Ground Zero imam planning more mosques in more American cities

“It is not enough for me that you tolerate me…” ~ Faisal Rauf

NEW YORK – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf saw his plans for an Islamic center near ground zero derided as a victory mosque for terrorists, exploited as campaign fodder and used as a bargaining chip by a Florida pastor who vowed to burn the Quran.

After that summer of mistrust and raw feeling, he’s looking on the bright side.

Rauf says he hopes to use the platform he gained through the angry debate to turn his small nonprofit group into a global movement celebrating pluralism.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Rauf said he hopes to see interfaith centers like the one he plans to include inside the downtown Manhattan Islamic center built all over the world. Each would be dedicated to fighting extremism and promoting better relations between people of different faiths and cultures.

Already, he said, he is exploring opening facilities in other American cities, as well as in Indonesia and Kosovo.

“We went to the brink, in a certain way,” he said of last summer’s tumult. But he added, “This crisis showed us what was possible. … It showed us that there is actually hope. Hope for a better relationship between America and the Muslim world, both domestically and internationally.”

Whether there is hope for the proposed center two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center attacks is unclear.

“We were part of the narrative of 9/11,” Rauf said, noting that members of his own congregation, based about 10 blocks from the Trade Center, had been victims of the attacks.

“We have an obligation. We have a responsibility” to participate in the rebuilding of the neighborhood, he said. “This center is an anti-9/11 statement.”

Rauf and Khan said they have begun talking in recent weeks with more relatives of 9/11 victims in an attempt to build support for the center.

Khan said she hoped some would agree to be “part of the healing process” and help design the center’s 9/11 memorial.

The couple are also trying to find a role for themselves in repairing what they see as a rift between U.S. Muslims and the nation’s Christian majority.

Mere acceptance of Muslims in the U.S. is not Rauf’s goal.

“It is not enough for me that you tolerate me,” he explained to an audience in Jakarta last month. “I want you to love me.”

Rauf and Khan have kept their offices for years in the Interchurch Center, a Manhattan office tower packed with Christian religious agencies that was conceived as a space where different denominations could mingle and collaborate.

The couple’s courtship of 9/11 families appears to be aimed at potentially influential fence-sitters in the debate over the center, rather than ardent critics, although Khan also recently participated in a public panel discussion with Jim Riches, a former New York City deputy fire chief whose son, Jimmy, was killed at the trade center.

“It was a true dialogue,” Khan said of her appearance with Riches. “When he was speaking about his pain, I had tears in my eyes.”

She said the main point she wanted to get across during their talk was that the 9/11 attacks were an epic tragedy for Muslims, too — compounded by fears of a backlash and a sense that they had been irreparably alienated from their countrymen.

“The fact that we were not allowed to participate in this tragedy, that we were shut out … that was very traumatic for the community,” she said.

Establishing a presence so close to ground zero, she said, would send a powerful message:

“We stand for peace, and peace where it matters the most.”

And if the structure never gets built, due to financial problems or political difficulties?

“It certainly matters, but it will not be an impediment,” Rauf said. His work will continue, although, as Khan added, “It is a lot easier to bring people together in bricks and mortar.”

via Imam behind NYC mosque plan sees hope after fury – Yahoo! News.

19 Responses

  1. THAT IS WHY I HAVE SAID THAT HE/THEY ARE WORKING OVERTIME TO ENTRENCH THEMSELVES IN AMERICA WHILE THEIR INDULGENT OBAMA IS STILL PRESIDENT.

    I BELIEVE THEY KNOW THAT OBAMA WILL NOT LAST ONE TERM, SO THEY ARE TRYING TO DO AS MUCH AS THEY CAN TO ISLAMISE AMERICA.

    SO AMERICANS NEED TO PROTECT AND UPHOLD AMERICAN LAWS AND CONSTITUTION SO THAT OTHERS CAN DRAW THEM OUT FOR OPEN AND FAIR DEBATES ON THEIR islam OF MOHAMMED, WITH THE ISLAM OF JESUS AND PROPHET SULEIMAN (KING SOLOMON).

    THIS IS ALWAYS SOMETHING THESE FOLLOWERS OF THEIR UPSIDE-DOWN RELIGION OF PEACE AND GOODNESS FEAR THE MOST, JUST LIKE AGENTS OF THE DEVIL DREADING THE BRIGHT LIGHT OF DAY AS THEY (THE DEVIL’S AGENTS) PREFER THE DARKNESS AND THE MASKS TO HIDE THEIR TRUE IDENTITY

    THAT IS WHY THEY MUST BE ROBUSTLY COUNTERED AND NOT ALLOWED THEIR DREADFUL AND BACKWARD SHARIA LAWS TO SUPPLANT AMERICAN LAWS AND CONSTITUTION.

  2. All of this is an attempt to make America sharia compliant. The more Mosques we have across the USA the easier it will be to conqure America.
    VENI VIDI VICI. I came I saw I conquered. I will never bow down to any muslim, I wil never be sharia compliant and I refuse to follow islam.

  3. Most Americans will have as deep a hatred as possible for these lowlife scumbags forever if they continue to push for that victory mosque. All I think about is puking every time I even hear the word muslim or islam or mosque.

    They need to sit down and shut the F up if they want to live here in peace. We don’t want anything they are offering.

  4. Rauf also noted that religious leaders, politicians and faith organizations gave their project strong support, adding that even President Barack Obama was in favor of the project. “We are now trying to explain to the people that it will be a cultural complex that will be constructed, not solely a mosque,” he said.
    Hmmm….not Solely a mosque,what happened to “It’s not a mosque”?

    http://www.todayszaman.com/newsDetail_getNewsById.action?load=detay&link=225445

  5. Come to think of it did he fly back from Indonesia on one of Obama’s planes or did he buy a ticket home?

  6. As we all know, it is the modus operendi of Islam.
    They are perfectly aware that Americans, Indians or Europeans are under the illusion that Islam is a peaceful religion and would let or support them to do whatever they plan. It has been happening since last 1400 years, and will continue, because the non-Islamic world is blind with thier own reasoning for liberty and democracy. But Islam is alert as ever to find out oppoertunities for their ill-conceived aggrandisement. The whole world will sleep and Islam will continue its march, until the day of reckoning of their inertness, but it w ould be too late.
    please awake, and alert the people. Otherwise we will all be responsible for the rise of demoniac Islam begin its role of killing, raping and forcefully converting the Kafirs to gain world domination. That will be the end of our glorious culture and progressive civilization.

  7. This is fine. If they’re respectful, talking about peace, and non-violent, we should support their efforts to contribute to the community.

    Those are values we stand for. Violence and radicalism, certainly not, but I think a better way of fighting radical Jihad-based extremism would be to support the peaceful, nice guys, then keep tabs on the dangerous ones that try to commandeer and take over those establishments.

    • @The Voice of Wisdom…surely you jest?! There is no peaceful nice guys! There are those that pretend and lie as their Koran tells them to do in order to have success at infiltrating and over-taking. Do you think there are “moderate” or “peaceful” muslims who will stand against sharia terrorism? No way! They won’t dare to speak against sharia terrorism lest they be punished severely or killed!

  8. …with what money exactly, Mr. Rauf?

  9. One thing we’re sure of, HE can’t spell i-n-t-e-g-r-i-t-y or h-o-n-e-s-t-y. This particular islamic supremacist will do and say whatever it takes to promote his agenda and it isn’t pluralism. Keep an eye on this snake. Can you spell s-h-a-r-i-a?

  10. Don’t delude yourselves, this is NOT about plurality. Some people will do anything to further their agendas, particularly if it’s the promotion of sharia and an islamic state.I find it particularly interesting seeing as this BS is coming from someone with no integrity, and a habit of not living up to their responsibilities.

    All together now “Slum landlords build great mosques”

    • I OPPOSE SHARIA BECAUSE IT TAKES AWAY HUMANITY’S FREEDOM OF RELIGION

      Agree. Sharia is of the devil because it opposes the Quranic right of humanity to their freedom of religion, best enunciated in Al-Baqarah 2;256, which all or most Muslims reject/do not believe in:

      “There is NO COMPULSION IN RELIGION; truth now stands distinct fro error.”

  11. This is a very good post and. Keep up the good work so that we all can stay up to date. Best regards.

  12. I wonder what Rauf’s real history would look like, aside from the media ready (to him) history he portrays? To muslims he probably sounds perfectly reasonable but to Americans something does not ring true. Kind of like an American politician, the words are correct but hide his true feelings. Maybe we should elect him to Congress, his true colors would shine just after his election.

  13. I BELIEVE IMAM RAUF OF GZ MOSQUE IS A FAKE

    Because I don’t see Imam Rauf doing much to preach to the Muslims that they need to change their faith in the Quran and islam being good for only making themselves backward, intolerant and evil to join with non-Muslims like me to believe that ther Quran should ONLY BE BELIEVED FOR THE GOOD TEACHINGS INSIDE.

    Why should good people like me who already know how to use the Quran for its goodness be told and preached to that it is good, when those doing the suicide bombings and murders for heavenly sex are not preached to? Absurd!

    And why is he keeping so quiet about the unjust death sentence of Asia Bibi by the Pakistani Sharia Court? Why must Imam Rauf be always preaching to the wrong people who never believe in suicide bombing as his upside down way to combat islamic terrorism?

    That is why I believe Imam Rauf is a fake!

    Read this about how Christians are being massacred. One day, it will be my turn to be slaughtered by the islamists in Singapore, because the Singapore Police was not interested in the Islamists complaints aganst me for blasphemy and sedition—-

    ” Suspected Islamic militants inPakistan shot and killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan, just days after a pastor nearly died in a seperate attack linked to Muslim extremism, local Christians and rights activists said Friday, October 1, 2010.

    Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, said Haripur Station House Officer Maqbool Khan.

    The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death, he said. “On September 28 at around 8 a.m., we received a call from Sher Khan colony that people heard gunshots, and there was a group of people who ran from a house and drove away,” Khan said. “We went and found seven bodies in a house.”

    Paul’s Muslim neighbor, Mushtaq Khan, told reporters a group of armed men had threatened the lawyer the previous day. “On Monday a group of armed men stopped Paul and took him by the collar and said, ‘Leave the town in 24 hours – we know how to throw out Christians, we will not allow even a single Christian to live here. We will hang them all in the streets, so that no Christian would ever dare to enter the Hazara land.”

    Local Christians said Muslim militants killed Paul because he defended a Christian taxi driver in Haripur who had received a loan of 150,000 rupees (US$1,725) tp buy a taxi from an influential Muslim whose lending network extends to some parts of Punjab Province.

    Noor Khan agreed that to pay back 224,000 rupees (US$2,580) after one year, but said the Muslim business man had raised interest to 500 percent because he was a Christian, demanding back 1.12 million rupees [US$12,893].

    Paul took Mehboob and the documents of the original loan agreement to the Haripur police station, Mehboob said. News of the attack came shortly after three Muslims reportedly beat a pastor and left him for dead in the Pakistani village of Sanda Chistana, Pakistan.

    From: http://www.bosnewslife.com/13994-news-alert-suspected-muslim-militants-kill-christian-family-attack-pastor

  14. I BELIEVE IMAM RAUF OF GZ MOSQUE IS A FAKE

    Because I don’t see Imam Rauf doing much to preach to the Muslims that they need to change their faith in the Quran and islam as being good for only making themselves backward, intolerant and evil; and to encourage Muslims to join with non-Muslims like me to believe that ther Quran should ONLY BE BELIEVED FOR THE GOOD TEACHINGS INSIDE, not its bad and wrong teachings.

    Why should good people like me who already know how to use the Quran for its goodness be targeted for their misdirected preaching that ISLAM is good, when those doing the suicide bombings and murders for islam and heavenly sex are not preached to? Absurd!

    That is why Imam Rauf is a fake!

    Read how Christians are being massacred by Muslims. One day, it will be my turn to be slaughtered in in Singapore, because the Singapore Police was not interested in their complaints against me for blasphemy and sedition. So they will want to take things into their own hands.

    Read on——-

    ” Suspected Islamic militants inPakistan shot and killed a Christian lawyer, his wife and their five children in northwestern Pakistan, just days after a pastor nearly died in a seperate attack linked to Muslim extremism, local Christians and rights activists said Friday, October 1, 2010.

    Police found the bodies of attorney and evangelist Edwin Paul and his family at their home in Haripur, a small town near Abbotabad in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province, previously known as the North-West Frontier Province, said Haripur Station House Officer Maqbool Khan.

    The victim and his wife Ruby Paul, along with their five children ages 6 to 17, had been shot to death, he said. “On September 28 at around 8 a.m., we received a call from Sher Khan colony that people heard gunshots, and there was a group of people who ran from a house and drove away,” Khan said. “We went and found seven bodies in a house.”

    Paul’s Muslim neighbor, Mushtaq Khan, told reporters a group of armed men had threatened the lawyer the previous day. “On Monday a group of armed men stopped Paul and took him by the collar and said, ‘Leave the town in 24 hours – we know how to throw out Christians, we will not allow even a single Christian to live here. We will hang them all in the streets, so that no Christian would ever dare to enter the Hazara land.”

    Local Christians said Muslim militants killed Paul because he defended a Christian taxi driver in Haripur who had received a loan of 150,000 rupees (US$1,725) tp buy a taxi from an influential Muslim whose lending network extends to some parts of Punjab Province.

    Noor Khan agreed that to pay back 224,000 rupees (US$2,580) after one year, but said the Muslim business man had raised interest to 500 percent because he was a Christian, demanding back 1.12 million rupees [US$12,893].

    Paul took Mehboob and the documents of the original loan agreement to the Haripur police station, Mehboob said. News of the attack came shortly after three Muslims reportedly beat a pastor and left him for dead in the Pakistani village of Sanda Chistana, Pakistan.

    From: http://www.bosnewslife.com/13994-news-alert-suspected-muslim-militants-kill-christian-family-attack-pastor

  15. Wow this is a great resource.. I’m enjoying it.. good…

  16. SAUDI PRINCE TURNS AGAINST GZ MOSQUE

    “As reported in the New York Times earlier this week, Saudi prince Alwaleed bin Talal, best-known for his rejected offer of a $10 million check to Mayor Rudy Giuliani in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, has come out against the Ground Zero mosque.

    Alwaleed’s Kingdom Foundation has been a financial patron of Feisal Abdul Rauf, the proposed mosque’s “spiritual guide,” donating more than $200,000 to the “Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow” program run by Rauf’s American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA).

    But Alwaleed told the Times, “I am not for putting a mosque there”—i.e. at 51 Park Place in lower Manhattan. Alwaleed said he opposed the construction to prevent offense to the families of 9/11 victims. He also noted the proximity of the proposed location to a strip club, which he said would be inappropriate for Muslims on their way to pray. ”

    From: http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/saudi-prince-turns-against-ground-zero-mosque_511482.html

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