Showing posts with label Mosque. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mosque. Show all posts

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

New Jersey City Sues Mosque Imam

JERSEY CITY, N.J., Sept. 14 (UPI) -- Union City, N.J., sued the imam planning the controversial Islamic center in New York, saying he is a "terrible landlord" to his tenants there.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in Hudson County Superior Court is unrelated to the dispute over the so-called Ground Zero mosque, a proposed cultural, sports and religious center two blocks from the World Trade Center site, The Star-Ledger of Newark reported.

Union City officials say that Feisal Abdul Rauf ignored citations for violations of housing codes in two buildings for years, including 12 violations of fire codes handed out a year before a fire.

"He's a terrible landlord who's unresponsive to the residents who live in his building," said Mark Albiez, a city spokesman. "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 insure that residents receive the care that is needed."

The city is seeking to put the two buildings into receivership, using rents from tenants to make repairs. The larger building has been empty since the fire in 2008.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Our Secret Muslim President

Which is the sadder commentary on the state of public discourse in the United States here in the late summer of 2010:

That 20 percent of Americans told pollsters they believe President Barack Obama is a Muslim?

Or, that suggesting someone is a Muslim would be circulated as a way to denigrate that person?

Two facts about the poll results released last week by the Pew Research Center are particularly distressing. First, the poll was taken before President Obama waded into the controversy surrounding plans to build an Islamic center including a mosque near the Ground Zero site in New York City. That means that if the poll were taken today, the percentage holding that opinion would undoubtedly be greater. Second, and perhaps most astoundingly, the percentage of Americans who say Mr. Obama is a Muslim is considerably higher now than it was when he assumed the presidency 18 months ago.

What does it all mean? Nothing good. That was a time when conspiracy theories and blatant falsehoods were relegated to the far fringes of society. But thanks to the prevalence of Internet-fueled rumors — and, sad to say, the decline and vilification by many of the once-trusted "mainstream media" — it is now much more likely for such bizarre beliefs to spread. (And if you don't think the notion that President Obama is a Muslim is tantamount to a conspiracy theory, just consider how many millions of people in government, media and ordinary life would have to be involved in upholding the "lie" that he is a Christian.)

Less strange, but perhaps more sad, is the reason Mr. Obama's enemies are spreading this falsehood: their supreme confidence that being labeled a Muslim is a sinister mark against him, akin to alcoholism or philandering. In light of the shameful reaction to the Manhattan mosque episode, we fear it may be a long time indeed before this particular variety of "slander" loses its currency.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Ground Zero Mosque Protest Planned

The Coalition to honor Ground Zero is set to hold a rally on Sunday, August 22, in order to prevent construction of the planned mosque.

President Obama's support for the construction of a mega-mosque and Islamic center two blocks from ground zero in lower Manhattan has sparked public outrage and bipartisan condemnation. The controversial plan would place a 13-story mosque where Islamic terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people on 9/11. The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero will rally with patriotic Americans from all backgrounds near the World Trade Center site on Sunday, August 22nd to protest construction of the mosque and make clear the message that they want no stealth jihad or brutal Shariah Islamic Law in America.

Among those who will be represented at the Sunday rally are blue-collar workers who have united and are taking a "Hardhat Pledge" - promising not to take part in the building of the mosque. In addition, firefighters, veterans, the families of 9/11 victims, first responders, human rights and women's rights leaders, and residents of the Ground Zero neighborhood will be present in support of the rally this Sunday.

"The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero, the 9/11 Families and first responders are heartened by the support of the many patriots from around America who will be joining the Coalition on Sunday to seek the truth about this mosque, its Imam, and his financial supporters," stated Tim Brown, a firefighter who was at the World Trade Center on 9/11 as the buildings came down and who lost 93 friends that day.

"The Coalition will continue to pursue why our State Department is sending an Imam around the country and abroad who stated that 'United States' policies were an accessory to the crime that happened [on 9/11]' and that ' the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.'"

Andy Sullivan, a construction worker who was at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and who created the Hardhat Pledge, states: "Our opposition to the Ground Zero mosque is not about freedom of religion but about respect and human decency."

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

N.Y. Governor to Meet With "Ground Zero" Mosque Developers But No Plans to Relocate

New York Gov. David Paterson expects to meet in the near future with developers of a proposed Islamic cultural center that would include a mosque near Manhattan's Ground Zero, The Washington Post reported Tuesday, but a key voice in the discussion denied to Fox News any plans to relocate."

Paterson last week offered his help and the possibility that state land could be used for an alternative site for the project.

The Post reported Tuesday that Paterson spokesman Morgan Hook said that the governor's staff is talking with developers, but no formal discussions have taken place on the the $100 million building.

"However, we expect to have a meeting scheduled in the near future," he said.

After a similar report appeared Monday in an Israeli newspaper, Sharif El-Gamal of SoHo Properties, which owns the property at Park 51, said it's absolutely wrong to suggest that the site is being abandoned.

"No. No. No," El-Gamal said.

'The reports that we may be abandoning the project are completely incorrect. We are committed to our plans of building Park 51 to serve the community of lower Manhattan. Our mission is one of peace, understanding and tolerance," he said.

The 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque that would be located two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood until Sept. 11, 2001, has raised a national argument over the First Amendment and anger over the terror attacks.

Supporters say the mosque and its founders do not represent the beliefs of anyone associated with the attack on the U.S. that day, and its construction will represent the freedom of religion that America prizes.

Opponents say it's not a constitutional question, but one of right and wrong since no one wants to deny the Muslim community the right to practice its religion, but to show a greater respect and sensitivity for the tragedy.

The issue has caused a major debate among politicians, including President Obama, whose various comments over the weekend have forced lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to stake positions on whether they support the mosque's location or prefer the developers to move it.

Congress and the White House have no recourse to prevent its construction, and local officials last week approved new construction at the site, which is currently an old Burlington Coat Factory building that suffered damage from landing gear from one of the planes that hit the Twin Towers.

Late Monday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is in a tough race for re-election, suggested SoHo Properties find an alternate location. The statement was cast as a break from the president on an increasingly unpopular issue.

The White House said Tuesday it got the heads-up from Reid that he was going to side against the mosque's site.

"We had a sense of what they were going to do," White House spokesman Bill Burton said, describing Reid as an independent individual and strong leader in the Democratic Party.

However, one imam who complained that Muslims are being prevented from building mosques elsewhere around the country chastised Reid.

"It has political capital, but very negative political capital. It speaks to the worst of politics to advance aspirations for the White House, Senate or House or people already in the Senate, the majority leader of Senate, because the race is so close in Nevada. I'm talking about Harry Reid," Mahdi Bray, executive director of Muslim American Society Freedom.

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, who strongly opposes Park 51 as the site for the mosque, will attend a previously scheduled appearance at a fundraiser Friday night for Chris Gibson, a GOP congressional candidate in upstate New York, who says political opponents have tried to distort his stance that there should not be a mosque near Ground Zero.

"As someone who wore our nation's uniform and helped fight against those who share the extremist views of our attackers on that fateful day, I am disappointed political operatives would distort my words on the matter of how we best honor the victims of the 9/11 attacks," he said in a written statement.

"I do not support the construction of a mosque and have always felt it's neither the time nor place for it," he said.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

State Department Sending Mosque Imam To Mideast

Are the American taxpayers REALLY paying for this??

WASHINGTON (AP) - The imam behind controversial plans for a mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks is being sent by the State Department on a religious outreach trip to the Middle East, officials said Tuesday, in a move that drew criticism from conservative lawmakers.

The department is sponsoring Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's visit to Qatar, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, where he will discuss Muslim life in America and promote religious tolerance, spokesman P.J. Crowley said. He said the imam had been on two similar trips and that plans for the upcoming tour predated the mosque controversy.

"We have a long-term relationship with him," Crowley told reporters, noting that Rauf had visited Bahrain, Morocco, the United Arab Emirates and Qatar in 2007 and went to Egypt last January as part of an exchange program run by the State Department's Office of International Information Programs.

"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," Crowley said.

Rauf will not be allowed to raise funds for the proposed center during the trip, Crowley said.

Two Republican members of Congress, Reps. Ileana 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 2001 attacks and that taxpayer money should not be used to fund the tour.

"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.

The mosque, to be located two blocks from ground zero, would be part of a 13-story, $100 million Islamic center that would feature a 500-seat auditorium, a swimming pool and a gym. It's a project of the Cordoba Initiative, an advocacy group that promotes improved relations between Islam and the West.

The mosque has drawn vocal opposition from many relatives of Sept. 11 victims and local and national Republican leaders. The Anti-Defamation League, a Jewish civil rights group, is also opposed.

Crowley said 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.

New York Gov. David Paterson on Tuesday offered state assistance if developers agree to move the project farther from the Sept. 11 site. While saying he doesn't oppose the project as planned, the governor indicated that he understands the views of its opponents and said he was willing to intervene to seek other suitable state property.

"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 citizens of New York and people everywhere, and I think not without cause," Paterson said during a news conference in Manhattan.

"I am very sensitive to the desire of those who are adamant against it to see something else worked out," he said.

The developers declined to comment on Paterson's suggestion. Bloomberg declined to comment through a spokesman.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg Tells Mosque Foes To "SHUT UP ALREADY"

Like the rest of the polititions Mayor Bloomberg isn't listenting to the PEOPLE!! either. I am NOT ashamed of myself for not wanting a mosque near Ground Zero. I am not ashamed at all. I am becoming very ashamed of the political leaders in this country that seem to want to give it all to those that have nothing to with making this country great. And even more ashamed when they seem to think they know what is best for us. Not all Muslims are bad. But it is the bad Muslim, the ones that are responsible for so many lives to be lost on 9/11 and the same Muslims that have killed so many of our military men and women at home and abroad, that they spoil it for the rest. That's the way life is..........or once was.

It isn't or shouldn't be what the Muslims want nor what you want Mr. Bloomberg. It SHOULD be and NEEDS to be (once again) what Americans want. And it certainly isn't Muslim money! Is there something in this for Mayor Bloomberg?

Bloomberg won’t stop talking about the mosque near Ground Zero, harshly attacking opponents yesterday who “ought to be ashamed of themselves.”

Sounding more supportive of freedom of religion than freedom of speech, Bloomberg said, "I just don't think the government should tell people where they can pray and where they can build houses of worship.

"It is a shame that we even have to talk about this," the mayor added on his WOR radio broadcast.



The mayor ratcheted up his rhetoric against critics just days after defending the mosque in an impassioned speech on Governors Island, with the Statue of Liberty as a backdrop.

Yesterday, Bloomberg said cops and firefighters who died on 9/11 didn't ask people in the World Trade Center, "Where do you pray?" as they tried to save their lives.

"Most of the [9/11 rescuers'] families that I've talked to, they say, 'Of course our loved ones gave their lives to protect the very freedoms that we're talking about here -- people being able to practice religion and say what they want to say and be in control of their own destiny,' " the mayor said.

Bloomberg also blasted demands for a probe of the mosque builders' finances.

"Every time they pass the basket in your church and you throw a buck in, [do you want someone to] run over and say, 'OK, now where do you come from, who are your parents, where'd you get this money?' . . . A handful of people ought to be ashamed of themselves."

The Landmarks Preservation Commission's decision Tuesday to let the 152-year-old former Burlington Coat Factory building on Park Place be torn down was based solely on the building's lack of "redeeming historic value," Bloomberg said.

The building is owned by SoHo Properties. Its CEO, Sharif El-Gamal, hopes to raise $100 million for a 13-story mosque and cultural center.

Opponents pressed their case yesterday, filing a federal lawsuit against the MTA for refusing to allow anti-mosque ads on its buses.

The ads show a jet about to slam into one of the Twin Towers and depict what they call the "WTC Mega Mosque." The headline: "Why There?"

The lawsuit, filed by the American Freedom Defense Initiative, says the MTA displayed its ads before -- but without reason rejected this one.

"No decision has been made," an MTA spokesman said.

Separately, CNN host Fareed Zakaria returned a $10,000 First Amendment award to the Anti-Defamation League to protest its opposition to the mosque.