"Following intense media interest in the Islamic Conference due to be held this Wednesday the 11th of September 2002 at [London's] Finsbury Park Mosque, the organizers, Al-Muhajiroun, would like to make it clear that:
1. The participants, which include leaders from the Muslim community … will not be celebrating the events of the 11th of September. …"
—Sept. 10 press release from Al-Muhajiroun.
"September the 11th 2001: A Towering Day In History."
— Poster for the event, illustrated with a photograph of the WorldTradeCenter in flames.
"Reporters were barred from the conference itself, but one of the 150 or so participants, the Saudi dissident Muhammad al-Massari, said at a news conference that the Sept. 11 onslaught 'wasn't the wisest thing, but legitimate, yes.'
" 'An eye for an eye as an old book says,' he said, referring to the attacks as retaliation by Mr. bin Laden for attacks on Muslims. 'But it was only one eye for 100 eyes,' said Mr. Massari, who is in exile and commands a following in radical Muslim circles. 'There is still much more to do.'
"Mr. bin Laden, he said, was 'fighting according to his beliefs.' He added, 'Anyone who fights according to his beliefs is a hero.'
" … Before the conference, Mr. Bakri Mohamed, the Al Muhajiroun leader, told reporters that Al Qaeda 'has got rational justification for what they did on Sept. 11.'
"'Maybe I disagree with them,' he said, 'but they have the right to fight back' after United States forces 'bombed Sudan, then they bombed Afghanistan.' He did not refer to the terrorist attacks in east Africa and Yemen that inspired the United States attacks."
—Alan Cowell, "At A Mosque In London, Bin Laden Is Hailed As A Hero," in the Sept. 12 New York Times.
Got a whopper? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org. To be considered, an entry must be an unambiguously false statement paired with an unambiguous refutation, and both must be derived from some appropriately reliable public source. Preference will be given to newspapers and other documents that Chatterbox can link to online.
Sept. 6, 2002: National Republican Congressional Committee
Aug. 29, 2002: Eddie Joe Lloyd
Aug. 22, 2002: Larry Klayman
Aug. 2, 2002: Al Gore
July 26, 2002: Princeton admissions dean Stephen LeMenager
July 19, 2002: James Traficant
July 12, 2002: Maryland Lt. Gov. candidate Michael S. Steele
July 5, 2002: Hesham Mohamed Hadayet
June 28, 2002: WorldCom
June 21, 2002: Terry Lynn Barton
June 14, 2002: Tom Ridge
June 7, 2002: Former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy
May 31, 2002: Ari Fleischer
May 23, 2002: Condoleezza Rice
May 17, 2002: Robert Mueller
May 9, 2002: Karl Rove
May 3, 2002: Gen. Richard Myers
April 25, 2002: Donald Rumsfeld
April 18, 2002: George W. Bush
April 11, 2002: The Rev. Robert J. Banks, archdiocese of Boston
April 5, 2002: George W. Bush
March 29, 2002: Major League Baseball
March 21, 2002: Billy Graham
March 14, 2002: INS commissioner James W. Ziglar
March 8, 2002: Robert Zoellick and the U.S. steel industry
Feb. 28, 2002: Al Sharpton
Feb. 22, 2002: Olympic skating judge Marie-Reine Le Gougne
Feb. 14, 2002: Kenneth Lay
Feb. 8, 2002: Enron spokeswoman Peggy Mahoney
Jan. 31, 2002: Monsanto
Jan. 24, 2002: Linda Chavez
Jan. 17, 2002: George W. Bush
Jan. 10, 2002: Simon & Schuster
Jan. 4, 2002: The Associated Press
(Click here to access the Whopper Archive for 2001.)