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. Ed

    I think they should reconsider the location but there is no arguing they have a right to build the mosque. That right must be maintained or we lose everything this country stands for. With that said the location is by its nature incendiary ad should be reconsidered of respect for those who died and their families

    August 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      There were Muslims among those dead on 9/11

      August 18, 2010 at 5:07 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Dan

    Timothy McVeigh was a practicing Christian.

    August 18, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • KRS

      Dan the Dimwit... Tim McVeigh was one man, not the masses. Is that the only source you have? I'll give you time to refer to the internet (like your moron counterpart Mandy)to prove you side. go!

      August 18, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • Melissa

      Most of the mass murderers and genocidal maniacs in the last 1000 years were christian. Or muslim. Go read a history book people. Stalins atrocities didn't remotely compare to Hitlers (who was a Catholic and said in Mein Kampf that he was doing gods work as he murdered millions).

      August 18, 2010 at 4:56 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      KRS, there were not one but Two, Did you forget Nicholas? So there are two. Isn't that what we are trying to say? you cant blame the whole religion because of one, two or three people actions?
      How many KKK's you need to consider Christianity a terrorist Religion (according to your logic)? There were more than two, there were hundreds who used the cross (Sign of Christianity) before, during and after they burned, hanged people they didn't like.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      Pity he practiced and didn't get it right.

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

    A mosque is tradionally built at the site of a Muslim conquest. The rumor of the proposed date of the grand opening is Sept. 11. Has this been confirmed?

    August 18, 2010 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      and where did you get this piece of valuable information? you must have done your Ph.D in Islamic History, or you are a high school drop-out.

      August 18, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Report abuse |
    • arshad ali


      I need to smoke what you are smoking. Have you been watching Fox News?

      August 18, 2010 at 5:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      No, you should get your facts correct. CHURCHES are traditionally built on grounds conquered.
      Remember the adage, when you point, 4 fingers point back to you.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Dharmaja

      Sarcasm is the lowest form of communication and your use of it reveals your ignorance and / or promulgation of the lie.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Sarcasm is the only thing left to use when people use "facts" without knowing the fact. when you make up facts to make a point then what is left to explain? You still didn't answer the questions, where did you get the fact that "usually mosques are built at the site of a Muslim conquest"

      August 18, 2010 at 10:46 pm | Report abuse |
  4. White Picket Fences

    Let them build it... it's time for us to return their favor of 2001.

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

      you will have the opportunity to meet your friends in Guantanamo Bay prison. I wish you luck on your mission.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
    • wzrd1

      So, you are making a terroristic threat? From your statement, you have just threatened to blow up a religious house of worship. That is terrorism. It is also a hate crime.
      Gitmo is too good for you.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Mark5

    Liberalism has gone too far. All things need to be tempered in some way or another. The twin towers were taken down and all those people killed in the name of Islam. The final insult will be to build a mosque as close to the site as possible. Islam does not separate church and state in most of the countries where it is practiced. Islamic followers do not tolerate other beliefs and will suppress them when able. It goes against everything the United States believes in. The very fact that they want to build it there shows that they have little respect for US citizens. Someone has to get the courage to tell these people that the answer is no and that they have to choose another location until more time has passed and more healing has occurred.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • arshad ali

      Shouldnt you be on the fox news website? I am telling your boy beck and seanitty.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Ramon F. Herrera

    "The twin towers were taken down and all those people killed in the name of Islam."

    Unless Allah himself authenticates Al Qaeda and the terrorists stating that they are his genuine representatives, most of the complains against the civic center are INVALID.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Matt

    This proposed mosque is not even on the WTC real estate, yet all these hate- and fear-mongering people are whining as if it's to be built atop the exact same ground previously occupied by the WTC complex.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. will

    If everyone is so up and arms about how Christians don't fly planes into building and kill people. Maybe those Christians should read up about the Crusades, Spanish Inquisition, and countless other acts of terrorism. If you god fearing/loving folks want to call anything bad andd immoral lets talk about Westboro Baptist that is a christian group that protests soldiers funerals. How fun is it now when you realize that you are no better than anyone else. I dare one of you saps tell me that a few don't speak for the many. I dare you. Because a few Muslims that drove a plane into a building does not speak for all of islam.

    I am a former member of the US Army and proud of my country. Very dishearted by the fear politics and this mindset. Its like screaming fire in a building when there really is none.

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

    I wonder how many of the people who oppose the Mosque have exprience discrimination. What a better way to demonstrate to the world that we do not blame Muslims for the 9/11 attack. It was terrorist who use religion to hide their agendas. This country was founded on freedom of a history book people. Learn about your history before you give your opinion.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:20 pm | Report abuse |
  10. jrod

    What is the difference between this being built and Christians (mainly us Americans) going and slaughtering thousands if not millions around the world? The only difference is we don't slap churches down, we build McDonalds. The WTC was attacked by Islamic extremist nuts, not Islam itself. White America and their "Christian beliefs" enslaved and murdered millions of slaves yet churches pop up all over the south everyday. The opposition's points are completely empty and retarded.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:29 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Geoffreyf

    The governor should give the land to the churches of bigots whose poor little feelings are hurt by Americans exercising their First Amendment freedoms. Gov. Patterson of all people should understand bigots not wanting a congregation in their narrow world. Jews dealt with this too in the 1950's as we moved into the Suburbs around NYC. Nobody should pander to bigots.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Totally agree with you Geofreyf. Jews were the victim of this same kind of antisemitism and other discriminations. Black, Mormons, Women, Baptist, we can go on with the list. Gov is being pressured by these bigots, He knows very well how it feels to be discriminated cause he is BLACK and LEGALLY Blind. Arent these bigots the same people who also complained about ADA (american with Disability act), Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security? cause Black people are the only beneficiaries of these programs according to these kind of bigots.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:52 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Ed

    It’s unfortunate that this debate has turned into little for the political party and religion bashing. I hope one day we will learn to be a tad bit more civilized in how we express our opinions.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:36 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Dr. M. Jenkinson

    I cannot believe the laughable double standard that goes on in the world. Muslims have their own way in many Middle East countries, suppressing other religions. Then they come here and want to have their own way, and these naive, gullible Americans let them! Bleeding-heart, pinko liberals are going to find out that, just as it is happening in Europe, the Muslim population, with their deliberately enormous birth rate, will squeeze out Americans in their own country. Your vote will mean nothing, soon! I know the hidden agenda all too well having lived in a few of those countries. The writing is on the wall! It'll be too late when most people wise up.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      Yes but if we adopt that oppressive method we are no better than the very groups you are complaining about. Therefore we must allow religious freedom.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      very funny logics DR (?) which school did you go to get your Dr. degree, School of stupidity and Hate? Muslims are deliberately giving birth to babies so that they can take over the US? Have you had a class in your life in Epidemiology or Public Health?
      you dont have much knowledge in Geography or Religious History either. There are more Muslim Countries outside of Middle east than in the Middle east. The top 5 most populace Muslim countries are not in Middle east and those countries are very diverse and give other religions proper respect. Those countries celebrate "Christmas and Puja" as their major holidays. Do you have other religions holiday as your national holiday here in US??

      August 18, 2010 at 11:00 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Edwin

    ill: the Crusades and Spanish Inquisition were a LONG time ago. Christianity has changed a lot since then. If you want a better example, try the IRA (Ireland's Catholic terrorist group) from one generation ago. They wanted to 'free' Northern Ireland from England's grasp, so they blew up cars and killed innocent men, women and children (along with English police and soldiers). They were a terrorist organization, and were devoted to their religious cause. They represent Christianity at least as much as al Qaeda represents Islam.

    One group is enough, since that is all it took for many Americans to be convinced that all muslims are terrorists. Of course they will argue that the listed groups aren't really christian, but they somehow cannot understand that their argument applies to muslim terrorists as well. It is simply closed minded rage, with no desire to actually understand or learn.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      good point

      August 18, 2010 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Edwin you said that the IRA wanted to separate Ireland from England therefore the reason for their terrorism was freeing Ireland. So they sound like political terrorists who happen to be Catholic Christians. I never heard if the IRA believed that God wanted them to kill people or even if they believed that God wanted Ireland from England. I think that its clear that if England had left Ireland the IRA would have stopped blowing people in England up. Muslims are blowing up people who often happen to be fellow Muslims and their fellow countrymen because they believe that Allah wants them too.

      August 18, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Frogman, seems like you are knowingly acting innocent. Muslims are not killing other people cause Allah asked them to. SOME Muslims are killing other cause THEY THINK (which is wrong) these people are helping their enemy. and of course not all Muslims are killing all Muslims, then there wouldn't be any Muslims.
      and Political Terrorists in Ireland is different than Al-Qaeda terrorist. I guess you can kill people in a mass scale as long as it is religious connected to politics and not directly religious (lol) now i am even getting confused trying to follow your logic to justify one kind of terrorism but not the others

      August 18, 2010 at 11:07 pm | Report abuse |
  15. frogman

    I would love Muslim Americans and others who support the construction of the "Community Center" near Ground Zero to respond to this quote from Turkish Prime Minister Recap Tayyip Erdogan who said, " The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers" He also told Muslims that "assimilation is a crime against humanity."

    August 18, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      give me proof where he said "Assimilation is crime against Humanity" and then i will answer your question about his metaphoric use of those words. I will also give you many examples of metaphor by many US scholars/Presidents that might be too hard for bigots like you to understand.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
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