Dueling investigations are underway on the Ground Zero Mosque. Mustering on the Offense, in opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque: hundreds of citizen researchers, reporters, lawyers, authors, elected officials, and scholars who are researching Imam Rauf and his Muslim Brotherhood colleagues and their funding. An Army of Davids.
And playing Defense as best they can, supporting the Imam and his rapidly collapsing Cordoba House of Cards: House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Daily Kos, Glenn Greenwald at Salon, ThinkProgress, Vet Voice, and now Politico, all “investigating” the groups and individuals who oppose the Ground Zero Mosque.
Cost of New York bus ads: $10,000
Cost of press release: $1,500
Cost of watching the lapdog media track the sources of these sums while ignoring the questionable funding of a $100 million dollar mosque: Priceless.
I just got a call from Kenneth P. Vogel of Politico, asking me a series of questions about donations to our efforts against the Ground Zero mega-mosque, and growing increasingly hostile and belligerent when I declined to answer. Vogel even said to me at one point, “Look, you can make this hard, or you can make this easy” — apparently he has been watching too many Law and order reruns.
We received similar overtures from Mr. Vogel on August 24, although as a matter of policy we respond to these kinds of queries only by email. In his initial email to us, he implied a moral equivalency between “both sides” – which would be in our view, on the one hand, the $100 million funding for the Ground Zero Mosque (possibly from Saudi Arabia and even Iran), and on the other hand, any donations U.S. groups or individuals have given to the 9-11 families and firemen opposing the Ground Zero Mosque. He wrote:
“I am writing a story about the funding of the groups in the mosque debate (both sides, don’t worry)…”
Pelosi’s Project to Investigate America also has two sides of the same coin:
— On one side, this administration’s State Department is financing Imam Rauf to travel overseas, enabling him to seek the required $100 million funding for the Mosque;
— While on the other side, this administration’s House Speaker is leading the media charge to stop any investigations into the sources of that required $100 million funding.
Heads, Shariah wins; tails, the Constitution loses.
Here’s the history of the dueling investigations:
PELOSI INVESTIGATES AMERICA
On August 17, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation of who is funding the opposition to the mosque.
The next day, August 18, Pelosi provided a re-statement modeled, according to Politico where her re-statement first appeared, on that of the Interfaith Alliance, an organization deeply committed to the Ground Mosque project:
I support the statement made by the Interfaith Alliance, that “We agree with the ADL that there is a need for transparency about who is funding the effort to build this Islamic center,” according to Pelosi’s statement, quoting the Alliance’s position. “At the same time, we should also ask who is funding the attacks against the construction of the center.”
The Interfaith Alliance, transparently not much of an advocate for foreign-funding transparency, has long been a no-compromise major supporter for the Ground Zero Mosque. Imam Rauf and Interfaith Alliance President C. Welton Gaddy have worked together; both sit on the Religious Advisory Committee for the Council on Foreign Relations, which just held a conference call support session for Daisy Khan on August 25; and both are part of the West Islamic World Dialogue group of the World Economic Forum. Far from genuinely seeking transparency to expose the Mosque funders, Interfaith Alliance President Gaddy brooked no opposition, indeed calling opposition to the Mosque based on its “sponsors” (that is, its financial backers) a “violation.” He made that statement on August 17, the same day that Pelosi issued her first call for investigations. Here’s what he said:
To oppose this project because Islam is involved and Muslims are sponsors of it is a violation of the religious freedom guaranteed and protected by the First Amendment of the Constitution – period.
Both Gaddy and Pelosi (and Politico) are following the pattern set by Mayor Bloomberg on July 12, when the Mayor stated that it would be un-American to investigate the Ground Zero Mosque. A month later, under heightened scrutiny from the Mosque opponents Pelosi wishes to investigate, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf left for his State Department-funded trip to Malaysia and the Middle East. The trip was reported in Arab news to be for fundraising for the Mosque. On August 18, the Mosque developer Sharif El-Gamal refused to rule out accepting money from Saudi Arabia and Iran. On August 23, investigative reporters revealed that Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal had already given over $300,000 to Imam Rauf’s project. On August 24, Sharif El-Gamal and Rauf’s wife and co-director Daisy Khan attended an elite Iftar dinner for Ramadan at Mayor Bloomberg’s mansion. In late August, as reported by Claudia Rossett (and here by Frank Gaffney). Daisy Khan will fly to the UAE to help her husband, Imam Rauf in the Middle East. For more on the investigative money trail, see Alyssa Lappen or this compilation .
AMERICA INVESTIGATES IMAM RAUF AND HIS SPONSORS
The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero and other national and local groups began organizing to oppose the Ground Zero Mosque in the early Spring. On June 6, a rally opposing the mosque and attended by thousands was held by Stop the Islamisation of America (SIOA). The Center for Security Policy helped set up a website for the Coalition in mid June, and on July 21 produced an internet ad about the Mosque that reached over 121,000 viewers. Leading journals, innumerable bloggers (examples here or here ), more best-selling authors like former chief prosecutor Andrew McCarthy, think-tanks, grassroots groups, 9-11 family groups, 9-11 first responder groups, and so many more covered the issue daily and sometimes hourly.
Multiple petitions were posted opposing the mosque. Other groups posted more internet ads that went viral – see the NRTPAC ad here and Keep America Safe’s very moving ad here. A second SIOA rally was announced for September 11. Nightly newscasts began covering the story. National opinion leaders came out against the mosque: on July 18 Sarah Palin stated her opposition by tweet, and on July 28, Newt Gingrich made his opposition to the Mosque and Shariah crystal clear in a historic speech. Other Elected officials and many New York candidates took positions against the Mosque. On August 4, the American Center for Law and Justice filed a pro-bono lawsuit on behalf of firefighter and first responder Tim Brown, a founder of the Coalition. On August 17, Brigitte Gabriel’s ACT for America (over 100,000 members, over 400 chapters) distributed nationwide an indepth investigative report on Imam Rauf by veteran reporter Alyssa Lappen. On August 19, ACLJ expanded the lawsuit. On Sunday, August 22, the Coalition to Honor Ground Zero held a rally attended by thousands to protest the Ground Zero Mosque with widespread local, national and international media coverage.
That’s just a sample and it undoubtedly misses dozens of other local, national and individual efforts. So much information began to surface on Imam Rauf’s connections and extremist statements that a backlog began piling up; researchers were discovering key findings faster than they could write them up and get the word out to the public. A lot of info on the Imam is still not published; but it will be, and soon.
On July 22, Rasmussen Reports, the highly predictive polling firm, had reported that 54% of the American public opposed the mosque. At that time, Rasmussen reported that 22% of the American public were following the story closely.
One month later, on August 23, Rasmussen reported that 62% of the American public oppose the mosque, and 77% of mainstream voters oppose it. They reported that 58% are following it closely (up from 22% a month before), and 85% of Americans were following news stories on the mosque .
Of the total American population, 72.4% of the population is defined as adult – over 20 years of age according to 2007 statistics. If 62% of those adults oppose the Ground Zero Mosque, that’s approximately 140 million American adults in opposition.
As to registered voters, another important group: CNN found that 68% of registered voters opposed the Ground Zero Mosque.
UPDATE AS THIS GOES TO PRESS: An August 25 poll from CBS News finds 71% of all Americans now oppose the Ground Zero Mosque.
— The money trail is leading inexorably to extremist Islamic states like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and even Iran;
— An extraordinary tipping point has happened, a kind of “wisdom of crowds” from ordinary American citizens across the country, bringing together groups and individuals who have never worked together before but who now are allies in opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque, and to the Islamic Shariah law that Rauf proposes for America;
— Public opinion polls are moving against the mosque at lightning speed;
— Pelosi’s response: investigate the mosque’s opponents.
Pelosi, it seems, cannot imagine an American public – in this case, 140 million Americans – independently making up their minds to oppose the mosque. She imagines instead that there must be funding at the George Soros/Saudi Prince millionaire levels customary for the leftwing fringe. She cannot imagine that the American people could decide on their own to oppose the policies of this administration – or, in the case of the Ground Zero Mosque, the policies of the House of Saud.
Just as Pelosi said that we had to pass the Healthcare Bill to find out what’s in it, she and Bloomberg have taken the position that we have to allow the mosque to be built to find out Rauf’s plans for Shariah in America. If Americans disagree, they must be investigated.
What still survives of the dwindling mainstream media is similarly puzzled: see TIME Magazine’s plaintive headline: “Is America Islamophobic?” Answer: no, but increasingly America has SIRJ Syndrome: Shariah-Immune and Resistant to Jihad.
On or before September 11, 2010, please consider helping to fund the groups opposing the Ground Zero Mosque, whether they’re in your local community or in New York City or elsewhere. The Coalition to Honor Ground Zero lists a number of groups; it’s a great start, and many other groups are also active in the rapidly growing movement to oppose Shariah law being imposed on America. Other options: donate to your local firefighters or police associations, or to a 9-11 family group in your hometown (families of 9-11 victims live across America). Or give to your local veterans organization or wounded warriors support group. Find something to fund that matters to you, and to America; do it in the name of the firefighters and police, the many families left behind, the people who died that day. Don’t “get over it.” Instead, keep at it.
And then help Mrs. Pelosi in her investigation of Ground Zero Mosque opponents.
Tell her to investigate America. She has a lot to learn from 140 million of her fellow citizens.