Last week, I wrote about the scheduled appearance of Sheikh Mohammed Al-Hanooti, a long-time terrorist supporter and known Hamas fundraiser, at the Islamic Association of Greater Memphis on July 13-15th. Exhibit A in support of Hanooti’s appearance was an announcement posted on the mosque’s website in their “upcoming events” page. No sooner had my article appeared and other media outlets began making an inquiry than the mosque scrubbed its website of any mention of the scheduled event. As of early Thursday, the entire website for the mosque was down.
Fortunately, I captured a screenshot of the page from the mosque’s event announcement before it disappeared into Internet oblivion:
One might think that an upcoming events announcement found on the mosque’s own website would prove a serious impediment to the mosque denying that the event was ever scheduled to occur. But when it comes to the volatile issue of Islamic extremism and open material support for terrorists in American mosques, you would be wrong.
Rushing to the mosque’s aid was reporter Mike Lollar of the Memphis Commercial Appeal, who immediately sprung into action to cover the story. Well, cover at least one side of the story (namely, the mosque’s), because Lollar, who began his “investigation” last Thursday, made no effort to contact me or anyone from PJ Media for his article. Admittedly, making inquiries on only one side makes writing an article very tidy and quick, but rarely does it capture the truth.
The result was an article published by the Commercial Appeal on Tuesday, “Hamas fundraiser not speaking at mosque,” which characterized my article as “inaccurate,” based on the denial of mosque board chairman Gous Mohammed, who claimed that there had been a mistake (presumably mine) and that no event with Hanooti had been scheduled. Had the reporter bothered to contact us, I would have gladly informed him of the additional verification I had obtained prior to submitting my original article confirming Hanooti’s upcoming appearance. (Note: Mike Lollar did not respond to phone and email requests by PJM requesting comment, a professional courtesy the Commercial Appeal did not afford us.)
But there remained the sticky issue of the announcement on the mosque’s website, which Lollar promptly brushed aside despite the fact that the mosque’s chairman could not adequately explain how the announcement had found its way there. We should be grateful, I suppose, that the global Zionist conspiracy was not invoked as the culprit.