The Park51 Islamic center has taken a lot of crap for being located in the vicinity of Ground Zero, but now it’s hoping to cash in on that, too. The center applied for $5 million in federal funding earlier this month, looking to obtain grant money set aside to rebuild Lower Manhattan after the 9/11 attacks, John Avlon of the Daily Beast reports. The grant was submitted in the “community and cultural enhancement” section.
The application is legal and fairly appropriate. The FAQ for the grant specifically says that religious buildings will be considered, provided a portion of them is “dedicated to non-religious activities.” But Avlon points out that the bid could bring the mosque back into the public eye and reignite controversy. His article, for example, is provocatively headlined, “Mosque Money Shocker.” To be fair, the money is a bit shocking, in that the application suggests requests be between $100,000 and $1 million. (Read more Ground Zero mosque stories.)