Representing a New York City firefighter who survived the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ) is urging New York City officials to landmark the site of a planned Islamic mosque. Parts of one of the hijacked planes fell into that building and the ACLJ argues that giving the site landmark status will help preserve the memory of 9/11 and its victims.
“The fact is that this is not the location to build an Islamic mosque,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “This is sacred ground, and for many family and friends of the 9/11 victims building an Islamic mosque on this site would be offensive. We’ve heard from thousands of Americans and many New Yorkers, who understand that such a move would be a tragic mistake.”
The ACLJ represents Tim Brown, a firefighter and first responder, who survived the Twin Towers’ collapse and lost nearly 100 friends.
A legal team from the ACLJ attended a hearing yesterday before the Landmarks Preservation Commission, which put off a decision on whether to declare the existing building a landmark. A wheel from 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta’s hijacked plane was embedded in the building during the attacks. A landmark designation would preserve the historical integrity of this building and would not allow it to be demolished for a 13-story mosque.
ACLJ Deputy Political Director Sam Nunberg told the commissioners: “It would be a travesty to permit this building to be removed. It would be like removing the sunken ships from Pearl Harbor in order to erect a memorial for the Japanese Kamikazes killed in the surprise attack on U.S. Troops.”
The ACLJ says that they have heard from thousands of Americans who oppose the Ground Zero mosque, will continue to monitor developments in New York and is considering legal action if the city does not comply with proper procedural requirements in its decision-making process.