Tolerance and hate in New York: update on the mosque “at” Ground Zero

The long-running saga of a Muslim-American group’s effort to build a community center and mosque two and a half blocks from Ground Zero ended another chapter Wednesday night. New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission held a public hearing on whether to declare the group’s 150-year old building to be a historic landmark, and thus require its preservation as is.

The hearing drew a robust crowd, hardly any of whom cared a bit about the building. The real issue was whether to allow a Muslim center near Ground Zero. Most of the arguments made in favor of landmark designation were anti-Muslim rants, like that of an unidentified woman who said “It would be a terrible mistake to destroy a 150-year old building in order to build a monument to terrorism.”

Dania Darwish, a new graduate of New York’s Fort Hamilton High School, argued for the mosque:

“My family died that day…You’re yelling at me and you don’t know. If a mosque was built maybe you would know what Islam is about.”

The community isn’t particularly bigoted—New Yorkers pride themselves on their diversity, and a Manhattan community board recently voted 29-1 with ten abstentions to approve the mosque.. If you expected New York Jews to be opposed, guess again: New York’s Jewish Week reported that Jewish leaders haven’t made a big deal about the center, and the Jewish Community Center of Manhattan even offered some advice. Jewish elected officials such as Manhattan-based Rep. Jerrold Nadler, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer have supported the center, dismissing opposition to it as bigotry.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg expressed his support this way:

“Government should never — never — be in the business of telling people how they should pray, or where they can pray. We want to make sure that everybody from around the world feels comfortable coming here, living here and praying the way they want to pray.”

The Commission is expected to announce a decision this summer.

I visited the mosque recently, and reported on my visit here. And there’s more background here.

var sc_project=6152467;

var sc_invisible=1;

var sc_security=”2276aa67″;

counter for tumblr

About these ads

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Tolerance and hate in New York: update on the mosque “at” Ground Zero”

  1. The anti-Muslim hate movie, The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks, is wowing the American right « Ethics Bob Says:

    [...] Planning for a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero, was proceeding in an orderly fashion. A sponsor had purchased the former Burlington Coat Factory outlet, slightly damaged by debris from the 9/11 attack, and a Muslim Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was holding regular Friday prayers while the municipal rules were being followed to get final approval, which came last July, when New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission declared that the building wasn’t a historic landmark. I wrote about the process here. [...]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 61 other followers

%d bloggers like this: