Ground Zero Imam: 'I Don't Believe in Religious Dialogue'
Is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf -- founder of the hugely controversial Ground Zero mosque -- lying to the American public and his fellow New Yorkers?
Pajamas Media has uncovered extraordinary contradictions between what he says in English and what he says in Arabic that raise serious questions about his true intentions in the construction of the mosque.
On May 25, 2010, Abdul Rauf wrote an article for the New York Daily News insisting:
My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America's Muslim population into the mainstream society. [emphasis added]
Only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4All entitled "The Most Prominent Imam in New York: 'I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.'"
Yes, you read that correctly and, yes, that is an accurate translation of Abdul Rauf. And Right4All is not an obscure blog, but the website of the media department of Cairo University, the leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world.
In the article, the imam said the following of the “religious dialogue” and “interweaving into the mainstream society” that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere:
This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.
But that was two months ago. More recently -- in fact on May 26, one day after his Daily News column -- Abdul Rauf appeared on the popular Islamic website Hadiyul-Islam with even more disturbing opinions. That’s the same website where, ironically enough, a fatwa was simultaneously being issued forbidding a Muslim to sell land to a Christian, because the Christian wanted to build a church on it.
In his interview on Hadiyul-Islam by Sa’da Abdul Maksoud, Abdul Rauf was asked his views on Sharia (Islamic religious law) and the Islamic state. He responded:
Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, 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. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed. [emphasis added]
When questioned about this, Abdul Rauf continued: “Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws.” He added:
New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad … so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Sharia. [emphasis in translation]
In yet plainer English, forget the separation of church and state. Abdul Rauf’s goal is the imposition of Shariah law -- in every country, even democratic ones like the U.S.
But these attitudes are nothing new for the (alas, few) people who have been paying attention. Way back on September 30, 2001, Feisal Abdul Rauf was interviewed on 60 Minutes by host Ed Bradley. Their verbatim dialogue from this CBS News transcript concluded:
BRADLEY: Are -- are -- are you in any way suggesting that we in the United States deserved what happened?
Imam ABDUL RAUF: I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.
BRADLEY: OK. You say that we're an accessory?
Imam ABDUL RAUF: Yes.
Imam ABDUL RAUF: Because we have been an accessory to a lot of -- of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, it -- in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.
This is the “anti-terrorist” of the Daily News article?
The Feisal Abdul Rauf who spoke to 60 Minutes in 2001 is the same Abdul Rauf who, in the last couple of months, espoused the spread of Sharia law on Arabic websites and said the opposite in the pages of the Daily News. He is the man New York City authorities are about to allow to build a mosque on Ground Zero.
Caveat emptor. Meanwhile, perhaps some enterprising reporter should ask Abdul Rauf his opinion of that fatwa forbidding Muslims from selling land to Christians who intend to build a church on it.
(Don't miss PJTV's coverage of the Ground Zero mosque story.)