By Alana N. Goodman
August 8, 2010
Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the proposed Islamic center at Ground Zero is a key player in the Perdana Global Peace Organization, a Malaysian-based group that has “9/11 Truthers” and Holocaust apologists as its top members, according to its website.
Rauf was also listed as a featured speaker at the PGPO’s 2005 conference in Kuala Lumpur, which included lectures skeptical of whether Osama Bin Laden was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks.
The PGPO’s founder and chair, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, is a well-known skeptic of the mainstream accounts of Sept. 11.
“In September 2001, the World Trade Centre was attacked allegedly by terrorists. I am not sure now that Muslim terrorists carried out these attacks. There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged.
If they can make Avatar, they can make anything,” said Dr. Mohamed, a former Prime Minister of Malaysia, at a conference this past January.
The PGPO website also features speculation about Israel lobby “conspiracies,” and anti-Semitic writings.
“The Jews had always been a problem in European countries. They had to be confined to ghettoes and periodically massacred.
But still they remained, they thrived and they held whole Governments to ransom,” said Dr. Mohamad, in a speech during the Forum on Gaza Genocide in London on March 31, 2009, which is posted on the site.
“Even after their massacre by the Nazis of Germany, [Jews] survived to continue to be a source of even greater problems for the world.
The Holocaust failed as a final solution,” Dr. Mohamad continued.
In addition to Dr. Mohamad, other “9/11 Truthers” listed as prominent members of the PGPO include University of Illinois Professor Francis Boyle, anti-nuclear activist Helen Caldicott and author Michel Chossudovsky.
“We still don’t know exactly what happened on September 11th. If you’ve followed the hearings, we do know there’s a cover-up going on,” said Boyle in an interview posted on the University of Illinois “Media Matters” with Bob McChesney site on Sept. 29, 2002.
“The Bush Jr. Administration is desperately trying to keep whatever information from the public – what happened on Sept 11.
Who was behind this?”
Caldicott was listed as a speaker at the March 2008 “9/11 Truth Now Conference” in Sydney.
According to a press release, the conference was held to “address how the US and Australian governments have actively sponsored, or been complicit in the cover-up, of terrorism.”
And the 2005 PGPO conference where Rauf was a featured speaker, other group members railed against the “fabricated” pretext for the War on Terror and the alleged pro-war “propaganda” in the media.
“Osama bin Laden and the Taliban were identified as the prime suspects of the 9/11 attacks, without a shred of evidence,” said PGPO member Chossudovsky, according to the online text of his speech. “Amply documented, the war on terrorism is a fabrication.”
Also at the conference, writer Michael Carmichael claimed that former President George W. Bush, “launched a radical presidency based on plutocracy, elitism, Christian Zionism and the domination of the national security state by the petro-military-industrial complex through a perpetual war for control of global energy reserves.”
Terrorist apologists were in attendance as well. “There is something we Palestinians can’t understand. It’s what the word ‘terrorism’ means?
Please tell me,” said Palestinian activist Najwa Jalamneh in her speech at the event. “If I am wrong, is it when we defend ourselves, our hope, our dream of having a state, a free state, a dream is happy and peaceful life[?] If we fight for that, are we terrorists?”
Despite the radical rhetoric of the PGPO at the conference and in other settings, Rauf joined nearly a dozen of the group’s top members to sign an “initiative to criminalize war” after the 2005 conference, according to the group’s website.
Rauf’s office, the Cordoba Initiative, was asked whether the imam would reject the anti-Semitic statements of other PGPO members, whether he was still associated with the group, and why he joined up with a coalition that included “9/11 Truthers” to draft and sign a foreign policy initiative.
A spokesperson replied by email that “All the answers to your questions are on our site cordobainitiative.org as well as the Cordoba blog and face book site.”
However, the information did not appear to be available on the websites, and requests for further comment were not returned by the Cordoba Initiative.
Source: Big Peace
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