Beliefnet News

Beliefnet News

Ground Zero Imam Champions Church-State Separation

WASHINGTON (RNS) The imam who has faced resistance for plans to build an Islamic community center near Ground Zero said Tuesday (March 1) that pro-democracy movements across the Arab world need to be open to all faiths.
“Government’s coercive powers should not be used against one religion,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said at a panel on “Religion in American Politics and Society” hosted by Georgetown University.
Rauf spoke alongside Asma Uddin, the founder and editor-in-chief of the Islamic gender issues website, and Ed Husain, a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations.
The panel addressed whether or not the American model of faith and politics should be a template for emerging democracies — even as Rauf has faced pressure not to build an Islamic center near a site that a majority of Americans consider “sacred ground.”
Building a society around a “homogenous” set of ideas is dangerous and is not what the United States was founded on, said Rauf.
At the same time, the artwork or symbols of other faiths should never be insulted or mocked, added Rauf. “We must respect others’ traditions.”
The imam only briefly mentioned the controversial Park51 center, saying he wanted to show sensitivity to victims and families of the 9/11 attacks and saying his dream for the center is still alive.
– RICHARD YEAKLEY, Religion News Service

  • nnmns

    He is so right! Good for him.

  • pagansister

    Yes, he is right, and it is good that he has spoken up.

  • cknuck

    Muslims always think when they are told no it is mockery or insults. If one was to compare America to Iran or Afghanistan or any of the countries where Islam is in the majority then I thing America comes out smelling like a rose.

Previous Posts

Former Muslim Wants to See Change   Author and former Muslim Ayaan Hirsi Ali spoke at the National Press Club on April 7th and said there needs to be five amendments to Islam. She said “individuals” within Islam today ...

posted 9:08:12am Apr. 10, 2015 | read full post »

Hispanics turning evangelical, Jews secular
Worship service attendance is up in New York City, but down among young adult Jews, according to recent studies. On the other hand, fewer Spanish-speaking teens are attending Catholic mass, but more are showing up at Evangelical ...

posted 3:10:30pm Nov. 05, 2013 | read full post »

Billy Graham: I know where I'm going
“Daddy thinks the Lord will allow him to live to 95,” said Franklin Graham recently. It was not a prophecy but a hope, Franklin explained, ...

posted 10:02:01am Oct. 24, 2013 | read full post »

Are All These Christians' Complaints of Persecution Just So Much Empty Whining?
The headlines are alarming: “Catholic-Owned Company Wins Religious Freedom Court Decision,” “Death Toll Rises to 65 in Boko Haram Attack on Students,” “Little Sisters Catholic Charity Victimized By Obamacare,” “Christians Sought ...

posted 2:41:26am Oct. 07, 2013 | read full post »

How can Christians defend themselves against today's random violence?
So, a crazed gunman opens fire and you’re caught in the middle. How can you survive? Heroes come in all sorts of packages. And they wield all sorts of defensive weapons. Such as guns and Jesus. Sometimes both at the same time. [caption ...

posted 2:53:48pm Sep. 27, 2013 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.