The media is engaged in a jihad against Rep. Peter King - a jihad in defense of Islamist extremists.
King, a Long Island Republican, has warned his constituents that some leaders of the Islamic Center of Long Island have "publicly stated that the CIA or the 'Zionists' may have been behind the attacks" of 9/11.
The record backs him up. Indeed, the center's leadership has a long history of extremism. But both Newsday and CNN chose to ignore the facts and smear King.
Last week's CNN report was one of the most dishonest pieces of reporting I have ever observed in my entire 27-year career. In attacking King, CNN reporter Jason Carroll claimed the congressman had said the members of the Long Island mosque were "part of an Islamic threat that could cause another 9/11."
King has said no such thing; the red herring simply distracts from the real issue - the center's history of employing extremists and defending terrorists.
Ghazi Khankan was an ICLI officer until two years ago, director of both interfaith affairs and communications. Shortly after 9/11, he told The New York Times that the U.S. government hadn't proven Osama bin Laden's role in the attacks: "We need to have proof. We need to have facts. If there is something wrong, let's get together through the United Nations, not act as a lynch mob."
His rant at a fund-raiser in Virginia that October was recorded: "Why is it assumed that Muslims were behind the attack? . . . We know at least three people assumed to be hijackers who are still alive in the Middle East. The question is, who is impersonating these Muslim names? Who benefits from assuming Muslims are behind this tragedy and who benefits from this tragedy?"
That same month, Khankan gave Newsday his view on who had really perpetrated the atrocities: "What about the world Zionist network? Why are you in the media not looking at them?" Years earlier, he had questioned the verdict against Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who masterminded the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993.