Imam Rauf decided to pick a spot near Ground Zero so that there would be an outcry… and he’ll keep stringing this along until one day when he’ll do the “honorable” and “right thing”: announce that instead of an Islamic Community Center which promotes Interfaith Understanding, he’ll build an Interfaith Center devoted equally to all religions… and the crowds will cheer and people will actually be happy about an Interfaith Center… maybe for the first time ever…
Two co-founders of the controversial plan to build an Islamic cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero are mulling a new, rival proposal in the wake of a split with developer Sharif El-Gamal. According to the New York Times, Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, said at a luncheon yesterday that she and her husband, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, are considering an interfaith cultural center project either at 51 Park Place, the current site of Gamal’s planned Islamic center, or elsewhere in Lower Manhattan. “Once we are ready to announce our new vision, we will talk to the property owner and see if it is the right location for us,” Khan said of Gamal, who owns the former Burlington Coat Factory site. Gamal announced in January that Park51 would be dropping Kahn and the imam as fundraisers and spokespeople because the two sides had different visions for the project. Abdul Rauf remains on the project’s board of directors. Khan said the new proposal would be “larger in concept” than the currently-proposed Park51 and would contain a center for inter-religious conflict resolution as well as stories from families affected by the Sept. 11 tragedy.
Most articles I’ve read that talk about Imam Rauf’s words on Interfaith dialogue think that it’s just a smokescreen for his Islamist agenda.
I think it’s the opposite. His radical Islamist views are a smokescreen for his Globalist/United Nations/NewAgey/Interfaith agenda. This involves Interfaith efforts to get all religions to eventually come together into a nebulous New Agey blob-like monstrosity which will blot out the Christian Gospel.
He’s a Sufi… the mystical version of Islam…
Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are one in the same. That’s according to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque. And New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg agrees.
In a 2003 speech at a memorial service for slain journalist Daniel Pearl, Rauf claimed that based on the “common ground of our faiths,“ he has ”always been” a Jew and a Christian.
“If to be a Jew means to say with all one’s heart, mind and soul: ‘Shma Yisrael, Adonai Elohenu Adonai Ehad; Hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One,’” Rauf said, “not only today I am a Jew, I have always been one. If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one.”
Last week, New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg (who is Jewish) supported the statement. At a dinner he hosted to commemorate Ramadan, Bloomberg added, “In that spirit, let me declare that we in New York are Jews and Christians and Muslims, and we always have been.”
But equating Islam with Judaism and Christianity is considered by some Jews and Christians as a gross misinterpretation.
“To claim that Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are essentially the same thing ignores the fact that they make competing theological claims about God, humanity, and the relationship between the two,” says Darian Lockett, assistant professor of biblical and theological studies at BIOLA University in Los Angeles. “Though these three monotheistic religions share a connection to Abraham, these three groups make significantly different claims about God.”
Additionally, by claiming to be all three, Lockett argues, Rauf strips each faith of its specific truth claim: “Christianity focuses upon the finished work of Christ as the only path to God, while Judaism focuses on following Torah and Islam demands following the law of Allah as a means to salvation.” Rauf’s statement, he adds, is grossly contradictory.
He also seems to be a full-blown New Ager with his talk of “oneness” and being “at one with the universe”:
A moment where the boundaries of myself dissolved … I felt that I was at one with the universe. Poets have written about this. Mystics have written about this. So did Blake when you see eternity in a speck of sand. I felt that moment where I never forget: the yellowness of the sun; the greenness of the green; the sound of the bus; a complete sense of oneness and in that moment a direct and absolute knowledge and conviction that god was there. I was confronted by the awesome omnipotent power of: absolute being; absolute love; absolute knowledge and wisdom that embraced me and embraced everything in creation. To experience that reality in that moment was what our Indian friends call satchitananda, absolute being-consciousness-awareness. Absolute mercy and love and compassion propelled me along to my readings of the Sufis and the mystics and the writers of religious philosophy, and I tried to pull it all together, but — at every moment in the recognition that it is not about being a Muslim or being a Jew. It’s not about being labeled. It’s about your personal relationship with the creator.
He’s involved with at least two major UN-connected Interfaith groups:
Imam Feisal draws many other parallels between Islam and a free democratic society, all the while emphasizing that there is little in the way of guidance for Muslims in regard to Western cultural issues. One delightful anecdote he provides as a participant in the Temple of Understanding’s “Religion in a Global Context” lecture series, is the problem of language. Eskimos, he says, have close to sixty words for snow, words that mean new snow and fresh snow, for example. Muslims have only one word for snow: ice. This leads to the more complex issue of the tendency among Westerners to describe “everything Muslims do as Islamic: our art, architecture, religion, and our criminals.” He notes that Westerners don’t refer to their society and culture as the “Christian world.”
Although the small sun-filled penthouse, reached through a well-hidden set of stairs from above the 15th floor of a modest but chic building on Fifth Avenue in New York City; has its own special aura, it is not a Zen palace as one might imagine. The offices of the Temple of Understanding, the oldest global interfaith organization in the United States, may be a far cry from the grand building envisioned by its founder, but the global interfaith movement, which includes spiritual traditions as diverse as Jainism, Christianity and Native American, continues to promote dialogue and understanding among all the religions of the world.
The Temple of Understanding was the brainchild of Juliet Hollister, an American housewife who, while eating a peanut-butter sandwich with a friend one day, happened to wonder what the world would be like if the many different religions began conversing instead of feuding. Ms. Hollister began to form a vision of an organization that would promote understanding among the world’s religions, recognize the oneness of the human family and achieve a “spiritual United Nations“. Through prayer and determination, she attracted such prominent supporters as Eleanor Roosevelt, Albert Schweitzer, Jawaharlal Nehru, Pope John XXIII, Anwar el-Sadat and United Nations Secretary-General U Thant. In 1960, the Temple of Understanding came into being.
The Temple knows it still has a long way to go in realizing that vision of an American housewife, but it continues to sustain her hope which informs its mission and work. Sister Joan Kirby, the current Executive Director of the Temple of Understanding, believes that the organization evolved essentially as a mobilizing force, with only a small staff and no actual “temple”, for a reason: its longevity is due in part to the fact that it is not a centralized entity, as spirituality cannot be institutionalized or localized. In fact, since 1968, the Temple has sponsored six “Spiritual Summit” conferences, producing a worldwide network of spiritual leaders, all devoted to the principles of the interfaith movement, whose modem character can be most easily traced back to the first World’s Parliament of Religions, held in Chicago, United States, in 1893. It has progressed from the creation of a model of interfaith cooperation to generating understanding and a sense of unity among religious traditions, which nonetheles s retained their individual belief systems and autonomy.
The Temple collaborates in innovative ways with the United Nations, including sponsoring since 1997, together with the Interfaith Center of New York, an interfaith prayer service at the annual opening of the UN General Assembly session. [...]
Interfaith work, including the necessary funding for its implementation, has at times been challenged by conservative religious elements that maintain an absolute allegiance to their own religious truths, precluding respect for other spiritual traditions and further insulating religious groups, the very issue the interfaith movement seeks to address, according to the Temple Programme Director, Bevin Deiters. One way in which the Temple has responded to the problem is through a yearly programme called “Spirituality and Different Religious Traditions”, which allows adult students to experience the spiritual and meditative practices of seven different religious traditions in the New York area.
Why is the work of the Temple of Understanding and the interfaith movement of particular relevance to the United Nations? My feeling is that this has much to do with the concept of the “oneness of the human family“. The United Nations and its partners will increasingly need to rely on the commonalities that link people and communities all over the world.
The need for laying aside differences and embracing the links that bind us is nowhere more urgent than in my own field–the prevention of and planning for the impact of HIV/AIDS. When Noerine Kaleeba started The AIDS Support Organization in Uganda in 1987, in addition to spearheading an important component–grass roots mobilization–of the worldwide response to HIV, she also created a movement that emphasized the fact that we are all living with HIV, whether infected or uninfected. The spiritual element of this reality is essential and undeniable. Loving and assisting other human beings–be they male or female, African or Asian, HIV-positive or negative-is the earthly manifestation of the divine force that links us all together as global citizens.
just can’t ever escape that New Age Oneness concept when you’re talking about the U.N…
2. He’s a Vice Chair of the NY Interfaith Center…
He was a speaker at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in 2009:
First held in Chicago in 1893, the Parliament of the World’s Religions brings together the world’s religious and spiritual communities, their leaders and their followers to a gathering where peace, diversity and sustainability are discussed and explored in the context of interreligious understanding and cooperation.
As the world’s largest interreligious gathering, the Parliament will…
He received The Interfaith Center of New York’s Annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Award in 2006.
The Cordoba Initiative lists one of its three major partners as the UN’s Alliance of Civilizations. The Alliance has its roots in the Iranian-driven “Dialogue Among Civilizations,” the brainchild of former Iranian President Hojjatoleslam Seyyed Mohammad Khatami. Khatami is now a member of the High-level Group which “guides the work of the Alliance.” His personal presidential qualifications include the pursuit of nuclear weapons, a major crackdown on Iranian media, and rounding up and imprisoning Jews on trumped-up charges of spying. Alliance reports claim Israel lies at the heart of problems associated with “cross-cultural relations,” since the “Israeli-Palestinian conflict” and “Israel’s continuing occupation of Palestinian and other Arab territories … are primary causes of resentment and anger in the Muslim world toward Western nations.”
Shashi Tharoor is Under-Secretary-General of United Nations for Communications and Public Information since January 2001. Prior to his current role, Mr. Tharoor served as Director of Communications and Special Projects in the Office of the Secretary-General and as Executive Assistant to the Secretary-General (1997-2001). He was Special Assistant to the Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations from 1989-1996. Mr. Tharoor’s United Nations career began in 1978 on the staff of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Geneva. Mr. Tharoor is also the author of eight books, as well as numerous articles. He is also the recipient of several journalism and literary awards, including a Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. In January 1998, Mr. Tharoor was named by the World Economic Forum as a “Global Leader of Tomorrow”. Mr. Tharoor was educated in India and the United States, completing a Ph.D in 1978 at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University.
Here’s an Interfaith U.N. event that Imam Feisal participated in:
Conference on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace
Wednesday, 22 June 2005, 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters, New York
It is important to understand the importance of the name Cordoba, as in the Cordoba Initiative and Cordoba House, which is the name associated with this New York project. Cordoba is a direct reference to the city in Spain that was the center of Islamic culture, Islamic proselytizing and Muslim education during the Middle Ages. It was recognized as the seat of an Islamic caliphate under which all non-Muslims, especially Jews and Christians, were subjugated to Islam.
Under the “new age philosophy” of Abdul-Rauf and his associates, however, the Cordoba initiative is an attempt to create the illusion in the West that Islam, Judaism and Christianity share the same spiritual origins. An attempt is being made to convince an unwitting public that Islam, Christianity and Judaism are not only compatible, but all three religions worship the same God. While further explanation of this concept is outside the scope of this investigation, it must be identified and exposed within this report as the most critical element of deception that will facilitate the advancement of this project. Simply put, it will be under this false umbrella of unity that the “deal” will be sealed. [...]
It should be noted that Feisal Abdul-Rauf is the public coordinator for the proposed Islamic center, so named as it will be the dominant factor and force within the structure. Investigation tracked numerous other individuals and organizations that are either overtly or covertly, directly or tangentially involved in the project. It is within this subset of globalist facilitators that this project will secure the financing, influence government officials at national, state and local levels, and use the corporate media to sway public opinion.
The American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA)
As already noted, Abdul-Rauf founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA) in 1997, which has been run by his wife, Daisy KAHN since 2005. According to a review of financial statements, ASMA is the fiscal agent for the Cordoba Initiative. The Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement share the same infrastructure, space, and other operational assets, making them virtually one in the same, except on paper.
A review of the same financial statements provided interesting insight into the funding of ASMA, International donations included $576,312 from the government of Qatar and $481,942 from the Millennial Development Goals Fund of Holland. Of particular significance noted was a $53,664 contribution from the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA)
The World Economic Forum
As explained on their web site, the World Economic Forum is an independent, international organization incorporated as a Swiss not-for-profit foundation. Their goal is the establishment of a world-class corporate governance system where values are as important a basis as rules. Their motto is “entrepreneurship in the global public interest,” but contends that “economic progress without social development is not sustainable, while social development without economic progress is not feasible.”
Their stated vision, in part, is to build and energize leading global communities, be the creative force shaping global, regional and industry strategies, and be the catalyst of choice for its communities when undertaking global initiatives to improve the state of the world.
It becomes clear that the Cordoba Initiative is integrated within a larger global initiative, including the World Economic Forum. Within the World Economic Forum are other overlapping groups and organizations, including those dedicated to advance the agenda of global warming and climate change, usher in a single world currency, and unite the world under a single religion.
Members of the World Economic Forum include the C-100 group (world leaders, including key Muslim leaders) that is headed by the Saudis, and groups including the Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow (MLT). Their agenda is to advance Islam under the guise of interfaith dialogue and interaction. Their ultimate agenda, on a larger scale, is the unification of all religions under one global body.
Anyone familiar with the globalist agenda recognizes this as a critical aspect of breaking down our national sovereignty and ultimately expanding the radical social and political goals of the United Nations. It is the implementation of social justice through religious unification, a method to compel Americans to peacefully ultimately accept the UN’s radical agenda through subterfuge. There is no better symbolic location and has been no better time than under this administration for the advancement of such global objectives. And there are no better “emissaries” of the globalist agenda than Imam Feisal Abdul-Rauf and his wife, Daisy KAHN as illustrated here:
So Rauf’s ASMA received money from:
Who exactly is responsible for those Millennium Development Goals?
2. the abortion-happy U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA)
3. UN-loving groups like the Carnegie Corporation and the Rockefeller Brothers Fund
As I listen to the debate about the proposed Cordoba House community center at 51 Park Place in Manhattan I find it painful to see two highly regarded interfaith leaders dragged through the mud by news commentators and politicians who don’t really know them or their work. I, along with many Methodists in the New York City area, do know their work.
In 2003 I worked with Daisy Khan and Imam Feisal Rauf on a project that expanded my understanding of interfaith relationships in ways I never would have expected. The project was predominantly sponsored by the United Methodist Committee on Relief. It was called “Same Difference.”
“Same Difference” brought together Christians from my church, the Church of St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist, Jews from Congregation B’nai Jeshurun and Muslims from the American Sufi Muslim Association. We interviewed residents across the city—from the Muslim Pakistani cab driver in the Bronx, to the Hasidic family in Crown Heights, to the Korean Christian in Queens, to the Jewish literary agent from the Upper West Side, to the African-American Muslim from Harlem, to the Catholic firefighter’s family from Staten Island.
After hundreds of hours of interviews, we shaped them into a theater piece with music and dance that we presented free to the participants, their families and the public. Many interviewees came and returned again. They said that being able to hear their own words shared by actors in a safe space was incredibly cathartic and healing.
We learned such a great deal about one another’s traditions and ways of practicing our faith, and we heard honest hopes and fears since 9/11. Our dreams for our families and our world were much the same; it was only the paths we were choosing that were different. Often these divergent paths are misinterpreted.
In one of the open discussions after the play, a young member of Imam Feisal Rauf’s group explained that like the Bible, the Torah and many other religious books, the Koran had often been greatly misinterpreted and used for those with their own, often violent, agendas. She said the Muslim faith was being used just as it was used the day terrorists attacked the World Trade Center.
I have been thinking about this comment as I watch the current debates devolve. To oppose the Cordoba House one has to first believe that the Muslim religion itself encourages violence. It is a wrong and prejudicial belief that we can’t afford in a free country.
The United Methodist Church continued its interfaith involvement as United Methodist Women staff attended and sponsored the making of a short documentary-style version of the play for their series on “Creating Interfaith Community,” one of the Mission Studies for United Methodist Women’s 2003 Schools of Christian Mission program.
Since “Same Difference,” I’ve worked with Daisy on other Cordoba interfaith initiatives with my church, and recently she helped United Methodist Women find a female Muslim “voice of vision” for the organization’s 2010 Assembly in St. Louis, Mo., with more than 7,000 women in attendance.
Daisy Khan has also initiated a project called the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality (WISE), one goal of which is to enlist women scholars to reinterpret the Koran for a new kind of Shariah law. This great moderate Muslim woman is walking right into the center of female oppression in her faith, going to the core of the problem and trying to make changes. [...]
Among the most powerful words in our interviews were spoken by a Pakistani cab driver and a local rabbi. The cab driver said, “I have very easy philosophy. Sometimes I lose something and solve the problem. This is a form of peace. You’ll not be losing if you win the peace. If you’re stubborn, then you’re losing. Your children will lose. Your grandchildren will lose. If you lose to win the peace, you’ve won everything.”
The Rabbi said, “Out of this place, which suffered this attack … out of this can come a new paradigm for the 21st century. Which is, how are we going to be together and work together?”
P.S. Yet another Muslim-Christian Interfaith Event is coming up in my local upstate NY area soon.
It’s very interesting that this proposed center will service “many faiths” considering non-Muslims are considered infidels. It’s not widely known that the World Trade Center has been renamed the One World Trade Center.
The One World Trade Center will blend nicely with the interfaith center being proposed two blocks away. The name of the WTC is not an accident and neither is the proposed plans of imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. World government united with world religion is the end game of the antichrist, in which Rauf is a willing accomplice. [...]
2 Corinthians 6:14
Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
“There’s just a lot of crazies and that’s why he has police protection from the NYPD,” the Rev. James Parks Morton said Monday of his friend Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. [...]
Morton, former dean of New York’s Cathedral of St. John the Divine, said the imam was mostly avoiding New York, where he typically works, since returning from a State Department trip to the Middle East two weeks ago.Morton has known Rauf and his family since the 1960s and works in the same office building as Rauf on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. [...]
Another Rauf associate, the Rev. Chloe Breyer, said the imam skipped a New York board meeting of her group, the Interfaith Center of New York, on Thursday. Rauf is a vice chair on center’s board.
“He is laying low,” Breyer, an Episcopal priest, said of Rauf Monday. “He isn’t coming into New York.” [...]
He appeared at the Council of Foreign Relations in New York last Monday for a speech and question-and-answer session about the controversy over his proposed Islamic center…
My old post on the Cathedral of St. John the Divine as well as Rev. James Parks Morton.