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Imam at center of controversy named in lawsuit (Feisal Abdul Rauf)

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alp227 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 08:34 PM
Original message
Imam at center of controversy named in lawsuit (Feisal Abdul Rauf)
Source: CNN

New York (CNN) -- The imam whose proposed Islamic center near ground zero has stirred a passionate controversy is now the defendant in a lawsuit, according the paperwork filed Tuesday at Hudson County Superior Court.

The lawsuit alleges Feisal Abdul Rauf's company, Sage Development, which owns two buildings in Union City, New Jersey, failed to properly maintain the buildings and apartments. One building contains 32 residential units and the second contains 16 units, according to the lawsuit.

"From 1996 to 2010, the city responded to no less than 30 complaints from tenants predicated upon various health and safety concerns, including lack of heat, mold inside apartments, garbage issues, bed bugs, foul odors, dirty hallways and the lack of utilities/heat," the filing says.

The larger of the two buildings has been vacant since a fire damaged the property on February 8, 2008. According to the lawsuit, Union City Fire Officials issued 12 fire code violations over the year prior to the fire. In the second apartment building, more than two units were found to be infested with bed bugs after complaints of improperly stored garbage.

Read more: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/09/14/new.jersey.imam.law...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 08:42 PM
Response to Original message
1. Is the imam the sole person responsible for
The community center?
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #1
10. Cool wiggle. Quick distancing.
Only trouble is, he was the moral authority front for the Notamosque. Remember? Mr. Sufi-peacelover?

The other people involved are much dicier.

Gosh, I hope he takes a firm stand against bedbugs at the Notamosque. We have a problem with them in New York and he has done nothing to get them out of that building he already owns.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Why do you hate the idea of a multi-faith center being built in a really run down area of NYC?
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #11
16. Run down????
Edited on Tue Sep-14-10 10:11 PM by aquart
The mind boggles. Go shop a loft there. I grew up working in that neighborhood. Nobody lives there except trust fund millionaires and bankers. Our building was gutted and rebuilt from the inside out to make apartments that sold...I can't even imagine how much they made for an area without a decent supermarket. But they all order in anyway.

The guy who put up $4.8 million for that property has been quoted it would be nice if someone gave him $20 million to go away.

The building in question is the original Syms department store. I'm guessing they still held ownership as an investment until 9/11 made such a bloody mess. That and the recession slowed development in the area.

IT'S WALKING DISTANCE FROM WALL STREET. There are a lot of stores in that neighborhood with a kind of temporary squatters air that have been there for years. It's property that's being slowly acquired in chunks. The decision of the Landmarks commission about the Syms building means that the whole area is prime for razing and development. That's why it's "run down." It's being collected until the offer is good enough. Nobody is improving buildings that are going to be destroyed.

Now ask yourself: who would use your grandiose multi-faith center? The area empties at five. Except for the wealthy loft livers and the bars. Think the kids from BMCC need the gym? Think the Christians will prefer it to Trinity and St. Paul's? Think the Jews will flock to it?

Don't you think most of the attention will go to the Memorial Museum onsite at Ground Zero? Why, exactly, is this project attempting to compete with that?

You've been suckered.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 01:05 AM
Response to Reply #16
17. You failed to answer my question. n/t
Edited on Wed Sep-15-10 01:16 AM by Turborama
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 08:30 AM
Response to Reply #11
22. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 02:49 PM
Response to Reply #22
23. You also failed to answer my question. n/t
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 03:44 PM
Response to Reply #23
25. Deleted message
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Why do you hate the idea of a multi-faith center being built in an area of NYC?
Edited on Wed Sep-15-10 03:48 PM by Turborama
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Name removed Donating Member (0 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Deleted message
Message removed by moderator. Click here to review the message board rules.
 
sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 11:27 PM
Response to Reply #10
29. Good advice. Bedbugs always back down when confronted by a 'firm stand'.

Makes one wonder what sort of spineless twits are in charge such Manhattan retailers as those managing Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister, Victoria's Secret and the numerous high-end institutions that are trying to form battle plans against the critters (S5A, Bloomingdales, Bergdorf's, yada yada).... don't they know all it takes is a firm stand??? Sheesh...
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truthisfreedom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 08:45 PM
Response to Original message
2. Moral of the story? If you're going to be a controversial Imam, keep your nose clean.
Or something.
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #2
30. No. Moral of the story, if you want to create a community center and you happen to be Muslim,
you will be treated very differently than someone of any other faith doing the same thing.

Show me the code violations at Park51 and then I *might* take the "slumlord" argument seriously, but I doubt it. The argument is an irrelevant one without proof of the lease terms, proof of code violations and documentation of complaints (which, in a link cited below, do not describe legal violations - though that doesn't mean they're not. It's pretty sketchy without adequate specifics).

For example, landlords have the right to charge tenants with children under 10 $20.00 towards installing window guards. What does the lease say? The tenant had the child when she signed the lease, so what does the paperwork say? Why is the shower exposed? Who exposed it? Did the tenant move in with it in that condition or create the condition in trying to re-tile (I have no idea, I'm just presenting different scenarios to illustrate that there is no obvious "bad guy" with the minimal information provided).

Oh right... the bad guy is Muslim. That's all the proof one needs, of course. How disgusting that people actually categorize the situation - because of this - what other reason is there, pray tell?

Ugh.

It's New York, people! Please!
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PSPS Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
3. "a passionate controversy"
The imam whose proposed Islamic center near ground zero has stirred a passionate controversy...

Controversy? Now a "passionate" controversy? Perhaps in the RW corporate media where it was manufactured. Everywhere else? Nobody even knows or cares anything about it.

This is just more of the media reporting on the media.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 08:58 PM
Response to Original message
4. No mention of who's filing it. Also, he wasn't "named", Sage Development was. n/t
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:35 PM
Response to Reply #4
9. The local government filed it.
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roxiejules Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:57 PM
Response to Reply #4
13. Rauf is the sole officer of Sage Development
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/09/union_city_sue...

A lawsuit filed by Union City charges that the landlord of two apartment buildings has repeatedly failed to address complaints by tenants and orders by the city on issues ranging from moldy bathrooms to fire hazards.

The suit, filed today in state Superior Court in Jersey City, identifies Rauf as the sole officer of Sage Development LLC, a company based at his home address in North Bergen and listed as the owner of the two buildings. The suit also alleges that Sages corporate status was revoked by the state in March 2005, for its failure to file annual reports.

The suit seeks to place the buildings into receivership, in which a court-appointed receiver would collect rents directly from tenants and use the money to make necessary repairs and address hazards, pay delinquent utility bills and settle fines imposed by the city.

Last week, The Record reported that Rauf received more than $2 million in public money to renovate low-income apartments he owns in Hudson County, including those mentioned in todays lawsuit, after winning support for the projects from officials, including the disgraced former County Executive Robert C. Janiszewski, and U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, who was mayor of Union City at the time.



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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 10:08 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. What a fine upstanding group of citizens who read and comment on that paper.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
5. let's just remember...
In 2009, The New York Times reported on the plans for an Islamic center to be established at 45 Park Place, two blocks from Ground Zero:
A presence so close to the World Trade Center, where a piece of the wreckage fell, said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11. We want to push back against the extremists, added Imam Feisal, 61..."The location is not designated a mosque, but rather an overflow prayer space for another mosque, Al Farah at 245 West Broadway in TriBeCa, where Imam Feisal is the spiritual leader."

It was considered to be akin to the Chautauqua Institution, the 92 Street YMCA or the Jewish Community Center:

Joy Levitt, executive director of the Jewish Community Center, said the group would be proud to be a model for Imam Feisal at ground zero. For the J.C.C. to have partners in the Muslim community that share our vision of pluralism and tolerance would be great, she said. Mr. El-Gamal agreed. What happened that day, he said, was not Islam.

From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feisal_Abdul_Rauf#Proposed...
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countmyvote4real Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:15 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. Thank you for that dose of reality. n/t
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:27 PM
Response to Reply #6
8. You're most welcome.
Did you catch the last part of this OP for more details? http://www.democraticunderground.com/discuss/duboard.ph...

Also, his Wikipedia article is constantly being trolled by bigoted Islamophobes with smear campaign stuff, as can be seen in the edits and discussion: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feisal_Abdul_Rauf
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aquart Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:46 PM
Response to Reply #5
12. I know. So many suckers in the naked city.
Nobody wants to be thought a bigot, so nobody would say the Notamosque was a scam.

ANYBODY can say "peace, love" but nothing he did was really peaceful or loving. But if anyone mentioned that, it was BIGOT.

He talks the talk. But he walks dodging the bedbugs and cockroaches in the building he owns.
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Turborama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:58 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. "nothing he did was really peaceful or loving"
Rauf worked to build bridges between American society, the American Muslim community and the wider Muslim world. In 1997, he founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (originally named the American Sufi Muslim Association<11>), a civil society organization aimed at promoting positive engagement between American society and American Muslims. The organization is now headed by his wife.<2> He is a member of the Council of 100 Leaders (C-100) on West-Islamic World Dialogue at the World Economic Forum (WEF)<12><13> and has received both the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolutions<14> annual Alliance Peacebuilder Award and The Interfaith Center of New Yorks annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Award (2006).<15><16> He was a major speaker at the 2009 Parliament of the World's Religions in Melbourne, Australia.<17>

In 2003, Rauf founded the Cordoba Initiative, another registered nonprofit organization with offices in both New York and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. As CEO of Cordoba Initiative, Rauf coordinates projects that emphasize the bonds that connect the Muslim world and the West.

References here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feisal_Abdul_Rauf#Career
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Sep-17-10 11:45 PM
Response to Reply #12
31. So how many other landlords are you protesting who's buildings
have bedbugs and/or cockroaches...

What does that have to do with "peace, love", bigotry or what you so blithely call "Notamosque".

You opposed the mosques in the WTC South Tower, of course...? I guarantee you there were cockroaches (and probably bedbugs) in every WTC tower/building.

Those bigots... wait, WHO are the bigots again?

The cockroaches?


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Posteritatis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Sep-14-10 09:24 PM
Response to Original message
7. Therefore they can't build the 'mosque' on its site - oh, wait. (nt)
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 04:02 AM
Response to Original message
18. So.... this has *what*, exactly, to do with Park51? I'll take a wild leap and
assume that, especially (and particularly) because of the national interest in it, safety/municipal/building codes for Park51 will be under extreme scrutiny and will likely be the safest, most fully to-code establishment within the city and beyond.

What say we do some perspective-inducing math, while we're at it:
"From 1996 to 2010, the city responded to no less than 30 complaints from tenants..."

That's 14 years.

A decade in a half in which he had 30 complaints... Hm...

Having no knowledge of whether the complaints were legitimate or not, resolved or dismissed as having no merit, it's safe to assume a few of them were probably in that category. Not knowing the number of tenants involved or how many times one tenant filed complaints (also safe to assume the unlikeliness that all 30 complaints were from 30 separate tenants - but, sure, it's slightly possible... hardly), these numbers suggest (to me) not a heck of a lot out of the ordinary.

What's disturbing is that this article implies something very ugly by innuendo - when facts and documentation on the specifics are simply left out. Um... agenda much? Whether Rauf is an angel or a jerk, I don't know - and, frankly, it doesn't matter to me in regards to his building project - or his religion. He either builds to code and all is well, or doesn't and is shut down. Park51 isn't good or bad. Its a community center. It has a designated place for religious worship. Going on what I understand of the Constitution, we should be thankful and appreciate that any of us would be free from restriction for building such a center should we have the means and desire to do so - in this country.

Re: The 12 fire code violations:
"The larger of the two buildings has been vacant since a fire damaged the property on February 8, 2008. According to the lawsuit, Union City Fire Officials issued 12 fire code violations over the year prior to the fire. In the second apartment building, more than two units were found to be infested with bed bugs after complaints of improperly stored garbage."

Forget the bedbugs... unless you want to protest a TON of upscale retailers to close down and/or rebuild "farther away....". Again, the article (why, other than deliberately?) leaves out pertinent details. My reading of the statement above points towards tenant behaviour, but since I have no way of verifying or refuting such assumption due to lack of information, the statement really doesn't mean much.

I'm extremely skeptical and suspicious of such information, especially given it's coincidentally convenient timing... only because the innuendo and subtext message is so clearly meant to undermine, not report objectively.

This sort of manipulation and persuasion sans fact is when journalism.... is not. Blecch.

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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 04:13 AM
Response to Reply #18
19. +1
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 05:48 AM
Response to Reply #19
20. thanks... I've lost sleep over my anger at the ignorance in those who
protest this issue/center/locale - bigotry and religious qualification have no place in the country and her most fundamental tenets as written in the genius that are our founding documents and Constitution.

I'm not Muslim, I'm not Christian (I do rain dances, I attend Hindu weddings, I read Lao Tzu, I love the Seder feast, I've given things up for Lent, Bagism makes sense to me... I'm open, spiritual, ethical, and skeptical of negative agendas and not interested in being judged or categorized by someone else's random set of conditions based on what they call "religion".) : )...

So, hopefully it's clear that I adamantly respect and value faith in terms of its relevance and meaning to every individual - personally. I do not respect the use/abuse of "religious" rules or 'laws' that are imposed on anyone other than those who practice and believe in it - especially when the agenda is one of division, destruction, violence, racism, discrimination, hostile extremism (I'm talking about non-Muslims here, but those attacking them, because that's what we have going on right now, disgustingly) or manipulation for political, financial or power-creating means... on any level.

Religion (in my understanding) is about goodness and by following a good path, one contributes a positive force, a nurturing existence that improves things from one's existence, not evil disguised as such. What makes the whole idea of "righteousness" laughable at best is how unilaterally the positive ideals and teachings are not just ignored but rampantly trod upon and dismissed by the righteous practicing the opposite behaviours (and worse) of what they espouse.

If the purpose of religion is to divide, harm and destroy... count me frikkin' out...
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roxiejules Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 08:14 AM
Response to Reply #18
21. More info on this story today
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sohndrsmith Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #21
27. Interesting - thank you. I still don't see the relevance re Park51. n/t
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mbperrin Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Sep-15-10 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
28. So the empty building is causing damage to which tenants, exactly?
Believe I'll join a lawsuit where the fellas claim the US is trespassing on their property, Mars.

http://www.cnn.com/TECH/9707/24/yemen.mars /

3 Yemenis sue NASA for trespassing on Mars


They say they inherited it 3,000 years ago

July 24, 1997
Web posted at: 10:44 p.m. EDT (0244 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- No one expects to lose much sleep over it but, for the record, NASA has been sued by three men from Yemen for invading Mars.

The three say they own the red planet, and claim they have documents to prove it.

"We inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago," they told the weekly Arabic-language newspaper Al-Thawri, which published the report Thursday.

Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil and Abdullah al-Umari filed the lawsuit in San'a, Yemen, and presented documents to the country's prosecutor general which they say proves their claim. There was no word on whether they had paid the appropriate inheritance taxes.

more at link


Anybody can file any lawsuit they like. They hope for a quick settlement which would be cheaper than fighting it, usually, very similar tactic to greenmail. Actual defensive tactic - string them out from here to hell, until their lawyer loses patience and quits taking it on contingency.
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