After years upon years of legal wrangling, it’s finally over: the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” project is no more.
The struggle over the controversial mosque began in 2009, when real estate developer Sharif El-Gamal bought the property next to the World Trade Center for $4.85 million in cash. According to The New York Times, he had planned to turn the property into an Islamic cultural center known as Park51.
Park51, which was known colloquially as the “Ground Zero Mosque,” was supposed to be a massive community center and place of worship for New York’s Muslim community. However, El-Gamal’s company, Soho Properties, recently announced an apartment building at the site which would fetch $3,000 a square foot.
The building would be constructed in place of the Park51 project, essentially ending the push for a “Ground Zero Mosque.”
“The glass skyscraper, which has yet to break ground, will include at least 15 full-floor units of 3,200 to 3,700 square feet, and average prices higher than $3,000 a square foot,” Bloomberg News reported.
The construction of the mosque had become a cause celebre among the left; President Obama announced his support for the proposal during an Iftar dinner in 2010, according to The New York Times.
“I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground,” Obama said at the time, all the while emphasizing that he felt that religious freedom was the defining issue of the conflict.
Um, no. Wake up, Mr. President.
However, as anti-Islam activist Pamela Geller wrote in Breitbart, “The Ground Zero Mosque project was a middle finger to the American people.”
This group of Muslims could have chosen to worship anywhere in downtown Manhattan. They chose to do so at the base of a building destroyed by Islamic extremism.
Building a mosque next to the World Trade Center is akin to building a Shinto temple adjacent to Pearl Harbor. No, not all Muslims share blame for 9/11, but to deny Islam played a major part in the attacks is deliberately whitewashing the issue for reasons of political correctness.