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To keep city safe, don’t build WTC mosque

Nine years after the attack on the World Trade Center, which resulted in the deaths of almost 3,000 people, we are faced with a new Sept. 11-related controversy: whether a huge mosque and cultural center should be built close to the WTC site.

On one side, there are those who say yes, citing our historic freedom of religion, while others say no and want it moved away or never built at all out of respect for the families of those innocent people killed by terrorism. There is a case to be made for both points of view, but I believe both the proponents and opponents of the mosque have ignored the basic issue if it is built: the future safety of New Yorkers.

Just as the present construction of the Freedom Tower is just stupid, being only a short distance from West Street — where a terrorist and/or lunatic could blow up a truck full of explosives or steal a plane to crash into the future tower — building the mosque will be a red flag to all sorts of crazies who want revenge for 9/11 or some future tragedy or attack somewhere. We should allow nothing to make the city more dangerous to those who live and/or work here.

Since one of the two lots the mosque sponsors want to use is reportedly under city control, Mayor Michael Bloomberg should say no and make city residents and workers a little more safe in the years to come instead of gambling with thousands of lives.

Instead of the dangerously divisive and provocative mosque two blocks from Ground Zero, I suggest the site might be the location of a dignified cemetery for the ashes of the 1,000-plus, never-identified WTC victims Bloomberg has allowed to remain in the Staten Island garbage dump, where family visits and reflection are a near impossibility.

Frank Skala

President

East Bayside Homeowners Association

Bayside

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