Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf saw his plans for an Islamic center near ground zero derided as a victory mosque for terrorists, exploited as campaign fodder and used as a bargaining chip by a Florida pastor who vowed to burn the Koran.Oh, so that's what this scam is all about, turning your heretofore obscure nonentity or a nonprofit into a global movement. Hmmm. I wonder who that would benefit?
After that summer of mistrust and raw feeling, he's looking on the bright side.
Rauf says he hopes to use the platform he gained through the angry debate to turn his small nonprofit group into a global movement celebrating pluralism.
In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Rauf said he hopes to see interfaith centers like the one he plans to include inside the downtown Manhattan Islamic center built all over the world. Each would be dedicated to fighting extremism and promoting better relations between people of different faiths and cultures.For a man claiming to want to build better relations between people he sure has a funny way of going about it.
Whether there is hope for the proposed center two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center attacks is unclear.Wait, what? The cost is now $150 million? Throughout this entire episode I've always seen the estimates at $100 million, not that these thugs even have a fraction of that money. Or any legitimate plans of any kind for that matter.
The superheated rhetoric of August and early September has died down, aside from the occasional downtown demonstration, and there appear to be no major governmental obstacles, but the $150 million project still remains on a slow track to construction.
The developer of the site has said groundbreaking is probably three years away. The nonprofit group that would run the center is still being established. A fundraising campaign has yet to begin. Developer Sharif El-Gamal has has said he plans to borrow most of the money needed to build by selling a type of bond common in Islamic banking.A fundraising campaign has yet to begin? So how does that explains Rauf's State Department sponsored tour to raise money?
Now for more twisted logic from the deadbeat imam.
"We were part of the narrative of 9/11," Rauf said, noting that members of his own congregation, based about 10 blocks from the Trade Center, had been victims of the attacks.OK, so his $150 million mosque two blocks from Ground Zero we're told by our media superiors is nowhere near Ground Zero. But now some old storefront mosque 10 blocks away is part of the narrative?
There's no limit to the gall of this man.