Today, the New York Landmark Preservation Committee voted unanimously to not grant landmark status to a Manhattan building, the site at which an Islamic and interfaith community center is to be built. If landmark status had been given to the obscure building, the plans to build the Cordoba House would have been put to a halt (because the new center will demolish the older building to erect its new one). The request to get this older building landmark status was an attempt by the organization Stop the Islamization of America and others to prevent the center from being built. It was a futile effort because that building, once a Burlington Coat Factory, had no reason to be considered a landmark. Thankfully, the status was not granted and the building of Cordoba House can continue.
Still, there are many who oppose the creation of the Cordoba House, a center which takes its name from the Spanish city where Jews, Christians, and Muslims lived in peace for hundreds of years. Despite the fact that the center hopes to foster dialogue, tolerance, and understanding between these groups, many Americans are still fighting it. Overcome with a fear of Islam perpetuated by cable T.V., organizations like Stop the Islamization of America, and Europe’s recent actions toward Muslims, many people mistakenly believe that this center is a symbol of Muslim conquest. Some have even claimed that those supporting the center have the same motives as the terrorists who destroyed New York on 9/11.
New York City Mayor Bloomberg today gave a fantastic speech defending the Cordoba House. He choked up a bit while giving it, and I did while reading.
You should also check out Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s op-ed in the Washington Post’s On Faith section.
5 Replies to ““Mayor Bloomberg stands up for mosque””
I don’t always agree with Bloomberg, fellow Phi Psi or not, but this is a seminal speech. Eloquent, well-reasoned, and respectful to all sides. Wow. Thank you, Jordan. 🙂
Thanks for the link to the imam’s editorial – I’m sure this is being as buried as possible as moderate, reasonable voices don’t make good news (especially if they are the ones in charge of the proposed mosque!). I’ve posted his article to my facebook in hopes of spreading the truth of the matter.
Great! I know, the moderate voices (who are creating this place) seem to be intentionally left out of the conversation. For so long after 9/11 people asked, “Where are the moderates?” Now that the moderates have begun speaking out and doing things, those people just dismiss them as “radicals.” It just proves that those critics didn’t want to hear from moderates in the first place; they just wanted to put the blame for their fear and hate on someone else.
*being buried as much as possible*
This is the perfect post and may be one that can be followed up to see how things go
A partner emailed this link the other day and I’m excitedly looking your next write-up. Proceed on the tremendous work.