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More mosque revelations
Last Updated: 8:29 AM, September 3, 2010
Posted: 11:59 PM, September 2, 2010
So now it transpires that a key money- man behind the proposed Ground Zero mosque is a one-time supporter of a group shut down by the feds because it was a front for Hamas.
No wonder the mosque’s principal imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, refuses to discuss the project’s finances.
Or, for that matter, refuses to speak harshly of Hamas — an Iranian cat’s-paw that’s long been one of the deadliest Islamist terrorist organizations operating in the Mideast.
It was reported last night that Hisham Elzanaty — an Egyptian-born businessman from Long Island — provided a big chunk of the $4.8 million needed to buy the building that will be demolished to make way for the mosque.
Among other things, Elzanaty runs a Bronx-based medicial supply company that had to refund more than $300,000 in Medicaid payments in 2004-2005.
In 1999, he donated thousands to the Holy Land Foundation, later shuttered by the feds because of its Hamas ties.
All of this is, as they say, enough to give one pause.
But we doubt it will truly surprise any among the 71 percent of New Yorkers found this week by Quinnipiac University pollsters to oppose the mosque.
Mayor Mike and others think they are bigots, but most seem to have asked — and answered to their own satisfaction — a fair question:
How close to the scene of that deadly Islamist attack on America is too close to build a mosque?
Answer: The proposed site was close enough to have been hit by a landing-gear assembly from one of the crashed airliners on 9/11 — and that’s way too close.
They’re also nervous about the project’s backers — even before Elzanaty popped up — deciding that, with those folks involved, anywhere might be too close.
As The Post reported yesterday, Rauf has been catching iffy tax breaks since 1998 for an organization run from his wife’s Upper West Side apartment.
How’d he do it? By telling the IRS the one-bedroom digs were actually a mosque where 500 people prayed daily.
These are only the latest revelations about the mosque’s backers, who’ve run up a cumulative record of petty crime, slumlording and tax-scamming.
And that’s being generous.
Rauf, who’s due back in New York this weekend after a long trip abroad, has plenty of explaining to do to the people he’s been thumbing in the eye for weeks.
First there is Elzanaty’s role, of course.
Then there’s the elephant in the room: Whence the $100 million needed for the mosque?
And then there is this.
At a forum in Dubai on Tuesday, Rauf appeared to call the 71 percent of New Yorkers who oppose his project religious “extremists.”
“The battlefront . . . is not between Muslims and non-Muslims,” he said. “It is between moderates [and] extremists and radicals of all faith traditions.”
We’d guess 71 percent of New Yorkers would include a representative cross-section of “all faith traditions.”
Are they “extremists” for opposing the mosque?
New Yorkers hardly ever agree on any thing — but they agree it’s inappropriate.
Are they “radicals?”
If Rauf thinks so, then New York ain’t the town for him.
Nor is there room for his mosque at Ground Zero.