Judge Dismisses Ex-Firefighter’s Case Against Ground Zero-Area Mosque
By: Colin Moynihan
July 10th, 2011
In what appears to be the last legal challenge to the project, a Manhattan judge has dismissed a lawsuit by former New York City firefighter Timothy Brown who is trying to halt the construction of the Park51 Islamic community center near Ground Zero by overturning a decision by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission to deny landmark status to a 150-year-old building on the Park Place site.
According to the New York Times, the building, damaged in the attacks of Sept. 11, was once home to a Burlington Coat Factory store.
Justice Paul Feinman termed Brown “an individual with a strong interest in preservation of the building,” but failed to see that he had any special legal standing in the case.
Sharif El-Gamal, the center’s developer, admitted that despite the legal victory, the center faces other issues. Gamal has not yet raised a the $100 million necessary for construction.
Adam Leitman Bailey, who represented Gamal in the case, called the decision “a victory for America.” He said: “Despite the tempest of religious hatred, the judge flexed our Constitution’s muscles enforcing the very bedrock of our democracy.”