Tuesday, November 23, 2010

‘Ground Zero Mosque’ Outrage

by Eric Shawn

He wants your money. The developer of the so called "Ground Zero Mosque" is applying for federal taxpayer money to help him build the controversial and contentious project. The funds are designated to help lower Manhattan recover from the 9-11 terrorist attacks, which took place just around the corner from the proposed mosque and cultural center location.

Sharif El-Gamal, the head of SOHO Properties, says the money will be used for a variety of services for Park51, as the project is called.

In a statement, El-Gamal said he is, "…committed to exploring all sources of revenue and funding to build the community center," noting that the request for a reported $5 million would help provide "social service programs....such as domestic violence prevention, Arabic and other foreign language classes, programs and services for homeless veterans, two multi-cultural arts exhibits and immigration services."

El-Gamal did not specify exactly how much of the taxpayers' funds would be allocated to "build the community center."

"It's absolutely disgraceful," said an angry Congressman Peter King (R-NY) who is likely to be the new chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

"It goes entirely against the spirit of the fund," King told Fox News. "It's an affront to the memory of all those who were murdered on 9-11. There are so many worthwhile projects in lower Manhattan. This shows a gross insensitivity to the most fundamental feelings of New Yorkers and to those murdered on 9-11 it is a slap in the face that is a terrible insult."

King also notes that the reported $5 million request represents nearly one-third of all the $17 million that is now available. 265 groups have applied for the funding.

"It's the height of arrogance, that is really desecrating the memory of the lives that were lost that day," says construction worker Andy Sullivan, who is behind the group 9-11 Hard Hats.com which opposes the project. He says 45,000 people have logged onto the website to support his effort.

"He's going to take the money that I work for? That gets taken out of my paycheck, to fund something that I am completely and absolutely against? Not on my watch."

Eric Shawn

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