The director-general of the London-based Al-Arabiya TV criticized President Obama for supporting the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero in an August 16 column published in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, according to the Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI).
"On the one occasion I commented on the issue of the 'Ground Zero Mosque,' I conveyed the general opinion that Muslims (globally) in this instance are not concerned with the issue, since they did [not] ask for it, pay for it, and moreover are not concerned with every issue," Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed wrote in a follow up piece on August 29th.
Al-Rashed rhetorically asks, "Are Muslims indeed in a state of anger because the mosque will be built near the site of the (September 11) attacks? My conclusion is no, and there is a great deal of evidence (to support this)."
Al-Rashed supports his assertion with the following statement:
"There was not a single demonstration on any Arab street. We did not hear mosque imams addressing the Ground Zero mosque saga, and making it their Friday prayer sermon. Likewise, the issue was not adopted by intellectual or even religious institutions. Nothing was written against it except a handful of articles, and it has not become a contentious issue in various media."
Rather, Al-Rashed, explains there are "political opinions adopted by some Muslim radicals, and their Jihadist attitudes, declared in the name of each Muslim individual in the U.S. and around the world. This is deception and we must dismiss it."
Furthermore, the Ground Zero Mosque could backfire against American Muslims:
"For many Muslims, building a mosque near the same land upon which three thousand people were killed by Muslims is not a necessity. Most comments from readers rejected the idea of building the mosque for fear of it turning into hatred against Muslims. They are right…"
While Al-Rashed thinks the owners of the project "have good intentions," they are not "taking into account the serious nature of (constructing) a mosque at such a particularly sensitive time and place. It's like a Jewish group [trying] to build a temple in Tahrir Square in Cairo today; can you imagine the public reaction in Egypt?"