Back on December 8, 2009, the New York Times ran a puff piece on the proposed Ground Zero mosque at the site of a building hit in the World Trade Center attacks. In that piece the following quote ran:
Despite the potential backlash against an Islamic institution opening so close to ground zero, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who already leads prayers and reads from the Koran inside the building, said that the location was one of the project's key selling points. "New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic," said the 61-year-old cleric, who is known for being a longtime critic of radical Islam. Being in a building "where a piece of the wreckage fell," he added, "sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11 ... We want to push back against the extremists."
Now that quote is gone. Poof.
The NY Times has since scrubbed this telling remark, "New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic," and the paragraph now reads:
The building has no sign that hints at its use as a Muslim prayer space, but these modest beginnings point to a far grander vision: an Islamic center near the city’s most hallowed piece of land that would stand as one of ground zero’s more unexpected and striking neighbors.
The location was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims who bought the building in July. A presence so close to the World Trade Center, “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11.”
“We want to push back against the extremists,” added Imam Feisal, 61.
They removed the quote. Why?