Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, wrote an op-ed article today for the New York Times in which he explained “why we will proceed with an Islamic center in Lower Manhattan.”
Entitled “Building on Faith,” Rauf’s explanation for his intransigence can be more appropriately described as building on deception.
I decided to write this open letter to Imam Rauf in the spirit of communication and mutual understanding.
Dear Imam Rauf:
You say that you intend to proceed with an Islamic center in lower Manhattan. That’s fine, but you have not explained why it has to be a 13 story $100 million mega-mosque complex in the shadow of Ground Zero. Why do you persist in ignoring the feelings of 70 percent of New Yorkers and, most importantly, the feelings of many of the families of those who perished on 9/11.? Why not build your center at one of your other properties in lower Manhattan?
In making your plea for understanding, why do you continue to engage in taqiyya (deception)? For example, you tell us in your article that
The very word “islam” comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew
But you have only given us one of several explanations for the derivative of the word “Islam.” According to the web site 4Islam.com,
In its fourth form (aslama), the infinitive of which is Islam, it acquires the sense of “to resign”, “to submit oneself” or “to surrender”. Hence Islam, in its ethico-religious significance, means the “entire surrender of the will to God”
You engage in the same half truths with regard to your choice of “Cordoba” as the name of your initiative. You claim that it was inspired
by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims
But you know that Cordoba is significant in Islamic history for a very different reason – it was the site of Islamic conquest over Christianity where a victory mosque was built on the site of the vanquished church. It was the center of Islamic proselytizing (Dawa) during the Middle Ages where all non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, were subjugated to Islam.
Your half truths even extend to the name of your book What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America, which in Malaysia was published under the title you really intended: A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11.