The developers behind a planned mosque near the site of the 9/11 attacks should "put the brakes" on construction until more is clarified about their intentions, Sen. Joe Lieberman said Tuesday.
The independent Connecticut Democrat is joining some Republican lawmakers and conservative activists who have protested against the project, according to The Hill.
“I'd say I'm troubled by it, but I don't know enough to say that it ought to be prohibited," Lieberman said on "Imus in the Morning" on the Fox Business Network. "But frankly I've heard enough about it and read enough about it that I wish somebody in New York would just put the brakes on for a while and take a look at this."
Lieberman said the project should be put on hold until the developers of the project can be more fully vetted, The Hill reported.
"I've also read some things about some of the people involved that make me wonder about their motivations. So I don't know enough to reach a conclusion, but I know enough to say that this thing is only going to create more division in our society, and somebody ought to put the brakes on it," he said. "Give these people a chance to come out and explain who they are, where their money's coming from."
A New York City agency denied an existing property "landmark" status Tuesday as opponents of the Islamic center had asked, clearing the way for the new center's construction.
Lieberman, who is an Orthodox Jew, noted that while places of worship should enjoy a special status in the U.S., outreach to victims' families "obviously hasn't worked."
"If the people building this large Islamic center are just looking to build a large facility — a house of worship and center — in New York, why so close to 9/11, with all the sensitivity associated with that?" he asked.
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