Ground Zero mosque to go ahead

Planners have cleared the way for a mosque to be built near New York’s Ground Zero site, despite fierce opposition.

The Landmarks Preservation Commission’s decision not to declare the building a landmark allows organisers to transform into an Islamic community centre, just blocks from the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks National and local politicians and pressure groups spoke out against plans for the mosque, saying it “disrespected” the memory of September 11 victims.

The centre was strongly supported by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, who declared after today’s ruling: “No neighbourhood in our city is off limits to God’s love and mercy.” Sharif El-Gamal, the owner of the Park Place property, told Reuters the building’s location was accidental, and said it was purchased to meet the needs of a growing Muslim community. The plans for the new 15-story building include a swimming pool and a 500-seat hall.

The commission voted 9-0 against granting landmark status to the building. Commissioners said the building did not meet historic criteria to qualify as a landmark.

Comments are closed.