Plans to build a mosque near the site of the destroyed World Trade Center in New York cleared an obstacle Tuesday when a city committee denied landmark status to a nearby building.
The New York Landmarks Preservation Committee voted unanimously against giving protected status to a building constructed in the 1850s, that developers want to tear down to build an Islamic community center and mosque.
The World Trade Center site in downtown New York has been known as ground zero since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 destroyed the twin towers that once stood there.
The plan to build a mosque a few blocks from the ground zero has drawn criticism from those who say it is disrespectful to victims who were killed in an attack by Islamist extremists.
Supporters of the project say it will help bridge divisions between the West and the Muslim world.
Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.