Accuracy in Media

The treasurer of the Major General Henry Knox Lodge says he nearly went “ballistic” when he heard that the General Knox Museum in Maine was going to honor the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief, Abderrahim Foukara, by having him as a speaker at a gala fundraiser on July 28.

Brad Chase explains, “I telephoned the museum, talking to a woman, and told her I want to ask the following questions: Why are you having the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief as your speaker? Don’t you know that it is funded by the Emir of Qatar, and is a propaganda arm of the Islamists? Have you ever heard of the Muslim Brotherhood? Why don’t you have an American General for a speaker?”

The Major General Knox Lodge, a Masonic lodge which meets in Boston, Massachusetts, is a paid member and sponsor of the Knox Museum. Chase says that, annually, around July 25th (Knox’s birthday), about 40 members spend a three-day weekend in Thomaston, Maine, and have a graveyard service, placing a wreath on Knox’s gravesite. Someone from the Knox Museum usually appears and takes part in the ceremony.

Members of Brigitte Gabriel’s organization, Act for America, have spearheaded the opposition to Foukara’s scheduled appearance. But members of New England Tea Party groups are protesting as well.

Raymond Hanna, leader of the Act for America chapter in Boston, has been distributing educational material about the channel to other Act for America chapters throughout New England. Born in Egypt, the country where one of the Al-Jazeera-supported Arab revolutions has been taking place, he is upset over the invitation to Foukara because of what the channel and its associated organization, the Muslim Brotherhood, represent.

“This museum was named in honor of one of George Washington’s key generals during the Revolutionary War,” he noted. He said the invitation to Foukara is “a spit in the face of those people who have fought for and defended our freedom of religion and freedom of speech” since America’s founding.

“Everything that Al-Jazeera—and the Muslim Brotherhood—stands for is in complete antithesis of what we believe,” he said. He says these entities represent the imposition of Sharia law, not democracy and freedom, through the Muslim practice of Taqiyya, which means disguising one’s real beliefs and intentions.

A representative of the Knox museum insists that Foukara will talk on July 28 about freedom and democracy in the Arab world and that his message is therefore consistent with the legacy of the Knox Museum. “We’re trying to promote an open conversation about what’s going on in the world now. Free speech is very much in keeping with what the Founding Fathers were trying to fight for,” said Knox Museum Executive Director Ellen Dyer.

But the channel is funded by the Arab regime in Qatar, where freedom of the press and democracy are non-existent. Al-Jazeera also has ties to terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and Hamas.

Al-Jazeera, which opposed the American liberation of Iraq, has promoted the “revolution” in Egypt, which has led to the rise of the Muslim Brotherhood and increasing persecution of Christians in the country. The Muslim Brotherhood has called Al-Jazeera “the great Arab media organization.”

The controversy over Foukara being honored has been building since AIM published a column, “American Revolutionary War Museum to Honor Al-Jazeera,” on June 29.

Although the museum and its apologists are insisting that the issue is one of “free speech” for Al-Jazeera, critics say that the venue is entirely inappropriate for a representative of what some call “Jihad TV,” which is dedicated to the destruction of the West and the freedoms that underpin it. Raymond Hanna of Act for America in Boston noted that documents and evidence in the Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case demonstrated a long-term plan by the Muslim Brotherhood to subvert America from within.

The comment boards on the websites for the Maine Tea Party and As Maine Goes have had scores of posts in the last several weeks from people angry at the museum’s honoring Foukara.

“I think it’s very insulting that the museum would even consider inviting a person like that,” said Pete Harring, a member of the Maine Tea Party, as reported by the Bangor Daily News.

The paper added, “Enough people have written angry emails, made phone calls and otherwise registered their dissatisfaction with the decision that officials have moved the post-speech reception from its usual spot—the downtown Rockland branch of Camden National Bank.” Instead, the reception will be held at an undisclosed private home.

The Maine Tea Party has asked concerned citizens to contact the Knox Museum and their directors and “protest loudly!”

It lists the chairman of the board of the museum as Gregory A. Dufour, president and chief executive officer of Camden National Corporation and Camden National Bank in Rockport, Maine. It tells Tea Party members that the museum number is 207-354-8062 and Gregory Dufour’s work number is 207-236-9131. “PLEASE call & register your opposition to them honoring an Islamist terrorist organization,” the Maine Tea Party urges.

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