During the 2008 Presidential campaign Barack Obama told audiences:
‘Judge me by the people with whom I surround myself.’
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf – Participant in a special State Department cultural program, representing the United States in a trip to Muslim countries in the Middle East that reportedly includes stops in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Abu Dhabi.
Highlights of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s Career
- Born in Kuwait in 1948, Feisal Abdul Rauf is the Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a New York City mosque.
- In a 60 Minutes interview that aired on September 30, 2001 (19 days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the U.S.), Rauf said that the 9/11 attacks were part of a larger Islamic “reaction against the U.S. government politically, where we [the U.S.] espouse principles of democracy and human rights, and [yet] where we ally ourselves with oppressive regimes in many of these countries.”
- “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened,” Rauf elaborated in the interview, “but United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.“
- Rauf further stated that “because we [Americans] have been accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world,” it could be said that “[i]n fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.“
- Rauf’s 2004 book, What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America suggests that the “American Constitution and system of governance uphold the core principles of Islamic law” (i.e., sharia). The author concludes, therefore, that the “American political structure is sharia-compliant.”
- In a question-and-answer session of Rauf’s 2005 appearance at Australia’s Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre, the imam said: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.” (Learn more…)
- In December 2007 Rauf promoted What’s Right with Islam at a Malaysia gathering of Hizb ut Tahrir, which seeks to impose sharia on the United States and other countries worldwide.
- In a June 2010 interview with newsman Aaron Klein on New York’s WABC Radio, Rauf was asked whether he agreed with the State Department’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. Rauf refused to define ‘Hamas’ as a terrorist organization. He replied: “I’m not a politician. I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question…. I’m a bridge builder. I define my work as a bridge builder. I do not want to be placed, nor do I accept to be placed in a position of being put in a position where I am the target of one side or another.”
- In recent years, Rauf has pursued a project known as the Cordoba Initiative, whose mission is to recapture an “atmosphere of interfaith tolerance and respect” in “Muslim-West relations.” Funded by numerous countries that are members of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, this Initiative aims to build a 13-story, $100 million mosque/Islamic Center just 600 feet from Ground Zero in lower Manhattan. The proposed name of the structure — “Cordoba House” — implies conquest. Indeed, the first Cordoba mosque was built in the Spanish city of Cordoba after the Muslim conquest of Christian Spain in the 8th century AD.
- In August 2010, the State Department announced that it would be sending Rauf on a trip through the Middle East to foster “greater understanding” about Islam and Muslim life in the United States.
- Rauf is a key member in the Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, the single biggest donor ($366,000 as of June 2010) to the Free Gaza Movement.