As I previously pointed out, you don’t have to get into Constitutional questions, sanctified ground, and other such issues to see the problem with the proposed “Ground Zero” mosque. There are two critical issues which should settle matters:
–On purely “normal” grounds of city regulations, legal requirements, and good business practices, this project should never have gotten off the ground. The developer has a bad record and is incapable of implementing the project, the financing isn’t there, and they don’t even own half the property in question.
–What we are dealing with, then, is not “Islamophobia” but special privileges accorded to a group beyond what others would have received. This has been done, in part, by politicians who wanted to bask in the light of pretended tolerance and ensure they weren’t accused of “Islamophobia.”
When democratic governments ignore their own laws and mass media stop reporting the news that means trouble. Now there’s even more evidence to support my thesis.
The project’s chief developer, Sharif el-Gamal, has been evicted from his Soho office for not paying $39,000 in back rent. It is just one more in a long string of http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/17/nyregion/17rift.html?pagewanted=1&sq=fe…“>brushes with the law by this man, whose sudden rise from wealth waiter to multimillionaire still cannot be explained. Nothing wrong with someone bettering himself but when the way it has happened is so mirky and the person is involved in such a controversial project that calls for some investigation being done.
Now the mosque’s imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, who has been painted by the mass media in near-saintly terms despite a history of radical Islamist statements, is showing his seamy side. He’s the owner of two New Jersey apartment buildings where he has refused to make repairs, endangering tenants’ lives, and now is defying a court. See HERE and HERE for details. Here’s a study of Rauf’s record by a Muslim critic.
There are two additional lessons from this information.
–One tenant, Cindy Balko, said: “I’ve been here since the building opened [in 1990] and it hasn’t been peaceful with this owner. He cares nothing about the people who live in this building. Not a thing….It’s fine and dandy that he can build a mosque,” Balko said. “But he doesn’t take care of this building or the building around the corner, and he’s going to take care of a mosque?”
Right. Equally, he cares nothing about the feelings of the people of New York or of the country who have asked that the mosque be moved. His response was to threaten them–only as an observer, of course–of massive violence in the Muslim-majority world and the killing of U.S. soldiers if they don’t do what he wants.
–Rauf views himself as being above the law. Aside from all of the above points, he simply didn’t show up for a court hearing, with no explanation, nor submit documents demanded by the judge who, understandably, blasted Rauf and his lawyer for their behavior.
But why shouldn’t he think himself above the law when New York City and New York State has been so quick to treat him that way regarding the mosque issue, while the State Department send him on a free trip despite his lack of support for U.S. foreign policy (a requirement, even if they don’t admit that publicly) and doesn’t spring into action to investigate reports that he is using the trip to raise money (a violation of State Department regulations).
The buildings are so dangerous that Union City, NJ, is suing him to take them over. The risk of fire is considered so dangerous that taxpayers there must pay for a fire watch. Tenants are living amidst leaks, mold, bedbug and rodent infestation, as well as fire hazards. according to the city’s mayor.
As a “man of God” who talks about morality all the time, bridge-building, etc., it is particularly egregious for Rauf to act this way. Given the fact that he knows he is controversial and people can be expected to look for “dirt” on him, it is reckless behavior and shows dangerous character flaws. Or maybe he isn’t worried about the mass media investigating him because it hasn’t up until now done so.
This is a pattern seen around the world, including the failure to report on key indicators of what radical Islamists think and do, see here and here for examples. When political extremists and criminal con-men receive, respectively, concessions and flattery or special privileges they don’t respond with gratitude but with increased aggression and rapacity. They conclude that they are entitled to everything they want and act accordingly.
Your “Backer of NYC mosque gave to Hamas-linked charity” describes the case of a wealthy Hamas backer. AP gives him the last, nasty word.
“When you see people surrounded by tanks and F-16s, you ask how can we help?” he is quoted saying innocently. AP will not comment that these tanks and F-16s are there to protect, not to attack.
Palestinians are Israel’s victims and Israel is the aggressor, always. Sure. In AP’s war book.
Shalom, via apisraelwatch.wordpress.com
Last week we wondered aloud about the very mysterious Hisham Elzanaty, the money man behind the criminal Sharif El-Gamal, the so-called developer of the Ground Zero Mosque., the holy man who’s been arrested seven times and who owes $224,000 in back taxes.
Well, now we know a little more about Elzanaty, no thanks to the lamestream media who has no interest in his ties to radical Islamists.
An Egyptian-born businessman who lives on Long Island — and who once gave thousands of dollars to a Hamas front group — is a major investor in the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, it was reported last night, in the first disclosure of the money behind the controversial project.
Hisham Elzanaty was a “significant investor” in developer Sharif el-Gamal’s $4.8 million purchase of the former Burlington Coat Factory building, where the mosque and Islamic cultural center will be built, the donor’s lawyer, Wolodymyr Starosolsky, told Fox 5 News.
El-Gamal himself has refused to disclose where he got the money to buy the building in July 2009. Elzanaty owns a $2 million home in Roslyn Heights, and operates medical companies out of a building in The Bronx. He also owns the New York Neuro and Rehab Center in Morningside Heights.
State records show he was ordered to repay $331,000 after an audit revealed Medicaid had overpaid him in 2004-2005.
Elzanaty didn’t return calls last night. Starosolsky would not discuss the Fox 5 report with The Post.
Shortly after the Burlington building was acquired, Elzanaty also co-signed a $39 million mortgage so that el-Gamal’s company, Soho Properties, $45.7million building in Chelsea from developer Stei k ff money man,” a source told The Post.
In 1999, he donated $6,000 to the Texas-based Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, which was later shut down because of its ties to terrorism.
The foundation was the largest Islamic charity in the US until the feds froze its assets and designated it a terrorist organization following an FBI probe after 9/11.
In 2008, five of its leaders were convicted of providing material support to Hamas.
Elzanaty’s contribution to the Holy Land Foundation was uncovered by the DC-based Investigative Project on Terror.
Elzanaty believed he was spending $500 a month to help orphans, his lawyer told The Post.
Sure, thaty’s believable. Well, if your name is Michael Bloomberg, that is. Does anyone have a concern here?
So now it transpires that a key money- man behind the proposed Ground Zero mosque is a one-time supporter of a group shut down by the feds because it was a front for Hamas.
No wonder the mosque’s principal imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, refuses to discuss the project’s finances.
Or, for that matter, refuses to speak harshly of Hamas — an Iranian cat’s-paw that’s long been one of the deadliest Islamist terrorist organizations operating in the Mideast.
It was reported last night that Hisham Elzanaty — an Egyptian-born businessman from Long Island — provided a big chunk of the $4.8 million needed to buy the building that will be demolished to make way for the mosque.
Among other things, Elzanaty runs a Bronx-based medicial supply company that had to refund more than $300,000 in Medicaid payments in 2004-2005.
In 1999, he donated thousands to the Holy Land Foundation, later shuttered by the feds because of its Hamas ties.
All of this is, as they say, enough to give one pause.
But we doubt it will truly surprise any among the 71 percent of New Yorkers found this week by Quinnipiac University pollsters to oppose the mosque.
Mayor Mike and others think they are bigots, but most seem to have asked — and answered to their own satisfaction — a fair question:
How close to the scene of that deadly Islamist attack on America is too close to build a mosque?
Answer: The proposed site was close enough to have been hit by a landing-gear assembly from one of the crashed airliners — and that’s way too close.
They’re also nervous about the project’s backers — even before Elzanaty popped up — deciding that, with those folks involved, anywhere might be too close.
As The Post reported yesterday, Rauf has been catching iffy tax breaks since 1998 for an organization run from his wife’s Upper West Side apartment.
How’d he do it? By telling the IRS the one-bedroom digs were actually a mosque where 500 people prayed daily.
These are only the latest revelations about the mosque’s backers, who’ve run up a cumulative record of petty crime, slumlording and tax-scamming.
And that’s being generous.
Rauf, who’s due back in New York this weekend after a long trip abroad, has plenty of explaining to do to the people he’s been thumbing in the eye for weeks.
First there is Elzanaty’s role, of course.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: Whence the $100 million needed for the mosque?
And then there is this.
At a forum in Dubai on Tuesday, Rauf appeared to call the 71 percent of New Yorkers who oppose his project religious “extremists.”