Cordoba House is good for New York
By: Brendan Patrick Keane | Published Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 2:08 PM | Updated Wednesday, June 12, 2013, 2:08 PM
The Islamic Center proposed for downtown Manhattan may not have been proposed well, but it intends well. The recently released plans for the building depict a magnificent work of architecture that will be open to the public and add enormously to the cultural cache of a neighborhood in desperate need of investment. Funding sources for the institution have and will be vetted by the US government. Concerns that the mosque will be Saudi Wahhabist have been answered and assuaged.
The proximity issue is not compelling, as the building is tucked around a corner and two blocks away from the perimeter of the WTC site. The historical value of the Burlington Coat Factory was addressed by the Landmark commission, and found to be lacking. No one was killed on that site. Parsing the definition of Ground Zero is cynical. 'It's too close,' is not nearly good enough reason to demonize anyone.
New York is better for its tolerance. Mayor Bloomberg had it right all along.