Ground Zero ‘Mosque’ Launches 9/10 Fund Drive, Tweaks Name


sharif-el-gamalWith the 10th anniversary of 9/11 on the horizon, things are chugging along at the World Trade Center site in preparation. On Friday, the mayor announced both President Barack Obama and former President

George W. Bush will be joining him at the ceremony. Two blocks away, two very short blocks, Sharif El-Gamal is rushing to meet his own September deadline.

Mr. El-Gamal, the developer of the Park51 community center that sparked a furor last year because some Floridians and Fox News commentators don’t know downtown geography, is still struggling to raise funds for the project. On Friday night, Park51 launched a fundraiser aimed at raising $7 million over the next month and a half, according to WNYC. The deadline for the funds is Sept. 10, which Mr. El-Gamal called “a motivational deadline,” its proximity to the 10th anniversary merely a coincidence.

Last November, when the project sought $5 million in 9/11 grants, it caused quite a stir, so any fundraising attempts could prove fraught. The geometric project is expected to cost $100 million.

WNYC also reports that the project’s name has been changed to PrayerSpace, but that appears to simply be the name of the 2,000-seat chapel planned for the 15-story community center, first known as Cordoba House and more widely called the “ground zero mosque,” while the overall project is still Park51.

Mr. El-Gamal recently told Huffington Post he hopes new protests will not be sparked this summer by anticipation of 10th anniversary. He gave an impassioned speech to donors Friday, during which he said Park51 is “an opportunity to show the world who we are, and what we believe in, and what our practice is, and what our faith is.”

{The New York Observer/ Newscenter}


  1. maybe we should fly planes into they mosques and building inpakistan and see why we are so mad that they are building a house of worship next to where thay destroyed americas symbol

  2. Islam may indeed put up a mosque at ground zero and think that they have the way of G-d on their side, but the truth is that it is like putting your home on G-ds carpet in front of his home in regard to the tragedy of 911 and the location that has been chosen for their mosque.

  3. A column by Christopher Hitchens, written almost a year ago but still quite germane:

    Two brief excerpts:

    Two weeks ago, I wrote that the arguments against the construction of the Cordoba Initiative center in lower Manhattan were so stupid and demagogic as to be beneath notice.

    This is why the fake term Islamophobia is so dangerous: It insinuates that any reservations about Islam must ipso facto be “phobic.” A phobia is an irrational fear or dislike. Islamic preaching very often manifests precisely this feature, which is why suspicion of it is by no means irrational.”