Vote Paves Way for Ground Zero Mosque

Community board nixes landmark designation for building

Tuesday, Aug 17, 2010  |  Updated 4:05 PM EDT
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A proposed site for a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan is seen (R) May 25, 2010 in New York City. The plan to build the 15-story, $100 million mosque -- which is so close to the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that debris from one of the hijacked planes smashed through the roof of the existing building there -- is surrounded by controversy, and politicians and activists are preparing on both sides of the debate. (Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

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A community board nixed a landmark designation for a building that would be used for a mosque near the former World Trade Center site.

In a heating meeting, Community Board 1 voted 24-11 Tuesday to recommend that the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission deny historic designation to the building. The designation would complicate the mosque's construction.

Opponents of the mosque favored the designation, claiming the mosque would be an affront to all Americans affected by the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

One supporter of the project called opposing the mosque "an egregious assault on American freedom," according to The New York Post.

The mosque is a project of the nonprofit Cordoba Initiative, which says it promotes cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West. Cordoba purchased the property for $4 million. It plans to build a $100 million Islamic center.

The board voted overwhelmingly last spring to back the project even as it drew emotional opposition from some local residents and relatives of 9/11 victims.

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