NEW YORK (CBS 2) — Developers of the so-called Ground Zero mosque are moving forward – and so are those who vehemently oppose its construction.

Lawyers for a firefighter who survived 9/11 are among those expected to head to court Wednesday to try to stop the proposal.

Developers for the Islamic center and mosque got their green light with a unanimous vote by the New York City Landmark’s Preservation Committee, but their opponents are not giving up.

In fact, the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by evangelical conservative Pat Robertson, plans to file a lawsuit in court Wednesday, hoping to at least stall the project.

 The “Article 78 petition” will be filed on behalf of New York City firefighter Tim Brown and alleges a city commission abused its discretion by rushing its decision to refuse landmark status to the building currently on the site.

 One New York resident told CBS 2’s Jay Dow that he hopes the lawsuit accomplishes at least one goal.

 “I hope they tie them up for 10 years,” said Peter Kraig. “And then they’ll forget about it.”

 Another New Yorker said that it doesn’t matter that he can’t prove a connection between the Islamic radicals that orchestrated 9/11 and the Muslims developing the proposed center – it still poses an unnecessary danger.

 “Do I have the facts? No,” said Henry Muller of Queens. “Can I rule it out? Absolutely not. And I do believe quite a few people will agree with me on this…In my 51 years, my gut never failed me.”

 But Mayor Bloomberg is urging his constituents to keep an open mind.

 “We would be untrue to the best parts of ourselves and who we are as New Yorkers, as Americans,” he said, “If we say no to a mosque in lower Manhattan.”

 In a letter to the Daily News, the proposed Islamic center’s developer, Sharif el-Gamal, insists his group will not accept support from anyone with anti-American views.

 “Islam can be a mysterious thing,” he wrote. “We recognize that and know the best way to start a conversation is by extending a hand.”

 El-Gamal said the next step for those behind the movement to build the center is to file for non-profit, federal tax exempt status.

Meanwhile, a firefighter who survived the 9/11 attacks join the latest group in trying to prevent the building of the mosque. He spoke to CBS 2’s Pablo Guzman.

 “I believe this mosque will never be built,” said Tim Brown, the now retired firefighter. “I strongly believe that. The families will never allow this to happen.”

 While Brown survived the collapse of the Twin Towers, but he lost 93 comrades that day, including his two best friends.

That’s why he filed a lawsuit against the Landmarks Commission vote, saying they overstepped their bounds.

And when he heard the Mayor’s statements about keeping an open mind about the mosque, he wasn’t pleased.

 “If we were all living in Disneyland, then…what he was saying would be a wonderful thing.”

 “If you’re tolerant of evil,” Brown said, “You’re in trouble.”

Comments (33)
  1. Steve says:

    Freedom of religion is a two way street. If the Muslim can’t tolerate other religions, than they hardly deserve it in return.

    Freedom from religion is another right we Americans have. Muslims and their Koran believe if you don’t submit and convert they have the right to kill you.
    We’re supposed to give that kind of “religion” freedom?
    We tried tolerating the Nazis for a while, and look what good that brought.
    Tolerating intolerance, particularly violent intolerance, is suicide.
    No way. Never again.

  2. steve says:

    Let ’em put it up.
    When the next Muslim attack on NYC or elsewhere comes, we’ll have a nearby target to hit back.

    Thanks, Muslims for building it.
    And, if that doesn’t work, Mecca and Medina will be next on the hit list.

  3. Dan says:

    Bloomberg’s doesn’t pass the smell test, and is insulting. No one is saying that there should be no mosques in lower Manhattan — just not in the shadow of Ground Zero, in a building damaged by a landing gear.

    Of all the locations to choose from, why this one?

    At minimum, building a mosque in the shadow of Ground Zero is extremely insensitive, something most religions avoid. Some commentators claim that the 9/11 terrorists were extremists, not representative of Islam.

    But there has been very little outcry from the supposed moderate Muslims. This makes it easy to understand those who question building a mosque at a location that was bathed in human remains and debris from the World Trade Center attacks.

    By the way, what do you call slaughtering 3000 innocent men, women, and children in the name of religion?

  4. Bob says:

    “If you’re tolerant of evil,” Brown said, “You’re in trouble.”

    Tim Brown and his idiot cohorts need to look in the mirror. The hatred that these un-american protesters spew is the real evil atrocity here. – and yes, this country is in real trouble.

    If you can’t respect America’s freedom of religion you should just get the hell out.

  5. sparks says:

    I wish NY had a real Mayor. We need Rudolph Giuliani back. Giuliani would never sand for this garbage. Bloomberg is lousy, real real lousy.
    Guiliani held the city from going down the drain, now its heading back down. It’s like Sodom.

  6. roger says:

    what will we do when Muslims become a majority here, become mayor, governor, president or whatever? What will you do when their terrorist laws start getting enforced here by those elected by a majority that will be of them? do you think they will be tolerant to us non believers?
    think it cant happen here? wake up, you fools. Look at the rest of the world, Look how Europe is infested with them and how much problems they are having, this isn’t a game. You yourself wouldn’t want to live with them, don’t be so kind hearted to them on other peoples accounts.

  7. Linda B says:

    The mosque is UNACCEPTABLE..PERIOD. The clown behind it should be sitting in jail for past offenses…AND, I support a GAY BAR right beside it, if the mussies are allowed to build!!!

  8. brian o'rourke says:

    We who oppose the mosque are not anti-Islam. We are anti-terrorist. Every day we get more bad info about the imam and the developer. This project is already dirty. Fighting this mosque is fighting for integrity.

  9. khan says:

    190. Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight you, but do not transgress limits; for Allah loveth not transgressors.

    191. And slay them wherever ye catch them, and turn them out from where they have Turned you out; for tumult and oppression are worse than slaughter; but fight them not at the Sacred Mosque, unless they (first) fight you there; but if they fight you, slay them. Such is the reward of those who suppress faith.

    192. But if they cease, Allah is Oft-forgiving, Most Merciful.

    193. And fight them on until there is no more Tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah. but if they cease, Let there be no hostility except to those who practise oppression.

    the above is the oft quoted(misquoted verses of the quran chapter 2 verses190 to 193.remember these verses were meant as guidlines during war.muslims are allowed to marry christians so i cant see how marrying and killing can work together

  10. tony guerra says:

    I’ll take Tim Brown’s opinion over Mayor Mike”s on this matter any day.

  11. Adam says:

    Wow, looks like the government are to cowardly to put an end to this atrocity, I hope the good people”civilian” of New York will do everything thats needed to make sure that this mosque never happens.

  12. bernie says:

    All Ny is to blame …You voted him in again now you pay the price ! wake up and smell the coffee in the years to come !

  13. LoveUS says:

    @ EWanger635, I totall agree with what you said.
    I have seen the same attitude among them in my region, South East Asia.

  14. EWagner635 says:

    How openminded and understanding would islam be if we decided to build a Church or temple in downtown Mecca?

  15. JP says:

    Trevor you idiot, Tim McVeigh wasn’t a Roman Catholic radicle he was just out of his mind. Thank you Mayor Bloomburg for being so p.c. and fighting for this mosque. Why not build this mosque next door to your home. Mayor Guiliani would have never stood for this.

  16. lisa says:

    Donald, are you a victim becase you got a little smoke in your apartment? I don’t see how building the Mosque can be a positive addition to our vibrant and tolerant City. Just saying…

  17. Lucas says:
    Sigh the petition above to stop the mosque

  18. Lisa says:

    How the Mayor and the panel could disrepect the United States of America, 9/11 victims/families/friends, the US Military and the American people by voting to let the Mosque be built near Ground Zero is despicable. Mr Mayor, why don’t you and the panel try and build a church of your preference in the MIddle East. I would be watching you “hang” murdered on TV. You are all traitors to the United States and your lives will never be the same from this day forward. Shame on you

  19. Donald says:

    I think that this Muslim Cultural Center is going to be a positive addition to our vibrant and tolerant city. As a New Yorker who watched the horrors of September 11 and lived with the smoke in my apartment for weeks, I am more of a victim than some of those who are complaining about this center. What bothers me the most is that we have such short memories: Every Russian was once a Commie, every Roman Catholic was a papist and the Jews couldn’t be trusted. Now the Muslims have all been painted as evil. I hope that this center gets built and that Muslim families stop by to say a prayer after they visit the site to see the horror that was done in the name of their religion. I think this center will probably more tasteful than the tatty shops that will be much closer to the site.

    1. Trevor says:

      I agree with Don. Tim McVeigh was once a devout Roman Catholic and never abandoned his core religious beliefs. So by the logic permeating this thread the Government should ban all Catholic Churches within 1/2 mile of the new Murrah Building in Oklahoma City. This is silly and un-American. And it is sad how populism has run amok in this country.

      1. Marie says:

        Timothy McVeigh killed no one in the name of God. His or any other. This is not the same thing.
        While the Koran teaches to kill the infidels (anyone who is not muslim), the bible- and the Torah do not condone killing anyone, especially in the name of God.

  20. NYC Nice Guy says:

    I hate to tell it to you all, but the truth of the matter is that money talks and b.s. walks.

    I bet you all the flag-wavin’ hard-hats will be glad for the work, too.

    That’s right, let’s see “real Americans” put their money where their mouths are!

    I am against the mosque, too — it’s a passive-aggressive gesture, all right, like when your wife slams the door oh-so-innocently in displeasure but pretends she’s just in a hurry — but then again I’m suspicious of anyone still believing in sky gods and desert madmen in the 21st Century!

  21. Marie says:

    In the guise of peace and goodwill, they employ a corrupt imam who boldly says that the US brought on 911, that Hezbollah is NOT a terrorist org, that shari law is a good thing & will not fully disclose the financial backing of this project. Can someone explain to me how this was not a factor in the decision & has not even beeen discussed as a security issue? What more do you need to know?
    From the president to the mayor to the govenor-hear no evil, see no evil,speak no evil.

  22. Bill says:

    Keep an open mind?!?! Some of my family and friends were killed just blocks from where the family and friends of these murderers plan to pray.

  23. Sickened says:

    Apparently neither the Mayor or Building commission have any understanding of history. I hope someone is following the money on this debacle as payoffs are being made.

    1. Sandra says:

      apparently neither do you

  24. Robert says:

    After seeing Mayor Bloomberg standing with representatives of various religous groups & using the Statue of Liberty as a prop in the background, it made me sick to my stomach.

    No one.. Not I.. or anyone else in NYC is trying to deny Muslims the right to practice their religious beliefs. As a Jewish man who attends Synagouge every Sabbath, I am the FIRST person to defend someones right to observe their faith.

    However….. Questions have arisin as to the sect of the sponsor of the Moaque.

    The principals involved refuse to answer questions regarding the source of their funding.

    If it turns out that the funders advocate Sharia Law, would Mayor Bloomberg still stand on his holier then thou soap box & defend it???

    I have heard people say that no one questions the source of funding for Churches & Synagouges…

    To the best of my knowedge, the Arch Diocese has never had its reputation questioned regarding its allegiance to America. Behind the Arch Diocese stands the Vatican in Rome. Would mayor Bloomberg question the motivation behind a decission the Vatigan makes, if it chooses to write or publish a press release requesting support for a new Church in New York??

    As to Synagouges…. Most are funded by affluent Jews who want to do something for their community. Even if Israel made a request to the American Jewish community, I don’t think that would be seen as foreign intervention, unless the Administration suddenly decides to consider Israel (the ONLY Democracy in the Middle East) a threat to our security….

    I see commentaries every day of the week from respected schollars & journalists who have studied the Muslem culture & they have repeatedly tried to point out the differences between various factions of the faith.

    Perhaps their assesments are to accurate & threaten the position of those who feel an obligation to permit people who want nothing more then to see America attacked & overthrown.

    I live in Sheepshead Bay Brooklyn, a short distance away from another planned Mosque which has drawn community resistance. In all candor, I don’t know enough about the backers of that Mosque to make an informed decission regarding their motives. I do know that the Muslems that live in my area have assimilated into society as well as any other immigrant culture.

    Symbolism asside (which can’t be factored into a legal decission).. There are two many open issiues here… and I’d like to see the Justice Department do the right thing for once, and instead of trying to tell us that Hamas isn’t a threat to us…. Investigate the sponsors of the Mosque & uncover the truth.

  25. Ken B says:

    Several “Shame on You” awards are due here. The first to the insensitive people that are pushing so hard to build a Mosque so close to one of America’s most heinous attacks by members of their faith. One can only wonder in amazement at the insidious motivation and lack of compassion this group embodies in its quest to locate so close to ground zero.

    The second “Shame on You” award goes to the Commission for its total lack of courage, patriotism and backbone to just say no to this insane request. Certainly America has drifted so far from our founding father’s principals that whole Commissions cower in fear of antagonizing any “group”. The effort to avoid even the slightest appearance of bias toward a small group, no matter how absurd, has led to an abdication of responsibility for the citizenry at large.

    Finally, a “Shame on You” award goes to Mayor Bloomberg for attempting to be “politically correct” by hiding behind the Statue of Liberty to cover his fear to disagree.

    The Commission and Mayor’s office are simply doing what politicians always do in recent times: roll over rather than stand up for what is right, just and patriotic. The real evil here are the Muslims trying to force this Mosque to be built near sacred ground. If these people were truly people of God, they would quietly and humbly move their plans elsewhere.

    1. Marie says:


      The fact that they refuse to relocate speaks for itself.
      Provided you have ears to hear….

  26. Marie says:

    Ask yourself this question, if this group were truly a peaceful one, why are they asking to build in this specific spot when they could have built anywhere else? The mayor says opposition to this mosque means you are denying their right to freedom of religion. With over 200 mosques in NYC, no one’s religious freedom is denied;he is twisting the will of the people- this dispute is about the gall, the insenstivity and the bold determination to disrespect the families of 9/11 and dishonor the souls buried @ ground zero by refusing to build somewhere else. By the way the mosque is scheduled to open on 9/11/2011. This would open before the wtc memorial is completed….this is an outrage.

    1. dodinyc says:

      Hear, Hear Marie. This is not a legal issue but rather a moral issue. it is the shear insensitivity that is galling New Yorkers and shame on the mayor and the city council for not being able to recognize that. Or do they see that but political correctness has trumped common sense?

  27. Laura says:

    When a war has been declared and a “victory” won, the victor erects a token of their country at the battle site. For example, the famous photo of US soldiers erecting an American Flag at Iwo Jima. Will someone please explain to me how the construction of this mosque so close to the site of the World Trade Center differs? And more importantly, why NO ONE with any power in NYC seems to be able to see this?

  28. sandra g. says:

    This is purely a slap in the face to all americans who were lost in the World Trade Towers and for all of the military that loose their lives over in the Middle East. I think this is all about money .. this is aggregious! Sandra G

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