Plan for Mosque Near WTC Site Gains Momentum

A 13-story mosque is planned near the World Trade Center site, in a building that was damaged by airplane debris during the 9/11 terror attacks.

A Lower Manhattan community board said Wednesday that it supported the $100 million mosque and cultural center. The project, called Cordoba House, aimed at creating a space for the neighborhood's growing Muslim population.

Supporters say the history associated with the damaged former department store was one reason to pick it.

"I think it will be a wonderful asset to the community," said committee Chairman Ro Sheffe.  The glass-and-steel building would include a 500-seat performing arts venue, a swimming pool and a basketball court. "

But some 9/11 victims' families said they were offended by the idea because the terrorists behind the 9/11 attack were Muslim.

Massapequa resident Rosemary Cain called the plan "despicable.'' She lost a son on 9/11.

The American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative said the project would help to improve relations between the West and Muslims.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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