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Imam Rauf: The Image Starts to Slip...

Family Security Matters
September 15, 2010

Now that the anniversary of 9/11 is conveniently out of his way, Imam Rauf is coming out fighting, it seems. He is being more adamant that the site of Park51 (the future Cordoba Center) is not situated on hallowed ground. The former Burlington Coat Factory building was damaged during 9/11, 2001, when a fuselage fragment from one of the hijacked planes tore through its roof.

When he was on Larry King Live on September 8, interviewer Soledad O’Brien had suggested to him that a 9/11 relative may be upset that remains of a loved one would be on the spot where he intended to build a mosque. Rauf had replied:

“Well first of all, this is not that spot – this is not Ground Zero proper. This is outside that. No-one’s body is in that location. I am very sensitive to those feelings. As an imam, as any religious person does, we have to minister to the pain and hurt to our congregations and our ministry and our communities.”

On Monday at the Council of Foreign Relations Rauf went further in his assertions that the mosque is not sacred despite the feelings of some 9/11 relatives. He said: “It's absolutely disingenuous, as many have said, that that block is hallowed ground.” He then described the sleazier parts of the neighborhood, such as a burlesque joint and a betting outlet. “So let's clarify that misperception,” Rauf declared.

Former fire chief Jim Riches noted that “The strip club didn't murder my son."

In a question and answer session, Rauf was asked if the center would be staying or leaving. Rauf avoided directly answering that question and suggested that the high profile location would be good for his center. He told the audience:

“We need to create a platform where the voice of moderate Muslims would be amplified.”

Rauf, Malaysia and anti-Semitism

In June this year, the New York Post revealed that Rauf was closely involved with the Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization. Perdana had been the largest donor to the Free Gaza Movement, which had been behind the six-vessel flotilla that was stopped on May 31, 2010. Perdana had donated $366,000 to the Free Gaza Movement.

One of the key figures in Perdana is the anti-Semite Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the man who in 1969 instituted the racially divisive “ketuanan Melayu” (Malay supremacy) policy in the country. This policy – still in operation today – declares that Muslim Malays are the original rulers of Malaysia and therefore must have dominance. Malays are given preference over Indians and Chinese in jobs and housing.

After the revelations by the New York Post, pages from the Perdana website were removed. However a cache can be viewed, where Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is top of a list of “Role Players and Contributors” of the organization second only to founder and key player in Perdana, Mahathir bin Mohamad. Rauf has several other associations with Malaysia

Mahathir, the former Malaysian prime minister, is said to one of the closest associates of Imam Rauf. Mohamad was notorious for his anti-Semitic outbursts, and he is a vigorous opponent of Israel. This year after the Israel Defense Force stopped the Flotilla from reaching Gaza, Mahathir wrote:

“What kind of world are we living in when it allows a rogue state to use violence and killings against unarmed people on a mission of charity?”

In 2003, Mahathir Mohamad addressed the 57-member Organization of Islamic Conference. He said:

“The Europeans killed 6 million Jews out of 12 million, but today the Jews rule the world by proxy. They get others to fight and die for them. For well over half a century we have fought over Palestine. What have we achieved? Nothing. We are worse off than before. If we had paused to think, then we could have devised a plan, a strategy that can win us final victory… 1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews.”

With friends like Mahathir Mohamad as an associate, and with several other associations with Malaysia, it comes as little surprise that the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT) has uncovered evidence that one of the Park51 Mosque Project members and another close associate of Imam Rauf has bizarre views.

Faiz Khan leads Friday Juma prayers at the Masjid al-Farah (where Rauf is the imam). Khan believes that 9/11 was an “inside job” planned by the American government. Khan is a medical doctor, and lectures to the Sufi Circle, as does Feisal Rauf.

In FrontPageMag on Monday, further revelations from Rauf’s past were brought to light. In 2005 Rauf had said of Israeli-Palestinian affairs that “my own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution.” This would imply that Israel would no longer exist.

On November 27, 1977, Rauf had written: “In a true peace it is impossible that a purely Jewish state of Palestine can endure. . . . In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.”

Anti-Semitism and the Muslim Brotherhood

The Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood is now an international organization, with several branches in the United States. The Brotherhood grew when Israel was founded, carrying out terror attacks in Egypt and sending fighters to oppose the establishment of Israel. It was at this time, 19948 that Feisal Abdul Rauf had fled Egypt.

Ibn Warraq, writing in today’s National Review, notes that in one edition of Imam Rauf’s book “What’s Right with Islam”, published by HarperCollins, the copyright page stated that the

“edition was made possible through a joint effort of The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the office of Interfaith and Community Alliance of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Funding for this project was provided by IIIT.”

Both ISNA and IIIT are branches of the Muslim Brotherhood.

Imam Rauf’s father, Muhammad Abdul Rauf (1917-2004) was a contemporary of Hassan al-Banna, who founded the Muslim Brotherhood in 1928. It is believed (though not supported by evidence) that Rauf was related to Abdul Munim Abdul Rauf, who in 1954 had tried to assassinate Nasser (who had been an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood before he led a military coup).

Rauf senior had founded the Islamic Cultural Center of New York City, (known as ICCNY or the “96th Street mosque”), which opened its doors in 1992. At the time of 9/11 the imam of this mosque had been an Egyptian graduate of Al-Azhar University called Muhammad Al-Gamei'a (Gemeaha).

Gamei’a returned to Egypt on September 28, 2001, complaining of the Islamophobia that had happened in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks. He gave an interview to his former university, published on a now-defunct website called Lailatalqadr, in which he stated that Jews were almost certainly behind the 9/11 attacks:

"All the signs indicate that the Jews have the most to gain from an explosion like that. They are the only ones capable of planning such acts.”

Despite whining about American Islamophobia, the former imam at the ICCMNY, founded by Rauf’s father and where Feisal Rauf had involvement, had no qualms in expressing his own bigotry:

"The Jewish element is as Allah described it when he said: 'They disseminate corruption in the land.' We know that they have always broken agreements, unjustly murdered the prophets, and betrayed the faith. Can they be expected to live up to their contracts with us? These people murdered the prophets; do you think they will stop spilling our blood? No." "You see these people (i.e. the Jews) all the time, everywhere, disseminating corruption, heresy, homosexuality, alcoholism, and drugs. [Because of them] there are strip clubs, homosexuals, and lesbians everywhere. They do this to impose their hegemony and colonialism on the world." "Now, they are riding on the back of the world powers. These people always seek out the superpower of the generation and develop coexistence with it. Before this, they rode on the back of England and on the back of the French empire. After that, they rode on the back of Germany. But Hitler annihilated them because they betrayed him and violated their contract with him." "We saw these Zionists, just one hour after the event, broadcasting on the BBC, the biggest media channel, that the Arabs, and particularly the Palestinians, were celebrating and rejoicing over the American deaths. [To do this] they broadcast a video from 1991, [filmed] during the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. But Allah thwarted them when a professor from a Brazilianuniversity stated that the video was a forgery, because she had a copy of it. These people have a script prepared in advance, and they have the ability to fabricate events in their favor."

Rauf’s father, like Rauf junior, was also a close associate of the anti-Semitic Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who gave him the role of the first rector of International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM). This happened in 1983. Mahathir had personally invited Rauf Sr. to return to Malaysia, where he had previously helped to set up an Islamic college in 1965.

Though Rauf Sr. had no longer been in charge of the ICCNY when the Egyptian anti-Semite Muhammad Al-Gamei'a was appointed as the imam, in 2004, Feisal Abdul Rauf acted as a trustee for land owned by his father next to the ICCNY. Apparently, Feisal Rauf is currently a member of the Board of Trustees.

According to Alyssa Lappen, Feisal Rauf had been named by his father as a permanent trustee of the ICCNY. She claims that Muhammad Al-Gamei'a (Gemeaha) was appointed as a mosque imam while Feisal Rauf was a permanent trustee. Surely, Rauf junior would have been aware of Gemei’a’s anti-Semitism?

It should be remembered that “The Project” written by Said Ramadan, Hasan al-Banna’s son-in-law, set out a global agenda for the Muslim Brotherhood. This document clearly states in its “Eleventh Point of Departure” that the Palestinian cause and the opposition to Jews and Israel should be the focus of a global movement, and it should use jihad to achieve that.

Interviewed by Christiane Amanpour

On Sunday, September 12, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf appeared on Christiane Amanpour’s show “This Week.” He said he would only make a decision about moving or keeping the mosque at Park51 if it was for the good of “everybody.”

Rauf appears to be revising his position on Hamas. He has consistently refused to condemn Hamas as a terror organization. In the interview segment below, he states:

“I'm against terrorism by whoever does it.…Whoever commits terrorist acts – I condemn. And Hamas has committed terrorist acts, including against its own people.”

On Sixty Minutes, days after 9/11, Rauf had said that “United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened. In the clip above he answers Ms. Amanpour’s questions related to his 9/11 statement.

The issue of Rauf’s professional connection to anti-Semites, such as Gemeah and Mahathir Mohamad should cast serious doubts about his claims to be a true supporter of interfaith relations.

Rauf is listed as a Vice-Chair on the board of trustees of the Interfaith Center of New York. This group was founded by the Very Reverend James Parks Morton, and includes Jews on its board.

Nowadays Rauf is very careful not to openly make statements that can be used against him, but he should have been able to prevent the Perdana Organization for World Peace donating money to the Muslim Brotherhood-supporting Islamists on the “Freedom” Flotilla.

He has stood by as a trustee of ICNY as an anti-Semitic imam was allowed to preach – an imam who went on to declare that only Jews could have carried out 9/11. In the light of this, it is more disturbing to find that Faiz Khan who leads the Friday prayers (the most important prayers of the week) at the al-Farah Mosque where Rauf is the imam is also a 9/11 conspiracy “troofer.”

At the Council of Foreign Relations yesterday, Rauf declared:

“I vote in elections, I pay taxes, I pledge allegiance to the flag, and I am a Giants fan -- I am glad they won yesterday.”

The New York Post reveals today that Rauf has not voted in New Jersey (where he would be eligible to vote) since November 2001 and has not been registered as a voter for several years.

Additionally, where Rauf has owned properties in New Jersey for some years, he is developing a reputation as a slum landlord. Today, more revelations of his code violations in relation to a property he rented out have emerged. Union City officials have asked him to fix dangerous violations to the property but these repairs have not been made. As a result, Union City has launched a lawsuit (pdf) against him.

Brian Stack, mayor of Union City, describes Rauf in no uncertain terms:

“He’s a slumlord.”

Slowly – it seems – Rauf’s image as a bridge builder, as a paragon of “Islamic tolerance” and someone qualified to lead a mosque near 9/11, is gradually slipping. Under the eroding fa├žade Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is starting to appear more and more like any other run-of-the-mill, bigoted, arrogant Islamist.


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