News / USA

Top US Senator Opposes Mosque Near Ground Zero

TEXT SIZE - +

The U.S. Senate's top Democrat has spoken out against plans to build a Muslim cultural center and mosque near the site of the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

A spokesman for Harry Reid says the Senate majority leader appreciates that the First Amendment protects freedom of religion.  But he says the senator thinks the mosque should be built someplace else.  Reid is in a close campaign for re-election this November.

President Barack Obama said last week he supports the right of Muslims to build a place of worship and community center on private property in New York City.  But he said he would not comment on the "wisdom" of doing so.

That statement appeared to pull back from the president's comments on the proposed center Friday, when he said (during a White House dinner celebrating the Islamic holy month of Ramadan) that the U.S. commitment to religious freedom must be "unshakable."

Republicans have sharply criticized the planned construction of the center.  Senator John Cornyn says it is "unwise" to build a mosque near the site, now known as "Ground Zero," where more than 2,600 Americans were killed.  He described President Obama as "disconnected from the mainstream of America" for what Cornyn said is the president's support of the center's construction.

Republican Representative Peter King, who opposes the center's planned location, accused Mr. Obama of changing his position on the project.  King said the project's sponsors are "pouring salt" into what he called Americans' "raw wound" from the attacks.

Opinion polls (by CNN/Opinion Research) indicate that 68 percent of Americans oppose building a mosque less than one kilometer from the site where al-Qaida hijackers crashed two passenger planes into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.  Many Americans say putting a mosque so close to the site would be disrespectful to those killed.

The prayer room would be part of a $100-million Islamic center featuring a 500-seat auditorium, sports facilities, theater and restaurant, and would be open to all visitors.

Earlier Monday, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said it would be a "sad day for America" if opponents block plans for the mosque near the site of the terrorist attacks.  The mayor and others who support the building of the center have said it will help bridge divisions between the West and the Muslim world.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid