Despite proclaiming itself leaders in the fight to protect religious organizations’ right to build worship facilities where they choose, Pat Robertson’s American Center for Law and Justice has been the leading opponent of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque.”
One of their tactics was to ask the New York Landmark Preservation Commission to declare the area a historic landmarks on the grounds that “the landing gear of one of the hijacked planes from 9-11 crashed through the roof of the building.”
Today, the Commission rejected that argument by a vote of 9-0 and so, of course, the ACLJ is vowing to file a court challenge, calling the decision “deeply offensive to many of the victims and families of the 9-11 tragedy”:
“The actions taken by the City of New York represent a blatant disregard for the city’s own procedures, while ignoring the fact that this is a historic and hallowed site that should not be destroyed to build an Islamic mosque,” said Jay Sekulow, Chief Counsel of the ACLJ. “It has been clear from the beginning that the city has engaged in a rush to push this project through – ignoring proper procedure and ignoring a growing number of New Yorkers and Americans who don’t believe this site is the place to build a mosque. We are poised to file legal action on behalf of our client to challenge this flawed decision and put a stop to this project.”
The ACLJ is planning to file an Article 78 petition in state court to challenge the city’s actions. The ACLJ will allege that there’s been an abuse of discretion in the Commission’s decision and the filing is expected to occur tomorrow.
The ACLJ represents Tim Brown, a decorated firefighter and first responder, who survived the Twin Towers’ collapse and lost nearly 100 friends. The ACLJ also represents thousands of Americans who have signed on to the Committee to Stop the Ground Zero Mosque – Americans who oppose building an Islamic mosque on this site which should be used to honor and preserve the memory of 9-11 and its victims.