Republican Bob Turner’s campaign spokesman, Bill O’Reilly, sent out a statement, asking, “Is it appropriate for a mosque to be built in the shadow of the World Trade Center?”
The question was posed one day after Weprin — who supported the proposal — was endorsed by Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman — who opposed it.
Raising this issue is an attempt by Turner to get Weprin to defend an issue that struck a nerve with some socially conservative New Yorkers, and, presumably, to drive a wedge between Weprin and some of the district’s many Jewish voters.
Update: A reader notes Weprin had a more nuanced position than Turner may be suggesting. Weprin supported the developer’s right to build the facility — Park 51 it’s called — at it’s current location. But Weprin actually favored then-Governor Paterson’s idea of working out a compromise to move it further away from Ground Zero.