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Guest Opinion on Park51 Project

The Case of the Cordoba Mosque planned some 500 yards from Ground Zero is a learning experience for those who want to learn. That is why it has elicited such a firestorm of differing opinions.

Make no mistake about it, the vast majority of Americans oppose the building of this mosque. For the Left to say Americans are split over this is whistling past the graveyard.

It is a learning experience because so far the War on Terror has been an uphill fight to define the parameters of that war.  Just to get the left to admit we have a problem with Radical Jihadist Islam has been difficult enough. But to go further, to get the left to admit that we have a clash of civilizations on our hands, a problem with Islam as it is widely practiced around the world, has been the real struggle.

The actions of this Imam and his planned mosque have unintentionally brought that part of the war to the attention of the American people. Slowly, surely, people are learning the dynamics that gave rise to the 9/11 Twin Towers attack. There is a lot to learn.

The Imam has said the mosque must be built or he would be in violation of Sharia Law. What law is that? Is that the Islamic law that says once ground belongs to Islam, Dar Al-Islam, it is no longer part of Dar Al-Harb, the land of non-believers? It becomes part of a trust and cannot be given back. This would be consistent with his statement that he has no right (under Sharia Law) to give it up.

On May 25, 2010, Abdul Rauf wrote an article in the New York Daily News:

My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society.” [emphasis added]

But what he says in English contradicts what he says in Arabic. As detailed in an article in Pajamas Media by Walid Shoebat,
only two months before, on March 24, 2010, Abdul Rauf is quoted in an article in Arabic for the website Rights4All entitled “The Most Prominent Imam in New York: ‘I Do Not Believe in Religious Dialogue.’” Rights4All is the website of the media department of Cairo University, the leading educational institution of the Arabic-speaking world.

In the article, the imam said the following of the “religious dialogue” and “interweaving into the mainstream society” that he so solemnly seems to advocate in the Daily News and elsewhere:

This phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers, regardless of being Muslim or Christian. The image of Muslims in the West is complex which needs to be remedied.”

Furthermore, Imam Rauf wants the imposition of Sharia Law in the West. He says in an interview on Hadiyul-Islam by Sa’da Abdul Maksoud:

New laws were permitted after the death of Muhammad, so long of course that these laws do not contradict the Quran or the Deeds of Muhammad … so they create institutions that assure no conflicts with Sharia.” [emphasis in translation]

These are the same laws that call for cutting the hand off of thieves, stoning women for adultery, keeping women from inheritances, killing homosexuals and other Medieval types of law that contradict our Constitution.

And if one is of a bent to assume the Imam is sincere and peaceful and not medieval, preferring to reform Sharia, then hear him again in the same interview:

The challenge I was referring to is this; how do we call for the principles and standards that the prophet (peace be upon him) used to build the Islamic state in Medina.”

He goes on to call this state a perfect mold for governance.

The problem is that the Islamic State in Medina was more similar to the laws governing Saudia Arabia today than to our American Constitution. Outside of a Constitutional Convention and the process of amending the Constitution, all religious activity must be in compliance with the Constitution. Sharia Law is not. And because many Muslims who are against terrorism are also in favor of Sharia Law, then their prescription is anathema as well.

I would maintain that Sharia law is in opposition to the Constitution and to implement Sharia Law would be to displace the Constitution. Therefore, a moderate Muslim is not one who wants to make America a Sharia-compliant country. Imam Rauf is therefore not a moderate Muslim. A moderate Islam would be willing to tolerate other religions as political and civil equals, a point Rauf does not accept by his own admission. Neither does Sharia Law. See above.

The Left, by supporting this Imam, undermines those true Muslim moderates who are eager, but frightened, to enter the fray against their own fellow Muslims, who consider them borderline apostates for having “other” views.

By supporting this imam, one gives this version of Islam heft over true moderate Muslims. True moderate Muslims do not seek a theocratic state. Imam Rauf does and that is the core difference.

In order to help moderate Islam in its fight with radical Islam we must make this distinction between Muslims who want to rebuild the Caliphate (theocratic state) and those who do not. Thanks to Imam Rauf for unintentionally helping us make this distinction to the American people.

Yes to moderate mosques just about everywhere, no to mosques advocating the re-emergence of the Islamic Caliphate.

About Stan Kreis

Stan Kreis
Stan Kreis has degrees in sociology, economics and accounting. Therefore he is wise, literate, financially sound and married to Kathryn Bernheimer (she would never marry anyone without such credentials). Grave marker: "the world was his oyster, unfortunately, he ate it and got stomach cramps."

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  1. "Just to get the left to admit we have a problem with Radical Jihadist Islam has been difficult enough."

    Not that I speak for "the left", but I doubt any mainstream lefty feels that way. Have you heard of any (non-Radical Jihadist) that supports what they stand for and their tactics? If you could find any, it would be akin to saying the KKK and Aryan Nations represent "the right".

    If 500 yards (five football fields) is not enough distance from ground zero could you please tell me the correct yardage? Or is the entire city off limits? Bryan Fisher of the American Family Association will be speaking at the Value Voters Summit this month. He believes that no mosques should be built in America. He also believes there should be no muslims in the military and no further musllim immigration. Fisher also likens gay sex to domestic terrorism, but that is not focus here. He will be speaking along with MAINSTREAM conservatives Romney, Huckabee, Gingrich et.al. It will be interesting to see if his viewpoint is shared universally in that forum.

    Finally, could you post a link to back up your statement that "The Imam has said the mosque must be built or he would be in violation of Sharia Law"? Since our Constitution trumps Sharia law here, it would seem to be an odd argument to use to promote the mosque.

  2. Hi, I actually saw this post only b\c the Google translate sys, just a great tool for everyone who want’s to be opended to full world of info on other lang’.

    Anywho, loves your point of view. could i quote some of the things here with link back and credit?


  3. Stan Kreis

    Shariah Law is explicit and based on quotes of the Qur'an. Muslims must seek the domination of non-believers. Deception is also allowed and even proscribed in the attempt to accomplish such domination against non-believers. This is mainstream Qur'anic thought. This is not to say that Muslims in general are deceptive and not sincere, but that one is a fool not to understand the rules of their game.

    It turns out the mosque is 200 feet from the World Trade Center area, about two blocks. The designated perimeter should be set by New York City standards. Donald Trump has stated he thought the distance from the area should be five blocks. Many in the Muslim world, including leaders, agree that the mosque project is a source of misunderstanding and should be moved further away.

    Imam Rauf has stated that the mosque must be built. In an interview with CNN's Soledad O'Brien (CNN's Larry King Live, Sept 8th), Imam Rauf was repeatedly challenged as to why he cannot move the mosque and he was adamant that it be built where it is, insisting not building it would hand the terrorists a victory and that it was now a matter of American national security. He has also called part of the title of his book, in Arabic, "Islamic Da'wa in the Heart of America." This is a reference to the Shariah injunction to bring Islamic teaching to non-believers in order to convert them. So this mosque must be built and it must serve the norms of Shariah Law.

    Hamas leader Mahmoud al-Zahar has also said the mosque must be built on the basis that mosques must be built everywhere (Associated Press, August 16, 2010). He says this is because Muslims must pray, but still, why in this particular spot. I am all for prayer, but not where it can be construed as a "victory" mosque.

    Maybe, just maybe, it IS meant as a victory mosque. Imam Rauf has repeatedly stated his acceptance of Shariah Law for the West, as does Hamas.

    The President and/or his administration has downplayed and even replaced the terms "radical Islam" and "terrorism" with terms such as "man-made disasters." They go to pains to redefine the struggle as one against Al-Qaeda and their cohorts and not radical Islam. Schools are constantly trying to teach our kids that "jihad" merely means a personal struggle to remake oneself holy and not also a duty of Muslims to wage war against infidels and non-believers in order to bring them under Islamic Law. Wouldn't you consider President Obama to be a mainstream leftist? Yet he does not seem to perceive and embrace that this is a war against radical Islam.

  4. Two well reasoned essays on the Mosque are Leon Wieseltier's in the September 23 New Republic, available, in part at
    http://www.tnr.com/article/politics/magazine/7738… ,

    and Yossi Klein Halevi's piece in the same publication, also available, in part, at
    It is for passionate issues like this one that, thankfully, we are a nation of laws, not wo/men.

    L'shana tova.

  5. Stan Kreis

    Several points of important note regarding the pieces by Leon Wieseltier and Yossi Klein Halevi mentioned above.

    Firstly, let me say that I like both authors and made profound use of Wieseltier's book "Kaddish" when my father passed away. And Halevi's real and risky exploits in the service of the Russian Refuseniks is legendary (and welcome).

    Second, neither of these authors are, in my view, left-wingers, so their opinion pieces do not come from there.

    However, as the author and historian, Ron Radosh argues in an interesting and strong counter specifically to Halevi's piece in TNR, Halevi has either "gone native," or is triangulating action against Imam Feisel Rauf. He bets the latter. Halevi's intent is to force the Imam by calling a bluff, either to make the Islamic Center one reconfigured to the equality of Judaism, Christianity and Islam not dominated by Islam, or show his true intent which would be to have a Center with Islam in domination even if Christians and Jews are somehow allowed. Shariah Law demands the domination of Islam over Christians and Jews. The Imam's supposed multi-culturalism in the service of peaceful relations and obeisance to the victims of 9/11 would be advanced on the basis of the equality of the Abrahamic faiths.

    In other words, if Imam Rauf is sincere about his bringing a message of peace and cooperation, then truly follow this logic by making this building a paean at the least to the political equality of all three faiths. My guess is he won't do this because Shariah Law demands that Islam express its domination.

    Again, for the 10,000th time, the question regarding Park 51 is not about the law except insofar as local laws reflect local struggles and local judges and local politicians account for the popular will in many cases. That could happen in this case too.

    The fundamental question here is about whether Islam will truly moderate or not. But we must first demand that it moderate. Islam will not do so on its own. I share this observation with the esteemed Middle East Scholar, Bernard Lewis.