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Sept. 29, 2010

ISLAMIC CENTER DEVELOPER ON 'TODAY'

 

By Greg Hazley

Sharif El-Gamal, the Brooklyn-born developer of the Park51 Islamic center in Lower Manhattan and now a client of New York PR consultancy TASC Group, appeared on NBC's "Today" Sept. 29 to discuss the controversial project.

"There is such a misperception about my faith and my belief system," said El-Gamal, a practicing Muslim. "We are peace-loving Americans. We want the same things that everybody else wants. In order to be a good Muslim, you have to be a good Jew and a good Christian at the same time. That is part of who we are."

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Responses:
 

Joe Honick, GMA International Ltd (10/01):
It is unfortunate that this gentleman and his PR firm are continuing to belabor the religious concerns in this matter. What he has failed to do, as have the media, is avoid any legitimate and usual descriptions of such a significant facility. Unless NY papers have done it, the rest of the country has seen no renderings or arechitectural concepts or even the name of the architect. Those are standard public communications when the skyline of a major city is to be so influenced and especially under the circumstances. The same would have been true for any proposed synagogue, bolwing alley or anything else 13 stories tall in Manhattan. That the media have failed as well to ask about such things is also puzzling. If the developer would simply present information standards to such significant structures, the same as any other major facility, much of all this unfortunate colloguy could have been avoided.


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