The most informed and understandably passionate critics of Sharia-supremacist Imam Feisal Rauf’s proposed Ground Zero mosque are men and women such as FDNY Rescue’s Tim Brown, and 9 /11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, Debra Burlingame. Motivated by the profound personal losses they experienced as a result of the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11, Brown and Burlingame have studied all aspects of Rauf’s efforts to build his triumphal mosque with unparalleled tenacity and intelligence.
Burlingame and Brown have steadfastly maintained that a central aim of Feisal Rauf and his coterie in building their Islamic edifice is to cynically re-write history, altering “the narrative about 9/11,” by contending the 19 jihadist airplane hijackers “were not Muslims.” At first glance, one would assume that Rauf and his coterie are speaking in metaphorical terms, arguing that the jihadist hijackers were somehow “hijacking Islam,” thereby “forfeiting” their claim to be Muslims. Although this disingenuous argument is concerning, and raises obvious, grave questions about Rauf as an ostensible champion of sincere, mea culpa-based interfaith “dialogue,” there is an alternative much darker “narrative” that the ecumenical imam may wish to promote.
A report yesterday (8/17/10) by the NY Post’s Chuck Bennett (hat tip Rich Lowry) reviewed some alarming recent history involving the Islamic Society of New York (ISNY) mosque, founded by Feisal Rauf’s late father, Mohammed Rauf (d. 2004), and where the younger Rauf has long been, and remains, a board member. Bennett’s story raises serious questions about the ISNY mosque’s own funding sources, and the conspiratorial, Islamic Jew-hating ideology espoused there—with clear implications for the younger Rauf’s Ground Zero area project. As Bennett notes,
“…finding local donations anemic, he [Mohammed Rauf] toured the Islamic world to secure funding. Ultimately, money poured in from individuals and governments in 46 nations. The project, however, was still beset by controversy. Governments of the various donor countries vied for influence, and architect Aly Dadras was fired, allegedly because he hired a Jewish-owned firm as a technical consultant, according to news reports. …[T]he mosque’s imam, Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, blamed the 9/11 attacks on Jews. He then immediately resigned and returned to his native Egypt. The next month, his replacement, Imam Omar Saleem Abu-Namous, said he needed proof that Islamic extremists were behind the attack.”
Four years ago, an investigative compilation of Arab press accounts revealed how esteemed Muslim journalists, academicians, and authoritative religious leaders actively promoted conspiracy theories claiming Jews, and/or their “lackeys” were responsible for the murderous 9/11 attacks. The bitter fruit of these disinformation efforts was apparent in polling data released in June 2006, by Pew: just 17% of British Muslims; 48% of French Muslims; 16% of Indonesians; 32% of Egyptians; 16% of Turks; 39% of Jordanians, and 15% of Pakistanis believed Arab Muslims were responsible for the 9/11 attacks. An example of this ugly propaganda was a statement issued during November 2002 by the Saudi Arabian interior minister, Prince Nayef, who claimed: “It is impossible that 19 youths carried out the operation of September 11, or that bin Laden or Al Qaeda did that alone. … I think the Zionists [i.e., Jews] are behind these events.”
But also featured prominently among the Muslim Jew-hating conspiracists were the ISNY’s Muhammad Gemeaha, and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) Salah Sultan. Within two weeks following the attacks, Sheik Muhammad Gemeah— the ISNY’s Egyptian imam, and the American representative to Al-Azhar University, the Vatican of Sunni Islam — provided an interview to one of the university’s Web sites. Gemeah contended, “If the Americans knew that the Jews carried out the September 11 attacks, they would do to them what Hitler did.” CAIR’s Sultan, another inveterate Jew hater, during a May 17, 2006 interview with Saudi Al-Resala TV, insisted, “September 11 could not have been carried out entirely from outside [America] — by Muslims or others.… The entire thing was of a large scale and was planned within America in order to enable America to control and terrorize the entire world.”
Both Raufs actively sought—and the son continues to solicit—massive funding for their Islamic projects from the most irredentist global Muslim communities, and nations. And the Raufs—Mohammed and now Feisal—have demonstrated gravely disturbing tendencies to promote, or at best fail to denounce widely prevalent Antisemitic and anti-American Muslim conspiratorial “thinking” Such is the “narrative” the Raufs’ combined efforts have, and will continue to expound—directly from Manhattan, and Ground Zero itself if Americans turn a blind eye, and capitulate .