If this isn't salt in the wound - I don't know what is!
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
EDITORIAL: Tax dollars to build mosques
U.S. underwrites fundraising tour for Islamic shrine at Ground Zero
The State Department is sending Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf - the mastermind of the Ground Zero Mosque - on a trip through the Middle East to foster "greater understanding" about Islam and Muslim communities in the United States. However, important questions are being raised about whether this is simply a taxpayer-funded fundraising jaunt to underwrite his reviled project, which is moving ahead in Lower Manhattan.
Mr. Rauf is scheduled to go to Saudi Arabia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Qatar, the usual stops for Gulf-based fundraising. The State Department defends the five-country tour saying that Mr. Rauf is "a distinguished Muslim cleric," but surely the government could find another such figure in the United States who is not seeking millions of dollars to fund a construction project that has so strongly divided America.
By funding the trip so soon after New York City's Landmarks Preservation Commission gave the go-ahead to demolish the building on the proposed mosque site, the State Department is creating the appearance that the U.S. government is facilitating the construction of this shameful structure. It gives Mr. Rauf not only access but imprimatur to gather up foreign cash. And because Mr. Rauf has refused to reveal how he plans to finance his costly venture, the American public is left with the impression it will be a wholly foreign enterprise. This contradicts the argument that a mosque is needed in that part of New York City to provide services for a burgeoning Muslim population. If so many people need the mosque so badly, presumably they could figure out a way to pay for it themselves.
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