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            Long before the actually controversy broke out concerning the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque, a small group of Muslims gathered in prayer/ worship at the Burlington Coat factory, unnoticed by the mainstream public. Their worship place, grandfathered in as were most of the pornography and other businesses surrounding Ground Zero, was quiet and drew little if any attention to their presence. Their religion had taken many black eyes from radicals and extremist that not only killed 3000 Americans in the 9/11 attacks, but had claimed victory in bombing the USS Cole,  previous attempts to Bomb the WTC, hijackings, and too many others to list in an article and all proclaimed in the name of Allah.

            It was not surprising that, when their announcement to build a 13 story Mosque 600 feet from Ground Zero went viral, they would encounter such a strong opposition. Not only Americans but the populace of numerous countries recoiled in a fresh wave of pain and then took to the streets, airways and print to reject such a callous disregard for such hallowed ground. Although most pro-mosqkies (pronounced Mosque-key) like to target Pamela Geller as inciting the anger Americans were experiencing, she is no more to blame or credit than Lou Gehrig is for ALS.

            The entire project, which has changed, grown, been renamed and been very dubious in some of the handlings, has (a) 70% of the American population against it or its location. There is no denying it has encapsulated emotions of a nation still in mourning and angered. In reviewing the numerous twists and turns, of the firstly name “Cordoba Initiative” and now “Park 51”, we find many conflicting and somewhat disturbing facts. Whereas, the majority of people do not have the time to research it or put it a timeline, they rely upon the “news” to be their guide along the selective path of the projects history. Finding pure news is like finding a needle in a haystack since it is now slanted with personal opinion.

In reviewing a summarized list of facts, I am sure you will agree, we can assume that this project needs to be watched carefully as its exercises its rights to purchase a property, build, and worship its faith in peaceful assembly.

Lets recap some facts.

1)      (1)The world was informed through public media that Inman Rauf and Daisy Kahn announced its plans to build a 13 story Mosque 600 ft from Ground Zero. The project name was “The Cordoba Initiative”. Plans to build then-named Cordoba House were reported in The New York Times in December 2009

2)     (2)The history of Cordoba Spain and the Muslims victory being landmarked by building a Mosque near their conquest rocks the internet. Internet pages and groups against the mosque grow like wildfire with the most vocal being Pamela Gellar’s “Atlas Shrugs.”

3)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        (3)Those rally against the Mosque’s location plea to the Landmark Society to deny the building permission of the structure where the landing gear of the attacking planes had landed. The majority of the victims’ families pleaded for respect for themselves and for the victims whose ashes had covered the area. They pointed out that many structures were landmarked merely by famous people sleeping at an Inn and this building had not only been the recipient of landing gear and victims ashes but in addition was historic in the fact it housed a very old coat factory.  The Landmark society ignored the facts and gave permission for the Muslims to tear it down and build a Mosque.

4)     (4)The mayor of New York City came out against the majority of his citizens and gave his approval of the Mosque. Protests in the streets begin and Mayor Bloombergs business and holdings in Dubai come to light.

5)     (5)Numerous Sleuths start digging into the background of the owner of the property and the people around the Mosque. The owner of the building was a newly established millionaire with his previous job being a waiter in numerous NYC restaurants. He had a criminal history with his latest charge being listed as assaulting the brother of one his tenants when he refused to pay his brothers arrearages in rent. The money trail that made him a millionaire over night become questionable when it split with one area bouncing around in Saudi Arabia. If indeed true, this is where the funding for the 9/11 attacks originated.

6)      Inman Rauf announces despite public outcry asking for respect, he will proceed with “Park 51” and now refers to it as a Multi-cultural center where all faiths are welcome to enter. It will now have basketball courts, restaurants and even a 9/11 Memorial inside the once declared Mosque. The Mosque was explained to be a necessity in the beginning stages because they had outgrown their current building. Somehow the words “Multi-Cultural” is misconstrued as Multi-faith when many people’s thought processes are on their first cycle. To be fair, it is not the public’s fault since high tech sales techniques are massaged into the promotion of this building. Upon deeper inspection, one can lay out the approach and ever changing details to this mosque to any sales class that would could take in order to close the sale.   

7)     When asked why they changed the name from Mosque to a prayer space, Daisy Khan, Imam Rauf’s wife and partner, in August 2010 said: “We insist on calling it a prayer space and not a mosque, because you can use a prayer space for activities apart from prayer. You can’t stop anyone who is a Muslim despite his religious ideology from entering the mosque and staying there. With a prayer space, we can control who gets to use it.” This statement led many people to believe that it was not a community center or an interfaith community center but instead a building where the Inman and his wife could control who entered or attempted to attend any meeting. However, the statement has also been described as a pledge to keep seedy radicals out of their building.( If you were trying to sell a country on project, which way would you present it?)

8)     (8)Inman Rauf has seen the inside of the court room at least one time. Recently he was in court for basically be a slum-lord and allowing his tenants to live in ghastly conditions. “He’s a terrible landlord who’s unresponsive to the residents who live in his building,” Mark Albiez, a spokesman Union City’s mayor, Brian Stack, told the Star-Ledger. “City officials and inspectors have reached out to him to express the urgency in correcting problems in his buildings, and it’s unfortunate that it’s gotten to this point, but it’s our responsibility to ensure that residents receive the care that is needed.”

He has had numerous letters citations. Letters and visits in an attempt to make The Inman maintain the buildings he owns and is in which he is in charge have fallen on deaf ears since 2008. It is evident that the Inman’s concept of maintaining a safe and operational building and Union Town, New Jersey are extremely different. We can only hope his ideas of maintaining a clean, safe building will coincide with New York’s.

9)     (9)If anyone’s under the impression that it is only Christian Americans who are against this project then allow me to say that many Muslims are against the building. It isn’t just Americans either as my own page on Facebook had 5000 members asking for the Mosque location and before it was taken over and deleted by a Pro Mosque activist, they hailed from numerous countries from around the world. Oddly, it seems that many pro-mosqkies that are quoting the 1st amendment are the ones who try to quash the speech of those who do not agree with their opinion and not in a reputable manner either.

In Closing, I hope I remained as factual as possible without injecting too many personal opinions into what has become the strongest bridge to hate, bigotry and intolerance since the actual 9/11 events. I have to admit, when researching this article; I found so many changes, inconsistencies, criminal backgrounds, money trails and outright lies surrounding this project that I don’t see how it will ever fair amongst the people as a reputable organization/religious gathering. Whether its Bloomberg’s ties to Dubai, Inman Rauf’s court battles as a slum lord, the developers rise from waiter to Millionaire over night or the fact that every player in this operation has a dubious history with the exception of MAYBE Daisy Kahn, the Mosque is long past being seen as a Holy place of worship. The Inman states that had he known this project would have caused the pain and outcry it did, he would have never started it. However now knowing, he claims it is too late to back out and he fears retaliation from radical sects of Islam against America. Whereas some take this a threat against America in attempt to shut them up others feel he is just stating a fact. Many say that showing respect for the majority of Americans feelings and renouncing Hamas and radical Islam will show they are indeed true Americans.

How can a house of worship be built on lies, pain and criminal histories? Maybe that is one will have to play out before we can truly know the answer to that question. Either way, there is one thing that we can all be sure of; the division between the 29% of Americans for the building and the 70% against has caused hard feelings that will not be forgotten. No one which I have encountered has denied their right to build or their right to their religious freedoms yet as one “Against Mosqkie” put it “Just because they have the right to do it – doesn’t mean it is the right thing to do.”

(a) http://www.nydailynews.com/blogs/dailypolitics/2010/08/poll-nearly-70-of-americans-op.html

(1) http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/laura-ingrahams-change-of-heart-on-the-ground-zero-mosque/19596778

(2) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Mosque_of_C%C3%B3rdoba

(3) http://reference.findtarget.com/search/Park51/

(4) http://www.dubaichronicle.com/business/media/bloombergs-office-in-dubai-to-expand-its-activities-14826

(5) http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/08/28/2010-08-28_park51_developer_sharif_elgamal_has_a_history_of_runins_with_the_law.html

(8) http://www.aolnews.com/surge-desk/article/imam-feisal-abdul-rauf-accused-of-being-a-slumlord-by-n-j-town/19633740

(9) http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/muslims-against-ground-zero-mosque

http://www.billwarnerpi.com/2010/07/sharif-el-gamal-ceo-of-soho-properties.html

http://www.myfoxny.com/video/videoplayer.swf?dppversion=5390

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