By JEFFREY GOLDBERG
Sarah Palin has called on “peace-seeking Muslims” to “refudiate” plans by the The Cordoba Initiative, a Muslim organization, to build a mosque and community center near the site of Ground Zero. After someone alerted her to the fact that “refudiate” isn’t actually a word, she deleted the original tweet and sent out two more: “Peaceful New Yorkers, pls refute the Ground Zero mosque plan if you believe catastrophic pain caused @ Twin Towers site is too raw, too real,” and, “Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing.”
By BETH FOUHY
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Lazio on Tuesday called on his Democratic rival, Andrew Cuomo, to investigate the development of a $100 million mosque being planned near ground zero. At a news conference, Lazio said he was concerned that not enough is known about the project’s funding sources and raised questions about its director, Imam Faisel Abdul Rauf. He noted that Rauf had recently refused to call the radical Palestinian group Hamas a terrorist organization, and had said in a “60 Minutes” interview televised shortly after 9/11 that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
By JILLIAN SCHARR
A majority of New Yorkers oppose plans to build a mosque and Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday. Fifty-two percent of the respondents said they did not want the mosque to be built at all, 31 percent are in favor of it, and 17 percent are undecided.
By Karina Loffee
The Cordoba House mosque, part of a Muslim center to be built two blocks from what is now known as Ground Zero proposed as a conciliatory move, was overwhelmingly approved by a local community board in May.
But the plans are being resisted by some New Yorkers who say a mosque would be inappropriate so close to the place where nearly 3,000 people were killed.
By Benjamin Soloway
After agreeing to sell a Staten Island convent to a Muslim group that intends to use it as a mosque, Rev. Keith Fennessy is attempting to rescind the deal in the face of community objections. The Staten Island controversy is especially notable in the wake of objections to the $100 million mosque and Islamic cultural center planned just a few blocks from Ground Zero.
For the xenophobic Northern League’s newspaper “La Padania”, the building of a mosque in Greve is a disgrace, exactly like the idea of building a mosque in Ground Zero. Indeed, in their opinion, what is taking place is a clash of civilizations. The Greve’s Northern League group leader announced a referendum. The mayor of Greve, member of the Democratic Party, explained that Muslims have never asked the municipality to build a mosque, but only support to find a place for worship. However, the mayor continued, the Northern League is propagating that the municipality’s money would pay for construction of a mosque, and asks residents to oppose the construction. Although this false, is nevertheless gaining support among many politicians, even left wing parties. Despite all this, according to the mayor, cultural and religious diversity is a positive development, and has to be sustained and enhanced. For this reason, he has just started a programme with the help of local associations, to explain to people how to tackle the issue of integration and coexistence. He reaffirms that religious freedom is a constitutional principle and, indeed, has to be granted.
Self-professed 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheik Mohammed (KSM) will be tried along with four perpetrators in a Manhattan court just blocks from Ground Zero.
Attorney General Eric Holden is likely to pursue the death penalty for KSM.
He says of the decision, “For over 200 years, our nation has relied on a faithful adherence to the rule of law to bring criminals to justice and provide accountability to victims. Once again we will ask our legal system to rise to that challenge, and I am confident it will answer the call with fairness and justice.”
But the effort to criminalize the events of Sept. 11 and accord Mohammed the full panoply of rights enjoyed in a federal trial has infuriated and dismayed Republicans, as well as some organizations of victims’ families. They argued that military commissions at Guantanamo Bay offered a secure environment, a proper forum for war crimes, and adequate legal protections for a ruthless enemy.
“The Obama Administration’s irresponsible decision to prosecute the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks in New York City puts the interests of liberal special interest groups before the safety and security of the American people,” said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) in a statement. “The possibility that Khalid Sheik Mohammed and his co-conspirators could be found ‘not guilty’ due to some legal technicality just blocks from Ground Zero should give every American pause.”
Delegation of spiritual leaders from Europe visits US to learn about ‘twinning synagogues’ initiative aimed at advancing interfaith dialogue, battle anti-Semitism and Islamophobia. A delegation of over two dozen European imams and rabbis in a meeting late last week at the White House pledged participation in American-led efforts to combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. The declaration, signed by leading clerics from nine European nations came at the conclusion of a four-day interreligious mission to the United States that brought the group to the White House, State Department, Congress, United Nations, Ground Zero, US Memorial Holocaust Museum and even Yankee Stadium. The mission was hosted by The Foundation for Ethnic Understanding (FFEU) in conjunction with the World Jewish Congress United States and the Islamic Society of North America.