Politico's New York beat blogger Maggie Halberman catches Rudy Giuliani's first public comments on the mosque and community center being planned near Ground Zero, and he is positively opposed to the idea. Giuliani, as Halberman points out, has been the face of Ground Zero since 9/11; he's also been one of the many faces of the anti-Islamic-extremism hard line in American politics.
The mosque is being planned by the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement; Imam Faisel Rauf of Cordoba is presumably the imam Giuliani references. Giuliani made the comments in a radio interview three weeks ago:
"It sends a particularly bad message, particularly (because) of the background of the Imam who is supporting this. This is an Imam who has supported radical causes, who has not been forthright in condemning Islamic (terrorism) and the worst instincts that that brings about."So it not only is exactly the wrong place, right at Ground Zero, but it's a mosque supported by an Imam who has a record of support for causes that were sympathetic with terrorism. Come on! We're gonna allow that at Ground Zero?"This is a desecration," he added. "Nobody would allow something like that at Pearl Harbor. Let's have some respect for who died there and why they died there. Let's not put this off on some kind of politically correct theory."I mean, they died there because of Islamic extremist terrorism. They are our enemy, we can say that, the world will not end when we say that. And the reality is it will not and should not insult any decent Muslim because decent Muslims should be as opposed to Islamic extremism as you and I are."
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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.