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Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse: Ground Zero mosque may get public money

This is utterly insane. For years liberals and atheists used the separation of church and state as a means to push Christianity out of the public square. Today, however, we read that the Ground Zero mosque could qualify to receive $70 million dollars in taxpayer money public financing*. Of course, this story breaks on Friday night.

The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.

The Democratic comptroller's spokesman, Scott Sieber, said Liu supported the project. The center has sparked an intense debate over U.S. religious freedoms and the sanctity of the Trade Center site, where nearly 3,000 perished in the September 11, 2001 attack.

"If it turns out to be financially feasible and if they can demonstrate an ability to pay off the bonds and comply with the laws concerning tax-exempt financing, we'd certainly consider it," Sieber told Reuters.

Spokesmen for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson and the Islamic center and were not immediately available.

The proposed center, two blocks from the Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, has caused a split between people who lost relatives and friends in the attack, as well as conservative politicians, and those who support the project. Among those who support it are the mayor, civic and religious groups, and some families of victims.

The mosque's backers hope to raise a total of $70 million in tax-exempt debt to build the center, according to the New York Times. Tax laws allow such funding for religiously affiliated non-profits if they can prove the facility will benefit the general public and their religious activities are funded separately.

Why am I not surprised that the Democratic comptroller is considering it? What makes this even crazier is that there's already another mosque only two blocks away.

Yet, the folks at St. Nicholas, a Greek Orthodox church that was destroyed by the radical Islamists on 9/11, say they have asked the port authority to rebuild their church at Ground Zero but are being ignored.

And what about the 9/11 memorial that is supposed to be built? What's the status of that?

This whole thing stinks to high heaven. Something is rotten in the city of New York.

*The mosque is getting $70 million in public financing, and while not identical to receiving taxpayer money, it is just as outrageous. The citizens of New York City do not want that mosque being built at Ground Zero, but not only will it be built, it will be publicly financed. What a slap in the face. Will the people of New York overhaul those who run city government at the next election as a result? With representatives like these, who needs enemies?


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Comments (14)

ACLU's lawsuit coming in 3.... (Below threshold)

ACLU's lawsuit coming in 3...2...- Hey, check out the flying monkey!

Great! Funding a terror m... (Below threshold)
Nine Fourteen:

Great! Funding a terror mosque to cover for the mid-east connection is high priority yet millions of Americans have lost jobs and houses and what are we/they told?

Its Bush's fault.

Well screw you Barry Bloomberg! What a bunch of idiots in charge of homeland security. I sure sleep sound knowing these f___ ups are on the job

What about the Christian ch... (Below threshold)

What about the Christian church that was destroyed in the attacked but is not being allowed to rebuild?

What about the separation o... (Below threshold)

What about the separation of Church and State?

Building a huge mosque/"isl... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Building a huge mosque/"islamic center" with public subsidies two blocks from where the great hole in Manhattan still reminds us of the cowardly attack and the hapless nature of NYC government - we should rebuild the site, it should have been completed four years ago. This is ridiculous.

Even talking about these folks qualifying for tax-exempt financing is offensive, but as a practical matter it is jumping the gun by light years. These folks have $15,000 in their fund so far, they are not even covering the closing costs on the amount they will have to raise to buy the other half ownership in the building from Con Ed, much less fund any construction. Public financing would be an unearned gift, and an outrage of the level which could cause riots.

"These folks have $15,000 i... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

"These folks have $15,000 in their fund so far, they are not even covering the closing costs on the amount they will have to raise to buy the other half ownership in the building from Con Ed, much less fund any construction." Jim Addison

Oh, oh! They qualify by Fanny Mae/Freddie Mac standards.

We are so screwed!

Wait a minute. I don't und... (Below threshold)

Wait a minute. I don't understand. This post and the linked story seem to be saying two different things, and I don't know which is right.

What exactly is the comptroller talking about? Is he saying that the mosque project will receive money from the public treasury -- ie, taxpayers pay for part of the construction? Or is he saying that the project will not have to pay city taxes on the money it raises, but it still has to raise all money from private sources? There's a big difference.

Selling $70 million in tax ... (Below threshold)

Selling $70 million in tax exempt bonds does not equal getting $70 million in taxpayer money.

And when someone who has on... (Below threshold)
Upset Old Guy:

And when someone who has only raised $15K on a $70M project default on bond payments.........

IMAM; You called it bin Lad... (Below threshold)

IMAM; You called it bin Laden, those stupid American politicians will not only let us raise our Victory Mosque, but will even help us pay for it!"

BIN LADEN: "Hey, all you have to do is throw the race card, claim we are a religion, quote their constitution, and the corrupt morons will fall all over themselves in the name of political correctness. Then we sneak in a little concession to sharia law, and Open Sesame, the ilamic flag is hoisted and we take them over from within.!"

IMAM: "Brilliant! It didn't hurt us any that Brother Barrak destroyed their economy either.

"What about the separati... (Below threshold)

"What about the separation of Church and State?"

That's only applicable for the hated religions. You know, Christianity and Judiasm. Probably also Hindu, the various Chinese traditionals, Buddhism, Sikhism, Juche, Baha'i, Jainism, Shinto, Zoroastrianism, Pastarfarianism, Rastafarianism, and Scientology. Pretty much any religion that doesn't blow up the others on a regular basis have to abide by that concept.

But Islam? They cut off heads, blow up people. They get an exemption. They're special.

"Tolerance" is being used as a club to promote and condone massively intolerant behavior. There's going to come a time when it's going to be badly needed and wanted, and nobody's going to be able to touch the concept because of the blood dripping from it.

Before you get in such a la... (Below threshold)

Before you get in such a lather that your eyes are completely blinded by the suds, you might take a look at what has been going on in the past, not just in NYC but around the country.

From a NY Times article dated October 10, 2006:

"A search of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board's database shows that more than $20 billion in tax-exempt bonds have been sold since the late 1980's on behalf of religious institutions or their affiliates, including deals benefiting a Jewish vocational workshop in Michigan, a Baptist retirement home in Arizona, a Presbyterian housing project in Missouri, Lutheran nursing homes and day care centers in Minnesota and Catholic schools in Rhode Island."

Re-read your own quote Ranc... (Below threshold)

Re-read your own quote Rance. NONE of those would appear to qualify as 'a house of worship'.

Next quote?

Fan,Only the anti ... (Below threshold)


Only the anti crowd is calling the proposed building a "mosque". It's going to be a lot closer to a YMCA than it is a church, unless you know of churches that include swimming pools.

Yes, it will have a prayer room. Do you think that the housing projects, nursing homes, and Catholic schools didn't include chapels?






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