Thursday, August 19, 2010

Imam Rauf's Ground Zero Mosque: Brilliance Or Incompetence

Victor David Hanson writes about The Cynical Brilliance of Imam Rauf:
Note that the world is not talking about banning the burqa in France, or shutting down a mosque in Germany. Much less are we familiar with the Russians leveling Muslim Grozny or the Chinese rounding up and jailing or shooting Muslims. And, of course, few care that the Saudis, whether the public or the government, would jail a Christian who built a church in Riyadh, or kill a nonbeliever who tried to enter Mecca.

No, Imam Rauf wanted to show the world that the most religiously tolerant country in the world was, in fact, hypocritically intolerant.
It is hard to do that in an anything-goes America, where Piss Christ art and shoot-Bush Knopf novels are considered hip creative expressions. But build a mosque a stone’s throw away from Ground Zero? Now that was a brilliant move, one that would draw a reaction from everyone from Glenn Beck to the New York labor unions. All Imam Rauf had to do was propose the mosque site, scram out of the country for a month, and let the liberal elite and the media lecture the world on how nativist, xenophobic, and intolerant the most tolerant nation in the world really was — sort of like lighting a firecracker, tossing it into a crowd from a moving car, speeding away, and watching the ensuing human fireworks in the rear-view mirror.
But for all the cynical brilliance of the message that Rauf may be successfully getting across about the US, when it comes to the practical consideration of putting up a building, the basics appear to have been overlooked. Which is why, according to Politico, Mosque a long shot to be built:
The Cordoba Initiative hasn’t begun fundraising yet for its $100 million goal. The group’s latest fundraising report with the State Attorney General’s office, from 2008, shows exactly $18,255 – not enough even for a down payment on the half of the site the group has yet to purchase.

The group also lacks even the most basic real estate essentials: no blueprint, architect, lobbyist or engineer — and now operates amid crushing negative publicity. The developers didn't line up advance support for the project from other religious leaders in the city, who could have risen to their defense with the press.

The group’s spokesman, Oz Sultan, wouldn’t rule out developing the site with foreign money in an interview with POLITICO – but said the project’s goal is to rely on domestic funds. Currently, they have none of either.

“They are in the process of hiring an architect — but here’s the thing, you’re not going to get the architect or the engineer because they don’t want to be involved in this,” Sultan, the new media consultant hired to handle some of the project’s imaging — mostly via Twitter — told POLITICO.
Of course, according to Hansen--that is the whole point, that the goal was not really the building of the mosque to begin with. On the other hand, Governor Paterson has already offered twice to provide state assistance if they will just move the mosque.

Maybe they're just waiting the governor out to get the best possible deal.
And having a laugh at America's expense in the meantime.

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