Abdul Rauf

The Islamic Center Near Ground Zero, Take 2
August 02, 2011

[Guest post by Isaac Chotiner] The New York Times has a long report today on what the paper calls the "new, quiet effort" to build a Muslim community center near Ground Zero. The piece can be read from a number of angles, or with varying degrees of optimism. Yes, the project is moving forward.

The Mosque Is In Trouble, Very Big Trouble
September 02, 2010

Nancy Pelosi who always has her ear to the ground for a simple-minded explanation of an intricate matter has demanded to know whose money is behind the campaign against the Ground Zero mosque. Maybe she can't imagine anything other than a grand conspiracy: maybe Glenn Beck or David Koch, maybe Sarah Palin or some other ditzy lady with access to right-wing money. In my view, the really modest struggle against the mosque is probably the closest thing we've had to a genuinely grass roots effort against the casual and elitist First Amendment fundamentalists.

The Subversive Theology of Imam Rauf (Cont’d.)
August 24, 2010

The fervent mosque-haters have this much right: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the Sufi leader of the Cordoba Initiative that plans to build an Islamic center on Park Place near the site of the World Trade Center, is subversive. But what he wants to subvert is not the United States of America. What he wants to subvert are dictatorships in Islamic nations. Imam Rauf’s third book, published in 2005 but unavailable to me last week when I wrote about him and his earlier work, is called What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America.

An Answer For Marty
August 18, 2010

Marty, continuing TNR's rich tradition of internal debate, lobs a question my way about the Park51 project, originally named "Cordoba House": Have you wondered, as I have, why this project is called the Cordoba Initiative? Well, the city was conquered in 1148 by a Muslim dynasty, the Almohades, who offered the Jews a rich choice: conversion to Islam, death or exile. The family of the Jewish philosopher Maimonides was born in Cordoba and Moses ben Maimon spent his childhood there. Until, that is, the Muslims arrived. When given their options, they left. Which is what most of the Jews did then.

American Values and the Ground Zero Mosque
August 13, 2010

The case of the “Ground Zero Mosque”—that is, for those who’ve been on Mars for the last few weeks, the Islamic Cordoba House that is to include a mosque, along with an auditorium, a swimming pool, art exhibition spaces, bookstores, and restaurants, though it is not to be built at Ground Zero, but rather, two blocks away—continues to prove highly teachable, as the academy likes to describe topics amenable to Socratic or other instructive dispute. But the dispute hasn’t yet finished granting its gifts.

Bush Administration Tied To Radical Islamists
August 12, 2010

Feisel Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Cordoba House and the target of a hilariously elongated chain of guilt-by-association by conservatives, turns out to have been invited to speak abroad about Islam and America by the Bush administration: If one were to hearken back to the halcyon days of the Bush Administration, one would remember that, when Bush adviser Karen Hughes was appointed Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy, the Bush Administration saw improving America's standing among Muslims abroad as a part of its national security strategy.

The Mosque Is Not About The First Amendment
August 07, 2010

Mayor Bloomberg is accustomed to having his way, and maybe he will this time, too. After all, now that he has declared the opposition to building the Cordoba Initiative mosque at Ground Zero enemies of the First Amendment, he has raised the stakes so high that many perfectly tolerant and liberal people will simply shut up. How's that for the usage of freedom of speech! I suppose there are some people who would want, by hook and by crook, to keep Muslims from worship anyplace in the United States.

Religious Protection
December 12, 2005

In September, the world watched the ringleader of the July 7 London terrorist attack, his voice inflected with a West Yorkshire accent, preach jihad in English. Al Jazeera aired the communiqu? of 30-year-old Mohammad Sidique Khan, which Khan recorded to explain why he helped murder over 50 of his fellow Britons on a bus and in the Underground. "Until you stop the bombing, gassing, imprisonment, and torture of my people, we will not stop this fight," Khan declared. "We are at war. I am a soldier.