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. Be Sane

    AJ, name one place where Christians have destroyed a Mosque and built a church. There is no half truth. Muslims have destroyed temples and other places of worships and built mosque over the same place. That is the sign of their triumph. No other religion does that. On 9/11, fundamentalists destroyed a temple of democracy. Many people in Muslim world were shown dancing on streets on TV. How can we forget that? This kind of symbols of triumphs should not be allowed. Thank god Indians had guts to raise those down in Ayodhya. We have to show some guts and should not cause a perpetual means of controversy. Muslim Imams should show some maturity and move it somewhere else.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Peter

      I say let them build it! Fill it then crash a plane into it! I agree with them that we should do as they do! Follow their lead! Could be make sure OBama is on his knees inside with them praying when we do this? Muslim is as muslim does!

      August 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Cordova, Spain, Bosnia, Albania, DO you want me to go on?
      There are a lot of Old Churches still standing in many Muslims countries like Syria, Iraq, Egypt..
      Those dancing with WTC in the background were not Muslims. Do a Google search of "CArl Cameron, Fox news and dancing Israeli" and you will see that Law enforcements arrested 5 people taking pictures with burning WTC in the background. They were found to be Israeli intelligent agent. They fled before police went to search their place.

      August 19, 2010 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      By the way, WTC was not "temple of Democracy". It could be at best Temple of Finance. Surprisingly, the owner of the buildings, Silverstein, insured the buildings for a billion dollar week before 9/11 and sued the insurance company to collect 2 Billion dollars cause it was hit twice, lol greedy logic but hey those were his building. Do another Google search of "Silverstein, Insurance, and WTC", Do you still consider it "Temple of Democracy'?

      August 19, 2010 at 11:02 pm | Report abuse |
  2. whooptie

    If they insist on building at that site the oughta put up a plaque memorializing those who died. We need to remember those who died.

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

      They sure want to remember some of the people who died that day – 19 to be exact.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      70 Muslims died on 9/11 along with others

      August 19, 2010 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Peter

    This situation is SO easy. Let them build the mosque. Build it big! Wait until there are at least 3000 muslims inside. Next, take an old 757, filled to the brim with gasoline, put it on autopilot, and fly that sucker into their new new building! I think thats perfectly fair!

    August 18, 2010 at 5:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ed

      do we subtract one from the 3000 for every muslim killed on 9/11

      August 18, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • the choobs

      An eye for an eye, eh Peter? Sounds like something you may have read in the Koran...except only fundamentalist old-school types follow that literally. Most modern-day Christians and Muslims think that's a bit irrational.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Peter, are you sure you are not a sleeping agent of Al-Qaeda? you are using this debate to kill more people.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. jrod

    We got it the first time Peter. Take your idiotic ramblings back to junior high.

    August 18, 2010 at 5:57 pm | Report abuse |
  5. vizi

    am sure , they must be funding the wtc being rebuilt , in exchange of letting them build a mosque near the place , to prove that in fact what they did on 9/11 was not their job , it was done by extremist group and the religion is actually of peace

    as far as our capitalism go , we will take the money and look the other way

    this will be mecca of the west

    there should be an inquiry into funding of major banks and projects in and around NY , to know the actual facts for the public , am sure the banks bailed out indirectly by oil money will definitely have to be paid back in some form

    August 18, 2010 at 5:59 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Daisy

    Sharif el-Gamal You think this center is going to be the "most famous community center in the world.", and I believe it will be the "most infamous community center in the world" Wake up and look around!

    August 18, 2010 at 6:10 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Smith in Oregon

    The proposed building is a COMMUNITY CENTER which includes a prayer room which could be used for Muslims as well as non-Muslim visitors.

    This old run-down building is not some 'Mosque' with Minarets and Domes which the Faux news network has been spewing out to divide, confuse and mislead the America people.

    This old run-down building is TWO CITY BLOCKs from the Twin Towers site. Next to a Strip-Bar and a Burger King. Are the Faux news network thinking the Strip-Bar is also on 'sacred ground'? Of course not, they don't want you to know it is simply a community center located in a old-building next to a Strip-Bar and a Burger King.

    Next door is the Dakota Roadhouse tavern, ok for the roadhouse but down on a community center?

    August 18, 2010 at 6:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhsimbol

      Smith in Oregon
      "The proposed building is a COMMUNITY CENTER which includes a prayer room which could be used for Muslims as well as non-Muslim visitors."

      Are there going to be crosses in that room, is there going to be a torah in that room?

      August 18, 2010 at 6:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      If you are Christian then bring your cross, If you are Jewish then bring your Star of David. but are you planning to leave them in there? Why? just to attack them? then your intention is wrong to start with.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Report abuse |
  8. MOHAMED

    For all of you Americans worrying about the Islamic Center CORTOBA CENTER is an indication of the conquest of Islam over America. Please read your Bible Islam will prevail all over the wold like it or not. But New York as the most simbolic strong hold of America had to be conquered and the Centre will be a second Mecca to the Muslims around the world.So fear no more attacks from fanatics attacking the second Mecca

    August 18, 2010 at 6:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Go2bedwithaitchybutthole, wakeupwithasmellyfinger

      Try using toilet paper instead of the side of your turban to wipe, Mohamed Akbar.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Mo, if you aren't some red neck, right wing, republican bigot trying to stir up trouble thanks for your honesty.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      MOHAMED, how low can you go? pretending to be a Muslim when you are anything but Muslim. if you were Muslim you would know the word is "Cordoba" not "Cortoba". this is a childish game you are playing LOL, made me laugh in this intense serious forum.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Octodad

    Aaron,

    We'll bash you for trying to sound like Jon McCain just leaving a POW camp. Get over yourself, bro. No one will give a crap that you're a veteran when you get out of the military, Muslims especially. In fact, why don't you just do twenty.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Jim

    I do not mind the idea of moving it...though it's a ridiculous debate...The problem with David Paterson he is Blind! I bet he have no idea where Manhattan or ground zero are?!

    August 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Richard

    I say build the Center, it is their land and they have a right to do with it as they wish. It was not the religion who brought the towers down but people who chose of their own free will to bring them down, was their religion Muslim yes but it was the individuals not the religion who took the towers down. I am a person who has served my country for nearly a decade and I know close friend who died in the towers, arguing over a community center based on race and religion which will help to bridge the gap between cultural differences is not the answer. The answer is building the Community Center at the proposed location helping young Muslim minds to become part of mainstream American culture showing we accept understand, and respect their similarities and differences. Quite frankly building the site at another location sends the wrong message of not wanting to live and work along side of individuals simply because they are of Muslim religion or of Middle Eastern heritage. This matter will be decided one way or another by both parties however young minds are watching and will remember how they are being treated, will New Yorkers be respectful and accepting by allowing the Center to be built or will they be disrespectful and try to force them elsewhere because they are "unwanted" in that section of town?

    August 18, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      "helping young Muslim minds to become part of mainstream American culture showing we accept understand, and respect their similarities and differences......"
      Young muslim minds are drawn towards terrorism irresistibly – apple does not fall far from the tree. This stupid mosque won't change anything.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Rick

    Why do muslims want to build a mosque on ground zero? How insensitve can a group be and Its not like the didn't know that this would upset most people. One has to wonder what they are trying to achieve by building it there.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhsimbol

      Rick its been said that throughout history after the Muslims take over land or destroy land they build on it. they attacked us on 9/11 they destroy that land and now they building over the land. Im sure if it was up to them they would build this Mosque at the top of the new freedom tower.

      August 18, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      Throughout the history its been said, Who said it and can you provide me with proof? This is exactly what the problem is. People make up "facts" and then present it as established and generally accepted facts. Where did you find the proof that throughout the history Muslim built mosque on land conquered by them? isn't it true for Christians also? Hindus also?

      August 19, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Report abuse |
  13. dhsimbol

    If they want to build a community center then why not build 1 floor a YMCA, another floor a JCC (Jewish community center) and then a floor for Muslims?

    August 18, 2010 at 6:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      do you know if Church or Synagogue group went to them with the idea to built a YMCA on one floor and Jewish center on another. Or you want them to pay million dollar for the land and then also pay for building those floorst? Have you taken any economics or Finance classes?

      August 19, 2010 at 11:19 pm | Report abuse |
  14. David

    Wonder if they will have a tasteful area next to the pool that is reserved for stoning people? We DO NOT need people like this in our country

    August 18, 2010 at 6:36 pm | Report abuse |
  15. baklava

    I think they should relocate the kaaba here and declare a fatwa to re-route the Hajj to ground-zero. The public response would be interesting to say the least.

    August 18, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
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