Message from the New York State Council of Churches:
The New York State Council of Churches, which represents Protestant denominations with more than 6,000 congregations in New York State, released a statement today supporting the planned Community Center at 51 Park Place in Manhattan. The Council also voiced support of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whom they characterize as “a religious leader allied with the best of both our traditions,” who has “repeatedly denounced Islamist terrorism and has admonished members of his congregation to be, both good Americans and good Muslims.”[Hat Tip: Capitol Confidential]
The Council pointed to the planned Park51 Community Center as an opportunity for America to demonstrate to the world that it stands up for its principles of religious freedom.
Pointing out that those “seeking to build The Community Center at Park51 in lower Manhattan lost family members in the September 11th tragedy also,” the Council praised the project as “a tribute to the American way of life,” in that “those whose faith is often blamed for the sins of extremists that happen to claim the same religious label, wish to turn this place into one that is life-giving for the community. Bringing life to an area still physically and economically depressed by the events of nine years ago will show extremists that the spirit they sought to eradicate still thrives and that new vitality will grow here.”