Just when you thought the controversy over the so called "Ground Zero mosque" had gone away, the developers had to go ahead and apply for federal 9/11 funds to build the place.
The developers confirm the request, writing on the mosque's Web site:
In November 2010, Park51 submitted several grant requests to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, a New York state agency. The agency was established to help redevelop Lower Manhattan's economy after the 9/11 attacks.
The Daily Beast reports they are asking for around $5 million. The site also reports that the request is within the grant's guidelines, which allow religious institutions to apply for grants "as long as the request is for a facility or portion of a facility that is dedicated to non-religious activities or uses."
The developers say the prayer room would not benefit from those funds, writing:
Park51's grant requests cover a variety of short-term programming and site construction costs. The programming includes Arabic Language classes, a variety of consultation and referral services, a homeless veterans rehabilitation program, and a series of art exhibitions
Critics who are already against the mosque are even more outraged at this latest move.
"It is entirely wrong for any taxpayer money to be used to fund the ground zero mosque," Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., told FoxNews.com. "This is particularly true when it is being done in such a secretive way. This just further offends the memory of all those who were murdered on Sept. 11th."
"If Imam Feisal and his retinue want to know why they're not trusted, here's yet another reason," Irshad Manji, the author of "The Trouble with Islam" 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."