More on the “Moderate” Imam

An important American organization that doesn’t get the attention it deserves, the Investigative Project on Terrorism (IPT), has put out a news release about a speech Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf gave in South Australia on July 12, 2005. The imam, as you know by now, is leading the effort to build a mosque and community center near Ground Zero in New York, the purpose of which, he says, is to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.

Some highlights of what he told his Australian audience — and responses from IPT.

“We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims. You may remember that the US-led sanctions against Iraq led to the death of over half a million Iraqi children. This has been documented by the United Nations. And when Madeleine Albright, who has become a friend of mine over the last couple of years, when she was Secretary of State and was asked whether this was worth it, said it was worth it.”

(IPT fact check: A report by the British government said at most only 50,000 deaths could be attributed to the sanctions, which were brought on by the actions by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein

The imam also says that the United States has supported authoritarian regimes and so it’s understandable that people in those nations would take action into their own hands.

“Collateral damage is a nice thing to put on a paper but when the collateral damage is your own uncle or cousin, what passions do these arouse? How do you negotiate? How do you tell people whose homes have been destroyed, whose lives have been destroyed, that this does not justify your actions of terrorism. It’s hard. Yes, it is true that it does not justify the acts of bombing innocent civilians, that does not solve the problem, but after 50 years of, in many cases, oppression, of US support of authoritarian regimes that have violated human rights in the most heinous of ways, how else do people get attention?”

(IPT fact check: This is justifying acts of terrorism by blaming the United States for the oppression of Islamic regimes of their own citizens. This also ignores U.S. aid of Muslim citizens in nations such as Kosovo and Kuwait.”)

Asked why Muslims commit suicide bombings, Rauf  said:

“But what makes people, in my opinion, commit suicide for political reasons have their origins in politics and political objectives and worldly objectives rather than other worldly objectives. But the psychology of human beings and the brittleness of the human condition and how many of us have thought about taking our own lives, we may be jilted, had a bad relationship, you know, didn’t get tenure, failed an important course, there’s a host of reason why people feel so depressed with themselves that they are willing to contemplate ending their own lives. And if you can access those individuals and deploy them for your own worldly objectives, this is exactly what has happened in much of the Muslim world.”

(IPT fact check: Here Rauf tries to negate that suicide bombings are driven by Islamic religious beliefs and trying to equate terrorist activity to someone who doesn’t get tenure.)

On Israel, Rauf said he does not favor the plan to establish a Palestinian state along with Israel. Instead,

“The differences, perhaps, may lie on whether the solution lies in the two-state solution or in a one-state solution. I believe that you had someone here recently who spoke about having a one land and two people’s solution to Israel. And I personally – my own personal analysis tells me that a one-state solution is a more coherent one than a two-state solution. So if we address the underlying issue, if we figure out a way to create condominiums, to condominiamise Israel and Palestine so you have two peoples co-existing on one state, then we have a different paradigm which will allow us to move forward.”

(IPT fact check: A one-state solution is a euphemism for the destruction of Israel, because Palestinian Muslims will quickly outnumber the Jewish resident of Israel. Such a position is advocated by radical groups, such as the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.”

On terrorism:

“And when we observe terrorism, whether it was done by the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka or by al Qaida or whoever is behind the bombings in London or those in Madrid, we can see that they were target political objectives.”

(IPT fact check: Rauf again seems to justify terrorist acts by equating hitting civilians with political objectives.)

The imam’s speech was taped, and you can listen to it in its entirety or only the portions highlighted above, by clicking here.

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  • Paul Courtney

    One would think the “moderate muslim” would have no clue, no insight into the american mind. They seem so devoted to examining the will of Allah through His prophet yadayada and no purpose would be served in an attempt to understand us, any of us. “Know thine enemy” is not their type of strategy. So how do they manage to push the right buttons for our press, elites, etc? The latest example was a group of moderate muslims explaining on CNN how the opposition to the mosque is aiding the terrorists. See, they are the victim! This played so well on CNN, another segment pointed out that the rise in # of mosques in US corresponds to reduction in # of terror attacks in US (would love to see the hard data). Not just CNN of course, seems like the moderate muslim tune that any- opposition-from-us-is-victory-for-terrorists just gets certain feet tappin’. Did they figure this out, or are they stumbling along?

  • joedee1969
  • D.Ashford

    All I’ve heard the last few weeks is how Imam Rauf is such a “moderate” Muslim. Yet, I have not heard him speak out on such issues as the Fort Hood massacre, the Christmas Day and Times Square attempted bombings, when Muslims threaten to kill cartoon or TV show creators for their depictions of the Prophet Muhammad, etc. Where is he on condemning by Muslim attacks on other Muslims overseas? In fact, I have yet to hear his “strong” condemnation of the 9/11 attacks. You know, the kind of strong condemnation conservatives are challenged to utter when another conservative commits a misdeed. All I hear from the Imam is an “explanation” for Muslim actions. If he is such a moderate, why is he not the media’s “go-to” guy when it comes to condemning Muslim misdeeds? The media seemed to love “go-to” Republicans who blasted George W. Bush. Republicans who challenged Bush were enlightened and open minded.

  • Elias

    In peace but firmly, let us pledge to always uphold what is right and just for America. Enough is enough….!!

  • stmichrick

    It seems that a central tenet of ‘moderate’ Muslim spokespersons like Rauf is the need to have it both ways.
    Beware the rug merchants.

  • Edward A DeCosmo

    What foolish people we are to assume everyone tells the truth; no one has an agenda. Will the lamestream media ever learn it is being manipulated. No. They feel that they are pulling the strings. If true, isn’t that worse?
    The Cordoba Mosque was never proposed as a house of worship. It was proposed as a house of Babel: to create this confusion. Only foolish people would think the Iman and his flock were sincere..

  • CCNV

    This so-called Imam is USING these fools to further their cause. Seeing the parade of these do-gooders in favor of this mosque reminds me of the scene from “Independence Day” when the crazies were standing on top of the building welcoming the aliens. Seriously, other than Muslims, how many Americans are REALLY going to use this place? How many will even be allowed access? What about the American women? Will they have to wear a burqa while inside? And what about American men? Well, knowing that the ones who will frequent the mosque will be libs and dems – definitely cover thyself up with a sheet! If libs and dems really want to ‘feel good’, they should do something worthwhile for their own countrymen! The radical Muslims will be using the mosque as a ‘front’; and I not give it a second thought when they lop off the first head.

    • California70

      To CCNV:
      You are so-o-o right. They wouldn’t even allow American women into the mosk. Muslims seem to think American women all all whores. I have a friend at work whose daughter married a muslim and he won’t even tell his Mother, or the rest of his family because he is ashamed, and he now has 4 children. So let’s hear it for what Muslims think about American women.

      Where is “NOW” and all the other women libs on this one???
      They don’t let out a peep!! Anybody wonder why? I sure do??

  • EddieD_Boston

    Read Evan Thomas’ book about John Paul Jones. It’s clear that jihad has been going since at least the 18th century when this country was still a baby. It has nothing to do with us. But hey, at least radical Muslims and liberal democrats have some common ground. Blame the USA for everything that’s wrong in the world.

  • Ellie Velinska

    It is a thousand years old problem. To figure out who attacked and killed whom first (Muslims or non-Muslims) is like to figure out which was first the egg or the chicken.

    Secular culture in Europe has weakened the church and the Islam sees an opportunity to conquer. It is not the agenda of the regular folks, but sure is for some of their elites and radicals.

    I would go with energy independence – withdrawal from the Middle East – protect Israel from Europe and let the Muslims kill each other until they are sick of it.

  • Bruce A.

    It appears that the Iman can talk out of both sides of his mouth at the same time.
    Just like any other politician.

  • Dan Farfan

    I wonder what Sec. Albright has to say about all this.

    In my book, I reason that since a law is one of the most visible acts of governance, then it is the optimum time and place for those doing the governing to demonstrate the care in which they wield the power granted to them by the governed. Specifically, laws should contain benchmarks that detail the current (aka baseline) condition as well as targets for those same measures at some small number of years in the future.

    A simple example. “Murders are currently 145 per 10,000 citizens per year in this . With this law in place, we predict the number will be 125 per 10,000 or better in 5 years (no more) time.”

    5 years go by, remeasure (by the same methods) and voila. The law brought the intended consequences, or didn’t. No matter the reasons (or excuses), the law has to be touched. New predictions. Amendments perhaps. Replace perhaps. Sunset perhaps. Sure some “false positives” are going to sneak by. But in today’s system, without accountability, all laws are assumed a success.

    Accountability between the governing and the governed doesn’t have to be amorphous, philosophical or a cocktail party punch line. The fundamental principle is even simpler (as all fundamental principles should be). “Every law is a promise, not just a demand.”

    Applying the same to the Mosque project…
    “The imam, as you know by now, is leading the effort to build a mosque and community center near Ground Zero in New York, the purpose of which, he says, is to build bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.”

    If he says the purpose is X, then let’s see the plan to accomplish X. Every (real) plan has a schedule with milestones and an end date. Start with benchmark measures. Consider the predicted future values (no more than 5 years in the future) as a condition for continuing or evidence for sunset (in this case, closing).

    Should a law fail and remain?
    I say without reservation, no.

    Should this project fail and remain?
    I don’t know for sure. But I do believe that when justifications and claims are added as supporting evidence to a debate (both pro and con), they should be held to the standards of a promise. A promise which, like all promises, met or not has future consequences.

    – “The Next 10 Amendments: In Order to Form a More Perfect Union”

    • California70

      You miss one point…By applying the same to the Mosque project, by the time you are able to find out that they have not achieved the milestones set, it will be too late. What they are setting up is the same thing as a “victory obelisk”! Americans just “don’t get it”!

      Wake-up America! You need to start reading about the Ottoman Empire to learn your history! We are being taken advantage of “big-time”, and it is our own ignorance that is allowing it.

  • Ken Besig Israel

    The Moslems also claim that Jihad, or Moslem Holy War, is a form of self improvement for individual Moslems, kind of like quitting smoking, and that Jihad has nothing to do with making war on and killing or converting non Moslems to Islam, or expanding the lands held by Moslems and imposing their bloodthirsty Sharia Law.
    The amazing thing is that their are non Moslems who actually believe this pack of preposterous lies, even when they are shown clearly that the Moslems telling them this are flat out liars.
    Just look at the non Islamic Ground Zero Mosque supporters, among them the nominally Jewish Mayor of New York!

    • Tim Ned

      These same non-Muslims also believes the propaganda Iran is developing nuclear power for peaceful purposes only. And when they develop the weapon, they will justify Iran’s right to have it. When one tries to rationalize and justify the acts of terrorists, it explains clearly they support it.

      • Jim Bono

        Bernie from an old BHS classmate….. Always good to see you on the tube… would love it if sometime you would mention GOOOH …It stands for get out of our house and is made up of regular Americans who want to get represented by their elected officials… Thanks for having enough guts to open your mouth..YOU are making the boys from BHS class of 63 proud…… Jim Bono Ed Grube says hello….