Shockingly, Silent Sharif isn’t talking about this, either.
More on this story, in which Gamal lost his cool when the imam interviewed below invited the press to a mosque fundraiser. That imam grasps the fact that it’s bad for business; is Gamal in too far over his head to care anymore? “Visiting Imam Advises Mosque Developer to Speak,” by Linda Schmidt for MyFoxNewYork, August 29 (thanks to D.C. Watson):
MYFOXNY.COM – The imam who presided over a prayer service at the location of a planned Islamic center near Ground Zero says it is not in anyone’s best interest for developer Sharif el-Gamal to keep quiet about the project.
Imam Abdallah Adhami says he advised el-Gamal to talk to reporters and to be open about the mosque project and its funding. So far, el-Gamal continues to refuse.
Originally, reporters were invited to attend a prayer service at the Park51 site Friday by the visiting imam. But el-Gamal denied access.
He has hired a pubic [sic] relations adviser, Lawrence Kopp, to do his talking for him, but Kopp isn’t talking either — at least for now. On Friday, Kopp declined an interview with Fox 5.
Meanwhile, el-Gamal released a statement saying “Americans should know that all funding for Park51 will be rigorously vetted by government agencies such as the U.S. Treasury Department.”
He is getting support from hip hop mogul Russell Simmons, who has said the mosque should be built. His apartment directly overlooks Ground Zero and artwork in his windows stands for “We Should Co-Exist.”
It’s probably safe to assume Russell Simmons knows nothing about Sharia, and how it structures “co-existence” between Muslims and non-Muslims.
As for el-Gamal’s other real estate holdings, the Buildings Department says an apartment building in Washington Heights has 13 violations and that he owes $21,000 in fines.
The imam also said that el-Gamal raised $10,000 in 15 minutes during Friday’s prayer service.