“You’re a well-intentioned man…and you want good things to happen to Americans.”
So said Bill O’Reilly to the former Ground Zero Mosque imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, last May, during a notoriously obsequious interview during which the proprietor of the “No-Spin Zone” allowed the slick and sinister imam to spin furiously and whitewash his own highly questionable statements and record. But last week, Rauf encountered a genuine journalist, and for one of the very, very few times in his public career, had to answer some tough questions. Rauf met his match in the intrepid Canadian journalist and author Michael Coren.
Coren cut through Rauf’s blandly deceptive statements about Islam’s supposed respect for Jesus Christ and Christian Scripture by pointing out the rampant persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. Then he confronted Rauf about his notorious statement on 60 Minutes shortly after 9/11, that Osama bin Laden was “made in the USA." Rauf told Coren: “That was an insensitive thing to say, and I regret having said that.” More politically correct interviewers would have let the matter go there, but Coren followed up with, “Is it true, though?” He then pressed Rauf to answer the question when the master deceiver tried to evade it; ultimately Rauf’s long-winded and cloudy answer was unmistakable in showing that he did indeed believe it was true.
Coren also refused to let Rauf get away with his oft-repeated claim that the real enemy the West faces today is not Islam, but “extremism.” “No,” said Coren, “the enemy is Islamic extremism.” Rauf, of course, would not accept this, but pressed to give an example of non-Islamic extremism, Rauf finally mentioned a colonel in the U.S. military who had called Islam an evil religion. Coren, in the heat of the discussion, immediately responded, “So what?” – and that was the most apposite response. For Rauf, as I pointed out in my own follow-up interview on the Coren show, was equating acts of violence committed in the name of Islam and justified by Islamic texts and teachings with the horror and disgust that those acts of violence provoke. He was labeling as “extremism” – which he identified as the real enemy – not only mass-murder committed by Muslims to defend and extend Islam, but also statements by non-Muslims saying that there must be something terribly wrong with Islam if it can provoke on such a large scale so much violence and hatred.
Rauf, in short, was saying that it would be just as bad to speak out against Islamic jihad violence as it would be to kill in Islam’s name. Taken seriously, his recommendations to combat such “extremism” would mean the end of all examination of how Muslims use the texts and teachings of Islam to justify violence and supremacism, and would thereby render us mute and defenseless before the advancing jihad. His words are completely in line with the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s ongoing campaign to compel the West to criminalize criticism of Islam, giving Islam a privileged status that would allow jihadists to operate without any analysis of their motives and goals that might be undertaken with an eye toward stopping them.
If Bill O’Reilly and other journalists who interviewed Rauf before Michael Coren did had done their job properly, none of this would come as any surprise. Those who know not to trust the mainstream media have long known Rauf’s true allegiances. As far back in September 2010, at the height of the Ground Zero Mosque controversy, Pamela Geller reported:
It is clear that Rauf and other mosque leaders are not as moderate as they claim to be. Rauf has close ties to the Muslim Brotherhood...The Muslim Brotherhood is dedicated, according to a captured internal document, to “eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within.” Rauf’s book What’s Right with Islam says on the copyright page that “this edition was made possible through a joint effort of the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) and the office of Interfaith and Community Alliance of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA). Funding for this project was provided by IIIT.” Both IIIT and ISNA are Muslim Brotherhood fronts, and ISNA was named an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation Hamas terror funding case.
The Arabic translation of Rauf’s book What's Right with Islam is disturbingly entitled A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of Post-9/11 America. This indicates that he has planned for years to spread Islam and Sharia from the site of the 9/11 attacks -- belying his more recent claims that he intended the mosque to be a center for reconciliation and peace.
Rauf refused to condemn Hamas until the public outcry became too great for him to ignore. He was a prominent member of the Perdana organization, which bankrolled the jihad flotilla sent against Israel last year, on which the "peaceful" passengers were chanting a genocidal and antisemitic Islamic jihad chant.
Also, Rauf has said that “the US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end.” He has claimed that “Western active involvement in shaping the internal affairs of Islamic societies have contributed to the creation of terrorism done in the name of Islam.” In other words, defending ourselves against jihad terrorism just creates jihad terrorism, so we should stop defending ourselves.
Rauf has carried his blame game even farther, claiming: “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non Muslims.”
Geller also notes that Rauf "snagged more than $2 million in public financing to renovate low-income apartments" that he owned in New Jersey, but never made the renovations. Where is that money?
Where indeed? Michael Coren should invite the renowned imam back for a second interview.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades) and The Truth About Muhammad. His latest book, Did Muhammad Exist?, is now available.