The director of Al-Arabiya TV, a popular Arab-language news station, wrote that "Muslims never asked for" the proposed mosque at Ground Zero, and "do not care about its construction," in a column for London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on Aug. 16.
“I can't imagine that Muslims [actually] want a mosque at this particular location, because it will become an arena for the promoters of hatred, and a monument to those who committed the crime,” wrote Al-Arabiya director Abd Al-Rahman al-Rashid in the column, which was translated by the Middle East Media Research Institute. “Moreover, there are no practicing Muslims in the area who need a place to worship, because it is a commercial district. Is there anyone who is [really] eager [to build] this mosque?”
Al-Rashid said that President Barack Obama’s support of the mosque was similar to the administration’s previous decision to close
According to the director, Muslims care about issues that impact “the destinies of [entire] peoples,” such as the creation of a Palestinian state.
“The last thing Muslims want today is to build a religious center that provokes others, or a symbolic mosque that people will visit as a [kind of] museum next to a cemetery,” said al-Rashid.
Al-Arabiya TV is based out of the
According to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, al-Rashid’s column “should mean the end of plans for a mosque near Ground Zero.”
“Mr. Al-Rashid supports President Obama’s stand for the mosque in principle (as he supports Obama-like or even beyond-Obama-like policies with respect to the