Hisham Elzanaty, the developer and single largest investor in the Park51 Islamic community center vows to move forward with developing a mosque near Ground Zero.
Elzanaty has received national attention in previous weeks after receiving two offers to buy out his stakes in the development from both Donald Trump and the World Chess Federation.
Having spoken only through his attorney, Elzanaty has broke his silence admitting that the mosque was indeed his idea and that he “felt it was a great place for people to pray” and that he “didn’t expect this commotion, this hate, this anger,” according a report from the Daily News.
According to the same article, Elzanaty’s parents were victims of the EgyptAir crash in 1999 and could relate to the plights of 9/11 families having been personally affected by a terrorist attack. “I am one of them. I lived this two years before they did. I will never do anything to harm America.”
Fox 5 News in New York did an exclusive interview with Elzanaty below:
It seems we havent heard the last from Donald Trump in regards to his bid to buy the Park51 site.
Although the purported majority stakeholder, Hisham Elzanaty rebuffed Trump’s bid to buy out his stake last week — Trump made a nationwide concession on the Today Show that his deal is still on the table.
Trump offered the bid but also made a backhanded insult to our area, stipulating that his bid was not because he “the location was a spectacular one (because it is not).”
While touting a new season of “The Apprentice,” Trump explained the motivation behind his bid. “I’ve seen the turmoil downtown and it’s going to get worse. This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money.”
In response to Trump’s offer, Elzanaty’s lawyer called the bid, “just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight.”
“There won’t be a mosque.” Trump went on to elaborate, “This is a small time developer who is really into it for the money. He hasn’t said yes — but in my opinion, he’s going to sell.”
Trump then went on to admit, “But what do I know about real estate?”
Real Estate Mogul Donald Trump has offered to purchase the site where the Park51 Islamic Community Center stands.
A letter dated today was sent to the property owners via email with a statement:
“I am making this offer as a resident of New York and citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation,” Trump wrote to Hisham Elzanaty an owner who has the majority financing over the proposed site.
Building records show that the building at 45 Park Place has sold for $4.85 million in July 2009. Â According to previous statements by Elzanaty, “Develop it, raze it, sell it. If someone wants to give me $18 or 20 million dollars today, its all theirs.”
Elezanaty’s attorney made a public comment claiming Trump’s offer was merely a publicity stunt, calling the offer “laughable” and said it was not a serious one.