The right-wing media responded to reports that the Park51 project is applying for a federal grant with anti-Islamic smears and baseless accusations.
Right-wing resort to Islamophobia in Park51 grant reaction
Geller: “Jihadist Developers of Ground Zero Mosque Hit Up 9/11 Fund to Rebuild Lower Manhattan for $5 Million Jizya to Erect Islamic Supremacist Mega-Mosque.” In a November 22 Atlas Shrugs post, titled, “Jihadist Developers of Ground Zero Mosque Hit Up 9/11 Fund to Rebuild Lower Manhattan for $5 Million Jizya to Erect Islamic Supremacist Mega-Mosque,” Pamela Geller wrote, “Imagine the gall of these Islamic supremacists.” She went on to describe the center as “the second wave of 911 attacks on the American people”; referred to Park51's Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf's recent State Department-sponsored Islamic outreach efforts as “jihad junkets”; and included a picture of a 9-11 victim falling from the World Trade Center in her post.
Hoft responds to grant by posting a picture of airplanes flying into the World Trade Center. In a November 22 Gateway Pundit post, Jim Hoft wrote, “So what are the odds that Team Obama honors this request?” and posted a picture of an airplane flying into the World Trade Center.
Peter Johnson Jr baselessly ties Park51 to Muslim extremists' anti-Semitic curriculum. On the November 23 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, Fox News legal analyst Peter Johnson Jr. reported on a Saudi-inspired educational curriculum that includes anti-Semitic and homophobic teachings. Johnson then baselessly tied the curriculum to the Park51 project:
JOHNSON: They compared Jews to pigs and apes -- other anti-Semitic statements, homosexual sex will result in death. Allegedly, according to the BBC Panorama show, shown in England, the fact that -- showing students 6 to 18 how to cut off limbs as punishment for thievery and, allegedly, it's part of this Saudi Arabia national curriculum in which there's been some discussion here in the United States, post 9-11, based on the fact that so many of the 9-11 terrorists were Saudi Arabian descent.
So it's become an issue in England in terms of should hate speech be taught in the so-called weekend schools in Great Britain? It takes on added significance, because we know what's going on in the state of Oklahoma now. There was a decision yesterday that a federal judge is going to stay the imposition of the prohibition on Sharia law in the state of Oklahoma. And then we see the story this morning whereby apparently the folks down at the 9-11 mosque and cultural center are seeking about $5 million in federal funds for so-called educational purposes. And so the first off-the-cuff thought is: will that school -- will that cultural program impose the same kind of things exposed in that BBC Panorama special with regard to homophobia, anti-Semitism, hate speech, and hate conduct? I hope not.
Fox guest describes Park51 grant application as being “like getting the middle finger put right in your face.” On Fox & Friends, co-host Gretchen Carlson introduced a segment on the grant by saying the project is “asking for $5 million meant to rebuild Ground Zero from the September 11 rebuilding fund.” Her guest, former 9-11 responder and firefighter Tim Brown, responded: “It's just so disingenuous. It took us by complete surprise. And, I mean, the gall of them, it seems to me, it's like getting the middle finger put right in your face.”
Park51 project will reportedly use grant money for community improvement
Park51 notes that grant money, if awarded, will go to social services -- like domestic violence prevention -- and community improvement “for all the residents of Lower Manhattan.” In a statement released November 22, the Park51 project noted that the grant “would in part fund social service programs for all the residents of Lower Manhattan such as domestic violence prevention, Arabic and other foreign language classes, programs and services for homeless veterans, two multi-cultural art exhibits and immigration services.” The statement further noted that “this community center will provide hundreds of construction jobs over the next few years and when opened will provide 150 permanent jobs. In addition, this community center, which will include a gym, a pool, a day care center, a pre-K, a culinary institute, tech classes, an amphitheater, and a 9/11 Memorial, is desperately needed in Lower Manhattan.”
Fox, right-wing media have repeatedly levied anti-Muslim attacks against Park51
Sekulow compares Islamic center to “monument to kamikaze pilots” at Pearl Harbor. On the August 4 edition of Fox News' Happening Now, co-host Jon Scott said, “The mayor says it would show what a great and tolerant country America is if you allow the building of a mosque in this site. Do you have an answer for that?” Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice, responded, “That argument is like saying this: It would be appropriate and show tolerance to allow a monument to kamikaze pilots at the site of the Arizona at Pearl Harbor.” Sekulow later described the Islamic center as “a 15-story monument to what happened on 9-11.”
Buchanan compares Park51 to Nazis marching through Skokie, IL. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, contributor Pat Buchanan compared the Park51 center to the Nazi march through Skokie, IL, claiming that it was a “provocation” and said the center is “deliberately insensitive.” Buchanan said “I don't know why the Islamic leaders don't see this isn't bringing us together and it's not helping, and take a unilateral step and pull back.”
Limbaugh compares Islamic center to the Klan building a memorial in Gettysburg. On the August 3 edition of his radio show, Rush Limbaugh asked a caller, “What would happen, do you think, if the Ku Klux Klan established a memorial at Gettysburg?” Limbaugh later said, “They wouldn't get to first base. Nobody would put up with the Klan building a memorial anywhere, much less Gettysburg.”
Gingrich compares Islamic center to Nazis erecting sign near Holocaust museum, Japanese site near Pearl Harbor. On the August 16 edition of Fox & Friends, Newt Gingrich said, “Nazis don't have the right to put up a sign next to the Holocaust museum in Washington. We would never accept the Japanese putting up a site next to Pearl Harbor. There's no reason for us to accept a
McGuirk: You wouldn't build ”a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial." On the May 20 edition of Fox News' Hannity, radio host Amy Walter said, “You would never build something like a German cultural center outside of Auschwitz. You wouldn't do that, even 50 years later. It's wrong. It's in poor taste. You just don't do that.” Imus in the Morning producer Bernard McGuirk replied, “Or a sushi stand at the Pearl Harbor memorial.” [Transcript from Nexis.]
Morris: Park 51 will be used to “train and recruit Sharia law advocates who become terrorists.” On the August 19 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox News contributor Dick Morris cited a study that he claimed said “80 percent of the mosques...teach Sharia law as the main event at their mosques.” Morris later claimed that Park 51 will be used to “study and promote and train and recruit Sharia law advocates, which, who become terrorists.”
Morris: Park51 would be a “command center for terrorism.” On the August 18 edition of Fox News' The O'Reilly Factor, during a discussion of Park51, Morris claimed “these Sharia mosques ... have become the command centers for terrorists,” adding, “so this one would be, too.”
Bolling: Park51 “may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds -- some of the biggest terrorist minds.” On the August 19 edition of Fox & Friends, Fox Business host Eric Bolling claimed that Park51 “may be a meeting place for some of the scariest minds -- some of the biggest terrorist minds.”
Kilmeade: “The next Hamburg cell could be right downtown.” During the discussion with Bolling on the August 19 Fox & Friends, co-host Brian Kilmeade said of Park51, “The next Hamburg cell could be right downtown.” A terrorist cell in Hamburg, Germany, whose members would later become the 9-11 hijackers, is believed to be the origin of the 9-11 plot.
Limbaugh suggests Park51 would be a “recruiting tool for domestic extremists.” On the August 3 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh stated that if the Guantanamo Bay detention center “is a recruiting tool for foreign extremists, what about a World Trade Center mosque being a recruiting tool for domestic extremists?”
Nugent: “The mosque will attract extremists and radicals who will try to harm America.” In an August 19 Washington Times op-ed attacking Park51, Ted Nugent wrote that "[t]he mosque will attract extremists and radicals who will try to harm America." Nugent repeatedly referred to Islam as a “voodoo religion” and concluded, “If additional American blood is spilled in the Big Apple, the politicians who supported this mosque will be as guilty as the Muslim voodoo kooks who love death and destruction in the name of Allah.”
Hoft dubs Park 51 the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque.” In an August 16 Gateway Pundit post, Hoft touted Fox News' Bill O'Reilly's criticism of Obama's comments about Park 51 and described the Islamic community center as the “Ground Zero Victory Mosque.”