New York - Jewish Leaders Rally In Support Of WTC Mosque

New York - A group of Jewish leaders has rallied today in support of the mosque near the World Trade Center.

The Shalom Center representatives say they needed to speak out after the Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group that advocates religious freedom, criticized the Cordoba Initiative mosque and cultural center.

"We need this Islamic center to preach love and respect in contrast to those that preach hate and destruction," said Rabbi Richard Jacobs of the Westchester Reform Temple. "Here in this place, just a few yards from horrific pain and loss, let this Islamic center be a beacon of light and hope to our aching world."

A lawsuit was filed yesterday challenging the Landmarks Preservation Commission's vote not to declare the property on 45 Park Place a landmark.

The vote clears the way for the demolition of the building and the construction of a 13-story mosque.

A city Law Department spokeswoman said the department is confident the Landmarks Preservation Commission followed the appropriate procedures and legal standards.

The mosque's developer has said even if the landmark status was granted, the group would work around the existing building.



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