The imam behind the proposed Islamic center and mosque near ground zero is largely avoiding New York City because of security concerns and is receiving protection from the New York Police Department, according to those close to the imam.Lots of 'crazies' out there, the story goes on to say, which is why they claim he's now in a secure location. Funny, the imam himself recently spoke about radicals after returning from the Middle East:
Now, he said, the "discourse has been, to a certain extent, hijacked by the radicals," making the decision on whether or not to move the mosque, "very difficult and very challenging. "My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be 'Islam is under attack in America'," he said. "This will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment."Radicals here, radicals there, but he makes very little distinction between the two. Who are the radicals over here? Does he consider surviving family members of 9/11 victims as such? Talk show hosts? Average Americans polled and opposed? Who, exactly? Or has he realized that accusing average folks of being radical because they don't like being shaken down with veiled threats about what moving the mosque might cause the real radicals to do was not textbook bridge-building?
Well, we are left to wonder how long the imam will remain in seclusion. Muslim leaders met regarding the mosque this past weekend, without Rauf, and said this:
“We ask that this should be done as soon as possible because time is not our side,” Awad said of Park51. “Because this conversation has went way out of control.”"Has went"? But OK, they want an expedited schedule despite the conversation being out of control, which sounds bassackwards. Meanwhile so long as the imam remains in hiding he can't very well appear on the number one rated cable commentary show in America and reach all those yahoos in need of educating. Of course, there's no doubt Bill O'Reilly would ask him to explain his comments to Ed Bradley and various audiences as to why America was an accessory to that huge hole in the ground two blocks away from his important project. Maybe that's the real security threat he's hiding from.