Imam Behind 9/11 Mosque Speaks Out


Writing in "The New York Times" Wednesday, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf says that the Islamic Center located near Ground Zero will proceed, but that he will make public who is funding it. The imam says the community center is a symbol of tolerance. And it shows America accepts all religions.

The imam's article's interesting. He makes some good points. Also, he doesn't come across as belligerent or unreasonable at all. But with all due respect, Imam Rauf is making one very large mistake.

Right now, there are more than 100 mosques in New York City, so there's no religious tolerance issue here or in most other parts of America. There is, however, a big religious tolerance issue in most Muslim countries, as they don't accept any other religion. By placing the proposed mosque within yards of the 9/11 attacks with no stated purpose for that, the imam has created a controversy. He did it. There's simply no reason for the mosque to be there. And if some 9/11 families object as they do, sincere Muslims should respect that.

"Talking Points" believes that tolerance deal swings both ways, right? Seems every two minutes, some Muslims are offended by America. Yes, we have some kooks who are disrespectful to Islam, but every nation has them.

It is long past time for the Muslim world to show a little respect and tolerance to America. After all, Muslims attacked us in the name of Allah. Until the imam and other Muslims understand the impact of that mass murder, many Americans will remain resentful. After all, violent conflicts generated by Muslims are raging all over the world, while Muslim- Americans here live in peace and relative prosperity. As well intentioned as Imam Rauf may be, the truth is that Americans are not seeing much tolerance in the Muslim world overseas. Respect and acceptance must be earned. Deferring to the wish of the 9/11 families might begin that process.

And that's "The Memo."


Our pal Larry King really has nothing to lose any more. He's leaving this program in a few months. So Larry and his buddy, Ryan Seacrest, had a bit of fun on the radio the other day.


RYAN SEACREST, RADIO HOST (Singing): Can't read my, can't read my, no he can't read our mind, poker face. She's got me like nobody.

LARRY KING, HOST, CNN'S "LARRY KING LIVE" (Singing): Poke, poke, poke, poke poker face. Poke, poke, poke, poke, poker face momma. Poke, poke, poke, poke poker face. Poke, poke, poke, poke poker face, umm, momma, momma.

That was Lerner and Loewe.


That, of course, the Lady Gaga hit. If they had done that that in Saudi Arabia, they would have been beheaded.

For guts alone, Mr. King may be a patriot.

On the opposite front, Howard Dean will soon be inducted into the pinhead hall of fame, because he continues to say stuff like this.


HOWARD DEAN, FORMER DNC CHAIR: I don't think the majority of Republicans are haters, but there's a significant hate wing of the Republican Party, including the talk show hosts like Glenn Beck, and Laura Ingraham, and Rush Limbaugh and people like that. And they don't dare cross him.

For a long time, we thought that Fox worked for the Republican Party. Now we know that Fox really runs the Republican Party.


There are no words, ladies and gentlemen. Correction: there is one word, pinhead.