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Letter: Hannon Opposes Mosque Near Ground Zero

(Editor’s note: Our Election Times Policies state that although generally we do not publish letters from candidates, there may be instances when we would. Because of the uniqueness of the subject, we will accept one letter from candidates on the subject of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. The letter should only address the candidate’s view and not that of the opposing candidate.)

As the controversy of building a mosque near Ground Zero continues to fill national headlines, I would like to express my opposition regarding the placement of a mosque in such close proximity to this sacred ground of New York City.

All Americans, but particularly New Yorkers, still feel the pain resulting from the tragic attacks, which took place on Sept. 11. Those who lost family, friends, neighbors and co-workers deserve the land surrounding where the Twin Towers once stood to remain sacred. Building a mosque at this specific location is overstepping a boundary of sensitivity, which discounts the hardships these Americans have faced.

Additionally, I fear for the many innocent members of the Muslim community and their children who would attend this particular mosque to worship. I am concerned that their safety and well-being will be in constant jeopardy. Unfortunately, the potential of retaliation against the worshipers of this mosque is high. We can hope for the best, but realistically, the building will be a target of community anger and outrage.

Under these extreme circumstances, near the location of the worst attack on American soil in our nation’s history, I hope those in favor of building this mosque near Ground Zero reconsider both the devastation these attacks caused the local community and all Americans, as well as the safety and well-being of the Muslim worshippers who will attend this mosque.

My opinion has remained the same since the day this proposal was first announced. The project plans are inappropriate and will likely engender a backlash against Muslims of major proportions, easily eroding whatever gain they hope to achieve.

Kemp Hannon

State Senator, 6th District