Ground Zero Mosque imam hopes triumphal Ground Zero Mosque will be built “within my lifetime”

In this revealing interview, Rauf shows himself to be as oleaginous, disingenuous, and slick as ever — and still smarting over the resounding defeat Pamela Geller and I gave him when he tried to build a triumphal 16-story mega-mosque at Ground Zero, with the groundbreaking scheduled for September 11, 2011.

“Feisal Abdul Rauf: The RealClearReligion Interview,” by Nicholas G. Hahn III for RealClearReligion, July 8 (thanks to Neil):

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a controversial figure, to say the least. His Cordoba Initiative’s proposed Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan — the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque” — ignited a firestorm that garnered international attention. After speaking at this year’s Council on Foreign Relations workshop in New York last month, Imam Rauf and I revisited that controversy as well as what President Barack Obama could do better in his engagement with the Muslim world.

RealClearReligion: Are you disappointed that the proposed Park51 mosque has not yet been built?

Feisal Abdul Rauf: There were some things that were naturally disappointing. The negative reaction we received was a serious disappointment. On the other hand, we were happy to see the incredible rallying around us by people of all different religions, religious leaders, political leaders, groups like the ACLU, and many people who thought what was happening was the worst of America. The ability to do this represents the best of America.

No, the best of America was represented by the 70% of Americans who opposed this monument to Islamic supremacism and insult to the memories of those killed on 9/11. There are triumphal mosques on the sites of jihadi victories all over the Islamic world; the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount are the best known, but by no means the only ones. We don’t need one in New York City — and despite the stated intentions of the sinister and oily Rauf, that is exactly how this mosque would have been understood in the Islamic world, where there are no mosques of reconciliation, but plenty of mosques of triumph.

RCR: Do you hope the center will eventually be built?

FAS: We are working on that. The agreement is still alive. I’m still hopeful that within my lifetime we’ll see something like that emerge.

And within my lifetime, we’ll resist it.

RCR: Why use the name Cordoba?

FAS: When I started this, it was a multi-faith initiative where many Christian and Jewish friends of mine urged me to do something that would help improve U.S.-Muslim relations. Because this was a multi-faith initiative, we wanted a name that would have a positive connotation for not only Muslims, but for Christians and Jews, as well.

This is just as I explained at the height of the controversy: Rauf knows that Americans, fed ahistorical nonsense about Cordoba being a proto-multicultural paradise, would react positively to the name, whereas Muslims would also react positively, viewing Cordoba as a high-water mark of Islamic conquest and subjugation of the Infidels.

RCR: There are some who would say Cordoba didn’t represent historically positive Christian-Muslim relations.

FAS: That’s like saying America represents nothing but negativity. Look, there is no era in history that was absolutely perfect.

Good of him to admit that Cordoba was hardly a paragon of interfaith harmony.

RCR: But weren’t mosques in Cordoba built on the ruins of Christian churches?

FAS: Not always. What happened in Cordoba was a period of cooperation between Christians, Muslims, and Jews. It was a time of a great transfer of knowledge. All the books that were translated from Greek into Arabic were translated into Latin. Francis Bacon studied in Cordoba.

“Not always,” In other words, sometimes. And those were mosques of triumph, like his proposed Ground Zero Mosque. It was a period of cooperation between Christians, Muslims and Jews as long as the Jews and Christians knew their place as subjugated dhimmis; when they got out of line, they were killed. In Granada in 1066, a genuinely tolerant Muslim ruler appointed a Jew as vizier of the city; enraged Muslims, knowing that Islamic law forbade the dhimmis to hold authority over Muslims, then rioted and murdered 4,000 Jews.

It was an important period in time in terms of cooperation, in terms of history, in terms of a transfer of information — which actually kick started the Renaissance and the Reformation. We need this kind of cooperation today.

RCR: Near the end of the Cordoba period, though, theological debates within Islam ended with the Mu’tazili, who were all about this transfer of knowledge, losing.

FAS: Yes.

RCR: Aren’t the ascendant voices in Islam now the anti-Mu’tazili, anti-reason, Salafists and Wahhabists?

FAS: This is why the West separated Church and State. When religion becomes politicized and when a particular interpretation of religion becomes supported by a political power, it can push its particular view all over the world. This what has happened in much of the Muslim world.

RCR: How can we reengage the Muslim world with these Mu’tazili ideas?

FAS: I wouldn’t try to bring back these terms of Mu’tazili and others because they are fraught with certain connotations within the Muslim intellectual arena. Their ideas were perfectly rational and reasonable. The reason why they lost is because they didn’t align with the political powers of the time.

Now, there is a lot of rationalism within the Muslim world today. The problem has to do with the marriage of political power with religion.

He doesn’t, you see, want a return of a rationalist understanding of the Qur’an.

RCR: What did you mean when you said the United States “has more Muslim blood on its hands than al-Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims”?

FAS: I didn’t say those words.

Oh, yes, he did. Pamela Geller uncovered it and has it all here. He said: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.”

RCR: What did you mean when you said Osama bin Laden was “made in the U.S.A.”?

FAS: Osama bin Laden was trained by the CIA to fight against the Soviets in Afghanistan. And after we won the Cold War, the unfortunate thing that happened thereafter was that the United States did not continue engaging with those elements and those countries to develop those countries in a positive way.

Bin Laden was not actually trained by the CIA. Certainly other mujahedin were, in a spectacularly short-sighted policy. But not OBL.

A lot of what has happened and a lot of the negative sentiment, which exists in various parts of the Muslim world, has to do with our very heavy presence in the Muslim world. Now, it’s not because of our cultural differences. The French women go bare breasted on their beaches, but there’s not as much angst about France because France is not as politically involved in the Muslim world as America is.

RCR: If America were to retreat from the Muslim world, would the jihadist attacks stop?

FAS: It has to do with how we are perceived in the Muslim world. Are we perceived as people who are helping those countries develop and empower themselves? Or are we seen as a factor for things that are undesirable?

The short answer to your question is that the solution is not to withdraw. The solution is to make our engagement more properly nuanced.

RCR: Nuanced?

FAS: It’s like a relationship between a man and a woman. They both love each other, but seem to say the wrong things to each other. They love each other, but if a man says something wrong, he’ll get a slap in the face from the woman and he’ll say, “Women must be from Venus.” It is the same kind of thing. You have to understand people’s sensitivities and how you promote certain things.

If we understand the aspirations of the Muslim world, we should be able to frame our language in ways that make them respond positively. President Obama took ideas from my writings and went to Cairo, Turkey, Indonesia and spoke in that voice. Look at the response he got!

RCR: Yes, look: the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt; a dead Ambassador in Libya; civil war in Syria.

Beautiful answer, Mr. Hahn. Spot on.

FAS: Well, the problem was with the follow through. They had high expectations because [Obama] said all the right things, but the question is: did he follow through with actions? Doing that is where the rubber hits the road. There are people who know how to do it. But for various reasons, words are not being implemented.

We have to engage properly.

I.e., surrender.

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Comments

  1. says

    Islam is not about God
    Islam is about Islam

    “WHY ISLAM?” asked the billboard sign in the Secaucus and Hoboken, NJ area.
    Behind it was lower Manhattan’s skyline where the Twin Towers once stood.
    In that moment I was reminded of exactly who we are dealing with, (truly).

    “Why Islam?” the sign implored readers to go to a website proselytizing Islam.
    Like a stinking vulture that returns to scavenge, this was a reminder.
    Those intoxicated with Islam’s sick vanity have absolutely no shame.

  2. says

    A Muslim always lives upto his true calling – lie, cheat and deceive the stupid infidels!! And Rauf the mouse is no exception!! Let’s see how many new York infidels come out in support of the deceiver. As Mo/allah says he is the greatest deceiver in his playbook Quran!!

  3. says

    Slick indeed. Rauf demonstrates why understanding what Islam is really about is imperative for the preservation of liberty, equality under the law and other Western developments that Islam knows nothing of and would eagerly destroy if given the opportunity.

    Knowledge is power against malevolence. Never more so than with the hideous religion that goes by the name of Islam and which is defended by slicksters like Rauf.

  4. says

    I didn’t read the entire interview but if I’d have to give my opinion about the headline:

    KEEP DREAMING!

    Really, a mosque as a victory commemoration for all the dead in 9/11, the people who sacrificed themselves be it soldiers or the plane passengers that attacked the hijackers to just crash temselves in the middle of nowhere.
    Firemen, policemen and civilians ETC. ETC.
    Deserve better, now these people, the media want to push this guy as the symbol of equallity…

  5. says

    No, the best of America was represented by the 70% of Americans who opposed this monument to Islamic supremacism and insult to the memories of those killed on 9/11.

    I will always be proud that I was part of the mass demonstration against it outside of Ground Zero on Sept. 11,2010, when the best of America filled the streets with our bodies, our flags, and our patriotism. That was a great day!

  6. says

    I saw this unctuous creep doing his taqiyya with Sean Hannity and also with Bill O’Reilly on Fox. His flat beady eyes reminded me of a snake. I had an almost uncontrollable urge to want to grab him with both hands, by the beard and coco bonk his nose across his face.

    His smarmy irritating voice reminds me of a cissified mafia thug explaining the benefits to me of my paying him 40% on my unpaid gambling debts.

    Didn’t he run into some issues regarding using donations to fund a mistress and a fast life?

    http://goo.gl/fDIwP

  7. says

    “When I started this, it was a multi-faith initiative where many Christian and Jewish friends of mine urged me to do something that would help improve U.S.-Muslim relations”

    Why don’t you open a Christian, Jewish, and Islamic center in Istanbul or Cairo or Mecca to help improve US-Muslim relations Mr……

    What a joke!

  8. says

    Rauf is pissed the USA doesn’t “follow through with positive actions”? But he never specifies what these positive actions are, does he?

    He castigates the States for “creating” OBL in Afghanistan, and then not “continuing to engage with those elements and those countries to develop those countries in a positive way”.

    And then he goes right into blasting the States for – you guessed it – their “very heavy presence in the Muslim world.” Huh? Damned if you go and then damned if you stay?

    Osama and his nascent al Qaeda boys WANTED the Americans’ help against the Soviets, and then wanted them to get the hell out once they’d won. He had nothing to complain about then, and the Americans did the OPPOSITE of “creating” an enemy then and there. If anything, they laid the groundwork for some gratitude.

    What the hell does Rauf want the Americans to do over there that would be “positive development”? Just help them build mosques and help hold wives while husbands beat them?

    What Rauf really means by “positive development” is money. Dhimmi payments, and nothing else. Just give us money and keep your heads bowed like the French, and we’ll leave you alone. For now.

  9. says

    muslims lie, since lying is allah approved …

    And dontcha know that allah is the best of tricksters and liars himself. Yeah the unholy quran boasts that allah is the best deceiver/schemer/trickster/conniver/cheat of them all.

  10. says

    The different times that imams Rauf and other Muslims make the claim tha this Grown Zero Mosque is actually just a grand “Cross cultural center” they are seting up a smokescreen of lies to coverup the truth. To put this in another way, by their lying in making this claim the are putting into practice the Islamic doctrine of Taqiyya[Deception]. Which is the Islamic teaching that it is good to lie if it’s for the good of Islam. So imam Rauf and others are very disingenous in the making of this claim. Furthermore, In of four night lecture a church in York Pa. about the subject of Islam during the question and answer part someone asked about the consrtuction of that Ground Zero Mosque. One of the speakers is an Arab Christian from Syra,Rev.Joseph Moussa, he stated the the building of this mosque will be taken as the message in the Middle East as “You see what we did here, we brought down the twin towers and build up a mosque.” The other speaker, Dr Daniel Shayesteh also stated that the construction of this mosque will be taken as the message in the Islamic world as “We have killed and have been victorious.” Moreover, in the book that Dr.Shayesteh wrote ISLAM:THE HOUSE I LEFT BEHIND in page 99 “The mosque is vital for establishing Muslims as sovereign over non-Muslims in a non-Islamic society. Building a mosque in a non-Islamic society or country symbolizes Islam’s claim over that society or country, even one with a non-Muslm majority.”

  11. says

    Also recall that Imam Rauf wrote a book back during the GZM controversy period, titled with disarming deceptiveness Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West — but when published in Indonesia (2007) titled more candidly as

    Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC: Dakwah Islam di Jantung Amerika Pasca 9/11 — translation: “The Call of Azan from the Rubble of the World Trade Center: Islamic Da’wa in the Heart of America Post-9/11”.

    Ditto for the book’s title in other Islamic countries.

    http://www.thememriblog.org/blog_personal/en/29598.htm

    As the JW reader I got the above information from added:

    The azan is the muezzin’s call to prayer [from the minaret of a mosque]. It consists of a number of sentences repeated several times: “Allahu Akbar,” the Shahada (la ilaha illa Allah wa-Muhammad rasoul Allah – “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Messenger”) and the phrase “Gather for prayer.” It is noteworthy that, in the period of Muslim conquests in the first centuries of Islam, this call was made from newly conquered sites.

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2010/08/moderate-muslim-spokesman-issues-veiled-threat-over-ground-zero-mega-mosque-opposition-and-islamopho.html#comment-701626

  12. says

    Snake oil Salesman: “…which actually kick started the Renaissance and the Reformation.”
    ____________________________________________

    Bull! You see how this slimy character invents things? “Kick start?” As if the Renaissance were dead, or somehow “needed” a manual form of starting, at all.

    And besides, Islam had nothing – absolutely nothing to do with the Renaissance. It was started in Italy, and was primarily due to the great patronage of the Medici family.

    And just one more thing – the Renaissance was a rebirth and re – discovery of Classic Greek Ideals…not some Islamic garbage.

  13. says

    Plus landing gear from one of the planes was recently found in the area- left wing Jew bashing Jihadist supporting 9/11 Truthers insist the Jews put it there in an attempt to stop the mosque from being built .The supporters of the mosque are scum

  14. says

    Any application/plan to build a house of hate and violence perpetuation, on the 9/11 site, is really an application to shove it up the nose of the entire free and democratic society of the US.
    If the O led US govt agrees to such a monument,potentially buildable ONLY because of the vast destruction by the religio-politico-socio- pathologio tradition that created the space in the first place,
    Agreement will be the most appalling capitulation , accession to enemy destroyers In the history of man.
    Thatd be a Lie down, tummy up, frightened puppy style agreement.
    How about the Christians or the Buddhists or the Athiests or any other group for that matter, lodge an applications to build something on the site.
    BETTER still, how about the government creates a green space, with an enormous monument, dedicated to the innocent lives lost within the building and those involved in emergency services. By that I mean the WEST’S definition of innocent.
    I’m not an American but I am of the yet free world and empathise with the challenge the US citizens are facing, govt ment supported or not.
    God help us in the antipodes if the US capitulates to bullies.

  15. says

    And furthermore, how about the ” ground zero mosque imam” whoever the hell he might be, apply himself to some really genuine and serious work.
    I refer to desperately needed services in islamist countries.
    That would include, but not be limited to, primary health care, women’s refuges for abused women and children, immunisation programmes, social security for the unemployed and sick, training and retraining programmes for those out of work due to any reason.
    He could interest himself in occupation health and safety of those working in sweat shop style factories, see Bangladesh clothing factory collapsing, killing over 1000 subsistence workers, and that’s only one scandal that reached international headlines.
    It’s so easy for this SOB to live in the comfort and safety of the US! I’m guessing, and talk this arrogant s…t about a mere fkn building, while his OWN people live in misery, deprivation, degradation of their own cultures making.
    My statement to him is, get real, get honest, get some genuine priorities in favour of your own people, rather than you’re own ego.
    Shame is, I believe if I had the opportunity to actually tell him this, he still wouldn’t see what a real priority is.
    But yep, that’s the difference between us and them.

  16. says

    Max,

    Though I pretty-much know the history on this loathsome, lying muslim son-of-a-bitch…I did a little Googling on him. We know that Wikipedia has a leftist slant…but they did a crditable job reporting his real estate dealings:

    Rauf owns several apartment buildings in Hudson County, New Jersey, including four in Union City, and one in North Bergen in which he lives. By 2010, numerous residents of Rauf’s properties in Union City had alleged that those properties have fallen into disrepair over the course of the prior several years, with some of the residents attributing this to time Rauf spends on his activities in Lower Manhattan. One resident in particular described Rauf’s property at 2206 Central Avenue as “horrible” and a “mess”, describing a two-week period during the winter of 2009 in which the residents lacked hot water following the malfunction of the building’s boiler. Residents have also cited rat and bed bug infestations, and have complained that such issues can take up to six months to be resolved. Union City spokesperson Mark Albiez confirmed that multiple health violations had been leveled against Rauf’s properties. These allegations added to the controversy over Park51.[12] On September 8, 2010, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack, who criticized Rauf as a “slumlord”, announced court actions to have a custodial receiver take over management of these properties,[56] and the creation of a Quality of Life Task Force to identify 15 apartment buildings in need of renovations, including Rauf’s.[57] A September 15, 2010 hearing revealed that following a September 7 inspection that determined imminent hazards, police began monitoring two of Rauf’s buildings, due to inoperable fire alarms and sprinklers, and failure on Rauf’s part to hire a private fire patrol. Judge Thomas Olivieri gave Rauf’s lawyers until September 23 to produce plans and evidence of efforts to address these violations, lest Rauf face loss of control over the buildings. Some Union City residents questioned why the timing of these actions against Rauf’s properties did not become an issue in New York City and national media, and why the long-standing problems faced by these properties were not addressed until the larger controversy over Park51 came to light, particularly given that Stack became mayor in 2000.[58] On November 9, Judge Olivieri placed the Central Avenue property into temporary custodial receivership, with $7,000 in rent payments held in escrow from Rauf’s attorney set aside to pay for the repairs.[59][60]

    According to 2010 reports by the Bergen Record, Rauf met with U.S. Senator Robert Menendez around 1991 when Menendez was Mayor of Union City, to request state funds to renovate three of his properties. As a result, Rauf received $80,000 in city funds, $384,000 from the Union City Community Development Agency, $1.3 million in construction loans from Hudson County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and $630,900 from the state. Rauf was also sued for fraud in 2008 by his one-time business partner, James Cockinos, over a $250,000 mortgage that Cockinos gave Rauf for his Central Avenue property, ownership of which Rauf then transferred to Sage Developments for a second $650,000 mortgage. Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, made payments to Cockinos for 11 years, but ceased after a fire damaged the property. The two parties settled out of court. The Record also reported that records beginning thirty years previous indicated that Rauf owned an apartment in North Bergen and in Palisades Park. Though records indicate Rauf owns a home on 78th Street in North Bergen, a neighbor indicated that Khan is there more often than the frequently traveling Rauf, and it is unclear if he still owns the Palisades Park property.[12]

    Faisal and Daisy scammed $2,424,900–all from American taxpayers! That was so easy for these muslim “community organizers” that they went for the BIG scam–the Ground Zero Mosque. Sweet justice that these “bridge-builders” learned the meaning of a Bridge Too Far…

    G

  17. says

    G: here is the point of this article and the biggest problem we are facing: Islamists and jihadists do not have a time line. inch by inch month by mnoth… there are in no rush… they will come again and again and this why we can not put our guards down thinking they are gone. This stealth jihadist bastard is in no rush either. He is 65 years old, by western definition he has at least 10 more years to live, so we must fight this D… bag for the next 10 years!!!!!!!
    m

  18. says

    Thanks for repeating this to remind us. Robert has written extensively about this but I’m not sure how to access those articles.

  19. says

    Thanks for the info, George. I especially like your last sentence: “Sweet justice that these “bridge-builders” learned the meaning of a Bridge Too Far…”.

    How appropriate – and well spoken!

  20. says

    Many of the al kufar NEED Rauf because he is the snake-charming magician who spouts the words so many of us in the West desperately want to believe. At the moment, he serves a very useful niche for such people.

  21. says

    Hi Miriam!

    You’re right–they think time is on their side.
    They know it’s a numbers-game. As long as we continue to quietly import thousands of muslims–and with their celebrated birth-rates–the Raufs and Khans will happily trade time for numbers. And, as those numbers increase, so will their ability to infiltrate our institutions and influence our societies. Colonize. Infiltrate. Islamize. That’s their game.

    Faisal and Daisy? They just violated their own timeline. They thought their “Cordoba” scam would be easy–like all the others–and fell prey to their hubris and sense of entitlement. As my dad would say, “Their eyes got bigger than their stomachs.” That’s the flip-side of the “time is numbers” game. Time also reveals their true nature in so many ways that people finally catch-on. The problem is that “finally” may be too late…

    G

  22. says

    Walter, this is the model Muslims have followed for last 1400 years. Anywhere they go they destroy holy places of native people and bulid the barbaric symbol called mosque and brag about it and then they have the audacity to declare the land or place belonging to Muslims which can never be taken back. When the original inhabitants try to take it back then they say we are attacking Muslim land. What weird logic these barbarians use. Just imagine the so called Muslim lands, Iran, Egypt, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Indonesia, Malaysia, Israel,etc were all Hindu, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, etc, lands. The Muslim invaders looted, raped, subjugated these lands and inhabitants and then called their own. Unless and until non-Muslims understand this deceit and duplicity of Muslim speak, we will be at a loss to defeat them!!

    The ground Zero area is a holy place for us where more than 3000 people were killed by Muslim “invaders” and there is no place for mosque anywhere near it. If we allow Muslims to build a mosque there it will sybolize Muslim victory for the future generations. The present day Muslims know it very well and they desparately want to build it because of its historical significance. They will try every trick in their arsenal to accomplsh their goal – we should never let it happen!!

  23. says

    Mike,

    Mike, I was going to mention earlier, sorry:

    You should be able to type Rauf’s name into the “Search” application on the upper-right margin and see what appeared here. I seem to recall Mr. Spencer reporting on at least some of Rauf’s shady dealings during the height of the GZM controversy. I went to Wikipedia curious to see how they’d spin this guy, expecting a fawning puff-piece. So, I was pretty surprised to see such a thorough treatment of the financial fun-and-games from our friendly “Man of Peace!”

    G

  24. says

    How disgusting – call of azan from the rubbles of WTC on 9/11. Just proves the intention of this lying hypocrite as his ancestors have for last 1400 years. May be Mayor Bloomberg nneds to see this so that he stops supporting this babaric mosque!! Can we deport this traitor any other country??