Pamela Geller, the most vocal of the activists opposed to the so-called "Ground Zero Mosque" to be built two blocks from the former site of the World Trade Center, said Friday that the Conservative Political Action Conference she was speaking at had itself been "corrupted" and "compromised by Muslim Brotherhood activists."
Speaking at a non-official CPAC event on Friday afternoon, Geller said that many members of the board of the American Conservative Union had to go because they were allowing the event to be infiltrated by Muslim Brotherhood activists.
"If you look at the agenda of CPAC, look at all of the panels and then look at your daily news headlines, they're either clueless or complicit," Geller said. "And I'm telling you that before you throw the baby out with the bathwater. There are 12,000 people that come to this event that don't know they've been completely sold out by CPAC leadership. We have to take CPAC back, you can't create this again."
"Why do we have to walk away from something so great?" Geller asked.
Geller's event was held to screen a preview of the film "The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of The 9/11 Attacks." She warned the audience about disturbing images in the film, which was previewed before a nearly full overflow room to a crowd snacking on soft pretzels and tortilla chips on Friday. The full film was shown at another unofficial CPAC event on Saturday.
"It's very graphic," Geller said before screening 10 minutes of the movie, which opens with footage of bodies falling from the World Trade Center. "I told the 9/11 family members, I suggested they leave. And I wasn't doing it to be provocative, it was a very difficult film to make, it's a difficult film to watch. But these are images you haven't seen, 9/11 has been white washed."
Geller said that people were calling her and her followers racists to shut them up. "Do not shut up," she said.
The lights went down and the film began. "That was the sound of someone falling. Someone dying. It was raining bodies," a narrator says.
The event on Friday was a mixture of anti-Islamic rhetoric, guilt-by-association and heartbreaking tales from family members of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. One family member had to walk out of the room as another Sept. 11 family member described hearing about body parts coming back in bits and pieces.
Some in the crowd went even further than demanding that there be no mosques built in the downtown New York area and said there shouldn't be any more mosques built anywhere.
"That's why it's too soon to build mosques in general," one audience member commented. "This is like we're living in Germany," she commented to a friend about plans for a Sept. 11 memorial which would include images of and quotes from the terrorists behind the attacks.
"These guys over here are the same guys we've been fighting over there," another audience member told the crowd.
"Moderate Muslims don't exist," one woman told the crowd. "It's like Blue Dog Democrats," a woman in towards the front of the crowd commented to her friend.
Khan told Dave Weigel that Horowitz's shots at him were "old, tired, baseless attacks that have been debunked by reputable sources. This is baseless, and they're coming from people who are becoming more and more marginalized," he said.
[Ed. note: this article was edited after publication.]