Fake article prompts NYC mosque opponents to boycott Justin Bieber
Some opponents of the so-called “Ground Zero mosque” have launched a boycott of Justin Bieber over the Canadian teen pop sensation’s support of the construction of a Muslim community center not far from the site of the 9/11 attacks.
The only problem is, Bieber has apparently never endorsed the center known as Park 51, or even discussed it publicly.
Bieber’s face was featured on a Facebook page devoted to a boycott of companies that have supported Park 51. (The page has now replaced Bieber’s face with that of New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who actually did endorse the project.)
“Justin took an adult position and spoke out in support of the mosque in tigar beat [sic] magazine,” a page administrator wrote. “He one of the most influential teen sensations … If he is going to play like the big boys he better expect some back lash…”
But that Tiger Beat interview with Bieber doesn’t exist. It appears the source of the claim is an article at CelebJihad, a website dedicated to titillating images of — and “fake news” about — celebrities. (A recent headline declares, “Hillary Duff Caught Licking a Sex Toy.”)
“Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque anywhere they want,” the satirical article quotes Bieber as saying. “Coming from Canada, I’m not used to this level of intolerance, eh?”
Bieber went on to say that Muslims are “super cool,” Christians are “lame-o-rama,” and that the mosque will help “start a dialogue” with all religions about which Justin Bieber song is the most awesome.
“I was like seven when September 11th went down, and frankly I’m surprised people are still going on about it. Move on, already!”
Among the Bieber boycott’s supporters is Andy Sullivan, a construction worker who started the 9/11 Hard Hat Pledge that saw construction workers promise not to work on Park 51. Sullivan told Salon.com’s Justin Elliott that his two children tore down the Justin Bieber posters from their walls when he informed them of the star’s supposed position on the “Ground Zero mosque.”
“I informed them, ‘Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the ground zero mosque,” Sullivan said. “My little girl took down his poster and said she didn’t want to have nothing to do with him anymore. These are my kids. They’re living this thing.”
“Are my two kids going to derail the Bieber machine?” Sullivan asked in an interview with WNYC earlier this month. “I don’t think so. But it hurts. He said something that clearly hurt my kids, and hurt me. So, if you’re gonna say statements that hurt, be prepared. There’s gonna be fallout.”
Bieber’s publicist hasn’t responded to queries regarding the 16-year-old’s views on Park 51, but a Tiger Beat spokesperson confirmed to the Washington Post that Bieber never talked about the mosque with the magazine.
Administrators of the Facebook boycott page appear to be sticking to their guns, even after commenters pointed out the source of the Bieber quote.
“We are waiting for comment from Tiger Beat Magazine to verify the artice [sic] we quoted. However, our source of information was not based on the obviously false quotes from celebjihad,” an administrator wrote.