The Shmooze

Tween Girls Breathe Sigh of Relief as Anti-Mosque Justin Bieber Boycott Ends

By Nathan Burstein

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Phew! It turns out you can oppose the so-called Ground Zero mosque and can keep your Justin Bieber poster. After a boycott of several days, the singer is back in the good graces of Andy Sullivan, an activist who launched the anti-Bieber campaign based on pro-mosque comments the 16-year-old allegedly made in an interview with Tiger Beat, a magazine for teenage girls.

If Tiger Beat seems like an odd place for Bieber to make a political statement — then again, what wouldn’t? — you have more sense than Sullivan, who later discovered he’d been duped by CelebJihad.com, a self-described “satirical website” that reported on the supposed interview.

The made-up comments — in which Bieber described Muslims as “super cool” and denounced intolerance — enraged Sullivan, the founder of the 9/11 Hard Hat Pledge, in which construction workers promise not to participate in the building of Park51, the proposed lower Manhattan Islamic center. In an interview with WNYC radio, Sullivan reported telling his 11-year-old son and 8-year-old daughter, “‘Hey guys, guess what? Justin Bieber spoke out for the Ground Zero mosque.’ My little girl took down his poster and said she didn’t want to have nothing to do with him anymore.”

When it came to Sullivan’s attention that he’d been fooled by CelebJihad — which “seems to specialize in softcore celebrity porn,” according to Salon.com — he backtracked, calling off the Bieber boycott and expressing contrition on his blog. “I offer my most genuine apology to Justin Bieber his family and his fans,” he wrote. “If I have caused any grief or pain I am terribly sorry.”


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