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Mosque opponents file suit

March 14, 2011 at 10:15 PM

NEW YORK, March 14 (UPI) -- Opponents of a planned mosque near Ground Zero have filed a suit saying New York wrongly failed to give landmark status to the building that will house it.

Lawyers for a conservative advocacy group founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson are preparing to argue before a Manhattan judge the city erroneously did not give landmark status to a 152-year-old warehouse at 45-47 Park Place, two blocks north of Ground Zero, the New York Daily News reported Monday.

Plans called for the site, known as the Park51 project, to house a community center and Muslim prayer space. The project was given the go-ahead by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in August.

"This was political correctness running the issue," said Brett Joshpe, a lawyer for Robertson's group, the American Center for Law and Justice. "Clearly, there was a degree of advocacy, too, on the part of the mayor's office."

The center backed a lawsuit filed in August by firefighter Timothy Brown to challenge the decision by the commission but the suit has been thrown out, the News reported.

Gabriel Taussig, a lawyer for the city of New York said the ruling not to give the building landmark status was "irrefutably rational."

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