Fox and the right-wing media have led the opposition to Park51, often using inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric, and comparing Muslims to Nazis, among other things. Recent anti-Park51 protestors have echoed the right-wing media's rhetoric and imagery, invoking Nazis and anti-Muslim smears.
Fox, right-wing media compare Park51 planners, Muslims to Nazis, hate groups and wartime enemies
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."
Buchanan invokes Nazi march in Illinois while discussing Islamic center. On the August 4 edition of MSNBC's Morning Joe, Pat Buchanan said, "I don't think there would be a real -- these objections if a Catholic community center was put where the mosque -- or where the Islamic community center's going to be, or a synagogue or something like that. There wouldn't be the objections." Buchanan went on to say, "We had a real controversy about three decades ago, Joe, and I was involved in it. Should the Nazis -- open Nazis -- be allowed to march through Skokie, Illinois? And I argued they ought to have a -- they certainly have a right to meet, but that's a provocation because that was a Jewish community, and so I said no. Now, I don't know that this is a provocation, or can be called that, if you could get a synagogue there. But I do know it does seem deliberately insensitive, and I don't know why the Islamic leaders don't see that 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, 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 News' 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 mosque next to the World Trade Center."
Shepherd, Geraghty tweet multiple analogies to Islamic center. On August 4, NewsBusters managing editor Ken Shepherd and National Review Online blogger Jim Geraghty tweeted scenarios they alleged to be similar to the construction of the Islamic center, such as "Harry Truman War College, Hiroshima campus"; "David Duke rally in the same hotel as NAACP convention"; and, "Dylan Klebold Memorial Nurse's Office, Columbine High School."
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.]
Right-wing media promote baseless accusations that Park51 will be a "command center for terrorism"
Morris: Park 51 will be used to "train and recruit Sharia law advocates who become terrorists." On the August 19 edition of Fox News' 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 nationally syndicated radio show, Rush 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."
Cal Thomas repeatedly suggests Park51 would be a terrorist front. In an August 3 column, conservative commentator Cal Thomas wrote: "Ask yourself: if you wanted to infiltrate a country, wouldn't a grand strategy be to rapidly build mosques from Ground Zero in New York, to Temecula, Calif., and establish beachheads so fanatics could plan and advance their strategies under the cover of religious freedom and that great American virtue known as 'tolerance,' which is being used against us?" In a July 21 post on The Washington Post's On Faith blog, Thomas wrote:
A mosque near Ground Zero is not about tolerance, but triumphalism. It isn't about honoring the dead, but celebrating their deaths.
Don't we know why our enemies desire a beachhead in America? They wish to launch new terror attacks and forcibly convert Americans to their way of thinking and believing. What will we gain by allowing this to happen?
Hoft dubs Park 51 the "Ground Zero Victory Mosque." In an August 16 Gateway Pundit post, Jim 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."
Right-wing media's anti-Muslim rhetoric echoed at recent Park51 protest
AP reports on anti-Muslim rhetoric at Park51 protest, including protestors who believe Sharia law to be based in violence and that the organizers behind Park51 are "the same people who took down the twin towers.." An August Associated Press article on an anti-Park51 which occurred that day, reported:
Signs hoisted by dozens of protesters standing behind police barricades read "SHARIA" -- using dripping, blood-red letters to describe Islam's Shariah law, which governs the behavior of Muslims.
Steve Ayling, a 40-year-old Brooklyn plumber who carried his sign to a dry spot by an office building, said the people behind the mosque project are "the same people who took down the twin towers."
On a nearby sidewalk, police chased away a group that unfurled a banner with images of beating, stoning and other torture they said was committed by those who followed Islamic law.
A mannequin wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional Arab headdress, was mounted on one of two mock missiles that were part of an anti-mosque installation. One missile was inscribed with the words: "Again? Freedom Targeted by Religion"; the other with "Obama: With a middle name Hussein. We understand. Bloomberg: What is your excuse?"
"This is sacred ground and it's where my son was buried," the native Israeli from Queens said. She said the mosque would be "like a knife in our hearts."
She was joined by a close friend, Kobi Mor, who flew from San Francisco to participate in the rally.
If the mosque gets built, "we will bombard it," Mor said. He would not elaborate but added that he believes the project "will never happen."
Reuters: One sign read: "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Islam I Learned on 9/11." According to a Reuters report on the August 22 protest, "One sign read: 'Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Islam I Learned on 9/11.'" From Reuters:
Many in the crowd opposing the center were firefighters and construction workers, who carried signs reading: "This is Sacred Ground to New Yorkers."
One sign read: "Everything I Ever Needed to Know about Islam I Learned on 9/11."
Protest sign: "Islam + Shariah Law = Barborism (sic)." Fox news aired footage of the August 22 protest showing a sign which read, "Islam + Sharia law = Barborism [sic]." From the August 23 broadcast of Fox News' Fox & Friends:
Numerous signs depict "Sharia" written in blood: As the AP reported, during the August 22 protest, "Signs hoisted by dozens of protesters standing behind police barricades read 'SHARIA' -- using dripping, blood-red letters to describe Islam's Shariah law, which governs the behavior of Muslims."
Installation featured Muslim in keffiyeh riding a missile that said "Again? Freedom Targeted by Religion." The AP reported that at the August 22 protest, "A mannequin wearing a keffiyeh, a traditional Arab headdress, was mounted on one of two mock missiles that were part of an anti-mosque installation. One missile was inscribed with the words: 'Again? Freedom Targeted by Religion.'" The AP added that the second missile said, "Obama: With a middle name Hussein. We understand. Bloomberg: What is your excuse?"
Sign: "No clubhouse for terrorists." A Reuters photograph of the August 22 protest shows a man holding a sign, saying, "No Clubhouse for Terrorists."
Protest sign: "We don't need a monument to those who attacked our country at ground zero." A different Reuters photograph of the August 22 protest shows a man holding the following sign:
Protest sign: "Islam is no longer a legitimate religion." From the New York Post:
Previous Park51 protests also featured inflammatory imagery and rhetoric
Protest sign: "Building a Mosque at Ground Zero is Like Building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz." The August 2 broadcast of Fox News' Happening Now featured footage of a recent protest against Park51, which included a sign that read, "Building a Mosque at Ground Zero is Like Building a memorial to Hitler at Auschwitz." From Happening Now:
Protest sign: "Proud to be an Islamophobe." Happening Now also showed footage of an anti-Park 51 protestor which read, "Jesus died to save you Allah wants you to kill for him! Proud to be an Islamophobe." From Happening Now:
Protest sign: "Islam = Hate"; "Islam = terrorist"; "Islam = Killing." Eye on the World blog posted a "photo report" from Pam Geller's June 6 Park51 protest. Geller linked to the "photo report" in a blog post touting her protest. From Eye on the World:
Protest sign invokes Nazis, calls Islam "the Enemy." From Eye on the World's "photo report":
Protest sign: "Mosques Breed Radical Islam...Radical Islam Breeds Terrorists." From Eye of the World:
Protests sign compare mosque to a toilet, asks, "Do you want this built on Ground Zero? I don't!!!!!" From Eye of the World's complete "anti-mosque protest" photo gallery:
Protest sign: "Islam Kills." From Eye of the World's complete "anti-mosque protest" photo gallery: