After Rauf’s assurance to Muslim leaders that the “American Constitution and system of government (do) uphold the core principles of Islamic law," Hentoff asks whether we all need further lessons on the Constitution. He challenges Rauf (who still, after the attacks in Hebron, will not denounce Hamas), “It's not mandatory under the Constitution that the mosque be moved farther away. The reason it should be is what used to be sought as mutual understanding and respect for all Americans.”
Shortly before returning to the U.S. after his State Department Mideast tour, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said in Abu Dhabi that the viral furor over his insistence on building a mosque just blocks from Ground Zero was due in large part to the coming midterm elections.
Further minimizing his role, he blamed "radicals in the Muslim World ... and other faith traditions," and then almost blithely noted that "the story has expanded far beyond a piece of real estate; it has expanded to the issues of Islam in America and what it means for us."
As I have reported, Islam in many parts of the world beyond America has been affected. Al-Qaida websites cheer the rise of anti-Muslim stereotyping in the United States as a boon to recruiting violent jihadists.
The threat of radical, extremist Islam will last at least a generation, former British Prime Minister Tony Blair warned Sunday.
"If these people could have killed 30,000 or 300,000 [on 9/11], they would have," Blair said Sunday on ABC News' "This Week."
Blair compared Islamic fundamentalism with revolutionary communism.
"It's the religious or cultural equivalent of it, and its roots are deep, its tentacles are long and its narrative about Islam stretches far further than we think, into even parts of mainstream opinion who abhor the extremism, but sort of buy some of the rhetoric that goes with it," he said.
“...Western culture is founded on and steeped in the Judeo-Christian assumption that our innate understanding of what is right is a direct reflection of God’s goodness and justice as reflected in His universal law, to which even He adheres. We make a mistake when we assume other cultures are necessarily speaking the same moral language.”
As past statements of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf continue to surface, many Americans have concluded that the would-be builder of a mosque at Ground Zero is lying when he calls himself a “moderate” representative of his faith. The more disturbing possibility, however, is that he’s telling the truth — that Rauf is indeed the voice of mainstream Islam.
One indication is the resounding silence from the rest of the Islamic community. If that community were truly moderate — as we in the West understand the term — one might expect it to distance itself from a man who blames the U.S. for the 9/11 attacks, says we have more innocent blood on our hands than al-Qaeda, and refuses to disown the genocidal agenda of Hamas.
A few brave Muslim individuals have indeed come out against the mosque, but they are exceptions. Where are the large numbers of Muslims who find Rauf’s statements offensive? Where are their organizations and institutions? Why aren’t they weighing in to repudiate Rauf and his apparent aims?
The sheikh known as “The Jamaican” has been called the “hate cleric”, influencing the Christmas Day Bomber, Richard Reid, the London subway and 9/11 bombers, as well as the U.S.-based Revolution Muslim group to kill infidels. He attempted to raise money from CNN, insisting on $15,000 for an interview. CNN does not pay any of its interviewees. Jamaicans fear that he will spread Shariah throughout their country.
He has influenced convicted terrorists such as Richard Reid, the so-called shoe-bomber. His sermons were found in the apartment of suicide bombers who struck London, England, in 2005. Even one of the 9/11 plotters is said to have been a follower of Sheik Abdullah El-Faisal.
Now in Jamaica, El-Faisal is less than a two-hour flight from the United States. No airline will allow him on board; he is widely thought to be on U.S. and UK no-fly lists. But history suggests El-Faisal might not need to travel to be influential among jihadists bent on violence against the U.S. and other Western nations.
The authorities on the Caribbean island keep tabs on him. Jamaica's Muslim leadership has banned him from preaching in established mosques, just in case his radical rhetoric stirs a Jamaican jihad. That's why we came here, at El-Faisal's invitation, to find out his plans.
Little did we know his plans included raising money from a most unusual source -- CNN.
This past Friday, President Obama waded into the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, asserting it was a religious freedom issue.
Memo to President Obama and the politically correct elites in media, politics, academia and elsewhere: We’re not disputing First Amendment rights here.
We are not opposed to the first amendment right to build a mosque. We are opposed to the erection of a mosque on the sacred ground of Ground Zero, because this will be viewed by tens of millions in the Muslim world as a victory shrine. This will embolden those committed to jihad against America and swell their ranks.
We are opposed to the stunning insensitivity toward the 9/11 victims by Imam Rauf and those supporting him in this endeavor.