The developers behind the proposed mosque near Ground Zero have applied for about $5 million in federal grant money set aside for redeveloping downtown Manhattan after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, a report said Monday.
The application was submitted for a "community and cultural enhancement" grant, which is a program run by the Lower Manhattan Development Corp.
Developer Sharif El-Gamal discussed the grant proposal in recent closed-door meetings, according to The Daily Beast.
The revelation that the developers have asked for this grant could reignite outrage about the proposed location of the mosque and cultural center known as Park51.
"If Imam Feisal and his retinue want know why they're not trusted, here's yet another reason," Irshad Manji, author of "The Trouble with Islam" and director of the Moral Courage Project at New York University, told The Daily Beast. "The New Yorkers I speak with have questions about Park51. Requesting money from public coffers without engaging the public shows a staggering lack of empathy -- especially from a man who says he's all about dialogue."
The proposed site, two blocks from the World Trade Center, already has seen frequent protests. National figures including Sarah Palin have spoken out against it.