~”One of the things that we are taught is never to say somebody will go to hell or somebody will go to heaven. It is up to God to decide.”
– Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, when asked if suicide bombers go to Heaven, on Barbara Walters’ 2006 TV Special on Heaven.
* From the Editor of FSM
Defenders of controversial imam Feisal Abdul Rauf have been touting his past efforts in offering counterterrorism advice to the FBI as a way to illustrate his bridge-building intentions. Much like other reports, they tend to gloss over the more controversial aspects of Rauf’s statements. But, as is typical with the Ground Zero mosque imam, it can be demonstrated that he is frequently speaking with a forked tongue.
There is no doubt that Rauf has made some questionable and incendiary comments regarding America and her role in the Muslim world. Perhaps these statements fit the imam’s overall rhetoric involving U.S. complicity in the attacks of 9/11. As does the following statement to the FBI, which is conveniently omitted from media reports defending Rauf.
Bridge-building imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was giving a crash course in Islam for FBI agents in March of 2003. When asked to clarify such terminology as ‘jihad’ and ‘fatwa’, Rauf stated (emphasis mine throughout):
“Jihad can mean holy war to extremists, but it means struggle to the average Muslim. Fatwah has been interpreted to mean a religious mandate approving violence, but is merely a recommendation by a religious leader. Rauf noted that the U.S. response to the Sept. 11 attacks could be considered a jihad, and pointed out that a renowned Islamic scholar had issued a fatwah advising Muslims in the U.S. military it was okay to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan.”
Well, wait a minute.
Which version of the word jihad is he referring to when he speaks of the U.S. response itself? Is it the struggle he speaks of for the average Muslim, or is it the holy war?
Getting very little run in the media is an analysis of Rauf’s FBI days in the New York Post. Contained within Paul Sperry’s column is a question of whether Rauf actually knows the definition of jihad, or if he simply presents things ambiguously to make things more difficult on the agents he is trying to teach. While Rauf passes jihad off as nothing more than a struggle, Koranic scholar Abdullah Yusuf Ali disagrees, insisting that jihad ‘means advancing Islam, including by physically fighting Islam’s enemies.’
Sperry then questions, ‘If he (Rauf) believes jihad is really just an internal struggle, then why does he refuse to condemn Hamas? (Why, for that matter, did he in late 2001 suggest that “US policies were an accessory to the crime” of 9/11?).’
And speaking of the fatwa advising Muslims in the U.S. military that it was okay to fight the Taliban …
The renowned Islamic scholar that Rauf is referring to is Sheik Yusuf al-Qaradawi. In a New York Times article one month after 9/11, Rauf was quoted as saying:
“This fatwa is very significant. Yusuf Qaradawi is probably the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today.”
Question is, was that hollow fatwa (a hotwa as it were) more significant than Qaradawi’s proclamation on Al Jazeera two weeks earlier? Qaradawi stated:
“A Muslim is forbidden from entering into an alliance with a non-Muslim against another Muslim.” He called on Muslims to “fight the American military if we can, and if we cannot, we should fight the U.S. economically and politically.”
Qaradawi elaborated on that non-fatwa fatwa in 2004 when he said of American troops:
“…all of the Americans in Iraq are combatants, there is no difference between civilians and soldiers, and one should fight them, since the American civilians came to Iraq in order to serve the occupation. The abduction and killing of Americans in Iraq is a [religious] obligation so as to cause them to leave Iraq immediately. The mutilation of corpses [however] is forbidden in Islam.”
Abduction and killing is an obligation, but he draws the line at corpse mutilation. Very classy.
Perhaps the media should not be relying so heavily on the imam’s efforts within the FBI anyway. Lest we forget, the FBI doesn’t exactly have a great track record in spotting red flags being raised by a radical imam. Families of the victims at Fort Hood can attest to that. In their defense, the FBI was constantly compromised by over-sensitivity training when it came to Muslims. But when Nidal Hasan was chatting it up with Anwar al-Awlaki, they suspected it was nothing more than a simple case of psychiatric research.
Is all this nothing more than parsing the double talk of a ‘moderate’ imam, or is it something more alarming?
Audio: Ground Zero Imam: Al Qaeda and US Like Quarreling Married Couple; Imam Like Marriage Counselor
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – The imam leading plans for an Islamic center near the site of the Sept. 11 attacks in New York said the fight is over more than “a piece of real estate” and could shape the future of Muslim relations in America.
The dispute “has expanded beyond a piece of real estate and expanded to Islam in America and what it means for America,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf told a group Tuesday that included professors and policy researchers in Dubai.
It was his last scheduled public appearance during a 15-day State Department-funded trip to the Gulf that was intended to promote religious tolerance.
The State Department said that Rauf was returning early to the United States on Wednesday.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said an investigation would set “a terrible precedent.”
“You don’t want them investigating donations to religious organizations and there’s no reason for the government to do so,” he said.
He also played down the fact that the developers of the building where the center would be established owe over $200,000 in back taxes on the property. “They’re going to be treated like everybody else,” he said. “We enforce the law against everybody, or we protect everybody. And if they owe money, they should pay it. and if they don’t, they don’t.”
The developers have said they are negotiating with the city to pay back the taxes.