Saturday, August 21, 2010

Construction Workers Oppose Mosque Near Ground Zero

I left a comment on their blog... I'll keep you posted if I get a response!

Hey guys,

A couple quick questions... if these horrible attacks were done by Christians, would you oppose the building of a church in this same spot? Also, how far from ground zero is far enough to build a mosque without being insulting? Lastly, what is your opinion of Islam and Muslims? From your comments, I get the sense that you feel Islam and Muslims are to blame for the attacks on 9/11 and not just a group of radicals. Don't forget that innocent Muslims died on 9/11 also, and they they also grieve for the loss of their loved ones.

Taken from here.

NEW YORK (Aug. 20) -- The proposed Islamic center near ground zero is facing stiff opposition from a group that will be vital if the plan is to be realized: the New York City building industry.

Construction worker Andy Sullivan has set up a "Hard Hat Pledge" on his website, calling on construction workers to vow not to do work on the Park51 community center and mosque, the New York Daily News said.

Diane Bondareff, MCTMosque opponent Andy Sullivan stands outside the site of the proposed mosque and Islamic center on Park Place near lower Manhattan's ground zero on Thursday.
Sullivan is not alone. Several New York construction workers interviewed by AOL News declared their opposition to the project.

"It doesn't make any sense to be there," said Eduard Nika, a marble worker. "The mentality these people have, it's not anything to do with religion."

The planned mosque and community center two blocks from the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people has spiraled from a local zoning issue into a national political debate.

Public figures such as Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich have blasted the plan, saying it is an insult to the families of the victims. The Anti-Defamation League, whose mission statement says it exists to fight "all forms of bigotry," has said the center should be built at another location.

Others, such as Mayor Michael Bloomberg and President Barack Obama, have said that while they understand the strong resentment the project arouses, any effort to block the Islamic center would infringe on American values of freedom.

Handyman Frank Rivera, who said three of his relatives were in the World Trade Center at the time of the attack but survived, believes the project would be bad for New York City and an insult to the families of victims.

"It shouldn't be there. It's a slap in the face," Rivera said.

Like Nika, he said he would sooner quit his job than work on the project.

But not everyone is opposed to the Islamic center. Mike Bakovic, who works in interior construction and painting, said he'd work on the project -- even if he didn't get paid.

"Muslim people have the freedom or religion, same as everyone else, the Jew, the Catholic, everyone else," Bakovic said. "Islam is peaceable, like every other religion. "

Louis Coletti, president of the Building Trades Employers Association, told the Daily News that labor unions had not taken a "formal position" on the plan. Still, he said it was " a very difficult dilemma for the contractors and organized labor force."

The New York City Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO, did not respond to a call from AOL News seeking comment.

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