Office of Borough President James P. Molinaro
Staten Island, New York
Borough President Molinaro: “Instead of a federal grant, ground zero mosque should get a federal probe!”
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Borough President James P. Molinaro today said he is outraged by the Ground Zero mosque’s application for $5 million in 9/11 rebuilding funds.
The developers of the proposed $100 million, 13-story Islamic center, located two blocks from the World Trade Center, confirmed on Monday that they applied for the grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to pay for construction costs and programs.
“Instead of receiving a federal grant, the mosque should receive a federal investigation,” said Molinaro. “How dare they ask for money that is meant to be used to help Lower Manhattan recover from the 9/11 terrorist attacks?
“There have been a lot of questions surrounding the funding of this mosque from Day One,” Molinaro noted. “A major investor in the project was a donor to the Holy Land Foundation that was shut down by the federal government for its ties to terrorism – five of its leaders were convicted of providing support to Hamas.
“Then there’s the question about the sale of the building to the developers who were able to buy it for just $4.8 million, when other developers had offered as much as $18 million,” said Molinaro. “Why did this happen? Why did the building owner refuse the high offer for the mosque developers’ lower one? It doesn’t make sense.
“There are just too many important questions swirling around this project that the federal government would do well to look into,” Molinaro added. “In the meantime, they should not grant 9/11 funding for the mosque, which should be moved away from Ground Zero out of respect for the 9/11 families.”
November 23, 2010