Bob Unruh joined WND in 2006 after nearly three decades with the Associated Press, as well as several Upper Midwest newspapers, where he covered everything from legislative battles and sports to tornadoes and homicidal survivalists. He is also a photographer whose scenic work has been used commercially.More ↓Less ↑
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who rallied Gotham’s denizens after the 9/11 attacks, says he objects to the idea of an Islamic mosque at the site of Ground Zero in the city where Muslim terrorists killed nearly 3,000 people in 2001.
“It not only is exactly the wrong place, at Ground Zero, but it is a mosque supported by an imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism,” he today told Jeff Katz on his morning drive-time radio show on WXKS. “Come on, we’re going to allow that at Ground Zero?”
He was asked about President Obama’s approach to battling terror and specifically about the controversy that has erupted over plans for the Ground Zero mosque.
Rally organizers then also announced they were planning a lawsuit over the proposal, while mosque supporters are projecting they will open the new project’s doors Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Listen to Giuliani’s comments:
Known as the Cordoba House, the mosque is the creation of the American Society for Muslim Advancement. As WND reported, the building at Park Place, just blocks north of the former World Trade Center site, was the site of a Burlington Coat Factory until a plane’s landing-gear assembly crashed through the roof on the day 19 Muslim terrorists hijacked the airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers.
The building was purchased last July by real-estate company Soho Properties, a business run by Muslims. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Kuwait-born founder of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, was an investor in that transaction. Pajamas Media reporter Alyssa Lappen noted that Rauf’s father was Mohammed Abdul Rauf (1917-2004), an Egyptian contemporary of Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood – parent organization of al-Qaida, Hamas and other frontline terror groups.
Lappen also reported the society received large international donations in fiscal year 2009 – including $576,312 from Qatar, a nation known to harbor terror financiers and the location of Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf al-Qaradawi. She noted the society also received $481,942 from Holland’s Millennial Development Goals Fund, $144,752 from New York’s Carnegie Corporation, $53,664 from the U.N. Population Fund and additional donations from the Rockefeller Brothers and Hunt Alternatives funds.
Rauf has announced his plan to turn the building into a complete Islamic cultural center, with a mosque, a museum, “merchandising options” and room for seminars to reconcile religions “to counteract the backlash against Muslims in general,” the German magazine Der Speigel reported. The project may cost as much as $150 million. Plans for the facility also include a 500-seat performing-arts theater, fitness center, swimming pool, library, public conference rooms, basketball courts and restaurants, according to the Tribeca Tribune.
Giuliani wasn’t convinced that it is a good idea.
“It sends a particularly bad message, particularly if you knew the background of the imam supporting this,” he said on the Katz show. “This is an imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning Islamic terrorists, and the worst instincts that brings about.”
He continued, “Nobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Let’s have some respect for who died there and why they died there. They died because of Islamic extremist terrorists,” he said.
“They are our enemy. We can say that. The world will not end if we say that.”
But he noted that criticism of opposition to the mosque fits into the general kid-gloves handling that the Obama administration has adopted toward Islamic terrorists.
“Every signal that the president is sending, in my opinion, is absolutely the wrong signal,” he said. “He’s sending a signal of weakness and desire to negotiate rather than of strength and a willingness to use all the power of this country to protect us and to crush Islamic terrorism,” he said.
President Obama bowing to Japan’s emperor
He marveled at the president’s avoidance of the term “Islamic terrorism.”
“I have a hard time,” Giuliani said. “I have sort of a basic rule about how you deal with this. The only way to defeat them is to face them. When you can’t even utter their name, you create the impression, particularly [for] an enemy that’s as psychologically affected as this one, that we are weak and can be pushed.”
He cited a recent apparent attack by North Korea that sank a South Korean warship.
There was no response from Obama, he said.
“I wonder if North Korea would have done that with Ronald Reagan as president,” he said. “Or with George Bush.”
“You sit there and scratch your head and wonder why is the president doing this,” he said.
According to published reports, the New York City community board recently approved the plan to build the mosque, even after tea-party activists said, according to the Associated Press, the center would be a monument to the victims of the terror attacks.