The developers of the planned mosque near New York’s ground zero on Wednesday refused to rule out using funds from Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s Iran to build the $100 million project.
Mosque spokesman Oz Sultan was asked specifically whether the project’s fundraising would include Iran and Saudi Arabia.
“I can’t comment on that,” was Sultan’s “not-ruling-it-out” reply, the New York Post reported. “We’ll look at all available options within the United States to start.”
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the leader of the Park51 mosque project planned for a site two blocks from ground zero, has told officials he would raise money for the mosque and community center from local Muslims, foundations and the sale of bonds.
But earlier this year he admitted to a London-based Arab newspaper that his fundraising would also extend to Muslim nations around the world. Rauf is now touring the Middle East on behalf of the State Department.
The Post observed: “The possibility of tapping the radical rogue Islamic state of Iran for funds comes as the United States just last month stepped up sanctions on the regime in retaliation for its support of terrorism and what is feared to be an illegal nuclear weapons development program.”
Meanwhile a Siena Research Institute poll released on Wednesday showed that 63 percent of New York State voters now oppose construction of the mosque near ground zero, up from 61 percent two weeks ago.
And a Time magazine survey found that 61 percent of Americans oppose the mosque, with 44 percent agreeing that the project would “be an insult to those who died” in the 9/11 attacks.
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