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Beliefnet News

Conservatives Will Appeal Go-ahead Vote for `Ground Zero Mosque’

(RNS) A conservative religious law firm plans to appeal a decision that grants a green light for the construction of an Islamic community center two blocks from Ground Zero.
The Washington-based American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) opposes the construction of the Cordoba House in lower Manhattan because the building currently at the site “stands as an iconic part of the cultural and historical fabric of America.”
The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission on Tuesday (Aug.
3) voted unanimously not to grant historic status to the site, eliminating a key hurdle that allows planning and construction to go forward.
The ACLJ, which represents a retired New York City firefighter, called the vote “deeply offensive,” adding that they are “poised to file legal action on behalf of our client to challenge this flawed decision and put a stop to this project.”
Tension has mounted in recent weeks regarding what critics call the “Ground Zero Mosque,” while proponents say it will not be a mosque and that it is not at Ground Zero.
As Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, CEO of the Cordoba Initiative, told Reuters, the future project will be a community center — which includes a prayer hall — modeled after the YMCA.
The ACLJ, however, said in a press release that the vote ignores “the fact that this is a historic and hallowed site that should not be destroyed to build an Islamic mosque.”
In a July 20 letter submitted to the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the ACLJ said its opposition “is not based upon fear, hostility or prejudice, but rather the unique architectural and historical characteristics of the building and the public’s interest in preserving the history of the September 11th events.”
Rauf, in a statement, thanked the commission for its “careful and thoughtful consideration,” saying he was grateful to them and local elected officials for “their commitment to the democratic and constitutional ideals we all hold dear and which the community center we hope to create on the site will honor.”
The joint statement from the New York Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU praised the decision for “promoting our nation’s core values and not letting bias get in the way of the rule of law.”
— Alfredo Garcia
Copyright 2010 Religion News Service. All rights reserved. No part of this transmission may be distributed or reproduced without written permission.

  • pagansister

    This will take years to build, since they still have to raise money and the legal procedures will continue to try and stop it. The fact the Muslims killed Muslims in the Twin Towers seems to have escaped those who are against the proposed Mosque.

  • nnmns

    It’s such BS for this law firm to claim they’re doing it because it’s a hallowed site where the new development would go (which is not Ground Zero). They are doing it to stir up fearful conservative voters.

  • Mordred08

    ACLJ: “You can’t build a mosque on Ground Zero!”
    Cordoba: “But it’s not going to be a mosque, and it’s not going to be on Ground Zero.”
    ACLJ: “Well…uh…you can’t build a mosque on Ground Zero!!!”

  • nnmns

    It would be really interesting to know who funds this “law firm”. They aren’t getting paid by the idea of keeping this thing from being built. And being conservatives, they aren’t doing it out of the goodness of their hearts. Maybe the foulness but I don’t think so.
    So just who is paying for this?

  • cknuck

    whose paying for the mosque or whatever it is

  • nnmns

    That question has been raised over and over cknuck. My question is also important and I haven’t seen it brought up.

  • maryb

    so, conservatives are stirring up hate again. a real Christian value that is only found on the right. there were muslims killed on 9/11 too. there is no stopping the hate train of the right. remember last year – “obama care is going to kill grandma?”. that never happened – and this is another example of the gop trying to control their fan base by fear. tired of being afraid? drop the gop.

  • jestrfyl

    Clearly wisdom is not the ACLJ’s interest. The addage “Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” might apply – but they don’t care. They seem more interested in having a tantrum than to listening to rational reasons. All they want to do is conjure up fear and loathing – and then try to channel it – perhaps, into funds for their bank accounts.
    The more I learn about this the less I think the ACLJ has any idea what the actual issues are. They simply hate blindly, wreckelessly, and thoughtlessly. THIS is a group that ought not be trusted!

  • JohnQ

    I will give ya big AMEN to that!
    Don’t know if you ever listen to Jay S on the radio….but, for years he has successfully raised money by everyday proclaiming a crisis that will end life as we know it…..please send money to day so we can fight this evil.
    After a few years, I can only wonder how his faithful can go through life in a constant state of fear and anxiety.
    Gay marriage has been legal in MA for more than 6 years now and became legal in 5 other states since then….yet, somehow life has gone on for most people. Sex ed continues in schools across the nation….yet, life goes on for most people.
    A couple of years ago a US congress person was allowed to take his oath of office on a Qur’an yet life goes on for most people.
    I have little doubt that a Muslim Community Center will be built at 51 Park in NYC….and, life will go on.
    Yet, the ACLJ proclaims daily that all will end if ______________ !
    Well, perhaps those who send money to the ACLJ are in fact keeping our life in this great nation going…even though, the ACLJ often finds itself on the loosing side in court.

  • Point of Order

    Who paid for Notre Dame? Who paid for St. Paul’s Cathedral? Who paid for the last mega-church that was built?
    If 99% of all the paper currency in circulation has traces of cocaine on it, are we all drug dealers? If we put that currency in the collection plate, is blood money?
    We allow all kinds of Christians to say all manner of hateful things and continue to raise money, becuase the law permits it. We should not bend the law becuase other religions do the same thing.
    If we prevent the Muslim community center with a worship space, what other structures will be denied. Is it OK to build a new church on the site? How far away will be OK for a mosque to be built?
    And now, perhaps some people will understand the hurtfulness of maintaining a symbol of oppression, the Confederate Battle Flag, in the design of state flags, or when it flies from the top of a state capital.

  • JohnQ

    Well, the ACLJ must be operating in top gear today.
    The Muslims want to build a Community Center and the Gays get to marry again in CA…send money today to save the world. Help us fight this!
    I have little doubt the cash is rolling in.

  • pagansister

    I agree that this will eventually be built, and as JohnQ said, life will go on. If there are those who wish to deny places of worship in this country, that is supposed to have as one of it’s major tenents, the freedom to worship as we please (or not at all) then what does this say about what we as a country brag about? Not much.
    cknuck, I expect it will be funded by donations.

  • cknuck

    so do I pagan but who will be their donors and where will the money come from? Millions to build and millions to maintain, in a economy like we are experiencing these days it an interesting question.

  • pagansister

    cknuck, I’m thinking that there are probably enough Muslims in this country to send in donations. Just a guess. It’ll take awhile.

  • Matt Vanroekel

    There is no reason for the US to honor or support those who are accessories to terrorism!!!!

  • pagansister

    Matt, ever hear if the right to worship in this country? Or does that not apply to a religion you disapprove of? The Muslim community has been worshiping in that neighborhood for years and no one paid any attention. Now that they want to build a new Mosque, there is a fuss. From what I understand, Ground Zero can’t even be seen from the site of the proposed Mosque. Would you feel better if it was 4 blocks away in stead of 2 or perhaps 10 blocks away? Muslims died in the towers too,as well as those of different religions and those from other countries. Again, freedom to worship is an important part of our country. The US isn’t “honoring” anyone, it is following our traditions.

  • cknuck

    yes Muslims did die in the twin towers they piloted planes right into them.

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