Glenn Beck falsely claimed that Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is heading efforts to build a community center in New York, currently "employs" an imam who blamed "the Jews" for 9-11; in fact, the imam resigned in 2001 prior to making those comments. Beck also absurdly claimed Rauf was "connected to Hamas" and attacked Rauf for making comments about the 9-11 attacks that are strikingly similar to comments Beck himself made in April.
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Beck falsely claims Rauf currently employs imam who resigned in 2001
Beck: Rauf "has in his employ a imam who" blamed "the Jews" for 9-11 attacks. Beck claimed that Rauf, who is a member of the board of trustees of the Islamic Center of New York, "has in his employ a imam who said on an Arabic-language station, 'Only the Jews could have perpetrated the 9-11 attacks, and if the Americans only knew that it was the Jews' fault, they would have done to the Jews what Hitler did.' He went on, quote, 'Jews disseminate corruption in the land and spread heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs.' "
Comments are attributed to Muhammed Gemeaha. In October 2001, the Middle East Media Research Institute posted a translation of an October 4, 2001, interview that Muhammad Gemeaha gave to the website lailatalqadr.com. Gemeaha -- described as "Imam of the Islamic Cultural Center and Mosque of New York City -- reportedly claimed during that interview that "only the Jews are capable of planning such an incident, because it was planned with great precision of which Osama bin Laden or any other Islamic organization or intelligence apparatus is incapable," that "If it became known to the American people, they would have done to the Jews what Hitler did," and, "You see these people (i.e. the Jews) all the time, everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs."
NY Times: Gemeah departed Islamic Cultural Center of New York City before making those comments. An October 23, 2001, New York Times article reported on Gemeaha's "departure from the Upper East Side mosque, the Islamic Cultural Center of New York City," which the Times reported occurred approximately two weeks after the September 11 attacks. According to the Times, Gemeaha "sent a letter of resignation to the mosque" and "moved his family back to Cairo." Gemeah's interview reportedly occurred October 4, 2001. Conservative author David Horowitz wrote that Gemeah left the Islamic Cultural Center September 28, 2001, prior to his interview with lailatalqadr.com.
NY Times: Head of Islamic Center's board was "outraged" by comments. The New York Times also reported that Mohammad Adbullah Abulhasan, "who heads the mosque's board," criticized the comments, saying they did "not represent at all the policy and the beliefs of the Islamic Cultural Center." A November 2, 2001, New York Times article further reported that Abuhlasan was "outraged" by the comments, which he said "did not reflect the position of the mosque":
Ambassador Abulhasan said that he was outraged by the remarks and stressed that they did not reflect the position of the mosque. He said he had expressed his displeasure to Imam Gemeaha in a call to Cairo.
He said he told Sheik Gemeaha that the essence of what he said was wrong, was against Islam and was "against what you taught us."
Beck absurdly claims Rauf is "connected to" Hamas
Beck: Rauf is "connected to" Hamas. Beck claimed that Rauf is "connected to" Hamas. Beck purported to illustrate the connection by claiming that "the imam of the new mosque won't distance himself from Hamas," and that "[h]is organization gave money to the organization that put the flotilla together, which is connected to Hamas."
Beck established no actual connection between Rauf and Hamas. At no point during his attack on Rauf did Beck say what "organization" connected to Rauf "gave money to" support a flotilla "connected to Hamas." Rauf is listed as a contributor to the Perdana Global Peace Organization (PGPO), which reportedly contributed $366,000 to the Free Gaza Movement, one of the organizers of a six-ship flotilla that was taking aid supplies to Gaza in May. Beck provided no explanation for how any of this establishes that Rauf is somehow "connected to" Hamas.
Beck attacks Rauf comments similar to those Beck himself made in April
Beck attacks Rauf for saying he "wouldn't say" the U.S. "deserved what happened," but "the United States' policies were an accessory" to 9-11. During his attack on Rauf, Beck said:
He also said, quote, "I wouldn't say the United States deserved what happened on 9-11, but the United States' policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."
Beck: While the U.S. did not "deserve 9-11," the U.S. was "in bed with dictators" and "that causes problems." Talking about "why do you think they hate us in the Middle East," Beck said:
When people said they hate us, well, did we deserve 9-11? No. But were we minding our business? No. Were we in bed with dictators and abandoned our values and principles? Yes. That causes problems. [Glenn Beck, 4/15/10]