In battle to build mega-mosque near Ground Zero, opponents ask ‘why there?’

interns Contributor
Font Size:

New York (CNN) — A leading opponent of a proposed mosque and community center near Ground Zero is asking a question that looms as large as the towers that stood nearby less than nine years ago: “Why there?

Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger who leads a group called Stop the Islamicization of America, posed the question on CNN’s “American Morning” Wednesday.

“We feel that it is a cemetery and sacred ground and the dead should be honored,” Geller said. “To build a 13-story mega mosque on the cemetery, on the site of the largest attack in American history, I think, is incredibly insensitive.”

Those for and against the proposed mosque butted heads during a passionate three-hour hearing of New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission Tuesday night.

Officially, the hearing was a forum for testimony on whether the building at 45-47 Park Place, near Ground Zero, is worth preserving. The structure dates back to the late 1850s. Preservation Commission spokeswoman Elisabeth de Bourbon said the building housed the headquarters of the Merck pharmaceutical company in the 1920s and in more recent years served as a discount clothing store. She said she was not sure what the current owner — the Muslim outreach group the Cordoba Initiative — has been doing with the building, but people attending Tuesday night’s meeting said it was being used for prayer services.

Full Story: In battle to build mosque near Ground Zero, opponents ask ‘why there?’ – CNN.com.