Sharif El-Gamal, the developer behind the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque," told CBS News in an interview last night that the backers of the project will not take money from "organizations that have un-American values."
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"We will not take money from Iran. We will not take money from Hamas," said El-Gamal of the funding for the project, a proposed Islamic cultural center two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center called Park51.
"The money is going to be coming from people that want to get involved in the project," he told CBS News' Scott Pelley. "And I think it's gonna come from people from all walks of life."
El-Gamal kicked off a fundraising effort for the site today with an announcement that he had secured $10,000 in donations from a Muslim congregation for the $100 million project. The New York Times noted in a story discussing the difficulty of completing the project yesterday that "Mr. Gamal has yet to secure financing, hire an architect, incorporate the nonprofit entity that will run the center, start its fund-raising, recruit its board members, or present formal feasibility studies and business plans to community meetings."