NY gov says Islamic group won't relocate mosque

August 12, 2010 04:12

ALBANY, New York — Gov. David Paterson said Wednesday that developers of an Islamic cultural center that would include a mosque near ground zero have rejected his offer to help them find a different site.

While in Manhattan, Paterson said the group apparently wants to remain with its current plans to build near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

"I think they would like to stay where they are, and I certainly respect that and I certainly respect them," Paterson said after the group spoke with one of his staff members. "Having said that, how much more foresighted would it have been if the Imam who is the developer of the project had been willing to hear what we are actually talking about?"

The mosque, to be located two blocks from ground zero, would be part of a 13-story, $100 million Islamic center that would feature a 500-seat auditorium, a swimming pool and a gym. It's a project of the Cordoba Initiative, an advocacy group that promotes improved relations between Islam and the West.

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