A conservative advocacy group sued to block the planned Islamic community center and mosque near ground zero Wednesday, trying to stop a project that has become a fulcrum for balancing religious freedom and the legacy of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The American Center for Law and Justice, founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson, filed suit Wednesday to challenge a city panel's decision to let developers tear down a building to make way for the mosque two blocks from ground zero.
The city Landmarks Preservation Commission moved too fast in making a decision, underappreciated the building's historic value and "allowed the intended use of the building and political considerations to taint the deliberative process," lawyer Brett Joshpe wrote in papers filed in a Manhattan state court. The Washington, D.C.-based group represents a firefighter who responded to and survived the terrorist attack at the World Trade Center.