I’m Tom Ognibene. I’m running for Lt. Governor on the Republican and Taxpayers lines alongside my candidate for Governor, Carl Paladino.
The Port Authority PBA says the proposed Cordoba Mosque at 45 Park Place should not be a political issue. Carl and I agree. Nevertheless, construction of this mosque near Ground Zero is a slap in the face of the people of the City and State of New York – and the United States of America.
Andrew Cuomo and Mike Bloomberg have said the matter is an issue of religious freedom. Carl Paladino and I disagree with them. Rick Lazio says the matter should be investigated, but the time to investigate is over.
The politicians should stop trying to walk between the raindrops. We must confront this issue head on and end the hand wringing.
The memories of those who died at the site and in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan must be protected, respected and honored. The Cordoba mosque and community center would be an insult to all Americans – especially our soldiers and New York’s heroic first responders.
The building at 45 Park Place was abandoned after a piece of one of the hijacked planes crashed through its roof on September 11th. Thousands were murdered in that brutal attack on America. This is the burial ground of the first deaths in a 10-year war, for God’s sake.
Senator Chuck Schumer and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and the Manhattan delegation in the House of Representatives must immediately introduce legislation in the United States Congress designating the entire Ground Zero site as a National War Memorial and 45 Park Place must be included.
The application process rests in the hands of Congress through their American Battle Monuments Commission, the ABMC. Although 36 USC §2105 says that the ABMC will take care of all the plans and estimates for the memorial, the site still needs to be protected.
Pending the approval of the designation, Mayor Bloomberg must stop all construction and permit proceedings. Full stop.
By doing so, we can prevent the construction of the $100 million mosque, 600 feet from where the World Trade Center was struck down.
The site where over 3,000 Americans were killed on September 11, 2001 is no different from the site where thousands of American troops were killed on December 7, 1941- at Pearl Harbor.
Could you imagine a Japanese cultural center and temple next to the USS Arizona Memorial?
Declaring the entire site of the disaster a National War Memorial should be the highest priority for our leadership.
The Mosque projects are fostered by the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba initiative. We don’t even know: are these fronts for the extremist views of Islamic zealots who rained death and destruction on New York City – on America.
The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District should demand information on the source of the $100,000,000 to build the project to determine if there is a violation of the Patriot Act.
In U.S. interviews, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is behind the planning and construction of the Mosque, insists the money will be raised from within the United States. But Imam Rauf told a London paper he plans to ask Arab and Muslim nations around the world for money.
There is a significant possibility that funding is coming from foreign donors that operate under Sharia Law. Imam Rauf advocates Sharia Law, the same law forcing the execution of a woman by stoning in Iran as punishment for adultery.
The United States is a party to human rights treaties that would call for extradition of anyone attempting to use such means of capital punishment. And the Patriot Act provides that it is a crime to use money from a person or entity that is in violation of a Treaty to which the United States is a party.
The use of the money is illegal. The Cordoba Mosque must be stopped.
Our elected leaders are obligated to stop the construction of a Mosque on the hollowed ground where radical Islamists declared War on the United States of America.
45 Park Place should be a War Memorial.
Constructing this mosque violates the Patriot Act.
And it is a slap in the face to the American people.
Thank you very much.
Tom Ognibene is the candidate for Lt. Governor, on the Republican and Taxpayer lines alongside candidate for Governor, Carl Paladino.