The waiter-turned-millionaire developer (a transformation not yet satisfactorily explained) Sharif El-Gamal has said that "when you beat up someone physically you get exercise & stress relief," and he has a history of run-ins with the law. But now the mainstream media is in full-bore whitewash mode, even as he digs in his heels and continues to try to demonize the opponents of the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero. Pamela Geller has video of the Today's Show's love letter to El-Gamal, along with some choice observations from herself, here.
He may be insisting that he is calling the shots on the project because his partner Hisham Elzanaty recently said that he was.
"Mosque Developer Has No Plans to Move the Project," from NBC New York, September 29 (thanks to all who sent this in):
The developer behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic center near ground zero says he's the one ultimately calling the shots on the project and there are no discussions about moving it.
Sharif El-Gamal, who is of Egyptian and Polish descent but was born in Brooklyn, spoke Wednesday on the "Today" show. "This has been very unexpected. It's been an eye-opener to see how my country, the United States, views my religion, Islam," Sharif El-Gamal, chairman of Manhattan-based real estate company Soho Properties, told Matt Lauer.
He added there are a lot of misperceptions about his Islamic faith. "We are peace-loving Americans. Fear makes people irrational, and our identity has been hijacked by the extremists."...
Building a mega-mosque at Ground Zero, and insisting on doing so in the teeth of enormous popular opposition, is sure doing wonders to dispel those misperceptions, eh, Sharif?