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Posted by on Aug 20, 2010 in Politics, Religion | 0 comments

AP Finally Provides Some Facts About The Fabricated Mosque Controversy

How long have Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani been spewing misinformation and hate about the proposed Islamic community center in New York City? Almost a month for Palin, that I’m aware of.

On Thursday, AP issued an advisory — oh that the rest of the media would follow it or think before using catchy phrases designed specifically to generate a knee-jerk emotional response:

We should continue to avoid the phrase “ground zero mosque” or “mosque at ground zero” on all platforms. (We’ve very rarely used this wording, except in slugs, though we sometimes see other news sources using the term.) The site of the proposed Islamic center and mosque is not at ground zero, but two blocks away in a busy commercial area. We should continue to say it’s “near” ground zero, or two blocks away.

In addition to this LONG overdue acknowledgment that the phrase is misleading (note it was coined by FOX News last year as part of a story that found very little opposition to the community center), AP finally issued a fact check. MSNBC included only part of the fact check in its story. (Why?? This is an online news source – there is no need to cut the bloody thing — and what they cut was the outrageous claims by Palin et al.) MSNBC also did not include the byline on the article, although it was clear to me that it should have run with one. ABC has the full deal (print view).

You can read the complete fact-check article from AP without having the narrative interrupted by ads or “click to read more text” links. Unfortunately, it has received very little play in the MSM. Surprise, surprise.

About the location (emphasis added) — which Palin calls “steps away” from Ground Zero (that was in August, after calling the community center a “mistake on hallowed ground” in mid-July):

The center would be established at 45-51 Park Place … roughly half a dozen normal lower Manhattan blocks from the site of the North Tower, the nearer of the two destroyed in the attacks.

The center’s location, in a former Burlington Coat Factory store, is already used by the cleric for worship, drawing a spillover from the imam’s former main place for prayers, the al-Farah mosque. That mosque, at 245 West Broadway, is about a dozen blocks north of the World Trade Center grounds.

About the claim that the cleric is a “radical”:

Rauf counts former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright from the Clinton administration as a friend and appeared at events overseas or meetings in Washington with former President George W. Bush’s secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, and Bush adviser Karen Hughes.

About the Muslim religion:

Bush, himself, while criticized at the time for stirring suspicions about American Muslims, traveled to a Washington mosque less than a week after the attacks to declare that terrorism is “not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace.”

In any event, the U.S. armed forces field Muslim troops and make accommodations for them. The Pentagon opened an interfaith chapel in November 2002 close to the area where hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the building, killing 184 people.

Muslims gather there for a daily prayer service Monday through Thursday and hold a weekly worship service on Fridays, drawing no complaints. Similar but separate services are provided for other faiths.


It’s good, I guess, that AP finally ran a fact-check — but it’s too little (few news orgs are running it) and WAY too late.

The copyrighted cartoon by Bill Schorr, Cagle Cartoons is licensed to run on TMV. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited.