Beyond the ground zero mosque

Published 11:43 am Monday, August 23, 2010

The mosque should be allowed near ground zero, but it should not be there. This is to say, New York City should allow the mosque to be built in compliance religious freedom, but the Muslims should choose not to build it there in respect of political sensitivity.

My most frequent source of New York inside news is The New York Times and The New Yorker. These have wonderful things to say about Feisal Abdul Rauf (born in Kuwait in 1948), current imam of the Masjid al-Farah mosque, as a moderate spokesman for Islam and American Muslims. Indeed, the federal government has showered him with trust in such as training FBI agents on Muslim sensitivity and State paying for frequent trips to Islamic countries. I became impressed this man is no threat to the United States and might well be an effective liaison with moderate Muslims, even if not Islamist terrorists.

Certainly these executive branch departments know this pleases the boss. Presidential candidate Barack Obama said in June 2007, America is no longer a Christian nation. Last year he cancelled what would have been the 21st National Day of Prayer at the White House because he was not wanting to offend anyone. But on Sep 25, 2009, he hosted a National Day of Prayer for Muslims at the White House from 4 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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But my sources have neither explained nor even reported all Rauf’s statements. They are prefaced by his predecessors at Islamic Cultural Center (ICC), founded by Rauf’s father. The imam on 9/11 was Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, who said only the Jews could have perpetrated the attacks that if Americans only knew about this Jewish culpability, they would have done to Jews what Hitler did; and that Jews disseminate corruption in the land and spread heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs.

He was succeeded by Omar Saleem Abu-Namous who dismissed concerns about Islamist terrorism by claiming there is no conclusive evidence of Muslim involvement. Then he told 60 Minutes the attacks were part of a larger Islamic reaction against the U.S. government politically because of our treatment of Muslim countries and United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.

Rauf joined his predecessors because we [Americans] have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world, it could be said that in fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.

Rauf’s 2004 Book “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America” asserts the American Constitution and system of governance uphold the core principles of Islamic law (sharia), which sounds reasonable and tolerant until one steps back to gain perspective. This is, American political structure is sharia-compliant. If they are equivalent, can you recognize what happens when you turn the equation around? Sharia can be imposed on America and be claimed to comply with the U.S. Constitution.

If this seems a stretch, be advised the book was initially published in Malaysia with the title “A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11.” Dawa is the missionary work by which Islam is spread….The purpose of dawa, like the purpose of jihad, is to implement, spread, and defend sharia.

Rauf depicts jihad as the Islamic world’s defensive reaction to Western provocations, sliding by its inclusion in the original, basic Islamic writings. He excuses it on the basis of bombing Dresden and Hiroshima. We shouldn’t worry about the Qur’an’s assertion that people from other religious traditions should be mistreated, subjugated, or killed: many of these verses were revealed in certain contexts where the Prophet (Muhammad) and his followers were not allowed to practice their religion, and thus permission was granted to the Muslims to fight those who fought them for that reason.

He speaks in favor of plural jurisdictions within the United States that would be enclaves of Muslims governed by a separate set of laws consistent with sharia.

Finally, consider the name of the proposed mosque/cultural center: Cordoba House, named after the Cordoba Initiative whose mission is to recapture an atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect in Muslim-West relations. The Cordoba mosque was built in this Spanish city upon Muslim defeat of Christians in the 8th century. Does this suggest something?