In a recent Newsweek interview, the Cordoba Initiative’s Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf shared what lessons he drew from the past summer’s controversy over the planned Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center:
We learned a number of lessons, the most important of which is this: the real battlefront is not between the West and the Muslim world. It’s between the moderates of all faith traditions and the extremists or radicals—and I include in that the agnostic and atheist community. The radicals are unwitting partners. They fuel each other.
Asked to respond to those who “argue that Cordoba House is a symbolic celebration of Muslim hegemony,” Rauf had this to say:
Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them.” We have said what we plan to do. We’re inviting people of all faiths to help us build this vision. Come and listen to us, learn about us, engage with us, talk about us, see if this is, in fact, Muslim hegemony. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but if we do not do this, the alternative is going to be disaster. We will go down the route of bin Laden and the pastor [in Florida who threatened to burn the Quran] and insulting cartoons. And we just can’t do that—we can’t do that anymore. We’ve got to put a stop to this insanity.
Guys like Feisal Abdul Rauf who are prime practitioners of this stealth jihad tend to get a pass or worse yet are sometimes lionized as moderate Muslims who are the opponents of this Jihadism when in fact they are simply prosecuting it by different means. [...]
A mosque that is used to promote a seditious program, which is what Sharia is, as practiced by Feisal Rauf, as practiced by Osama bin Laden, as practiced by the Saudis, as practiced by the Iranians, and so many others, that is not a protected religious practice, that is in fact sedition.
Segments like this are a great demonstration of why a recent study found Fox News viewers to be the most misinformed. Not only does Gaffney deploy his tendentious and unscholarly definition of sharia (the collective term for a scripturally-based code of Muslim conduct) to cast Rauf as an ally of Al Qaeda and Al Qaeda as an ally of Iran, he then goes on to assert that the religious practices of a certain class of Americans — sharia-observant American Muslims — are “seditious” and thus not deserving of constitutional protections. And host Eric Bolling can barely nod fast enough in agreement.
Gaffney specializes in these sorts of irresponsible accusations. Among his previous targets was Rashad Hussein, the Obama administration’s representative to the Organization of the Islamic Conference, whom Gaffney claimed represented a threat based on Hussein’s having memorized the Qur’an. Gaffney’s organization, the Center for Security Policy, also released a report in 2009 accusing key members of the Obama administration of working with “the Iran lobby.”
Hilariously, Bolling refers to Gaffney as “the expert on this [sharia],” but, as Gaffney himself admitted during the Murfreesboro trial, he’s no expert on sharia. But that doesn’t stop him from going on TV to pose as one, or Fox News and others from inviting him on to do it.