Source: The New York Times
After a raucous hearing, a Manhattan community board backed a proposal on Tuesday evening to build a Muslim community center near the World Trade Center.
The 29-to-1 vote, with 10 abstentions, followed a four-hour back-and-forth between those who said the community center would be a monument to tolerance and those who believed it would be an affront to victims of the 2001 terrorist attacks.
The board’s vote was advisory — it did not have the power to scrap plans for a center — but it was seen as an important barometer of community sentiment.
Middle school students and rabbis were among the more than 100 people who testified at the hearing, which was held a short distance from ground zero. Some carried pictures of family members killed in the attacks; others brandished signs reading “Show respect for 9/11. No mosque!”