She ran one of New York’s biggest prostitution rings, with a client list that she claims included former New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer.
She served nearly four months in prison for her role in the Spitzer scandal but is now running for governor herself on a platform that includes legalizing prostitution, marijuana and same-sex marriage.
But even for Kristin Davis, previously dubbed the “Manhattan Madam” by some in the news media, the proposed $100 million, 13-story Islamic cultural center and mosque near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks is too much.
“I don’t see it as religious freedom; I mean does religious freedom mean that hate groups should build statues to Hitler in front of Jewish temples in America?” she asked today in a radio interview with Aaron Klein, WND’s senior reporter and host of an investigative radio program on New York’s WABC 770 AM radio.
“Freedom of religion is one of our constitutional rights, but we need to keep in mind this is radical Islam,” she told Klein on his WABC show. “There’s a difference between moderate Muslims and the radical ideology, and we’re fighting against the radical ideology.”
Davis was quick to point out that her objections to the mosque are “not based on racism or fears,” but specifically centered on where the organizer of the mosque effort, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is getting backing for the project.
“The leader of this mosque – I obviously oppose it – has gone on record lying about where he’s getting his funding from,” Davis said. “He went on record saying he got $5 million from New York Muslims to purchase this, yet a month before he closed on the property, he was receiving funds, his biggest sole contributor was from the Middle East.
“He’s lied, and at this point in the time, it’s his credibility that’s in question,” she added. “In my opinion, somebody is only lying when they have something to hide.”
Audio of the interview can be heard below:
Davis served her jail sentence on Rikers Island in 2008 after pleading guilty to promoting prostitution. She ran a multimillion-dollar prostitution ring that she claims supplied Spitzer with call girls.
In the interview with Klein, Davis revealed that Spitzer used her prostitution service at least weekly for 5 years, both while he was New York’s attorney general and while he was governor. She also revealed that she had to ban him from the business repeatedly, after the call girls complained he was being “overly aggressive” toward them.
Nonetheless, Davis sees prostitution and her other campaign planks as ways to dig a “bankrupt” New York out of its financial mess.
“My platform is based on restoring economic growth to New York,” she told Klein. “My ideas are a bit radical, but they are based on our economic problems, so my platform is the legalization, regulation and taxation of marijuana, prostitution, and also the legalization of gay marriage.”
Rauf, meanwhile, has caused a stir with his proposed Islamic cultural center and mosque near the corner of Park Place and West Broadway – about two blocks from the site of the Sept. 11 attacks.
Rauf sparked controversy earlier this month when he refused during a live interview on Klein’s WABC show to condemn violent jihad groups as terrorists. Rauf repeatedly refused on the air to affirm the U.S. designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization or call the Muslim Brotherhood extremists.
The Brotherhood openly seeks to spread Islam around the world, while it is frequently accused of covertly supporting and birthing extremist chapters, including al-Qaida. Hamas is committed to Israel’s destruction and is responsible for scores of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks aimed at Jewish civilian population centers.
During the interview, Klein also asked Rauf who he believes was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
“There’s no doubt,” stated Rauf. “The general perception all over the world was it was created by people who were sympathetic to Osama bin Laden. Whether they were part of the killer group or not, these are details that need to be left to the law-enforcement experts.”
Rauf has been on record several times blaming U.S. policies for the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been quoted refusing to admit Muslims carried out the attacks.
Referring to the Sept. 11 attacks, Rauf told CNN, “U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We (the U.S.) have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA.”
Madeline Brooks, a reporter who attended a sermon this year by Rauf, quoted the Islamic leader as stating “some people say it was Muslims who attacked on Sept. 11.”
Rauf’s 2004 book had two different titles, one in English and the second in Arabic. In the U.S., his book was called “What’s Right with America Is What’s Right with Islam.”
The same book, published in Arabic, however, bore the name “The Call from the WTC Rubble: Islamic Da’wah from the Heart of America Post–Sept. 11.”
On air with Klein, Davis declined to commit to blocking the Ground Zero mosque if elected governor, but did say she would demand an investigation into Rauf’s financial backing for the project.