Park51 Update: Enemies Boycott Bieber Over Internet Hoax, Katie Couric Advocates for “Muslim Cosby Show”

Justin Bieber -- the uber-Anglo, super-Christian, teen sensation with the perfect hair -- hardly seems like an obvious target for opponents of Park51. But enemies of the Islamic cultural center in downtown Manhattan are now advocating for a full-on Bieber boycott, after falling for a fake interview with the singer which quotes him as saying the “mosque” is okay. Salon reports:

I was able to reach the proprietor of the site, who confirmed that the Bieber item is in fact a hoax. "[T]he fact that some people take it seriously is hilariously depressing," he said in an e-mail.

It's a hoax, though, that has spread around the Web, and succeeded in taking in several anti-mosque activists. 

It's gone so far that one opponent to the cultural center, Andy Sullivan, told Salon that his kids are no longer allowed to listen to Bieber's tunes, which include hits like “Baby” and “Somebody to Love.”

Meanwhile, Katie Couric's sick of all the intolerance. Reflecting on the year in news, via Mediaite:

“The bigotry expressed against Muslims in this country has been one of the most disturbing stories to surface,” she told her panel. In that media narrative, she saw “a seething hatred many people feel for all Muslims,” which she theorized could be remedied by another, more lighthearted narrative: “Maybe we need a Muslim version of The Cosby Show.”

If it sounds wild, it's not -- The Cosby Show was groundbreaking in its realistic portrayal of a normal black family, and, as Couric points out, “did so much to change attitudes about African-Americans in this country.” Meanwhile, there are virtually no representations of Muslims on American television that aren't associated with jihad (though MTV's about to change that with their remake of the hit UK teen show Skins, which features a Muslim character). Watch Couric here:

This seems like a good time to reiterate the fact that the “Ground Zero Mosque” is A. actually an Islamic community center similar to a YMCA; B. will be open to the public and people of other religions are encouraged to attend; C. two full NY blocks away from Ground Zero; and D. even if it were a mosque, it would be protected under the Constitution, as all Americans have the freedom to practice whatever religion they want. Even Bieber worship!

AlterNet / By Julianne Escobedo Shepherd

Posted at December 31, 2010, 4:43am

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