Ground Zero Imam a Taxpayer-Subsidized Slumlord

The elitist, media-generated grand illusion of the Ground Zero mosque imam has begun to collapse under scrutiny.

New reports from The Record out of Hackensack, N.J., reveal Feisal Abdul Rauf, the would-be Ground Zero imam, owns taxpayer-subsidized apartment buildings in Hudson County where the tenants have made municipal health complaints including rat, roach and bedbug infestations, seeping toilets, leaks, urine-soaked hallways, no heat and no hot water. 

Despite millions of dollars in government subsidies, Rauf has trouble maintaining several small apartment buildings in North Bergen, Palisades Park and Union City.

From the report:  

Page after page of municipal health records examined by The Record show repeated complaints ranging from failure to pick up garbage, to rat and bedbug infestations and no heat and hot water.

Cynthia Balko, 48, of Union City — a longtime tenant of Rauf’s — said she’s had to live with rats, leaks and no heat: “I don’t have anything nice to say about the man.”

Despite having received over $2 million in public funding for renovations, Rauf’s tenants were forced to file municipal health complaints to seek relief.  One such single mother living in a Rauf-owned apartment in Union City said Rauf has not answered complaints.

From an additional story in The Record

To understand her perspective, you need to go to a forlorn corner on the Jersey side — to 22nd Street in Union City and a four-story apartment building owned by Rauf. The locks on a front door are broken and the hallway leading to [Melba] Lopez’s two-bedroom apartment smells of urine.

Looking east on 22nd Street — back across the Hudson — the Empire State building pokes the sky. On that side of the river, New York’s mayor speaks of Rauf as a symbol of religious freedom and last week invited the Imam’s wife, Daisy Khan, to dinner at Gracie Mansion to honor the Islamic celebration of Ramadan.

But in Union City, Lopez, a single mother, has another way of describing the man who has time to promote the so-called Ground Zero mosque, but does not seem to have time to answer her complaints about leaks in her toilet.

Lopez said in the report she has never met the would-be Ground Zero mosque imam but she says she has met Rauf’s wife Khan.

Lopez said she remembers Khan telling her that she and her husband did not have enough money to fix her leak and other problems in the building. What Lopez did not know was that at the same time, Rauf and Khan were trying to raise money for their mosque project on the other side of the Hudson.

According to the new reports, Rauf has a long history of taxpayer subsidies and grants for slum properties.  There’s even a new revelation of a lawsuit settled in June over what the report terms a suit alleging fraud.

From the link:

[T]he suit alleged Rauf and Khan transferred ownership to another firm they owned and then obtained a $650,000 mortgage on the same building from a bank. After the building was damaged by fire in February 2008, Rauf and Khan stopped making mortgage payments to Cockinos, a former key executive at Daibes’ Mariner’s Bank. When Cockinos tried to foreclose, he discovered Rauf and Khan had switched ownership and filed suit alleging “fraud.”

The case was settled shortly before a June 28 trial, with Rauf and Khan agreeing to pay off the mortgage to Cockinos within the next few years, said the couple’s lawyer, Richard Rosa of Hackensack.

There is much more on Rauf and Khan’s current financial woes at the link

The New York Post reported the site’s developers owe hundreds of thousands in back taxes:

The mosque developers are tax deadbeats.

Sharif El-Gamal, the leading organizer behind the mosque and community center near Ground Zero, owes $224,270.77 in back property tax on the site, city records show.

El-Gamal’s company, 45 Park Place Partners, failed to pay its half-yearly bills in January and July, according to the city Finance Department.

Sounds like a good time to raise $100 million for a mosque.

Reuters is reporting New York is considering granting the group a reported $70 million in public funding.