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. Gigi

    Ppl get real. If they put that mosque there it will be a sign of victory for the anti-Americans. It's called "Checkmate".

    August 18, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • An American Muslim

      Some people will see it that way, Gigi. Some Americans will see it as a victory for the anti-American, and some people from the Muslim world will see it as a "victory" againt the "Great Satan". What I hope you will believe is that there are many, many, many Muslims out there who truly love this country, and who think of every humble mosque in this country as a small gesture saying, "thank you, America, for giving us the freedom to worship. Thank you for believing us when we say that we love you as much as any other American citizens do. Thank you for being our country, that we love".

      August 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Gigl, In the Koran Mohamed tells Muslims that they should lie to their enemies. We are their enemies because we are not Muslims and yet our society has come so far and theirs is still in the dark ages. They look at what we built and they want to destroy it. That was the symbolism behind crashing the high tech. jets into the world Trade Center sky scrappers. They want to build this mosque on that spot as a victory mosque. They built on mosque on the site of a cathedral after they conquered Cordoba. They built a mosque on the site of the Second Temple after they conquered Jerusalem. They turned St. Sophia into a mosque after the fall of Constantinople. They built mosques on the sites of hundreds of Hindu and Buddhist temples and Christian churches in the lands that they conquered. It's what they do.By building mosques on the sites of the churches and the temples of the people that they have killed they show that Islam is superior.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Report abuse |
  2. earthling

    While our troops risk their lives to win "hearts and minds" in the Middle East right-wingnuts undermine their sacrifice at home. Righties always find a way create more enemies for us all.

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

    ok so if we build a mosque there doe that mean we can build a huge strip club, and put a casino in the building around it? can we put a pictures of Jesus, Muhammad and put the stra of David around the building I mean we have the Freedom to do so right?

    August 18, 2010 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. frogman

    Just reported on the news Mayor Bloomberg offered several other sites to the Muslims for their "Community Center" and they turned him down. It ought to be clear now that they don't want to build a"Community Center" they want to build it on that site regardless of how other New Yorkers feel and the pain and distress that it will cause the families of the 9/11 victims. So plainly it is a Victory Mosque.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Report abuse |
    • dhsimbol

      AMEN. it is only showing the rest of the world that we reward the people that attack us.

      August 18, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      FROGMAN, finally you established yourself a professional liar. Which news agency was it reported by? Fox or FROG news channel? Bloomberg is the strongest supporter of this mosque to be built where they want to build it. do you know why he is so strongly supporting the Muslims? Because his parents faced antisemitism from people like you. His parents had to ask their lawyers to buy a house from a Christian owner and then sell it back to Bloomberg parents. The Christian owner/neighborhood wouldn't sell the house to a non-Christian or to a Jew.

      August 19, 2010 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
  5. dhsimbol

    Why is it ok for NY to tell people that its not ok to Build Strip clubs in time square because its a family place? Why cant NY tell the Muslims they cant build there because it is disrespectful?

    August 18, 2010 at 7:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Maharad

    I am Muslim. I also am an American Citizen.
    Don't you all realize that this "Islamic Center" will be the symbol of triumph for the terrorists' supporters? Yes, we here see it as a representation of our so-called "superiority" of intellectual understanding. But these terrorists do not think like this. Take it from me – a Muslim....their thought process is not like that. They are somewhat barbaric. Who are we doing this for? Other countries couldn't care less.
    If we were smart, we would declare a certain perimeter around the are a historical status or something with severe restrictions to stop the building. There is no sense in possibly fueling young would-be attackers with naive sensitivity.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:38 pm | Report abuse |
  7. vanski

    The muslim world just wants to rub 9/11 in our face. When was the last time a

    muslim country let us open a Baptist church in their countries! You get

    arrested just for bringing a bible! The taliban killed those defenseless

    doctors (giving free healthcare to their people) because they said they were

    spreading Christianity! What a bunch of ingrateful low-lifes. I bet those

    good "muslims" stripped their bodies of anything of value too. What

    cowards!You guys better wake up! These people want only to burn our flags and

    drink our beer.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  8. joe babble


    August 18, 2010 at 7:43 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Maharad

    I wouldn't go so far as to say "get out of our country"....remember this country is built from immigrants...even the original settlers (Washington, Jefferson Franklin...were immigrants....of sorts. We must protect this country.

    August 18, 2010 at 7:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      sorry man – your people got many chances and ruined all of them. Cannot think of Islam contributing anything other than terror and mayhem. You guys need to leave, sorry

      August 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • Maharad

      Remember that there were just a bunch of attackers. There are many MANY more educated loyal citizens of Muslim origin in this country strengthening it. There also may be a few hundred thousand Muslims in the world that have an unfortunately ridiculous understanding of life that leads them to unacceptable actions. This is where the problem is.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Josh

    The fact that this is even a debate just shows how prejudice, racist, ignorant and xenophobic Americans still are. Very sad

    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      We're not going to let this country become an Islamic hell-hole just to prove that we are not prejudiced, xenophobic, etc. etc – Move and drop uus a postcard from Saudi

      August 18, 2010 at 8:12 pm | Report abuse |
  11. JohnB

    The refusal to even consider another site comes off as arogant! This is a free country, or at least more free than most other places, and I support their right to build there. An opportunity to improve the general perception of the Islamic community however was lost. Instead they come off as insenitive, imposing and borderline unamerican!

    August 18, 2010 at 8:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      So true JohnB so true

      August 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Maharad

    We are not generally these things (prejudice, racist, ignorant and xenophobic). We are emerging and evolving from a somewhat sheltered existence. We want to protect this treasure, as best as possible.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Maharad

    This is true JohnB

    August 18, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Abdhullah

    I'm still laughing at the moron who said "not all Muslims are terrorists, but so far, all the terrorists have been Muslims."

    Love the American education system.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Adbhullah you are so right. God truly must love the stupid because he made so many of them. And most of them are American.

      August 18, 2010 at 8:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • FedUp

      It is statements like these from you and Frogman that give Americans a bad taste in their mouth about Muslims. Now how exactly are we supposed to respond to this? I always find it so amusing that people from other countries (surely you are otherwise you just lumped yourselves into the "ignorant" category) think they are superior in intelligence to people in the U.S.A. They speak of Americans as bigots yet they themselves are showing their own bigotry in their statements. Since you guys are so smart maybe you can figure out a way to get the world out of the finacial crisis it is in. Do something better than criticize everyone else on a message board. That really doesn't help now does it?

      August 18, 2010 at 9:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • GodLovesReligionHates

      @Fedup – no tards like these two like to proclaim their intellectual proneness, thinking they are better then the class of society they have come to live in. In actuality they are here to stir the pot, create animosity all in the name of their righteous god. If they were truly on gods side, they would be working to find solutions to hatred instead of spreading it.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:14 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Abdhullah

    Oh and btw, Islam is going nowhere. Saying things like "you've had your chance" and "you guys need to leave" is just hilarious to Muslims everywhere. Especially when they have backing from your own government and people (see the 29-1 vote by the Manhattan Community Board in favor of the Mosque lol).

    Guess you'll just have to go to school or end yourself if you want to feel better about America.

    August 18, 2010 at 8:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • hmmm

      "...of your own government." Is this not your government too? Perhaps this is part of the problem...too much us vs. them. How about educating those against it rather than shoving it in their face, take it or leave it, we have a right so kiss my....its very purpose is to educate and I have yet to see builders do any of that. Education would do you well too Abdhullah.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Roland

      Islam IS going nowhere – correct. They've been going nowhere for hundred of years now. What happens when all the productivity of your people is aimed at doing terrorism ?? – You go nowhere. Please continue.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Report abuse |
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