The 21st Century Phenomenon



Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was born in 1948, in Kuwait, is an Arab-American Muslim Imam author, and activist whose stated goal is to improve relations between the Muslim World and the Western Democracies. He has been Imam of Masjid (Mosque)al-Farah, a New York City mosque at 245 West Broadway, since 1983.

In 1997, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf founded the ‘American Society for Muslim Advancement’, a civil society organization aimed at promoting positive engagement between American society and American Muslims. The organization is now (2010) headed by his wife, Daisy Khan, an interior designer by profession.

He has written three books on Islam and its place in contemporary Western society, including What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America, and founded two non-profit organizations whose stated missions are to enhance the discourse on Islam in society. He has condemned The 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic and called on the USA. government to reduce the threat of terrorism by altering its Middle Eastern foreign policy. 

In 2003, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf founded the Cordoba Initiative, another registered nonprofit organization with offices in both New York and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.  As CEO of Cordoba Initiative, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf coordinates projects that emphasize the bonds that connect the Muslim world and the West. (Cordobs was the most successful and glorious Islamic Emirate in nowadays Spain, known for its extraordinary achievement in culture, science and  architecture and its open dialog and coexistence between Christians, Jews and Muslims in the 12th and 13th centuries).

However Some USA politicians have voiced concerns about his views. In 2004, he said the USA and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end. Speaking at his New York mosque, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said: “The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets”. He also said that there could be little progress in Western-Islamic relations until the U.S. acknowledged backing Middle East dictators, and the U.S. President gave an “American Culpa” speech to the Muslim world, because there are “an endless supply of angry young Muslim rebels prepared to die for their cause and there [is] no sign of the attacks ending unless there [is] a fundamental change in the world”.

Just 19 days after The 9/11, Feisal Abdul Rauf told CBS’s prestigious ’60 Minutes’ that fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam. Rauf said that the message was mixed, however, because when then asked if the U.S. deserved the attacks, Rauf answered: “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened”. He also refused, times and again, to refer to Hamas as a terror organization (see also – Politicaly-Correct ). 

In 2007 Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf attended a Hizb-ut-Tahrir conference conference in Indonesia. The group is seeking a global caliphate and has been banned in many countries — Germany, Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Tunisia, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Saudi Arabia — but not in the United States or Britain where the Hizb-ut-Tahrir is considered “moderate”.  

 In 2010, Abdul Rauf received national attention for his plans to build the Cordoba Center, an Islamic community center, two blocks away from Ground Zero, the epicenter scene of The 9/11 in lower Manhattan (see – NY Mosque Row ). 

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