By Madeline Brooks
May 10, 2010
Planting a mosque just two blocks from where Muslims murdered Americans on 9/11 in the name of Islam is a huge slap in the face. Why shouldn't Muslims be sensitive enough to realize that a huge mosque planted right near the horrific wound to the U.S. created at Ground Zero by Muslims is outrageous to us? They claim a right to be insulted by cartoons mocking their prophet, even to the point of beheading people.
The Imam of the Ground Zero Insult, Faisal Abdul Rauf, is not the nice guy he likes to hold himself out to be. At his Friday afternoon khutbah services and in his book What's Right With Islam Rauf states that he wants the mosque to be a place where inter-faith understanding is fostered. His sonorous voice is smooth and almost hypnotic. His writing style appears to be rational and unthreatening.
However, this does not jibe with the aspects of him that are downright hostile and frightening.
During a recent Friday sermon, this writer did due diligence as a mosque monitor and heard Rauf deny that Muslims perpetrated 9/11. In an interview with CNN shortly after 9/11, Rauf said, "U.S. policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. We [the U.S.] have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. Osama bin Laden was made in the USA." Elsewhere, Rauf has stated that terrorism will end only when the West acknowledges the harm it has done to Muslims. And that it was Christians who started mass attacks on civilians.
Rauf has numerous ties to CAIR, an unindicted co-conspirator in the Department of Justice funding case brought against Hamas, an openly terrorist organization. CAIR is also the initiator of numerous cases designed to intimidate non-Muslims from criticizing aggressive Muslim behavior, and to use our own legal and democratic processes to undermine and dominate America, forcing it to become Islamic.
Rauf calls himself a Sufi, evoking among non-Muslims a "peace and love" image. But that's not the whole picture. Sufism has many sides to it, including the Koranic injunction to spread Islam one way or another, and it has a rich history of waging war, too. Could it be that one of the frequently used tools of war, lying to the enemy, explains the contradiction between Rauf's image as reconciler of religions and his sympathies and associations with terrorists?
A previous Rauf project, Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, clearly shows on its website that it is headed and funded by individuals from Saudi Arabia, the country that spawned fifteen of the nineteen jihad jockeys who rode the 9/11 planes of destruction. The funding for the mosque at Ground Zero is much murkier so far. All that has been publicly disclosed is that the support comes from unidentified sources in Saudi Arabia and Muslim-ruled Malaysia. Rauf reportedly says he paid $4.85 million for the property -- in cash. Where exactly did this money come from? Was it Wahhabist-supporting Saudi sources, which have already funded many other mosques in New York City?
The mosque is called Cordoba House. Muslims like to refer to Spain and especially the city of Cordoba as a place where their rule reached a glorious peak. Contrary to the myth of a Golden Age of equality during the Muslim occupation of Spain (and in particular in Cordoba), Spain and Cordoba were places where Christians and Jews suffered as social inferiors under Islamic oppression. Equal civil rights never existed for non-Muslims under Sharia, or Islamic law. Rauf even admits as much when he writes, "Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule simply had to pay a tax to finance their protection by their Muslim overlords." This is not equality! Americans do not demand a special tax to protect Muslims from ourselves. That would be extortion, not "protection."
Through another organization Rauf started called the Cordoba Initiative, he created the "Sharia Index." This will measure how closely countries follow Sharia, or Islamic law. While Sharia can cover such relatively innocuous aspects of Muslim life as religious weddings (hopefully not to twelve-year-old girls), it also demands that all Muslim life be governed by laws derived from the Koran, without the intervention of civic institutions, such as democracy. And the Koran dictates that everyone, even non-Muslims, must ultimately live under Sharia. Do you understand how that is in direct conflict with our Constitution and other aspects of our secular society?
Rauf gets even trickier here. He states in What's Right With Islam that a society that follows natural law, such as America, is already practicing Sharia. However, he does not note that his peculiar definition of Sharia acceptance is shared by just about no other Imam. So what prevents him from adjusting his singular idea of Sharia back to the norm of forced conversions, murdering non-Muslims and apostates, amputations of thieves' hands, stoning of adulterous women, execution of homosexuals, etc.? Throughout his writing, Rauf floats an image of a harmonious, pleasant Islam -- nice to everybody. But this is totally disconnected from Islam's actual history of bloody conquest, enslavement, and humiliation of other people -- which he never acknowledges.
Still another unsettling part of Rauf's problem mosque is why the city has given the building a pass. Records for the Department of Buildings have shown numerous complaints for illegal construction and no access, yet the issues were listed as "resolved."
Community Board One's financial district committee needs to reconsider its endorsement of this mosque. The prestigious American groups that are reportedly also financing the mosque, The Ford Foundation and The Rockefeller Brothers Fund, need to think again about what they are getting into. The Department of Buildings needs to reassess its action. The Mayor's Office of Immigrant Affairs, which supports the project (Why? What has a religious building got to do with immigration?) needs to reevaluate its approval.
Mayor Bloomberg himself needs to withdraw his support for this mosque, especially in light of the recent Times Square car bomb attempt. If not, he will be helping to provide a handy meeting place for future terrorists, those who understand Imam Rauf's real message: Speak sweetly, appear to be a well-adjusted member of American society, and plan the destruction of America, either with bombs or "peaceful" undermining.
Madeline Brooks is an NYC resident and writer.