The Imam behind the Park51 development hopes that opening his books will open hearts for his Islamic community center.
In an effort to bolster fundraising and ease any suspicion towards the $100 million dollar price tag for the Park51 Islamic community center, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has allowed the US Government to sign off on all donations made to the development.
Also, according to a report in today’s New York Post, Rauf stated that “the mosque and Islamic cultural center will have a board of directors that will include Muslims, Christians and Jews.” This may be seen as yet another olive branch towards easing dissent towards building a mosque and islamic center near Ground Zero.
The inclusion of an inter-faith board of directors might have been in response to Julie Menin, Chairwoman of Community Board 1’s open column in the Daily News calling for a revised interfaith plan for the Park51 development. In that column Menin states, “I believe it is still possible to bridge the gap without compromising the core principles of what this project is about — not by moving the mosque further away from the site of the attacks, but by bringing other faiths in.”
How do you feel about the US Government being allowed to sign off on all donations made to the Park51 development?
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.
Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver is calling for the relocation of the controversial Park51 mosque.
Silver, who agrees that the Constitution protects the rights of the developers who want to build the community center and mosque, also feels they should be as interested in compassion for 9/11 victim families
“They should find a suitable place that won’t cause the same controversy,” Silver stated at a press conference with Gov. Paterson.
The Governor also offered his help in relocating the Park51 development. Discussions between the developers and the Governor have not materialized.
Silver’s call for reconsideration came right before the Governor was set to speak with Archbishop Timothy Dolan to discuss Park51 and how to facilitate moving the controversial development.
Park51 and the Cordoba Initiative have stated clearly their resolve in staying at 45-51 Park Place, and show no signs of relocating their community center. Daisy Kahn, one of the founders and wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, had stated that the relocation matter was “a bigger fight.”
The controversy surrounding the development of a Muslim center near Ground Zero has only solidified focus towards its existence, according to the developers.
In an article published by the Washington Post, Daisy Kahn, one of the founders of the development and wife of Imam Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf has vowed to not back down on the building and has blamed Republicans for the uproar caused by the development.
“We have too important a moment to back down. We have to take our opponents and transform them. What gives me strength [is] we are in a history-making moment. Our ideals must prevail.”
She also noted that the organizers will be reaching out to 9/11 families. Our own site, BatteryParkCity.com has been contacted by Park51 to organize community outreach in our area towards alleviating worries our community might have towards the building of the community center and mosque in our neighborhood.
Also according to the article, Kahn has claimed that there hasn’t been overwhelming interest in the development outside the country, but she’s hoping that will change with her husbands international tour.
The Associated Press is reporting that the Governor has offered state help to help the developers of the Park51 mosque if they are willing to relocate the project away from the surrounding Ground Zero area.
According to the report, Governor Paterson was quoted in a press conference today saying, “I think it’s rather clear that building a center there meets all the requirements, but it does seem to ignite an immense amount of anxiety among the citizen of New York and people everywhere, and I think not without cause.”
“I am very sensitive to the desire of those who are adamant against it to see something else worked out. We are really suffering in many respects — impassioned feelings were bound to emerge from a mosque just a couple of blocks from where nearly 3,000 people died at the hands of Muslim extremists.”
There was no comment yet from the developers of the project as well as from Mayor Michael Bloomberg.
According to the rest of the report, a recent Marist College poll released today found that 53 percent of New York City voters polled oppose the construction of the Ground Zero site, with only 34 percent favoring the developers plan.