September 8, 2010

Building on Faith

Posted: 12:40 PM ET


By Feisal Abdul Rauf

Editor's note:  Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf speaks out tonight on Larry King Live about the controversy over plans to build an Islamic Community Center and mosque near Ground Zero.

AS my flight approached America last weekend, my mind circled back to the furor that has broken out over plans to build Cordoba House, a community center in Lower Manhattan. I have been away from home for two months, speaking abroad about cooperation among people from different religions. Every day, including the past two weeks spent representing my country on a State Department tour in the Middle East, I have been struck by how the controversy has riveted the attention of Americans, as well as nearly everyone I met in my travels.

We have all been awed by how inflamed and emotional the issue of the proposed community center has become. The level of attention reflects the degree to which people care about the very American values under debate: recognition of the rights of others, tolerance and freedom of worship.

Many people wondered why I did not speak out more, and sooner, about this project. I felt that it would not be right to comment from abroad. It would be better if I addressed these issues once I returned home to America, and after I could confer with leaders of other faiths who have been deliberating with us over this project. My life’s work has been focused on building bridges between religious groups and never has that been as important as it is now.

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Cajazz76:24:8   September 8th, 2010 12:54 pm ET

Is this what many wish to see as the First Amendment????????

Congress shall assert by law the establishment of a single religion, and prohibit the free exercise of all others, and curtail the freedom of speech, and that of the press, and the right of people to assemble, except the Omnipotent Conservative Christian extremists, and only they can petition the Government, of their making and dismantlement, for a redress of trivial grievances, and quell any and all in opposition to their destruction of this nation...under their Indolent and Obedient God..that reverently serves only them...caj.

GoodGrief   September 8th, 2010 1:13 pm ET

Feisal Abdul Rauf , like so many other non-believers in our Lord Jesus Christ still think, believe and do on the man made carnal level. There is no blending of false religions with the reality of Jesus Christ's spiritual TRUTH. Period.

He violates Romans 8:6-8 because he has no clue how to think, live, believe spiritually ...

(6) For to be carnally minded {is} death; but to be spiritually minded {is} life and peace. (7) Because the carnal mind {is} enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be. (8) So then they that are in the flesh cannot please God.

He continues to believe in the carnal way of man and earthly logic by continuing to violate Jesus' truth as written in Philippians 3:18-19

(18) (For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, {that they are} the enemies of the cross of Christ: (19) Whose end {is} destruction, whose God {is their} belly, and {whose} glory {is} in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

Finally, all those in carnal mindset that believe a mosque should be built next to where terrorist killed almost 3,000 Americans because they hate our Lord and Savior ...

2 Timothy 3:2-7

(2) For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, (3) Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, (4) Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; (5) Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. (6) For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, (7) Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

I can go on and on with TRUTH Jesus tells us but I'm sure non-believers and haters of Jesus Christ will not read, hear or see the wisdom in His writings.


dar h   September 8th, 2010 4:11 pm ET


Carolina   September 8th, 2010 4:36 pm ET

Question for the Imam: If the message of Islam is supposedly "peace," why are you building a mosque in a location where you are deliberately upsetting and hurting so many New Yorkers in general, and also, so many of the 9/11 victims' family members? What kind of "peace" is it this?

Stan Engleton   September 8th, 2010 5:03 pm ET

According to a Rand study and also a State Department study (2006) of global terrorist incidents, about 25% -30% of all terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims. While about 70% – 75% are committed by people who are not Muslims.
Facts are stubborn, but so are commentators like O'Reilly who insist that most or all terrorist attacks are committed by Muslims.

Steven Foyer   September 8th, 2010 5:08 pm ET

The invasion of Iraq resulted in the deaths of nearly 100,000 Iraqis. And the US has built an Embassy, the size of the Vatican, in the heart of Baghdad. Isn't that more of a symbol of domination ? Rather than an Islamic cultural center in Manhattan ? Anyone asked the millions of Iraqi refugees what they thought about the US Embassy in Baghdad ?

Randy Willen   September 8th, 2010 5:13 pm ET

Recent Events:
How about the atrocities in Congo committed by the LRA (Lord's Resistance Army) who wants to establish the Ten Commandments there ? Are they Christian terrorists ?
Armed groups raped more than 150 women in a village in the volatile North Kivu province in the Democratic Republic of Congo in a four-day spree. Did Muslims do that ? No...
How about Maoists bombings in India during the most recent elections ? The huge number of civilian deaths and refugees due to fighting between the Tamil Tigers and the Sri Lankan Government.
How about Maoists killings of around 70 policemen in India a few months ago ?
How about the recent brutal massacre in Philippines of the women lawyers and political figures ? Were those Hindu or Christian or Buddhists terrorists who committed them ?

John Rezak   September 8th, 2010 5:16 pm ET

The Mosque is being used right now. What is the sensitivity exactly about ? How is this mosque related to Ground Zero or 9/11 ? Seeing a Mosque built by American Muslims who had nothing to do with 9/11 reopens wounds ? Will seeing an American Muslim walk by, who had nothing to do with 9/11 reopen wounds ?
Besides, didn't the 9/11 terror group state US troops in Saudi Arabia, then sanctions on Iraq and Palestinian occupation as their reasoning for 9/11 ? Thus making it political rather than religious ?

Gerald Jolly   September 8th, 2010 5:24 pm ET

Anyone buying in to this guy's B.S. deserves whatever he/she gets.

Having studied the Islamic culture for years and travelling to the middle east as well as Pakistan and observing the way they atempt to decieve people with their constant lies and phony pretense of humility, one should know that anytime one of them behaves in this way.


Believing an Islamic's take on honesty, can only lead to the listener being targetted in some way.

They sincerely believe that we christians are not very intelligent and prone to be taken advantage of.

Wake up AMERICA the IMAMS wish us only ill will..

Heather   September 8th, 2010 5:27 pm ET



John H   September 8th, 2010 5:45 pm ET

You are right to personally address the controversy over the proposed Mosque to be built just a few blocks from what we call Ground Zero. Your objectives are good ones and ones which most of us support but, in my opinion, you are doomed to failure even if you are successful in building this structure. To throw Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion back into the faces of the American People is a transparent ruse to be able to say "See there! We did it anyway and we used your own Constitution to do it." While I recognize you are within your Constitutional Rights to go ahead with your project no matter the protestations, you are acting completely opposite to your stated purposes of building bridges and human understanding. Your insistence on doing this is an In Your Face Act and contradicts everything you have said in this article. You must be aware that there are radical extremists among us also and I doubt you will find much peace in your efforts. Do the right thing and build it somewhere else. You will find the American People much more open to building bridges and human understand if you refrain from placing this obstacle in their path.

Rose   September 8th, 2010 5:59 pm ET

The comparison that the Catholic Church did not build a convent near a former Nazi concentration camp should set the example that Muslims should not build an interfaith centre near Ground Zero is fallicious.

Islam as a religion did not attack anyone on 9/11. A group of extremists attacked on 9/11. That the over 1.2 billion Muslims should be "guilty by association" defies all logic concerning this tragedy.

During 1930s & 1940s, the Catholic Church and Pope Pius XII as its official head were implicated in the Holocaust. Pius is surrounded by controversy concerning his role. Some claim he helped, others that he did not. The following are established:

– Although informed of the massive Nazi attacks of synagogues and Jewish business on Kristallnacht in 1938, Pope Pius XII issued no public criticism.
– Although informed during 1940 to 1943 of Nazi atrocities in at least Austria, Lithuania, Poland, Spain and Ukraine, (including deportations to death camps) the Pope made no public comments.
– The Pope never ex-communicated any Nazi.
– The Pope never declared it a sin for Catholics to participate in the slaughter.
– In 1941 when asked about proposed anti-Jewish laws in Vichy France, Pope Pius XII said the Church condemned racism, but did not repudiate every rule against the Jews.

This history is reason enough to be sensitive about not building a Catholic institution near a site where millions of Jews died. The present parallel to the Muslim centre is wrong. Islam was not responsible for 9/11. Those with abusive and violent agendas were.

Smith in Oregon   September 8th, 2010 6:01 pm ET

To have Faith, one must first have Belief. Here in America our public schools teach a unscientific theory that life sprang from a accidental or natural combination of essential amino acids critical for life to exist within a bucket of glob or a lump of goop.

Sadly, that is nothing but a bucket of morass. The mathematical odd's of natural or accidental creation of life on earth is 1 in 1×10 to the 70th. power. The scientific impossibility exists at 1 in 1×10 to the 50th. power.

It is far beyond the limit of established and well understood scientific impossibility for life to accidentally occur and yet that is what is presented.

Belief that a highly evolved being began and originally created life on earth is a scientific fact, it is not solely a religious claim despite efforts by earth's major religions to 'copy write' that claim. Belief in a original Creator is not a Religion, it is a Fact and should be taught in America's public school system as such.

Why a highly evolved being began and created life on Earth is attempted to be answered by 'Religions' and 'Spiritualism', Belief on how life began on earth however is a scientific Fact.

Building on Faith moves the individual closer to the primary energy's emanating from the object of that individual's Faith. Properly attuned and focused on the Creator, the individual climbing the steps of Faith essentially moves themselves closer to the Creator.

The point being the closer to the Creator the less the entropy, chaos, death, destruction. The greater the harmony, life, happiness and abundance.

Joe G. (Illinois)   September 8th, 2010 6:14 pm ET

I’m a Christian.
Jesus Christ is not ever tempted, coerced or steered by the devil.

And another thing..
People will want to invade the New Jerusalem after the Second Coming at the end of the Millennium Era. Am I a bit concerned?
Yes I’m.. But not for the Loving Innocent Children of God.

In other words.. When you step into the ring with the devil be aware there are no loving rules or anything like that..! And that you lose also "All the time".
Thank you and good day

Brian McDonald   September 8th, 2010 6:26 pm ET

Ask Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf if he has ever thought that if he builds his mosque close to the World Trade Site that some deranged or terminally ill person who happens to be a pilot might fly a fuel-filled plane into his mosque when it is full of worshippers in order to cause his Mosque to collapse just like the World Trade Building collapsed.

Rose   September 8th, 2010 6:36 pm ET

Concerning the idiocy of the planned Quran burning on Sept 11th, organizer Paster Jones said on CNN yesterday that he has NOT read the Quran but is certain it is from the devil. He also affirmed his Christian faith as being the only true religion. Resorting to book burnings is supposed to somehow confirm that.

Jones seems to miss the point that the Muslim extremists ironical also hold the same perspective concerning their religion. "Their" faith is true and everything else is from the devil. What does all of this prove? Jones' followers with their "ya'll done good" and low IQ's are walking and talking themselves into a mess and potentially more violence, especially for our servicemen.

Pastor Jones said on CNN that Islam is inherently bad and should cease to exist. If we use the same logic and measured Christianity based on the evil that occured during the Inquisition (which went on for centuries) for example, Christianity too would have ceased to exist. All the violence, torture and death were explained by inflictors as sanctioned by the Bible and its teachings.

An interfaith centre is greatly needed to begin mending the damage of this past decade. It is not only New Yorkers and other Americans who need to heal, but American Muslims as well who have suffered from knowing that hundreds of thousands of fellow innocent Muslims were killed by American aggression in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Burning Qurans will only inflame the extremists and give them more fodder, hence ignorance begets ignorance. Not a smart move.

Rose   September 8th, 2010 7:52 pm ET

There is a very long and exhaustive list of international Muslim religious leaders, of substantial standing, who condemned the 9/11 attacks. This includes senior clerics and scholars from every corner of the world, from many countries including the US. Why many Americans refuse to consider this and default to the ugliness of the protests of the proposed Muslim centre site in New York is extreme.

Apparently worldwide condemnation of 9/11 is not enough. The curbing of civil liberties, racial profiling and prejudiced reactions against Muslims by many in the US, needed to be inflicted. Further, we bombed the daylights out of two Muslim nations under false pretenses, killed thousands and displaced millions of internal refugees.

Also. . .the demand that law abidding Muslim American citizens further curb their rights and not build an institution near the ground zero site – for which they are somehow blamed for its destruction. To top it off, according to some – their religious book must be burned. Who here is suffering indignities? How is this reflective of our principles?

IKHAN   September 8th, 2010 8:51 pm ET

Hi Larry,
We Americans are Americans and thank God, Yahweh, Allah, Bhagwan and by whatever name you chose to call the Creator if you believe in one, for that.

And we will now & always stand up to intolerance, bigotry, racism & hatred.
No matter how many Qurans T.Jones burns or volumes of propaganda & non sense we hear spoken by the likes of Newt Gingrich, Pataki, Guiliani, Palin, the idiot pack at Fox Propaganda Channel or the extremist nuts.

I also hear folks on this blogs spreading the propaganda that the Muslim Exremists in Iraq & Afghanistan have somehow declared a war against Christians or Christianity.That is a load of nonsense.
Those handful of terrorists want to shove down their brand of twisted faith down the throats of Muslims and do not hesitate to kill them even. They want their brand of faith to become the law of the land in places like Pakistan,Afghanistan & Saudi Arabia.
It should be quite obvious to even the most ignorant among us that the general Muslim population in these countries is fed up of these extremists & their twisted philosophy and want them eliminated.
I have traveled too in this region and find discontent with American policies especially in the context of Israeli-Palestinian conflict. I have never come across animosity against American people or Christianity among the general population. There are extremists no doubt just as there are here among Christians or Hindus in India or Jews in Israel but a fraction of the general population.
Then they want to drive out all foreigners occupying Muslim countries especially in the Middle East.

MIGO   September 8th, 2010 9:25 pm ET

? Why is ther so much sensitivity about the MUSLIM MOSQUE, and no sensitivity about the CONFEDERATE FLAG, being shown to african americans. When the CONFEDERATE FLAG stands for and support slavery.

Vas   September 8th, 2010 9:49 pm ET

I think Larry shoud take over the mike to intervew Mr. Imam then we would see how Mr. Imam answer the questions. Imam is now threatening the Americans by the name of security.

Mohammed Darwiche   September 8th, 2010 9:59 pm ET

Hello, We try to be heard but no one wants to listen. First of all I don't know who ussama bin laden is but for me he isn't a Muslim. Qur'an states if you harm one innocent being then you are harming all of man kind. another saying is the root of all violence is from ignorance. All i know is after 911 I'm being called a terrorist (the new enemy) and America lost their Constitution. Wake up America if we aren't brothers and sisters in religion we are brothers and sisters in Humanity.

Vas   September 8th, 2010 10:18 pm ET

How dare this Imam is staying in USA and enjoying the freedom of speech , enjoying state sponsored trip to middle east, he is now scaring the Americans to get attribution if the location is moved from its current position.

He is the man who intentionally created this sensitive issue and is now threatening the people to agree in his plan.

John H   September 8th, 2010 10:44 pm ET

@Mohammed Darwiche...I agree with you regarding the tendency we have of wanting to be heard but incapable of listening. I include myself in having the negative personality trait. I guess I need to get a copy of the Qur'an (never sure how to properly spell it)) and read it for myself. I have seen quotations from the Qur'an which are unbelieveably disgusting and then I read quotations such as yours which are reassuring and uplifting. I cannot begin to understand how it must feel to be regarded as a terrorist simply by your appearance or your statement of your faith. It seems our news media and Hollywood can take a good share of blame for these attitudes as they certainly have stereotyped persons of the Muslim Faith as to how they look and how they act. A similar approach was used during World War II to dehumanize the German and Japanese people. The films I grew up on during the 1940's and 1950's would have you thinking all people of those two nationalities were sneaky and untrustworthy. We are brothers and sisters in humanity. Unfortunately there is such a degree of hatred among Christian and Muslim faiths, I have little hope for it going away in what's left of my lifetime. If you read some of the blogs on Yahoo, you will see that people of the Jewish Faith are not left out of circle of hatred and mistrust. Please encourage your brothers and sisters in the Muslim Faith to speak out as you have and perhaps we can chip away at some of the misunderstanding and distrust. Thank you for your comment.

IKHAN   September 9th, 2010 12:40 am ET

@ Moahammad Darwich

I agree there are many verses in Quran which clearly negate the propaganda we now see inundating the airwaves & blogs. To me it is all politically motivated & manipulated.
I could quote those verses but it would take a lot of space. I would just suggest to those folks who appear to have the weight of intellect & intelligence on their side and seem to want to get to the truth @ John H , that they should read what a respected Christian academic writes about Islam.
" Approaching the Quran" written by Michael Anthony Sells professor at Divinity School of University of Chicago makes a good enlightening read.

doncolecartoons   September 9th, 2010 1:02 am ET

The image that the Imam here is presenting, does not match what I read in the Quran. How can this be? Can he enlighten us in that regard? I believe we should be going into the holy books themselves, because this would weed out deception. I can't know what is true, merely by what this Imam says, –but by what is written down in the Koran, which Muslims believe and do their best to live by, believing that every word is directly from God (Allah). I believe that Muslims take their Koran very seriously. The Imam here, related to Jesus, Christianity, etc. However; just read what the Koran says about People of the Book (Christians and Jews). Knowing what the Koran actually teaches, and then listening to what the Imam is saying makes one shudder. He seems to be lying. If he is not lying, than we need to be enlightened, –by way of the Koran, not his demure and rhetoric.
Also, how can the Muslim holy prophet be a true prophet of the one true God, when he was dead wrong about so many things having to do with science and nature? (I could give pages of examples here) A true prophet is NEVER wrong.
Anyone doing their homework about Islam, and those who have left Islam, are quick to point out that Islam is NOT a peaceful religion. I understand that the faith works in 'levels,' and the highest level of honor is given to such as suicide bombers.
What ever happened to that 'peaceful' Muslim broadcaster in up-state NY who supposedly cut off his wife's head? Why did the media quickly stop covering the story? Why was it never mentioned in TIME or NEWSWEEK? Have we become afraid, for our lives, to stand up for truth? Are we satisfied to bury our head in the sand, and pretend these things aren't really happening? –dc

doncolecartoons   September 9th, 2010 1:15 am ET

p.s.: When buying a copy of the Koran, try to get one that is not a white-washed translation published for Western eyes. Just one typical example is, they will change the original translation, which says to "slaughter,"–to "make war," which sounds less offensive to Western ears. Also, check scriptures that sound 'peaceful,' to see who is being talked about. What Allah (God) has to say about Christians and Jews, and other 'un-believers,' does not sound very peaceful. –dc

Dick   September 9th, 2010 6:27 am ET

Wake up America!

The proposed Muslin community center is not at Ground Zero. It is 2 blocks away in a rather sleazy neighborhood. This center will improve the neighborhood dramatically, not to mention US-Muslim relations. Those who are calling it the Ground Zero Mosque are using the term to inflame people against it. The Muslims behind the center are peaceful, normal people. Tarring them with the "radical" brush hurts us all – except the radicals who will point to this controversy (as well as that moron in Florida) to say "see, America is at war with Islam."

Wake up America and stop letting ignorant, stupid, prejudiced people pull your strings.

Ted   September 9th, 2010 7:44 am ET

The name of that moslem center in NY is well chosen, Cordoba, a city in Spain and one of arab kingdoms that ones existed! I had the pleasure of visiting those beautiful structures and gardens with fountains built so many years ago, yet still functioning.

In southern Spain and Portugal there were arab kingdoms for centuries, where moslems, jews and christian lived peacefully together, each praying to his own God.
Science florished when at the same time the rest of Europe was in the darkness of the middle ages, surely kept there by the catholic church.
This lasted until the catholic majesties Ferdinand and Isabell of Spain attacked and conquered those kingdoms, exiled all arabs and jews and turned back the clock a few hundred years. Priceless books on mathematic, astronomy and other sciences were either destroyed or carried to Rome where they vanished in the basements of the Vatican.
Only recently did the Vatican allow a few scientist to view a few of those books who were amazed by the knowledge the arabs had.
Fazit: if the christians did not destroy those arab kingdoms, our civilisation may be a coupe centuries ahead of today.

nmex7   September 9th, 2010 11:41 am ET

Pretend Christians, Jews and Islam murder humans for pay. All the real Christians, Jews and Islam kill is meat to eat.

What a wonderful world it will be when all the true people who love Creator come together as one.

One God One World One Race

Angela Savage Austin   September 9th, 2010 6:13 pm ET

.YOU ARE MYSELF...One Child's Cry

EVERYONE Inspired by scripture (St. John 19:11) re: 911

The principalities of evil mothers many siblings. Hatred, fear, racism, terrorism, revenge and murder. They are principles of destruction, division, turmoil and confusion.

Let not hopelessness be the beacon of truth to call forth further destruction. Life is inevitable, when the fruits of love, forgiveness and mercy sprouts in the hearts of man-kind.

Be not the mirrored reflection of dismay that shadows our lives on a daily basis. Even the pettiest of cruelties can give birth to a horizon of insanity that harbors persecution and causes one to be distraught.

The beat of a distant drummer is just a heart beat away. The very core of Life that dwells in each of us is the eternal spirit of God Almighty.

A God who so loved the world, he gave his only Holy Son as sacrifice to burden our sins, so that we "all" may live.

This tragedy that the world must endure is yet "another" tremendous sacrifice. We must adhere to God's Will and embrace it so that all must live and let live.

Love God, love yourself, and love your brothers and sisters of this world. Rejoice in the precious gift of Life and celebrate our differences, cultivate our freedom of being one, under God, and we will surely prosper.

I cry out to each and every one of you in Love, Peace, and Harmony. With ALL MY HEART.

"Nothing more needs to be said."

Yvonne Evans   September 11th, 2010 12:37 am ET

Stephens understanding of the universe can only go so far.
His "vehichle" his body, allows him to access signals of understanding about the universe that are not incorrect at one level but incomplete.
And ulimtately wrong. Only a body that is coherent and whole in its embodyment of soul can understand the nature of God as ALL THAT IS.
Larry, you are on the right track . I love your questions.

Tim K   September 13th, 2010 4:02 am ET

Imam Rauf claimed he is on this show to reach out to americans and create a bridge to peace. You must be kidding me. American is about freedom for not for a few. Muslims have the right to build their churchs and practice their religion all over the US. Why must they attempt to enforce this right in an area that will create conflict. Imam Rauf knows this will create conflict and he is not being truthful on this. So why should americans trust him when he is clearly transparent on this issue?

But american is about freedom for all, not for a few muslims. American law allows protests but time, place and manner of the protest must be taken into consideration. Given the time and place where the Imam supports building a Mosque, namely right on the NY 9/11 site for all intense purposes and too close to the 2001 disaster, a court of law in the US would not support their right to protest. Why doesn't the Imam act truthfully to build a bridge to peace. The Muslim group in Hawaii recently announced they would delay celebrating a Muslim event on 9/11 because it would be insensitive. This is a true act to building a bridge to peace.

Americans are not stupid and they will not have the radical outspoken group deceive them. Building the Mosque in NY right now is wrong. We know it, they know it. It will only create a site of future terrorist events. Build a true bridge to peace and speak out against building the mosque. I dare them to build their mosque in a poor neighborhood of NY!

HOLLYROCK   September 13th, 2010 6:47 pm ET


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