Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Imam, the Mosque and Hallowed Ground - 2

For a look at Imam Rauf from a bit of a different angle check out  Parsing the Record of Feisal Abdul Rauf -     

It is not the radical, uncaring, anti American image that is often found on the internet. 

His father was a leader in the interfaith movement.  Actually his parents were taken hostage twice by more radical elements of Islam.  It contains quotes from his book and anecdotal stories from his childhood and young adult years.  Interesting read....about two cyber pages long....

In my last post I listed several comments he’s made (gleaned from 30 years of public service) that "prove he is Un-American."  A handful of comments.....taken out of context from what I can tell.  Ironic too that Glenn Beck....have expressed opinions almost identical to the Imam (about 9-11) but for some reason that's different.  I found the following quote in my journeys.

Beck: While the U.S. did not "deserve 9-11," the U.S. was "in bed with dictators" and "that causes problems."

Talking about "why do you think they hate us in the Middle East," Beck said:

When people said they hate us, well, did we deserve 9-11? No. But were we minding our business? No. Were we in bed with dictators and abandoned our values and principles? Yes. That causes problems. [Glenn Beck, 4/15/10]

To see and hear Beck actually saying's not's the link....

So the irony to me is that these men are both American citizens....they both lumped themselves into the "we" of America's actions and they both feel those actions contributed in part to 9-11 but Rauf is accused of being un-American. Actually he is accused of being much worse. 

Another irony is that the comment has been taken out of context.  It was part of a larger conversation.  The Parsing the Record article says this:

The Cordoba Initiative elaborates: “The ‘60 Minutes’ piece was completely incorrect, as the statement was edited out of context. In the full interview, Imam Feisal describes the mistake the C.I.A. made in the 1980s by financing Osama bin Laden and strengthening the Taliban. This view is widely shared within the U.S. and the U.S. government today, and Imam Feisal underlines the importance of not supporting ‘friends of convenience’ who may in the future become our enemies. 

An excerpt from his book “What’s Right With Islam Is What’s Right With America,” echoes the gist of his 9-11 comment…that U.S. policies abroad do, in fact, color the world’s view of America….

“Terrorism is usually defined by the acting party’s intent to harm innocent people. If a suicide bomber intentionally takes the lives of innocent people, he is obviously guilty of terrorism. By contrast, if the United States and its coalition forces drop bombs on the wrong buildings in Baghdad (or any other city) and the bombs kill hundreds or thousands of innocent people, including many women and children, we define this as collateral damage, not terrorism. We draw this distinction because we had no intent to kill civilians. ...“By contrast, however, many Muslims in the Middle East look primarily at the result of our actions. ... The result is a common view in the Middle East that the U.S. is perfectly willing to kill innocent civilians when it suits America’s goals.”

That is also the view of many Americans. 

He also says in his book….

“The truth is that killing innocent people is always wrong — and no argument or excuse, no matter how deeply believed, can ever make it right. No religion on earth condones the killing of innocent people, no faith tradition tolerates the random killing of our brothers and sisters on this earth. ... Islamic law is clearly against terrorism, against any kind of deliberate killing of civilians or similar ‘collateral damage.’ ”

He has been criticized for comments about Hamas.  In a recent CNN Interview he said the following:

O'BRIEN: There have been a lot of questions, and I think a fair amount of controversy and criticism about questions that people have had about your take on Hamas. You were asked in an interview in the radio; the interviewer said, is the State Department correct in designating Hamas as a terror group? And you dodged the question. You went on a long time. But there was really sort of no answer to it.
So -- and I guess people sense that whatever that answer is, if you -- if you don't condemn Hamas, then in a way maybe you're supporting Hamas as a terror organization. So I guess I'd ask that question again. Do you -- you know, is the State Department right in saying that Hamas is a terrorist organization?

RAUF: I condemn everyone and anyone who commits acts of terrorism. And Hamas has committed acts of terrorism.

In 2003, Imam Rauf was invited to speak at a memorial service for Daniel Pearl, the journalist murdered by Islamist terrorists in Pakistan. The service was held at a prominent Jewish synagogue in Manhattan.  Judea Pearl, Daniel’s father was in attendance. 

For the full transcript of his speech….go HERE.

This post is getting too long.  More to come….

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