Free speech activist and author Pamela Geller is bringing attention to the fact that real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal is still hell-bent on building a mosque in New York City, perilously close to where the World Trade Center used to stand. “We are still building an Islamic museum and sanctuary,” he announced in a New York Times article that ran on Friday.
Geller points out, “An Islamic sanctuary is a mosque.”
The article described 45 Park Place as 665-foot tower with “a 43-story condominium that will soon rise three blocks from the World Trade Center” and sport a $41 million duplex penthouse. The article acknowledged that the building “replaces the developer’s 2010 plan to build a 15-story Islamic mosque and cultural center on this site, an idea that erupted into a national controversy and cable news network bonanza.”
According to Geller, “The 16-story mosque that El-Gamal initially planned to build there has not been built. Our efforts in showing what an insult it was to the American people and to the victims of 9/11, and how many Muslims worldwide would inevitably view it as a triumphal mosque built on the site of a jihad attack, defeated it. Now El-Gamal plans an Islamic Museum, which is just as much of an insult; it will be like having a Museum touting the glories of the Japanese Empire at Pearl Harbor. A genuine Islamic Museum that detailed the 1,400-year history of jihad warfare, cultural annihilation, land appropriation and enslavement would be appropriate at that location, but El-Gamal’s museum is certain to be a whitewash of the doctrine and history of jihad and a paean to imaginary Muslim contributions to various important inventions and achievements.”
The Ground Zero mosque scheme was formerly known as Park51, but that name is no longer used for the new project.
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