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Imam Feisal’s Trip of ‘Great Importance’: We Have a Sighting in Bahrain

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Posted on August 22 2010 7:13 am
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by Claudia Rosett

Thank you, New York Post. We have a report Saturday that “[a]ppearing in public for the first time in weeks,” the man behind the Ground Zero mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, has surfaced – speaking at a mosque in Bahrain. This is part of the State Department-hosted “public diplomacy” tour in which U.S. taxpayers are footing a $16,000 tab so Rauf from Aug. 19-Sept. 2 can travel to Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. With this jaunt, Rauf is rounding out a summer in which he has already found time to disappear for weeks in Malaysia. But he has evidently had no time — zero, as in, none at all  – to answer any tough questions from the American media and public about his money, and his plans for a $100 million 15-story Islamic center topped with a mosque near the site of the crater that was once the World Trade Center (destroyed, as we all know, by “extremists” who in 2001 perpetrated a particularly large “man-caused disaster”).

But let’s not be too hard on Rauf. As he has told his public, he is a peace-making outreaching “bridge-builder,” a healer, a bringer of harmony. As he told the New York Times last December, he’s a guy who (unlike most of us clods out there) realized the Burlington Coat Factory building near Ground Zero is the perfect site for an Islamic hub and mosque, because during the Sept. 11 Islamist attacks, it was “where a piece of the wreckage fell.” If you see a problem with Rauf’s plan, you are probably an anti-bridge-builder bigot, full of antiquated ideas that your rights as an American include freedom of thought, and possibly even freedom of speech. No healing for you!

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