Several commenters have questioned the veracity of this story. Following is the proof that the photo was originally on the Cordoba Initiative website, and its Shariah Index project page.
The photo originally appeared at http://www.cordobainitiative.org/?q=content/shariah-index-project.
A screen shot is from a cached copy of the original page, from http://gigablast.com/get?q=cordobainitiative.org+sharia&c=main&d=134956785546&cnsp=0. (Also available here on PJM.)
In fact, the photo which was removed still has the following specific internet address, as the Cordoba Initiative has — as of now — forgotten to delete the photo from their server: http://www.cordobainitiative.org/SIP2.jpg.
Here is how the page appears now, with the photo removed: http://www.cordobainitiative.org/?q=content/shariah-index-project. (Updated with comparisons of the two in screen-shots below.)
A Cordoba-Iranian connection? What exactly is “Islamicity”?
More questions have arisen about the attempt to build a mosque adjacent to Ground Zero, as part of the so-called Cordoba Initiative. In particular, why has the Cordoba website just removed a photograph of Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani, secretary-general of the High Council for Human Rights in Iran? Is the move an attempted cover-up of their Iranian connections?
Two weeks ago the Cordoba Initiative website featured a photograph of the project’s chairman, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, and Iranian Mohammad Javad Larijani at an event that the Initiative sponsored in Malaysia in 2008. This week, the photograph, which appears below, has disappeared.
Larijani was the Iranian representative who defended Iran’s abysmal human rights record before the UN Human Rights Council in February and June of this year. Among other things, Larijani told the Council: “Torture is one thing and punishment is another thing. … This is a conceptual dispute. Some forms of these punishments should not be considered torture according to our law.” By which he meant flogging, amputation, stoning, and the criminalization of homosexuality, which are all part of Iranian legal standards. Larijani added: “Iran [has a] firm commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. … The Islamic Republic of Iran … is a democracy,” which would be news to the pro-democracy activists murdered or confined to Iranian prisons since last year’s fraudulent elections.