Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Report on 7/13/10 Ground Zero Mosque Hearing

Fifty-six speakers gave Mayor Bloomberg's appointees on New York's Landmark Preservation Commission an earful today as they expressed their views on whether the proposed site of the Ground Zero mosque, the 150-year-old Burlington Coat Factory building, warrants the protection of landmark status.

Sharif El-Gamal [see image, left], the CEO of the company that owns the site:
asked the commission to "understand the importance of this project to revitalizing New York." And he begged the group not to grant landmark status to the 1857 Italian Renaissance-inspired building. That would make it difficult, if not impossible, to build the mosque because changes to historic buildings are hard to get approved.
Zead Ramadan of the Council on Islamic-American Relations called opposition to the proposed Ground Zero mosque "Islama-phobia pure and simple."
Rafiq Kathwari, who described himself as a moderate Muslim, said the landmark discussion had been hijacked.
Hijacked. That's an interesting word to use. Clearly, Kathwari doesn't approve of being inconvenienced in his desire that Muslims pray in a nice new mosque built on the burial ground that Ground Zero and its immediate environs have become, especially when that inconvenience stems from the mere fact of Islamic terrorists hijacking four airliners and using them to murder thousands of Americans.

After all, "moderate" Muslims have their priorities too.

Mayor Bloomberg seems to have forgotten 9/11, or maybe he's not too interested in having the Ground Zero mosque money trail revealed, or maybe he's getting his orders from higher up in the Democrat party, like Charles Bolden, head of NASA.

To Bloomberg's shame, he has termed calls to investigate the funding of the proposed mosque "un-American."

Some speakers at the hearing accused by the mayor of being "un-American" and by Zead Ramadan of being motivated by "pure Islamophobia," and by Rafiq Kathwari of "hijacking the landmark discussion" were Sally Regenhard, who son Christian was murdered by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 and Debra Burlingame, whose brother Charles was murdered by Islamic terrorists as he piloted the airliner that Islamic terrorists crashed into the Pentagon.

Also among those who want to know just whose money is behind the mosque is Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio. Earlier this month, Lazio had some important questions for New York's Democrat Attorney General, Andrew Cuomo: 
"Where did the $5 million come from that were used to purchase the land?," he asked. "Where will the $95 million in addition come from to build the mosque? Who is behind these investments? What is there purpose? What is their goal? What is their intent?"
Lazio also pointed out that:
"New Yorkers have a right to feel safe and be safe," Lazio told reporters in lower Manhattan. "There are serious security questions about the appropriateness of this mosque.
At the Landmark Commission hearing, Lazio testified on behalf of landmark status for the five-story Italian Renaissance-inspired palazzo. On September 11, 2001, one of the hijacked plane's landing gear fell through the building's roof and plummeted to its basement, making the building, Lazio said, "a place of deep historical significance and a reminder of just what happened on New York's darkest day." 
To deprive this building of landmark status is to allow for a citadel of Islamic supremacy to be erected in its place," said Andrea Quinn, a freelance audio technician from Queens who said she had worked with people at the World Trade Center.
The Landmark Commission say they will vote on the status of the Burlington Coat Factory building later this summer.

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