Gov. David A. Paterson said Tuesday that he would consider offering state-owned property to the developers of a $100 million Muslim center and mosque if they decided to build it farther from ground zero.
“I understand that some people are not happy with the prospect of an Islamic center opening in Manhattan, but relocating it to public property raises significant legal issues,” said the Rev. Barry W. Lynn, executive director of Americans United. “Whether the governor is talking about a gift of public land or a sweetheart deal that gives one religious group a special right to purchase government property, it’s wrong.
“In America,” continued Lynn, “government does not subsidize religion or give religious groups preferential treatment.”