August 16, 2010 | National Review Online

An Endorsement for Ground Zero from Gaza

Mahmoud al-Zahar, a co-founder of the Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip, reportedly weighed in over the weekend about the controversial mosque slated to be built two blocks from Ground Zero.

Muslims “have to build” it there, said al-Zahar, who is widely considered to be one of Hamas' more hard-line leaders.

Al-Zahar's endorsement doesn't mean that the Ground Zero mosque is necessarily a monument to radical Islam. But it won't make concerned Americans feel any better about the mosque's developers. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the proposed mosque, has already come under fire for refusing to identify Hamas as a terrorist organization.

It is further worth noting that Rauf is currently on a State Department-sponsored junket to Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Bahrain, and Qatar this summer. These countries have long been hospitable to radical groups like Hamas; the organization has derived much of its funding over the years from these oil-rich nations.

How much do the Ground Zero mosque and Hamas have in common beyond that? We don't know. Rauf won't answer questions, and Americans grow angrier by the day.

Jonathan Schanzer is vice president of research at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies.

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