The Ground Zero Mosque took a step forward today as New York City's Landmark Commission declared that the Burlington Coat Factory building one or two blocks from Ground Zero is not a landmark. The Commission vote was unanimous.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg supports the mosque, but protesters say the lack of funding information has them concerned. The man behind the mosque, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf, has refused to name Hamas a terrorist organization, and has blamed U.S. policy for the 9/11 attacks.
Protesters wanted the dilapidated building, built in 1858, declared a landmark because a portion of one of the 9/11 airplanes came to rest inside this building. Deborah Burlingame, the sister of one of the 9/11 pilots who died, says this is not a matter of religion:
"There are interests in creating an Islamic presence at the site of the worst atrocity in the history of the Republic. It's very important to the people who want to hurt this country," Burlingame said.Rick Lazio, a Republican running for governor of New York state, has called on the state Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate the mosque funding in his capacity for jurisdiction over nonprofit organizations. I believe the mosque will be built and Bloomberg will rue the day he did not stand against.