Well this is embarrasing. For weeks Andy Sullivan has forbidden his 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son from listening to teen pop star Justin Bieber. How come? Well, that takes a little explaining. Sullivan, you see, is one of the most vocal opponents of Park51, the so-called 'Ground Zero Mosque.' He is founder of the 9/11 Hard Hat pledge, a pact in which New York-area construction workers pledge not to accept work on the site of the proposed cultural center. Sullivan imposed the Bieber ban because he thinks the Canadian pop star supports Park51. But there's one problem: Bieber has never publicly mentioned the mosque.
Sullivan, it turns out, was hoaxed by a satirical website called CelebJihad.com. Over the summer, the site published a fake story about an interview Bieber supposedly gave to Tiger Beat magazine. The blog post reads:
Justin Bieber has weighed on the controversy surrounding the so-called “Ground Zero” Mosque. In an interview with Tiger Beat, the pop sensation stressed that freedom of religion is what makes America great, and went on to say that those who oppose the Mosque are motivated by bigotry.
“Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque anywhere they want,” the singer said. “Coming from Canada, I’m not used to this level of intolerance, eh.”
Bieber went on to say that Muslims are “super cool,” Christians are “lame-o-rama,” and that the mosque will help “start a dialogue” with all religions about which Justin Bieber song is the most awesome.
“I was like seven when September 11th went down, and frankly I’m surprised people are still going on about it. Move on, already!”
Added the singer, “Everyone needs to just chillax and dance!”
It seems astonishing that someone would accept the above blog post as truth but Sullivan apparently did. Earlier this month, he told WNYC radio that his children were prohibited from attending Bieber concerts because the pop star expressed his pro-Park51 views in Tiger Beat magazine. He reiterated this to Salon's Justin Elliot in an interview today.
"I informed them, 'Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the ground zero mosque," Sullivan said to Salon. "My little girl took down his poster and said she didn't want to have nothing to do with him anymore. These are my kids. They're living this thing."
Even better, Sullivan isn't the only one with egg on his face. A Facebook page with nearly 500 fans calls on readers to "Boycott companies who support the Ground Zero Mosque." Front and center is a photo of Bieber smiling cheerfully with a red slash over his face:
Tiger Beat has confirmed that Bieber never mentioned anything about Park51 in an any interviews and now a slew of Facebook users are lampooning the authors of the Facebook page:
The pranksters at CelebJihad appear to be walking proudly in the footsteps of ChristWire.org.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.