The world's leading scholar on Islam, Ibn Warraq, author of five books on Islam and Koranic criticism, including Why I Am Not a Muslim, 1995; The Origins of the Koran, 1998; What the Koran Really Says, 2002, has a must read piece on the stealth jihadist behind the Ground Zero Islamic supremacist mega mosque, Imam Feisal Rauf, in today's NRO: One Imam, Multiple Messages:
Rauf praises the tyrants in Iran and is apparently ready to accept their money for the Islamic center at Ground Zero, but he fails to explain the term vilayet-i-faqih to American audiences. The term, literally “the guardianship of the jurist,” was developed by Ayatollah Khomeini in a series of lectures in 1969, and became the guiding principle of the government of Iran after he came to power in 1979. The concept is but an extension and slight modification of the Shia idea of walī, in which Ali and the imams succeeding him were considered guardians of the community, acting on behalf of God himself. Under this concept, the people of Iran are the wards of the ayatollahs, and the people of Iran owe the guardians absolute obedience in accordance with Sura IV verse 59 (“O you who believe, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and those in authority from among you . . .”). Secondly, the exclusive right of interpretation of Islamic law belongs to religious scholars. Thus there is nothing democratic about it — its totalitarian character should be evident. Rauf’s endorsement of this principle makes him the unequivocal defender of totalitarian Khomeinism.
Rauf says one thing to Western audiences and another to Muslim audiences. He is quite capable of writing reassuring things, as in the New York Daily News earlier this year: “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.”
But when presented with actual opportunities to “interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society,” Rauf and most of his fellow Muslims decline. Nearly ten years ago, I was the guest of the Pontifical Institute for Arabic and Islamic Studies (PISAI) of Rome. PISAI is dedicated to interfaith dialogue between Christians and Muslims. But as the director at the time said to me, “There is no real dialogue, since Muslims never reciprocate the goodwill gestures made by the Christians. The result is we sit down together, and the Christians say what a wonderful religion Islam is, and the Muslims say what a wonderful religion Islam is.” Rauf was invited to give a sermon in a church and did so, but he never reciprocated by inviting a Christian to give a sermon in a mosque. This, for Rauf and his ilk, would be unthinkable.
Like Tariq Ramadan, also touted by the unvigilant and ill-informed as a great moderate Muslim, Rauf is a master of double talk and prevarication. When asked if he considered Hamas a terrorist organization, as it is labeled by the State Department, Rauf ducked, weaved, and sidestepped: “Look, I’m not a politician. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question. There was an attempt in the ’90s to have the U.N. define what terrorism is and say who was a terrorist. There was no ability to get agreement on that.” The interviewer persisted. Rauf, clearly flustered, replied, “I am a peace builder. I will not allow anybody to put me in a position where I am seen by any party in the world as an adversary or as an enemy.”
This unwillingness to criticize Hamas is hardly surprising, given his views on Israel. In a letter published on Nov. 27, 1977, in the New York Times, he wrote, “In a true peace it is impossible that a purely Jewish state of Palestine can endure. . . . In a true peace, Israel will, in our lifetimes, become one more Arab country, with a Jewish minority.”
While he indulges in ecumenical blather in front of Western audiences, Rauf reveals his true intentions and philosophy in Muslim newspapers, magazines, and websites. He spells out in unequivocal terms his desire to establish sharia in the West, to reestablish the Islamic caliphate, and to do away with the separation of religion and state.
For instance, in an article for the Jordanian newspaper al-Ghad entitled “Sharing the Essence of Our Beliefs,” Rauf wrote, “People asked me right after the 9/11 attacks as to why do movements with political agendas carry [Islamic] religious names? Why call it ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ or ‘Hezbollah (Party of Allah)’ or ‘Hamas’ or ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’? I answer them this — that the trend towards Islamic law and justice begins in religious movements, because secularism has failed to deliver what the Muslim wants, which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. . . . The only law that the Muslim needs exists already in the Koran and the Hadith.” A state based on the Koran and Hadith could only be called a theocracy.
In an interview he gave in 2007 to the website HadieIslam, Rauf said, “So the question in our era throughout my discussions with contemporary Muslim theologians is [whether] an Islamic state can be established in more than just in a single form or mold, [whether] it can be established through a kingdom or a democracy. The important issue is to establish the general fundamentals of sharia that are required to govern. It is known that there are sets of standards that are accepted by [Muslim] scholars to organize the relationships between government and the governed. . . . And we also suggest to the governors and political institutions to consult [Muslim] religious institutions and [Muslim] personalities in the field as to assure their decision making to reflect the spirit of sharia.”