Aug 17 2010
Al-Arabiya TV Director: “Ground Zero Mosque would be a ‘Monument’ for Terrorists”
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 Guantanamo Bay and try suspected terrorists as civilians. ““Muslims do not [really] yearn [to build] a mosque near the 9/11 cemetery, nor do they care whether bin Laden’s cook is tried in a civilian court [or a military one],” said al-Rashid, noting that “tens of thousands of Muslims, likewise accused of extremism, are imprisoned in [even] worse conditions in the Muslim countries.”
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 United Arab Emirates, and is a direct competitor with Al-Jazeera, another Arab-language news station. Al-Arabiya “is consistently rated among the top pan-Arab stations by Middle East audiences,” reported  BBC News in 2003.
According to Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol, al-Rashid’s column “should mean the end of plans for a mosque near Ground Zero.” NEWSBUSTERS