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. jjb

    Tell that developer to go fck him self. I want to go to mecca and build a Jewish synagogue and see if the Islamic radicals like that ๐Ÿ˜‰ And if they do build it I hope some one lines the halls with IED's so they can feel the pain are troops are feeling. Sorry if I sound offensive but this country has gone soft.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      JJB, isnt that a "TERRORISTIC" threat. I thought only Muslims are the one who make terroristic comments? you must be a Muslim? i would totally support you building a synagogue in Mecca. But buddy, you will have to live there just like those Muslims in NY who lives there and want a place to pray.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Nicole

      I agree... Just the thought of those people building a place to worship and pray to their "allah" makes me ill. I am just as open as the rest, but come your center elsewhere.....

      August 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Doug

    Maybe every Democrat in America conforming to Islam in the name of "tolerance" is a good thing?

    If the Democrat Congressmen and women would hold the Islamic view on pork, we wouldn't have such a huge deficit.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Gig

    As a bumper sticker said (and I agree): Everything I wanted to know about islam, I learned on 9/11. I don't want a reminder in my face.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      Everything I wanted to know about Christianity I learned on 4/19

      August 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      and that is the problem behind this discussion. People dont know ANYTHING about Islam.

      August 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Phil

    This whole discussion is stupid. This is America and they can build the center anywhere they please. Those of you trying to get it stopped are doing EXACTLY what Osama Bin Ladin wants you to do.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      and Osama is succeeding. He made people in this country like him. Thats a victory by Al-Qaeda

      August 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • buke56

      no Aj you are against your Pres, that in itself is a victory for alqueda. Pathetic

      August 18, 2010 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. ProperVillain

    Note to @Be Sane, the catholic and protestant churches have done the same thing. No religion holds the prize for "most tolerant". The amount of religious ignorance and paranoia in this country is truly astounding. Guess our "leadership" has done a great job at scaring us into submission. Your run of the mill, everyday Muslim isn't a bomb toting radical. They are normal, sane people with a belief system that happens to be different from YOURS. This country is hopelessly fearful and ignorant as seen by most of the comments about this article. "If it ain't American, it ain't right" seems to be the overall mood. Can't wait to move out of this backwards, country cousin of a country...

    August 18, 2010 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • ItsAmerica

      It was good to have you with us. Sad to see you go.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Joev

      We're not going to miss you. Exactly where are you going to go that's better than America?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Randy

    See what happens when people believe in Fairy Tales!

    August 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  7. westcoastkid

    Ah, the Crusades. The other evening I was watching a series on television which put forth this reasoning for the Crusades in the Middle East.

    In the long period that we now refer to as the Dark Ages the main (only) way for a land holding prince/landholder (etc.) to gain real wealth was for him to pilage any number of adjoining land holding despots.

    To make a long story short, the "you rob and pillage in my kingdom I'll do the same but twice as often, in yours" chaos grew so uncontrollable that the pope, worried about the vary stability of the churches income, decided to call in all the knights and challenge them to "free the Holy City".

    This would (forgive the pun) do in two birds with one stone. It not only united the warring knights and bought a reduction in violence in Europe but also bought about, for a time , the "freedom" of Jerusalem from the Arab world.

    August 18, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anahata

      Meanwhile, Muslim lords were founding hospitals and public, free universities. And yes, while there was favoritism for Muslims, many of the Muslim cities were highly tolerant and respectful of Jews and Christians. When Saladin took Jerusalem for instance, Christians and Jews living in the city were allowed to continue to live and practice their faith, albeit under restriction and I think a tax.

      When the Christians of Europe took Jerusalem, they slaughtered every non-Christian.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Melissa

    Good. Much better. No religious building should be placed on or near ground zero. That should remain a monument to the dead.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      So you're saying we should destroy the churches and synagogues that are already there? Intolerance of everything is not the answer. TOLERANCE IS THE ANSWER!

      August 18, 2010 at 4:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Yes Mandy, they should destroy the churches and synagogues already there. Religion is a curse on this planet, none more so than the abrahamic religions, though at least the jewish have learned to keep their bloody religion to themselves. Wish you christians and muslims would do the same. Everyone else does.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      What youโ€™re saying is effectively out law religion. How does this qualify as religious freedom?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Doug

    Do you agree with Nanci Pelosi that all of the Americans who are against building this Mosque need to be investigated by the government?

    if the answer is no then let me thank you in advance for your Republican vote this November.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Pelosi said no such thing. Knock off the lying.

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

      Typical Democrat, just call the someone a liar without doing any research. I know that when I prove that Pelosi said it, you won't say oh I'm sorry for calling you a liar, if you were capable of doing something as decent as that, you wouldn't be a Democrat in the first place.

      Today on kcbs radio:

      Nanci Pelosi "There is no question there is a concerted effort to make this a political issue by some. And I join those who have called for looking into how is this opposition to the mosque is being funded,"

      August 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Typical republican... lie your head off and expecting everyone to believe every stupid thing you say just because you're so easily deluded by your closed minded so-called moral uneducated rich religious leaders.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      I called that one didn't I? LOL

      I knew you were a Democrat, and that means you are too intolerant, closed-minded, selfish, and narcissist to ever admit that you were wrong to someone who hold a different view than you.

      It is funny how you guys and gals go on about this right wing boogieman, yes we laugh at you, because that boogieman doesn't exist on the right, yet it does exist, you just need to pick up a mirror to see it.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Eddie Garcia

    This mosque deal is a valid discussion point.

    Freedom of religion is the freedom and right to exercise one's religion. In my opinion, it does NOT include the selection of a location. There is NO freedom or expectation for the selection of a site.

    The Islamic center SHOULD NOT be built any where near the site where 3,000 innocent people were murdered by Islamic radicals who were bent on attacking the USA.

    The present day Islams in NYC and across our great country should stand up and respect and honor those murdered by not supporting this particular site.


    August 18, 2010 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anahata

      Eddie, what you describe is called a tyranny of the majority. Basically, if more people say it should be this way, then it should be this way. Many bad things have happened because of that principle.

      But I agree with you in the sense that freedom of religion does not mean freedom to build wherever you want whatever you want. That's what zoning permits and construction permits are for. If the developers go through the same hoops as anyone else, and their application is reviewed just as any other application for construction would be, then whatever the decision by the city planners is made is legal and justified.

      As far as I know, the facility has not yet even filed for a construction permit, let alone had one approved.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Eddie, I completely agree with you. These people were killed by Islamic radicals. And now they are being disrespected by muslims who want to build nearby. If this building succeeds, the muslims will be laughing their heads off because they won. Frankly, NO religious buildings should be allowed anywhere near this site. Be they christian, muslim, jewish, rostafarian, wiccan, or any other. Its disrespectful to the dead and to the country's loss.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:24 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Get The Facts Straight

    True God fearing Muslims DO NOT celebrate the tragedy of September 11th, 2001. Your assumptions that the Cordoba Community Center is to celebrate September 11th is Ridiculous. WHY? Because many innocent Muslims died on September 11th in the World Trade Center and as rescuers trying to get into the World Trade Center.

    Secondly, the reason that mosques are increasing in America IS NOT because fanatics are trying to conquer America.
    SIMPLY, many Americans, of all backgrounds are converting to ISLAM. You know why?? Because everytime these
    Anti Muslim campaigns attack Islam more, people become curious about Islam. Once they visit the mosques and read about the real Islam they convert and become Muslims. There isn't a need to conquer anyone's land because Islam is Universal without regard to language, race or ethnicity.

    Mosques are funded by the Muslim community through donations and contributions by their own hard earned money.
    In addition, Muslims contribute to society through charity and working with the under privileged. You will never read positive contributions of the Muslim community in America because the controlled media wants you to believe that Muslims are evil.

    Fellow Americans, those of you who are still living in darkness and believe everything you hear on the news. Do yourself a favor and research deeper than the American Media. There is a world outside of America and the rest of the world knows the facts and they know how our great nation has become a blood thirsty conquering nation to exploit the riches and oil of other nations without regard to their people.

    Unfortunately, a lot of people love to spew hatred withtout really asking themselves what is really going around us. In order to be able to change the world you have to change yourself FIRST and then those around us can follow positive steps or remain in the darkness of ignorance.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. arshad ali

    As a muslim and an airline pilot that lost a close friend who was a first officer on one of the flights on 911, i find it not only distateful but also ignorant to think that muslims somehow want to build a shrine to 911. I implore terrorism as mush as anyone does and to think that to use 911 as a means to condemn freedom of religion is very bigotted.

    To say that muslims want to build a mosque to show expressions of conquerors is not only naive, but also false. Every church built in america is an example of conquest such that it took aways from native american land, native american religious beliefs, and native american practises. To build a mosque is conquest but not a church? Hypocricy to the finest.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • ItsAmerica

      Dude, I don't want to burst your bubble but the Jews were in the mid-east way before Islam was a religion. Islam took the mid-east the same way the US took native american lands.

      Go fly those friends skys!

      August 18, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Report abuse |
  13. KRS

    John the jockstrap jerk! I am ok with admitting that I'm a bigot, but guess what! so are you. Your postings prove it. Pull your head out your empty jockstrap and open your eyes to what you are... a bigot!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Matrix

    John, sounds like you have an issue with Christians.

    I dont like Democrats or Republicans. Neither one does what is right!

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

      Of all the religions in the world, Christianity is the only one with members who've told me where and when I can and can't worship. And I'm not even a Muslim.

      On top of that, individual Christians are amazingly determined when it comes to denying any kind of atrocity or wrongdoing in their own religious history. Any black stain on the good name, and the perpetrators "weren't really Christian". Crusades? Inquisition? Mormon massacres? Any massacres of natives? Warfare? Persecutions? Child abuse? They "weren't really Christian". But anybody of any other religion that does anything wrong? Well, that's a perfect representative example of everyone else in that religion and everything about that religion is wrong. Try to talk to a Christian about Islamic terrorism and they'll say it's endemic to Islam. Try to talk to a Christian about Christian terrorism (IRA is a good example) and they inevitably say "they weren't really Christian".

      So, yeah, I have a problem with that kind of denial.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:22 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Lets Get Real

    In Canada....not too long ago....A Muslim Brother killed his Sister....why?......for NOT wanting to dress in Muslim attire....isn't that pretty crazy.....wanted to bring in Sharia they could STONE TO DEATH their women.....imagine that!

    Build a Mosque on the former death spot of millions of people (doesn't really matter what religion they were....THEY ARE ALL HUMANS that DIED)....HAVE SOME RESPECT.........oh that's right....if your not a muslim....your an INFIDEL......can't be burried beside anyone else but a Muslim...WHAT A JOKE!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      great response! I agree

      August 18, 2010 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      number dead was considerable less the millions

      August 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Christians killed millions of Jews, why? have some respect..

      August 18, 2010 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
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