I don't know what is more grotesque...jihad or the NY Times preening of it. The New York Times yet again misrepresents, obfuscates, and confuses infidels and kaffirs about Islam.
Muslim Prayers Fuel Spiritual Rebuilding Project by Ground Zero Michael Appleton for The New York Times: Worshipers exit the old Burlington Coat Factory near ground zero, which now houses a prayer space. More Photos
And just for knowing: the Sufi philosophy that the New York Times is representing as Islam represents a "tiny minority" of "fringe extremists". Most Muslims feel that Sufism is outside the sphere of Islam. But does the NY Times tell you that? Uh, no.
Sufiism has always claimed to be Muslim, but it has had a troubled relationship with Sunni and Shi’ite Islam. Sufi writings mention Christians, Gnostics, and Zoroastrians (Magians). Various Sufi schools have apparently been influenced by these, as well as Indian influence. Some Sufis are monastic-like, perhaps showing Christian influence. (certainly doesn't sound Islamic)
There are perhaps two to five million sufis in the world, vs 1.5 billion mainstream muslims.
Robert Spencer says: "The Sufi order offers a mystical perspective on Islam. There are Sufis found all over the Islamic world. The widespread assumption that Sufis are peaceful and eschew jihad violence and Islamic supremacism, however, is false. Sufis from al-Ghazali to the present day have taught the necessity of jihad warfare, and have participated in that warfare -- notably in Chechnya since the 18th century. Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, the parent organization of Hamas and Al-Qaeda, was strongly influenced by Sufism and prescribed Sufi spiritual exercises for the Brotherhood members. In January 2009, Iraqi representatives of the Naqshabandi Sufi order met with Khaled Mashaal of Hamas, praised his jihad, donated jewelry to him, and boasted of their own jihad attacks against Americans in Iraq."
There is a lot of ground to cover on Sufism. Andrew Bostom has a great piece here, Sufi jihad.
There was no immediate sign of the fiery cataclysm that erupted overhead starting at 8:46. But out of a baby-blue sky suddenly stained with smoke, a plane’s landing-gear assembly the size of a World War II torpedo crashed through the roof and down through two empty selling floors of the Burlington Coat Factory.
The Sept. 11, 2001, attack killed 2,752 people downtown and doomed the five-story building at 45 Park Place, two blocks north of the World Trade Center. The store remained abandoned for the next eight years, one of the last undeveloped downtown properties damaged in the attack.
But for months now, out of the public eye, an iron gate rises every Friday afternoon, and with the outside rumblings of construction at ground zero as a backdrop, hundreds of Muslims crowd inside, facing Mecca in prayer and listening to their imam read in Arabic from the Koran.
The building, offering retail space for lease, has no sign that hints at its use as a Muslim prayer space, and the worshipers are out in an hour. But these modest beginnings point to a far grander vision: an Islamic cultural, educational and recreational center near the city’s most hallowed piece of land.
It would stand as one of ground zero’s more unexpected and striking neighbors. But the location was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims who bought the building in July.
“New York is the capital of the world, and this location close to 9/11 is iconic,” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, 61, the cleric leading the project, a longtime critic of radical Islamists, said in a series of interviews in which he and his partners outlined their plans for the first time.
A presence so close to the World Trade Center, “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” Imam Feisal added, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11.”
Parts of a landing gear from one of the planes that hit the World Trade Center on 9/11 broke through the roof and two floors.
As a Sufi, the imam follows a path of Islam focused more on spiritual wisdom than strict ritual, and as a bridge builder, he is sometimes focused more on cultivating relations with those outside his faith than within it.
Although organizers have sought to avoid publicizing their project because they say plans are too preliminary, it has drawn early encouragement from city officials and the surrounding neighborhood.
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said through a spokesman that Imam Feisal told him of the project last September at a celebration to observe the end of Ramadan. As for whether Mr. Bloomberg supported it, the spokesman, Andrew Brent, said, “If it’s legal, the building owners have a right to do what they want.”
And this is ............. priceless:
Joan Brown Campbell, director of the department of religion at the Chautauqua Institution in upstate New York and former general secretaryof the National Council of Churches of Christ U.S.A., who is a supporter of Imam Feisal, acknowledged the possibility of a backlash from those opposed to a Muslim presence at ground zero.
But, she added: “Building so close is owning the tragedy.
That's the point asshat.