A victory for the freedom of expression of religion has occurred, despite all the xenophobia and mindless hatred aimed at Muslims. The Islamic culture center and mosque that was planned for lower Manhattan has been approved. The forces of racist reaction have been defeated. This is one of the rare cases where the right thing has been done. We should revel in this victory.
The plan to stop the centre form being built was predicated on having the 152-year-old lower Manhattan building declared a landmark, and thus could not be renovated or changed. The Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously on Tuesday to deny landmark status to the building two blocks from the World Trade Center site.
The vote was a setback for opponents of the mosque, who say it disrespects the memory of those killed on September 11.
The decision drew praise from Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who called the project a key test of Americans’ commitment to religious freedom.
“The World Trade Center site will forever hold a special place in our city, in our hearts…. But we would be untrue to the best part of ourselves, and who we are as New Yorkers and Americans, if we said no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.” said Bloomberg.
However the issue is far from over. The closet white supremacists forces in the government and media are gathering to deny construction. The American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative advocacy group founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, announced it would challenge the panel’s decision in a state court on Wednesday.
The proposed mosque has emerged as a national political issue, with prominent members of the Republican party like vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin to former House of Representatives Speaker Newt Gingrich voicing their opposition.
We should be strong and not allow this blatant fascism to place another black eye on the already tarnished image of America. People need to get out there and show that these racists do not speak for the majority of the American people.