The Ground Zero Mosque Developer: Muslim Brotherhood Roots, Radical Dreams

The West's role during World War II was strictly defensive, and in no way religious. Moreover, Rauf's statements -- which Daisy Kahn glossed over in a December 2009 Fox News interview with Laura Ingraham -- ignored Islam's continuous attacks, from the 7th to 16th centuries, on non-Muslim peoples throughout the Mideast, Africa, Europe, central Asia, and India (12). Rauf further reflected his antagonistic sentiments in the 2006 Copenhagen gathering he organized for the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow. To enhance his moderate cloak, Rauf invited such liberal Muslims as Irshad Manji and Mona Eltahawy. However Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow also includes radicals like Yasir Qadhi, a favorite speaker at conferences of the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), and Dhaba "Debbie" Almontasser, who works closely with Hamas' U.S. arm -- the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), itself an unindicted co-conspirator in terror financing.

The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. ... It was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets (12).

Rauf further revealed his antagonistic sentiments in the 2006 Copenhagen gathering he organized for the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow. To enhance his moderate cloak, Rauf invited such liberal Muslims as Irshad Manji and Mona Eltahawy. But he also hosted radicals like Yasir Qadhi -- a favorite speaker at conferences of the Muslim Brotherhood's Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), among others.

Perhaps Rauf founded the Cordoba Initiative in 2004 intending to build a mosque in downtown Manhattan directly across from Ground Zero. However, Rauf tipped his hand to authorities only in April 2009, when he incorporated the Cordoba Initiative in New York (13). Within months, in July 2009, he bought a future mosque site at 45 Park Place for $4.58 million in cash from the heirs to New York's Pomerantz family.

As Islamic attacks on September 11, 2001, destroyed the World Trade Center towers, falling jet debris simultaneously crushed the five-story 1923 structure some 600 feet away that until that morning housed a robust Burlington Coat Factory store (14). Over the ruin of the former retail outlet, Rauf now plans to build a 13-story, $100 million mosque. Rauf says the Cordoba Initiative bought the former retail building to prove to the world that Islam is not a violent faith (14).

Imam Rauf says that New York Muslims provided nearly $5 million in cash to buy the Park Place building (16). Yet in fiscal 2009, Rauf's ASMA received large international donations. In the year ended June 30, 2009 -- days before Feisal closed the purchase -- ASMA received at least $1.3 million. The largest donation, $576,312, came from Qatar (17). That Persian Gulf nation has long harbored terror financiers, and even the government stands accused of funding international terrorism. Qatar also has, for decades, hosted Muslim Brotherhood spiritual chief Yusuf al-Qaradawi. The elderly sheikh, a large and founding shareholder in the terror-financing al-Taqwa Bank, champions sharia law, wife beating, and suicide bombing.

ASMA also received $481,942 from Holland's Millennial Development Goals Fund (MDG3), $144,752 from New York's Carnegie Corporation, $53,664 from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA), plus donations from the Rockefeller Brothers and Hunt Alternatives funds, among others (18). The Ground Zero mosque plan is more than a little reminiscent of a program initiated by Rauf's late father in 1965. That year, Muhammad R. Abdul Rauf moved to New York to plan and head a huge Islamic Cultural Center that took decades to realize (19). He bought prime Manhattan real estate at 96th St. and 3rd Ave -- roughly two thirds of a city block -- apparently with $1.3 million in funding from Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Libya. The late Rauf long retained some of that land in a personal trust (19). But when construction started on the $17 million mosque in 1984, it had received funding from 46 Islamic nations. By 2010, the enormous Islamic complex had added another two buildings. Since 1984, its founders-envisioned apartment unit has been restricted to Muslims alone (20). Whenever Feisal first considered building a mosque across from Ground Zero, he had the idea firmly in mind by 2004, when he wrote What's Right with Islam. The book was translated into many languages. In Indonesia's Bahasa, its title translates as “The Call from the WTC Rubble.” Rauf promoted the book in December 2007 at a Kuala Lumpur gathering of Hizb ut Tahrir (20) -- an organization banned in Germany since 2003, and also outlawed in Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, and Saudi Arabia, among other places -- and ideologically akin to the MB. Both seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law (sharia), and eventually impose Islam and sharia law worldwide. Most North American MB organizations avoid widely publicizing that aim. The HT however, at a July 2009 Khalifah conference at a suburban Chicago Hilton, openly promised to replace capitalism with Islam and sharia law (21).

Feisal Rauf supports sharia law, too.

Described in one Asian report as an Egyptian citizen living in the U.S., he has repeatedly stated, and writes in his 2004 book, that the U.S. Constitution is sharia-compliant. The “American Constitution and system of governance uphold the core principles of Islamic law,” Rauf wrote in his book. The “American political structure is Shariah-compliant,” he contends, since Muslim jurists over the centuries have “defined five areas of life” to be protected by Islamic law -- life, mind, religion, property, and family. Only two further actions could render the U.S. more Islamic than it is already, Rauf contends:

[Inviting] voices of all religions to join the dialogue in shaping the nation's practical life, [and allowing] religious communities more leeway to judge among themselves according to their own laws (22).

These assertions, however, merely fulfill the Muslim Brotherhood doctrine of flexibility -- adapting to each and every environment in which the brothers eventually hope to force Islamic law upon the masses. Rauf's claims starkly represent taqiyya, the Islamic practice of deception, to further theocratic and essentially fascist Islamic advances (23). And the additional “leeway” Rauf seeks for intra-community religious-law enforcement is a thinly veiled attempt to impose shariah more widely in the U.S., in direct contravention of the U.S. Constitution.