In a breaking news story, the Israeli Haaretz news agency reports:
After weeks of heated debate over plans for an Islamic community center near Ground Zero – the site of the 9/11 attacks on New York – it seems Muslim leaders will soon back down, agreeing to move to a new site.
The decision follows a high-profile campaign against the project that included advertisements on New York buses showing images of the burning Twin Towers, an iconic landmark razed when al-Qaida terrorists flew packed passenger planes into them in 2001. The New York Republican party is also said to be planning a hostile television campaign.
Sources in New York said on Monday that Muslim religious and business leaders will announce plans to abandon the project in the next few days.
New York Governor David Patterson said last weekend that Muslim leaders had rejected outright his proposal to swap the site in for another in Manhattan.
In a related story, the New York Daily News has Harry Reid breaking rank with the President and essentially saying “Me, too!” to his opponent’s position.
WASHINGTON — The Senate’s top Democrat spoke out against plans for a mosque near Ground Zero Monday, a public break from President Barack Obama’s support of the controversial prooposal.
Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev. is the highest-profile Democrat to respond to Obama’s recent backing of the mosque.
“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” said Jim Manley, a Reid spokesman. “Senator Reid respects that, but thinks that the mosque should be built some place else.”
Meanwhile, the White House sought Monday to bow out of the Ground Zero mosque debate the President jumped into three days ago, sparking criticism from both ends of the political spectrum.
Update: The New York Daily News is saying the story is not true. We will keep you updated.