When the Plain Dealer finally got around to covering the story on Alzaree’s anti-Jewish rants on Saturday, “Public scrutiny under way for Ahmed Alzaree, new imam of Islamic Center of Cleveland”, the title couldn’t have been more fitting as the scrutiny has been entirely from the “public” not the “establishment media”. As Tom Blumer noted in a subsequent Wide Open post this weekend, “Ahmed Alzaree Follow-up: Who WAS That Cleveland.com Blogger?”, the PD’s Robert Smith couldn’t even admit that one of the PD’s own bloggers (Blumer) had been the one that broke the story. The coverage by the Associated Press/Columbus Dispatch (“Comment on Jews by incoming imam draws criticism”) and the abbreviated clip by the Cincinnati Enquirer (“Spiritual Leader’s Sermon Scrutinized”) was even more non-descript.
What is shocking is how easily the PD’s Smith allows Islamic Center of Cleveland president Jalal Abu-Shaweesh to explain away Alzaree’s anti-Jewish rant about how rocks will cry out for Muslims to kill hiding Jews:
Abu-Shaweesh, who read the sermon, said Alzaree was relaying a well-known Hadith as he listed myriad signs of Judgment Day and was likely just being thorough.“Just being thorough”? Did that warrant any follow-up whatsoever on Smith’s part? Apparently not, because it passes without any further comment.
But what all these Ohio establishment media outlets have failed to acknowledge is the updated info we provided here concerning Alzaree’s connections to yet another deported terror cleric Wagdi Ghoneim. Here’s what I wrote:
COAT contributor Sun Tzu informs me that just prior to being expelled from the United States, one of the preachers that Ahmed Alzaree brought to Omaha was his friend and fellow Egyptian terror cleric Wagdi Ghoneim, who one US immigration official explained was kicked out of the US because “our task is not to sit around and wait for people to blow up buildings”. According to an Islamic Center of Omaha newsletter, Ghoneim visited in August 2004. JihadWatch reminds us that Switzerland has also banned Ghoneim from their country in 2005. As Daniel Pipes has noted, Ghoneim called Jews “descendants of the apes” at a 1998 CAIR event (apparently a common theme in the Damra-Alzaree-Ghoneim “inter-faith” circles).Blumer has conveniently reposted the December 2004 LA Times article and Associated Press article concerning Ghoneim’s expulsion from the US for immigration violations and to avoid further investigation into accusations of his terrorist ties and fundraising. But not one of these “media” outlets could utter a word of mention of Ghoneim’s appearance at Alzaree’s Omaha mosque just weeks before he was expelled from the US, even though the PD’s follow-up article mentions the Central Ohioans Against Terrorism blog entry by name (yes, I am presuming that Smith read the post, since he was writing an article on the “public scrutiny” of Alzaree’s hiring; perhaps that is asking too much).
Beginning with the original Plain Dealer story by David Briggs last Tuesday, it has been the “bloggers”, not the “journalists”, who have continued to break new developments on Alzaree’s hiring, questionable background and incendiary statements. The media establishment’s reluctance to say anything critical of Islamic extremists is hardly surprising in light of their past performance, but their willful ignorance and whistling past the graveyard has become so painfully obvious that it is getting hard to watch anymore.