There are two things that really stick in the craw of many Americans: 1) The freedom-hating IRS and 2) Muslims thinking that they can build mosques in this country wherever they want.
Well now, according to a report issued by The Investigative Project on Terrorism (“IPT”) there is reason to lump the two together because a report now shows that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – the leader of the Islamic Community Center planned two blocks away from Ground Zero – obtained a ‘sketchy tax break‘ for a religious group he founded.
The IPT investigation found that “Feisal Abdul Rauf filed for ‘church’ status to the IRS for his newly formed Islamic group in 1998 and listed an apartment building where he claimed in the federal application that 400-500 people worshiped there.”
More alleged chicanery detailed in the IPT press release:
[A] review of the building and real estate records indicates there is nowhere in the building to house that many congregants. ASMA lists its office address as 201 W. 85th St., Apt. 10E on the federal tax form, while it cites only the building address as its location for prayer services.
In the article, IPT also shows:
• Rauf’s American Society for Muslims Advancement listed its office as the apartment of Rauf’s wife, Daisy Khan.
• Khan was listed as an ASMA director living at 201 W. 85th St., Apt. 10E, in the group’s 1997 incorporation papers filed with the state of New York. A year later, the group’s IRS filing does not list Khan as a director but instead gives her home address as ASMA’s address.
• ASMA told the IRS in 1998 that it planned to build a prayer center that would hold up to 1,000 worshipers at a time. That was never built.
• Although ASMA has tax-exempt church status, its website shows it has no permanent prayer site and the group no longer touts religious services as part of its mission.
The Post – likely acting on orders from the News Corp. overlords – inflames things bit further (citing IPT’s report) pointing out all the benefits that the ASMA enjoyed as a result of the exemption:
“Church status” is more than just an exemption — it means never having to pay taxes, file returns or reveal the sources of a congregation’s money or how it’s spent, according to the Washington-based Investigative Project on Terrorism, which discovered the group’s startling claims on the IRS form it filed seeking the special status.
On that form, the organization said it held services at 201 W. 85th St.
That’s a 17-story apartment building with no public space big enough to accommodate the 450 to 500 worshippers the group claimed regularly showed up five times a day to pray.
So now that the IRS has been twisted (albeit marginally) into the Burlington Coat Factory Mosque controversy, opponents of one or both will likely be reenergized for their holiday weekend protesting plans. Although, since the IRS has already been accused of anti-Israel it should make things slightly more interesting.
IPT Investigation Uncovers Problems in Mosque Leader’s IRS Status [PR Newswire]
Sketchy tax break for GZ imam ‘prayer pad’ [NYP]