Officials: No ‘mass celebrations’ of Muslims after 9/11

Did New Jersey's Muslim residents really celebrate the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001? That's a question that has been greatly debated in the state this weekend. Republican presidential

News 12 Staff

Nov 24, 2015, 7:18 AM

Updated 3,073 days ago

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Officials: No ‘mass celebrations’ of Muslims after 9/11
Did New Jersey's Muslim residents really celebrate the collapse of the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001?
That's a question that has been greatly debated in the state this weekend. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump says that he saw people celebrating in Jersey City about the attacks.
"I watched in Jersey City, New Jersey, where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down," Trump said. 
The comments sparked quite a reaction in the Garden State. Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop was quick to deny anything like that ever happened.
"Either he [Trump] is willfully making up lies, or he has memory issues," Fulop said. "If you have either one of those, you have to question his ability to be president."
On Monday, Trump tweeted out an article by the Washington Post from Sept. 18, 2001 that did mention that several hours after the attack "law enforcement authorities detained and questioned a number of people who were allegedly seen celebrating the attacks" in Jersey City.
In response, the Washington Post states that "'a number of people' obviously does not equal 'thousands' -- and 'allegedly' indicates there is no video footage or other proof that celebrations actually took place."
The paper added, "The reporters who wrote the [original] story do not recall whether the allegations were ever confirmed."
Bob Grant, the former emergency communications director in Paterson, says some of the confusion may be over rumors at the time that there were Muslim residents celebrating in Paterson.
However Grant, who was the director in Paterson at the time of the attacks, says that incidents of mass celebration in Paterson were also untrue. He says that during the days after the 9/11 attacks the then mayor of Jersey City actually called him and offered to send 250 Jersey City police officers for support.
He questions why the Jersey City mayor would be sending police officers to Paterson if there was such chaos in Jersey City at the time.
He also says that the Paterson police officers would not tolerate such celebrations.
"The police force of Paterson, mainly comprised at the time of military veterans, guys who had put in their times for US service, would not have tolerated it," he says.
The American Arab Civic Organization also says the rumors are false and would never condone that behavior.
"We call for solidarity with people, we call for people to stand with each other and help each other. We're here to live in peace as everybody else," says Khader Ken Abuassab, the founder of the organization.
Footage of Muslims in Middle Eastern countries cheering news of the attacks were broadcast on television.
So far there has been no physical evidence of mass celebrations by Muslims in New Jersey.


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