Ground Zero mosque’s developers’ application for $5M grant outrages 9/11 families

November 23rd, 2010 - 3:25 pm ICT by ANI  

New York, Nov 23 (ANI): The developers of a planned Islamic center and mosque at New York’s Ground Zero have stirred controversy yet again by applying for a five million dollar grant from a fund set up to rebuild the city after 9/11.

Sharif El-Gamal, developer of the proposed Park Place project, has confirmed that his group has applied for the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. grant. He also said that the grant would fund social service programs open to all lower Manhattan residents, like domestic-violence prevention, Arabic and other foreign language classes, and two multicultural art exhibits.

The New York Daily News quoted El-Gamal, as saying, “Park51 remains committed to exploring all sources of revenue and funding to build the community center in lower Manhattan,” adding that the 100 million dollar project would “provide hundreds of construction jobs” and 150 permanent jobs once opened.

He further stated that Park51 also plans to apply for federal tax-exempt status as a not-for-profit corporation.

The paper quoted retired FDNY Deputy Chief Jim Riches, whose 29-year-old son was killed on 9/11, as saying that such kind of acts are an insult to the 9/11 families.

“It’s another smack in the face. I think it’s becoming more and more comical. Now we’re going to have to pay for it,” he added.

Meanwhile, Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials refused to comment on individual grant applications, but said that they were looking to fund projects that would be an economic boon to downtown, the paper said.

Spokesman John De Libero said LMDC, which has allocated 17 million dollars for community and cultural enhancement programs, has received more than 265 applications from non-profit organisations seeking more than 175 million dollars funds.

Around 2,995 people were killed when terrorists flew passenger jets into the Twin Towers on September 11 2001. (ANI)

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