Monday 27 February 2012

Ground Zero Mosque: What's the real story?

In October 2010 one of Stratfor’s staff made this analysis of the pantomime that followed plans to build a mosque in New York, near to ‘Ground Zero’, in a building damaged by the 9/11 blast.

Park 51
Park 51 (was going to be named Cordoba House after the organisation fronting the plans) mosque and cultural centre, not yet completed but operational, won’t be at Ground Zero but close enough to polarise opinion and stir up plenty of anti-Muslim feeling.

Media at the time focussed on the building of a Mosque and the usual anti-Muslim hatred was stirred up at the time, especially by paid-haters like Glenn Beck the Fox News journalist (sic.) who specialises in media bile. And focussed on a tiny Christian Fundamentalist sect and their plans to burn copies of the Qur’an.

But is there more to this plan than meets the eye? According to an email leaked by Wikileaks today there is:
“Bush's favorite Imam, with backing from a funder with connections to the CIA, the Pentagon and the currency trading company that now sponsors rightwing firebrand Glenn Beck, proposes to build a mosque around the corner from the site of the most devastating terrorist attack ever visited on America.” 

The men at the centre of this controversy are a Mr R. Leslie Deak, a key funder of the project and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who will manage the project.

Leslie Deak
Deak, a 52-year-old New Yorker with an intriguing religious and political back-story: conversion from Christianity to Judaism then Islam: his father made millions in money laudering, while Deak himself has formal roles in US military intellilegence.

Deak’s father was a professional money launderer for at least one drugs cartel and one of the businesses he was part of back then is Deak may have links to Goldline which funds Glenn Beck’s radio and road shows. 

Furthermore, Leslie Deak worked as a "business consultant" to Patriot Defence Group, LLC, a super-secretive security contractor with ties to the CIA and counterterrorism forces, and in those same three years he also donated nearly $100,000 in seed money to the foundation now advocating the construction of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque.

Deak also sits on the National Defense University Foundation (NDUF)'s board of directors and donated a total of $101,247 to them. The National Defense University is a network of war and strategy colleges and research centers funded by the Pentagon, designed to train specialists in military strategy. 

So a major source of funding for the Mosque comes from a man with connections to national and international military intelligence and to the right wing media that is fuelling anti-Muslim sentiment in the USA.

Imam Rauf
Imam Rauf has previously worked on behalf of the U.S. government-which includes serving as an FBI "consultant" and being recruited as a spokesperson by longtime George W. Bush confidante Karen Hughes. And has received funding from Saudi Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal, the second-largest shareholder in News Corp., the parent company Fox News, which airs Beck's program.

So a Saudi prince, a consultant from the right of the Republican party, an military funding expert, and a right-wing media organisation help fund a Mosque near Ground Zero.

This is quite a stack of coincidences. Or, as the Stratfor agent puts it, if it is a coincidence: “we can all go back to what we were doing before-either denouncing the Park51 Mosque as an affront to Americans, or championing it as a symbol of our fundamental rights-playing our accustomed roles in a drama that seems too
perfect, somehow, to believe.”