Al-Arabiya TV Director-General Abd Al-Rahman Al-Rashed recently expressed dismay at the fact that there has not been widespread Muslim condemnation of the Cordoba Initiative to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero. In an article published in the London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat on September 19, 2010, Al-Rashed, former editor-in-chief of the newspaper, wrote that although the location of the mosque was never an issue for the majority of Muslims, the silence of the Muslim elite has allowed advocates of the plan to "fabricate lies" and to claim that Muslims worldwide object to moving the mosque elsewhere. This silence, Al-Rashed said, is thus fomenting hatred against the Muslims. He spoke out against the double standard of Muslims, who denounced the burning of the Koran, but who ignore "the humiliation of the Americans with the construction of a mosque near the site of the crime committed by Muslims against others."
Al-Rashed has written several articles in the past on the controversy surrounding the plan.
Following are excerpts from the English version of the article, which was published on September 21, under the title "The Imam, the Pastor, and the Prisoner":
Jihadist Leader Dr. Fadl Courageously Condemned Construction of "Ground Zero" Mosque; Shameful that He Was Only One of a Few
"It's shameful that an inmate in Egypt's Tora prison was only one of a few to have issued a statement condemning the construction of the 'Ground Zero' mosque, whilst others, who have been released from prison, have contented themselves with observing the damage caused to Islam at the hands of Muslims in New York. Dr. Fadl, the founder and leader of the Egyptian Jihad group, courageously stated that he was against the construction of a mosque in that particular location, for it would be a target for civil unrest, would hurt the feelings of the 3,000 victims' families, and would stir up hatred against Muslims. The statement of the imprisoned Jihadist leader will neither increase his popularity, nor will it lessen his prison sentence, for the mosque is an issue far [removed] from his Arab or Egyptian surroundings. However, Dr. Fadl issued the statement because he is aware of the nature of terrorists – his ex-fellows – who aim to ignite a riot, and hence carry out their attacks and target civilians in the name of Islam.
"As for [the] other leaders, religious and intellectual institutions, and various Muslim elites, they all preferred to remain silent. This allowed advocates of the Ground Zero mosque project to fabricate lies, and claim that Muslims worldwide would be furious if the mosque was built elsewhere, which is certainly not true."
"There Should Be One Ethical Position Concerning the Humiliation of Muslims ... and the Humiliation of the Americans"
"We are now faced with an embarrassing [situation]. After the American pastor [Terry Jones] provoked Muslim sentiment by vowing to burn copies of the Holy Koran, the elite of American society and the country's most prominent symbols – namely, President Barack Obama, the Secretary of State, senior jurists, authors, media representatives, economists and clergymen – all stood up against him. They condemned and denounced his actions, and called upon the pastor to reconsider his stance; [thus, they] clearly defended the feelings of Muslims. This is despite the fact that the fundamentals of U.S. law allow an individual to express himself in any manner he chooses, including burning or tearing flags or religious books. Indeed, (in condemning the pastor) the American elite [displayed] a moral regard for the feelings of Muslims.
"But when Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, [chairman of the Cordoba Initiative], insisted on his project to build the mosque … in the vicinity of the location of the destruction that still represents a shrine for the 11 September massacre perpetrated by people in the name of Islam, only a minority of Muslims objected and voiced opposition to the project [out of] consideration for the feelings of the Americans. There should be one ethical position concerning both the humiliation of Muslims by [the burning of] copies of their holy book and the humiliation of the Americans [by] the construction of a mosque near the site of the crime committed by Muslims against others.
'Many of those objecting to the construction of the mosque said that they were against the location only. They said that Muslims had the right to build their mosques and worship as they wish, but [that] this must not clash with the majority of residents."
"It Seems the Pastor Became More Benevolent than the Imam"
"The mosque Imam, who unfortunately was not short of rhetoric, went too far in his position, and insisted on his project to the extent that the pastor began to seem almost credible, when he retracted his intention to burn copies of the Koran. Unfortunately, it seems the pastor became more benevolent than the Imam! Moreover, the Imam claimed in the U.S. media that moving the mosque location would further ignite extremism in the Islamic world and would put the lives of the American people at risk. The claim is not true, as the mosque was never an issue (for Muslims) at all... Whether the mosque was built in Manhattan, Brooklyn, or elsewhere in New York, Muslims would not be irritated; rather, they would be pleased. The funny thing is that the Imam said that his project – which would cost 100 million U.S. dollars and has already caused great unrest in the U.S. – aims to enhance understanding and dialogue between Muslims and other faiths. Is this a joke?"
 See MEMRI SD 3172, “Al-Arabiya Director: The Majority of Muslims Do Not Want or Need a Mosque Near Ground Zero,” August 17, 2010, Al-Arabiya Director: The Majority of Muslims Do Not Want or Need a Mosque Near Ground Zero; MEMRI SD 3198, “Al-Arabiya TV Director: 'Are Muslims Indeed In a State of Anger Because the Mosque Will Not Be Built Near [Ground Zero]? My Conclusion Is No',” August 30, 2010, Al-Arabiya TV Director: 'Are Muslims Indeed In a State of Anger Because the Mosque Will Not Be Built Near [Ground Zero]? My Conclusion Is No'.
 Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), September 21, 2010.