From Newsmax -
U.S. Funding Mosques Abroad
Amid the ongoing controversy surrounding the planned mosque near New York’s ground zero comes the disclosure that American taxpayers are funding the construction and renovation of mosques around the world.
The State Department’s U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) is spending millions of dollars on at least 29 mosque-related projects in 18 countries, including Pakistan, Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen, Sudan, and Albania.
State Department spokeswoman Nicole Thompson told The Daily Caller website that the AFCP is a type of “diplomatic effort and outreach.”
She said: “It is helping to preserve our cultural heritage. It is not just to preserve religious structures. It is not to preserve a religion. It is to help us as global inhabitants preserve cultures.”
The State Department recently provided Sen. Richard Lugar of Indiana, Ranking Republican on the Committee on Foreign Relations, with a document explaining that the funding of mosques was given a green light in 2003. At that time the Justice Department said the Constitution did not bar using federal funds to preserve religious structures if they had cultural significance.
But Robert Spencer, director of Jihad Watch, told The Daily Caller that funding mosque renovation and rehabilitation is “disastrously wrongheaded and unconstitutional. They are not going to win hearts and minds. It is not as if they are going to say, ‘the Americans built this mosque for us so we shouldn’t wage jihad on them.’”
He added: “A mosque is a mosque is a mosque. It is where prayers happen. That is a religious installation.”
And Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, said: “We have always felt this type of outreach is completely ineffective and that ultimately we have to approach it like the Cold War where we are fighting an ideology.
“If we are going to have this long war of ideas we cannot fund these religious institutions. We can fund anti-Islamist institutions based in liberty.”
Stand With God; Stand For Liberty!