Is Donald Trump seeking attention by purchasing mosque?
Wolodymyr Starosolsky, lawyer to Hisham Elzanaty, the investor of an Islamic center and mosque slated to be built at ground zero, sent Donald Trump packing after receiving an offer to purchase the ground zero space. While Trump insists that he has the interest of the local community at heart and wants to prevent future discrimination against the mosque, Starosolsky feels that it is merely a parlor trick in the bag of publicity stunts for Trump. With the religious center being a serious need for the Muslim community in New York City, Wolodymyr and his client would not even entertain the idea of selling.
The appeal of the ground zero location is minimal for the Islamic center. The real reason to build there is because it is one of the few spaces in the city that are being prepared for new construction at a reasonable rate. The current pending location is approximately two blocks from the original ground zero site. Donald Trump brought up a valid point stating that placing a mosque so close to ground zero would only be asking for trouble. With millions of Americans still angry about the 9/11 attacks, it is reasonable to believe that an Islamic center in close proximity to the location would only increase the possibility of hate crimes and attacks on the building.
Had Elzanaty and his lawyer agreed to sell the property to Trump, there would have been a clause in the contract stating the new mosque be at least five blocks from ground zero. There is an ongoing argument that a mosque being built so close to ground zero is insensitive to those that lost loved ones during the 9/11 attacks. However, the Muslim group has their focus on the needs of their religious community and hopes that citizens remember that it was not them that attacked our country, but Islamic extremists.