Monday, September 13, 2010

Imam: “I Would Never Have Done It”

The imam behind the proposed Islamic cultural center near ground zero in New York says the Islamophobic backlash over the project rivaled, if not exceeded, the anger felt toward the Muslim community after the Sept. 11 attacks in 2001 — and that, if given the choice to do it over again, he would have never proposed building it near ground zero.

In an interview with Christiane Amanpour that aired Sunday on ABC’s "This Week," Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf said that he never expected the proposed mosque to become engulfed in controversy.

“I would never have done it,” he said when asked what he would have done had he anticipated what would happen. “I'm a man of peace. I mean the whole objective of peace work is not to do something that would provoke controversy.”

Rauf said that developers were still deciding whether they would relocate the proposed mosque, but that he feared moving it could cause an uproar in the Muslim world.

"My major concern with moving it is that the headline in the Muslim world will be Islam is under attack in America, this will strengthen the radicals in the Muslim world, help their recruitment, this will put our people — our soldiers, our troops, our embassies, our citizens — under attack in the Muslim world and we have expanded and given and fueled terrorism," he said.

Rauf's remarks come a day after a Sept. 11 anniversary marked by protests for and against the proposed cultural center, which would be situated blocks from the site of the attacks.

Rauf also responded to the threat by a Florida pastor to burn Qurans if the mosque weren’t moved by saying: “You can't equate the two. ... How can you equate burning of any person's scripture with an attempt to build interfaith dialogue?”


  1. He sure plays the part well. And most "tolerant" and politically correct Americans will believe him, but we know better. Islam is not tolerant. And you can bet your bottom dollar that any so-called inter faith dialogue designed by Muslims will only serve their nefarious purposes....just ask the french.

  2. And yet, Imam, provoke controversy is exactly what you did, surprisingly enough!! Whilst listening to the Arroyo/Weigel interview on The World Over, I became so upset by the hypocrisy displayed by Imam Rauf.

    He ostensibly makes a move toward peace between Islam and America, and in doing so, creates the perfect conditions for an international crisis, and possibly further terrorism. Et viola, now it is America's fault if that ensues. How very clever.

    Islamophobia Schlamophobia!!! Why does this word get bandied around so much. A phobia used to be an irrational fear of something, but apparently now it means anything you and I disagree with instead of tolerating. And if people are afraid of Islam, well, has anyone seen the footage of 9/11?? I heard there was a bit of a terrorist attack that day.

  3. Al, Nick, Jesse, Elizabeth;

    What if Imam Rauf does decide to build the cultural center at the present site? Are you going to be able to handle it?

    And did you guys catch the Gospel reading from last Thursday's Mass?

    Luke 6:27-28

    "But to you who hear I say, love your enemies, do good to those who hate you,
    bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.
    To the person who strikes you on one cheek, offer the other one as well, and from the person who takes your cloak, do not withhold even your tunic.
    Give to everyone who asks of you, and from the one who takes what is yours do not demand it back.
    Do to others as you would have them do to you.
    For if you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them.
    And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.
    If you lend money to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit (is) that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, and get back the same amount.
    But rather, love your enemies and do good to them, and lend expecting nothing back; then your reward will be great and you will be children of the Most High, for he himself is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked.
    Be merciful, just as (also) your Father is merciful.
    "Stop judging and you will not be judged. Stop condemning and you will not be condemned. Forgive and you will be forgiven.
    Give and gifts will be given to you; a good measure, packed together, shaken down, and overflowing, will be poured into your lap. For the measure with which you measure will in return be measured out to you."