How Exactly Did Justin Bieber Become Involved In The “Ground Zero Mosque” Debate?

The most ridiculous political meme of 2010 has somehow been merged with the most ridiculous entertainment meme of 2010:

Andy Sullivan, a construction worker and Brooklyn native, has been one of the loudest opponents of Park51, the planned mosque and community center near ground zero. Founder of the 9/11 Hard Hat Pledge — under which construction workers vow not to work at the mosque site — Sullivan has been a regular presence on television, known for wearing his signature American flag hard hat and talking tough about radical Muslims.

So it was quite a surprise this month to read that Sullivan has set his sights on a new target: Canadian teen pop superstar Justin Bieber.

Mosque foes recently started a boycott of Bieber after he made comments in support of the mosque project in an interview with Tiger Beat, a teen fan magazine, Sullivan told WYNC earlier this month. Now, his 8-year-old daughter and 11-year-old son have been banned from attending Bieber performances.

“I informed them, ‘Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the ground zero mosque,” Sullivan explained to Salon in an interview. “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.”

And what was it that this 16 year old Canadian said that got an adult construction work so upset? Well that’s what makes the whole story ridiculous:

I couldn’t find any sign of an interview on Park51. There is, however, a post on the website purporting to describe a Tiger Beat interview. It reads in part:

In an interview with Tiger Beat, the pop sensation stressed that freedom of religion is what makes America great, and went on to say that those who oppose the Mosque are motivated by bigotry.

“Muslims should be allowed to build a mosque anywhere they want,” the singer said. “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!” seems to specialize in softcore celebrity porn, but poke around a bit and you find this disclaimer: is a satirical website containing published rumors, speculation, assumptions, opinions, fiction as well as factual information

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.

The whole thing was a hoax and Sullivan, being the obvious fool that he is, didn’t bother to verify anything, and now there’s even a Facebook page devoted to boycotting Justin Bieber.

If you needed confirmation that American political culture was in fact totally absurd, you’ve just found it.

FILED UNDER: Entertainment, Religion, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. This is one of the funniest things I’ve seen all week..

  2. David says:

    This is like running with something off the Onion – which incidentally, would probably sound MUCH more believable and fact-based.

  3. wr says:

    Wait until Zels starts insisting it’s true.

  4. Ken L says:

    Huh. Has Bieber denied the allegations? I don’t think so. And even if he didn’t say it I bet he thinks it. Boycott him anyway. Remember 9/11!!!

  5. Davebo says:

    Right on Ken L!

    There’s no reason to let reality get in the way of a bitchin meme!

    However, judging by your pic I doubt you attend a lot of Bieber performances.

    If you do, your name should probably be on a list somewhere.

  6. MarkT says:

    No surprise that people can no longer distinguish satire from the output of the mainstream press. Depressing, but not surprising.

    What’s next, Bieber secretly went to North Korea to give the Dear Leader a private concert?

  7. So funny CelebJihad made fools of Andy Sullivan and his 9/11 Hard Headed Pledge to snuff out religious freedom. Love it! I added to the story: