then an american can fly into it.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      Shiki the Shmuck! is everyone a bigot if they don't agree with your view? what does that make you?

      August 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Another fine example of Christian terrorism.

      No, bigots are bigots. You're a person who is utterly intolerant of any differing creed, belief, or opinion. You're a bigot. I have no problem with any differing creed, belief, or opinion, provided that it doesn't limit my personal freedom. I am not a bigot.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yum

      @ John I am not Christian I am a Muslim.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      yeah and I'm the Pope. My last name is Paul II. I'm posting from beyond the grave. Later I'll ride my magic unicorn back through time to kill Hitler.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Yum


    Underwear again?


    August 18, 2010 at 3:35 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Doug

    Good for you Shiki, enjoy your stay in New York on September 11th 2011 when the Mosque opens, you know it just happens to fall on that day, those who know history and would equate that to a victory are.....teabaggers!!! LOL

    August 18, 2010 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      What are you talking about? I don't know where you get your information but according to the actual people that are building the actual buildings, no date has yet been selected ( your facts straight before you start preaching hate.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shiki

      Very strange comment.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Soulcatcher

    How NYC let every religion build within proportionately to those killed/ injured in 9-11? I think that's fair.

    Plus also account for the Cities zoning allowance for religion to other space usage.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Angry Denizen

      I say build NO faith-based buildings anywhere near the WTC site. It's organized religion that caused this mess in this first place (actually, in this case a large cult) and I don't think we need "bible wars" in the streets of Manhattan impeding our daily activities. Religion has caused more deaths in the world than any other event you can think of and here we are bowing down to it once again (by the grace of the Demoncrats). I look forward to a day when common sense rules all, but I can see that will never happen in America whatsoever.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      good idea Soulcatcher, since there are Muslims who died on 9/11 this should be a good solution.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:46 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      There's a synagogue and a number of churches directly across the street from the WTC twin towers footprint.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:54 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Be Sane

    People, traditionally, Muslims have destroyed temples and churches and built mosques at same places as a symbol of their triumph. Look at what they did in India, they had destroyed temples like Ayodhya, a birthplace of god Rama and built mosque at the same place, which was destroyed by Indians and caused riots later-on. Do we want such riots in U.S.? We are secular and we are tolerant, but mosque at ground zero will be described as a triumph by not only fundamentalist Muslims but the whole Muslim world. This will be perceived as throwing salt on the wounds of the loved ones the 9/11 victims left behind. It will increase hatred towards Muslims multiple fold. If Muslims are wiser, they should change the site.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      you really need to be Sane, you got the tradition half right. True there are places where Muslims built mosques nearby or on top of others but you didnt mention the fact that other religion did the same. Christian destroyed many mosques and built churches there. Half truth is a lie when your intention is bad.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm | Report abuse |
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