(WASHINGTON, D.C., 8/2/10) — CAIR today called on American Muslims and other people of conscience to contact New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission to ask that its members defend religious freedom and reject efforts by Islamophobes to block construction of an Islamic community center in that city.
The commission will vote Tuesday morning on whether to grant protected status to the building that would be knocked down to make way for the community center. Sources say the existing building does not meet architectural criteria necessary for protection by the city.
SEE: NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission Public Meeting
Opponents of the proposed Islamic community center sought to use the landmark process to block construction.
SEE: Landmark Preservation Committee Expected to OK Mosque Construction Near Ground Zero
“We either believe in the longstanding American value of religious freedom or we don’t,” said CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad. “Bigots and extremists should never be granted veto power over constitutionally-protected
He noted that CAIR recently called on the Jewish Anti-Defamation League (ADL) to retract its “shameful” statement against the construction of the community center.
SEE: CAIR Asks ADL to Retract Statement Against NY Islamic Center
CAIR: New York Mosque Controversy Fires Up National Campaign
“The opponents of construction or expansion of American mosques and Islamic centers are engaging in fear-mongering about Islam and falsely associating it with the 9/11 terror attacks,” said Awad. “It is sad that after nine years, there are still those who fail to acknowledge that American Muslims condemned the 9/11 attacks and that mainstream Muslims in America and worldwide have consistently condemned terrorism in all its forms.”
SEE: CAIR Anti-Terrorism Campaigns
Awad said opposition to the New York community center and to Islamic centers nationwide is a symptom of growing Islamophobia in America.
SEE: Calif. Mosque Plan Sparks Protest
Texas Mosque Vandalized with Offensive Graffiti and Fire
CAIR Video: Opposition to NY Mosque ‘Islamophobia Pure and Simple’
Video: CAIR Rep Debates Islamophobia, Opposition to U.S. Mosques
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IMMEDIATE ACTION REQUESTED: (As always, be POLITE.)
CONTACT the Landmarks Preservation Commission Chair Robert B. Tierney to request that he and his board deny the attempt by opponents of the Islamic community center to misuse the landmark process to deny American Muslims their constitutionally-protected religious and civil rights.
CONTACT: Robert B. Tierney
Landmarks Preservation Commission
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