N.Y. Muslim groups call opposition to mosque 'unethical'

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Trader666, Sep 2, 2010.

  1. N.Y. Muslim groups call opposition to mosque 'unethical'

    By Cristian Salazar

    Associated Press
    NEW YORK - It is "unethical, insensitive and inhumane" to oppose the planned mosque near the World Trade Center site, more than 50 leading Muslim organizations said Wednesday as they cast the intense debate as a symptom of religious intolerance in America.

    Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the spiritual leader behind the project, was preparing to return to the United States after a taxpayer-funded goodwill tour to the Mideast, where he said the debate was about much more than "a piece of real estate." He sidestepped questions about whether he would consider moving the $100 million Islamic community center and mosque farther from where Islamic terrorists attacked on Sept. 11, 2001. Instead, he stressed the need to embrace religious and political freedoms in the United States.

    Leaders of the Majlis Ash-Shura of Metropolitan New York, an Islamic leadership council that represents a broad spectrum of Muslims in the city, gathered on the steps of City Hall to issue a statement calling for a stop to religious intolerance and affirming the right of the center's developers to build two blocks north of ground zero.

    "We support the right of our Muslim brothers who wish to build that center there," said Imam Al Amin Abdul Latif, president of the Majlis Ash-Shura. "However, the bigger issue and the broader issue is the issue of ethnic and religious hatred being spread by groups trying to stop the building of mosques and Islamic institutions across the country."

    This is the first time the council as a body has spoken out on the weeks-old debate. Its leaders said that they were calling attention to what they said was an anti-Islamic climate.

    They also cited a suspicious fire, under FBI investigation, that damaged construction equipment at the site of a future mosque in Tennessee, and the successful opposition to the proposed conversion of a property owned by a Catholic church into a mosque and community center on Staten Island.

    Islamic leaders said they would support a move to another location, if that's what the imam and his supporters choose to do. But they emphasized that Muslims also were killed in the 9/11 attacks and were first responders.

    Their statement said, "We declare unethical, insensitive and inhumane, the notion that our co-religionists are not entitled to the respect of a place of worship according to their faith, near the location where men and women of our religion worked, lived and died - just like other people."

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