Is Bloomberg Supporting The Mosque Because Of Financial Interests?

Jillian Bandes
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Posted: Sep 01, 2010 2:42 PM
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg has been one of the most outspoken supporters of the Ground Zero mosque, and at first glance, it's easy to see why: his liberal base wants a PC response to a religiously-loaded kerfuffle. But is that the real reason he's going all-out in supporting this issue? As Robert Spencer points out, Bloomberg has a strong interest in maintaining viable Middle East relations because his media empire has major holdings in the region:
...in the spring of 2009, Bloomberg opened a news bureau in Abu Dhabi, joining its existing offices not only in Dubai, but in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia. And Bloomberg Chairman and Managing Director Peter T. Grauer announced plans to expand Dubai operations still more: “Central to our growth strategy is the doubling of staff strength in Dubai office, our 10th regional hub, from 48 to 100 people within a year…. We will be investing not just in more people but also in infrastructure to support clients in the region.”

Grauer revealed that while Bloomberg was taking a bath worldwide, business was booming in the Middle East: “Despite the difficulties faced by the financial sector in the economic turmoil, our terminal sales in the region grew by 2% in the past nine months, when globally we faced a major setback.” Khaleej Times reported that “the New York-based company has drawn up a five-year plan that will see it achieving a two-fold increase in revenue from the Middle East region by 2014.”
It's hard to say what stance Bloomberg would take even if he wasn't feeling the heat from the burning Middle East desert sun, but it's worth noting that his interests aren't only centered around the American people.