Hussein Ibish appeared on O’ Reilly and revealed to us just how shallow his knowledge of Islam and Arabs is.
First, Ibish called Park51’s imam “Imam Feisal Ahmad Al-Rauf.” Though Ibish claimed he’d been “watching this guy for a while,” apparently he hasn’t been following him closely enough to know his name is actually Feisal Abdul Rauf (1:28 minutes into the video).
Ibish didn’t need to follow him that closely to know the imam’s correct name. Ibish knows so little about Islam and Arabs that he doesn’t know that there’s no such name as Ahmad Al-Rauf. Rauf, like Rahman and Aziz and Qadir, is one of God’s 99 names. It’s very common to name males one of these names preceded by Abd, which means servant, hence Abdul Rauf, Abdul Rahman, Abdul Aziz, Abdul Qadir.
“Ahmad Al-Rauf,” on the other hand, is a new syntactical rule Ibish added to the Arabic language. We’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he tripped because was nervous about speaking on national TV. Presumably he must have adequate knowledge of Arabic to be invited to speak on Fox as an expert on these matters.
Then he goes on to blame the victim for the project’s failure. Rather than stating the backlash resulted from anti-Muslim racism, he blamed the mosque’s leadership for failure to present the idea to the American people in an understandable way, failure to clearly condemn jihad, failure to communicate to middle America.
The amusing part was Ibish’s definition of Sufism. There are two things to know about Sufism: 1) it’s spiritual and mystical; 2) it’s “squishy” (at 3:49).
Ibish, do us a favor and take Islam 101 before you discuss it on national television.