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Mosque Debate: Gov. Paterson Asks for a Week's Silence

New York Gov. Paterson asks both sides to honor Rosh HaShana, Eid al Fitr and 9/11, and take a break from the Ground Zero mosque debate.
By Gil Ronen
First Publish: 9/7/2010, 7:22 PM / Last Update: 9/7/2010, 7:14 PM

 

New York Governor David Paterson suggested that New Yorkers refrain, this week, from discussing the highly contentious plan for a Muslim mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero. The reason: the week is one that includes the Jewish New Year, the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday, and the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 massacres. Paterson was quoted on the New York Daily News website.
 
“The greater issue involving this situation is how can we bring New York's people back together and I propose that perhaps in light of the fact that Rosh Hashanah is this week, the Jewish New Year, that the celebration of Ramadan is coming at the end of the week and that we should all be focused on our concern to those who lost relatives [on] Sept. 11,” Paterson said, “perhaps we might think more in terms of supporting those families who are on both sides of this issue as all of us are and maybe all step back and try to devote a week of peace.”
 
The governor announced that he would try not to speak about the issue for a week, “just to see if this exercise would help New Yorkers and Americans remember that the terrorists didn't care who we were when they attacked us and we should think a lot about the fact that in many ways, we were all victims."
 
Rosh HaShana will commence Wednesday evening. Eid al-Fitr will occur on Thursday or Friday, depending on sightings of the moon. September 11 will be Saturday.