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. frogman

    That's because Catholics didn't hijack planes and crash them into buildings two blocks away.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:25 am | Report abuse |
  2. dhsimbol

    Also where is all this money coming from? why cant anyone tell the public where the money is coming from to build this? is it from families? is it from terrorist? is it from social groups?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Legally, it doesn't matter. Private property is private property, and private religious observance is private religious observance... unless you want the State coming in and deciding who can build what religious buildings and where.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      dhsimbol, That's a really good question. Where did this money come from and why now? How come none of the news reporters are asking that question?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Jeff

      John, you're an idiot. We reclaim property all the time that's funded by drug dealers. So, you damn well better believe we can reclaim property that's funded by terrorists. It's absolutely our business where the money's coming from. I can't even get the language to post that would cover what a moron you are.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. senior 70

    Building a mosque in the vicinity of ground zero is like adding insult to injury.Clean up crew found body parts even away from ground zero.These are obviously body parts of the 3000 people murdered by the muslim radicals.It will be too much pain for the relatives and love ones of these victims.
    NOw build a mosque? Come on be sensitve and considerate

    August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Hendrik

      You slam Islam and Muslims and you want them to be sensitive and considerate??

      Give me a flipping break.

      I love how we Americans are so "offended" because some politicians steer us this way. Oh, my god, a piece of the landing gear fell on this building. These Muslims should not be allowed to build here because of this.

      We are SHEEP and nasty ones at that.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
  4. dhsimbol

    It is a known fact that throughout history after Muslims attacked their enemies they will build on their land that was taken away to show the rest of the people that they have won. Muslims attacked us and now they are building on the land that was taken away.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  5. Guest

    This is just another case where the "right" gets a group of people excitged over nothing. The site is blocks away from the WTC area. People visiting the WTC area would not even find this place. If you carried their silly arguments out maybe we should not allow schools or children around a Catholic Church because a few priests were pedophiles.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
  6. Siara

    It would be SO GREAT if the Mosque in New York issue could be separated from the 9/11 issue.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:28 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      But you see the can't be separated – get it?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Siara, these issues can't be separated because this is a Muslim Victory Mosque. Historically Muslims build Mosques on the sites of their conquests. Even the name that they are calling this project, The Cordoba Initiative" gets its name from the first Mosque that they built in Cordoba, Spain on the site of a Cathedral that they destroyed. They built a Mosque on the site of the Second Temple when they conquered Jerusalem on they turned Saint Sophia church into a Mosque after they conquered Constantinople. These are the most famous but they converted thousands of Hindu and Buddhist temples as well as churches into Mosques. Its like a dog urinating to mark its terrority. They build Mosques.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • lol

      Frogman ur retrarded calling this a muslim victory mosque you ignorant racist jack@ss. It was Osama bin laden or one of his associates building the mosque there than you could claim that. There are over 1.6 billion muslims in the word. If they were all terrorists there would be a heck of a lot more people dying.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:08 am | Report abuse |
    • Jamann


      You call frogman a retarded (a derogatory term) racist blah blah blah, yet you show your stupidity seeing how muslim is not a race. I have filled in many of those little bubbles on forms and not once have I ever seen "muslim" under the Race part. Now go stand in the corner. "There are 1.6 billion muslims" and not all of them are of the same race.

      September 10, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
  7. Milenkovic

    The Imam has worked closely with many US efforts at home and around the world. I seriously hope he stands firm; the haters among us, such as Gingrich, should crawl back under their respective rocks.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:31 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch Heller

      It's not about about being tactful.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Why is truth called hate by you?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  8. Mitch Heller

    Good luck dealing with the Union Workers that are going to be building your mosque...I have a feeling they are going to be very difficult to work with. 🙂

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Will Bill

      who cares about unions anyway... they're more concerned about feeding their highly paid bosses (organized crime) and certain work structures than they ever are concerned about doing the job right. Besides all they do is pay off city officials and people look the other way. Remember the crane failures?? <- da union.

      There's nothing better than a fucced up economy like we have now to break the back of any union... please believe that...

      August 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  9. AndyM

    According to their is no meeting scheduled between Imam Feisal and Governor Paterson. Furthermore, they have "are committed to maintaining the current planned location for the Community Center."

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  10. N

    For all you stating they can build but don't build at that location, where is a good location for them to build this youth center? They are already over 2 blocks away. Is 5, 10, 30 blocks far enough or moving it to Hoboken far enough where you would have a clear view of where the WTC was. Why should the muslims have to give into the pressure of moving??? By doing so in some ways proves they were guilty and a way to say we don't want your religion here. Who is to say moving them 20 blocks away still won't cause controversy with were the new land is? People are going to hate because they want to hate. It is pretty funny that there is already a mosque even closer to the WTC that was there before the WTC was built and never has there been an act of terrorism or any problems coming from the mosque. Patterson should be asking all the churchs and all other religious place of worship to move as well. Why pick on a group that is actually trying to bring good to the community? It is utterly ridiculous.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Hendrik

      I could not have said it better myself.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  11. Sam

    I have one question for everybody,correct me if I am wrong , is that KKK a Christian organization ?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch Heller

      Does the KKK want to build a church at Ground Zero?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • TK

      No, but the KKK is probably responsible for more deaths that muslims i this country.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Prophet

      Good question! And yeah...... the KKK calls themselves a "Christian" group! What hypocrisy!

      August 18, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      So why aren't you supporting the KKK, too? Your hypocrisy is showing... or you are content to be stupid.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:54 am | Report abuse |
    • Yahwh1

      What do you think? "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Matthew 7:21.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
  12. trish

    If the builder's of the community center truly wanted to build a bridge between moderate Muslims and Americans, now is the perfect opportunity to do it. While this is their intent in building the community center in the location they have purchased, it is clear that will not be the result. People both affected and not affected by 911 have reacted very strongly about this. Moving the location now, while it would be a big win for the right wing nuts, would also truly show how moderate Muslims are trying to build a bridge. This argument isn't about freedom of religion, no one agrees that the government can do a thing to legally stop them. It is about trying to rebuild the relationships between two cultures that was damaged almost 10 years ago by a handful of radicals.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:33 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      A hand full? There's this pesky thing called history – I don't think hand full means what you think it means.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  13. D

    Obama took the stance he had to, if he didn't the fallout would be much worse, but this is a no win situation for anybody. What we really need is the LOCAL leadership there to step up and put a 'religious tolerance' memorial there.......put one building up, and give ALL the churches in that area a chance to apply for office space. Muslims wanna go there fine, they can have an area, right beside jews, christians, you name it. They won't do it because it doesn't send a 'statement' then.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch Heller

      "They won't do it because it doesn't send a 'statement' then."

      Yes...and the statement they are making is a slap in the face.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  14. Bert

    This is an intentional provocation by a religious group that caused the worst terror attack in US history – you keep talking about healing – this is a re-opening not healing. Take some time, learn about dominion and mosque placement by Moslems; learn about this imam, his wife, and their views and ties to terrorism. Or continue to live ignorant regarding these people, their lies, and their purpose. If you support this mosque then sign-up to place a KKK community center two blocks from the bombed out church where innocent young girls died at the hands of klansmen. Before you protest, these KKK'ers are reformed of course, because they said so and unless you are a klansman you really can't understand. This mosque is the same thing – you will condemn yourselves when this mosque is implicated in future terror attacks. Ask a moslem what the Arabic word for "the world" is outside of Islamic nations, I dare you – it's a word translated that means "the War". And you need to know you are siding with the enemy – reconciliation? Please they want to take over and you'll be the first stoned for being weak.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Shiki

      I.m sure a KKK center would be something you'd be very happy and comfortable with.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      By no means but you are being selectively prejudicial – outlaw one group of murderous religionists but supporting another. They're your shoes, walk in them. I'm against both.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:59 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      The traditional Christian term for anybody outside of Christianity is pagan, except for Jews, who were traditionally called "heretics". And the Holy Roman Catholic Church went to an awful lot of wars, you might call them Crusades, against the pagan world. Contemporary to this, early Muslims were also going to an awful lot of wars against the pagan world.

      But this isn't the 800s or 900s, this is 2010, and outside of scattered destructive religious extremists and fanatics on both sides, we've moved past that. Heck, when was the last time a Muslim nation even invaded a non-Muslim nation? The most recent war of aggression fought by a Muslim nation was Iraq vs Iran, and that was over oil and not religion. With Russia and China being aggressively anti-Muslim, and the US being passively anti-Muslim, what Muslim country in the world right now is capable of waging war against another country? It's limited to scattered international terrorists now, and the tyranny that oppressive leaders can wage within their own borders.

      And Iran, while bad, ain't much worse (heck, might be better) than Pinochet's Chile.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  15. ghost2012

    It seems to me that many people (liberals mostly) are always blaming the conservatives for their failures. A bird can not fly with out a right and left wing so shut up, quit crying cause little Tommy pee'd on your Ken Doll. Why do you think they're called RIGHT in the first place cause we are.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Shiki

      Congrats on making no sense.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:38 am | Report abuse |
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