Mayor Bloomberg's top deputies went to great lengths to help the developers of a planned mosque near Ground Zero - even drafting a letter to the community board for them.Of course if you found any of this objectionable Bloomberg tripped over himself to call you an Islamophobic racist bigot. What's obvious to everyone:
A flurry of emails released by City Hall yesterday revealed the coaching Hizzoner's brass gave to the imam pushing to build the mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf.
At one point, Community Affairs Commissioner Nazli Parvizi even drafted a letter for Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan, to send to Community Board 1, which was voting on the project.
"As a Muslim-American and a New Yorker, I take my role in keeping New York the greatest City in the world serious," the draft said. Parvizi also provided the contact information for the board.
Another email shows that Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama expedited a temporary public assembly permit for the group to conduct prayers in January at the site, known as 51 Park.
But one critic of the mosque charged that the emails prove that backers rigged the public approval process.How much was Bloomberg in the tank?
"They were in cahoots all along," steamed Andy Sullivan, a Queens construction worker and vocal mosque critic.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents show the city was an active proponent of the project.At some point Bloomberg may have to toss someone under the bus. We offer a sacrificial lamb.
"The mayor's office was at the beck and call of the ground zero mosque folks," Fitton said. "He obviously feels strongly about it, but he shouldn't turn the taxpayers of New York into advocates for this group."
Another email reveals that Immigrant Affairs Commissioner Fatima Shama expedited a temporary public assembly permit for the group to conduct prayers in January at Park 51Such a cozy relationship a thug like El-Gamal has with the mayor, isn't it?
In another letter, Shama congratulated the group after the project was approved by CB1's finance committee, writing,
"Sharif, Daisy, Iman Faisal,
Again—congratulations!!! This is very exciting for all of you and our community at large!"
And the team behind Park51 was grateful to the mayor's team for all of their help.
Wrote el-Gamal to his cohorts,
"Just spoke to Commissioner Nazli Parvizi.She will call Julie Mennon [sic] to thank them for passing the resolution and ask how she can assist. She knows the folks at the tribute center and will put us in touch with them as well."
By the way, few media accounts will note it, but it was Judicial Watch that forced Bloomberg's hand.
E-mails released by the city Thursday document the cooperation between Bloomberg's Community Affairs Unit and the Cordoba Initiative, even as a furor erupted this year over the center's proposed existence two blocks north of ground zero. The city released the documents in response to a public-records lawsuit by Judicial Watch, a conservative group.Judicial Watch had to sue for the release of these e-mails. Obviously Bloomberg and his hacks had plenty to hide after evading for several months.
Bloomberg's spokesman said the city has extended similar help to other religious groups. But Judicial Watch says the e-mails show the city government went too far with its assistance.
Judicial Watch, the public interest group that investigates and prosecutes government corruption, announced today that it has filed a petition with the New York State Supreme Court to compel New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office to comply with a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request regarding contacts between the Mayor’s office, Ground Zero Mosque Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, and controversial Muslim organizations. Judicial Watch is seeking the following information pursuant to its open records request filed on August 9, 2010:
a. All records of communication between the Office of the Mayor and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf concerning the Cordoba Initiative’s proposed Cordoba House project.
b. All records of communication between the Office of Mayor Bloomberg and any of the following entities:
1. Council of American-Islamic Relations (CAIR);
2. Islamic Society of North America (ISNA);
3. International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT);
4. American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA);
5. American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC);
6. Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC).
On August 19, 2010, Mayor Bloomberg’s office acknowledged receipt of the request and indicated a response would be forthcoming in 20 days. After the Mayor’s office failed to respond by its self-imposed deadline and to a subsequent administrative appeal, Judicial Watch filed its petition with the New York Supreme Court.