Now that the provocative pastor has backed down, it's Imam Rauf's turn to encourage tolerance, build bridges, respect sensitivities, etc. by agreeing to relocate his mosque.
UPDATE: Enter The Donald:
UPDATE II: Sean Hannity tweets that would-be Koran burning pastor Terry Jones will visit Ground Zero on 9/11. As Sean says, "this is getting nuts."
Donald Trump is offering to buy out one of the major investors in the real estate partnership that controls the site near Ground Zero where a Muslim group wants to build a 13-story Islamic cultural center.
In a letter released Thursday by Mr. Trump's publicist, the real estate investor informed Hisham Elzanaty, a major investor in the Islamic center, known as Park51, that he would buy his stake in the Lower Manhattan building for 25% more than whatever he paid. Mr. Trump wrote that he's making the offer not because he thinks the location is spectacular but because it would end "a very serious, inflammatory, and highly divisive situation."
UPDATE III: Did Jones negotiate a high-stakes quid pro quo? Could that have been his intent all along?
At a press conference just now, “pastor” Terry Jones has reportedly offered to cancel the Koran burning he had scheduled for Sept. 11 in exchange for an agreement to move the Park51 mosque project away from Ground Zero.**Watch video of Jones' statement below, via Greg**
UPDATE IV: Nope. Imam Rauf is reportedly denying a deal was ever struck, and insists the Mosque will stay put (at least for now).
UPDATE V: The freakshow continues apace: Repulsive fanatic Fred Phelps now says his "church" will burn a Koran instead.
UPDATE VI - ESCALATION: A top Ground Zero Mosque investor has declined Donald Trump's offer to purchase the property:
Donald Trump's offer to buy an investor's stake where a mosque is planned near ground zero is falling flat.Um, excuse me, Hisham. Trump may be a publicity seeker, but his offer was in no way "cheap," it provided a reasonable "out" for you, and could have brought about an agreeable resolution to an incendiary situation. So much for "healing" and "bridge building."
Wolodymyr Starosolsky is a lawyer for the investor in the real estate partnership that controls the site. He says Trump's offer is "just a cheap attempt to get publicity and get in the limelight."
In a letter released Thursday by Trump's publicist, Trump told Hisham Elzanaty he would buy his stake in the lower Manhattan building for 25 percent more than whatever he paid.