In a letter to Hisham Elzanaty, Park51’s Egyptian-born investor, Donald Trump is offering to purchase the ground-zero mosque site for the price that Elzanaty initially paid, plus 25 percent.
I am making this offer as a resident of New York and a citizen of the United States, not because I think the location is a spectacular one (because it is not), but because it will end a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive issue that is destined, in my opinion, to only get worse.
Trump’s proposal is to move the mosque at least five blocks further from the proposed site. Tim Brown, a former firefighter and a key Park51 opponent, also dropped noted moralist Carl Paladino’s name as another financier willing to buy Elzanaty out. Elzanaty, a businessman who provided the bulk of the funding for the two buildings, has said he’d be willing to sell his share for $18 million to $20 million — although it’s still not clear whether Elzanaty has the stake or authority to sell.
At the very least, this is bound to get us interesting answers to “What do you think of Donald Trump?”