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. randy

    Who knows this might become most notorious place in the world . Moderates were always over powered by extremists.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  2. Nick2

    All this ridiculous fuss – everyone I work with downtown WANTS a new recreational center!
    Another question – is there going to be another outcry about the other mosque down here near the WTC – the one that has been here 28 years?

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

      if there is a mosaic there already then why Build a new one?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:47 am | Report abuse |
  3. chris

    Shoot the Imam

    August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  4. pm

    growing up in falls church , Va i was around a mega mosque ofa route 7 which is still there.. I CAN tell u that several of the highjackers attended this mosque and the current Imam on the run was also a member.. those are facts

    August 18, 2010 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
  5. Timay

    Let's see, Michelle

    Since 9-11 there have been numerous attempted attacks just here in NYC. England and Spain also were the victims of Muslim attacks in addition to countless attacks that were prevented by our government. People who say that the attackers just happen to be Muslim are deluded. The problem is this religion does not speak against its own evils. Muslim is more than a religion. It is a political party. They do not separate chaurch and state but they will use the Weste4n idea and right for their own benefit.

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

      True, they will abuse every freedom they are given to fulfill their ultimate goal of taking over the country politically, and the next thing you know women are all covered in veils and beaten by their husbands! this is very real!

      August 18, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • nick

      CORRECTION. NOT MUSLIM ATTACKS. TERRORIST ATTACKS BY PEOPLE WHO HAVE A HISTORY OF BEING ATTACKED BY THE WEST INVADING THEIR COUNTRY AND TELLING THEM HOW TO LIVE THEIR LIFE. ANOTHER EXAMPLE: US GIVING 5 BILLION DOLLARS TO ISRAEL EVERY YEAR TO KILL PALESTINIANS. I DONT AGREE WITH THEIR METHOD BUT THEY ARE DEFENDING THEMSELVES THE ONLY WAY THEY KNOW. PERFECT EXAMPLE. I R A Q . WE INVADED A COUNTRY NOT EVEN INVOLVED IN 9/11. 1 MILLION IRAQIS HAVE DIED SINCE. YOU DONT THINK THAT LEAVES A BAD TASTE TO THEM????/ WELL.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
    • Bert

      Nick, get a grip (and maybe a fact or two)... MOSLEMS kill more Moslems every year than all of other groups combined throughout history. Jihad is evil.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  6. RJ

    When my family moved into an all white neighborhood in 1969, a realtor came to our house and graciously "offered" to help my parents find a new home...elsewhere. They refused. Today, the neighborhood is a vibrant community consisting of various races, ethnicities and religions.

    Though I question the taste of building the center at the current location, I completely understand the developer's position to stand firm. The NY governor is dancing on the edge of a very slippery slope. Encroach a little on this man's 1st amendment rights...then who's next?

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

      At least 100 other mosques in NYC.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:17 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      There are actually 200 or so mosques in NYC (and *waaaaaay* more churches). But 800,000 Muslims live in NYC that area. So you're saying they should be cramming 4,000 of them into each mosque? I went to a pretty big church and we didn't have that much room.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Zarzoor

    Go look at England and now the city or section that is now practicing Shariaa Law to make muslims happy! this is what ISLAM is doing, they are systematically trying to take our freedom away and give us their BS Shariaa Law! wake up people!

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

      What city or section is that?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • rosie

      Look up the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal in the UK that lets people settle disputes with sharia law

      August 18, 2010 at 5:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • John

      The ones that are for civil arbitration matters and where disputes can only be reached within the framework of existing English law, and where both parties have to approve its use?

      Basically non-judicial mediation with a religious flavor. Not a big deal. Now, they start chopping hands off in the UK and I'll be concerned.

      August 18, 2010 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. TK

    I love how people say why dont they rebuild the chrstian church that as destroyed on 9/11. Why dont christians pay to get it rebuilt. Let the muslims build the community center. It will do some good for the area. And in case most of you didnt know, that location was used as a mosque for years. So i dont see what the big deal is. Another thing, for those of you who say its hallow ground, there's a mosque in the Pentagon, isnt that hallowed ground also??

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

      That Greek Orthodox church is trying to get $60,000,000 in taxpayer money from the Port Authority to move to a nearby site. The Port Authority has said they're welcome to rebuild on the site where the church had been, using their own money. Most (probably all) mosques in NYC are built by volunteers and volunteer donations from the Muslim-American community. Why are the Greek Orthodox looking for a handout?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  9. chris

    if we can shoot JFK and MLK, lets just shoot this developer. No more fuss.....
    Where are the good ole boy sothern rednecks when you need them....

    August 18, 2010 at 10:48 am | Report abuse |
  10. DaveO

    You know? My first knee-jerk reaction to this was "hell no! It's a slap in the face of all Americans", and all that jazz. But, I have gained some clarity for myself and I hope others can do the same. 9/11 wasn't caused by Muslims, it was caused by terrorists in the name of Islam. It's also NOT at ground zero. So, this is not an issue at all.

    IMO there should be no religions anywhere. But since I have a fat chance of getting my wish, why should I care what religion builds a church, community center, etc anywhere?

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

      You should care because remaining stupid is beneath the dignity of man.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:19 am | Report abuse |
  11. Will Bill

    This is all unnecessary and the governer of NY is totally wrong. The flag wavers who oppose the mosque don't know the first thing about freedom and liberties in this country. This whole thing is nothing more than a smokescreen. The opponents should really shut up about it all. On 9/11, the twin towers were not the only buildings to fall. Another fell... specifically WTC Building 7 and none of the media wants to talk about that. When you find the reason for that, you'll find the real enemy and I GUARANTEE you that it will not point to the Middle East. This is a total crock... much like today's news.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  12. Really?

    If the people who don't want the mosque built near ground zero are successful, then there should be no christian churches built near the Oklahoma City bombing site since McVeigh was a christian.

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

      I did not know McVeigh was screaming the name of Jesus as he was boming his target? Oh wait, he was not!!!!!!! could it be that he was just a "criminal"???? but wait a second the guys in the planes were shouting Allah Akbar, and so was the guy at Ft Hood, and so was the NY Yime Square Bomber....all these guys acting on the same conviction by their religion....there is a HUGE difference, wake up buddy!

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

      AMEN TO THAT

      August 18, 2010 at 11:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. curious steve

    yeah, find a dumpy area, put a fence around it, call it neo-ghetto, and let the muslims build and live "freely" amongst themselves.

    never again to the jews, but the muslims are plagues.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:50 am | Report abuse |
  14. Jaleel

    If this mosque cannot be built there because it reminds the 9/11 survivors of their suffering, let's give the native Americans survivors the right to get rid of all the churches in this country of theirs, because the churches remind them of the religion of the devils that murdered their ancestors and stole their land. Even better, Let's give people all around the world who have been exploited and suffered under the Christians (whites), which literally the whole world outside of Europe, the right to destroy all the churches because they remind them of the devils that made them suffer so much. Your feelings are not more important than someone else's now are they?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • curious steve

      the banks remind me of all their blood-sucking. they should all move out of my face too.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
  15. Terry

    It makes perfect sense. They blew up the twin towers so they could make room for their mosque.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:51 am | Report abuse |
    • nick

      TERRY THE PEOPLE THAT WANT TO BUILD THE MOSQUE DIDNT BRING DOWN THE MOSQUE EITHER U IDIOT. THERE ARE OVER 1.6 BILLION MUSLIMS IN THE WORLD. IF EVEN ONE TENTH OF ONE PERCENT WERE TERRORISTS WE WOULD ALL BE DEAD !!! THERE ARE OVER 7 MILLION HERE WITH OVER 2000 MOSQUES. DONT BE AN IGNORANT FOOL. THOSE THAT BROUGHT DOWN THE TOWERS WERE FANATICS THAT WERE REVENGING US FOR WHAT EVER CRAP OUR FOOLISH COUNTRY PROBABLY DID TO THEM. WE HAVE A HISTORY OF SCREWING WITH COUNTRIES YA KNOW. MOST RECENTLY I R A Q. THEY WERE NOT EVEN INVOLVED IN 9/11 AND WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE DEATHS OF AT LEAST 1 MILLION IRAQIS. WHO IS THE TERRORIST NOW? TERRY YOUR FEDUP AT THE WRONG FOLKS. BUILD THE MOSQUE. WE NEED IT.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:58 am | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      nick, get over it. If you know you will bring controversy and probably bloodshed, then don't build it there. This is just a slap in the face to all American people living here.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:15 am | Report abuse |
    • nick

      excuse me?? Americans are building this mosque. American Muslims.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
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