August 5th, 2010 10:31 EST
Thank You Mayor Bloomberg for Standing Up for Muslims Religious Freedom
CAIR-New York is calling on American Muslims and others who support freedom of religion to thank Mayor Michael Bloomberg for a speech he gave yesterday defending the rights of Muslims and other Americans to build houses of worship.
The address came shortly after New York`s Landmarks Preservation Commission voted unanimously against granting protected status to a building in lower Manhattan, which would have impacted plans to build a community center that would include a mosque in its place. A campaign opposing the right to build the community center sought to use the landmark process to block its construction.
Video: CAIR-NY Rep Discusses Islamic Center Proposal
SEE ALSO: Mosque Opponents Zero In On Bloomberg
In his remarks on Governors Island, Mayor Bloomberg spoke about the history of religious minorities in New York City, recounting the struggles of Jewish, Quaker and Catholic communities to establish their right to worship freely.
Speaking of the mosque issue, he said: "I believe that this is an important test of the separation of church and state as we may see in our lifetime - as important a test - and it is critically important that we get it right."
"...[I]t is my hope that the mosque will help to bring our City even closer together and help repudiate the false and repugnant idea that the attacks of 9/11 were in any way consistent with Islam. Muslims are as much a part of our City and our country as the people of any faith and they are as welcome to worship in Lower Manhattan as any other group."
You can read Mayor Bloomberg`s entire speech here.
"We thank Mayor Bloomberg for seeing through the anti-Muslim smears and divisive political tactics that have clouded this issue," said CAIR-NY Civil Rights Director Aliya Latif. "By clearly supporting equal treatment and freedom of worship, Mayor Bloomberg has taken a principled stand that is true to the essence of our Constitution."
Latif cited a recent statement from a group of Jewish leaders in support of the Islamic center as part of the interfaith response to the mosque opposition campaign.
SEE: Jewish Leaders Support Mosque at Tip of Manhattan
SEE ALSO: Do Muslims Have Equal Rights?
ACTION REQUESTED: Contact Mayor Bloomberg and thank him for speaking up for freedom of religion.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg
New York, NY 10007
Phone: 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside NYC)
Fax: (212) 312-0700