Beaver Creek’s Hasan to support NYC mosque on Fox
BEAVER CREEK, Colorado – Builders of a proposed mosque near New York City’s ground zero would be bound by U.S. law, not Sharia law, says Ali Hasan.
Hasan will appear Thursday on two Fox Network shows, the O’Reilly Factor with Bill O’Reilly and the Fox Scorecard on the Fox Business Channel. He’ll argue that the mosque should go forward on the site, he said, and that it’s the builders’ right under the U.S. Constitution.
“You do not get to declare it the Islamic Republic of Lower Manhattan,” Hasan said. “When you buy land in New York City and you’re going to build a building on it, you do not get to apply our own set of laws separate from those of the city, New York state and the nation.”
Hasan has a long history of political activity, giving him what he called “conservative cred.”
He was a regular Fox News commentator during the George Bush campaign in 2004, and helped establish Muslims for Bush.
Support Local Journalism
In Arabic, Sharia means a “way” or a “path.” Muslims agree that Sharia is God’s law, but do not agree on what that means. To some, sharia’s rules never change. To others, it’s shifting religious principles.
Imam Feisal Rauf, a Sufi Muslim, is spearheading the controversial mosque and community center. Rauf runs what he calls the Sharia Index Project, in which he tries to measure the “Islamicity” of a state.
Sharia law was developed 500 years after the Prophet Mohammed’s death and the Koran was written, Hasan said.
“If they promote terrorism under the pretense of practicing Sharia law, we get to arrest them and throw them in jail,” Hasan said. “By building on American land, you’re going to follow American law.”
As the Manhattan mosque issue became more inflamed, Hasan wrote Fox News telling them he’d be willing to appear. He’ll appear twice today.
“I’m a constitutionalist,” he said. “We’re guaranteed freedom of religion and private property. If we drive these people out because of legal technicalities and religious paranoia, we’re not honoring the spirit of of our Constitution.”
Critics and opponents counter that while building the mosque so near the 9/11 terrorist attack that killed 3,000 people might not be illegal, it is a bad idea and in bad taste. New York Gov. David Patterson offered the group free land in another location for their mosque.
“I’m a Muslim and there is no place I can practice more freely than right here, and that includes the world’s 56 Muslim countries,” Hasan said. “Opponents are not celebrating the constitutional spirit of America. By saying that, you’re fanning the flame of bigotry and intolerance, just because the builders are Muslim.”
Hasan says he’s going to wear his biggest bolo tie for tonight’s television appearance.
“My biggest motivation for doing this is so America can see a Muslim cowboy,” Hasan said. “I might even throw on my Ken Salazar cowboy hat.”