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. C

    One of the most cherrished freedoms we have as the United States is the freedom from religious persecution. We also have a long tradition of protecting a person or group's right to free speech, even if we are violently opposed or offended by what they choose to say with that right. Saying all that, nine years later, I just can't get the image out of my mind of the Islamic world cheering in the streets after 9/11. Or remember hearing that the terrorists planned to use our laws and freedoms against us by taking advantage of our justice system. I don't know what the right answer is to having a Mosque near Ground Zero. Is it religious freedom or is it a tactic we don't yet understand?

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

      Given what a microscope they'd be under, I expect they'll keep their noses clean.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:26 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Gordo

    Can I build a Christian Church on their land, of course I can, I'll just get beheaded, but I can build while being shot at, Can mt daughter wear jeans and a t-Shirt in there country, sure she can, till she gets stoned to death, Can I kiss my wife in public in their country, of course I can, will both get lashed. Can I say transplanted Muslims are terrorist, of course I can, I'll just called a bigot.

    They have ZERO respect for anyone that is not of their faith, and will kill the "Infidel" that's us. So let's bring more of them here, and then wonder what happend.

    Grow a brain folks, ISLAM is the only religion they want, and they want it to dominate the world.....AND THAT IS THE TRUTH, they are taking advantage of stupid americans.

    August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • TK

      What are you talking about their land?? These are Americans trying to build this. You are an idiot.

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


      August 18, 2010 at 10:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Steven

      "They have ZERO respect for anyone that is not of their faith" That sounds exactly like people against the center. You need to appreciate what we have in America. Freedom for all. Most countries do not have that freedom. When you attack one particular part of our country, you attack all of America.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Art H

      Agree entirely. Of course in this day and age, nobody would dare call this a Christian country, due to the backlash they would face from the bleeding hearts but this mosque in the heart of the 9/11 carnage is a bad idea and should never be allowed. This Islamic "developer" has cunningly bought the land, this close to the 9/11 carnage and I would seriously question his motives in doing so.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
    • watchout

      You are right Gordo and by the time we realize their true intention it will be too late. Islam is a religion which condones
      killing. Americans do not want their hateful religion on our soil. I hope they will not build that mosque.

      September 10, 2010 at 9:27 am | Report abuse |
  3. dhsimbol

    If there is a Mosque there already then why do you need to build a new one. If you want a community center then why not build a YMCA?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
    • nick


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

      nick, i was just saying if the are building a Muslim place of worship why not build every religions place of worship?

      August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • grace

      NICK – please stop calling anyone you disagree with an idiot!!

      August 18, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  4. Chop

    I would like to know why we are buying oil from these Muslim countries if they are so bad. Are they supporting terrorist with the profits?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:53 am | Report abuse |
  5. dhsimbol

    that is a wealthy area, Why not build a community center in a poorer area where people could maybe use it? how about building a place where kids can go to stay off the streets and from doing drugs where kids are actually on the streets doing drugs?

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

      Because people like you would say they're recruiting kids to be terrorists.

      August 18, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. scottm

    This is nothing more than the muslim community staking their claim to victory at the site.

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

      I agree.

      August 18, 2010 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  7. chris

    People, the muslims are doing this intentionally, they want to obnoxiously stick there thumb in americas eye. they should be deported for not repecting america's freedoms and values.

    and by the way, fill up your tank of gas and make another towel head rich.

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

      They are exercising their freedom.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
  8. Build It

    I'd love to see what union worker is going to go in there and build it. AND if they actually do build it, I hope some radical 'other relgion' does the same thing to it that happened to the WTC

    August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Build IT, there are no radical religions like Islam. Muslims are the only ones who do that kind of stuff in the name of God.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • curious steve

      spoken like a true neo-nazi terrorist.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:02 am | Report abuse |
    • Marc

      Way to drag yourself down to the level of the 9/11 terrorists. What a great "American" you must be.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:03 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Hey Build It, you notice how some people can't disagree without being disagreeable? They get all self righteous and have play the Nazi card right off the bat. What do you think their problem is, no ideas or no words to express them.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:16 am | Report abuse |
  9. TK

    If Jews are allowed to have JCC's....Jewish Community Centers. Why cant muslims have their own?

    August 18, 2010 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
    • curious steve

      you just answered your own question: the jews vis a vis the muslims.

      August 18, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      Jews don't do things that Muslims do. You know like crashing airplanes into buildings, strapping on bombs and blowing up innocent people. "Honor Killing" their daughters for becoming to American. You know stuff like that. If they did we wouldn't want them around either.

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

    Let these jerks build their mosque at ground zero....we can then open an BBQ pork joint right across the street from this mosque and they can smell pig while worshiping Allah!

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

      You don't think that living and working in NYC they don't see pork products everywhere everyday?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:28 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Carolae

    I believe the Muslims want to build this mosque close to the World Trade Center as a memorial to those Al Quida
    Muslims who died while performing their mission. I may be wrong in my thinking but why are they so adamant
    about not building on another site which the Governor will provide? I can see them now, bent over and chanting on a daily basis and the people that are on the streets are going to get more angrier and riots are going to break out if this happens at their proposed site. They will have to have a special police task force down there 24/7 which means, other parts of NYC are going to be short on police patrol just to keep an eye out on any outbreaks that may occur at the Mosque. This can only happen in NYC.

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

      Maybe they want to build it as a memorial to the innocent Muslims who died in the towers on 9/11? Seventy Muslims died in the towers, do they not count?

      August 18, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Gordo

    The Prohet commanded them to build, but if know one knows what he looks like, then maybe he was a fake................what a joke they are pulling on the good ole USA, DUMB AMERICANS is the favorite line of Islam nutbars.

    August 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
  13. curious steve

    in the lower manhattan, Money is the only god to be worshipped.

    Islam teaches loan-sharking is a sin, and the "radical" islamic banks that follow the teachings of islam charge no interest.

    that could be viewed as a threat to the parasites in lower manhattan, couldn't it?

    August 18, 2010 at 11:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Yahwh1

      Islam is a distortion of the Bible – Mohamed took bits and pieces from the Bible to make the Koran credible enough to those it don't know the Bible. There is not one piece of evidence for the Koran inspiratin from God nor was it prophesied by any true prophet of God. The Bible is the Word of God and the first to list the various tenents of God – ie: eating unclean food (for the health of the people) and ie: lending without interest -just to name a few. If people would read the Bible they would see that most of our civilization is based on the Bible – ie: forgiving a debt after 7 and verses such as : like "All things must pass". "scapecoat" "Can a leopard change its spots"- all from the Bible. We actually speak from the Bible everyday, but most are aware. The Bible is the Living, Breathing Word of God and sadly people ignore it saying it was written by man – but who created man and who put the life into him? God Himself!. Believe!

      August 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • Jaleel

      Anything you said about Muhammad and the Quran easily applies to the bible. Fornicator prophets and the worhip of a god that goes to the toilet when nature calls.

      August 18, 2010 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  14. grace

    I love the way they keep changing the media on this, as if we Americans are going to fall for it. Get it through your hard heads....we Americans don't want it built there! Nothing else matters!! So stop trying to push something on us that we don't want!!

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

    Might I suggest about 50 miles east of NYC

    August 18, 2010 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • frogman

      How about 50 miles east of Mecca?

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