A rat and roach slumlord, financed by taxpayers, and now this:
Tax break for GZ imam"prayer pad' NY Post
The leader of the Ground Zero mosque got hugely valuable tax-exempt status for a Muslim organization he founded after claiming as many as 500 of its members prayed daily in a small, one-bedroom Upper West Side apartment also listed as his wife's residence, The Post has learned.
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf sought "church status" -- an official IRS term for a house of worship of any religion -- for the American Sufi Muslim Association, or ASMA, in 1998. The feds granted the request.
"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.
There's no indication ASMA or any of its officers rented space in the building other than the apartment, which the Investigative Project says is only 800 square feet.
A year earlier, the imam's wife, Daisy Kahn, had been named as an ASMA director in incorporation papers.
In those papers, she stated the 10th-floor apartment was her legal residence. (Read more: here)
More skulduggery from the deceptive Imam Rauf and the Con. Let's hope we can make the Ground Zero mega mosque "nonexistent."
Questions Raised About Rauf's Nonexistent Mosque IPT hat tip Ray
The federal government considers the Muslim group founded by Ground Zero Mosque leader Feisal Abdul Rauf to be a tax-exempt church. But federal records show the group obtained that status by claiming to hold prayer services for up to 500 people in a Manhattan apartment building that has no space to hold that many people.
The application for tax exempt status from the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA) in 1998 claimed the group had an established place of worship at 201 W. 85th St. in New York. That is a 17-floor apartment building.
The 1998 tax filing, called a 1023 form, is required for any institution that wants to be considered a religious house of worship and therefore exempt from taxation. In the filing, Rauf is identified as ASMA's founder. The application said the group was already operating as a prayer center for between 450 and 500 daily worshipers.
ASMA claimed to hold prayer services in this Manhattan apartment building, which has no space for group activity.
However, 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 tax form, while it cites only the building address as its location for prayer services.
The building has apartments only and no public spaces, such as a conference or a board room, to accommodate 450 people. Apartment 10E, building records show, is a one-bedroom apartment with about 800 square feet of living space. In the 1997 incorporation records filed with the state of New York, Rauf's wife, Daisy Khan, was named as an ASMA director living at that address.
But when ASMA filed for its church status with the IRS, Khan was no longer listed as a director. Instead, Rauf signed the form that said ASMA's address was the same as Khan's apartment – 201 W. 85th St., Apt. 10E.
Rauf was traveling in the Middle East on a State Department-sponsored tour and could not be reached for comment. In an email late Wednesday, Khan claimed the IPT story was inaccurate, but did not specify what she thought was wrong:
"I have received your enquiry, and notice that it includes inaccurate and outdated information. Unfortunately, as I'm sure you can appreciate, we are extremely busy right now and will not be able to provide you with answers by the time of your deadline. I look forward to communicating with you in the future, so that all the facts can be known."
Khan did not respond to a subsequent telephone call seeking details of what she thought was inaccurate.
Since ASMA's creation in 1997, its organizers have listed three separate addresses in their filings with state and local governments, records show.
When Rauf and Khan first filed their incorporation papers with the state of New York in July 1997, the group was called the American Sufi Muslim Association (ASMA). Its address was 227 78th St., North Bergen, N.J. That was Rauf's home.
A year later, when ASMA filed for tax-exempt religious status from the IRS, it cited the 201 W. 85th St. address in New York. Khan, however, was no longer listed as an ASMA director in the 1998 IRS filing.
Eight years later, when the group filed records with New York State to formally change its name to the American Society for Muslim Advancement, it listed the North Bergen, N.J., address.
Finally, a Feb. 2, 2008, filing with New York State lists ASMA's address as 475 Riverside Dr. in New York. That's an office building called the Interchurch Center, which is home to many religious groups.
Just as Rauf and Khan now say they want to build a mosque and cultural center to house worshipers two blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center, they said in the 1998 tax filing that they wanted to build a larger prayer facility:
"ASMA intends to continue its present activities, as well as to expand its services by establishing a permanent large scale prayer center in New York City," the group reported in its 1998 filing for tax-exempt status. "The center will include a mosque (prayer place) where every Friday and daily large congregation prayers and meditation centers will be held."
ASMA records don't indicate that the center was ever built. The group's corporate filings and website only show the 475 Riverside Dr. address.
Instead of leading prayers at a building controlled by ASMA, Rauf was the imam at the al-Farah mosque in lower Manhattan, about 10 blocks from the site of the proposed mosque and community center. In an interview posted on the ASMA web site, Rauf said he started preaching at al-Farah in 1983.
Go. Read the whole thing.