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. Mark

    We may have many problems in this country but you morons should remember that 3000+ people were killed by islamic nut jobs, 4000+ military personnel died in fighting these retards and 20 000+ wounded and $1 trillion spent. Is that not enough to oppose a terror planning site called a mosque.

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

      How did your post make it thru? Reason and facts aren't allowed on this issue – the liberals said so. How dare you defy their illogic and empathy for the enemy of freedom!

      August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Mitch Heller

      I wonder how many explosives they can stash in a building that size?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Oh, so THIS counts as "reason and facts?" Still thinking that Sadaam was responsible? Obviously, the right is so willfully igonrant that they have little basis for a legitimate opinion. Morons – we didn't FIGHT real estate developers. We fought the Taliban....until we got distracted by Iraq, and then we allowed the Taliban to flourish and resurge. Luckily, though, Iraq has infrastructure we paid for, but, by all mean, let's prevent investment in American real estate.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  2. dhsimbol

    People are just saying that they should not build it at that location, No one is saying it shouldn't be built at all. Whats the big deal if it was built some place else? Muslims are getting the holocaust study taken out of schools because it offends them, they are getting the pledge of allegiance out of school because it offends them Well this is offending Americans so maybe we should not build it.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. Michelle M.

    Preventing this Mosque is a violation of religious rights. Isalm the religion of Muslims did not make the 9/11 attacks happen. It was a few extremists who were Muslim. The Muslim population in the United Staes since 9/11 has been under more scrunity and surviellance (ex. The Patriot Act). In every group, you have a few extrememists. The American loving Muslims should not be held responsible for the actions of a few individuals. America is the land of opportunity, freedom and supposed equality. If they block this Mosque, it is a slap in the face for religion and the freedom to workship what ever you want. Where will government draw the line then? Taking more of American's rights away, will you be happy when they take yours away? I won't. I hope those of you who just hold these biases and sterotypes of "Muslims" can take a fair and honest look at their religion by looking into it from valid resources not just some website on the internet.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Go visit Saudi and report how much they loved your blue jeans.... ISLAM IS EVIL.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
  4. MikeB

    Some of you, like "Kathy" blame all 1+ billion muslims for the actions of a small, crazy fringe group led by Osama Bin Laden. That's just wrong and it is un-American. Were all Catholics responsible for the actions of the IRA when they were bombing pubs in London?

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

      You sir are ignorant of facts and Islam – this was done in complete agreement with the Koranic teachings – Christians doing evil things do so against Christianity not in line with it.

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

      the group isn't that small.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:05 am | Report abuse |
  5. N

    @FedUp. Maybe you should do some research. There will be a memorial at Park51 for victims of 9/11 that is open to all. And the people who are building this Center are not the ones who flew into the plane. Just because some random idiots who said they practice Islam and did a horrible act, you can't classify all muslims in the same light

    August 18, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
    • FedUp

      Hey N, some of my family was downtown NY working during 9/11 and fled on foot. I know where it is. And, please don't put words in my mouth. I never "classified" anyone did I?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  6. Gordo

    Sorry, but it is no different than placing a flag on a land conquered. Look up what the word "CORDOBA" means in the Quran.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. CNYCeltic

    Recent polling puts 70% of people in lower Manhattan APPROVE of this community center. It's their neighborhood, does their voice count. Shouldn't it count more than those of the talking heads? What about the 911 families like Donna Marsh O'Connor (google is your friend)...she lost her daughter and she and many other 911 families support the center and it's location. Are the discounted because they don't agree with the talking heads? This is simple, zoning approved, city historical approved, the first amendment allows...people need to get over themselves, go to their little, dark rooms and read their Bible...cause this building is going in.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:40 am | Report abuse |
  8. pete

    The real insult to the memories of those who died on 9/11 isn't this community center. It's the fact that 9 years later, we still don't have a memorial to the fallen. Seriously, 9 years and NYC can't get their act together on a memorial? Why aren't people raging about that?

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

      Because they're too busy helping the enemy.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. dhsimbol

    How is building a building that the public does not want going to show how respectful and how nice the Muslims are? By saying hey we were wrong and hey lets build it some place else where it dosnt hurt so many Americans that will give the American people a new light on the Muslims community. Building this mosaic is just showing how the Muslim community only cares about them and no one else.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
    • CNYCeltic

      70% of the public in lower Manhattan DO approve.....

      August 18, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Exactly where did your stat come from – your vote of 1?

      August 18, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
  10. Justin

    Just because you have the right to do something, doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. People shouting about the first amendment and spewing out the words bigot and racist are getting a little carried away. Step back and think for a second. Why is it so important that they use that location, and none other. If they practice what they are preaching, tolerance, they should be tolerant of the feelings of New Yorkers who lost loved ones. That would be the right thing to do. No one is saying that they can't build there, they are saying that they shouldn't, and its in poor taste to demand it. The center will probably never be built anyway. I can't see one union construction crew from NY or NJ that would take on the project anyway.

    @Marc. You are flat wrong when you say most people in Manhattan support it. Rasmussen polls show 60% oppose it.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:43 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      @justin – Nope – YOU have your facts wrong. Most in New York City polled are opposed. In the Borough of Manhattan, most are in favor. But we already know that opposition elsewhere is largely geographically "challenged."

      August 18, 2010 at 11:32 am | Report abuse |
  11. N

    @dhsimbol. Christians did the same thing. Read up buddy. This is what they used to do back in the day when they claimed land. It wasn't just muslims. You people make me laugh. It's always one sided against the people you don't like when the faith you practice did the same damn thing but conveniently leave that out.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Yahwh1

      "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 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. Zarzoor

    for the idiots that keep saying or using the argument that Unabomber, Timothy McVeigh, etc. are Christian terrorists, these people WERE NOT ACTING ON THEIR RELIGOUSE CONVICTION, therefore it is NOT TRUE, most of them were not even proclaiming they are Christian, and I dont remember them scream the name of Jesus as they did their horrible act!!!
    now screaming Allah Akbar as you shoot people in Ft Hood, or slam a plane into a building, or try to blow up a car in NY, that is all based on one man's religouse conviction ISLAM, so stop being blinded!

    August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • jane

      Well I bet to differ, I have heard many mothers who kill their children say GOD MADE THEM DO IT. DON'T compare me to them, either. There are christian religious kooks, Who go out and kill people. PLUS READ THE history of christianity, many violent acts and wars in the past. in the name of christianity. Jane

      August 18, 2010 at 11:31 am | Report abuse |
  13. Chris

    If this had not been publicized, they could have built it and nobody would have been the wiser. Now that it's front-page news, the mosque will be the target of vandalism and protests. It is really sad that publicity seems equal to intolerance in this day and age. It's even more sad that the actions of a few can cause a lifetime of fear and mistrust against an entire belief system. This is the 21st century and high-tech gadgetry is everywhere and yet our behavior is still archaic.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Prophet

      Thanks Chris for your sane remark! The media has created a monster with this story & the GOP are using it as a distraction!

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

      Try and use your technology and read up on your religion of peace – pick any country under Islam and the words persecution... YOU MIGHT JUST WAKE UP TO THE TRUTH IN @!ST CENTURY!

      August 18, 2010 at 11:07 am | Report abuse |
    • yeah

      It's just a way for conservatives to run on 9/11 yet again. People wake up. Beginning of the year Republicans thought they had mid-year elections locked. They started to lose some poll numbers mid-year and had no other platform to run on. Here comes this "controversy", media all too willing to jump on board during August typically low rates cycle and ta-da, here we are talking about this every freaking day!

      August 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm | Report abuse |
  14. dhsimbol

    Why is it ok for schools to take away the pledge because it offends some Muslims, why is it ok for schools to take away Holocaust Study because it offends some Muslims yet its not ok when people ask them to move a building that they did not even start building yet because it offends some people ?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:44 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Because schools are publicly funded, the mosque is going to be built on private property.

      That's what the separation of church and state means.

      And what schools are taking away Holocaust Study? Really? Any of them? Do you have specific schools to reference?

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

      no schools yet but it has been brought up. many schools in Mass did take away the pledge because it offend some Muslims. Where is all this money that is going to build this new building coming from?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
    • dhsimbol

      John, "That's what the separation of church and state means" then why cant Gay people get married? I know this is off topic but just because it says in the bible what ever happen to the separation of church and state?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Will Bill

      where is the moey coming from?? Do you think that only bankers on Wall street have money to fund X million dollar operations?

      BTW, as far as schools... why isn't there a rule against Catholic churches being built withing a mile an elementary or middle school?? Those little boys are not safe at all.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      No gay marriage because Moslems would be offended – don't worry, they'll stone those who are against them. Because they're peaceful.

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

    Oh America! We have abandoned the values that founded this great nation, because we despise a religion and its people. IF people would be honest, they would see the similarity of the angst against the Mosque TWO blocks away from the Trade Center, to the way the German people treated the Jews starting in 1930. In 1930, there were no concentration camps, no. But the hate had begun against a religious minority! Beware America, we are still the Land of the Free! When we refuse to allow American citizens their Freedom, because of the religion they belong to, we must ask who is next?!

    August 18, 2010 at 10:45 am | Report abuse |
    • dhsimbol

      No one is saying they cant build a mosaic some place else just not there.

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

      dhsimbol – the word is m-o-s-q-u-e....a mosaic is a design using small parts, such as tiles. When you routinely use words incorrectly your ignorance shows and your credibility drops.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      Yeah cause it was so high before...

      August 18, 2010 at 11:11 am | Report abuse |
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