For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Jennifer Carnig, NYCLU, (212) 607-3363;
Robyn Shepherd, ACLU National, (212) 519-7829 or 549-2666;

NYCLU And ACLU Applaud Approval Of NYC Islamic Cultural Center For Upholding Values Of Freedom And Tolerance

NEW YORK - The New York Civil Liberties Union and the
American Civil Liberties Union today praised the New York City
Landmarks Preservation Commission for standing up for the principles of
religious freedom and tolerance in approving a proposal to build a
13-story Islamic cultural center near the World Trade Center site in New
York City.

The following
statement was released by the NYCLU and the ACLU Program on Freedom of
Religion and Belief:

"We congratulate the Landmarks
Preservation Commission for promoting our nation's core values and not
letting bias get in the way of the rule of law.

"The free exercise of religion is one
of America's most fundamental freedoms. For hundreds of years, our
pluralism and tolerance have sustained and strengthened our nation. On
9/11, religious extremists opposed to that very pluralism killed 3,000
Americans. Those fanatics would want nothing more than for our nation to
turn its back on the very ideals that make this country so great.

"For those who have sought to ban the
construction of the cultural center, we must remember that our precious
ideals extend to all Americans, regardless of creed or color. We see
the center as a monument to pluralism, symbolic of America's commitment
to religious freedom.

"Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Manhattan
Borough President Scott Stringer and Community Board 1 should all be
commended for standing strong and supporting the cultural center in the
face of pressure."


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