The Islamic machine is in full throttle. I discussed the infiltration of the highest echelons of the media in this piece at Big Journalism back in January: The Society of Professional Journalists: Why We Never Get the Straight Story on Islamic Jihad
We see it over and over again. Just look at the coverage of our rally to stop the Ground Zero mosque on September 11th. The media claimed we had 1,000 (less than the paltry "counter protest"). We had close to 30,000, the anti-America haters had 800 (maybe).
Rauf 's group is claiming credit for training the NY Times reporter who first wrote of the Ground Zero mosque where Rauf said, “'New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic,' Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, 61, the cleric leading the project..." (That quote was subsequently scrubbed from the article.) It was an offensive piece, pure taqiya, a silly puff piece by a silly puff. I blogged on it back in December when it ran -- here.
Rauf claims here that he is pulling the strings at the state department and in developing foreign policy and in the media. Rauf said:
I’m the head coach of this strategic initiative, and the President of the United States, or the President of Malaysia, or the President of England, is like a player you want to bring in for particular plays. Imam Rauf So if we have strategic action plays, designed plays, in the area of foreign policy, in the area of healing the divide, and then you unpack and give up Israel, and then what do you do, what are the specific actions that you might do, because things are always moving, things are always happening.
And he stresses the role the media plays:
It's not like one team is on the field and the other team is off. They are all on the field, and the field has many sectors to it. And there are different geographies, different subject areas, so we have designed our Cordoba Initiative to be designed, in order words we have 5 major areas of our program. So we have foreign policy, is one area, you have communications is another area, you have education as the third area, for example, you have intra-Islamic issues is the fourth area, arts and culture is the fifth area.
If the entertainment media, the news media, was broadcasted in print, describe and speak about the issues in a different way it can help change perceptions profoundly, because it’s the media, which helps shape perceptions to a great degree.
- Interestingly enough it doesn’t mean that the head coach is necessarily the President, because, of whatever country, or Prime Minister, because they may not be, they may still be, trapped by various constraints in an old game.
- No we’ve created a different concept a different model, Mark. I’m the head coach of this strategic initiative, and the President of the United States, or the President of Malaysia, or the President of England, is like a player you want to bring in for particular plays.
A reporter who helped write the first and positive New York Times story on the Ground Zero Mosque was trained by the group run by mosque leader Feisal Abdul Rauf, according to that group's website.
Rauf's organization, the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), touted the journalist's participation in a training program by ASMA's "Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow" (MLT).
Rauf's group then cited Sharaf Mowjood, "a journalism student at Columbia University and trained at the MLT [Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow] conference, wrote a compelling story about the Muslim community's plan to establish a center near Ground Zero. The story was published on the front page of the New York Times with Sharaf as co-author." The article appeared in the Dec. 9, 2009, edition of the New York Times.
Mowjood could not be reached for comment. In an email, Times Metro Editor Joe Sexton, disputed ASMA's representation about the program Mowjood attended.
"He participated in no training sessions sponsored by ASMA or the Cordoba Initiative," Sexton wrote. He attended a lecture sponsored by ASMA in 2008. He was not a presenter or participant. He signed the sign-in sheet."
Sexton added that "The experienced reporters here who have worked with him have had no questions about his professionalism."
A picture from the MLT conference indicates the session was more than a lecture. Mowjood is seen seated at a conference table as another person speaks.
Sharaf Mowjood, third from the right and wearing the vest, listens intently to a fellow panelist at the ASMA media training session in 2009.
The media training was conducted April 25 and 26, 2009, according to an email update sent by the program in May 2009. "The conference focused specifically on the media," according to the ASMA email. "It offered participants a diverse range of intensive media trainings, imparting the MLTs in attendance with concrete tools to become effective media spokespeople."
The Dec. 9, 2009, Times story about the Ground Zero Mosque was written with veteran reporter Ralph Blumenthal. It featured few dissenting voices about the wisdom of building the project near the scene of the attacks. Instead, it characterizes Rauf as "Imam Feisal," who "follows a path of Islam focused more on spiritual wisdom than on strict ritual, and as a bridge builder, he is sometimes focused more on cultivating relations with those outside his faith than within it."
Mowjood previously worked as a government relations manager for the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR). The FBI cut off communications with CAIR in 2008, citing evidence in the Hamas-support prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development (HLF). Exhibits admitted into evidence in that case place CAIR as an arm of a Hamas support network in America. Prosecutors say that CAIR was "a participant in an ongoing and ultimately unlawful conspiracy to support a designated terrorist organization, a conspiracy from which CAIR never withdrew."
And an FBI official wrote that the cut off would last "until we can resolve whether there continues to be a connection between CAIR or its executives and Hamas."