Wednesday, August 4, 2010

A vote for religious freedom: N.Y. panel clears way for mosque near Ground Zero

Washington Post
August 4, 2010

The New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to deny historic status to a 19th-century building in the shadow of Ground Zero. Doing so paved the way for the structure's demolition and the erection of a 15-story Muslim community center just two blocks from the World Trade Center site. The agency's correct call is a victory for cooler heads in city government, and for a fundamental American ideal -- freedom of religion.

The $100 million Cordoba House takes its name from the medieval Spanish city where Muslims, Jews and Christians lived in peace for 800 years. The developers promise to act in that spirit by bringing people together in peace, healing and collaboration at a center that would include a 500-seat auditorium, art exhibition space, a swimming pool and retail space. It would also include a mosque. This sparked vocal opposition not only in New York but throughout the country.