Wednesday, July 7, 2010
New Yorkers fight 3 new mosques: project planned near ground zero
Holy wars are breaking out all over New York.
Three separate plans to build Muslim worship centers in New York City have proved more difficult and contentious than expected, igniting protests by local residents and anti-jihad activists and prompting charges of "Islamophobia" and bigotry.
The three projects raise different sets of issues, are set in three different boroughs and are still in the planning stages.
But together, they show that building a mosque in New York is not like building a pizza parlor — whether it's logistical concerns about neighborhood traffic and changing demographics, the sanctity of the World Trade Center site, or backyard politics.
New Yorkers have not been shy about their opposition, and a recent poll on the most contentious of the three projects — involving a Muslim center just two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack — shows residents stoutly opposed.
"This is about radical Islam wanting to colonize the world," said Joan Moriello, a community activist fighting one of the other projects. "They pretend to be tolerant, they pretend to be loving but they aren't. It's just starting to come bubbling up to the surface."