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Monday, August 30, 2010

Feisal A. Rauf, Iman: Who is He and What Does He Stand For?

by Nadene Goldfoot

Iman Feisal A. Rauf was born in Kuwait. He's the son of an Egyptian Iman, Muhammad Abdul Rauf. Together they created and opened the first mosque which opened in 1991 in NYC. He's an Iman in New York who is behind building the 15 story mosque a little ways away from the 9/11 Twin Towers bombing. It's to be called "Cordoba House." He wants to open it on September 11, 2011. It's to hold from 1,000 to 2,000 Muslims in prayer.

There are two mosques in Lower Manhattan that have firm roots and one was founded in 1970. The Cordoba Mosque is supported by some Muslim American leaders and groups including CAIR, and criticized by some such as Sufi mystic Suleiman Schwartz as it is inconsistent with Sufi philosophy of simplicity of faith and sensitivity towards others.

Many New Yorkers feel that this is a pretense of using it as a community center for all faiths. The Sharia Law has been insidiously spreading into institutions like Harvard U. They now have separate hours for male and female swimmers in the pool. I have to laugh as this is a wonderful thing for orthodox Jews, since they share this same problem, but it hardly makes them peers in the rest of the religion. This is one law of Sharia that I like. Plump women of all religions would benefit from this, too. They could swim without embarrassment and get some good exercise. I can't say the same for the rest of the law, however. They are against women's issues, gays and lesbians among other things such as Jews and Israel.

Many people are up in arms over this. The Muslims just so happened to let their feelings be known to New Yorkers by the naming of this mosque. Cordoba, Spain is the capital of Muslim conquerors who symbolized their victory over the Christian Spaniards by transforming a church there into the world's 3rd largest mosque complex. Most people have studied history and have learned that history often-times repeats itself. This is a good reason to study history. However, many haven't and think that Islam has the same background as any other religion. Islam won ground by conquering by the sword. The World Trade Center was rammed by jihadists crying out "in the name of Allah!" They were radical Muslims attacking American values. In doing so in this act of violence they managed to kill over 3,000 Americans of various religions and destroyed our famous landmark.

No one is against Muslims building mosques. They just don't want this particular mosque where it is to be built because of sensivity to the families who have lost someone in the attack. Newt Gingrich is against the Cordoba House at Ground Zero. Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, students of the Quran, are against it. Noni Darwish, a former Muslim, is against it.

Now this Iman is saying that the mosque is a symbol of interfaith cooperation. A Cordoba House is a symbol of Islamic conquest to radical terrorists and to many New Yorkers. America is certainly different in tolerance from Saudi Arabia, the major center of Islam. You won't find any churches or synagogues there. You won't find any Christians or Jews there, either. They're not allowed. It's true that our values are not their values, thank goodness. In the meantime, Muslims are spreading all over the world.

Rauf is a problematic figure. You only have to pay attention to his comments. He was interviewed by Ed Bradley on CBS 60 minutes on September 30, 2001 when he commented about the USA financing Osama Bin Laden and strengthening the Taliban. Columnist Jonathan Rauch thought he gave a mixed, muddled and muttered message. He had said on 60 minutes that fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam, but when asked if the U.S. deserved the attacks, Rauf said that he wouldn't say that but our policies were an accessory to the crime. When asked how we were an accessory, he said that we had been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Rudy Giuliani, Peter King, Rick Lazio and Sarah Palin have expressed concern about these remarks.

On June 2010 in a radio interview, Rauf would not say if he agreed with the US State Dept.'s calling Hamas a terrorist organization. He copped out by saying that he wasn't a politician and that terrorism is a complex question. He called himself a peace builder. Giuliani thought that Rauf had supported radical causes sympathizing with Islamic terrorism. He might know more than the average Joe being he was mayor of New York. Mayor Bloomberg, being Jewish, has sidestepped the issue by going along with the Iman. He cites the 1st amendment.

I can see why this Iman feels he needs more mosques. Islam is now the 2nd largest religion in Europe. Most EU nations see the presence of radical Muslims as a threat to state security and the fabric of life. The Muslim population in Europe is rapidly growing and may now have 15 million followers. This is because of a high birth rate and continued mass immigrations. What happens in Europe can happen in the USA.

The bad thing is that hatred is on the rise between the two cultures. Pamela Bone writes that most anti-Semitism in France like burning Jewish schools, defacing graves and attacking people is coming from young Muslim immigrants. An anti-Muslim feeling is not coming from France's Jewish community as it is an old established community and its people have better things to do than deface mosques.

Right in the Arab world you will see hatred of Jews. It's on TV, in newspapers and mosques. They blame Israel for everything. The Holocaust is either a lie or they didn't go far enough. They call out the ancient Christian "blood libel" that Jews kill their children and use their blood for Passover bread. This is found in their newspapers. You can't imagine that people today would believe such things, but they are. We Jews are also blamed for ramming the Twin Towers on 9/11. Of course it was the Jews who caused America to invade Iraq.

Calls to Jihad are heard on the streets of Europe. Extremists openly make seditious speeches, even inciting young men to suicidal violence. This is finally causing Catholics in Europe to stand up to this revival of Islam. Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger spoke of a severe decline in European culture. He's calling for a revival of Christian culture. It looks like Glenn Beck is right in step with this, and he isn't even Catholic. Mecca

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