Angry relatives of 9/11 victims last night clashed with supporters of a planned mosque near Ground Zero at a raucous community-board hearing in Manhattan.
After four hours of public debate, members of Community Board 1 finally voted 29-1 in support of the project. Nine members abstained, arguing that they wanted to table the issue and vote at a later date.
The board has no official say over whether the estimated $100 million mosque and community center gets built. But the panel’s support, or lack of it, is considered important in influencing public opinion.
Holding up photos of loved ones killed in the Twin Towers and carrying signs such as, “Honor 3,000, 9/11 — No mosque!” opponents of the proposed Cordoba House on Park Place called the plan an insult to the terror-attack victims.
“That is a burial ground,” said retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, referring to the fact that victims’ remains were scattered for blocks.
Santora’s 23-year-old son, Christopher, was the youngest firefighter to die that day.
“I do have a problem with having a mosque on top of the site where [terrorists] can gloat about what they did,” said Santora, with his wife, Maureen, by his side.