A plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero - sacred ground for many Americans - is being met with outrage.
At issue: a 19th-century building and whether it can be designated a landmark. If it is designated a landmark, the original building will remain. If not, American Muslim groups will tear it down and move ahead with plans to build an inter-faith community center and mosque.
Both sides continue to go head-to-head on the issue. Their most recent face-off: a passionate three-hour hearing held by New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission last night. Those opposing the mosque dominated the hearing.
"It would be a terrible mistake to destroy a 154-year-old building in order to build a monument to terrorism," one woman said.
"We feel that it is a cemetery and sacred ground and the dead should be honored," Pamela Geller, a conservative blogger, said on CNN’s American Morning. "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."
On the other side- some Muslim community leaders say the mosque could provide an opportunity for improving interfaith relations. "We're saying Muslims have a legitimate role to play in the social fabric of this country," said Ibrahim Ramey, the director of the Human and Civil Rights Division of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, on CNN's "American Morning.”
"I'm ashamed to be an American today," said Rakif Gathwari, a Muslim-American, who reminded the crowd that people from many countries and religions died on September 11.
We want to hear from you on this issue. Where do you stand?
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