Religious Freedom in New York City

August 3, 2010

To counter the opposition to plans by American Muslims to build a community center in lower Manhattan modeled after Jewish Community Centers (JCC’s) and Y’s all over the country, J Street collected over 10,000 signatures in support of religious freedom for all minorities in under 24 hours.

J Street delivered the signatures to the Commission ahead of its crucial vote on the Cordoba House – and we were pleased to see that the commission unanimously voted in favor of the project’s construction.

American and Jewish heritage are both grounded in a strong belief in equality, justice, and religious freedom. If freedom can be denied to a single person because of who they are, it can happen to anyone of us. In the battle against violent extremism, core democratic values like respect for minorities and freedom of religion can be potent weapons in ensuring security and advancing tolerance and understanding.

That’s why Jeffrey Goldberg calls the campaign against the project a “terrible mistake.” [1] In addition to J Street, the project has the support of Mayor Bloomberg, the Manhattan borough president, the local community board, the Reform Action Center of the Reform Movement, as well as members of the JCC board and leaders of the New York Jewish community. [2]


[1]”Peace-Seeking Muslims Should Refudiate Sarah Palin,” by Jeffrey Goldberg. The Atlantic, July 19, 2010.

[2]”Debate Heats Up About Mosque Near Ground Zero,” by Michael Barbaro. The New York Times, July 30, 2010.