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Ground Zero Mosque: $10,000 Raised, $99,990,000 to go

Plans for the mosque near Ground Zero took a big step forward yesterday.

With controversy over the project still raging, the developer kicked off fund-raising for the Islamic center and mosque two blocks from the World Trade Center by raising $10,000 from a congregation of Muslim worshippers.

Sharif El-Gamal announced the start of the fund-raising drive at yesterday’s prayer sessions, which have been taking place since last year in the vacant Burlington Coat Factory that’s to be torn down to make way for the new center.

Conceptual plans for the mosque and center were made public last year, but its backers have long acknowledged they hadn’t begun raising the estimated $100 million needed for construction and the additional millions needed to fund operations.

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