The controversy surrounding the proposed Islamic center in lower Manhattan seems to continue, as the developers rejected an offer to relocate the project.
In order to defuse the growing tensions between supporters and opponents of the construction, New York Governor David Paterson proposed an alternate site that would be provided by the city. However the developer, Soho Properties, declined, according to CNN.
“We have a tremendous amount of respect for our governor, and we are always interested in hearing what our leaders have to say, and what their ideas and proposals are,” said Soho Properties’ Sharif El-Gamal, quoted by the news provider.
However, he added that “this has always been about serving Lower Manhattan."
The Cordoba Initiative, which is sponsoring the $100 million center that would house a mosque, gym, performing arts center and a swimming pool just blocks from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, says the project is meant as an outreach to the Muslim community. However, opponents—including some families of the 9/11 victims—claim it is insensitive and offensive.