By Herald Wire Services
NEW YORK â€” The nationâ€™s leading Jewish civil rights group has come out against the planned mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero, saying more information is needed about funding for the project and the location is “counterproductive to the healing process.”
The Anti-Defamation League said it rejects any opposition to the center based on bigotry and acknowledged that the group behind the plan, the Cordoba Initiative, has the legal right to build at the site. But the ADL said “some legitimate questions have been raised” about funding and possible ties with “groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values.”
“Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right,” the ADL said in a statement. “In our judgment, building an Islamic center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain â€” unnecessarily â€” and that is not right.”
The director of the Cordoba Initiative, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, was in Malaysia, where the group has offices, on Friday and could not be reached. His wife, Daisy Khan, who is a partner in the project, said the center will be a space for moderate Muslim voices. She noted Cordoba had previously worked with the ADL to fight prejudice against Jews and Muslims.
“We believe it will be a place where the counter-momentum against extremism will begin,” Khan said Friday. “We are committed to peace.”
Based in New York, Cordoba aims to improve relations between Islam and the West by hosting leadership conferences for young American Muslims, and organizing programs on Arab-Jewish relations, building civil society in the Muslim world and empowering Muslim women.
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