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Rauf Won’t Budge On Ground Zero Mosque

From the opinion pages of the New York Times:

Building on Faith

September 7, 2010

AS my flight approached America last weekend, my mind circled back to the furor that has broken out over plans to build Cordoba House, a community center in Lower Manhattan.

Is Mr. Rauf going to forgo his ‘church’ tax exemption? (When he has even gotten one for his apartment?) If not, then this is a mosque.

I have been away from home for two months, speaking abroad about cooperation among people from different religions.

On a US taxpayer sponsored propaganda (and fundraising) tour.

Every day, including the past two weeks spent representing my country on a State Department tour in the Middle East, I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels.

We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become. The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship.

Mr. Rauf left out: sensitivity to the families, and indeed, the American people – who clearly feel that this mosque would be inappropriate.

Many people wondered why I did not speak out more, and sooner, about this project. I felt that it would not be right to comment from abroad.

More mendacity. This issue arose weeks before Mr. Rauf departed on his trip.

It would be better if I addressed these issues once I returned home to America, and after I could confer with leaders of other faiths who have been deliberating with us over this project. My life’s work has been focused on building bridges between religious groups and never has that been as important as it is now.

Actually, Mr. Rauf’s life’s work has been as a real estate developer and slum lord. According to his own wife, he is not a professional ‘Imam.’ She says that he is not even be paid for his work as a self-appointed ‘Imam.’ It is a sideline of a sideline.

We are proceeding with the community center, Cordoba House. More important, we are doing so with the support of the downtown community, government at all levels and leaders from across the religious spectrum, who will be our partners.

So everyone else can just go to hell – says the ‘bridge builder.’

I am convinced that it is the right thing to do for many reasons.

Above all, the project will amplify the multifaith approach that the Cordoba Initiative has deployed in concrete ways for years. Our name, Cordoba, was inspired by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims. Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures.

Unfortunately, Mr. Rauf’s obstinacy is revealing everything we need to know about him and his religion and his culture. By the way, notice that he is even backtracking on the previous minor concession of changing the name of this project from ‘Cordoba’ to ‘Park51.’

As many have noted, the name ‘Cordoba’ itself is a deliberate provocation, referencing the history of the Muslim conquest of Spain, and specifically, the building of the Cordoba Mosque on the ruins of a Catholic church.

Our broader mission — to strengthen relations between the Western and Muslim worlds and to help counter radical ideology — lies not in skirting the margins of issues that have polarized relations within the Muslim world and between non-Muslims and Muslims. It lies in confronting them as a joint multifaith, multinational effort.

So Mr. Rauf says it would be against his mission to compromise and build his mosque somewhere else. Instead he wants to “confront” anyone who objects.

And yet we are told that ‘Burn A Koran Day’ is to be condemned for being dangerously provocative. Why doesn’t the ‘bridge building’ pastor of the Dove Outreach congregation get a pass?

After all, he doesn’t believe in skirting the margins of the issues, either. Just like Mr. Rauf, he wants to confront them.

From the political conflicts between Israelis and Palestinians to the building of a community center in Lower Manhattan, Muslims and members of all faiths must work together if we are ever going to succeed in fostering understanding and peace.

Does Mr. Rauf approve of Israel building settlements anywhere it wants on its own land, such as on the West Bank? If not, why not?

We suspect not. Instead, his previous comments indicate that he takes a point of view that is closer to the terrorists’ than the US’s when it comes to Israel.

At Cordoba House, we envision shared space for community activities, like a swimming pool, classrooms and a play space for children. There will be separate prayer spaces for Muslims, Christians, Jews and men and women of other faiths.

Will Christianity be taught in these classrooms? Will Bibles be available on the premises? Will the children be able to play with toy pigs? Will women wear bikinis in the swimming pool? Will pork products be available in the snack bar? Somehow we doubt it.

Indeed, we even wonder if there will even be room for other Muslim sects. After all, we have not even been told whether this is to be a Sufi mosque or a Shiite mosque or a Sunni mosque. It can’t be all three.

The center will also include a multifaith memorial dedicated to victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.

The ‘center’ will be a thumb in the eye to the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks, no matter what Mr. Rauf pretends otherwise.

I am very sensitive to the feelings of the families of victims of 9/11, as are my fellow leaders of many faiths.

Prove it. Going ahead despite their vehement objections, proves just the opposite.

We will accordingly seek the support of those families, and the support of our vibrant neighborhood, as we consider the ultimate plans for the community center.

It’s not a vibrant neighborhood. It a business area that is dead at night.

Our objective has always been to make this a center for unification and healing.

The original listings merely describe it as a place where up to 1,000 Muslims will be able to pray. Meanwhile, Mr. Rauf and the other mosque men have done everything they can to pour salt in the wound of 9/11.

Cordoba House will be built on the two fundamental commandments common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam: to love the Lord our creator with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength; and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. We want to foster a culture of worship authentic to each religious tradition, and also a culture of forging personal bonds across religious traditions.

There is nothing in Mr. Rauf’s past or current action that indicates he wants to forge any bonds between different religions. Like with the building of the ‘Ground Zero Mosque’ – it is either his way or the highway. He refuses to compromise. He simply wants his way.

I do not underestimate the challenges that will be involved in bringing our work to completion. (Construction has not even begun yet.) I know there will be interest in our financing, and so we will clearly identify all of our financial backers.

Why didn’t he do so in this piece? How long would it take to simply list them and the amounts they have contributed? This is clearly a vague and empty promise that Mr. Rauf has no intention of ever fulfilling.

Lost amid the commotion is the good that has come out of the recent discussion. I want to draw attention, specifically, to the open, law-based and tolerant actions that have taken place, and that are particularly striking for Muslims.

President Obama and Mayor Michael Bloomberg both spoke out in support of our project. As I traveled overseas, I saw firsthand how their words and actions made a tremendous impact on the Muslim street and on Muslim leaders. It was striking: a Christian president and a Jewish mayor of New York supporting the rights of Muslims. Their statements sent a powerful message about what America stands for, and will be remembered as a milestone in improving American-Muslim relations.

And what good has it done? As we speak, Muslims all around the world are holding violent anti-American protests against the plans of a crackpot pastor and his 50 person congregation in Texas to ‘burn some Korans.’

In other words, it is just like every other day in the Muslim world. They have found another reason to be outraged.

The wonderful outpouring of support for our right to build this community center from across the social, religious and political spectrum seriously undermines the ability of anti-American radicals to recruit young, impressionable Muslims by falsely claiming that America persecutes Muslims for their faith. These efforts by radicals at distortion endanger our national security and the personal security of Americans worldwide. This is why Americans must not back away from completion of this project. If we do, we cede the discourse and, essentially, our future to radicals on both sides. The paradigm of a clash between the West and the Muslim world will continue, as it has in recent decades at terrible cost. It is a paradigm we must shift.

All you need to do is read the interview given immediately after 9/11 by the Imam of the first mosque built in New York City, to see what a lot of meaningless claptrap this is. And Mr. Rauf’s father was instrumental in getting that ‘Muslim Center’ built.

From those who recognize our rights, from grassroots organizers to heads of state, I sense a global desire to build on this positive momentum and to be part of a global movement to heal relations and bring peace. This is an opportunity we must grasp.

I therefore call upon all Americans to rise to this challenge. Let us commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 by pausing to reflect and meditate and tone down the vitriol and rhetoric that serves only to strengthen the radicals and weaken our friends’ belief in our values.

Why doesn’t Mr. Rauf commemorate 9/11 by agreeing to build this mosque somewhere else? Why must we always be the ones who have to tolerate what we don’t want? Aren’t bridges two-way streets?

The very word “islam” comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew.

What an absurd misrepresentation. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, which is the world authority on etymology, the word Islam is from the Arabic ‘islam’ which means literally ‘resignation, surrendering.’

But, lest we forget, this is the same man who claims that the US Declaration Of Independence embodies the fundamental principles of the Koran.

The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”

We also know that the Koran preaches the spread of Islam by the sword. And that it is perfectly acceptable to lie to the infidels to accomplish its goals.

How better to commemorate 9/11 than to urge our fellow Muslims, fellow Christians and fellow Jews to follow the fundamental common impulse of our great faith traditions?

A far better way would be for Mr. Rauf and his merry band to find another place to build their mosque. That would actually be a positive gesture – a real step towards actual bridge building. But that is not what any of this is about, and we now all know it.

Feisal Abdul Rauf is the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative and the imam of the Farah mosque in Lower Manhattan.

Mr. Rauf is a shady real estate developer and a slumlord who apparently has even lied to the US government to get a tax exemption for his apartment.

He gives snake oil salesmen everywhere a bad name.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, September 8th, 2010. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “Rauf Won’t Budge On Ground Zero Mosque”

  1. wardmama4 says:

    Codorba House – Park 51; Community center – mosque; freedom – submit tolerate islam; disclose donations – not a single person/group mentioned even to this moment. Rauf is sounding a bit like Obama (or is that Obama is sounding a bit like Rauf) – two sides against the middle and where is the truth? Somehow I feel that his words on 9/11 – when he wasn’t pushing an ‘agenda’ are more pure than drivel like this, that implies We Americans (isn’t he an American – wait, can’t even find the answer to that question) are intolerant and not honoring our own Constitution – once again, sort of like Obama.

    I am not against a mosque/community center in NYC – I am against a mosque/community center at Ground Zero. And as the last poll I saw was about 70% – exactly who is being intolerant here?

    We need to start on September 11, 2010 – A year long remembrance of exactly what happened on September 11, 2001 when radical terrorists who happened to be islamic attacked America in her financial and political soul and killed 2997 innocent Americans – if you don’t condemn it and stand with America and her decision to fight the GWOT – then you are against America. To do anything less is to dishonor the 2997 Americans killed that morning and the 5656 US Armed Forces who have died since fighting the GWOT.

    I’m sorry if you see nuances and want desperately to cling to either the misguided belief that the US government did it to have an ‘excuse’ for war, that the Jews did it because they are behind everything in the World or that even though these terrorists did it – we should not ‘blame’ islam – when daily there is just more and more proof that violence is the way of islam – and they won’t police the ones that are violent in the name of islam. So it appears that America and those that would stand with us (never forget the Brits and Aussies among others have stood for the duration) must remove this scourge from the World. If Islam is truly a religion of peace – Condemn the 9/11 Attacks (without ifs, ands or buts and other stipulations) and condemn those who commit violence around the World – until that point – I do not see nor can I ever see a Ground Zero mosque as anything but a tribute to the success of the 9/11 radical terrorists who happened to be islamic and islam.

    God Help America
    A Proud American Infidel

  2. GetBackJack says:

    Building on faith? You blasphemous remnant of what the dog did in the yard. You’re ‘building’ on the powdered bones of Americans. My brothers and sisters. But I’m sure your article headline really means you have ‘faith’ the MSM and the Democrats will let you build on the powdered bones of my fellow citizens.

  3. AcornsRNutz says:

    This man sickens me. This article is about 80% cowflop and I am definetly outraged. Of course not outraged enough to strap dynamite to my chest and blow up a school, but outraged. Jack, I am in your court 110% on this one.

    I won’t refer to that site as Ground Zero though, just doesn’t sit well with me for some reason. I consider it the starting point for the American awakening to the reality of the world in which we live. It may be slow to get going, but it will be nearly impossible to stop once it does.

  4. Petronius says:

    How nice to hear from the flying imam. From this bridge-builder, this visionary, this peacenik, with his “swimming pool, classrooms and play space for children,” all within the friendly confines of the Mohamed Atta Memorial Mosque. Isn’t that sweet?

    Yes, how lovely it all sounds.

    And the new Caliphate of Cordoba?! How about that “period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims” in Europe? Wow, wasn’t that something?! Yes, how lovely. How tolerant. How very multicultural.

    Yes, we too remember the 8th century Islamic conquest of Spain. We remember how they hacked off King Rodrigo’s head, pickled it in brine, and sent it to their caliph in Damascus. We remember that the Muslim invasions put an end to commerce in the Mediterranean. We remember the economic collapse that followed the cessation of trade. We remember how the wheel was banished from those territories that fell to the Muslim invaders, so that in those conquered parts of Europe wagons and carts ceased to exist for centuries. We remember the destruction of libraries and monasteries, the conversion of Catholic cathedrals into mosques––yes, with a little redecoration, adding a minaret here, a spot of paint there, a fountain and a fig tree, how lovely!––the suppression of the Christian and Jewish religions, the enslavement of Christians, the persecution, humiliations, disarmament, and severe taxation of the dhimmis, the massacred Christians of Cyprus and the massacred Jews of Granada. And we remember the blood tax, too.

    Thanks for the memories.

    The line between the good Muslims and the bad Muslims is blurred.

    Every day the so-called “moderate Muslims” wage ideological jihad against the West, constantly complaining about this-that-or-the-other aspects of our societies, always working to undermine our sovereignty, our laws, our cities, our businesses, religions, customs, and culture, and to transform our societies into their own.

    Entire regions and communities of our homelands in the West have become transformed into no-go zones, where no European or American policeman dares to enter.

    If Muslims want all things to be exactly as they are in their homelands, why don’t they just remain there?

    Wouldn’t we be doing them –– and ourselves! –– a great favor by calling a halt to Islamic immigration?

    But instead, our political leaders seem intent on dispossessing indigenous Europeans and Americans from our own homelands, and building up terrible conflicts for the future.

    Ceterum censeo hostem esse delendum.

    • beautyofreason says:

      Those two groups are member of an ethnicity, not ideologies Silva.

      Neither race nor any inherited characteristic is a threat. But those who believe in political theocracy are incompatible with a free society.

    • Petronius says:

      Thank you Silva for elucidating the comrades’ point of view.

      Perhaps after graduation you may find a suitable position in Yemen as a social worker, no doubt to teach the history of Western Civilization in the madrassas.

      By the way, Silva, in your studies have you found any research that examines the correlation between acne and left-wing opinions? It might be rather an interesting subject for your senior project. And it would serve to provide some relief from the suffocating boredom of all those meetings of the Young Democrats, and the oodles of time wasted there on spurious nihilist philosophy and discredited Marxist economic theory.

      Best wishes in your college career. (And please try new Proactiv. The faster, gentler, environmentally friendly acne treatment, advertised here on S&L. Watch for the on-sale special: $19.95.)

      By the way. I am given to understand that the electrification of Moscow should be completed any day now. What joy that will bring you.

    • Right of the People says:


      “The line between the good Muslims and the bad Muslims is blurred.”

      Since this whole mess began and I’m speaking of since 9/11/01, the line between good Muslims and bad Muslims has become quite clear to me. The bad ones are still walking around, spewing their hate, demanding that we be tolerant of them at the same time demanding that we bend to their will with Sharia law and all the other nonsense. The good ones have joined Allah and their 72 under-aged little boys in “paradise”.

      I was in the DMV just this morning and there was a woman in a burka who refused to remove it for her driver’s license photo even though there was a posted notice on the wall stating the rule that there was to be no obscuring of your face in the photo. Thankfully the DMV personnel were steadfast in their demands including a supervisor and she left without a new license. This is the type of crap we have to stop now and take our country back.

    • proreason says:

      What’s a papist doc? You say it like there must be something wrong with it, so what is it?

    • tranquil.night says:

      A papist is a bigoted slur for a Catholic, a fear that we’re all beholden to the eeeeevil Pope.

      He’s just playing the other side of the coin in a vain attempt at moral equivalency. We’re the way of lies and destruction in his worldview because we’re loyal to the ideology of Christ and won’t recognize the merit of an ideology clearly in conflict with it.

      Shoo demon fly.

    • Rusty Shackleford says:

      “If Muslims want all things to be exactly as they are in their homelands, why don’t they just remain there?

      Aye, there’s the rub.

      I’ve often pondered that. By taking advantage of our very liberal legal immigration policies, they are coming here and infiltrating. This is not immigration seeking a better life. This is immigration seeking to expand islam. Thus the in-your-face attitude about things like moosques and “the right to sharia”.

      Since when did we forgo “Our house, our rules” and replace it with, “Sher, g’head, have that woman killed, cut off that guy’s hand…we wont’ bother you…you’re just obeying your ‘religion’.”

      And, has been mentioned, women’s rights groups are so silent, they make silence seem loud.

      I’m truly stymied.

  5. proreason says:

    Well there you go. No problem then.

    What good friends they are. So understanding.

    Like the Italians and Irish before them, they will soon be enriching us with their culture.

    We will all have rugs, burkas, writing, algebra (whoops, writing and algebra came before Islam, and were stolen from other cultures anyway. My bad.), and swell with pride as the most beautiful sounds call us to the prayers that keep everyone too busy to invent things. And our children will have little toy IEDs and little jewish dolls that they can stomp on.

  6. beautyofreason says:

    Silva, your information is incorrect.

    The site was partially destroyed by the landing gear of a United Flight on 9/11. For that reason it is very much a part of ground zero, but two blocks from the site of the destroyed towers.

    Second, the community center is a tax-exempt mosque with added facilities. It will accommodate up to 1,000 worshipers. In short – mosque.

    Third, I am familiar with the area. It’s largely industrial and has very few Muslims, save for Somalians selling fake handbags out of suitcases at Canal Street, a couple of stores with female clerks who wear headscarves, and two local fruit vendors who sets up on week days, who are probably Hindu or Muslim. I do see at least one woman in a headscarf once a week, in addition to thousands of presumably non-Muslim tourists. Most Muslims are lower income and live in Queens or one of the other outer boroughs.

  7. proreason says:

    “I seem to have been misunderstood here.”

    Perhaps you are a Jedi Sarcasm Master too subtle for our plodding minds.

    Feel free to clarify.

  8. proreason says:

    “This Is Where We Begin to Say No ”

    By an american classic, Andy McCarthy

    “Only the blink of an eye ago, uttering the unpleasant truth that in terms of doctrine there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” resulted in one’s banishment from what our opinion elites like to call the “mainstream,” by which they mean the narrow-minded, viciously defended circle of their own pieties and fictions. You could say it, but your skin had better have an extra coat or two of thick: You were in for a fusillade of rage, the likes of which our candor-phobic elites would never dream of unleashing at our Islamist enemies — no matter how clearly those enemies announced their intention to destroy us.

    The fusillade still comes, but now its blows only glance. The elites and their mainstream have been exposed as frauds: Being on the wrong side of enough 70-30 issues will do that to you…

    For the better part of two decades, Americans have been murdered by Islamists and then lectured that they are to blame for what has befallen them. We have been instructed in the need for special sensitivity to the unceasing demands of Islamic culture and falsely accused of intolerance by the people who wrote the book on intolerance. Americans have sacrificed blood and bottomless treasure for Islamic peoples who despise Americans — and despise us even more as our sacrifices and gestures of self-loathing intensify….”

    there is a lot more.

    It’s a ringing bell.


  9. hushpuppy says:

    Pak Minister wants Obama to be ”leader of all Muslims”


    Keep in mind that Obama spent a lot of time in Pakistan on secret missions while he was attending all those ivy league schools.

    I have to wonder if he’s already accepted the mission to be the caliph of all muslims and had sent Rauf as his emissary to spread the word. Paranoid? No. I just have a good understanding of the concept of taqiya.

    If this has happened, it wouldn’t take much for the Vatican to insist Europe remain Catholic and a war will be touched off: remember history? That was what touched off the Crusades – a fight over Jerusalem first and reclaiming a Catholic Europe. Only this time it will be global affair within all western countries too.


    Egyptian Cleric Salem Abu Al-Futuh: We Will Conquer Italy and the Rest of Europe, as Well as North and South America; The West Will Convert to Islam

    If you’re not familiar with MEMRI, become familiar with it. Inside the pages of this web site you’ll find reports of how the global jihad is going, how muslims are laughing at the west’s cluelessness and using our freedoms as a way to subjugate the world, and more. Lots more.

    http://memri.org Home page

    You’ll even find answers for such difficult questions as “Controversy in Saudi Arabia over Fatwa Permitting Breastfeeding of Adults” when they’re not getting together in groupthink on how to blow things up, kill infidels and so on.

    Consider that one of the ways muslims have subjugated infidels over the centuries is by way of heavy taxation (jizya). So the heavy taxation we’re seeing and feeling might not be Alinsky-driven by their koran on how to deal with the infidel when they refuse to ‘convert’. You break them with onerous taxation.

    Everything Imam Obama does now makes clear sense when you look at all he does through the lens of islam and taqiya deceit!



    And here’s an article from Robert Spencer on his site Jihad Watch:


  10. Liberals Demise says:

    Dr. Silva…..the proctologist called and said your brain is ready for pick up.

  11. canary says:

    ” Cordoba House will be built on the two fundamental commandments common to Judaism, Christianity and Islam: to love the Lord our creator with all of our hearts, minds, souls and strength; and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.”

    Those were Obama’s very words at his 1st prayer breakfast at the Democratic retreat after he took office. Nancy Pelosi then spoke saying how truthful Obama’s prayers was. He didn’t do it prior to election, but wasted no time, after election giving his signaling muslim prayer.

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