Ground Zero imam planning more mosques in more American cities

“It is not enough for me that you tolerate me…” ~ Faisal Rauf

Creeping Sharia

NEW YORK – Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf saw his plans for an Islamic center near ground zero derided as a victory mosque for terrorists, exploited as campaign fodder and used as a bargaining chip by a Florida pastor who vowed to burn the Quran.

After that summer of mistrust and raw feeling, he’s looking on the bright side.

Rauf says he hopes to use the platform he gained through the angry debate to turn his small nonprofit group into a global movement celebrating pluralism.

In an interview Tuesday with The Associated Press, Rauf said he hopes to see interfaith centers like the one he plans to include inside the downtown Manhattan Islamic center built all over the world. Each would be dedicated to fighting extremism and promoting better relations between people of different faiths and cultures.

Already, he said, he is exploring opening facilities in other American cities, as well as in Indonesia and Kosovo.

“We went to the brink, in a certain way,” he said of last summer’s tumult. But he added, “This crisis showed us what was possible. … It showed us that there is actually hope. Hope for a better relationship between America and the Muslim world, both domestically and internationally.”

Whether there is hope for the proposed center two blocks from the site of the World Trade Center attacks is unclear.

“We were part of the narrative of 9/11,” Rauf said, noting that members of his own congregation, based about 10 blocks from the Trade Center, had been victims of the attacks.

“We have an obligation. We have a responsibility” to participate in the rebuilding of the neighborhood, he said. “This center is an anti-9/11 statement.”

Rauf and Khan said they have begun talking in recent weeks with more relatives of 9/11 victims in an attempt to build support for the center.

Khan said she hoped some would agree to be “part of the healing process” and help design the center’s 9/11 memorial.

The couple are also trying to find a role for themselves in repairing what they see as a rift between U.S. Muslims and the nation’s Christian majority.

Mere acceptance of Muslims in the U.S. is not Rauf’s goal.

“It is not enough for me that you tolerate me,” he explained to an audience in Jakarta last month. “I want you to love me.”

Read the rest at Creeping Sharia

Related: Madrassa Pops Up On U.S. Marine Base in Hawai’i

The Gulen Movement has launched an invasion of Hawaii.

Members of the Islamic movement which seeks to establish a universal caliphate have established their newest charter school on a U.S. Marine base in Kailua (Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH) Kaneohe Bay).

The school, which will be funded by US taxpayers, is called the Mokapu STEM School

Update: Emails show Bloomberg’s Top Aides Helped Rig Approval for Ground Zero Mosque, Even Drafted Letter for Imam Rauf’s Wife to Community Board…

Update 2: From Politico, Controversial imam to tour nation

The Muslim cleric who hopes to build an Islamic center near the World Trade Center site said Friday that he’ll tour the country in an effort “to inspire interfaith understanding” for a project that has ignited explosive confrontations between supporters and opponents…

…Rauf’s first appearance is scheduled for Detroit on Jan. 15. The city has North America’s largest Muslim population.

The imam said he’ll continue on to Chicago, Washington, and San Antonio and college campuses including Harvard, Georgetown, Yale and the University of North Carolina. He did not release specific dates for his speeches.

Rauf said he expects the tour will end sometime in April; he’s still receiving and considering invitations…

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