Posts Tagged ‘Manhattan community board’

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

July 15, 2010

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 (more…)

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Two follow-ups: Muslims near Ground Zero in New York City, and Connecticut voter reaction to Blumenthal’s lies

May 27, 2010

First the good news: The New York Times reports that a Manhattan community board voted 29-1, with ten abstentions, to approve a proposed Muslin community center two blocks from Ground Zero. The board’s vote is advisory, but the Times notes that the vote is a measure of community sentiment. Score one for New Yorkers and one for tolerance.

And the bad news: A Quinnipiac poll of Connecticut voters showed only 33 percent were less likely to vote for Richard Blumenthal after he lied about serving as a Marine in Vietnam. Sixty-one percent said it doesn’t make a difference. And some indecipherable four percent said they were more likely to vote for him because of his lie. Sadly, 54 percent bought Blumenthal’s claim that he merely misspoke about his military service, while only 38 percent said he lied. Thumbs down for Connecticut.

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