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. vanguardagent

    It's nice to know this developer is trying to capitalize on the controversy surrounding this. What a jerk.

    This is about religion, it's about creating controversy, and slapping in the face those affected by the events of 911 in the process.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      No, actually. This is NOT about religion. This is about respect for the dead, and the massive loss the country suffered. Screw religion.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      dont fool yourself and dont try to fool us, this is all about Religion. is not then why we are protesting a community center proposed by one specific religion?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Matrix

    You know if they are involved in terrorism and aiding terrorism at that place, It would be a great intel collection center!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:31 pm | Report abuse |
  3. KRS

    Mandy the Moron...I thought we talked about this... you’re not allowed to post in this blog. Your ".org"-biased web site proves nothing. would you like me to refer you to a research class on intellectual conversations?

    August 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      KRS the ku klux klan member...Why don't YOU do everyone a favor and leave the blog...you do nothing but insult people and post bigoted comments. Notice exactly what I was talking about – the actual opening date of the cultural center. Now that's something it's best to go to the source for since they'll be the ones doing the actual ribbon cutting and all... It's tragic to see someone so pathetic trying to debate... Would you like me to refer YOU to a research or intelligent conversation class, you need it far more than me – I LOVE LOGIC, you hide from it!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:09 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Bill

    I am an American, I am also a Muslim. Being born and raised here for the past 31 years I dont really care if they build a Mosque directly on Ground Zero, this is no symbol of victory or triumph for the Muslim world, and we dont idolize any of the 11 highjackers.

    This is however practicing the very freedom of religion we as Americans tout to the rest of the world, and this freedom of religion is the exact reason I dont live anywhere else in the world.

    Open your eyes people, there are 1.5 billion Muslims world wide, Muslims were on Christopher Columbus's ship, we have been here in the US of A since the start, we are not the enemy. If 11 radicals decide to act otherwise is the remaining 99.9 percent of the population to blame? And dont go down memory lane and revisit history, because when you digg up the past all you do is get dirty, and there is plenty of dirt to go around for everyone.

    Hitler was white (anglo saxon) does that make every anglo saxon an enemy of the Jews?

    August 18, 2010 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shiki

      Excellent post. Very well said and I completely agree.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Bill, Hitler being white doesn't have a single thing to do with religion whatsoever. So its an invalid comparison.

      This is NOT about freedom of religion, no matter how much you want to claim it is. Your argument is the same stupid argument that christians have been using for hundreds of years to screw over others.

      This has nothing to do with freedom of religion, but everything to do with respecting the dead.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Matrix

    Whats Mandy's site?

    August 18, 2010 at 4:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Mandy

      It's not my site...it's the website of the actual cultural center (http://www.park51.org/). People were saying that the opening date is 9/11/11 but there is no date currently set, nor has construction even started and if it's anything like any other construction site in NYC it will be behind schedule...

      August 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  6. O'Shaugnessy

    No Christian terrorists? Don't go as far back as thecrusades. Go back to the news for the last month. The Irish are blowing each other up on a daily basis on religious lines. Why is that not in the news? The BBC reports it as terrorism, but we can't, because then half the people on these boards would lose their argument of 'there are no christian terrorists'.
    pfff.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Can you give us some dates, places and names. I searched the web and I couldn't find anything recent at all. Never mind anything about the "Irish blowing themselves up on a daily basis"

      August 18, 2010 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Franklin

    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/38730223/ns/msnbc_tv-countdown_with_keith_olbermann/

    August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Matrix

    I never really unserstood that Irish issue. Seems like a silly thing. But whatever.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:38 pm | Report abuse |
  9. ItsAmerica

    I just had a funny thought. If you were to build the Mosque at the North Pole, which way would you kneel to pray? Every direction is South. You see, here in America we can make these types of bad jokes. Freedom of speech. God Bless America!

    August 18, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • arshad ali

      Its America,

      Based on geometry and science that the arabs gave to you, it would be based on magnetic north or true north. Magnetic north would still have a compass direction towards mecca and for true north, it would be based on the meridian line that mecca is located.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • Danglin

      Radical christians blew up an abortion clinic and killed people in it. therefore no churches should be built within 2 blocks of a hospital.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:49 pm | Report abuse |
  10. KRS

    Bill... Do you agree that it would be courteous (due to the sensitivity of the situation) that the mosque should be built elsewhere. I mean, if peace is supposed to be the practice...should they subscribe to peace and relocate.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      KRS, will it guarantee that Racist and Biggots are not gonna bash Islam and no one will protest against building a Mosque?

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

    I guess for some it may be hard to support the building of a Mosque next to ground zero, when NYC will not let the Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed on September 11th be rebuilt.

    Its funny but I can't recall ever hearing even 1 liberal Democrat mention anything about the Greek Orthodox Church, hmmmn, wonder why that might be?

    August 18, 2010 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Shiki

      It has nothing to do with the mosque, that's why.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Doug

      It has everything to do with the Mosque, as in showing the true colors of liberal Democrats.

      They sure do care about "freedom of religion", as long as it is the right religion. Before 9/11 they hated all religions, ok Farakkan's Islamic group got a pass, but the whole Islamic faith and every Muslim were not covered under the liberal umbrella of double standards based upon hate until after 9/11, just the facts, you can draw your own conclusions.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Fair question, another one is were is the press coverage?

      August 18, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      it has everything to do with Islam and thats why we are seeing such a drama with this. you are correct DOG

      August 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Juju

      Actually, Doug, I didn't see a single fact in your comment. I saw lots of very generalized opinions, though.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:14 pm | Report abuse |
  12. sageWY

    It is also simple to grasp that americans do not want another mosque.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Danglin

    I don't let christians babysit my children because some priests molested some kids, so all christians are pedophiles

    August 18, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      and look who are the majority on Wall Street. SO that makes Christian and Jewish people thieves and Robber who are responsible for the state of our Economy?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Kathleen from Illinois

    I feel that this mosque could be built elsewhere in New York City. I think that this site was picked to create dissension. I did not like that the President weighed in with a comment on Friday expressing wholeharted support. (due to freedom of religion) This does not have anything to do with that stance. There are plenty of mosques built in all the states. The President has since back off with comments that need further clarification. I hope that the Moslem group and/or their Imman wishing to build this center will reconsider and pick an alternative site. After all when Carmelite nuns wanted to inhabit a site adjacent to a holacost site, to raise awareness of the good that can be done in the world, the Pope advised them to leave and pick an alternate site and the Carmelite order obeyed.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:43 pm | Report abuse |
    • arshad ali

      Kathleen,

      With all due respects, you or the government can not tell us where to worship. The site was not picked to create dissention like you mentioned since we have owned the building for years. It sits in an area that has many empty shops, empty offices, and empty buildings. The dissention is coming from people who dont really understand the purpose of a community center open to all people, regardless of race of religious beliefs. You want us to move it away from WTC? How far? Is 3000 miles acceptable because there are protests and oppositions in various states to limit the building of mosques. There are people who go to friday prayers and have to subjacate themselves to bigotted comments. Its a shame that i fought for this country only to hear views from people who want to restrict the freedom to practise a relgion of their choosing.

      An alternative site only feeds the views of the far right who want to limit all mosques in america and just used this issue as a means to retrict practise of inidviduals.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. know the truth

    I am a muslim & I don't want the Mosque to be built there. Please build it elswhere, or better yet don't build it at all.
    Let all of the Islam bashing stop. enough, we as muslims did not hurt you America, only criminals and lunatics would hurt innocent civilians.
    Thank you

    August 18, 2010 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      dont be so naive and be fooled by this bigots and racist. First they want you to stop building your prayer place in Ground Zero, then they will want you to be out of NY and then USA. These are hidden racist and haters.

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