'Ground Zero mosque' replacement announced
The infamous “Ground Zero mosque” debate is officially over. A “market maker” 70-story skyscraper will soon break ground at lower Manhattan’s 45 Park Place, ending any possibility of resurrecting plans for the religious building.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s proposal four years ago to create a 15-story Islamic cultural center near the site of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks sparked a national uproar.
Developer Sharif El-Gamal of Soho Properties, who was originally on board with the plan, rendered the whole debate moot by opting to build a 667-foot condominium tower for the property instead, Crain’s New York Business reported Friday.
The news is likely to be cheered by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich, who did not hide his displeasure with the idea of building a “Ground Zero mosque.”
“The folks who want to build this mosque – who are really radical Islamists who want to triumphally prove that they can build a mosque right next to a place where 3,000 Americans were killed by radical Islamists – those folks don’t have any interest in reaching out to the community. They’re trying to make a case about supremacy. That’s why they won’t go anywhere else, that’s why they won’t accept any other offer,” Gingrich said Aug. 16, 2010, during an appearance on “Fox and Friends.”