In Battle to Build Mosque Near Ground Zero, Opponents Ask 'Why There?'

On June 13, 2010, New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission held a hearing to provide a forum for the public to state their positions on the proposed mosque and community center to be built near Ground Zero.  Supporters of the Park Place preservation are opposed to a project by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement to build their mosque and community center so close to the site where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.  Conservator blogger, Pamela Geller, who leads a group called Stop the Islamicization of America, asked “Why There?”   Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who heads the Cordoba Initiative, was out of the country and did not attend the hearing, although his plans for the vacant building include building a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming.  Although declaring the building a historical landmark will not, in and of itself, prevent the mosque from becoming a reality, opponents of the mosque hope it will send a message to the Islamic community.  The Commission is expected to make a decision by August.

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