AirTalk for July 13, 2010

Mosque expansions face opposition: what’s at stake—infrastructure or religion?

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(Photo by Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

A proposed site for a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan is seen (L) near the Woolworth Tower (lower right) May 25, 2010 in New York City. The plan to build the 15-story, $100 million mosque -- which is so close to the site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that debris from one of the hijacked planes smashed through the roof of the existing building there -- is surrounded by controversy, and politicians and activists are preparing on both sides of the debate.

Plans to construct a mosque near Ground Zero in New York have made big headlines—now, a proposed expansion to a Temecula mosque is coming before the city’s planning commission. Some critics there say they are concerned about traffic and noise pollution, while others are questioning not the specific building plans, but rather the very nature of Islam and its practice in the United States. Should certain religious edifices face stricter scrutiny than others? Or should city planners only take environmental impacts into consideration? And what's ultimately at stake, land development or religion?

Guests:

Samuel Goldsmith, reporter, New York Daily News

Jeff Horseman, reporter covering Temecula for The Press-Enterprise


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