The developers behind the proposed Ground Zero mosque have applied for about $5 million in federal grant money set aside for redeveloping downtown Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, according to a new report.
The application was submitted as a "community and cultural enhancement" grant, which is a program run by the Lower Manhattan Redevelopment Corp.
Developer Sharif El-Gamal discussed the grant proposal in recent closed-door meetings, according to The Daily Beast.
The revelation that the developers have asked for this grant could reignite outrage about the mosque's proposed location.
"If Imam Feisal and his retinue want know why they're not trusted, here's yet another reason,” Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam" and director of the Moral Courage Project at NYU, told The Daily Beast. “The New Yorkers I speak with have questions about Park51. Requesting money from public coffers without engaging the public shows a staggering lack of empathy—especially from a man who says he's all about dialogue."
The site of the proposed mosque and cultural center, two blocks from the Trade Center, already has seen frequent protests. National figures including Sarah Palin have spoken out against it.
Some have called the project an exercise in triumphalism, intended to plant Islam's flag at the scene of the attacks and deliberately provoke Americans. Others say they are against the center because they don't want to see any growth of Islam in the U.S.
Rauf told "60 Minutes" in September that to reduce fears that terror organizations would contribute to the project, he'll ask US officials to approve the sources of funding.
Rauf added that the mosque and Islamic cultural center will have a board of directors that will include Muslims, ( pseudo )
Christians and (PSEUDO)