Bieber gets apology over mosque hoax
A prominent opponent of the planned mosque and community centre at New York’s Ground Zero has apologized to Canadian teen singing sensation Justin Bieber for being taken in by a hoax about a purported interview the singer never gave.
Andy Sullivan, a Brooklyn construction worker who created the 9-11 Hard Hat Pledge under which labourers pledge not to help build the planned mosque and community centre, posted an apology to the Stratford, Ont.- born Bieber on his website Friday.
“It seems a wrong needs to be righted and the fault is my own,” Sullivan wrote on his blog at bluecollarcorner.com.
Earlier this year, Sullivan writes, he approved a Facebook group created by one of his volunteers that listed companies, groups and individuals who spoke out in support of the mosque/community centre project at the site where the World Trade Center towers crumbled to the ground after commercial planes crashed into them during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
A post appeared on satirical website Celeb Jihad earlier this year, in which Bieber is said to have told teen magazine Tiger Beat that “Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque anywhere they want.”
“Coming from Canada, I’m not used to this level of intolerance, eh,” Bieber is quoted as telling the magazine.
In the post on Celeb Jihad, Bieber goes on to say that he “was like seven when Sept. 11 went down, and frankly I’m surprised people are still going on about it. Move on, already!”
What Sullivan and his volunteers discovered — after Sullivan had given national interviews about his young children’s reaction to the news that their idol, Bieber, was a purported mosque supporter — was that the interview with Tiger Beat never happened and the post on Celeb Jihad was a hoax.
“I offer my most genuine apology to Justin Bieber, his family and fans,” Sullivan wrote on his blog. “If I have caused any grief or pain I am terribly sorry.”
Reading the disclaimer on Celeb Jihad’s website could have prevented Sullivan’s volunteer from buying into the hoax in the first place.
“CelebJihad.com is a satirical website containing published rumors, speculation, assumptions, opinions, fiction as well as factual information,” the disclaimer says. “Information on this site may or may not be true and is not meant to be taken as fact.”
In an e-mail to Salon, the proprietor of the website said the idea that some people were taking the post seriously “is hilariously depressing.”
Original post: Bieber gets apology over mosque hoax