Will the Real Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf Please Stand Up?

So now the American people learn that the State Department will be "footing the bill for Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam behind the controversial ground zero mosque, as he embarks on a tour of the Middle East." The publicly funded trip intends to foster "greater understanding" about Muslim communities in the United States. Rauf, who refuses to acknowledge that Hamas is a terrorist group and believes that U.S. foreign policy was responsible for the 9/11 attacks, seems an unlikely emissary to promote American interests. But let us put him to the test.

Khaled Abu Toameh, a Muslim journalist, has written many articles about the inequities that Arabs and Muslims face within the Muslim world. Based on Toameh's investigations, let's pose the following to Rauf as he goes on his Muslim goodwill tour:

  • How come groups and individuals on university campuses in the United States and Canada who claim to be pro-Palestinian remain silent when Jordan revokes the citizenship of thousands of Palestinians?
  • Why do Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, and other Arab countries impose severe travel restrictions on Palestinians?
  • How come there is a debate in Lebanon about whether to grant Palestinians employment, social security, and medical care?
  • How come Palestinians living in Lebanon are banned by law from working in a large number of jobs? In fact, until 2003, Lebanese law prohibited Palestinians from working in 72 professions. Now the list of prohibited jobs has been reduced to 50 professions.
  • Notwithstanding, how come Palestinians are still not allowed to work as physicians, journalists, pharmacists, or lawyers in Lebanon?
  • How come a wealthy Arab prefers to spend millions of dollars on a private zoo than build a hospital or a university?
  • How come it is easier for Palestinians to find a job in Israel and Canada than in any Arab or Islamic country?

Moreover, perhaps the imam might inquire why Arabs have not hesitated to murder Kurds, have obstructed Berbers from preserving their language and culture, and why, in Darfur, Arabs mass-murdered black Africans. All of those victims of Arab aggression and murder have been Muslims -- but in Islamic parlance, Muslims of an inferior level. Francis Bok, author of Escape From Slavery, was introduced to his subordinate status when at a tender age, he saw his African village destroyed, whereupon he became an abeed -- the term Arabs use to refer to black people, meaning "slave." In fact, "the three texts of Islamic belief say that slavery is permitted, ethical, desirable and a virtue. In fact, "there is not a single negative word about slavery." And what is written is put into practice in the 21st century.

How will Imam Rauf counter the Qur'anic passages that depict an angry Allah transforming Jews into apes and pigs? These very images result in daily cartoons emanating from the Muslim world. Will historical veracity rule at his proposed mosque and learning center? Will visitors have access to historical documents and archival records that depict the true intent of sharia law? Why does Rauf continually sidestep the question about Hamas, an organization that avows it will destroy Israel? Will the thirteen-story mosque help expose this genocidal inclination or not?  How will the imam explain the latest Palestinian high school "graduation" video that expresses delight in murder? What sort of rapprochement can we expect in this bridge-building mission?   

In 1965, funding from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya helped Rauf's father secure two-thirds of the block at 96th Street and 3rd Avenue. Rauf withheld the information about the Islamic donors until 1984. In fact, all 46 Islamic nations have financed the 96th Street mosque. Perhaps this explains Rauf's current refusal to explain who is funding the Ground Zero mosque.

Furthermore, according to the Washington Times, "using U.S. taxpayer dollars, our State Department is helping to rebuild mosques" in Tanzania, Iraq, and Egypt. For example, the U.S. government helped save the Amr Eben El Aas Mosque in Cairo. The "mosque's namesake was the Muslim conqueror of Christian Egypt." How does one justify American taxpayer money going to Muslim oil states, who since 1973 have earned thirteen trillion dollars as a result of sitting atop reserves of oil? In addition, Daisy Khan, Rauf's wife, "apparently never filed a required informational return or regular annual report: 'shocking for a charity with over $1 million in grants just last year.'"

Equally troubling is that American monetary support of mosques raises serious First Amendment questions about the separation of church and state. Why is taxpayer money being used to preserve and promote Islam, even abroad? It is patently clear that one cannot "separate religion from a mosque; [thus] any such project will necessarily support Islam." 

Coupled with the current controversy about the Ground Zero mosque and its unclear financial underwriting, the well-known agenda of "Muslim triumphalism" and the ongoing taxpayer dollars to fund mosques in Arab lands, does one require further proof of the Islamic agenda? 

As Hugh Fitzgerald has written in the New English Review,

There is no "center" for Islamic terrorism, and no ‘center' for those who use other, even more effective ... instruments of Jihad, in order to promote the Cause of Islam, as connected to the worldwide march of Islam, a march ~ or a Jihad, rather ~ made possible not because of any changes in the ideology of Islam, but in the ability of Muslims to conduct, or think they could conduct, Jihad against non-Muslims everywhere. ... Islam is primarily an ideological war, and [the West needs] to grasp what Islam teaches, and what the consequences are of growing up in societies suffused with Islam.

Thus, individual liberties, scientific research, and "free and skeptical inquiry" are all relegated to the dustbin. Conspiracy theories are regular fare in the Muslim world. 

Islam, in short, is a vehicle for Arab supremacy. There is no interest in building bridges in the Western sense. Their bridge is a one-way path to their ideology; there is no genuine desire in sharing ideas, in understanding and respecting other outlooks and perspectives. Moreover, when Rauf speaks in Arabic, he contradicts what he says to his English-speaking audience. On March 24, 2010, Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4All, a leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world, entitled "The Most Prominent Imam in New York: 'I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.'" He goes on to say that "Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing." Finally, Rauf says "it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more than just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of sharia that are required to govern."

The West is facing an ideology at odds with democratic beliefs. Thus, "Sharia law contradicts the American Constitution just as the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights, flatly contradicts the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." How many more faces of young women with their noses and ears cut off must we see to understand the bestiality of this belief system? Under sharia law, mistreatment of all non-Muslims, whether Hindus in Pakistan and Bangladesh or Christians in Egypt and Lebanon, has caused many to flee for their lives.

Recall, if you will, that in 2010, Wahhabist Saudi Arabia outlawed the celebration of St. Valentine's Day. In 2008, the Vatican "confirmed that it [was] negotiating for permission to build the first church in Saudi Arabia." Why so much focus on Saudi Arabia? Because in 1969, the Saudis founded the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) to promote the struggle for Islam, and it has been its chief sponsor since then. The Saudis represent the "institutional discriminatory precepts embedded within Sharia law," the very law that Rauf wants to institute in the West.

Ground Zero "is both the geographic and symbolic heart of the attacks in which Islamist terrorists on September 11, 2001, murdered almost 3,000 Americans." The trophy mosque planned for Ground Zero will surely represent another victory for the stealth jihadist struggle if it is built.

Eileen can be reached at middlemarch18@gmail.com.
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