Anderson Cooper Exposes GOP Anti-Muslim Hate-Monger (Video)
September 27, 2010
(ChattahBox Political News)— Renee Ellmers, a little known Republican candidate for Congress from North Carolina is drawing criticism for her incendiary campaign ad equating Muslims with terrorists. The ad also calls the proposed building of an Islamic community center two blocks from the site where the Twin Towers fell, a “Victory Mosque.” You might wonder how the building of an Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan affects the residents of North Carolina. It doesn’t. But Ellmers is not about to miss out on an opportunity to peddle some anti-Muslim fear and hate if it results in a few extra votes. And CNN’s Anderson Cooper took Ellmers to task for her blatant bigotry Friday night, with predictable results.
Anderson to his credit, continued to press Ellmers on the claims made in her ad that Muslims build “Victory Mosques,” as well as the Republican candidate’s use of “Muslim and terrorist interchangeably.”
Anderson prefaces the segment with the question, “Is she using Ground Zero to boost a trailing campaign?” Answer: Yes she is. Ellmers’ Democratic opponent, Rep. Bob Etheridge (NC) condemned her fearmongering ad as an offensive attempt to garner publicity.
“Mrs. Ellmers is desecrating this hallowed ground with her obvious and offensive attempt to raise her profile,” said the Congressman’s spokesperson.
Although Ellmers denied she equates Muslims with terrorists in her ad and campaign rhetoric, that’s exactly what she is doing. When Anderson asked Ellmers to back up her “Victory Mosque” claim she questioned Anderson’s Christianity.
And despite suggesting that the Islamic Center developer, Imam Rauf was a terrorist, she was forced to concede she actually knew nothing about him.
COOPER: Ms. Ellmers, in your ad, you use the term Muslim and the term terrorist basically interchangeably. You say Muslims want to build a mosque at Ground Zero, the terrorists haven’t won, and we should tell them in plain English, no, there will never be a mosque at Ground Zero. You’re essentially equating Muslims with terrorists.
ELLMERS: Well, to be honest, I think that you could make that assumption, but, you know, that’s — that’s not giving me the benefit of the doubt. [...]
COOPER: I mean, that’s — your words are very carefully selected. [...]
ELLMERS: The words are carefully selected, but that is certainly not what I’m intending to say. I am not intending to say that all Muslims are terrorists.
Basically, what I am saying, sir, is that there were terrorists who attacked us. They were Islamic jihadists. And, as a result of that, we have seen the devastation on 9/11. And we are still living with that and those poor families –
COOPER: But the people who are building the mosque — but the people who are building the Islamic center are not terrorists. And in your final sentence –
ELLMERS: Do you know that, sir? Do you know that, sir? Because, you know, we don’t even know who is — who is the donors to that.
COOPER: Do you believe that the imam behind this, the imam whose the front of this –
ELLMERS: We don’t know that.
COOPER: You think he may be a terrorist?
ELLMERS: Well, I don’t know — I don’t know that much about the imam. I don’t think any of us know that much about the imam. [...]
ELLMERS: That is where the uncertainty is.
COOPER: But — but have you done any research about him? Because the State Department sends him out and has sent him out for years to –
ELLMERS: Yes, sir, he — you are correct. And those are some of the concerns that we have. Our — our district –
COOPER: You may — you believe he may be a terrorist?
ELLMERS: Sir, I don’t know what his intentions are. I do not know that.
And that is my point. I am standing up for the people of District 2 in North Carolina who say that they are very concerned with the moral decline in this country and where our leaders are bringing us. [...]
COOPER: You also talk about victory mosques that Muslims built hundreds of years ago on the site of military conquests.
ELLMERS: Yes, sir.
COOPER: But don’t all — don’t all religions do that? I mean, you’re Catholic. Rome was conquered from the pagans and their altars destroyed so the Vatican could be built.
Christian conquistadors and pilgrims to America all destroyed local religions and built their own houses of worship. Is the Vatican a victory church?
ELLMERS: No, that is the –
COOPER: It’s not?
ELLMERS: You are — you are incorrect in your statement, sir. That is not what has happened.
COOPER: Wait. Wait. So, wait. Just about every religion — when a religion in the past used to conquer in a war, they wouldn’t build a house of worship; the Catholic Church didn’t build houses of worship on — on the sites of other religions?
ELLMERS: Now, we all know about religion. I’m a Christian.
COOPER: Well, yes or no. I know you’re a — right.
ELLMERS: I am Catholic. Yes, I am.
No, you — you are wrong in your assumptions. [...]
ELLMERS: And, you know, I guess — I guess what I could ask you is, are you anti-religion? Are you anti-Christian in your thinking?
COOPER: That is — that is like — that’s like the lowest response I have ever heard from a candidate, I have got to tell you.
ELLMERS: Really? Really?
Ellmers is of course, full of it. To hear her tell it, the constituents in her district in North Carolina are very, very afraid of an Islamic community center to be built in an old Burlington Coat factory building two and a half blocks from Ground Zero.
Photo Source: Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons/minds-eye/Anderson Cooper visited Wolfson Children’s Hospital.