The leaders of Muslim-American constituencies in New York want Red Apple Group head John Catsimatidis to apologize for saying this week that Muslims “hate gays and want to throw them off the roofs.”
The controversy stems from furor over the appearance by Proud Boys founder and self-described Islamophobe Gavin McInnes at New York City’s Metropolitan Republican Club last week. The club was vandalized before he appeared, and violence broke out after the event. Catsimatidis’ daughter Andrea is the Manhattan GOP Chair, and the Metropolitan Republican Club is the GOP’s landlord.
Council Member I. Daneek Miller, Democratic state Senate candidate Robert Jackson and Democratic state Assembly candidate Charles Fall have demanded an apology from the prominent developer and businessman, according to Politico. Catsimatidis initially told the outlet that he had nothing against Muslims, who are some of his best friends, and then released a more formal apology after their story ran.
“I apologize to all peaceful Muslims,” Catsimatidis said. “I do not apologize to Muslims who are against gays and against women.”
According to Politico, Catsimatidis, a Republican, defended the club’s decision to give McInnes a platform, said the comments about Muslims and gays, and also claimed that Muslims killed 400,000 Christians in the Middle East, which appears to be inaccurate.
In late September, Catsimatidis got into a public blowout with Brown Harris Stevens co-president Bess Freedman over comments the developer made about Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh. Catsimatidis called Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual assault of Dr. Christine Blasey Ford “a romp.” He later said he was owed an apology from Freedman. Freedman called him “another privileged white male” and a “disgusting troll of a human being.”
The billionaire head of Red Apple Group is a high-profile political donor and is currently focused on building in Coney Island, an area he said he will “tame” like Myrtle Avenue before it. [Politico] – Eddie Small