Developer moves to demolish 'Ground Zero mosque'

NEW YORK Tue Apr 8, 2014 3:40pm EDT

Demonstrators who support and oppose a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque Park51 stand with signs in front of the site in New York August 25, 2010. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

Demonstrators who support and oppose a proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque Park51 stand with signs in front of the site in New York August 25, 2010.

Credit: Reuters/Lucas Jackson

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - A New York City real estate developer has filed plans to raze the "Ground Zero mosque," a structure housing an Islamic community center just two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001, attacks, city officials said Tuesday.

The Islamic center and prayer space opened in 2011 amid protests that it could become a shrine to the Islamic extremists responsible for the deadly attacks on the World Trade Center.

The New York City Department of Buildings said on Tuesday it was reviewing an application from the developer to demolish the four-story building and an adjacent property in lower Manhattan, possibly to build a new, larger structure.

Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties has said he eventually planned to construct a $100 million, 13-story Islamic community center on the site, complete with prayer space, recreational facilities and interfaith workshops.

But Hank Sheinkopf, spokesman for the developer, would not confirm on Tuesday that the request to demolish the existing buildings was a step towards constructing the larger project.

He told Reuters that plans for the site's development "will be answered in the future."

He also would not say where the current Islamic prayer space would be relocated, should the applications to raze the building be granted.

The location of the so-called "Ground Zero mosque" spurred months of protests, with opponents saying it was disrespectful to the nearly 3,000 people killed when two airliners hijacked by extremists destroyed two Manhattan skyscrapers.

Supporters of the project said it would serve to promote a better understanding of the Muslim-American community and its history in New York City.

(Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; editing by Gunna Dickson)

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Comments (14)
REnninga wrote:
Islam was not responsible for the attacks on 9/11/2001 any more than Christianity was responsible for the Spanish Inquisition or Catholicism was responsible for the sexual abuse of children. Those acts were perpetrated by human beings, not by religions.

It is time that those Americans who have demonstrated that they are unable to discern between terrible acts committed by individuals and the religious faiths to which they claim to affiliate, … to address their own ignorance and educate themselves a bit.

To refuse to educate ones own ignorance is willful. Willful ignorance is shameful

Apr 08, 2014 4:13pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
Agree with REnninga ^

Apr 08, 2014 4:19pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
koconnor100 wrote:
To kill 3000 or so people because you believe they’re infidels , and then plant a mosque on top of it , is a dire insult.

Lets not beat around the bush. The Islamic Community is deliberately insulting everyone in the world by building and maintaining this mosque.

Apr 13, 2014 8:10pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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