New York: The way has been cleared for converting a property near “ground zero” in New York into an Islamic community center and mosque. However, everyone is not happy with the decision. National and New York politicians and the Anti-Defama-tion League have come out in recent weeks against plans for the mosque, saying it disrespects the memory of those killed in the 2001 attacks.
In a statement on a new Web site devoted to the project now called Park51, the project’s planners said: “We are eager to begin working with our partners, supporters, neighbors and communities, to build a community center for everyone.”
“It had been a whirlwind in the past four months, one in which we have worked tirelessly to realize an American dream which so many other share,” said Sharif El-Gamal, the chief executive officer of Soho Properties.
“The outpouring support has exceeded our expectations. We are Americans; Muslim Americans. We are businessmen, businesswomen, lawyers, doctors, restaurant workers, cab drivers, and professionals of every walk of life represented by the demographic and tapestry of Manhattan,” he said.
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and other city leaders support the Islamic center.
Opponents, including former Vice Presidential candidate Sarah Palin, have argued against a mosque being so close to the scene of the nation’s worst terrorist attack.
“Peace-seeking Muslims, please understand, Ground Zero mosque is unnecessary provocation; it stabs hearts. Please reject it in the interest of healing,” tweeted Palin last month on her Twitter account.