Muslims have “more of a right” than Jews to the biblical prophet Moses, declared the imam who has become the new face of the proposed Islamic cultural center near Ground Zero in New York City.
Imam Abdallah Adhami also urged Muslims to “compete” with other religions.
“We must be doing it first, we must compete with you to be doing more of that. We want to fast Ashura too, because that’s the day God saved Moses; that is certainly a day to be celebrated. We have more right to Moses,” stated Adhami in a 2008 lecture obtained and reviewed by WND.
Ashura is an Islamic fast day that commemorates Muslim events, including the Islamic claim that Moses fasted on that day to express gratitude to God for liberating the Israelites from Egypt.
In his lecture, Adhami recounted the Islamic story of the Muslim figure Muhammad arriving in Medina, where he encountered Jews who fasted on Ashura and asked them why they were celebrating the holiday.
Continued Adhami: “And what is his first impulse? If we paraphrase a little bit to be outside the cultural mould, the answer essentially translates into, wait a minute, we love Moses more. We want to fast because we love Moses more than – ideally, he is not challenging them that, no, we love him more, you love him less kind of a thing. But it’s this impulse, it’s this wait, this is goodness, this is a good thing.
Hear Adhami’s speech:
“We must be doing it first, we must compete with you to be doing more of that. We want to fast Ashura too, because that’s the day God saved Moses. That is certainly a day to be celebrated. We have more right to Moses. This possessiveness of goodness.”
Adhami then urged his followers to compete with other religions
“Wherever you are, compete, race with each other in goodness. This is the ethos, this is the driving force that compels the Muslim to say I want to be at the front of that discourse, even though it might be unpopular right now.”
Adhami stated he recognized his views were “politically incorrect.” Still, he repeated his assertion Muslims must compete with others.
“Are we going to deny reality people, or are we going to move into a different dimension and start doing something to address this?” he asked.
It was announced last week that Adhami, 44, will take on the role of senior adviser for the proposed $100 million Islamic cultural center and mosque to be built near Ground Zero in New York City, the site of the 2001 World Trade Center attack.
Adhami will be one of a number of Muslim clerics involved in moving the project forward, said officials of Park51, the nonprofit organization behind the community facility, the New York Daily News reports.
“This is an extraordinary opportunity to be a key adviser on a project going forward that has enormous creative and healing potential for the collective good in New York City and in our nation,” Adhami said in a statement released by Park51, the nonprofit group behind the Islamic center.
Rauf has said he will focus on a public speaking endeavor that started last weekend in Detroit and is slated to continue in Chicago, Washington, D.C., and other cities.
WND reported Rauf kicked off his nationwide speaking tour by addressing the banquet of a group that was designated as an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to raise money for Hamas.
Rauf’s appearance in Detroit, the city with North America’s largest Muslim population, was a keynote address to the so-called “Diversity Forum Banquet” of the Islamic Society of North America, or ISNA.
ISNA is known for its enforcement of Saudi-style Islam in mosques throughout the U.S. It was named by the Justice Department as an unindicted co-conspirator in its case against the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, which was found guilty in 2008 of raising money for the Hamas terrorist organization. Last year, Holy Land founders were given life sentences for “funneling $12 million to Hamas.”
Rauf had previously refused to condemn Hamas in a radio interview. The chief of Hamas has also come out in public support of Rauf’s proposed mosque near Ground Zero.
Rauf told the Associated Press he will tour the country in an effort “to inspire interfaith understanding” for his proposed mosque.
American Muslims like himself, he said, “can play an important role as interlocutors between the United States and the Muslim world.”
Meanwhile, others have been scrutinizing Adhami’s background. The Atlas Shrugs website, run by blogger and activist Pamella Geller, found Adhami has expressed appreciation for Islamic cleric Siraj Wahhaj, who was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.
Adhami has called Wahhaj “Our Beloved Imam” and the “voice of the spirit of Islam in America and its pride.”
Also, Adhami’s website, Sakeenah, hailed Wahhaj for his “devoted leadership to the community” and his role “as a pioneer in the American Muslim experience.”
“Since the 1970s, Imam Siraj has tirelessly laid the foundations for many scholars and leaders that would follow him. From activism to challenges, to the Nation of Islam to revolutions, follow Imam Siraj as he retraces the footsteps of his life.”
Adhami’s lecture about Moses echoes a message of Islamic supremacy from Rauf’s own writings and projects.
Rauf wrote a book in 2004 that had two different titles, one in English and the second in Arabic. In the U.S., his book was called “What’s right with America is what’s right with Islam.”
The same book, published in Arabic, bore the name “The Call From the WTC Rubble: Islamic Da’wah From the Heart of America Post-Sept. 11.”
The Arabic edition of Rauf’s book was produced by the controversial ISNA.
The website BigPeace.com, meanwhile, previously uncovered a scrubbed section of the Cordoba website that detailed a sister project of the organization founded by Rauf called Shari’ah Index Project.
The project’s stated goal was to “define, interpret and implement the concept of the Islamic State in modern times.”
“Imagine: a Perfectly Islamic State,” said the deleted section of Cordoba’s website.
Before the section was scrubbed, the Cordoba website described a series of planning meetings beginning in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August 2006: “This session consisted largely of brainstorming and exploring the idea of creating an index of Islamic governance. At its conclusion, the group presented a vision for the project as well as a roadmap.”
At the second planning meeting, in February 2007, the website documented how Rauf expanded the group to include Shariah experts from “Indonesia, Iran (to represent the Shia perspective), and Turkey, as well as two additional participants from Pakistan and Malaysia.”
In 2008, Cordoba furthered its Shariah project, deciding to put together a book on the subject as well further refine the philosophy, overall structure and organization of the Shariah Index.