The last few weeks have been very interesting to watch from the sidelines. I'm not a political person. I'm more of a "get it done" kind of guy who gets annoyed when people can't put aside their differences and compromise to come to a decision. I am decidedly a liberal, so you can go ahead and hold that against me. And I'm an atheistic-leaning agnostic, just to get that out of the way.
I'm annoyed enough that I'm willing to put up with some grief for taking a position that doesn't seem to be popular at the moment. The U.S. Constitution in the Bill of Rights - Amendment 1 - protects freedom of religion...
Amendment 1: Freedom of Religion, Press, Expression
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Now, as far as I remember, state and local laws can't supersede Federal laws. And it doesn't get much higher than the Bill of Rights and the Constitution.
The Muslim community has just as much right to build in that area as any other religious group does. If it was in my neighborhood, I wouldn't object to any community center that a) was respectful of the beliefs of non-believers who also live/work/play in the area and b) obeyed the federal, state, and local laws of the area.
That said, the New York zoning folks may have some regulation that prevents them from approving the new Muslim community center. If so and it's not based on religion, then I'm good with it. See (b) above. But I have to wonder if we would we even be having this discussion at a national level if it was a Christian, Jewish, Hindi, Shinto, Buddhist, Scientology, Wiccan, or even Rastafarian group looking to reuse the space of the old Burlington Coat Factory building.