For many New Yorkers today, one more parking lot would have been a welcomed addition to the city; when what many deemed a “city landmark” was set to be demolished for an Islamic Center, hauntingly close to Ground Zero.
NY Daily News: The Landmarks Preservation Commission cleared the way for the controversial project Tuesday by voting unanimously against protecting the 152-year-old building that was standing in the way. Board members by a 9-0 vote agreed that the now-doomed building, which is two blocks north of Ground Zero on Park Place, did not meet criteria for protection from the city.
Preserving the building’s history, a building which most recently housed a Burlington Coat Factory, was a Hail Mary to stop production on what many New Yorker’s feel is an inappropriate place for the Mosque; unfortunately for the preservationists, their last-ditch effort was intercepted, and taken back for the touchdown by the supporters of the Center.
Those who oppose the Islamic Center do so under the pretense that it will facilitate Islamic extremism. The supporters of the Mosque believe that it will pave the way to heal relations between Muslims and the West; especially in a city who carries the deepest wounds from the 9/11 Terrorist Attack.
Fear of the unknown is fruitless; and for the opposition to fear that this will only contribute to more extremism is to say that they world is no better off than we were almost a decade ago. And one can’t help but think that there too many dead American soldiers who have fought diligently for our freedom and our relations with the Islamic world for the last decade, to say we’re not ready to at least try to move forward and heal.