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Dear Feisal Abdul Rauf,
The bottom line is that America wants to know if you are moderate. We have seen another imam before you, Anwar Awlaki, say on NPR and PBS that he condemned terrorism and even advocated for religious dialogue. He vanished and is now being chased by U.S. drones. You, too, seem to have vanished. We have not heard from you and we suspect that the reason you do not answer any questions is because you have great connections that speak in your defense – the president of the most powerful nation on earth, the mayor of the greatest city in our nation and the speaker of the House. We asked them about you and they simply tell us not to be alarmists, that we should judge you by your “positive” accomplishments. A drawback to this way of thinking can, at times, be akin to ignoring a drop of cyanide in a punch bowl. Remember Awlaki?
Nancy Pelosi insists that you are moderate and that 71 percent of us are: stereotypical, racists, divisive, inflammatory, hateful, Islamophobic, bigoted, ignorant and intolerant. She says that you are all about reconciliation, but I couldn’t find your take on converts from Islam to other religions. Would you reconcile with them? You refused to sign a patriotic act to condemn the killing of converts from Islam to Christianity. This should be no problem since the president is a convert from Islam – and after all, he trusts you. Why else would Pelosi send you as an envoy to discuss an “American-style Islam” and an “Islamic democracy” in the Middle East? It sure beats the heck out of Obama’s oxymoronic capitalistic-socialism and Obamacare. However, I would like to know if your American-style Islamic Shariah would include interest banking since our whole capitalistic system depends on it.
It’s nice that the Cordoba building will have a swimming pool, lecture hauls, sports centers and bridge-building classes. The name “Cordoba” was brilliant to promote the golden age of Islam when Christians were honored for accommodating a crescent in place of a cross; at least we all now know that Cordoba Mosque was built during the golden age of Christendom.
But perhaps Americans are being too harsh and are getting back at the wrong Muslims when they say: “We do not want them to have anything next to Ground Zero.” After all, the only thing you had to do with the “9/11 rubble” was to print it on your book cover in Indonesian: “Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC” (“A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble”). Please clarify: Azan (summons for prayer) is only conducted from a minaret – a mosque – not a cultural center.
You have worked tirelessly for peace. All you wanted was: “an icon [Cordoba Mosque].” My mother asked me: On God’s green earth, there is no other place you can put a mosque except by the 9/11 rubble? And since we rejected the mosque idea, will the pool at your center allow Jews to swim, or were you kidding when you wrote the N.Y Times that Israel will be Judenrein (free of Jews)?
I loved your romantic example on how to dialogue with Christians and Jews: “Deal with them as one courts a girl; stop thinking like a typical Muslim. Then you can engage.” Just what is a “typical Muslim”? Did you use this romantic technique with Bloomberg?
In one news report, you were dumbfounded that “Many American blogs print that Muslims want a Caliphate.” This is like Arabs thinking that Saudi Arabia is Judenrein. Absurd, isn’t it?
I never knew that your Shariah was different from Anwar Awlaki’s; just how many Shariahs are there? You say that Shariah is compatible with the U.S. Constitution – just to make sure, I compiled three questions. And just to assure you of my genuine intentions, I will not include typical ignorant stereotype questions about the funding for this noble “Cordoba peace center” or ask inflammatory questions regarding Caliphate, beheadings, killing of converts, amputation of limbs or lashings for certain sins and infractions. I will keep it strictly civil:
- Will marriage between Jewish men with Muslim women be protected by American Shariah law? (Yes, No)
- Will inheritance be distributed equally to males as well as females under American Shariah law? (Yes, No)
- Will the sale of mosque properties be allowed to include setting up places of worship for other faiths? (Yes, No)
Finally, I was delighted that you now reconciled with Christians when you stated: “We all worship the same God.” So I salute you in the name of Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God, my Lord and yours. Right?
With best regards,