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Fox News Gets In The Holiday Spirit – By Likening Ground Zero Imam To Al Qaeda

Reported by Ellen - December 30, 2010 -

The imam of the proposed so-called Ground Zero Mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is going on a national speaking tour next month in order to, as the New York Times described it “promote the planned (Islamic cultural) center and to foster dialogue about Muslim life in America.” Apparently, the very thought has left Fox News pundits shaking in their boots. Rather than use the opportunity for a dialogue, they’ve jumped full-bore back into demonizing Imam Rauf. As Priscilla noted a few days ago, Fox & Friends said Rauf's upcoming tour "inspired opponents to also speak out" and thereby offered a sympathetic couch to the Islamophobic Ryan Mauro. On Tuesday night (12/28/10), The O’Reilly Factor brought on Islamophobe Frank Gaffney to give voice to more fear mongering opposition to a tour that hasn’t even begun. Gaffney likened Rauf to Al Qaeda and argued that the not-yet-built Islamic cultural center was seditious and should be treated “accordingly.” There was almost no challenge from the host.

The fear mongering started right in the introduction. As guest host Eric Bolling explained that the imam will be traveling around the U.S. to “make his case,” a photo of the imam appeared on the side of the screen above a caption reading, “victory tour?”

Bolling added, “(Rauf's) going to have one heck of a sales job to do on that one, especially as worries grow that a small but growing minority of American Muslims may be sympathetic to the radical ideology of jihad.”

And just to make sure those worries grew even more, Bolling brought on Gaffney. He's an Islamophobic extremist who has suggested that President Obama is a Muslim and embraces radical Islam and has advocated for "taking out" Al Jazeera. But on “we report, you decide” Fox News, Gaffney was described merely as “founder and president of the Center for Security Policy who believes we are underestimating the threat from home-grown jihadists.”

Bolling rejected – with very good reason – the notion that Fox News might be underestimating the threat. “Certainly not at this network… do we underestimate the massive risk that we have with this growing jihadist ideology.”

But Gaffney disagreed. “You miss more often than not, the second part of the threat that this ideology – you call it the ideology of jihad, the more accurate way to describe it, I think, as we do in this book, (he held up a copy and gave a plug to hia new book whose title suggests America is in imminent danger from radical jihad)… is to describe it as sharia and the other piece of jihad that sharia commands its adherents to follow is a kind of stealthy jihad, what the Muslim Brotherhood calls ‘civilization jihad,’ and that is almost entirely missed by the media, by our government even, by academia.” The result, Gaffney said, is that “guys like Feisal Abdul Rauf, who are prime practitioners of this stealth jihad, tend to get a pass or worse yet, sometimes lionized as moderate Muslims who are the opponents of this jihadism when in fact they are simply prosecuting it by different means.” A pass? On Fox News? It’s hard to think how they could have demonized Rauf more.

Bolling replied, “Frank, you’re the expert on this but I’ve spent a lot of time at that Ground Zero mosque (even though it hasn’t been built yet?), I’ve actually been in the mosque, I’ve been in a helicopter above the mosque pointing out that this is Ground Zero… Some body parts have been found further (sic) away from there and even some landing gear from one of the airplanes landed on the roof of this exact building… This is Ground Zero and maybe that mosque should be moved a couple of blocks away as a symbolic gesture.”

Gaffney said, “The problem with that is, if I’m right, that Feisal Rauf is actually prosecuting the same ends as Al Qaeda… that he seeks through stealthy means to achieve the triumph of sharia… letting him have that mosque anywhere, Eric, is a problem.”

If he’s right? What if he’s wrong? But instead of trying to pin down the truth, Bolling made a nod toward reasonableness. “You can’t say there shouldn’t be a mosque in America.”

Oh, yes he could. “Let me say how I would put it,” Gaffney said. “A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what sharia is, as practiced by Feisal Rauf, as practiced by Osama bin Laden, as practiced by the Saudis, and the Iranians and so many others, that is not a protected religious practice. That is in fact sedition and I think that we have to be clear about that and treat it accordingly.”

No challenge from Bolling about that. “Fair enough,” he said. Then he opened the door to some more fear mongering by asking where the money to build the mosque is coming from.

“We don’t know for sure,” Gaffney said. But, of course, that didn’t stop him from demonizing the possibilities. “These are very shady characters and again they’ve largely gotten a pass from the press because nobody wants to be seen as, well, racist or bigoted or Islamophobic.”

Then, without offering any evidence, Gaffney claimed that money “almost certainly" came from Saudi Arabia “through a Muslim Brotherhood front organization known as the North American Islamic Trust.”

Bolling exclaimed, “That’s very important!” and asked Gaffney to fear monger explain further.

Gaffney called the Muslim Brotherhood “the single most insidious proponent of this sort of stealth jihad… but it has its branches all over the place including hundreds, if not thousands, of front organizations in this country. He added that their mission is “destroying western civilization from within.”

It was all in his new book, Gaffney said, which he called “required reading.” He repeated the title, and told viewers to “get it at Amazon.”