Tag Archives: cordoba house

ADL does not stand for mosque at Ground Zero

Anti-Defamation League Defames Mosque at Ground Zero

ADL does not stand for mosque at Ground Zero

ADL does not stand for mosque at Ground Zero

In recent weeks, opponents and proponents have come out voicing their opinions and choosing sides in regards to the Cordoba Initiatives’s mosque at Ground Zero.

The Anti-Defamation League has taken a surprising stance in the lines drawn concerning the development of Park51, and has issued a statement today on their official site.

Their statement reads:

New York, NY, July 28, 2010 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement regarding the proposed Islamic Center near Ground Zero in Manhattan:

We regard freedom of religion as a cornerstone of the American democracy, and that freedom must include the right of all Americans – Christian, Jewish, Muslim, and other faiths – to build community centers and houses of worship.

We categorically reject appeals to bigotry on the basis of religion, and condemn those whose opposition to this proposed Islamic Center is a manifestation of such bigotry.

However, there are understandably strong passions and keen sensitivities surrounding the World Trade Center site. We are ever mindful of the tragedy which befell our nation there, the pain we all still feel – and especially the anguish of the families and friends of those who were killed on September 11, 2001.

The controversy which has emerged regarding the building of an Islamic Center at this location is counterproductive to the healing process.  Therefore, under these unique circumstances, we believe the City of New York would be better served if an alternative location could be found.

In recommending that a different location be found for the Islamic Center, we are mindful that some legitimate questions have been raised about who is providing the funding to build it, and what connections, if any, its leaders might have with groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values.  These questions deserve a response, and we hope those backing the project will be transparent and forthcoming.  But regardless of how they respond, the issue at stake is a broader one.

Proponents of the Islamic Center may have every right to build at this site, and may even have chosen the site to send a positive message about Islam.  The bigotry some have expressed in attacking them is unfair, and wrong.  But ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.  In our judgment, building an Islamic Center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right.

The Anti-Defamation League, founded in 1913, is the world’s leading organization fighting anti-Semitism through programs and services that counteract hatred, prejudice and bigotry.

What are your thoughts on the ADL’s stance, are their views surprising to you — or expected?

Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque

Cordoba House Mosque Rebrands to Park51

Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque

Park 51 is the new name for the Cordoba House Mosque

In a swift marketing move, the Cordoba Initiative Mosque has a new name — Park51.

The name changed is seen as an effort to quell the controversy from the development of the mosque and Muslim community center by giving it an almost innocuous, generic name, sounding more like a new condominium construction than a mosque.

The metamorphosis comes only a day after the contentious public Landmarks Commission hearing to determine whether or not 45-47 Park Place is granted landmark status.

According to a report in the New York Daily News, “Spokesman Oz Sultan said the new name puts emphasis on the community center aspect of the project rather than religion.”

The address of the planned center is slated to take the entire block region 41-51 Park Place, which one could assume inspired the World Trade Center mosques new name.

It’s a sharp move considering that the part of the block that has been in contention is the portion of 45-47 Park Place. This may be a preemptive branding move and a statement by developers to say that regardless of the ruling, the community center will at the very least reside at 51 Park Place.

The Commission will determine the Landmark fate of 45-47 later in the summer. A ruling which is seen to determine the development of the mosque in our neighborhood.

45-47 Park Place Debris

Mosque Hearing Update & Religious Turf War

45-47 Park Place Debris

Debris landing from 9/11 attacks used in hearing for landmark status.

As the rain poured outside, people poured inside the New York City Landmarks Commission public hearing. Despite the inclement weather nearly 100 people were in attendance at the hearing in Hunter College. A dozen or so individuals were able to take the floor including public opponent and New York State Governor hopeful Rick Lazio — who offered a different strategy to halt the Mosque’s construction by claiming the building at Park Place was worthy of landmark recognition. Even citing debris that had fallen on the building during the 9/11 attacks.

“I urge the commission to grant landmark status to 45 Park Place, [to] take into account important historical facts.”

Gubernatorial hopeful Carl Paladino was also represented by his lieuenant governor Tom Ognibene who agreed with Lazio stating the building of the mosque would be ”an affront to the families that have died.”

Linda Rivera, a family member of a 9/11 victim suggested, “the building should be a landmark building. It should not be a mosque.”

Brooklyn resident, Barbara Sommer decried the sentiments and questioned “How can we allow something to eradicate that memory — the pain and suffering.”

While nearly a dozen others voiced their opinions at the hearing, a religious turf war had been established when Bill Keller of LivePrayer.com (of no relation to the New York Times editor) had sent out a press release stating he would bid on creating a Christian center within the heart of Ground Zero. As of yesterday, his site had been actively seeking donations to fund the construction and is slated to start a satellite prayer center at the Embassy Suites hotel in the northern section of our neighborhood every Sunday starting September 5th until December 26th — until a final home has been found for the Christian center. (I wonder if the group knows that Goldman Sachs is planning on closing the hotel down soon?)

It seems our neighborhood has become a religious battle ground overnight. Are we OK with this?

Ground Zero Mosque

Public Hearing Today Decides Future of Mosque

Ground Zero Mosque

The planned location of the Ground Zero Mosque.

In the most contentious and controversial real estate construction plan in recent memory, today a meeting will be held to determine the fate of the Cordoba House Mosque on 45-47 Park Place.

Although most New York voters are against the building of the mosque slated for construction only 600 feet from the World Trade Center site based on a Quinnipiac poll,

Although a Quinnipiac Poll had suggested that nearly half of all New York voters are opposed to the construction of the Cordoba House — politicians in New York have been split. Gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio called upon current Attorney General Andrew Cuomo for a formal investigation into Cordoba’s funding, but yesterday Mayor Michael Bloomberg made a public response to Lazio’s investigation requests and any opponents of the mosque as being “un-American” and as going “against what the nation stands for.”

The last hurdle for mosque proponent has hinged on approval from the New York City Landmarks commission who’s hearing will be held today and is open to the public.

For those who are interested in attending, the public hearing for 45-47 Park Place application will take place at:

681 Park Avenue
Hunter College Assembly Hall
Entrance on East 69th Street between Park Avenue and Lexington
(Please bring a picture ID for entrance into the building)
The hearing will start at 2:00pm and ends at 5:00pm.

We’ll update the site when the ruling comes down from the hearing today.

Opponents of the Park51 mosque are found nationwide.

Ground Zero Watch: New Yorkers Oppose Mosque Plans

Mosque Protest

A Quinnipiac University poll finds most New Yorkers are opposed to Cordoba House.Â

Protests were inevitable, once plans for The Cordoba House Initiative were made public. The building of a mosque near the World Trade Center site was bound to cause public outcry and controversy.

That being said, who could have predicted that more than 73% of all Staten Islanders would be opposed?! Better yet, more than half of all New York voters polled in a recent Quinnipiac University poll were found to be opposed to the building of the Cordoba House in Lower Manhattan.

Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque

Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque

The Cordoba House Initiative includes plans to build a 13-floor Muslim institute which will include a mosque and community center only 600 feet from Ground Zero.

Politicians better listen up to these findings considering that the anniversary of September 11th will always precede Election Day. It would be smart to heed the concerns of over half of New York City voters.

Currently, the only thing standing in the way of the greenlight for the Cordoba house is passing approval from The Landmarks Preservation Commission who are scheduled to vote on the project later this month.

According to other information gleaned from this poll:

-55% of New Yorkers polled said “mainstream Islam” is a “peaceful religion” compared to 22% who found that Islamic beliefs “encourage violence against non-muslims.”

-73% of Staten Islanders polled opposed the building, versus 14% in support of the Mosque.

-46% of Manhattan voters were in support of the bulding, versus the 36% opposed.

-1,183 registered voters were polled between June 21 to June 28

-The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

How do you feel about the Cordoba House initiative?

Opponents of the Park51 mosque are found nationwide.

1,000 Gather to Protest Ground Zero Mosque

Mosque Protest

These New Yorkers aren't too pleased with the plans.

Unless you’ve been completely cut off from the outside world for the past couple of months, you’ve probably heard that there are plans to construct a mosque just steps from Ground Zero. Also probably on your radar: A lot of people aren’t too happy about it.

Proof of this was on display Sunday, when more than 1,000 protesters gathered on the corner of Church and Liberty Streets to rail against plans to construct a mosque and Islamic cultural/community center on Park Place, a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site.

According to the Tribeca Tribune, during the three-hour demonstration, organized by Stop Islamization of America (SIOA), protesters endured 90-degree temps to listen to speakers — from family members of 9/11 victims to a former Muslim woman — denounce not only the construction plans… but often Islam itself.

The signs the protesters, most of them middle-aged or older, waved also bashed the religion. One read, “All I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9/11.” Another said, “You can build a mosque at Ground Zero when we can build a synagogue in Mecca.”

But the Cordoba Initiative, the Muslim group dedicated to fostering better relationships between New York City’s Muslim and non-Muslim communities, feels that this is exactly why a mosque and educational/cultural center would be so beneficial at 45 Park Place, a location it owns and plans to name Cordoba House when building is complete. The Cordoba Initiative opposes the radical Islam responsible for the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and wants the opportunity to teach people the difference between those extremist violent sects and the vast, peaceful majority of Muslims.

The protesters who gathered on Sunday, however, remain unswayed. Their feeling is that there are plenty of mosques in New York already, and they believe it is inappropriate to build another one so close to the site of 9/11 devastation.

One protester, Joyce Boland, whose son died in the Sept. 11 attacks, told the Tribune: “I don’t think that a mosque should go up to loom over his grave, when they were responsible for what happened.”

While no violence erupted during the protest, there was definitely some pretty palpable hostility. An Arab-American TV crew, who were later revealed to be there to protest the mosque, had to be removed from the crowd by a police escort when protesters became agitated by their presence.

What is your feeling on the situation? Are those opposed to the mosque being to narrow-minded? Would a mosque near Ground Zero be a positive step in defusing prejudices toward Islam that were ingrained on the hearts and minds of many Americans on Sept. 11, 2001? Or is it just too soon and too close for comfort?

Cordoba House now called Park51

WTC Mosque: Do We Have Room for It Here?

Cordoba House Map & Plan

Cordoba House Mosque Map & Plan

Like most longtime Battery Park City residents, there is a hole in our hearts where two towers used to be. It’s almost 9 years since the terrorist attacks occurred at the World Trade Center — we can’t help but be reminded that something terrible here happened when we pass the busloads of tourists and people hawking “Tragedy” books outside our door.

It has been previously announced of an initiative to build an Islamic mosque at 45 Park Avenue — the former site of the Burlington Coat Factory and merely 600 feet from the World Trade Center site.

Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque

Plans for the Cordoba House Mosque

The Mosque called the Cordoba House would be a 15 story Islmanic center which would include a mosque, performing arts center, meeting rooms and a recreational facility. According to its proponents, Daisy Kahn and her husbnd Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf members of the American Society of Muslim Advancement seek to “reverse the trend of extremism and the kind of ideology that extremists are spreading.”

A formal vote is scheduled to be heard tomorrow (May 25) before the Lower Manhattan Community Board. However, reaction to the plans for the Mosque have been mostly negative. Prompting action from September 11 Victim family members as well as creating websites and Facebook pages in protest of the mosque.

As of today, the Facebook page described as 1,000,000+ people who disapprove of building a mosque at Ground Zero! has over 72K members showing a strong solidarity against the initiative. There is also a dedicated website Nomosqueatwtc.com which is dedicated to highlighting their protest — as well as selling bumper stickers. The latter efforts are a bit suspicious … nevertheless a strong showing of anti-mosque sentiments.

How do you feel about it ? Do we have room in our hearts and in our home for Muslims in NYC to worship?