Right-Wing Bloggers Spread WorldNetDaily's Smear Of New Islamic Center Imam
Blog ››› ››› TERRY KREPEL
Andrew McCarthy's sole focus in life, it seems, is to hurl overblown and misleading accusations about Islam and who, supposedly, is in league with Islamic extremists. We've previously detailed how McCarthy's book The Grand Jihad repeatedly invokes smears, myths, and falsehoods to portray President Obama as an "Islamist," and an entire chapter of that book is dedicated to promoting the discredited claim that Obama, during a 2007 visit to Kenya, campaigned for a presidential candidate there.
McCarthy keeps up his record of anti-Muslim activism in a January 25 National Review Online blog post, in which he embraces the work of WorldNetDaily's Aaron Klein:
Aaron Klein is the World Net Daily reporter and WABC radio host to whom Imam Feisal Rauf could not bring himself to admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization, an episode I wrote about in a column last week. Mr. Klein has just uncovered a recent recording in which the imam who has replaced Rauf as the face of the Ground Zero Mosque explains that Islam's sharia law requires the imprisonment of former Muslims who publicly renounce Islam.
"If someone leaves the din, leaves the path privately, they cannot be touched. If someone preaches about apostasy, or preaches their views, they're jailed," stated Shaykh Abdallah Adhami, a 44-year-old American and scholar of sharia. His remarks were made in a lecture two months ago.
Here is the moderate part: As Adhami acknowledged, many sharia jurists say that apostates -- Muslims who renounce Islam -- must be killed. But Adhami maintains that sharia distinguishes between "public" apostates and "private" apostates. Only the former, he says, must be punished and -- to be even more moderate about it -- they don't have to be killed . . . just "jailed so they are contained."
But as we documented, Adhami wasn't expressing his personal views; he was merely reciting history. Klein cherry-picked a handful of statements out of a 10-minute-long answer to create his slant, which McCarthy uncritically repeated despite Klein's long history of shoddy reporting. And both ignored a 2007 article by Adhami, headlined "The right to change one's religion," in which he called for religious tolerance, writing, "We need to acknowledge and affirm that diversity and difference are part of the divine intent for creation."
McCarthy's touting of how Rauf "could not bring himself to admit that Hamas is a terrorist organization" to Klein is similarly misleading; the website for Rauf's Cordoba Initiative states: "Hamas is both a political movement and a terrorist organization. Hamas commits atrocious acts of terror. Imam Feisal has forcefully and consistently condemned all forms of terrorism, including those committed by Hamas, as un-Islamic."
Unsurprisingly, Klein's misleading story also proved to be irresistible to the rabidly anti-Muslim Pam Geller, who promoted Klein's article as proof that Adhami was stumping for Islamic law on apostasy -- which, of course, is not what he was doing.