After weeks of heated debate over plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero – the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York – it seems Muslim leaders will soon back down, agreeing to move to a new site.
The decision follows a high-profile campaign against the project that included advertisements on New York buses showing images of the burning Twin Towers, an iconic landmark razed when al-Qaida terrorists flew packed passenger planes into them in 2001. The New York Republican party is also said to be planning a hostile television campaign.
We will have to wait and see about the validity of this, if it is true, I have some thoughts to share, but let us wait until we know for sure. And if this to be moved, do not be surprised if this clown tries to take credit to get re-elected!
Donald Douglas reports what I was afraid of, the Islamists are pushng forward
Via Reuters, “New York Muslim Center Backers Vow to Push Ahead“:
Backers of a Muslim cultural center and mosque near the site of the World Trade Center vowed on Monday to press ahead with plans despite a report they will scrap the $100 million project, which has drawn fierce debate.
Sharif El-Gamal, the owner of the building where the Cordoba House would be located, said a report that the center would be relocated further from Ground Zero, reported in Israeli newspaper Haaretz on Monday, was false.
“Everything is on track and we are moving forward with the location,” said El-Gamal, chief executive of Soho Properties, which owns the building.
Haaretz reported that leaders agreed to abandon the site to prevent an escalation of anti-Muslim sentiment.
The proposal, announced this spring, has caused an uproar among many New Yorkers, who feel the location of the center is insensitive to the memory of the nearly 3,000 people who died in the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.
President Obama weighed in on the issue during the White House’s annual dinner marking the start of Ramadan on Friday.
“Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country,” Obama said. “That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances.”
Obama later tried to distance himself from the controversy and refused to “comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there.” Political pundits say the issue will factor into debates ahead of the November mid-term elections.
Close to 60 percent of Americans oppose the plan, although supporters say having the Islamic cultural center is a chance to promote understanding of the religion and begin healing nearly a decade after the attacks.