NYCBA President Samuel W. Seymour Gives Opinion On Proposed Islamic Cultural Center

Monday, August 30, 2010 - 00:00

"We are concerned with the efforts to chill the exercise of First Amendment rights of members of the Muslim community who seek to build the Park51 Islamic Cultural Center near the World Trade Center site. As there appears to be no legal impediment to building Park51, we applaud Mayor Bloomberg for his decision not to interfere with the siting of the center. The law should not be contorted to infringe upon the lawful exercise of religion. Freedom of religion is one of the cornerstones of our Constitution and our democratic traditions; indeed it is what brought many of this nation's early settlers to our shores, and millions more since. The concepts of tolerance and religious freedom are deeply embedded in our legal system. Our nation is the stronger, both internally and in its standing in the world, for preserving religious freedom."