Property tycoon-turned-reality TV star Donald Trump's offer to buy a portion of land at Ground Zero in New York has been turned down by the owner. Religious leaders upset the families of many victims of the 9/11 terrorist attacks by announcing plans to build a mosque just streets away from the site.
Hundreds marched at Ground Zero to mark the ninth anniversary of the atrocity on Saturday, September 11, and Trump offered to end the "fiasco" by buying the land earmarked for the mosque at a 25 per cent mark-up. But the TV star has been left fuming after the developer rejected his offer, claiming the real estate is worth a lot more.
Trump tells U.S. talk show host Larry King, "I called him and he started bragging to me about what a great deal he made. I said, 'Well, why don't you sell it, I'll give you your money back. I'll give you - as a smalltime developer, I'll give you your money back, I'll give you a 25 per cent increase, I'll pay your costs, I'll pay everything, and we'll end this whole fiasco.' And he said, 'No, no, no, I wouldn't do that. This is worth $18 or $20 million...' I guess he turned it down, but something should be done, because I'll tell you what, it's only going to get worse."
Trump also called for Muslim activist Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is behind the proposal, to find another location for the mosque: "I think he'd do tremendous goodwill. He'd show tremendous goodwill if he (moved it). And there's ill will if he doesn't move. And this isn't going to go away... I see the people down there, hundreds and hundreds of people, they're not going anywhere. These are people that lost their husbands, their wives, their sons, their daughters in the World Trade Center."