From the Cleveland Plain Dealer's David Briggs, quoted in entirety for fair use and discussion purposes -- the news and the preceding posts explain it all:

New Cleveland imam quits before he starts

Imam Ahmed Alzaree announced Monday, three days before he was to start work as the spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Cleveland, that he was resigning.

Alzaree said allegations by bloggers that he was anti-Semitic and was associated with individuals suspected of having terrorist ties so poisoned the atmosphere in Northeast Ohio that he and his wife, Marwa, decided to look elsewhere.

"Cleveland now is a nightmare for her," Alzaree said. "It will never be a good start for me and the Jewish community.

The mosque has accepted Alzaree's resignation, Zahid Siddiqi, general secretary of the mosque's executive committee, said Monday afternoon.

"We certainly don't want to impose on him and his family," Siddiqi said.

Alzaree is the former spiritual leader of the Islamic Center of Omaha.

Links to previous posts are after the jump.

Update: Briggs posted a much longer piece just after 5PM, apparently for the Metro section.



In schools and colleges across America, teachers and professors recall the "Free Speech Movement" of the hard left at Berkeley in the 1960s. But today's left often shreds that idea in its own intolerant behavior. At Michigan State University, British Nationalist Nick Griffin was shouted down from a speech on the danger of radical Islam.



UPDATE, Oct. 26, 10 p.m.: A Plain Dealer report by David Briggs entitled "New Cleveland imam hopes to ease Muslim-Jewish relations" went up today (Oct. 26) at 1:56 PM. I am deferring comment on it until sometime Monday, as new info has become available that requires vetting (original plan to respond Saturday was moved to Sunday, and has now been moved again).

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Note: This has been posted at NewsBusters because it addresses an example of what I believe is lax local media coverage that may be occurring in other communities around the country. I have closed comments off at this post so that all comments end up at Part 2.

Don't Cleveland Plain Dealer readers and the community deserve to know if the Islamic Center of Cleveland's new imam is the same as the old imam?

On September 25 at 2:30 PM, Cleveland Plain Dealer Religion Reporter David Briggs posted a Cleveland.com blog entry ("Islamic Center hires new imam to replace deported cleric") about the naming of Ahmed Alzaree as the new imam at the Islamic Center of Cleveland (ICC).

In that post, he noted that:



UPDATE, Oct. 26, 10 p.m.: A Plain Dealer report by David Briggs entitled "New Cleveland imam hopes to ease Muslim-Jewish relations" went up today (Oct. 26) at 1:56 PM. I am deferring comment on it until sometime Monday, as new info has become available that requires vetting (original plan to respond Saturday was moved to Sunday, and has now been moved again).

_________________________________________

Note: This has been posted at NewsBusters because it addresses an example of what I believe is lax local media coverage that may be occurring in other communities around the country.

Part 1 covered events and disclosures surrounding the announcement of the appointment, effective November 1, of Ahmed Alzaree to become the new imam at the Islamic Center of Cleveland (ICC), specifically:

  • The original September 25 blog post and September 26 print edition article communicating the announcement by the Cleveland Plain Dealer's David Briggs.
  • My September 25 blog post (Wide Open, BizzyBlog, and NewsBusters), revealing a March 2003 sermon given by Alzaree while at his previous post at the Islamic Center of Omaha (ICO), and Alzaree's association with now-deported imam Wagdi Ghoneim.
  • A follow-up article by the PD's Robert Smith which addressed some of the concerns about Alzaree, but which also left so many items unanswered that it was reasonable to expect that there would be some kind of additional follow-up by the paper in the coming days and weeks.
  • My post reacting to Smith's story.
  • The lack of PD follow-up since Smith's report.

In this post, I am reporting a number of additional items that I believe are relevant to Alzaree's imminent ascension to his new position.



Heartbreaking video! Kellie Adams, a victim of the DC Snipers, tearfully speaks out about a broadcast of John Allen Muhammad by CNN where he tries to rally support and convince people he isn’t a monster. She wonders why CNN gives air time to such un-newsworthy, and white-washed garbage, when no one talks to victims families and victims anymore to see what they are going through five years later.



It's been five years since John Allen Muhammad and Lee Boyd Malvo terrorized Washington D.C. for three weeks by randomly shooting people, killing 10 and wounding three. The news at the time avoided all mention of anything Islamic including calling Muhammad by his old name before Islamic conversion, John Allen Williams.



Little Green Footballs seized on a video "op-ed" posted on the New York Times website, six minutes of clips from a documentary called Meeting Resistance by Molly Bingham and Steve Connors, interspersed with anti-"occupation" text. LGF asks: "How low can the New York Times Go?" Airing what looks like a "commercial for Iraqi terrorists."

Bingham, an heiress to the Louisville newspaper dynasty, was Vice President Gore's official photographer from 1998 to 2001 and is best known for being taken hostage briefly while working as a photographer in Iraq. At the promotional website meetingresistance.com, the film is praised by former Clinton aide Sidney Blumenthal: "THIS BREAKTHROUGH FILM, the single most astonishing documentary yet on the Iraq war, portrays a full range of insurgents .... explaining their motives and actions, from the first days of the insurgency onward."



If you thought the proper way to refer to terrorists who commit violence in the name of Islam was by using such terms as "Islamic terrorists," "Islamic militants," or even "Islamic extremists," be on notice that you may be offending Alan Colmes. In fact, even if you refer to the terrorist group "Islamic Jihad" by that name, which is the name the group uses to refer to itself, you're still not in the clear.



Tuesday’s Metro section of The Washington Post covered a controversy at D.C.’s George Washington University, where fliers appeared on campus blaring "HATE MUSLIMS? SO DO WE!!" Post reporter Susan Kinzie mentioned that the GWU chapter of the conservative Young America’s Foundation denied the posters were theirs, and Kinzie noted that it was probably a prank, since the fine print at the bottom had the words "'Brought to you by Students for Conservativo-Fascism Awareness' -- and a postscript recommending a BBC video on the politics of fear." But while Wednesday’s article in Metro confirmed that it was a prank "produced by students who were attempting to mock those they thought were trying to stir fear of Muslims," YAF wasn’t named anywhere in the article as the vindicated victim.

Jason Mattera of YAF is rightfully upset: "The Post mentions Young America’s Foundation three times, even though the fliers were obvious hoaxes. Yet the paper’s article today explaining that the fliers were fabricated doesn’t mention Young America’s Foundation even once! The Post will report possible incidents of hate speech, but when those incidents turn out to be contrived, the paper doesn’t vindicate those who were targeted!!!"



The Los Angeles Times ran a bizarrely biased October 5 article about Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's Qods Day speech.



The controversy behind CNN’s "God’s Warriors" continues. On the October 4 edition of "Fox and Friends First" guest Alex Safian, Associate Director of the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA), spoke out against Christiane Amanpour’s special and its equating of Islamists with devout Jews and Christians.

Safian noted the absurdity of comparing those responsible for atrocities worldwide with devout Jews and Christians. When questioned if CNN has an agenda he responded, "I think [Christiane Amanpour] and her production team have an agenda" which he claims is "anti-Israel," "anti-Christian," and "white washes Islam."



ABC may have set a loathsome new MSM low in insulting traditional Christians. On today's "Good Morning America," the network lumped the "Christan right" with the 9-11 Islamic terrorists as driving people to atheism.

Keying off an atheists convention being held this weekend, GMA ran a segment on the "Rise in Atheism." Seeking to explain the phenomenon, as images rolled first of the WTC in flames and then of a man placidly holding a sign that simply read "One Nation Under God" and of a display at a demonstration of the Ten Commandments, ABC's Liz Marlantes stated: