As many as 40,000 people gathered near New York City’s Ground Zero Saturday on the ninth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to protest the planned Islamic center and mosque two blocks away.
But according to Agence France-Presse and other mainstream media outlets, only about 2,000 people participated in the rally. The exceptionally large difference in figures is intentional, claimed organizers of the anti-Park51 demonstration.
“Crickets are chirping in taqiyya (Arabic word for concealing, guarding) media newsroom nationwide (although they were all there),” complained Pamela Geller, who organized the rally. “There has been no coverage.” more >>
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, managed to persuade some centrist evangelicals this week to endorse his interfaith peacemaking initiative.
Leaders of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good – which includes former National Association of Evangelicals vice president Richard Cizik and Mercer University Christian ethics professor David Gushee – said they embrace Rauf’s peacemaking initiative with “all our hearts.”
“We see it as especially impressive in light of the hatred and bigotry currently being directed against the Muslim community, Cordoba House, and Imam Abdul Rauf himself,” they stated in an announcement Thursday. more >>
The head of the world’s largest evangelical body on Wednesday spoke for the first time with the pastor behind the planned Sept. 11 Quran burning.
Dr. Geoff Tunnicliffe, CEO and secretary general of the World Evangelical Alliance, tried to dissuade Dr. Terry Jones of Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville, Fla., from following through on his controversial plan, which has sparked protests overseas and prompted pleas from U.S. government officials.
Tunnicliffe, whose organization represents 420 million evangelicals, said Jones seemed a “bit ambivalent” about going through with the event but did not say anything new. The evangelical leader offered to fly down to Florida on Friday – one day before the event – to speak to Jones and his congregation. more >>
WASHINGTON – Christian and Jewish leaders are standing with the Islamic community to condemn anti-Muslim bigotry.
At an "emergency interfaith summit" on Tuesday, a broad group of prominent religious leaders expressed deep distress and sadness against recent incidents of violence and the desecration of Islamic houses of worship.
"In recent weeks, we have become alarmed by the anti-Muslim frenzy that has been generated over the plans to build an Islamic community center and mosque at the Park 51 site near Ground Zero in New York City," the group told the media. "Our concern here is not to debate the Park 51 project anew, but rather to respond to the atmosphere of fear and contempt for fellow Americans of the Muslim faith that the controversy has generated." more >>
The top U.S. military commander in Afghanistan said Monday that a Florida church’s plan to burn Qurans on Sept. 11 could be detrimental to American troops overseas.
"It could endanger troops and it could endanger the overall effort in Afghanistan,” said Gen. David Petraeus in a statement. “It is precisely the kind of action the Taliban uses and could cause significant problems. Not just here, but everywhere in the world we are engaged with the Islamic community."
There are about 140,000 U.S. and NATO-led troops in Afghanistan. more >>
Two-thirds of New Yorkers, including some who support the proposed Islamic community center and mosque near Ground Zero, say leaders of the project should find a location further from the 9/11 crash site, according to a New York Times poll released this past week.
The solid majority that want the center to relocate to a less controversial site said so even though many of them (62 percent of respondents) believe developers of the Park51 project have a right to build it.
But New Yorkers, as a group, could not decide how far away from Ground Zero the mosque should move. Of those who responded, about 20 percent said more than 20 blocks away from ground zero, 18 percent said 10 to 20 blocks, and seven percent said five to ten blocks. more >>