Media Digest: CAIR-Chicago Responds to “Ground Zero Mosque” Controversy, Defends Religious Freedom
CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab talks to various news outlets about the recent decision in New York to permit the "Ground Zero Mosque" to be built. Rehab also warns of the growing anti-Muslim network in the United States which seeks to delegitimize American Muslims and vilify Islam.
"You tell me, what do we - American Muslims, worshiping in our own country have to do with 9/11?" asks Rehab.
"You must recognize that the people who did it, as misguided as they may have been, did it in the name of Islam," says Gibson.
"Yea they did, not me, so basically they shouldn't build a mosque near Ground Zero. But we can because we're Americans and this is our land." - Rehab
"How about just building it a little further away." -Gibson
"Why? You have to tell me why? Are you suggesting that we are linked to 9/11?" - Rehab
"It's not terrorism that is building this center, it is American Muslims."-Ahmed Rehab
"There has been too much politicization of Islam on the part of terrorists but also on the part of anti-Muslims, and in that weird sense they both converge on this world view that there is a schism between Muslims and non-Muslims."- Ahmed Rehab
"The people involved with building the center have nothing to do with 9-11, nor do the Muslims at large who live in this country, and the ones in New York who would be the patrons of this center. So it's essentially blaming the wrong people.
"The proper sentiment is as follows: the people that flew these planes into these buildings and those who support them should not build a Mosque near ground zero. But anybody else that has nothing to do with that, for us to project that on them is blaming the wrong group of people," said Ahmed Rehab.
"It poses no threat whatsoever to the memory of 9-11, or to the future of New York and New Yorkers. If anything it's a peaceful place that brings people together.
"The misconception is that since the terrorists were Muslim, any and all Muslims are somehow guilty of what they did. That is wrong and that's something that we all need to challenge.
"Islam and terrorism are not concentric; they're not even related to each other. Terrorists act upon a particular ideology that goes well outside the bounds of Islam. We as Muslims repudiate terrorism as an evil. It's not Islamic," said Ahmed Rehab.