Joseph Bishara must be some kind of Islamophobe! Because everyone knows that only greasy Islamophobes would dare to question Rauf’s moderate bona fides.
In a September 19, 2010 article on the liberal website Elaph, Lebanese journalist Joseph Bishara wrote that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, does not really believe in tolerance. He stated that Rauf is deceiving the public based on the Islamic principle of taqiyya (concealing one’s true beliefs) – that is, he is hiding his real intentions, which are to spread Islam in the U.S. while exploiting the liberties granted him by the U.S. Constitution.
Following are excerpts from Bishara’s article:
“Abdul Rauf’s Statements Raised Many Questions In My Mind – For I Do Not Believe That Islam Is Compatible With the Principles and Customs of American Society”
“Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is mentioned almost daily on the news, ever since he entered into conflict with over 70% of the American public over the mosque he wishes to build near [the former site of] the Twin Towers in New York. Until quite recently, most people had never even heard of him, but now he has become one of the [country’s] biggest celebrities, pursued by news agencies and media channels [alike]. He became famous after he and some of his Muslim partners purchased an old building, only a few meters away from [Ground Zero], in order to build, according to his statement, a large public facility that will include a mosque.
“Abdul Rauf provoked the American public when he released his plan [to build his Islamic center] near the place that, in the Americans’ eyes, has been sanctified by the blood of the hundreds [sic] of people who died in the 9/11 attacks.
“The American right is using all its influence to try and persuade the public to demand the removal of the planned mosque to another location. To this end, it is presenting Abdul Rauf’s statements and positions [to the public], so as to show that the man is not [really] moderate, that their apprehensions are well-founded, namely that the building of the mosque will be construed by the extremist Islamists as a victory…[…]
“I was disinclined to accept the position of the right-wing American media on Rauf without any evidence, so I decided… to follow his statements in order to discover what he is like and what his positions really are. One of his statements that caught my attention had to do with his efforts to Americanize Islam. He did not explain what he meant by this, so [the statements] was difficult to understand. I asked myself: How is it possible to paint Islam in American colors, when the Muslims condemn the U.S. as a land of heresy and hedonism, and as a land of perversions and licentiousness?
“Abdul Rauf’s statements raised many questions in my mind, for I do not believe that Islam is compatible with the principles and customs of American society, which are based upon the sanctifying of complete freedom… I told myself: if American culture is compatible with Islam, why then do Islamic scholars associate it with the devil’s unholiness, and why do most Muslims throughout the world reject it?…
“After thinking long and hard about Abdul Rauf’s statements, which stirred many doubts [in my mind] about the man, I concluded that his statement [about Americanizing Islam] could have [only three possible goals]: to generate a media storm, to convince the Americans that Islam is tolerant and can advance along with the culture in which it exists, or to convince the Americans that Islam and the American culture have principles in common. I rejected the second and third goals, because I believe that Islam, which is regarded by its adherents as sacred and absolute, is not compatible with American culture, which allows individuals to reject the absolute and rebel against the sacred.”
The Islamic Shari’a Is Incompatible with the U.S. Constitution
“A few days after making his statement about Americanizing Islam, Adbul Rauf made another statement – a very strange one that increased my suspicions regarding the goals of his illogical proclamations. He said that ‘90% of the laws of the Islamic shari’a are fully compatible with the Articles of the American Constitution,’ and that ‘the disagreements between the two are few and insignificant.’ This statement is not merely puzzling but [totally] ludicrous.
“Abdul Rauf seems to think, with peculiar naivetÃ©, that all those who hear him are stupid and ignorant, and know nothing about the real facts… because I know that the Islamic shari’a grants privileges only to Muslims, and not to others. The laws of the shari’a do not treat non-Muslims as [equal] citizens, but as dhimmis, who do not have the same rights and duties as Muslims. I asked myself: how can the shari’a be fully compatible with the U.S. Constitution? How can the seven Articles of the U.S. Constitution, which safeguard its institutionalized secular democracy that guarantee freedoms and equality to [all] citizens, be compatible with the Islamic shari’a, which places the fate of countries and peoples in the hands of an unworthy religious elite?
“The U.S. Constitution is man-made, modern and compatible with [today’s] reality. It separates church from state; guarantees [rights] and dignity [even] to criminals; grants freedom of speech, worship and the press; prohibits violating the citizens’ right to protection; grants equal [status] to all citizens and [safeguards] the political rights of women.
“How can this constitution be compatible with the Islamic shari’a, which is immutable and not compatible with the times, makes religion a political matter and politics a religious matter, [advocates] chopping off body parts [as a punishment for criminals], designates Islam as the true religion and all other religions as heresy, threatens the safety of non-Muslims and treats them as dhimmis… and subjects women to male domination?”
Imam Abdul Rauf Is Deceiving the Public
“Imam Abdul Rauf’s statements raised many questions that I could not answer. But all these questions helped me understand that he is mocking the Americans, while counting on [the fact that] most of them are ignorant of the facts, on the American law that guarantees his rights… and on the Americans’ fear of terrorism and their wish never to see another event like 9/11.
“Imam Abdul Rauf calls for moderation, but his actions say otherwise. He is not trying to Americanize Islam, as he claims, because that is not possible. [On the contrary], he is trying to Islamize America by demanding to implement the Islamic shari’a and through his attempt to convince the Americans that Islam and the Islamic shari’a are compatible with the American culture and constitution.
“Abdul Rauf says he is trying to build bridges among religions, and that he is a man of peace trying to illuminate the tolerant face of Islam. But his illogical statements and his provocative actions reveal him in a different light. He is employing [the principle of] taqiyya, which is sanctioned by the shari’a, in order to Islamize America.”
 www.elaph.com, September 19, 2010.
 A principle which permits a Muslim to conceal his true beliefs or intentions, in order to protect his life or attain a worthy goal.