NEW YORK, Dec. 3, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Andy Sullivan, founder of Blue Collar Corner, and other opponents of the planned Islamic center near Ground Zero use Facebook.com/boycottgzmosque, a new media site, to urge for a boycott of the project's attorney, architect and a cast of characters that includes … John Cusack.
Crain's New York.com, reported today that opponents of the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero have taken their fight to Facebook, using new media to launch an old-fashioned boycott.
The newly established Facebook page, entitled "Boycott companies who support Ground Zero Mosque (starting with GQ)," so far lists five targets for its followers to avoid: GQ magazine, Soma Architects, real estate attorney Adam Leitman Bailey PC, actor John Cusack and musical star John Legend. There is also a proposal to add Matt Lauer and NBC to the list.
The page's founder, construction foreman and first-responder Andy Sullivan, said he set up the page in August after the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission declined to grant landmark status to the site of the proposed mosque, bringing the project one step closer to fruition.
The page is part of a wider campaign he started called the 9/11 Hard Hat Pledge, which he's been circulating around job sites. "Essentially, it says that I pledge not to contribute to the construction of that mosque in that present location," Mr. Sullivan explained.
Mr. Sullivan's pledge and accompanying blog caught the attention of radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh, who immediately had Mr. Sullivan on the air for an interview. "After that, the support just came pouring in," Mr. Sullivan said, claiming that nearly 45,000 people have joined the pledge and support the boycott.
The Facebook page had just 171 fans Friday morning.
Mr. Bailey, who represents the project's developer, Sharif El Gamal of Soho Properties, and the mosque's leader, Imam Faisal Rauf, said that so far he has not felt any impact from the campaign.
Not that it would matter, he explained: "I am fighting to make sure that persons of every religion are never again denied the right to practice their religion. If my fight results in companies boycotting my services, then that is the sacrifice that I will have to make."
Soma Architects, a Manhattan firm designing the project, did not return calls.
The opposition group singles out men's magazine GQ for "Honoring Mayor Bloomberg for supporting the mosque," and Messrs. Cusack and Legend for their vocal support of the project.
While the controversy has been brewing for months, Mr. El Gamal's decision last month to apply for a $5 million federal grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. seemed to be the main driver of this particular Facebook page, whose headline reads, "No federal funding for Victory Mosque."
Mr. El Gamal said the money would be used for social services and programs.
Hard Hat Andy Sullivan is a 9/11 Survivor his blog can be followed on www.BlueCollarCorner.com. Mr. Sullivan's compelling 9/11 survival story is featured in the new documentary film Sacrificed Survivors, premiering this month in NYC.
SOURCE Blue Collar Corner