Mayor Stalling 'Mosque' Suit, Which Wants to Stop Art Opening

Despite the occasional hiccup, it looks like the controversial Park51 Islamic community center downtown has weathered the furor that consumed it last year and will get built some day if the ambitious project can find $100 million.

That has not stopped a firefighter and a conservative legal group from continuing to fight Park51 with a lawsuit, The Times reports. The real problem, the group charges, is not the developer, Sharif El-Gamal, or the imam, Faisal Abdul Rauf, but the Bloomberg administration.

“There is a disturbing pattern of stonewalling by the city and mayor’s office in providing information about what’s clearly been a politically tainted process from day one,” said Brett Joshpe, a lawyer for the American Center for Law and Justice, a conservative group in Washington that is representing Mr. Brown.

He added: “With developers moving forward with their plans and the continued lack of response by the city, we’re seeking an injunction from the court to halt the destruction of any of the buildings at issue in the case.”

The attorneys are seeking an injunction barring any work at the site, but a Park51 spokesperson said construction is still a while away–with the exception of “a multicultural art exhibit later in the spring.”

What? No art within five blocks of Ground Zero? We knew the World Trade Center cultural center was still struggling, but this is a new low.

mchaban@observer.com

Mayor Stalling 'Mosque' Suit, Which Wants to Stop Art Opening