Why Does Anderson Cooper Think PNAC Hatemonger Frank Gaffney Deserves Some Air Time?
Apparently someone involved in the lawsuit opposed to building yet another Islamic center in Murfreesboro, TN, decided to bring in PNAC warmonger Frank Gaffney to testify during a hearing yesterday, and I assume because of that testimony, Anderson Cooper decided to give this hatemonger a format on his national show on CNN as well.
Here's more on Gaffney's appearance where he did a bit of fearmongering on this issue in Tennessee.
And here's Akbar Ahmed's article on what's been happening with America's mosques who CNN set up to counter Gaffney and tried to not get talked over too badly. Inside America's Mosques
Watching Frank Gaffney's hackery should really lay to waste any argument that these hatemongers were only concerned about the Islamic center at Ground Zero because it was "hallowed ground." Now they're taking aim at a mosque in Tennessee, for Christ's sake. Their only purpose is to drive fear of the "other" and the suspicion that a Muslim may be a terrorist or someone who loves the terrorists and may be, as Palin has said, "pals around with them" -- you know, like President Barack Obama. That and for them to push for more military occupations, as though we don't have our hands full with the two we've got that are already bankrupting us.
Why CNN or Cooper thinks someone like that deserves a format on one of their shows is beyond me, but sadly they're not the only ones letting this guy on the air. He has about as much credibility as Bill Kristol or John Bolton.
Transcript below the fold from CNN.
COOPER: Tonight, new developments in a story we've been following in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, where plans to expand a mosque have created controversy. After the construction plans were approved back in May, protests soon followed.
Now, the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, which is building the new mosque, has been part of the community for the last 30 years or so without any problems.
Last month, though, someone set fire to equipment parked at the construction site. That arson investigation continues. And someone else targeted signs at the site.
Now, opponents have filed a lawsuit to block the project. They allege that county officials violated open meeting laws, making the project's approval void. They also argued the planning commission didn't properly vet the backers of the mosque, who they contend may have ties to terrorist sympathizers.
At a hearing today, one witness accused the mosque leaders, including the imam, of being supporters of Sharia law.
Now with us is Frank Gaffney, president of Center for Security Policy. He joins me now, along with Akbar Ahmed, the chair of Islamic studies at American University and a former Pakistani ambassador for the United Kingdom.
Mr. Gaffney, let me start with you. You testified today in court that there are what you called red flags from a security point of view regarding the mosque. What are those red flags?
FRANK GAFFNEY, PRESIDENT, CENTER FOR SECURITY POLICY: Well, several were introduced into evidence during the court proceedings. That speak to this issue that you've touched on which is that the imam and others who are involved in the board of the mosque are proponents of Sharia, this totalitarian program, political military legal program that is absolutely at odds with the Constitution of the United States. In fact, has as its purpose supplanting it.
And that kind of seditious activity is, I believe, a red flag that ought to preclude it from being allowed to operate in Murfreesboro or, for that matter, any other community in the United States.
COOPER: But the idea that -- I mean, this is an imam and people have here for the most part, in this community for many, many years. They've practiced in this community for decades without any problems. And I mean, how are they trying to take over the United States from Murfreesboro, Tennessee?
GAFFNEY: Well, I don't think I suggested that they're trying to take it over from Murfreesboro, Tennessee. I'm suggesting that it's places like Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They are promoting a program that is at odds with our freedoms, our form of government, our Constitution and, to the extent as we've seen in Europe, for example, that this kind of agenda follows the trajectory that it has elsewhere around the world.
It ultimately winds up becoming a cancer inside a society. No-go zones are typically associated with it where the authorities dare not go. Sharia law is practiced in those no-go zones. They are expanded in due course. And ultimately, you have the groups like the Muslim Brotherhood, with whom many of these mosques and for that matter, Muslim-American organizations of any note, are associated, pursuing a mission that we know, from evidence introduced into another federal trial, is to destroy western civilization from within. If that's -- that's really worrying.
COOPER: Ambassador Ahmed, what do you make of what Mr. Gaffney is alleging?
AHMED: Well, I think that there is an atmosphere and a cloud of distrust and fear happening over the Muslim community. And I'm concerned about this. In fact, we have this particular mosque last year. I went with my team to Columbia in Tennessee, also, where the mosque had been firebombed.
So it isn't just an isolated case and that is why I applaud Abe Foxman and the ADF, who have come out with the committee. The committee exclusively to defend and protect mosques throughout the United States of America, and I'm privileged to be a member of that committee.
COOPER: Do you believe this mosque in Murfreesboro is trying to -- it wants to institute Sharia law in the United States?
AHMED: Anderson, I want you to ask yourself this question, and I'm sure your mathematics is better than mine. If every Muslim in the United States of America, which is about 2 percent of the population, wanted Sharia -- which is not the case at all -- even if they wanted it, could they impose it over a population of 98 percent who are not Muslim in a democracy?
In my country where I come from, Pakistan, 98 percent of the population is Muslim. There is no Sharia law. I've been a commissioner in charge of large parts of the country. Our laws are criminal and civil procedure codes derived from British colonial law which go to Westminster, which in turn has influenced the U.S. Constitution.
So the notion of Sharia being implemented in America with about 2 percent of the population, to me, is mathematically absurd.
COOPER: Mr. Gaffney, what about that? I mean...
GAFFNEY: Well, I don't think he answered your question. What is, of course, the case is that today, the numbers of Muslims in America and, indeed, the numbers of Muslims in America that are promoting Sharia are very small, blessedly. This is the time to stop them from trying to move this country in a direction that we dare not have it go. If we in fact...
COOPER: But what evidence do you have that the folks in Murfreesboro are part of this plot linked to the Muslim Brotherhood? I mean, it seems...
GAFFNEY: I -- I've suggested that some of the evidence was introduced in the trial. We have an imam who was trained in al-Azar (ph), the central academic institution of Sharia in the world.
We have members of the mosque board, who promote Hamas in demonstrations and through their public statements.
We have people associated with the mosque who, I think, make no bones about their preference for Sharia. In fact, that is what the authorities of Islam say they are supposed to do.
And this is the problem. Just a second. This is the problem. What Sharia commands is jihad. And in Pakistan as elsewhere, we see that it's taking the form of the violent kind of jihad and, indeed, Sharia law is being encroached into the Pakistani system and, indeed, other systems around the world.
But also, the stealth jihad and this is the real problem with places like this mosque in Murfreesboro. You have stealth jihadists at work, trying to advance the situation.
COOPER: But the FBI investigated.
GAFFNEY: Most of our government is ignoring it.
TENNESSEE: , apparently, investigated the board member you're talking about there were comments made on his my space page and no charges were brought. Ambassador, just because the imam went to this university in Egypt, should that be a red flag?
AHMED: Of course not, Anderson. This is the oldest university in the Muslim world. It's 1,000 years old. It's expected to teach Islamic jurisprudence. I went to a Catholic school in north Pakistan. Does this mean that I owe allegiance to the pope? That's absurd.
Any university in the Muslim world, any university in the Catholic world would teach its own laws, the laws of their particular religion. If this imam has violated the laws of America -- can I please finish? -- if the imam has violated the laws of the land, if he's a threat to the security, the land the authorities should act.
But unless we know whether he, in fact, has been promoting -- and I'm not even sure what this concept means: "promoting the Sharia." The Sharia is an abstract. It's a discipline slicing from watching history. That's like saying promoting history or biology or mathematics.
What does that mean? When I pointed out that the total population here is about 2 percent of the country. How can this tiny percentage impose the Sharia on 98 percent of the population?
COOPER: Unfortunately, we've got to go.
GAFFNEY: The answer is in this report ShariaTheThreat.com.
AHMED: Read my book, "Journey into America: The challenge of Islam.
And disinformed, as you were by the ambassador.
AHMED: Yes, yes. And by Mr. Gaffney and his scholarship.
COOPER: I appreciate.
GAFFNEY: It's all in the faction. I appreciate your perspectives. Investor Ahmed and Frank Gaffney as ell -- thank you.
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