Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Ground Zero Imam's Group Trained New York Times Mosque Reporter

Surprise. Surprise.



A New York Times reporter, who has co-authored several fawning articles on the Ground Zero mosque, previously attended a media training program run by the mosque's organizer, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, according to the group's website.

The journalist, Sharaf Mowjood, participated in an April, 2009 media training program led by Rauf's American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), reported the Investigative Project on Terrorism on Sept. 20. Rauf founded ASMA in 1997, and currently serves as the group's CEO.

Mowjood's first article on the Ground Zero mosque - a glowing, 1,200-word piece titled "Muslim Prayers and Renewal Near Ground Zero" - was co-authored with Ralph Blumenthal in December, 2009. All eight of the sources cited in the piece said they approved of the Ground Zero project or lauded its leader Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Mowjood was also a contributing reporter to a similarly sympathetic piece on the mosque on Aug. 11, as well as a flattering front-page profile on Rauf that ran in the paper on Aug. 22.

And get this:

In addition to his ties with ASMA, Mowjood also held a government lobbying position at the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) up until at least March of 2008. CAIR, which calls itself a "grassroots civil rights and advocacy group," has come under fire in the past for its alleged ties to international terrorist organizations.

Excerpts from Mowjood's work could possibly pass as press releases for groups like CAIR or ASMA. His Times articles were extremely favorable toward Rauf and the Ground Zero mosque.

I'd be understated to say I'm bothered.

But what can you do but just keep fighting. I mean, wow.