The Real Deal New York

Records shed light on politics of Park51

December 27, 2010 11:43AM

From left: Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Sharif El-Gamal and a rendering of Park51E-mail records sought by opponents of the proposed Park51 Islamic community center and released last Thursday by City Hall show that members of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s administration worked very closely with project organizers to combat public opposition to the mosque. According to the Wall Street Journal, the chairman of the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission allegedly wanted “political cover” before denying landmark status to the building, which is located several blocks from Ground Zero and is being developed by Sharif El-Gamal. Aides to Bloomberg, who is known to be a proponent of the mosque, said the e-mails are no different than typical back-and-forth corresondence between government officials and members of the community. But project opponents point to the e-mails as evidence that the Bloomberg administration was in cahoots with Park51 organizers, and say that they cast doubt on the legitimacy of LPC. [WSJ]

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