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Can We Expect O’Reilly To Grab His Saw And Hammer To Help Build The Ground Zero Mosque?

Reported by Ellen - October 20, 2010 -

Bill O’Reilly was still fixated on Muslims last night (10/19/10) as he discussed the “Muslim problem” with Deepak Chopra. Near the end of the interview, O’Reilly commanded that Chopra call up Imam Rauf, the imam of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque, and tell him that if he comes on the Factor with Chopra, dedicates the project to peace and condemns the 9/11 attacks, “I’ll come down there with a saw and a hammer and help him.” Well, I certainly hope O’Reilly is getting out his tool box now. Because Rauf has already dedicated the project to peace and he has already condemned the 9/11 attacks.

Chopra indicated that Rauf would be amenable to such a thing. While I’d love to see this awful chapter in post 9/11 history come to a happy resolution, and on Fox, no less, part of me cringes at Rauf being commanded to dance to O’Reilly’s tune – especially since the evidence always pointed to Rauf being a moderate. It was thanks to demagogic fear mongering by the right wing and Fox News, including O’Reilly, himself, that the enmity arose to such a level of hysteria. And now, O’Reilly was suggesting that if Rauf satisfied O’Reilly’s “concerns,” O’Reilly would give the project his approval and “We put that whole thing to bed.”

I can’t help but be suspicious that no matter what Rauf says on the show, O’Reilly would demand that another hoop be jumped through. Why? Because Rauf has already said what O’Reilly has demanded be said. O’Reilly only had to do a little bit of Googling to find it.

For example: In May, The Daily News reported,

"We condemn terrorists. We recognize it exists in our faith, but we are committed to eradicate it," said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who is leading the charge to build the Cordoba House.

"We want to rebuild this community," he said. "This is about moderate Muslims who intend to be and want to be part of the solution."

Or, as The New York Times reported, in 2004,

(Rauf) had little to do with politics before the 9/11 attacks, working on building the small congregation and doing the usual counseling and preaching of a cleric. But afterward he felt compelled to speak out. Islam, he felt, was widely misunderstood. He says he believes that Islamic terrorists are not obedient to the teachings of the prophet Muhammad, or what he likes to call the "Abrahamic ethic" common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

If O’Reilly bothered to read the FAQ’s about the community center, he’d find this, under the question, “What’s the purpose of the Community Center?”

The proposed community center in Lower Manhattan will serve as a platform for multi-faith dialogue. It will strive to promote inter-community peace, tolerance and understanding locally in New York City, nationally in America and globally.

Both Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Ms. Khan (his wife) are strong advocates for multi-faith collaboration. They share a vision of a community center in which various religious leaders and civil society will work closely together to foster community cohesion and advance the shared goals of moderation, peace and understanding. Through multicultural programs offered by the Cordoba Initiative and ASMA, the community center would crystallize this shared vision of peace into bricks and mortar.

Under the question, “Isn’t the location insensitive given that the 9/11 attackers were Muslims?” is the answer:

The events of 9/11 were horrific. What happened that day was terrorism, and it shames us that it was cloaked in the guise of Islam. It was inhumane, un-Islamic and is indefensible regardless of one’s religious persuasion. Not only Americans but also all Muslims are threatened by the lies and actions being perpetrated by these self-serving extremists and their perverted view of Islam.

The community center will be a platform to amplify the voices of the overwhelming majority of Muslims whose love for America and commitment to peace gets drowned out by the actions of a few extremists. It will become a platform where the voices of those who resist religious extremism and terrorism can be amplified and celebrated


The discussion about Rauf and the community center began at about 4:10 into the interview.

BOR: Do you know this Imam Rauf? Do you know him?

DC: I know his wife.

BOR: OK. Well, you call his wife up today, you tell him this. All Imam Rauf and his crew have to do is say (O’Reilly banged his hand against something), ‘We’re gonna dedicate this mosque, community center, to peace. And we are going to condemn what happened here on 9/11.’ I’ll get a hammer and help him down there.”

DC: I’m telling you, they’re prepared to do that.

BOR: Well, then, have him come on the show tomorrow and do it! And it all goes away.

DC: They are prepared to actually have a memorial for the victims.

BOR, pointing his finger: No, I want to hear Imam Rauf condemn what happened on 9/11 and condemn the jihad. That’s what I want to hear.

DC: I think he should do that.

BOR: You come on with him… Then we put that whole thing to bed… I’ll come down there with a saw and a hammer and help ‘em if you get him on here to say that.

If Rauf does come on the show, I hope he brings a saw and a hammer, hands them to O’Reilly during the segment and tells him he's expected downtown.

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