Group Sues to Halt Ground Zero Mosque

Pat Robertson law center says current building deserves landmarks protection
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 5, 2010 9:52 AM CDT
Group Sues to Halt Ground Zero Mosque
Chairman of the Landmarks Preservation Commission Robert Tierney gestures during a meeting of the commission to discuss the landmark status of 45-47 Park Place in New York, Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2010.   (Seth Wenig)

(Newser) – The debate over a planned mosque near Ground Zero became a court fight yesterday, as an advocacy group founded by Pat Robertson sued to stop the project. The American Center for Law and Justice claims the city Landmarks Preservation Commission underappreciated the historic value of the building currently on the site and "allowed political considerations to taint the deliberative process" when it voted to allow the building to be razed, according to papers. The group represents a firefighter who responded to the World Trade Center attacks.

The law center argues that the building deserves landmark status for its architectural features—and for its historical significance as a structure that withstood being hit by debris from one of the hijacked jetliners used in the terrorist attacks. A spokesman for the planned Islamic center declined comment on the lawsuit, but said organizers were continuing to work toward choosing an architect. "We would admonish people to, at least, give us a fair shake," he said. (Read more Ground Zero stories.)

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