This post was first published here on August 25.
While Kirsten Powers’s commentary may have once been believed to have a redeeming quality or two, I doubt anyone held any such illusions about “civil rights” attorney and occasional Fox News guest Michael Gross. The man never attempts to hide his innate nastiness, so it was refreshing to see him confronted by someone not known for suffering fools on “Hannity” earlier this week: Pamela Geller:
Geller didn’t even wait for Gross to ask her a question before preempting Gross’s spin on the Ground Zero mosque:
He has no right to be angry, this is not a religious liberties issue, this is not a First Amendment right issue, this is a human compassion issue. That building…is not near Ground Zero, that building is Ground Zero; that building was hit by part of a plane…
Gross, of course, hit back with venom:
How ’bout stopping the bigotry? […] You are equating Muslims with terrorists. That’s bigoted, racist, that is fueling the flames of intolerance in this country…
This is just about as obscene a distortion as they come. The radical sympathies behind this particular project have been well-documented; the only one presenting the fiction that all Muslims are alike is Gross, who insists on ignoring that radicalism and presenting Feisal Abdul Rauf as an example of “good” or “peaceful” Islam. One wonders if Gross thinks the members of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy are bigots, too…
Geller also asked a great question that put the lie to the Left’s invocations of “tolerance” and “understanding”:
If it was really about healing, where’s the reciprocity? We have to respect the hair-trigger sensitivity in the Muslim world. You can’t run the Danish cartoons. Lars Vilks’s house, a Swedish cartoonist, was set on fire. Kurt Westergaard, they knocked down his front door with axes. A little girl in Seattle, a cartoonist who sent to Everybody Draw Muhammad Day, she’s got a fatwa on her head. There’s this hair-trigger sensitivity in the Muslim world; where’s the reciprocity?
Gross’s response? Debate? Nah, he’s not interested in that:
What we need is a high road here, Sean, it’s for you to turn around, the way the Pope did when he recognized that he branded Muslims as fighting-terrorist people, he apologized, he went to a mosque…you know that Catholics went through this when they couldn’t build churches, you know this is no way to treat people who all they wanna do is pray.
Again, this dishonesty is simply obscene. Geller was doing a great job putting this punk on the defensive; Sean Hannity should have either let her continue or followed her example in questioning. Instead he let his foul lies slide and asked if Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world. Of course they are, Sean, but it would have been more relevant and more useful to stay on topic and force your guest to defend his smears.
To his credit, Hannity finally brought up Rauf’s radicalism, to which Gross responded by noting that “we know know he’s been working for the FBI.” Wait—so Rauf only sounded like a radical in the past because he was posing as one, secretly working on our behalf?
Er, not exactly:
In March 2003, federal officials were being criticized for disrespecting the rights of Arab-Americans in their efforts to crack down on domestic security threats in the post-9/11 environment. Hoping to calm the growing tempers, FBI officials in New York hosted a forum on ways to deal with Muslim and Arab-Americans without exacerbating social tensions. The bureau wanted to provide agents with “a clear picture,” said Kevin Donovan, director of the FBI’s New York office.
Brought in to speak that morning — at the office building located just blocks from Ground Zero — was one of the city’s most respected Muslim voices: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The imam offered what was for him a familiar sermon to those in attendance. “Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron,” he said. “It is a fundamental contradiction in terms.”
So “working with the FBI” actually means “lecturing the FBI on how to be more politically-correct around Muslims.”
The segment ended with Gross screaming about seeing this kind of hatred in the sixties. Or something. If Michael Gross wants to do something about hatred, I suggest he start by looking in the mirror.