Monday, September 20, 2010

Background Check

The imam who proposed building a Muslim center  near the former World Trade Center site has received a great deal of support because he comes across as decent, caring individual who only wants what's best for the community at large.   It was as if his insensitivity about  9-11 and likely intent to foment discord that would (and did) result from this offer didn't play a part in his agenda.  However, if there were any question or doubt about his true character, this uncertainty can be laid to rest  with the revelation that this "holy man" is facing charges of being a slumlord.

That's right. It turns out that an apartment building that Feisal Abdul Rauf  owns in Union City, New Jersey has been cited for numerous violations including vermin infestation and rotting floors.   This is just one of several  buildings in which Rauf has been involved—and tax payer subsidized at that. His property investments have been also characterized by markedly shady dealings.

What's strange is how this story has been downplayed in the press.  In light of all the controversy that has surrounded Park51/ Cordoba House, one would think that this kind of a disclosure would receive a great deal more publicity.  Perhaps the media is treading lightly in order not to embarrass  prominent figures such as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg have spoken in favor of the center.

On one hand, Rauf's dealings with his non-Muslim tenants and  failure to disclose his history to the public seem to dovetail with the Islamic doctrine of Al-tiqiyya which states that it is acceptable to lie to non-Mulims in furtherance of Islam.  On the other maybe there's no religious motive behind his behavior;  he may be just an out-and-out con-artist with no sense of honor toward his tenants or his followers.

Based on Rauf's past statements about Egypt,  Israel, Jews, and Iran, he harbored rather non-ecumenical feelings about non-Muslims in the 1970's.  Has Rauf really changed his tune since then?  He is evasive and hedges the question as to whether he not his beliefs in the means of achieving certain ends have undergone a genuine transformation.

In short, the evidence shows that Rauf is a fraud and a hypocrite. Considering the above revelations, how can anyone rationalize continued trust in this man and support of his plans for his "designs"?




2 comments:

Ani Sharmin said...

I hadn't heard about this particular accusation before (thought I'd heard some of the other accusations against him). During this whole mosque controversy, I thought both sides were being ridiculous, with one side ignoring the problems within Islam and the other side supporting ridiculous politicians who were being discriminatory.

Secular Guy said...

I haven't heard much about the mosque controversy lately. I just wish the dispute would go away permanently. But that's not about to happen.