Two interesting items on Park51:
Second, Park51 imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s politics have been raising suspicion among the population the Department of State is trying to win over. The New York Times tells us that at a talk he gave in Cairo in February “some questioners were so suspicious that he felt the need to declare that he was not an American agent” because he called for acceptance of the West and normalization with Israel:
Muslims need to understand and soothe Americans who fear them, the imam said; they should be conciliatory, not judgmental, toward the West and Israel.
One inquisitive audience member remarked:
Wasn’t the United States financing the speaking tour that had brought the imam to Cairo because his message conveniently echoed United States interests?
One simply cannot serve two conflicting sides at the same time. The Times quotes Professor Omid Safi characterizing Abdul Rauf as not been outspoken enough on issues “‘near and dear to many Muslims,’ like United States policy on Israel and treatment of Muslims after 9/11.”
According to the Times article, Abdul Rauf subscribes to a Sufi interpretation of Islam. His interpretation of Islam or embrace of any religion or no religion for that matter, is irrelevant to us. What concerns us is the most troubling quote in that article, “I am a supporter of the state of Israel.” We’d argued that “the ground zero mosque will be a breeding ground for ikhras-worthy events”. We rest our case.
Check out our previous articles on Park51.