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The Ground Zero Mosque and Media Sleight of Hand
The irony could not have been thicker: the New York Post reported Sunday that one year after the notorious Park51 "community center" opened "with great fanfare," it was "now an empty space with no community programs." Park51, you may recall, is the official name of what is more famously known as the Ground Zero mosque. The entire controversy over the Ground Zero mosque is an illuminating example of how the media manipulates public perceptions.
Now the central deception – that the Ground Zero mosque was never really a mosque at all — has been fully revealed. The Post continued: "What's more, while the developers behind Park51 insisted for two years that the project was more than a mosque, it now appears to be just that. Dozens of worshipers gather at the site on Park Place Friday for prayer services — but that's the only activity in the building."
This is the ignominious denouement of the institution that its developer, Sharif El-Gamal, once boasted would soon be "the most famous community center in the whole world." El-Gamal wasn't the only one boasting: when Park51 officially opened last year, reporters from all over the world contacted Pamela Geller and me, as the leaders of the national opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, asking us for comment on the "fact" that we had "lost," that the "community center" was opening despite our opposition.
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