While taxpayers pay for Imam Feisal Rauf to travel the Middle East raising funds for the Ground Zero mosque, we learn today that Congress has set aside $6 million to 63 historic and cultural sites, including mosques and minarets in 56 nations. Hillary Clinton says the fund demonstrates America's respect for the world's heritage. As you will read below, this is an annual gift to the world outside of the U.S. It has been happening since 2001. Wouldn't you think we could have put this $6 million on the back-burner until we begin to climb out of the economic pit we are in?
The money is designated under the 2010 Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. You will be comforted to know that the project will also restore "Christian and Buddhist sites as well as museums, forts and palaces."
The contributions include $76,135 for the 16th century Grand Mosque in Tongxin, China, and $67,500 for the 18th century Golden Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan. An additional $62,169 will be spent on restoring a 19th century minaret in Mauritania's ancient city of Tichitt; $50,437 for the Sundarwala Burj, a 16th century Islamic Monument in New Delhi, and $15,450 to restore the 18th century Gobarau Minaret in Katsina, Nigeria.Find the State Department list of 2010 "Awards" here. In addition to the Lahore mosque in Pakistan, an $850,000 project will restore the 17th Century Islamic Sheikhupura Fort.
From The Daily Caller:
Just a cursory search of the term “mosque” on the State Department’s list of “projects” reveals 26 examples of federal funds going to fund construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of various mosques abroad. The benefiting countries include Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, Tunisia, the Maldives, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Serbia and Montenegro.
In Montenegro, for example, the State Department has funded an effort to restore and conserve the Shadrvan (Fountain) of the Old Mosque in Pljevlja. According to the State Department’s website, without needed repairs there would not be a sufficient place for ritual washing before prayer.
“To support the restoration of a fountain at a 16th-century mosque concurrent with the restoration of the mosque itself. Used for ritual ablutions before prayer, the fountain has deteriorated over time and needs a new wooden octagonal roof, pipes, water-taps, and pavement,” the description of the project reads.
Nicole Thompson, a State Department spokeswoman, told The Daily Caller that the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation is a type of diplomatic effort and outreach, what she says Secretary of State Hillary Clinton calls “soft power.”
“It is helping to preserve our cultural heritage. It is not just to preserve religious structures,” Thompson said. “It is not to preserve a religion. It is to help us as global inhabitants preserve cultures.”
In a document provided on Monday to Indiana Republican Sen. Richard G. Lugar, ranking member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, the State Department explained that the practice of funding such projects became acceptable in 2003 when the Justice Department declared that the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause did not preclude federal funds from going to preserve religious structures if they had cultural importance....
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has also spent millions reconstructing and financing multiple mosques in Cairo and Cyprus, as well as providing computers for imams in Tajikistan and Mali.You will be glad to know the monies for mosque restoration are just a pittance compared to the total expenditures of the Ambassador's Fund.
Others talking about the blatant misuse of taxpayer monies in the throes of a failing economy:
Tattoo-Gypsy Undhimmi Creeping Shariah on a stimulus for sharia
Linked by The Current - Thank you, John!