Mosque Near Ground Zero Supported by Mayor Bloomberg
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, delivering remarks in the wake of the unanimous decision on the part of the Landmark Preservation Commission to reject Landmark status for the existing building on the site for the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, argued that denying the proponents the right to worship in their new building would be "untrue" to American ideals:
"With or without landmark designation, there is nothing in the law that would prevent the owners from opening a mosque within the existing building. The simple fact is this building is private property, and the owners have a right to use the building as a house of worship. The government has no right whatsoever to deny that right - and if it were tried, the courts would almost certainly strike it down as a violation of the U.S. Constitution....It is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our City even closer together and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any way consistent with Islam. Muslims are as much a part of our City and our country as the people of any faith and they are as welcome to worship in Lower Manhattan as any other group. In fact, they have been worshiping at the site for the better part of a year, as is their right.
The local community board in Lower Manhattan voted overwhelming to support the proposal and if it moves forward, I expect the community center and mosque will add to the life and vitality of the neighborhood and the entire City."