Beliefnet
Rod Dreher

So says Walid Shoebat, an Arabic speaker who says he found an Arabic-language interview in which Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf — the allegedly liberal/moderate New York imam who wants to build a giant mosque near Ground Zero to make a statement about religious tolerance and reconciliation, and to spite radical Islam — advocates turning America into an Islamic state. Excerpt:

More recently — in fact on May 26, one day after his Daily News column – Abdul Rauf appeared on the popular Islamic website Hadiyul-Islam with even more disturbing opinions. That’s the same website where, ironically enough, a fatwa was simultaneously being issued forbidding a Muslim to sell land to a Christian, because the Christian wanted to build a church on it.
In his interview on Hadiyul-Islam by Sa’da Abdul Maksoud, Abdul Rauf was asked his views on Sharia (Islamic religious law) and the Islamic state. He responded:

Throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians, it is clear an Islamic state can be established in more than just a single form or mold. It can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of Sharia that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed. [emphasis added]

When questioned about this, Abdul Rauf continued: “Current governments are unjust and do not follow Islamic laws.” He added:

New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad … so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Sharia. [emphasis in translation]

In yet plainer English, forget the separation of church and state. Abdul Rauf’s goal is the imposition of Shariah law — in every country, even democratic ones like the U.S.

I said yesterday that I had no reason to doubt the imam’s motives in establishing this mosque. Let me retract that. It is absolutely par for the course for American Muslim leaders to speak out of both sides of their mouths on the question of peace, tolerance and their intentions, and to get angry when anybody points that out (you really should read this transcript), and tries to draw them out on what they really believe. And many non-Muslim Americans, because they have an emotional need to believe the words of duplicitous Islamic community leaders, prefer to demonize those who raise perfectly legitimate questions. I wouldn’t say that what Shoebat has uncovered is conclusive evidence that Rauf is a wolf in sheep’s clothing, but I do think it’s enough evidence to be skeptical of him and his stated intentions, and that he has some hard questions to answer — among them, the sources of his funding. If he receives any significant money from the Muslim Brotherhood, he’s radioactive, and here’s why. I do not expect The New York Times to put them to him, though. It could be that Rauf is genuinely a religious liberal, in an Islamic context, and was giving an Arabic audience the red meat they require. One way or the other, he should be questioned hard about what he really believes, and reporters should not be satisfied with bromides.
I thought just now, “Well, I’ll see what Zuhdi Jasser says about this mosque project and Imam Rauf. If he thinks it’s a good idea, and if he has confidence in this imam, then I’ll feel a lot better about this.” Zuhdi is the Muslim-American physician who, with his American Islamic Forum for Democracy, has taken a strong public stand against the Muslim Brotherhood and its infilitration of the leadership class of American Islam. He’s suffered for his beliefs and his activism, and for telling truths that many in the media don’t want to hear; he has credibility. So I just Googled do see if Zuhdi had made any comment about this affair. Turns out he has published an op-ed about it, and comes out against the project. Excerpt:

This is not about the building of a mosque or a religious facility. It is not about religious freedom. This is about a deep, soulful understanding of what happened to our country on 9/11.
When Americans are attacked, they come together as one, under one flag, under one law against a common enemy that we are not afraid to identify. Religious freedom is central to our nation – and that is why the location of this project is so misguided. Ground Zero is purely about being American. It can never be about being Muslim.
The World Trade Center site represents Ground Zero in America’s war against radical Islamists who seek to destroy the American way of life. It is not ground zero of a cultural exchange.

Zuhdi says in his column that he’s concerned about the sources of money for this thing, but he doesn’t elaborate. I’ll look forward to receiving that information — but it looks like there is very little money in the bank for this project, and that what’s there hasn’t been looked after very carefully.
(It ought not be required to say that I’m not condemning all Muslims here, or most Muslims. I’m talking about a specific imam, and this specific project, in this specific geographical and historical context. I’m also questioning the leadership class of American Muslim organizations. And I do not necessarily endorse any comments left on the comments thread. I spent yesterday taking down or editing comments that I thought were abusive of Muslims. I do allow on this site blanket condemnations of religions, including my own; I want to be as open to a broad range of comment as possible here. I take down comments that attack me or others on this blog personally, and that include language I find inflammatory or over the line — e.g., crude remarks about the Prophet. I don’t claim my judgment is perfect in this respect, but I’m doing the best that I can trying to tolerate a broad range of comments while keeping the worst stuff of the site. Please help me in this by keeping your own remarks, however strong, within the bounds of civil discourse.)

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