WASHINGTON, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Investigative Project on Terrorism reports that Ground Zero Mosque leader 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.
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 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.
These findings, all based on public records filed by Rauf, Khan and ASMA, mean the group is not a church, says Bruce Hopkins, a senior partner at the law firm Polsinelli Shughart. Hopkins has written several books on non-profit tax law, including The Law of Tax-Exempt Organizations.
You can find the entire article here: http://www.investigativeproject.org/2150/questions-raised-about-raufs-nonexistent-mosque
SOURCE Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT)