Posts Tagged ‘Feisal Abdul Rauf’

The anti-Muslim hate movie, The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks, is wowing the American right

March 7, 2011

 

Planning for a Muslim community center in lower Manhattan, 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero, was proceeding in an orderly fashion. A sponsor had purchased the former Burlington Coat Factory outlet, slightly damaged by debris from the 9/11 attack, and a Muslim Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was holding regular Friday prayers while the municipal rules were being followed to get final approval, which came last July, when New York’s Landmarks Preservation Commission declared that the building wasn’t a historic landmark. I wrote about the process here.

But the hate-mongers had just barely started their ugly work, Blogger Pamela Geller got traction with her rants equating Islam with 9/11, and now boasts about her “SRO crowd at CPAC [the Conservative Political Action Committee—a powerful force in republican politics] and a packed house at the St. Luke’s Theatre in Manhattan,” for her “documentary,” The Ground Zero Mosque: The Second Wave of the 9/11 Attacks.

The trailer is short, and all fair-minded people should see it, as the guiding force behind opposition to the Park 51 project in lower Manhattan, and to other mosques in California, Tennessee, and around the USA.

 

Ground Zero mosque imam calls Hamas “a terrorist organization”–again

December 26, 2010

The imam behind Cordoba House at Park51, the so-called Ground Zero mosque, has been roundly pilloried by the right for refusing to call Hamas a terrorist organization. It’s a bum rap, but see for yourself in this interview with Feisal Abdul Rauf in the December 27 issue of Newsweek.

The mosque, the imam, 9/11, and six degrees of separation

July 22, 2010

I feel for Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam who has devoted his life to building bridges between Islam and the West, and is now leading the effort to build a mosque in New York 2-1/2 blocks from Ground Zero. When I was nine years old I learned to defend myself against bullies who beat me up because I had killed Christ. I didn’t know what the accusation meant, but I knew I was being picked on because I was Jewish, and I’d better learn to fight off these guys.

Most of the opposition to the mosque is because Imam Rauf killed 3000 Americans on 9/11. Or if he didn’t personally do it, his people (“they”) did it. Just as everybody is connected within six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon, all Muslims are connected within six degrees to some terrorist. Or to someone who gave money to a charity that gave money to terrorists. Or who has a cousin who once said that Hamas had a point.

In the 1950s Senator Joe McCarthy and the House Un-American Activities Committee tarred innocents with guilt by association. Today’s haters don’t even need association to make their accusations, they just need something within six degrees of separation.

Thursday’s New York Times has a good analysis by Robert Wright of the accusations against Imam Rauf, (more…)

The mosque at Ground Zero is friendly, unobtrusive, and as American as the 92nd Street Y

June 12, 2010

I went to see for myself what the mosque at Ground Zero is like. Considering the fuss made over the mosque by the New York Post and by the thousands of people who post rabid anti-mosque messages every three minutes on a Facebook group, I thought it would be easy to find; just go to Ground Zero and look around.

Nope, you can’t see it from Ground Zero, and none of the half-dozen locals I asked had any idea what I was talking about. I finally remembered that it was in a former Burlington Coat Factory store. I googled “Burlington Coat Factory Ground Zero New York,” and there it was: 45 Park Place (closed). Two blocks up Church Street from Ground Zero and a half-block into Park Place.

You can’t see the mosque from Ground Zero, and you can’t see Ground Zero from the mosque. We walked in and were greeted by Kemal, the caretaker, who was busy scrubbing the floor. He invited us to take off our shoes and look around. There wasn’t much to see—old drab retail space, completely empty except for the indoor/outdoor carpet that serves as a prayer rug.

The Imam is Feisal Abdul Rauf, a graduate of Columbia University who has worked for twenty years to build bridges between American Muslims and the broad public, and between America and the Muslim world. (more…)


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