Emails show Bloomberg office's desire to get Ground Zero mosque built
New York - Dozens of emails between Mayor Bloomberg’s aides and developers of the proposed mosque near Ground Zero show the mayor’s office has gone out of its way to support the controversial plan – with one of his commissioners going so far as to ghost write a letter to a community board leader on the mosque’s behalf.
In one exchange Nazli Parvizi, commissioner of the city’s Community Affairs Unit, penned a favorable letter to Community Board 1 Chairwoman Julie Menin -- thanking her for being open-minded to the project – which has drawn scrutiny nationwide for its proximity to Ground Zero.
Parvizi emailed the drafted letter to the mosque’s imam and his wife – Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan – for their permission and ended it with Daisy’s first name.
She sent along the fax number and mailing address for CB1 – which voted in favor of the project in May – and offered any further help.
The letter thanked Menin personally for “giving us an audience to share our vision of the Cordoba Center in Manhattan,” referring to the planned project.
“We are incredibly saddened by the media distortion on what this project actually is and to whom it serves,” Pavizi went on to write.
Menin, a major proponent of the development, said she never received the letter.
Bloomberg has been a vocal fan of building the project – commonly referred to as Park 51 – near Ground Zero, decrying opponents as foes of religious freedom.
His spokesman Stu Loeser today said Parvizi’s job is “to help groups navigate city government, and from helping prepare for a Papal visit to extending approval of a Sukkah in a midtown Manhattan park, this kind of assistance is typical of its regular work.”