Tag Archive for Feisal Abdul Rauf

Ikhras Shoe Of The Month Award Winner – January 2012

Ikhras is pleased to announce the winner of the Muntadhar Zaidi Shoe of the Month Award for this January2012 is Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf.  Speaking during his visit to occupied Palestine Feisal Abdul Rauf,  a self-declared supporter of Israel,  called on Muslims world wide to follow in his own foot steps and take a pilgrimage to the Zionist entity.

“I’d like us religious leaders to call for a sacred month that that will allow people to go on pilgrimage,” he said. If Muslims – including Iranians, who are often keen pilgrims – “felt free to come here for part of their pilgrimage, you would have easily tens of millions of people coming to Jerusalem…The pilgrimage to Mecca has always been an occasion for Muslims to get to know Muslims from other parts of the world,” Rauf noted. “If Muslims could come here, you could create some activity on the sidelines between Muslims and Jews.”

This purely political gesture, complete with quotes of passages from the Quran and absurd analogies to feuding Arab tribes in pre-Islamic Mecca, is intended to serve the interests of the usurping Zionist entity in three ways.

House Muslims at Odds

It’s good to see fractures among House Muslims. Arguing in favor of reformists over moderates, House Muslim Irshad Manji hates on House Muslim Faisal Abdul Rauf. May we see more of House Muslims at each others’ throats.

“Moderate” Muslims are part of the problem.

Abdul Rauf: The Empire’s Muslim Arm

Feisal Abdul Rauf rebutting 5 myths on Islam (or attempting to):

“Currently, there are two Muslim members of Congress and thousands of Muslims on active duty in the armed forces. Sure, some Muslim soldiers may have been born elsewhere, but if you wear the uniform of the United States and are willing to die for this country, can you be really be considered a foreigner?”

Really, Abdul Rauf? That’s the best argument you can present against islamophobia, that Muslims serve in US imperialist wars against other Muslims in Afghanistan and Iraq? If you are too spineless to oppose imperialist wars on innocent populations, first ikhras then do yourself the favor of retiring from public life.

Related articles:

Park51 Imam: “I am a supporter of the state of Israel.”

Park51 Serving Intended House Function

What the Muslim-American Establishment Fights for

 

 

Make up your mind, Park51

A couple of days ago we were amused to see Park51 discuss its leadership while the revolt raged in Egypt. When we criticized their silence, their response was:

Park51 seemed to have some form of temporary amnesia. We reminded them that they are in fact a very political organization. Their Imam Abdul Rauf explicitly stated that he supported Israel. His wife Daisy Khan appeared proud during a NYT that she had a relative in the military. Abdul Rauf went on diplomatic missions in middle eastern countries, representing the Department of State.

The interesting trend we’re seeing among House Arabs and House Muslims in reaction to the revolution in Egypt, is one of frantic damage control. Instead of shutting up, as we repeatedly encourage them to do, they are trying to join the party and pretending they’ve been opposing Arab dictators all along. Park51 just said 48 hours ago in response to our questioning why they had nothing to say against Mubarak:

Today Park51 finally joined the bandwagon and chimed in on Christian-Muslim solidarity in facing the police.

Too little, too late.

Related articles:

Park51 Imam: “I am a supporter of the state of Israel.”

What the Muslim-American Establishment Fights For

Park51 Serving Intended House Function

Disorganized Priorities (as usual)

A number of groups organized a protest today outside the White House to oppose the wars on Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Yemen and support Wikileaks. Veterans for Peace, GetUp!, Code Pink, Chris Hedges and Ray McGovern were among the organizers and speakers. Braving snow and very cold temperature, the activists also demanded the release of Bradley Manning and an end to civil liberties erosions.

One wonders why housies* weren’t the groups leading, or simply participating in or even promoting, this effort. What could they have possibly been busy with?

ADC was busy congratulating Qatar on hosting the 2022 World Cup. It also organized another, you guessed it, gala.

Ray Hanania was advocating for the two-state solution on the pages of the Jerusalem Post; an approach that concedes 78% of historic Palestine to Zionist settlers.

James Zogby was tied up promoting his book as well as an upcoming J Street event.

Feisal Abdul Rauf was chatting with the New York Times about his 40-plus year-long career of begging for tolerance from Zionists in the form of interfaith sessions.

Mona Eltahawy was addressing the TEDWomen audience. She spoke about everything there is to know about Muslim women in a nutshell except for the fact that they’re on the receiving end of US bombs and depleted uranium and bear the brunt of oppression under occupation in Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine as widows and mothers of shattered, displaced, tortured families.

The American Task Force on Palestine‘s plate was full, hosting war criminal Tony Blair.

David Ramadan’s was too busy advocating for a “a strong Reagan Republican President in 2012” and a “strong US presence and role worldwide.”

Rima Fakih joined World Wrestling Entertainment celebrities to entertain members of the U.S. military at Fort Hood, Texas.

Irshad Manji was discussing the existence of  God on the pages of the Global and Mail.

Zuhdi Jasser’s American Islamic Forum for Democracy was celebrating “the dismissal of a lawsuit filed by Nasser Al-Awlaki, father of Anwar Al-Awlaki, represented by Jameel Jaffer of the ACLU and the Center for Constitutional Rights” over the use of targeted killing of American Citizens.

Who has time for serious anti-war activism with schedules as busy as these?

* “Housies” is short for House Arabs and House Muslims, equivalent to Malcolm X’s “House Negro” and “Field Negro.”

Park51 Imam: “I am a supporter of the state of Israel.”

Two interesting items on Park51:

First, Professor As’ad Abu Khalil described Park51 as “a gesture intended to appease the mainstream culture.” We couldn’t agree more and we’ve presented a similar argument previously.

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.

Park51 Serving Intended House Function

When we were brand new to the world of blogging, namely two months ago, we expressed our frustration with the mainstream Muslim-American community’s misplaced enthusiasm for the so-called Ground Zero Mosque. The media has been rife with coverage of opposition to Park51 because it’s perceived as a triumph for militant Islamism and disrespect for the victims of the 9/11 attacks. Encouraged to “refudiate,” some Muslims have also opposed it on the grounds that it is a “deliberate provocation, to thumb our noses at the infidel” and “rub salt in [Americans’] wounds and pretend they are applying a balm to sooth the pain.”

Ikhras had entirely different reasons for criticizing Park51. Here’s a quick rehash. On June 7, 2010 we wrote in What the Muslim-American Establishment Fights for:

How will the building of a mosque near Ground Zero alleviate the grief of 2 million Muslim families that have lost loved ones? How will it protect Muslims from the empire’s claws? What role will it play in defanging the US war machine? Will Abu Ghraib survivors’ psychological scars heal? Will this mosque help dispossessed Afghani and Iraqi refugees feel safe enough to return home?

Feisal Abdul Rauf: Department of State's Muslim spokesperson

We were concerned that the US would use Park51 as a “PR cover for its war of terrorism against Muslims” and that it would serve as a “distraction to keep Muslim Americans tied up in the perpetual task of chasing after acceptance in the US instead of engaging in the far more pressing priority of working to end the occupations to three majority-Muslim countries (Afghanistan, Iraq and Palestine).”

 More importantly for purposes of this article, we predicted that:

the ground zero mosque will be a breeding ground for ikhras-worthy events. Muslims will host US presidents, US National Security Advisers and other such war criminals there. Friday sermons will consistently fail to criticize US foreign policy. Muslim-American soldiers will pray there before getting deployed to participate in the empire’s crimes abroad. Groups like “Seeds of Peace” will use the mosque as a site to engage in useless negotiations between Zionists and Palestinians. The FBI and DHS will hold sessions to learn “Muslim culture” to look more politically correct when detaining and deporting Muslims.

Our speculation, sadly, is finding support. Feisal Abdul Rauf, the center’s imam, has been actively engaged in enhancing the US’s image as some kind of US ambassador to Muslims.

the US state department flew Rauf to Saudi Arabia this week to promote America by telling audiences “what it’s like to practise Islam under our regime of religious freedom and equality”.

 At a press conference earlier this week, the Department of State explained the purpose of its Abdul Rauf’s propaganda trip. Straight from the DOS’s website:

He will be traveling to the region at the end of this week starting, as I recall, in Bahrain, then Qatar, then the United Arab Emirates. He is participating – I think this is fourth trip – as part of an International Information Program. We have about 1,200 experts in a range of fields that travel on behalf of the United States every year. About 50 or so of those are religious figures. They come from every stripe. We have rabbis, imams, Protestants, Catholics who participate as part of our effort to promote religious tolerance and religious freedom around the world. The guidelines that we provide him – he is there to promote this kind of international dialogue. We have had conversations with the imam to make sure he understands that during these kinds of trips, he’s not to engage in any personal business. He understands that completely. But this is his fourth trip and we value his participation as a religious figure here in the United States who can help people overseas understand the role that religion plays in our society.

Damaged minaret in war-torn Iraq

It is no surprise that Imam Abdul Rauf’s itinerary includes countries like Saudi Arabia and Gulf countries, which are already staunch US allies. The man wouldn’t stand a chance trying to convince citizens of Kabul or Baghdad that the US is a tolerant, egalitarian entity.

We’re all for dialogue as long as the US boot is not on the neck of those it’s trying to “dialogue” with. Is Imam Abdul Rauf unaware of atrocities the US is committing in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq? Has he no concept of decades-long US support for Israel throughout its colonial occupation of Palestine?

This is as ridiculous as a Vietnamese-American cleric flying around to give a good impression of the US around the time of the My Lai massacre. 

For a Muslim to ignore US atrocities and focus on the its supposed “regime of religious freedom and equality” is an expression of American arrogance. House Muslims, with their knowledge of English, their degrees from American universities, their spacious houses in the suburbs and their consumerist lifestyle, perceive their position on the empire’s sociopolitical ladder as more valuable than the lives of dispensable Muslims languishing in refugee camps. An Islamic community center in Lower Manhattan is more “cool” and worthy of advocacy than mosques in Afghanistan and Iraq the US has bombarded.

The House Muslim strives to be tolerated in the US. To convince himself that he is worthy to the slavemaster, he turns a blind eye to the Field Muslims’ suffering. The House Muslim tells himself the empire’s approval of Park51 redeems it to some extent. He thinks his efforts advocating for Park51 absolve him of the responsibility of resisting the wars.

The House Muslim’s throat-gripping fear of the US informs him that he has only two choices: accommodate the US to the point of collaboration with its war crimes or face its disapproval then its wrath. The House Muslim thinks he’s smart for adopting “strategies” that involve going along with the US’s agenda in the short term, which will mysteriously lead to serving Islam and Muslims’ interests in the long-term. America might even give rise to the long-awaited caliphate someday. But for now, it needs a Muslim face to explain away its war crimes, and House Muslims need to step up to the plate.

It’s remarkable how a single two-minute-long speech could succinctly explain this House phenomenon. The bedrock of Ikhras’ mission statement, we never get tired of referring to it as it never stops being relevant as long as there are oppressors and oppressed. As Malcolm X described the House Negro:

The house Negroes – they lived in the house with master, they dressed pretty good, they ate good ’cause they ate his food — what he left. They lived in the attic or the basement, but still they lived near the master; and they loved their master more than the master loved himself. They would give their life to save the master’s house quicker than the master would. The house Negro, if the master said, “We got a good house here,” the house Negro would say, “Yeah, we got a good house here.” Whenever the master said “we,” he said “we.” That’s how you can tell a house Negro… the house Negro would look at you and say, “Where is there a better house than this? Where can I wear better clothes than this? Where can I eat better food than this?”

Probably one positive use for Park51 will be that it will make our job at ikhras.com easier. A beacon for House Muslims, it will bring them out of the woodworks and brandish their House-related accomplishments in one convenient place for us to observe, expose and tell to Ikhras.