“Muhammad Comes to Manhattan” by Mark Jacobson in New York Magazine, August 22, is just the sort of piece you’d expect from an ignorant Leftist journalist/propagandist who has his reservations about the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero, but his kneejerk cultural Leftism won’t let him express them. So in this lengthy article he does his best to whitewash the unsavory thug developer Sharif El-Gamal and to make Pamela Geller and me look silly (although he had me laughing when he described me as “a canny operative who likely has the inside track on the State Department’s Middle East affairs desk should the tea party win the White House in 2012”).
Nonetheless, he does quote me at some length, and people who bother to check will see that what I’m saying is true. And people will know also that Sharif El-Gamal is lying, although Mark Jacobson doesn’t bother to shed any light on the fact. Here is El-Gamal in Jacobson’s article, pretending that the Ground Zero mosque location is just a coincidence, with nothing to do with Ground Zero:
“Listen,” said El-Gamal, “do you have any clue how the Manhattan real-estate market works, what is involved? People seem to think that we picked that building to make some kind of point. But that is simply insane. This is New York; no matter who you are, you just don’t choose a building, move in, and take over. Do you know how many places I looked at? I looked at Chambers Street. I looked at Vesey Street, Broadway, Greenwich Street, Warren Street, Murray Street. Maybe half a dozen more, I can’t even remember now. It was only after all that that Park Place came up. Even then, it was the most grueling negotiation of my life. So many times I told myself, Wow, this just isn’t worth it. One minute the deal was on, eight months later it was off. The whole thing almost drove me nuts.”
But didn’t he think twice before buying a building so close to ground zero? Didn’t he suspect that he was putting himself at the center of a hornets’ nest?
“No,” said El-Gamal, who was born at Methodist Hospital in Brooklyn and, after some world travels in the company of his father, a Chemical Bank executive, attended New Hyde Park High School in Nassau County. “It never entered my mind,” he said. “Not for a second.”
Alas for the poor millionaire developer! He is caught out! Here is Daisy Khan on the location of the mega-mosque:
I think the building came to us, which goes to show that there is a symbolism there, and that there’s a divine hand in it. That it’s so close to the tragedy, that its close proximity is very symbolic for the fact that we really want to reverse what happened on 9/11.
And here from a New York Times article (now scrubbed of these statements about the mosque, interestingly enough) is the Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on the mosque location:
“New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic,” said the 61-year-old cleric, who is known for being a longtime critic of radical Islam. Being in a building “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” he added, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11 … We want to push back against the extremists.”
So which is it, folks? Is the planned location of the mega-mosque just a coincidence, or a direct and conscious statement about 9/11? Shouldn’t you have gotten your stories straight before you went to the media — even the lapdog media like Mark Jacobson?