The Anti-Defamation League's Abe Foxman is joining forces with Southern Baptist Convention leader Richard Land and other faith leaders to form a coalition that will defend the right of Muslims to build mosques in their communities.
Paradoxically, both faith leaders have taken highly visible stands opposing mosque construction in the best known such battle to date: the planned Islamic center two blocks away from Ground Zero. They've argued that the location is insensitive because the 9/11 attackers were extremist Muslims, and a house of Islamic worship would be hurtful to the family members of victims.
But Muslim advocates have pointed to a growing number of attacks on mosques far from the site of Ground Zero as worrisome evidence of growing anti-Islamic sentiment unrelated to the location of the 9/11 attacks...
Council on American-Islamic Relations spokesman Ibrahim Hooper said he thinks the coalition is the ADL's "PR stunt" to deflect criticism from its stance on Park51. He said the coalition hadn't reached out to his group, which claims to be the largest Muslim advocacy group in America, as a potential partner.
The ADL has not yet returned a request for comment on possible outreach efforts involving more Muslim leaders and groups. (More)