Ground Zero Imam Heading to Saudi Arabia, UAE …

Claudia Rossett is on the trail of the traveling Imam,
News Flash: Ground Zero Imam Heading to Saudi Arabia, UAE ….

Indeed, the Cordoba Imam’s packing in more frequent flyer miles than Michelle Obama on her trip to Cordoba, Spain, but what’s shocking is that it’s at US taxpayer’s expense (emphasis added)

Next stops for Feisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the plan for a mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero: Courtesy of the U.S. State Department, Rauf — a.k.a. Imam Feisal – is scheduled to spend the rest of the summer on a swing through the petro-dollar palaces of Saudi Arabia, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain, and Qatar.

The State Department ain’t talking freely, either

As for the State Department: After three days of my repeated questions and phone calls, State by Friday’s close of business had yet to provide any response to my request for confirmation of Rauf’s trip, Khan’s trip, or details about their State-sponsored summer outreach excursions to the Middle East. Apparently, it takes quite a while at State to get “clearance” for disclosure to the American public of such basic details as who, exactly, is engaging in public outreach at our expense and on our behalf.

As for the State Department: After three days of my repeated questions and phone calls, State by Friday’s close of business had yet to provide any response to my request for confirmation of Rauf’s trip, Khan’s trip, or details about their State-sponsored summer outreach excursions to the Middle East. Apparently, it takes quite a while at State to get “clearance” for disclosure to the American public of such basic details as who, exactly, is engaging in public outreach at our expense and on our behalf.

Claudia’s Forbes article, Further Travels Of Imam Feisal
After Malaysia, a swing through the Middle East.
also explains,

At the State Department, which presumably will be spending taxpayer money on Rauf’s tour, I have yet to receive confirmation or any other information about his program, despite three days of my repeated requests by phone and e-mail. Apparently it is taking a while for State’s Bureau of Public Diplomacy to get “clearance” to release any details of this particular public outreach effort, though Rauf’s wife says it has been in the works for months.

All this comes at a moment when Rauf and his partners in New York are preparing to raise $100 million to build a 13-story Islamic center and mosque near Ground Zero. A Manhattan Landmarks committee gave the necessary approval on Aug. 3 to tear down the old Burlington Coat Factory building already purchased for $4.85 million by a real estate developer partnering with Rauf. That building is so close to Ground Zero that on the morning of the Sept. 11 attacks parts of one of the hijacked planes damaged its roof. On that lot, the Islamic center project is now cleared to roll forward, once the money rolls in.

Perhaps it’s coincidence that instead of haggling over financing in New York, Rauf–Imam Feisal, to his followers–will spend the rest of the summer touring some of the petro-dollar capitals of the planet, including such fonts of potential funding as Saudi Arabia and Abu Dhabi. Rauf’s wife and partner in nonprofits, Daisy Kahn, told me in a phone interview this week that he will not be fundraising during these travels. Nor, said Kahn, will she be fund-raising when she makes a similar State-sponsored outreach trip later this month to Abu Dhabi and Dubai.

Yes, you read it right: The State Department is paying (with taxpayer money, need I remind you?) for this guy’s fundraising trip to build the victory mosque at Ground Zero.

Angry yet?

Related:
A Muslim victim of 9/11: ‘Build your mosque somewhere else’

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