Beck, Geller push falsehood that Ground Zero “mosque” will open on September 11

Glenn Beck and Pamela Geller advanced the false claim that the New York City Islamic cultural center will open on September 11, 2011. In fact, both the executive director of one of the groups spearheading the project, as well as the Imam involved, have flatly denied that the center is slated to open on September 11.

Beck, Geller, push falsehood that “Ground Zero mosque” will open on 9/11

Beck: “You want to open [the center] on September 11th? You're a fool.”* On the August 10 edition of Fox News' Fox & Friends, guest Glenn Beck acknowledged that “we have no right to stop” the building of the center, but said it is “in extraordinarily bad taste, I think it's foolish, I think it's a slap in the face to do it,” and added, “You want to open it on September 11? You're a fool. You're insulting people, but we have no right to stop you.”*

Geller promoting ads which suggest the center will open on September 11, 2001. Atlas Shrugs blogger Pamela Geller promoted ads showing an image of the World Trade Center with the words “September 11, 2011, WTC Jihad Attack” and an image of the planned cultural center,--with a photoshopped image of the crescent of Islam superimposed over it--with the words “September 11, 2011.” From Atlas Shrugs:

Geller bus ad

Project's Executive Director and Imam call the allegations “absolutely false”

Project's executive director called the allegation “absolutely false.” In a conversation with Media Matters, Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, one of the organizations spearheading the project, called the allegation “absolutely false.” Khan also said, in a statement:

We are in the preliminary planning stages of the center and the timeline has yet to be determined..

We do agree with Ms. Palin and others that it is time to heal from the wounds of the tragic events of 9/11. We peace- loving Muslims have a responsibility to lead the effort of rebuilding Lower Manhattan. We envision a community center for multi-faith collaboration that is focused on promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion.

Imam Rauf reportedly “said the mosque will not open on the anniversary of 9/11.” On May 26, Newsday reported that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Imam involved in the project, “said the mosque will not open on the anniversary of 9/11, and that it will take between 18 months and three years before the money is raised to open the center at the old Burlington Coat Factory building on Park Place, which was damaged on 9/11. Rauf said the building will either be demolished, or renovated depending on a pending landmark status application.”

* Text edited