“Fitna” from the Guardian to Ground Zero

This is co-written by Armaros and Medusa

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, seen here attending a conference in Indonesia in 2007 which included members of Hizb ut-Tahrir al-Islami (Islamic Party of Liberation) - a radical terrorist movement that seeks 'implementation of pure Islamic doctrine' and the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Central Asia

Once again Chris McGreal (who we exposed previously here) puts out the Guardian’s message to its blind faithful when he unquestioningly accepts that Faisal Abdul Rauf, the prime mover behind the drive to construct an Islamic “cultural centre” and mosque within sight and sound of Ground Zero in New York, was being honest and open with his audience at the Council for Foreign Affairs in New York.

True, McGreal admits that Faisal Rauf’s plan is “controversial”, (although the 30,000 people who gathered at the site to protest against it on 9/11 would almost certainly call that an understatement of their feelings and opinions) but everything about McGreal’s article, from the smiling, apparently benign face of Rauf at the top of it to the unquestioning repetition of Rauf’s blatant lies within it screams “al-taqiyya” to any knowledgeable person who reads it.

Does McGreal give us any indication that Faisal Rauf is being economical with the actualité?   Not at all and we explore his article further below.  This may be because McGreal is a Guardianista to the marrow of his bones, who is primed to ignore anything which jars with the Guardian World View.   For him to admit in print that Faisal Rauf has been dishonest in his dealings about the mosque with the people of New York and has been callous and heartless in his resolute pursuit of his plan – in light of the protests of the grieving families and friends of the dead of 9/11 – would certainly mean that he would then have to question almost everything the Guardian now stands for, if, that is, he didn’t lose his job.

McGreal has a long record in writing biased rubbish about Israel, but he is first among equals in regard to the mosque controversy with Michael Tomasky, who appears to be leading the Guardian’s efforts to demonise the opponents of the Ground Zero mosque as “racists”, “Islamophobes”, “right wingers” and other sundry terms of endearment which the Guardian reserves for those who oppose its radical ideology.

Before we enter the distorted world of Guardian reportage, let’s recall several salient facts about Faisal Rauf and the developers of the Ground Zero Mosque which McGreal, Tomasky et al choose not to share with their readership:

Faisal Rauf is on record as blaming America for the carnage of 9/11 .

Rauf has said, 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.”

Rauf has also has suggested that the use of terrorism and suicide bombings is understandable.

Rauf is also on record as praising the Iranian regime during the brutal crackdown in the summer of 2009.

Rauf has stated his wish for the U.S. to become a Sharia Compliant” country that is “Islamic” in nature – adding that, in his mind, the U.S. is already more or less “compliant”. This is no spiritual idealism as some may put it on the left. This is part of a plan on the part of radical Islam to subvert the West as noted by high level security and intelligence officials from both political parties.

The mosque developer Sharif Al Gamal has a criminal record for assault and battery. He is known for issuing open threats (rather than the smooth veiled ones to the American people about what will happen to them if they refuse to allow his project to go ahead), has been seen even exalting the virtues of violence on Twitter a few weeks ago . He is also said to have made a threatening phone call to Raheel Raza, a Canadian Muslim women’s rights advocate who spoke out against the Mosque project.

The funder behind the developer, SOHO Properties Hisham Elzanaty was a donor to the Hamas-linked Holy Land Foundation in 1999.  He is under investigation for insurance fraud and has been found guilty of Medicaid fraud

Rauf is also a slum landlord and tax evader who was supposed to appear in court today in New Jersey to answer for the squalid and unhealthy conditions in his rental properties. He also declared on his IRS form that his NYC apartment was a Mosque seating 500 thus claiming “house of worship” status.

Today we learn that Sharif Al Gamal has been evicted from his office space.  SOHO Properties owed months of back rent.

Another revelation surfaced about the mosque planners two days ago, one which, in a normal honest environment would have been the coup de grace to this contentious project:

A close associate and co-founder of ASMA with Imam Rauf and Daisy Khan has been found to be a 911 Troother.  Imam Khan was actually ministering at the temporary mosque currently operating out of the property.

Yet to read McGreal’s account of  Rauf’s speech to the (no doubt open-mouthed and adoring) Council for Foreign Affairs, you could be forgiven for believing that Rauf and his motives are as pure as the driven snow and that McGreal is among his admiring supporters:

McGreal reports that Rauf is “exploring all options” and that “everything is on the table” in the face of the protests.  Readers should hang on to that thought which is returned to below.  McGreal tells us about Rauf’s “frustration” that radical extremists had hijacked the pro-mosque group’s discourse, and reports (presumably without batting an eyelid) that no doubt as a result of that “frustration” Rauf’s statement that moving the mosque to a less contentious location could prompt a “violent backlash” from some Muslims abroad. Never once does McGreal raise questions about Rauf’s contradictory claims that his intentions are peaceful while simultaneously warning that if the Mosque isn’t built Muslims around the world may commit acts of violence in protest.  So, let’s summarize this argument:  Folks against the Mosque are bigots because they’re concerned that the Islamic center may promote violent, radical Islam.  But, unless we build the Mosque, Muslims may launch terrorist attacks in response.

McGreal goes on to tell us that Rauf gave the council “his pledge” that he really is focused on solving it.   Anyone used to dealing with Islamists would know this to be bare-faced al-taqiyya, but apparently not McGreal.

He reports Rauf as saying that there is “a need” for a mosque within sight of Ground Zero, but, again, there are no pearls of wisdom – conjecture even – from McGreal as to why that might be.

Indeed, per a new report by MEMRI, prominent progressive Arab Muslims have contradicted Rauf on the necessity of building the Mosque:

Saudi journalist ‘Adel Al-Tarifi stated that it is unwise to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero, because it is an affront to American sentiment and it generates tension between Muslims and non-Muslims in the U.S. He called upon Muslims living in the U.S. to shake off the hostility that their countries of origin bear towards the U.S.:

“It becomes a question of wisdom… and social sensitivity. We must ask Imam Feisal [Abdul Rauf] and his friends: Why do you want to build an Islamic center that will cost $100 million if it hurts the feelings of the Americans?… “I am not denigrating the efforts of the imam and his friends to correct the distorted image of Islam. But when the project creates tension in the relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in America, it is the opposite effect [that is achieved].”

Kuwaiti liberal Khalil ‘Ali Haidar criticized the Muslims living in the West for being hostile to their host societies, for espousing ideological and political Islam, for saying one thing while believing another, and for speaking in two voices, saying one thing to the Westerners and another to their fellow Muslims – which causes the Westerners to fear the Cordoba House project and Islam in general:

“The Americans’ apprehensions regarding Cordoba Mosque… stem from their re-emerging fear of political, organized, jihadist, and takfiri Islam, which is still very strong in the Arab world. They fear that what the American Muslims are concealing in their hearts may be different from what they are saying out loud, especially considering that Muslim men and women in Europe, no less than their co-religionists in the Arab world, are sympathetic to ideological Islam and extremist sheikhs, [and tend towards] hostility to the West and anti-democratic notions. “It is rare to find even one American or European Muslim who engages in self-criticism or defends freedom of religion and thought in the Muslim and Arab world, who supports a persecuted author or intellectual facing trial in some Muslim country, or who defends a new and modern perception of Islam. The Arab preachers, writers and academics who [address the Western Muslims] in their writings, or visit the Western countries, [only] intensify the extremism of the Western and American Muslims, and speak of nothing but the ‘Zionist lobby,’ ‘the Palestinian problem,’ ‘Neo-Christians,’ and ‘the American failure in Iraq and Afghanistan’!

Also of note, from the same MEMRI report:

Dr. ‘Omar Al-Zant, a columnist for the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm, compared the religious tolerance in New York to the intolerance in Saudi Arabia, where immigrants live in isolated communities and feel no sense of belonging:

“The [New York City] Council has unanimously approved the construction of the mosque, thereby proving that New York is indeed the capital of pluralism and tolerance… It is the city that hosts the largest number of people of various nationalities, religions, sects and creeds, who live together in relative harmony and accord… The pluralism and openness that prevail there generate a state of creative chaos: views meet, merge, and interact, the ultimate result being original and creative thinking.

“The importance of such interaction becomes clearer when you compare [the situation in New York] to the situation in the country that was the origin of most of the 9/11 terrorists, namely Saudi Arabia. This country [too] has a large population [of foreigners] from all over the world, but unlike many of the immigrants in the U.S., [the members of] this population can never see themselves as a part of their host country. They never develop a sense of belonging to the society in which they work, because the communities of exiles live in almost complete isolation. Pluralistic thinking is all but forbidden by law, whereas religious pluralism is non-existent. It is impossible to build a church anywhere, let alone a synagogue or a Buddhist or Hindu temple.”

Rauf seems to have resorted to the usual persecution narrative when he told ABC News on 12th September 2010 that the controversy had been used “for political purposes” and complained about the “growing Islamophobia” in the USA.    He probably smiled as he told the interviewer that the discourse had been “to a certain extent” hijacked by the radicals of both sides who had aggravated the problem.   I would lay odds that he did not include himself among them.

Let us now return to the main point which jars, and which shows Rauf’s alleged willingness to “explore all options” to be so much hot air and, yes, al-taqiyya.

McGreal tells us that when Rauf was asked why, when more than two-thirds of New Yorkers say that they want the mosque/Islamic centre to be built elsewhere, he would not do that, he professed to be worried about the headlines in the Muslim world, that Islam is under attack in America, that it would strengthen the radicals, etc, etc… and lead to violence.     This transparent and weak excuse is a colossal faux pas on Rauf’s part – and on the part of McGreal because again he makes no critical comment about it – for the following reasons:

Firstly because it is another veiled threat of violence against kufar unless Rauf gets his mosque/centre.  He is open about it and is apparently either unaware or does not care that it does not show his coreligionists in a good light;

Secondly, Rauf’s refusal to move the project elsewhere makes a complete nonsense of his “pledge” above – that “everything is on the table”, or that he really is “focused on solving it.”   A move to a less contentious location is the best solution for both sides, which a more sensitive person would realise.  Rauf, however, will not budge, although the millionaire Donald Trump offered Elzanaty a price for the land which is far above its worth. No doubt the Council was so hypnotised that it failed to ask him for precise details of what exactly is on the table and exactly how he intended to “solve it” – McGreal certainly does not mention such things – but perhaps readers here can square this circle.

Does Rauf care about the grief of the relatives and friends of those murdered by Islamists on 9/11 or is he more interested in making a name for himself among Muslims in America and elsewhere?   It seems that he is trying to rewrite the truth about this tragedy of 9/11 and claim it as a “victory” for Islamists/Muslims.

That this is blatantly the case is underscored by his case choice of name for the project – the Cordoba Initiative – which is chilling.   If Rauf is really interested in “solving it” (fully, and not only to the advantage of Muslims whilst riding roughshod over the citizens of New York) why has he chosen such a contentious name?    Again, McGreal ignores this, no doubt because it would open dozens of cans of worms for the Guardian.

Rauf is also on record (CNN interview) as saying that space may be made available in the centre for the use of other faith groups.   This is yet more al-taqiyya but of a different order because it would seem like a lie rather than mere twisting of facts, as The Koran forbids Muslims from making common cause with or befriending kufar (see 005.051 at the link).

However, the offer is further undermined because the centre is envisaged to contain a mosque and therefore it will become holy ground for Muslims, and other faiths are not allowed to use it for prayer or other activities.  (Jews and others are not allowed to visit their holiest place in Jerusalem because the Al Aqsa mosque was built there, over the site of the temple, although they do now have access to the Western wall).   Typical of the furious reaction even to the offer of sharing space with Christians and other faiths until their own prayer room could be completed, was that of the Islamic Society at City University, in London.

Rauf has woven a web of deceit, half-truths, and promises he has no intention of keeping about his project near Ground Zero.   This is why this mosque project is a perfect example of fitna, “stirring up trouble” for the cause of Islamism so that it can make advances in the fog of the chaos its silver-tongued spokesmen have themselves created.

This mosque, if it goes ahead will be the tallest in the USA today and will tower over the Ground Zero memorial.  It will also be the biggest on the East Coast with a prayer room slated to be seating between 1000-2000 worshippers, and yet Rauf would have us believe that this is not a mosque!

McGreal’s article, with its total lack of critical appraisal of the issues, is yet more proof that the Guardian is a tool of fitna and nothing illustrates this better in the Guardian’s recent article history than its coverage of the NYC Ground Zero Mosque controversy.

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