Thursday, August 26

Denial is not just River in Egypt : Grassley "No Ill Intent" in Mosque Criticism

Senator Chuck Grassley says the people who've criticized the Park 51 Mosque in NYC do not have any "Ill Intent"...

Said Grassley: “I doubt there was any ill intent by Muslims in wanting to place that there. I don’t have any evidence, I don’t think any of the critics have said there was any ill intent, and constitutionally you can’t question their right to do it. But I hope, on second thought — and we also sometimes have to have second thoughts about initial decisions, even well-thought-out initial decisions — that it is insensitive and unwise to do it.”

"Insensitive" he calls it?

How sensitive was this?

Anyone think harassing a 9/11 worker who isn't even Muslim to leave the area for his own safety was a great sign of "sensitivity"?

How about the California mosque that wound up with this posted to their door?

Sound like "sensitivity" to you?

Think the guy who urinated on the prayer mats at a mosque in Queens was being sensitive?

Speaking of "Ill Intent"...

In fact, the right-wing echo chamber has done little else but smear Rauf and question his “intent” in recent days. In a campaign ad, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio warned, “Now a terrorist-sympathizing imam wants to build a $100 million mosque near Ground Zero. Where is this money coming from? Who’s really behind it?” Fox News host Bill O’Reilly said Rauf “is no friend to America,” because his “radical” views are “very disturbing.” Fellow Fox host Glenn Beck falsely claimed Rauf is “connected to” Hamas, and that Rauf employs an antisemitic imam.

Meanwhile, Pamella Geller, a key organizer of the mosque opposition, has completely dedicated her blog Atlas Shrugs to pumping out smear campaigns against Rauf. She’s argued that the mosque is all about “stealth Jihad,” that Rauf is a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood, that Rauf “supports homicide bombers,” and that he has even “prais[ed] Hitler’s antisemitism.”

Even though both Karen Hughes and Karl Rove have attempted to deny reality, claiming that iman Rauf was never utilized by the Bush Administration to help build bridges in the Muslim world, but state Department spokesman P.J. Crowley said this.

"His work on tolerance and religious diversity is well-known and he brings a moderate perspective to foreign audiences on what it's like to be a practicing Muslim in the United States," State Department spokesman P. J. Crowley said Tuesday. He added that the department's public-diplomacy offices "have a long-term relationship with" Rauf - including during the past Bush administration, when the religious leader undertook a similar speaking tour.

In 2006 Glenn Beck spoke directly with Imam Rauf and said he was "One of the Good Muslims".

During the ABC segment, Rauf condemned the extremists who issued death threats against the Pope and political cartoonists, specifically saying that "these reactions are not at all called for by Islamic teaching. The teachings of Islam are very similar to the teachings of Christianity, of loving the one God and loving thy neighbor. These are the two common principles."

When Diane Sawyer mentioned that Imam Rauf says the radicals are just a "group of people" and "not him," Beck seemed to agree, saying "sure, sure." He added, "I believe it's a small portion of Islam that is acting in these ways."

Beck, for his part, even appeared to gesture to Imam Rauf when he invoked the idea of "good Muslims." (At about 2:45.)

Just like what they did to ACORN with bogus videos and smears, just like what they did to Shirley Sherrod, I feel that yet again the Park 51 Center and imam Rauf have been Railroaded and Smeared for political gain.

And people like Grassley are giving them even more cover, leaving it up to only the bravest of 9/11 Families to stand up for true Freedom.

As Iman Rauf said, we need to de-link the aspirations of religion from our politics - whether it be Christian or Muslim - because THAT is where the danger lies.


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