Sheer malice 0

The would-be builders of the mosque and community-center next to Ground Zero do not own all of the site they want to develop.

Half of it is owned by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (“Con Ed”), a company that provides electric, gas, and steam service in New York City.

Apparently neither Community Board 1, which approved the plans for the mosque, nor the Muslim developers themselves knew this.

From the New York Post:

“We never heard anything about Con Ed whatsoever,” said a stunned Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, which passed a May resolution supporting the mosque.

Daisy Khan, one of the mosque’s organizers [and wife of its imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf], told The Post last week that both buildings on Park Place are needed to house the worship and cultural center. But she claimed ignorance about the Con Ed ownership of 49-51 Park Place and referred questions to Soho Properties, which bought the building at 45-47 Park Place in 2009.

Rep. Peter King, who opposes the mosque, said the developers seemed to be “operating under false pretenses.”

“I wonder what else they are hiding,” said King (R-LI). “If we can’t have the full truth on this, what can we believe?”

Any hope that Con Ed will refuse to sell – a refusal that could scuttle the offensive project – would be misplaced. Their site, 49-51 Park Place, “is being appraised for a possible sale to Soho Properties, the developer behind the controversial mosque.”

However, the Public Service Commission would have to approve the sale. It’s a five-member board, controlled by Governor Paterson.

Governor Paterson seems to be more aware than Mayor Bloomberg that a huge mosque built on the edge of Ground Zero will offend millions of Americans. He has offered state help for the Muslim project if the developers will consent to building their mosque and community-center elsewhere:

“It does seem to ignite an immense amount of anxiety among the citizens of New York and people everywhere, and I think not without cause,” Paterson said in a news conference in Manhattan.

But the offer left the developers and Mayor Bloomberg cold:

The developers declined to comment. Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who last week made an impassioned defense of the project planned for lower Manhattan, declined to comment through a spokesman.

So it seems that the important thing for the Muslim developers is to build on the site next to Ground Zero.

Why is Mayor Bloomberg so keen that the mosque projects should go ahead?

Kathy Barkulis at Front Page suggests why:

Mayor Bloomberg’s strident support of building a mosque at Ground Zero made me think that he had to make nice with the Saudi’s for monetary purposes. In my mind there could be no other reason for Bloomberg to take such a stand as the Mayor of New York City. …

I don’t know what’s in Mayor Bloomberg’s heart, but I’ll take an educated guess. His vast empire depends on current and future financial dealings with Saudi Arabia. It is in his best interest to make nice with them. … Bloomberg can score big personally by staying in favor with the Saudis.

So the plan to build the mosque, plainly motivated to start with by nothing better than sheer malice, will almost certainly be carried out.

Difficult to believe 1

It is widely reported today  – here, for instance –  that the Imam who plans to build that mosque next to Ground Zero is touring several rich Arab states as an official representative of the US, sent by the State Department at tax-payers’ expense.

P.J.Crowley (formerly of the George Soros funded Center for American Progress), speaking for the State Department, said:

“We have a long-term relationship with him. His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it’s like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States.”

Two leading Republican members of Congress, Reps. Ilean Ros-Lehtinen of Florida and Peter King of New York, called government sponsorship of Rauf’s trip “unacceptable” in a joint statement. They said he had suggested in at least one interview that the United States was to blame for the Sept. 11 attacks

The State Department’s selection of Feisal Abdul Rauf to represent the American people through this program further calls into question the administration’s policy and funding priorities,” Ros-Lehtinen and King, who are the ranking members of the Foreign Affairs and Homeland Security committees, said in their statement.

Crowley said that during the trip Rauf will not be allowed to raise funds for the proposed Islamic Center and mosque near ground zero … [and that] the Obama administration has no position on Rauf’s plans, which he termed a local zoning matter for New York. But he acknowledged that the State Department had posted a transcript of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Aug. 3 speech defending the project on a website that it runs for foreign audiences.

“We posted it because we thought it was useful for people overseas to understand perspectives on this issue,” Crowley said. “We certainly support what the mayor was underscoring, which is the history of religious diversity and religious tolerance in his city.”

In addition to the original English language version of Bloomberg’s speech, the department has posted Arabic and Farsi translations of the remarks in which the mayor adamantly rejected opposition to the mosque.

Apparently, in their passionate quest for tolerance and religious diversity, the State Department is actually giving tax-payers’ money to Muslims all over the world to build mosques and Islamic community centers.

This is from American Thinker:

Newsweek, the Washington Post’s former progressive stepchild, published an op-ed by Fareed Zakaria, the in-house lapdog for the Administration, extolling the virtues of building the Ground Zero Mosque. A couple of sentences demand a great deal more explanation. …

“Washington has funded mosques, schools, institutes, and community centers that are trying to modernize* Islam around the world. We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them. Were this mosque being built in a foreign city, chances are that the U.S. government would be funding it.”

Perhaps we all missed the memo where US taxpayers are gleefully funding Islamic “mosques, schools, institutes, and community centers” around the globe. Of course, US troops have restored hundreds of schools and community centers in Iraq and Afghanistan, but mosques and Islamic institutes? This seems very difficult to believe.

So, as an enraged and curious taxpaying citizen, I have a few questions for Mr. Zakaria, our Congress and this Administration. What are the locations, costs, and dates of construction of these US taxpayer-funded mosques and Islamic institutes? … What particular piece of Congressional legislation authorized US taxpayer dollars to be spent on these mosques and Islamic institutes?

The Constitution states “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” I’m damn sure spending US taxpayer dollars on constructing mosques was not envisioned by the Founding Fathers nor by the overwhelming majority of American citizens.

*Daniel Greenfied, at Canada Free Press, writes on the question Is Islam’s Problem a Lack of Modernity? and demonstrates that it is not: Islam makes use of all the amenities of our time. Muslims cannot invent them, but they can and do exploit them.

What Islam lacks is intellectual enlightenment, which could bring it to tolerance and acceptance of religious diversity – in other words, to so complete a transformation that it would no longer be Islam.