Nadler: Attacks on mosque “shameful and divisive”

The congressman whose district includes ground zero issues a strong statement in support of the Islamic center

Topics: Park51, New York, New York City, War Room,

Nadler: Attacks on mosque "shameful and divisive"Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), whose district includes ground zero, has issued a new statement on the Cordoba House project in which he calls out as “shameful and divisive” those who are attacking Muslim-Americans because of their religion.

“As an elected official who believes strongly in the separation of church and state, I contend that the government has no business deciding whether there should or should not be a Muslim house of worship near Ground Zero. And, as a representative of New Yorkers of all faiths and cultures, I find the singling out of Muslim-Americans — because of their faith — for animus and hate to be shameful and divisive,” Nadler said.

Yesterday we noted how virtually every prominent Democrat in the country — from President Obama on down through the New York congressional delegation — has punted on the “ground zero mosque,” conceding the issue entirely to Republicans who frame the project as some kind of beachhead for sharia in America. The Democratic silence up to this point is what makes Nadler’s statement, in which he hits some of the same notes as Mayor Bloomberg did this week in his speech defending religious freedom and property rights, significant.

And coming from the congressman who represents the district, maybe it will get some broad attention.

Here’s the full statement:



As an elected official who believes strongly in the separation of church and state, I contend that the government has no business deciding whether there should or should not be a Muslim house of worship near Ground Zero. And, as a representative of New Yorkers of all faiths and cultures, I find the singling out of Muslim-Americans — because of their faith — for animus and hate to be shameful and divisive. We should instead work toward building tolerance and understanding. For centuries, New Yorkers have exhibited a great capacity to incorporate and benefit from diversity. The Cordoba House, which is the product of moderate Muslims, has the support of the local community board and a wide swath of Lower Manhattan community leaders.

Justin Elliott is a reporter for ProPublica. You can follow him on Twitter @ElliottJustin

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