‘Ground Zero mosque’ developer sued over illegal NYC gallery rental used as mosque

via ‘Ground Zero mosque’ developer sued over illegal rental | New York Post.

The developer behind the “Ground Zero mosque” has been told to hit the road. Again.

Sharif El-Gamal, who sparked global controversy with plans for a 13-story mosque and community center less than two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center attacks, illegally rented a Tribeca gallery for months, racking up safety violations from the city and causing at least one resident to leave, the landlord alleges.

El-Gamal and his brother Adham El-Gamal are “sophisticated” real-estate players who should have known better, landlord GG1 LLC claims in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit.

Instead, the El-Gamals “knowingly” used the ground-floor retail space at 69 Leonard St. for religious gatherings and “loud parties,” and even stuffed “religious classes” for children into a basement that didn’t have proper fire exits, prompting the FDNY to issue violations, GG1 charges.

In the past, hundreds of worshipers would gather for Friday prayers on Park Place, the site of El-Gamal’s planned mosque and community center, which was known as Park51.

But that space has been boarded up as El-Gamal prepares to demolish it and build a 39-story condo tower and downsized mosque.

In their pursuit of a temporary worship space, Park51 sublet an empty storefront at 49-51 Warren St. last August. But by Sept. 18, the building’s condo board issued a ­legal notice telling them to leave by month’s end.

The condo contended that Park51 wanted to use basement space at the building that was off-limits for gatherings.

Park51 gave up on Warren Street and the El-Gamals rented the space on Leonard, under the name “Prayer Space Inc.”

GG1 claims it is nothing more than a “front” company “to shield their own personal liability with respect to their illegal conduct,” according to the legal filing.

GG1 says it was never informed a religious group was using its building until the El-Gamals were there.

Gallery 69 owner Steve Cornell, who held the original lease for the space, was paying less than $5,500 a month rent when he sublet to the El-Gamals for a whopping $9,000 a month, according to the lawsuit.

The group “frequently caused unreasonably large and loud gatherings . . . to convene at all hours in and near the premises” for “late-night parties,” “large prayer groups and other social gatherings,” uses that violated
the lease, the building’s certificate of occupancy and fire codes, GG1 says.

At least one resident of the five-story mixed-use building, where a three-bedroom apartment rents for nearly $8,000 a month, “abruptly terminated” his occupancy “due to the excessive noise,” GG1 claims.

The El-Gamals finally left 69 Leonard St. last month, after GG1 declined to let them lease the space directly. Now the landlord wants more than $372,000 in damages for back rent, safety violations and other costs.

Sharif El-Gamal denied renting space in the building. Cornell did not return a message seeking comment.

Minneapolis mall now boasts one of state’s largest mosques

Minnesota has “Somali malls” and now at least one of those malls has a large mosque. Muslims forced a mosque into a retail mall in Georgia too. America is losing its identity as Muslim colonizers take over entire areas.

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via Growing Somali mall in Minneapolis now boasts one of the state’s largest mosques | Star Tribune.

Construction of the metro area’s newest mosque involved a shopping trip to the Middle East, some back-and-forth with the city of Minneapolis and a reported $3 million investment.

But developer Basim Sabri says setting out to build one of Minnesota’s largest mosques at his Karmel Square mall wasn’t a vanity project. Instead, the space — part of a major expansion at Karmel — was meant as a goodwill gesture to the local Somalis who rent and shop at the south Minneapolis mall.

The expansion has tested Sabri’s famously tense relationships with the city and the mall’s neighbors, who have voiced concerns over parking and traffic issues. Part of the construction collapsed in May, cutting off electricity to the neighborhood and briefly stalling the project.

Since it opened earlier this year, the mosque has gotten rave reviews from a growing cadre of worshipers, who cover the sun-filled, 5,000-square-foot prayer hall completely when they kneel at Friday prayer.

“This mosque is not about showing off,” said Sabri. “It’s about need.”

The new mosque replaces a prayer room on the second floor that could not handle the crowds; worshipers spilled out into the mall hallways and, during the holy month of Ramadan, even the mall parking lot.

The space is on the newly added third floor of the state’s oldest Somali mall, where shops sell long skirts and scarves, henna tattoos, jewelry, handbags, rugs and Somali specialties such as savory sambusa pastries.

Sabri is also building a fourth floor and a three-story parking ramp.

He claims the new mosque is the largest in Minnesota, possibly even the Midwest. But the imam of another new Twin Cities mosque, Darool-Uloom, which moved into a former Catholic church on St. Paul’s East Side last summer, says it handily surpasses Karmel’s square footage to claim that distinction.

There, Imam Sheikh Hassan says the men’s prayer hall alone covers about 15,000 square feet.

Metro Islamic centers such as [jihad-recruiting] Al-Farooq Youth and Family Center in Bloomington and Abubakar As-Siddique in Minneapolis are larger overall, but their prayer spaces are more modest than Karmel’s.

In any case, says Abubakar Director Ismail Haji, the services offered are more important than the square footage: “We’re not in competition with each other.”

Sabri, a Palestinian immigrant, says the mosque at Karmel was a labor of love he designed and financed with his own money.

Like some of Sabri’s other projects across Minneapolis, the mall expansion has drawn a measure of controversy. When newly installed trusses collapsed and knocked down a third-floor wall in May, some neighbors said they had raised concerns in vain about what they saw as shoddy construction. Nobody was hurt.

“When the accident happened, I was so angry because it could have been prevented,” said Raymond Hoffner, the outgoing president of the condo association.

Hoffner gives Sabri props for taking steps to address traffic issues, but he said problems with illegal parking in the condo lot and nearby businesses persist.

He wishes the city had called for completion of the new ramp before the rest of the project.

Sabri, who has previously tussled with the city over starting projects before officials signed off on them, lined up a permit for the expansion in February 2014. But last summer, city staff pointed out that he needed an additional assembly occupancy permit for the mosque.

“It’s fair to say there have been some concerns on both sides of the fence,” said district supervisor Bill Smith, though he and Sabri both say the process was more cooperative this time around.


We’ve covered this mall before in Minneapolis: The City That Offers Sharia-Compliant Loans to Muslims.

And we know it’s a place that Muslim terrorists hang out, meet and possibly recruit via Islamic Terror Starts Small in St. Louis.


Update: Reader Martin found a video of the mosque:

Georgia: Muslims file another lawsuit against city after scaring city into approving mosque in mall

The city is already ****ed. Will some brave citizen please file the challenge!! via The Marietta Daily Journal – Lawsuit filed in Mosque application. h/t Islamist Watch

KENNESAW — A federal lawsuit was filed against the city of Kennesaw on Tuesday in relation to one resident’s application to use a retail shopping center suite as a mosque, said Doug Dillard, the applicant’s attorney.

Dillard said the lawsuit was filed as a precaution in case anyone challenges the City Council’s Dec. 15 vote to approve the mosque application.

“If the opposition to the mosque filed a lawsuit and for some reason the vote that they took on December 15 was declared null and void, then all we’ve got to fall back on is their actions on Dec. 1,” Dillard said.

On Dec. 1, the council voted 4-1 to deny the mosque application, but then reversed that decision on Dec. 15.

However, Dillard said if the Dec. 15 vote is successfully challenged within 30 days of the vote, then the denial from Dec. 1 still stands.

Dillard said the lawsuit is there as a safety net until those 30 days run out. Then, the applicant can know for sure that the Dec. 15 approval stands.

“If the 30-day appeal period goes by and there is no appeal, we can always dismiss the lawsuit, but we had to file it as a preventative measure just in case someone challenged the December 15 action,” Dillard said.

A council member, a resident or anyone could challenge the vote, Dillard said.

Kennesaw Mayor Mark Mathews said he has not heard any indication from council members that there could be a challenge to the approval.

“As for the decision made by council, I have not heard any comments or discussions regarding any changes to the last action taken. The permit was approved unanimously,” Mathews said.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday in the U.S. Northern District Court references the First, Fourth, Fifth and Fourteenth amendments to the United States and Georgia constitutions as well as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, a federal law protecting religious institutions from discriminatory zoning laws, Dillard said.

“Obviously, we hope we don’t have to litigate against the city. We hope the Dec. 15 vote is (upheld),” Dillard said.

Meanwhile, the applicant is beginning to get the retail space ready to become a mosque, Dillard said.

“They’re going forward with more requests for the permits and that kind of thing. They’re going full speed to make use of the property,” Dillard said.


As noted in a previous post, Georgia: Legal jihad terrorizes council members to approve mosque in retail shopping center:

Council member Debra Williams, who voted against the mosque the first time, changed her vote, as did council members Leonard Church, Tim Killingsworth and Jim Sebastian. Cris Eaton Welsh was the only member who voted in favor of the mosque both times.

“We denied a nightclub there a few months ago and we argued the same thing – traffic, noise and parking,” she told WND. “And it would have operated at night when all the other businesses were closed and they were willing to put in sound-proof walls. They should sue our pants off.”

Yes they should.

 

Minnesota: Feds force city to accept mosque, and only a mosque, in St. Anthony business center

Zoning jihad run amok. By terrorist-named CAIR’s count, it’s one of at least 28 mosques being forced on Americans by it and the DOJ. The city states it will not allow any other religious group to do the same. Laws for Muslims and laws for the rest of us. via Under pressure from feds, city of St. Anthony agrees to Islamic center | Star Tribune.

An Islamic worship center once rejected in St. Anthony will open after all under a settlement reached between the city and the U.S. attorney’s office.

“The city’s decision will be reversed and soon members of Abu Huraira will be able to hold prayer services in this building,” said U.S. Attorney Andy Luger Tuesday, standing outside the office building that has been the focus of a two-year battle.

Luger said he was “proud” of the agreement, which settles a lawsuit his office filed against St. Anthony in August. Eight local imams, four from the new center, stood behind him along with other Somali worshipers.

Not-so-happy looking mayor, Islamo-bidding Luger and his Muslim pals

Not-so-happy looking mayor, Islamo-bidding Luger and his Muslim pals

“God bless you and God bless America,” said Sheikh Abdirahman Omar, vice president of the center. He thanked the Justice Department and “all the neighbors who have reached out to us and offered your support and encouragement.”

St. Anthony Mayor Jerry Faust also praised what he called a “compromise” and predicted that the City Council will approve the settlement. That would undo its 4-1 vote in 2012 to reject the request by Islamic leaders to place the worship center in the building. “We welcome the Islamic Center to the city of St. Anthony,” he said.

The council will vote on the deal at its Dec. 23 meeting and if approved, it is subject to a public meeting to take place no later than Feb. 10, 2015.

The settlement was hammered out in a 12-hour meeting last Thursday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Keyes.

It specifies that the office building, which is owned by the Islamic group, will house the worship center in about 12,940 square feet in the basement. The group will also have use of the atrium on the first floor. The building, located at 3055 Old Hwy. 8, is the former Medtronic headquarters.

proposedmosque

Under the agreement a Planned Use Development is created, and the remainder of the building, about 90 percent of the floor space, which is zoned for light industrial use, will be rented out to businesses, as the Islamic Center had originally planned. The agreement will not allow the Islamic Center to expand the worship center into the other parts of the facility.

The deal will not change the character of light industrial land use zoning for that portion of the city, so it will not open the door to other religious groups opening worship centers there, city officials said.

“It is still our position that a light industrial zone is not an area for religious assembly,” said Jay Lindgren, the city attorney. “We don’t admit to any liability.”

The proposed center, which is expected to draw 1,500 Somalis had drawn intense opposition from some people in St. Anthony. The case is one of about 28 nationally in which federal officials are investigating local refusals to allow mosques and Islamic centers, said the Minnesota chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

After the council’s 2012 vote, the Minnesota Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations asked federal authorities to investigate whether the city had violated the federal law on religious land use.

And even after the council’s vote, the Muslim group proposing the Islamic center bought the former Medtronic Inc. headquarters for $1.9 million.

Ellen Longfellow, the group’s civil rights attorney, said, “We applaud this decision in support of religious freedom and hope for a speedy resolution to the case so that the local Muslim community may have access to the facilities required to meet its needs.”


Who in their right mind would buy a $1.9M building if they thought even for a second that they’d never be able to use it? Who advised them to buy it? Where did they get the money and where did they get the money for attorney’s who are embedded with the DOJ?

As we noted in our previous post on this legal jihad: Minnesota: Obama DOJ Sues to Force Another Mosque on America, City Fights Back

City Attorney Jay Lindgren said. “They are just not allowed in the roughly 5 percent of the city reserved for industrial uses. … An industrial zone is designed to create jobs and be an economic engine.”

What company will want to operate a business in a building that houses a mosque in the basement and atrium? Who would want to work there?

We suggest a pork processing or sales operation, a liquor store, an adult bookstore, a Christian bookstore, or maybe a gay operation of some kind for starters.

Georgia: Legal jihad terrorizes council members to approve mosque in retail shopping center

Islam means submission. And the Kennesaw City Council submitted to Islam in a cowardly display, selling out citizens and essentially converting a shopping mall into a mosque. Back stories here.

Mayor Mark Mathews: The Dhimmi Behind the Mosque

Mayor Mark Mathews: The Dhimmi Behind the Mosque Approval

via The Marietta Daily Journal – Mosque approved in 5 0 Kennesaw City Council vote.

With a unanimous 5-0 vote Monday, the Kennesaw City Council approved a permit allowing an Islamic prayer center to open in a retail center, reversing its decision earlier this month to deny the request.

The controversial vote came despite protests from a crowd of about 20 people outside City Hall holding signs with the words “Ban Islam” and “No Mosque” and waving American flags before and after the meeting.

Monday’s vote, which was approved with a list of other items on the consent agenda without discussion, allows the applicant for the mosque, Kennesaw resident Mufti Islam, to use a 2,200-square-foot space in a retail shopping center off Jiles Road near Cobb Parkway as a Muslim prayer center.

Kashif Islam, the applicant’s brother, said he had no ill feelings toward the protesters.

“They have the right to protest,” Kashif Islam said.

Kashif Islam said he was happy he was given the freedom to practice his religion in the retail center and that the vote ended peacefully.

“This is not life and death. We’ve been living in this neighborhood for 15 years. Have you ever seen us getting into trouble? No,” Kashif Islam said.

When Mayor Mark Mathews adjourned the meeting, all the council members left the room quickly through a back door. Mathews remained but said none of the other council members would comment on the change of vote.

Mathews said Monday’s vote will allow the mosque to operate in the retail center without stipulations for 24 months. Continue reading

Pennsylvania: Terror-linked CAIR files fed lawsuit to force mega mosque on Bensalem

Another classic example of Islamic zoning jihad (aka legal terrorism). via Bensalem Mosque Battle: Federal Lawsuit FIled | News | Philadelphia Magazine.

The Bensalem Masjid says that it tried to buy existing houses of worship, which would already be zoned correctly, but none were interested in selling. It put in bids on other properly zoned parcels, but those bids were rejected or went unanswered. Finally, the group found a 4.58-acre, three-parcel stretch of property on Hulmeville Road that would be perfect for its needs — big enough for a cafeteria, a school, and all of the other facilities they wanted to bring to the Muslims in the area — but the group of properties weren’t zoned for house-of-worship use. And so, the Bensalem Masjid went before the zoning board to try to get a variance.

In February, the board expressed certain concerns about the project, and so the group changed its physical plans, eliminating a proposed basement and cafeteria. Another hearing was held. And another. And another. In total, six hearings were held, making the process one of the longest — if not the longest zoning hearing process — in Bensalem’s history.

Board members questioned the Masjid about parking and traffic. One board member expressed concern that the mosque would bring in Muslims from New Jersey and nearby Philadelphia.

Community members were invited to air their concerns about the project. One suggested that unlike a church or synagogue, the mosque wouldn’t bring the same kind of benefit to the overall community that a synagogue or church would bring.

The fears of another community member who spoke were a little more clear:

…mosques have patterns and the pattern of mosques has been that when they — when the congregants outgrow the mosque, they spill out on to the streets. And what they do is they — they block — pull up blockades and they bring out their rugs, and they put them down on the street, and they do their prayers out on the streets. I have a video of this if you would like to see to back it up, in several cities around the world … What they do is they put up their barricades and they lay their carpets down on the street and they pray. And it takes them 45 minutes. It draws a lot of people, and it creates problems for the businesses on that street because they cannot do commerce because nobody can get in or out of their stores.

So is this Islamophobia at work?

“We can’t see into their hearts, so we judge them by their conduct,” says Ryan Tack-Hooper, the Masjid’s attorney from the Philadelphia chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, who suggests that the board’s concerns over traffic and parking were unfounded and that the board didn’t make an issue out of traffic and parking for others houses of worship in the area. “It’s very clear that they treated this case differently than they treated other faith centers. There’s definitely some prejudice at work here.”

In its lawsuit, the Masjid accuses Bensalem and the board of violating laws regarding religious land use, Pennsylvania’s Municipal Planning Code and Religious Freedom Protection Act, and the group’s First and Fourteenth Amendment rights.

 


Americans are starting to wake up, albeit late in the game. If anyone should be filing a lawsuit it should be the people against CAIR and the U.S. government for violating the 14th Amendment:

Section 4.

The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned. But neither the United States nor any state shall assume or pay any debt or obligation incurred in aid of insurrection or rebellion against the United States, or any claim for the loss or emancipation of any slave; but all such debts, obligations and claims shall be held illegal and void.

CAIR and Muslims are waging an aggressive insurrection and must be stopped.

New Jersey town forced to pay $7.75 million to Muslims to build mega-mosque

via Atlas Shrugs who writes:

In a striking violation of the establishment clause, Obama’s lawless administration is imposing the sharia nationwide, allowing the rampant construction of rabats and jihad recruitment centers at a time when we should be monitoring the mosques and restricting construction of  Muslim Brotherhood beachheads and Islamic State madrassas.

 Many churches and synagogues and Wal-Marts and what have you have been unable to build because of zoning laws. So why is Muslim supremacism enshrined in DOJ policy? And why are they given special rights? The United States of America is based on individual rights — no special rights for special classes.

 These proposed  giant mosques in small residential neighborhoods with even smaller Muslim populations are “rabats,” a beachhead to spread Islam. The first rabat appeared at the time of Muhammad.

 The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias (the origin of the English word “raid”). The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders.

After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat—or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided. The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias [raids].

Unfortunately for many in the rural central New Jersey neighborhood, the mosque will be built by a luxury apartment complex. Details via Bridgewater, mosque settlement reaches $7.75 million

– There will be no mosque on Mountaintop Road.

Instead, under the terms of a settlement between the township and the Al Falah Center, a mosque will be built between Routes 202-206 and 287 on a 15-acre lot the township will buy for $2.75 million.

The township will exchange that lot for the former Redwood Inn property on Mountaintop Road where the mosque originally was proposed.

In addition, the township’s insurance carrier will pay the Al Falah Center $5 million for alleged damages, costs and attorney fees in exchange for dropping its lawsuit against the township.

The township will use $815,000 from its open space trust fund and a $1.935 million bond ordinance to buy the property between Harding and West Foothill roads, south of the 80-unit Woodmont Square at Bridgewater apartment complex.

Members of the Al Falah Center were satisfied with the settlement.

“I think it’s a just result,” said Omar T. Mohammedi, a member of Al Falah’s board. “We’re just excited we will have a place of worship.”

Mohammedi said that because plans have to be developed for the property, no timeline has been drawn for the submission of plans and construction.

“It’s a great site,” he said.

The settlement, approved unanimously Monday by the township council, ends a bitter three-year dispute that landed in federal court and already has cost the township hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees.

But Council President Matthew Moench said the settlement could potentially save the township “an enormous amount of money” if the municipality lost the lawsuit.

Mayor Dan Hayes said the settlement prevents Al Falah from seeking attorney fees allowed by federal law that would have exceeded the township’s insurance coverage.

Without a settlement, the mayor said, the costs would have been paid by taxpayers.

Al Falah Center will have 20 months to gain the necessary approvals to build the mosque, said Kevin Coakley, the attorney representing the township in the litigation.

Coakley said the township has agreed to “cooperate” with the Al Falah Center in the approval process.

Because the site is zoned for houses of worship and has access to a highway, the lot meets the criteria in the township’s zoning ordinance. That zoning ordinance, adopted after the Al Falah Center applied to build the mosque on Mountaintop Road, was at the center of the legal dispute

The settlement leaves that ordinance in effect.

“The preservation of our residential uses and the ability to zone uses appropriate for their locations is a critical right the township fought to preserve,” Hayes said. “This settlement leaves our ordinance intact, ends our exposure to the almost unlimited costs of further litigation and allows all parties to move forward.”

Hayes said the township has not decided what to do with the 7-acre Mountaintop Road property.

The Route 202-206 property has a $803,600 assessment and the 2013 property taxes were $16,634. In 2012, the township approved a 39-unit townhouse development for the property that was never built.

The settlement also calls for the suspension of the planning board hearings that started in January on Al Falah’s proposal to build the mosque on the former Redwood Inn property.

The hearings often featured contentious exchanges between neighbors and witnesses testifying for the Al Falah Center on issues such as the size of prayer mats used to determine the number of worshipers the proposed mosque could accommodate, a number that would determine the required number of parking spaces.

Neighbors to the proposed mosque on Mountaintop Road hired lawyers to represent them before the board.

The legal battle between the township and the Al Falah Center began after the congregation applied in January 2011 to construct the mosque on the site of the former catering hall.

Two months later, the council adopted an ordinance that limited sites for a house of worship to certain roads because of traffic-volume concerns. That ordinance would have shifted the mosque proposal to the Zoning Board of Adjustment, where requirements for granting a use variance are more stringent.

After the dismissal, the Al Falah Center filed suit in federal court, alleging that the township violated federal law by enacting a land-use ordinance that treats religious institutions on less than equal terms than nonreligious institutions. The accelerated passage of the ordinance was “strong circumstantial evidence” of the township’s intent to discriminate against the mosque, according to court papers.

“The case speaks for itself,” Mohammedi said.

But Moench emphasized that the settlement concluded that the township has “done nothing wrong.”

In September 2013, federal Judge Michael Shipp sided with the Al Falah Center and ruled that the mosque application must be heard by the Planning Board without applying the standards in the ordinance.

Shipp issued an injunction preventing the township from enforcing the ordinance. The judge also ordered the planning board to reopen the hearings on the mosque proposal.

Though the township appealed the ruling, the second round of hearings began. As part of the settlement, the township’s appeal will be dropped.

In June, retired federal judge Stephen Orlofsky was named as mediator in the dispute. Hayes said he participated in hours of negotiations over several months to settle the dispute.

“It’s been a long and arduous journey,” Township Attorney William Savo said.


For the rest of New Jersey, the long arduous journey (to ruin) is just beginning.

The mosque must certainly have foreign backers, if you recall the Al Falah Center had four high-powered law firms and the Feds working on its behalf.

Back posts here.

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