Islamic Museum & “Sanctuary” to Rise at Ground Zero Mosque Site

As noted previously, the Muslim developer, thug and fraudster reportedly has sharia-compliant financing for the museum/mosque at Ground Zero.

via Condo Tower to Rise Where Muslim Community Center Was Proposed

The sales gallery for 45 Park Place, a 43-story condominium that will soon rise three blocks from the World Trade Center, is not unlike the galleries for other luxury condos in New York. Oversize photographs showcase the spectacular views that come with living in a 665-foot tower. The mock kitchen and bathroom offer a glimpse of the refined finishes one would expect in a building with a $41 million duplex penthouse.

But unlike other New York City condos, this one is something of a consolation prize for the developer, and one that is opening in a cooling luxury market. The tower 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.

The mosque’s opponents — among them some families of 9/11 victims, politicians and conservative media pundits — balked at the notion of a mosque so close to the site of the largest attack by Islamic terrorists in the nation’s history. Critics called it the Ground Zero Mosque, the Victory Mosque and a “megamosque.”

Its name was Park51, and the project’s developer, Sharif El-Gamal, the founder of Soho Properties, compared it to the 92nd Street Y, a community gathering space where New Yorkers could go for swimming lessons and lectures.

But by 2011, Mr. El-Gamal bowed to public pressure, little of it local, and abandoned the idea for the cultural center.

The new design replaces Mr. El-Gamal’s vision of a vast space for public gatherings with more standard New York City fare: a very expensive glass and steel tower for the very rich. The site, which extends from 43 to 51 Park Place, will open in 2019 with 50 apartments at 45 Park Place and a much smaller, three-story Islamic museum and public plaza, designed by Jean Nouvel, but no mosque, at 49-51 Park Place.

Gone is the name Park51, although a new name for the museum has not been announced. Mr. El-Gamal’s critics have been largely silent since 2011, even though prayers, events and gatherings continued to be held regularly at 49-51 Park Place until the property closed for demolition in 2015.

Describing the controversy as “a fabricated issue,” Mr. El-Gamal, who received death threats at the time, insisted that the scaled-down museum would still achieve his original objective. “We are still building an Islamic museum and sanctuary,” he said.

For his opponents, even a small center is too much. An Islamic museum “is just as much of an insult,” Pamela Geller, a blogger and one of the center’s most vocal opponents, wrote in an email. “It will be like having a museum touting the glories of the Japanese Empire at Pearl Harbor.”

Mr. El-Gamal is undeterred by the outrage his idea stirred. Instead, he believes Americans have become more tolerant, not less, of religious freedom, pointing to the protests that sprang up opposing President Trump’s travel ban targeting visitors and immigrants from Muslim nations.

As for a vast Islamic cultural center, “I didn’t give up on the original vision,” he said. “I might do it somewhere else” in New York.

Of course there will be a mosque there – they’re just calling it by a different name for now. That’s why neither the so-called Islamic museum and “sanctuary” aren’t even mentioned on the condo’s sales website (linked above).

Pamela Geller provides her full comment via Condo tower with Islamic museum and mosque to rise at proposed Ground Zero Mosque site:

This is what I actually told the New York Times:

“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.”

6 thoughts on “Islamic Museum & “Sanctuary” to Rise at Ground Zero Mosque Site

  1. Can you imagine if the Orlando nightclub and property where the Islamic Jihad attack perpetrated by a Muslim named Omar Mateen that brutally took the lives of 49 people was purchased and converted into a mosque and Islamic education center? It is amazing to see the so called liberal left, who were once the biggest advocates for freedom of speech, civil liberties, homosexual, and women’s rights now willing to fight tooth and nail to defend and promote an ideology (Islam) that is solely founded on gender segregation, female oppression, homosexual extermination, and the death penalty for dissenting speech. These times, they are a changing, unfortunately, not for the better. As always, I consider myself truly lucky to have at least been born in what once was the greatest country the world has known. Freedom of Speech Rest In Peace, learn to love and respect the Sharia, or else !!!

  2. Sad to see the Islamic tradition of destroying Churches and other Civilizations landmarks to make Mosques continuing. They just call them ” Cultural Centers ” now to get their foot in the door and poof it is a full blown mosque promoting Jihad in a few years. This had been a part of Islam’s conquering nature for over 1400 years. All you have to do is look and every single country that has a large number of Muslims living there. There are over 2000 Mosques in The United States. There are Zero Christian Churches in Saudi Arabia. The Muslims either killed all of the Christians or drove them elsewhere. The followers of Islam have shown that they cannot live peacefully with others since Medina. When are people going to wake up to the lies Islam has been spreading for so long.

  3. No more mosques in America. Absolutely no moslem influence should be allowed anywhere near ground zero. They should not be allowed to own property within a 10 mile radius of ground zero.

  4. If people are so interested in Islamic history they should go to a country where it all began. Make the pilgrimage to the Middle East but if you are a non-believer don’t expect to be welcomed in Mecca. Depending on the country women may have to don the higab. If they go to Saudi Arabia they’ll have to be escorted by a male relative and forget about renting a car. The idea of building an Islamic museum on US soil is ludicrous.

  5. It’s not often that the boss of a property company gets to share a red carpet with TV stars. But tonight Sharif El-Gamal, chief executive of Soho Properties, will be a guest of honour at the annual Stella by Starlight awards in New York City, where he will appear alongside Kate Mulgrew and Lea De Laria from Orange Is The New Black. El-Gamal will pick up a corporate gong to celebrate his 15-year career in New York real estate.

    No doubt El-Gamal is hoping the event will generate some positive press coverage for his latest project in the city. In 2009, his plan for the so-called Ground Zero Mosque caused nationwide controversy. In reality, the development at Park Place in Manhattan’s financial district included a musalla – an open space, used for praying – not a mosque; but critics were not minded to let technicalities get in the way of their outrage.

    Pamela Geller, publisher of a conservative blog called Atlas Shrugs, was the most vocal critic, organising a protest which saw hundreds of people gather at the location, two blocks north of the World Trade Center site. They pointed out that the buildings on that block were damaged on 9/11; a wing flap from one of the hijacked planes had been recovered at the site.

    The local community board, by contrast, looked favourably on the scheme, voting 29 to one (with ten abstentions) for a 15-storey, $100m community centre. But in 2011 El-Gamal split with his company chairman, Abdul Rauf, and the idea went on the back burner.

    Last month, however, El-Gamal secured Sharia-compliant financing for a new luxury condominium tower and Islamic cultural museum at the site. His firm has negotiated $219m in construction loans from Malayan Banking Berhad (Maybank). Kuwait-based Warba Bank is the lead arranger on a senior construction loan of $174 m, with Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo serving as documentation agent.

    The financial district development now features a three-story Islamic cultural museum at 51 Park Place, as well as 48 high-end residential condos in a 43-storey tower down the road at 45 Park Place. According to the New York Post, the building will also feature a pool, a fitness centre, a children’s playroom, and a 2,821 square foot public plaza along with retail and “green space”.

    Award-winning architect Jean Nouvel is on board for the project; a mosque will remain in the property’s new design, as part of the museum.

    The scaled-back plans for the Islamic centre appears to have placated noisy opponents, who seem unaware that a small mosque had been part of the site since 2009.

    El-Gamal declined to speak with me for this piece. But through his PR firm he has put out a statement, which focuses on the business side of the deal: “We are pleased to have concluded a complex acquisition from Con Edison allowing us to complete the assemblage for our upcoming developments at Park Place. This further exemplifies our strength as a buyer of real estate from institutional sellers.”

    In a more forthright mood, El-Gamal has previously said that the Islamic aspect of the development was always a key part of the plan. He told the Real Deals website that he has not “backpedalled or shifted from what the dream has always been. I did not want to subject my children to [other] kids saying, ‘That’s the child of the man who backed down.’ This [plan] is going to show the excellence of Muslims and the Islamic culture.”

    Critics and supporters of the scheme will have to hold fire for the moment. Developers are expected to break ground on the project before autumn and finish the work in 2018.

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If sharia keeps spreading, you will not only be silenced by the media and big technology, you will be jailed - or worse. Speak while you can!

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