Cordoba House Imam “Extremist” in “Sheep’s Clothing”?

Steve Emerson has reportedly found 13 hours of tape of Cordoba Initiative chairman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and found him to be a "radical extremist cleric who cloaks himself in sheep's clothing." Does it matter?

Steve Emerson has reportedly found 13 hours of tape of Cordoba Initiative chairman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and found him to be a “radical extremist cleric who cloaks himself in sheep’s clothing.”

Pam Gellar, a leader in the movement opposing the building of the mosque and community center two blocks from Ground Zero, reports that the tapes will reveal Rauf:

Defending wahhabism – a puritanical version of Islam that governs Saudi Arabia

Calling for the elimination of Israel by claiming a one-nation state, meaning no more Jewish State.

Defending Bin Laden’s violence

Demonstrating that there is a lot more to this man than merely a cleric.

Ace, Weasel Zippers, Dave Price,  and others are running with the story and argue that it vindicates their opposition to the project and that those of us defending it “got played for chumps.”  Ace also uncorks the delightful pun “un-mosqued.”

While Emerson is a bit polemical for my tastes, he’s a legitimate expert.   He was doing yeoman’s work on pointing out the real dangers of Muslim extremism long before the 9/11 attacks.   His 2002 American Jihad:  The Terrorists Living Among Us is a valuable addition to the cannon and his 1994 PBS documentary of the same title won the Polk Award.  And, while he’s been banging the “jihadis in our midst” drum for years, he’s always exceedingly careful to point out that the vast number of Muslims are decent folks.   He’s worth taking seriously.

That said, I’d really like to have more than a thumbnail sketch of the findings.  Emerson’s blog is defunct and, while he’s listed a contributor, he hasn’t posted on Counterterrorism Blog in ages.  So, I’m not privy to his analysis.

What does “Defending wahhabism” mean, for example?   I think it’s despicable and dangerous but also think they have a right to exist.  Indeed, there’s a Saudi Islamic school within walking distance of my house.    Is Rauf a fan of wahhabism?  In sympathy with its extreme ideas?  Or merely acknowledging that we have to find a way to co-exist since they’re not going anywhere?

Ditto “Defending Bin Laden’s violence.”   Is he merely acknowledging that bin Laden is motivated by America’s foreign policy and not just his hatred of our “freedom”?   Or is he actually saying that murdering innocents is justified, or even laudable?

The Israel thing is dubious on its face.  I happen to support a two-state solution that involves a Palestine that’s carved out of parts of Jordan and Egypt and not just the Occupied Territories.  (No, it’s not going to happen.  It’s just the only theoretically viable option I can see.)   But calling for a non-ethnic state in which Jews and Arabs co-exist, even if it means as a practical matter that Jews won’t have the power to govern, isn’t exactly heinous.

And, isn’t there more to all of us than our jobs?

For the sake of argument, however, let’s stipulate that Rauf is a secret Wahhabist who hates Jews and sympathizes with terrorists.   Does it change anything?

Certainly, it doesn’t alter his group’s legal rights to build a community center that’s been approved by local zoning authorities.   The 1st Amendment protects freedom of worship and freedom of expression, even of outrageous thoughts.  Especially those, in fact.

But it would undermine Rauf’s claims that “My colleagues and I are the anti-terrorists. We are the people who want to embolden the vast majority of Muslims who hate terrorism to stand up to the radical rhetoric. Our purpose is to interweave America’s Muslim population into the mainstream society.”    If, instead, he’s actually intent on building some kind of Super Madrasah to radicalize New York City’s Muslim population, he’d lose my sympathy and his moral high ground.

For me, his right trumps my objection on the grounds of ought.  But the case for the latter would be much stronger.

FILED UNDER: Islam, US Politics, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. YoMamma says:

    This pro-mosque kick of yours is making me wonder why I read your blog…

  2. James Joyner says:

    Your call. I’m pretty agnostic on the subject of mosques. I’m bullish on religious freedom.

  3. sam says:

    If the stuff about Bin Laden is just warmed over from Rauf’s 60 Minutes interview, well…
    (http://www.islamfortoday.com/60minutes.htm).

    Emerson now runs The Investigative Project on Terrorism (http://www.investigativeproject.org/), but I’ve not seen any of this reported over there, yet. I know Emerson thinks Rauf is closely aligned with the Muslim Brotherhood and that that entity is spreading throughout the US. I would like to see the material he has to evaluate the claims for myself.

  4. Pug says:

    So can we expect the tapes to be released after Andrew Breitbart is done with the editing?

    Maybe they will release the “Whitey tapes” at the same time. I’ve been waiting for those for several years now. Tired of waiting.

  5. GregV says:

    Everyone who (rightfully) criticized the Obama administration for firing that woman without hearing the full context of her remarks will be waiting for the full source material to appear before passing judgment, right?

    If he does turn out to be an extremist I’ll happily change my position. But I want to hear the full tape, not someone’s summary of it.

  6. John Burgess says:

    Rauf is supposed to be a Sufi, so I doubt that he’s lending much support toward ‘Wahhabism’ as the Wahhabis really don’t care for Sufis much. The Saudis have relaxed a bit on that point, now allowing Sufi schools to exist in Mecca, but while they may be cousins in Islam, they’re not kissing cousins.

    I find it interesting, too, that as many young Muslims who studied at the Saudi Academy (1) have been caught up on terrorism charges as those who studied at Oakton HS. Maybe there’s something more required than mere ‘Wahhabism’?

  7. DC Loser says:

    Yeah, Oakton, VA, in that hotbed of radical Islam of Fairfax County, VA. Home of Ken “the Kook” Cuccinelli.

  8. James Joyner says:

    John: Yes, you’re almost certainly right on the Saudi Academy and wahhabi teaching. I’m uncomfortable with some of what goes on in some of the mosques in the greater Washington DC area but, oddly, the extremists like Beltway sniper John Allen Mohammed didn’t attend. So, yes, there’s some other ingredient or ingredients.

  9. Scott says:

    This is what’s wrong with the internet. Pamela Geller gets a heads up about the tapes and she jumps out in front to try to define the narrative with a few sound bites before anyone has heard them.

    Then, before you have heard them, you jump in with your two cents to discount what Geller says is on them.

    I expect this kind of behavior from Geller. But you’re both irresponsible in this case.

  10. James Joyner says:

    Then, before you have heard them, you jump in with your two cents to discount what Geller says is on them.

    I expect this kind of behavior from Geller. But you’re both irresponsible in this case.

    The meme is taking off on the blogs. To not respond is to let one side define the narrative. By the time the full context is known, it’s simply too late.

    And, no, I don’t discount what Gellar says is on them. I say that we need to see the quotes in context because there are perfectly benign ways that those things can be true. Further, I assess what even the most radical interpretation of those things would mean in terms of the present debate.

    I think that’s a useful exercise.

  11. You know what this reminds me of so far ?

    Larry Johnson’s (non-existent) “Whitey tape”

    Let’s wait till Monday and see what the tapes actually say

    And if Moore, Geller et al are intellectually honest they’ll release all the tapes, not just their edited versions of them

  12. Michael Reynolds says:

    The Whitey tape? Turned out Michelle was talking about legendary pitcher Whitey Ford. Huge Yankees fan, apparently.

  13. steve says:

    Yup, need to se what is on them. It would be fairly easy to defend parts of wahhabism. A one state solution? A number of Israelis support that, with Israelis on top. Need to hear if the Bin Laden thing is more than just the blowback argument. Bottom line? I would bet that there is little new and people will read into it what they want to believe.

    Steve

  14. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I can see this discussion coming down to what “If” means. Denial is not a river in Egypt. The crow is being prepared, the humble pie is in the oven. The eggs and your faces are about to collide. I admire your defense of religious freedom James. I will try to remember that when I read your defense of Nativitiy scenes in town squares where the majority of the populations define themselves as Christian. I guess to establish a religion, one needs to claim a vision like Joseph Smith, or Mohammed, write some inspired literature and claim to be a messenger from God. Smith was subect to the will of the government. Mohammed became the government. Mohammed spead his truth with the sword, killing those who failed to see things his way. Kind of reminds me of an Austrian who moved to Germany, became an inspired leader there. He also believed in killing those who did not see things his way. No freedoms are guaranteed as absolutes. For instance, human sacrifice is frowned on except by those who cling to the Aztec religion Most Muslims do not oppose Sharia law which abrogates our Constitutionally guaranteed freedoms. I just question the wisdom of advocating for that which would undermine or completely eliminate that which we hold dear. I also question why you do not question how Imam Rauf’s travels to the middle east is being paid for by our state department. I can imagine the howls of protest if Billy Grahams travels had been funded by some dept. of our Government. I would really like to read Dougs take on government spending on religious matters.

  15. reid says:

    Given the histories of these people (Gellar in particular), you know they’re wildly spinning whatever is on these tapes. I can appreciate that you want to get ahead of the narrative, James, but until there’s an mp3 to download, maybe it’s best to just point out that fact and tell everyone to wait before drawing any conclusions. Referring to “whitey” would put it in context and give that Johnson clown another deserved kick.

  16. Tlaloc says:

    “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction”. Ronald Reagan

    Reagan was apparently wrong- freedom is never more than one terrorist act away from extinction. All it took was one successful attack to make a majority of americans throw all of our principles in the rubbish- right to assembly, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press, protection from warrantless search and seizure, right to counsel, habeas corpus, opposition to torture of helpless prisoners, and on and on.

  17. Calling for the elimination of Israel by claiming a one-nation state, meaning no more Jewish State.

    I remember during the Clinton administration, the right would say that a one state solution was the only viable one and anyone who wanted a two state solution was really and anti-semite. Now a two state solution is the only viable option and anyone who wants a one state solution is an anti-semite.

    We’ve always been at war with East Asia, apparently.

  18. Denial is not a river in Egypt. The crow is being prepared, the humble pie is in the oven. The eggs and your faces are about to collide.

    “If we hit that bullseye, the rest of the dominoes should fall like a house of cards. Checkmate.”

  19. davod says:

    “Given the histories of these people (Gellar in particular), you know they’re wildly spinning whatever is on these tapes.”

    Examples?

  20. jpe says:

    Spot on. I expect the tapes to be non-controversial, but will misread and misunderstood by Geller etal.

  21. Eric Florack says:

    “I’m bullish on religious freedom.”

    So, then tell us… all this defense for Muslims… it it misplaced? What religious freedom is there in the Muslim world?

    And Pam is spot on in her comments, by the way

  22. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    Nice to see I am not alone in a world that seems to want to invite those who would impose their beliefs upon us, using our adherence to religious freedom. As in all things, this does not apply to all Muslims, but I seldom hear moderates speak out against the imposition of Sharia. If fact we do not seem to hear much from moderate Muslims at all. We are only told we are intolerant if we do not allow them to impose their will on us. Schools must accommodate the needs of Muslims to have separate factilities for males and females because of thier religious beliefs. School football practice moved to accommodate ramadan. Just one thing after anoher. That is the history and the battle plan for Islam to encompass the world. Like the previouls poster asked. Where in the Islamic world is there the tolerance and freedom they ask of us?

  23. matt says:

    Erik it’s nice to see you’re holding us to the standards of the lowest common denominator meanwhile I prefer to think we’re BETTER then that. As for your “point” I suggest you start out with Turkey and then go from there..

  24. matt says:

    Hell man there’s over 600 churches in Iran (estimates of +300k Christians) alone and that’s supposedly part of the axis of evil…

  25. Eric Florack says:

    Zels: Spot on, and well spoken.

  26. sam says:

    @BitEric

    “So, then tell us… all this defense for Muslims… it it misplaced? What religious freedom is there in the Muslim world?”

    I dunno, Bit. Some of us are trying to maintain it in our world. Evidently, that’s a problem for you?

    @Zels

    “Nice to see I am not alone in a world…”

    As long as Bithead draws breath, you will always have a soulmate.

  27. sam says:

    I can’t let this piece of stupidity, with it’s implied, “see, they’re taking over”, go unremarked. (Bit thinks it’s peachy, no doubt.):

    @Zels

    “School football practice moved to accommodate ramadan . Just one thing after anoher. ”

    The Detroit News reports :
    Practicing four or five hours, with a break in between during the hot days of August without food or water is potentially dangerous. To prepare for Ramadan, Fordson coach Walker Zaban scheduled practices at night. Monday’s practice began at 12:01 a.m., the earliest allowed by the Michigan High School Athletic Association. The rest of this week’s practices began at 11 p.m.

    Starting practice so late allows the players and coaches to eat and drink, and complete their meals an hour or so before practice….

    Zaban estimates 95 percent of his players are Muslim…. Though Fordson has a greater percentage of Muslims, many also attend Dearborn High and Dearborn Edsel Ford, the two other public high schools in Dearborn. Dearborn coach Dave Mifsud also changed his practice schedule. Dearborn’s practices start at 5 p.m. and last until 10:30 p.m….

    See, Eugene Volokh, High School Football Practices and Ramadan (http://volokh.com/2010/08/18/high-school-football-practices-and-ramadan/)

    Jeepers. A highschool football team 95% of players are Muslim. We are doomed.

  28. Juneau says:

    @ Sam

    “I dunno, Bit. Some of us are trying to maintain it in our world. Evidently, that’s a problem for you?”

    You only want to maintain it for the chosen ones (i.e. if it gives you a chance to stand against a conservative position). I have seen none of you on here defend Christian, Catholic, or Jewish religious freedom.

    It is your selectiveness that makes your position suspect in the extreme, not the foundational priciple (religious freedom) that you supposedly adhere to. Freedom for all is freedom for all, not just your pet project. There havebeen, and continue to be, innumerable assaults on conservative religious freedom in this country. You’re all about crying “separation of church and state” if it is Christian, Catholic, or Judaism. But if it is Islam – which wants the church to be the state – then you are silent. Your history and narrative shows your concern is not really sincere. Otherwise it would be consistent.

  29. Eric Florack says:

    “I dunno, Bit. Some of us are trying to maintain it in our world. Evidently, that’s a problem for you?”

    False equivalency.

  30. Jeepers. A highschool football team 95% of players are Muslim. We are doomed.

    Have they been practicing the “Statue of Liberty play”? Obviously this is all a ruse to train militants to sneak things past airline security.

  31. davod says:

    Roger Siimon has this from Whaild Shoebat:

    http://pajamasmedia.com/rogerlsimon/2010/08/16/ask-walid-michael-bloomberg-doesnt-speak-arabic-and-other-tales-of-the-ground-zero-mosque/

    Better yet, we have asked a former terrorist — our good buddy Walid Shoebat.

    Walid has been scouring the Arabic-speaking Internet for the words of Imam Rauf. Does Rauf say the same things in Arabic as he does in English?

    “People asked me right after the 9/11 attack as to why do movements with political agendas carry [Islamic] religious names? Why call it ‘Muslim Brotherhood’ or ‘Hezbollah (Party of Allah)’ or ‘Hamas’ or ‘Islamic Resistance Movement’? I answer them this—that the trend towards Islamic law and justice begins in religious movements, because secularism had failed to deliver what the Muslim wants, which is life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

    “The only law that the Muslim needs exists already in the Koran and the Hadith.”

    Say good-bye to that fuddy-concept, the separation of church and state. But wait, there’s more….

    “I do not believe in religious dialogue … this phrase is inaccurate. Religious dialogue as is customarily understood is a set of events with discussions in large hotels that result in nothing. Religions do not dialogue and dialogue is not present in the attitudes of the followers regardless of being Muslim or Christian.”

  32. steve says:

    “So, then tell us… all this defense for Muslims… it it misplaced? What religious freedom is there in the Muslim world?”

    I live in the US. I vote in the US. I care about religious freedom in the US. I dont wish to model the US on any Muslim country. I dont wish to follow their views on religion, culture, politics or economics.

    Steve

  33. giantslor says:

    If we didn’t allow religious buildings for people who believe ridiculous things, we’d have to tear down every church, mosque and synagogue in America.

  34. davod says:

    Why is the good Imam Rauf wanting to build a reconcilliation center near ground zero when – the Arab Press Says Jews Perpetrated 9/11 Attacks [more to the point. after reading this, why would any rich Muslim pay for a reconcilliation center when the jews did it]

    http://www.nysun.com/national/arab-press-says-jews-perpetrated-9-11-attacks/38781/

    “Is it conceivable that Muslims did the killing on 9/11? Yes, they did. They killed 3,000 people.” — Ahmad Al-Rub’i, a former Kuwaiti minister of education, Al-Rai TV, March 27

    Twelve days from now will mark the fifth anniversary of the attacks of September 11, 2001. Since the attacks, the Middle East Media Research Institute has documented what the Arab and Iranian press has said about that day.

    Its response to the attacks was immediate. “When the towers collapsed … my lungs filled with air. I breathed in relief, as I’d never breathed before,”a missive from the chairman of the Syrian Arab Writers Association read. “Millions across the world shouted in joy: America was hit,” the independent Egyptian weekly Al-Maydan wrote. “I have a sneaking suspicion that George W. Bush was involved in the operations of September 11, as was Colin Powell,” a columnist for the Arabic-language daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Samir Atallah, said.

    Prominent journalists, members of academia, and leading religious figures shaped such conspiracy theories. Furthermore, Arab government officials were responsible in part for creating and spreading conspiracies about what “really” happened.

    “I find it hard to believe that people who were learning to fly in Florida could, within a year and a half, fly large commercial airlines and hit with accuracy the towers of the World Trade Center, which would appear, to the pilot from the air, the size of a pencil,” President Mubarak of Egypt told Al-Ahram Weekly on October 25, 2001. “Only a professional pilot could carry out this mission, not someone who learned to fly for 18 months in Florida.”

    Two weeks after the attacks, Sheik Muhammad al-Gameia — an Egyptian imam at the Islamic Cultural Center of New York and the American representative to Al-Azhar University, the highest religious authority in Sunni Islam — gave an interview to one of the school’s Web sites. He said, among other things, “If the Americans knew that the Jews carried out the September 11 attacks, they would do to them what Hitler did.”

    More recently, an American Muslim scholar who is active in prominent American Muslim organizations such as the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Salah Sultan, gave an interview to Saudi Al-Resala TV. “September 11 could not have been carried out entirely from outside [America] — by Muslims or others.… The entire thing was of a large scale and was planned within America in order to enable America to control and terrorize the entire world,” he said on May 17.

    Notable conspiracy theories from the Arab world and Iran between 2001 and 2004 put the blame for the attacks on Jews, Zionists, Christian Zionists, born again Christians, the Vatican, Mossad, CIA, National Security Council, white supremacist groups, Britain, President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Benjamin Netanyahu, and many others.

    These conspiracies have continued over the past year. “The 9/11 story is, in fact, a Zionist conspiracy,” an Egyptian cleric, Abd Al-Sabur Shaheen, said on Al-Nas TV on July 10.

    Writing in the Oman daily Al-Watan on June 26, Abdallah Hammouda discussed the possibility that neoconservative Christians and Zionists planned and implemented the attacks.

    The “real facts are not available”to explain what really happened on September 11, but besides Al Qaeda, it is possible Jews or even the “Americans themselves were behind it,” the chairman of the Somali Islamic Courts Union, Sheik Sherif Sheik Ahmed, told the Somaliland Times on June 9.

    “I said that 9/11 was carried out by American agents,” the deputy chairman of the Egyptian Parliamentary Committee for Defense and National Security, Muhammad Abd Al-Fattah, told Ein TV on May 2.

    “I am one of the those who believe these events”of September 11 “were fabricated from the outset,” an Egyptian cleric who once lectured in America, Hazem Sallah Abu Ismail, said on Saudi Al-Resala TV on April 14.

    Throughout September 2005, Al-Jazeera aired a special titled “The Truth Behind 9/11.” Part IV, which aired September 30, was devoted to the Mossad’s involvement, including “agents … dancing and cheering in front of the World Trade Center.”

    On September 13, 2005, Iran’s Jaame Jam 1 TV aired a program on September 11 conspiracies, including the “true” passengers on the planes that hit the World Trade Center and the Pentagon and why 4,000 Jews did not show up to work that day. An Iranian TV documentary on Sahar 1 TV on September 11, 2005, suggested that the American government attacked its own people.

    A retired Egyptian general, Muhammed Khalef, said on Al-Mihwar TV on September 11, 2005, that the planning for September 11, 2001, began in 1999 at the National Defense University. He claimed that Mr. Cheney told Mr. Bush, “It was an inside the White House job.”

    In November 2002, Ain Al-Yaqeen quoted the powerful Saudi interior minister, Prince Nayef, as saying: “It is impossible that 19 youths carried out the operation of September 11, or that bin Laden or Al Qaeda did that alone. … I think [the Zionists] are behind these events.” Prince Nayef’s statement was considered shocking and was immediately condemned. As NBC reported, it completely undercut a $10 million Saudi public relations campaign.

    Unfortunately, as we approach the fifth anniversary of the attacks, statements such as Prince Nayef’s are now readily accepted in the Middle East.On June 22, Pew released the results of a survey that asked Muslims if they thought Arabs carried out the September 11 attacks. Only 17% of British Muslims; 48% of French Muslims; 16% of Indonesians; 32% of Egyptians; 16% of Turks; 39% of Jordanians, and 15% of Pakistanis answered “yes.”

    Mr. Stalinsky is the executive director of the Middle East Media Research Institute. A documentary about the results of MEMRI’s survey of the Arab and Iranian press over the last five years, narrated by Ron Silver and produced by Interface Media Group, will air on http://www.memri.org next week.”

  35. Juneau: says:

    @ giantslor

    “If we didn’t allow religious buildings for people who believe ridiculous things, we’d have to tear down every church, mosque and synagogue in America.”

    Its not about whether or not they have a right to build it there – they have a right. No one wants to violate their rights and take it away from them just because we have observed that their religion spawns thousands of rabid, insane, child killers. But the “thumb-in-your-eye” approach taken by Park51, along with the typical liberal “you’re a bigot” response to anyone that objects to being given the middle finger by the Islamists, means that 70 %of the country is pretty much digging in their heels more and more every day.

    Common sense tells anyone with half a brain that you don’t do things like this if your intention truly is to “build bridges of dialogue.” Regardless of the constitutional rights to build it has become abundantly clear that the location is seen as an affront by the American people. For Park51 to continue to pursue this plan tells far more about their arrogance than their concern for building bridges.

  36. Grewgills says:

    So, then tell us… all this defense for Muslims… it it misplaced? What religious freedom is there in the Muslim world?

    How on earth is that relevant?
    What religious freedom is there in vatican city? Does the lack of non catholic religious buildings there mean that we should not allow catholic churches here?
    Does the lack of political freedom in some countries mean that we should outlaw belief in those political systems and deny people who foolishly believe in those systems the right to speak their minds and build meeting places?

    On a related note why is it you always seem to want to judge others by some standard that you imagine they apply to you and measure yourself by a far different and far more forgiving standard?

  37. JB says:

    Pamela Geller also said Obama was the son of Malcom X and that Hillary was the lesbian lover of Huma Abedin. This woman has lied so many times in the past, I wonder why anyone believes anything she says.

  38. Eric Florack says:

    So, we read Dianna West:

    Stonings at ground zero – that’ll be the day, right? The concept has no manifestation beyond the cold sweat of a dark hours nightmare. Still, there’s something worth gleaning from the not-so-free association process that inspired it.

    It clicked when I read a riveting investigation by Christine Brim at BigPeace.com into scrubbed Web site material of the Cordoba Initiative, the Internet home of Imam Feisal Rauf, he of the ground zero mosque. In this trove of information, curiously deleted from the current Cordoba Initiative Web site, lie key clues to Rauf’s long-term program, the Shariah Index Project, whose “goal,” as stated in the “hidden” material, is to “define, interpret and implement the concept of the Islamic state in modern times.”

    Yeah, go ahead, and explain to me now this meshes with your ‘religious freedom’ argument, guys. You’re allowing yourselves to be fooled. Why, seems a reasonable question.

  39. Franklin says:

    I guess to establish a religion, one needs to claim a vision like Joseph Smith, or Mohammed, write some inspired literature and claim to be a messenger from God.

    I think you forgot Abraham and Moses in that list.

  40. sam says:

    You know, Bithead, instead of engaging in your usual contentless bullshit, you could have supplied a link to that Brim creature’s piece. For anyone interested, here it is:

    http://bigpeace.com/cbrim/2010/08/17/ground-zero-mosques-hidden-websites-follow-the-shariah

    Go over and read it and giggle. She retrieved pages from defunct websites (which she perversely calls “hidden” websites) via the Internet Archives Wayback Machine (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php) to build a bogus case that the Shariah Index project, as described in some of the content of the pages, is some kind of blue print for the imposition of Shariah on the United States. I’ve absolutely no doubt that there are those in Islamic world who would have Shariah imposed on the United States, but I defy anyone to find in the documents she cites any plan of imposition. (The killer part of her piece, from a comedy central point of view, is her contention that after you’ve accounted for the various legitimate functions that 7 of the 13 floors of the former Burlington Coat Factory could contain, you’re left with 6 empty floors…guess what they’re to be used for? –Wait for it– The dark machinery of those who would impose Shariah on the United States. — Sans any proof, of course. But hey, this is right-wing anti-Islamic zealotry. We don’t need no stinkin’ proof.)

  41. Eric Florack says:

    Go over and read it and giggle. She retrieved pages from defunct websites (which she perversely calls “hidden” websites) via the Internet Archives Wayback Machine (http://www.archive.org/web/web.php) to build a bogus case that the Shariah Index project,

    So, was the author lying then, or is he lying now? Can you tell? Do you know?
    At what point did the site in question remove the articles in question?
    A short while ago we were treated to the spectacle of Trent Lott being castigated by the left for having made a polite statement about Strom Thurmond. you may recall the latter having a racist record in his past. Lott , for his part was called a racist based on his statements . There is, of course, despite the fact that Thurmond had renounced that racism.

    So why is it that this imam gets a pass on all of the statements that he obviously wanted hidden to the point where such statements were removed from public view?

    sorry. No sale.

  42. sam says:

    “So why is it that this imam gets a pass on all of the statements that he obviously wanted hidden to the point where such statements were removed from public view”

    Go over and read the “hidden” webpages, you blithering idiot, then come back and tell us what you find.

  43. Juneau: says:

    @ sam

    “Go over and read it and giggle. She retrieved pages from defunct websites (which she perversely calls “hidden” websites) via the Internet Archives Wayback Machine ”

    You have finally confirmed for me that you are either senile or have the relative intelligence of a hob-nailed boot. The “WayBack Machine” maintains old copies of previous versions of websites. It is not, in any way, shape, or form, representative of “defunct” webpages from a site. It is a valuable investigative tool used by Prosectors for internet fraud cases, corporate intelligence, and tracking of web site content in earlier versions. Archive.org has been around many years and is considered an extremely reputable resource for discovering previously existing content on a web site.

    You’re losing it, old timer.

  44. sam says:

    Wow. That is without doubt the most devastating counterargument I’ve ever encountered here at OTB. Except, of course, for the facts that (1) it says nothing at all about the substance of my argument and (2) is false. See, for example, this website: B List: 10 Best Defunct Jam Sites(http://www.glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack/b-list-10-best-defunct-jam-sites/), and then, for example, go to the Wayback Machine, and put this url in the search: http://www.eyesoftheworld.co.uk
    to see how this all works.

    If you’re putting in to be Darth Bithead’s acolyte, you’re certainly head-up-ass in front of the competition. Silly boy.

  45. anjin-san says:

    > I have seen none of you on here defend Christian, Catholic, or Jewish religious freedom.

    And here I am going along through life thinking Catholics are Christians. Silly me.

  46. Juneau: says:

    @ sam

    “Wow. That is without doubt the most devastating counterargument I’ve ever encountered here at OTB. Except, of course, for the facts that (1) it says nothing at all about the substance of my argument and (2) is false. .”

    1) it says everything about the substance of your argument because the Wayback Machine is a legitimate repository of old copies of the verified content of web sites. If the content wasn’t on the site, there would not be a copy of it in the older versions captured by Archive,org. Therefore it completely blows your argument out of the water. Period. End of Story.

    2) My statement about the Wayback Machine is not only accurate, it is affirmed by the fact that this resource is taught in a variety of prominent, industry recognized, certification courses for Ethical Hacking( C I EH ) Information Security ( SCP, CISSP ) and Information Assurance.

    “If you’re putting in to be Darth Bithead’s acolyte, you’re certainly head-up-ass in front of the competition. Silly boy.”

    You haven’t got a clue as to what you are talking about – not one. And you are undoubtedly aware by now of the total ignorance you displayed about Archive,org, because (like all good Progs) you have gone into “insult and evade” mode.

    If it is in a copy of the website found on Archive.org it was on the website when it was captured in the WayBack Machine. Period.

  47. Juneau: says:

    @ anjin

    “And here I am going along through life thinking Catholics are Christians. Silly me.”

    It is the progs here who make the distinction on a regular basis, hence the familiar categorization – for your benefit.

  48. sam says:

    Juneau,

    You wrote:

    “The “WayBack Machine” maintains old copies of previous versions of websites. It is not, in any way, shape, or form, representative of “defunct” webpages from a site.”

    I provided a counter-example: B List: 10 Best Defunct Jam Sites(http://www.glidemagazine.com/hiddentrack/b-list-10-best-defunct-jam-sites/) that relies on the Wayback Machine for its content. But you say it’s not really a counterexample because, well, because why? BTW, I didn’t talk about defunct webpages, I mentioned defunct websites. But even if I didn’t mention defunct webpages, would it be a mistake to refer to the pages of defunct website as defunct, too? I used the expression to describe the WM to folks not familiar with it. And it’s a perfectly legitimate description, as I showed. But this is a trivial point. It’s what’s in the pages she cites that is important. In fact, I don’t think that the pages were really gotten from a defunct website like one of the Defunct Jam Sites, and in that I was mistaken.

    I think the pages were just deleted pages from the current site because I can’t detect any redesign. But so what? I can’t see how that impinges on the fundamental argument. Web sites delete pages all the time. Do you really think the substance of my argument revolves around how deleted web pages are archived? It’s fundamentally about the content of the pages and how, deleted or not, they provide zero support for Brim’s position. The fact that she calls them “hidden” webpages and loads the argument in that fashion seems not to register. Are all deleted, but archived, webpages eo ipso “hidden” webpages. If that’s the case, then all of OTB’s pages from before the design, if they were deleted but archived by the Wayback Machine, are hidden. Is that what you want to argue?

    But really, it’s about the content of the pages and Brim’s argument. You latched onto the most trivial part of the comment and passed right over the important part: Let me repeat it, with a slight editing so your panties stay twist-free:

    She uses retrieved webpages, deleted from the site and archived via the Wayback Machine, to build a bogus case that the Shariah Index project, as described in some of the content of the pages, is some kind of blue print for the imposition of Shariah on the United States. I’ve absolutely no doubt that there are those in the Islamic world who would have Shariah imposed on the United States, but I defy anyone to find in the documents she cites any plan of imposition.

  49. sam says:

    BTW, she uses the term “hidden website” archived via the WM, which may be why I thought they were defunct websites:

    We found two hidden websites with copiously deleted information, all about the Imam’s Cordoba Institute Shariah Index Project. For reference, here’s the Imam’s most recent hidden website (also available here as a pdf). And here’s the Imam’s earlier hidden website (also available here as a pdf). The information on those websites – information that the Imam tried to hide with a new whitewashed version – suggests that the six mystery floors of the Ground Zero Mosque will be dedicated to the Imam’s long-term goal: the Shariah Index Project, designed to benchmark Shariah compliance, to distribute Shariah propaganda, and to enforce Shariah law in America and worldwide.

    But it’s clear when you open the pdf’s, those are pages. Perhaps, with your deep understanding of thing internety, you could write to her and explain the difference between a site and a page.

  50. Juneau: says:

    @ Sam

    You appear to be making an attempt to be sincere and I appreciate that, also sincerely. But you are not processing the import of what I am saying. I’m sensitive to the fact that this is likely due to the fact that you probably never heard of the WayBack Machine until you did your research. I am not only familiar with it, but know for a fact that the “aged” content from web pages recorded there is legitimate content that was once officially and formally part of the web sites represented. There is no debate possible about this fact if you know how Archive.org works and have formal training in the relevant Information Security and Information Assurance issues.

    Despite what you may prefer to believe, if the quotes, links, and content are included in older versions located on the WayBack MAchine, they were once formally part of the web site.

    I have nowhere maintained any particular interpretation of the language referenced. That was not a disclaimer, but simply a fact.

  51. sam says:

    I am not denying they were once part of a website. Where did you get the idea that I was denying that? My entire argument depends on the fact that the pages are genuine! That it is legitimate content. I’ never said she fabricated these pages. Just that the content of the pages does not support, in any way, this claim:

    [T]he Shariah Index Project, [is] designed to benchmark Shariah compliance, to distribute Shariah propaganda, and to enforce Shariah law in America and worldwide.

    And btw, having worked in the field of computers and computer tech support for over seven years, I can tell you with some assurance that I knew about the Wayback Machine a bit ago.

  52. JB says:

    I would like to know why no one has investigated the Sufi Masjid al-Farah Mosque where Imam Feisal led prayers for 27 years. They have open doors, and they even have a web site. Why is there never ANY mention of this?

    Obviously, the reason is that this congregation doesn’t readily lend itself to the delusional fearmongering of the critics. First off, the current spiritual head is a woman. Secondly, they allow men and women to mix. Look at the photograph accompanying this article:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/14/nyregion/14mosque.html

    also the mention of how she leads prayers here:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/7265021.stm

    “Among the Sufi Muslims of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi order at their meeting in Yonkers, men and women mix freely. The spiritual director is a woman. Shaykha Fariha occasionally leads both men and women in prayers, an act which has scandalised traditionalists but which she says is appropriate in America.

    “In the West I’m more free about leading prayers” she says. “I think the tendency against it is mainly a cultural one.”

    Not only that, they are very progressive when it comes to gays and lesbians. Shaykha Fariha as been very outspoken on this issue, and has eve appeared in the film “Born Equal”:

    http://www.bornequal.webs.com/

    Finally, they espouse a very anti-fundamentalist view.

    For example:

    http://www.nurashkijerrahi.org/teachings/sfariha_005.htm

    “Fundamentalists are basically just enforcing rules. Rules are not the Truth. The sharia is not as much a code of rules as a state of the heart. It is called the life-giving law, and part of its teaching is to treat others as oneself. The sharia is always pointed to the heart. In the Koran, it is stated that the truth is radiant and clear, and cannot be imposed. Any small part of the Koran taken out of context is as ridiculous as taking a sea urchin out of the ocean, pricking people with it and saying this is the ocean. The greatest teachers are the most merciful, the most forgiving, and not rule-bound at all. They reflect His light, forgiveness and tolerance. ”

    So, what was this supposedly “radical” Imam doing for 27 years leading prayers at what is by all accounts NYC most progressive mosque?

    Gee, he may be a radical after all, but just not of the terrorist variety. More like one who openly challenges traditional fundamentalist literalists…

  53. davod says:

    Back to Imam Rauf:

    Obama’s interest in the 9/11 mosque may be more than protecting the constitutional rights. The
    The 9/11 Imam says he wrote Obama’s Cairo Speech

    (These quotes, from a translation of Imam Rauf’s commentary and a newspaper interview, are edited (but are not of context).

    “WEBTODAY EXCLUSIVE (August 24, 2010) [ http://888webtoday.com/articles/viewnews.cgi?id=EklkyAFAFVxHELEDIJ originally from Atlas http://atlasshrugs2000.typepad.com/atlas_shrugs/2010/08/imam-rauf-boasts-that-he-wrote-obamas-muslim-speech-in-cairo.html ]

    — QUESTION: Who really was speaking on that historic day of June 4th 2009 in Cairo, Egypt? President Obama or the Imam of the proposed Ground Zero Mosque, Feisal Abdul Rauf?

    ANSWER: Feisal Abdul Rauf! Link to audio of Rauf’s admission

    “This is an example of the impact of our work in a positive way to be used by the President.”

    “… IN THE BOOK CHAPTER 6, I WROTE ABOUT THIS BLUE PRINT as to WHAT HAS TO BE DONE BY THE U.S. GOVERNMENT, what has to be done by the Jewish community, what has to be done by the Christian community, what has to be done by the Muslim community, what has to be done by educators, what has to be done by the media. For example, IN MY BOOK IN THE ARABIC VERSION page 293, what did I write? WHAT ARE THE THINGS THAT THE UNITED STATES NEEDS TO DO. IF YOU EXAMINE THIS CHAPTER YOU WILL FIND THAT THE OBAMA SPEECH IN CAIRO WAS ALL TAKEN FROM THIS SECTION [Section 6].
    The story was even collaborated in a written article in an interview with Hani Al-Waziri of Egypt. The clue was revealed while Rauf was answering a question regarding President Barack Obama’s speech in which Rauf replied:

    “The speech was wonderful and wise in his choice of words, the Prime Minister of Malaysia after the speech disclosed to me that it is now easy for any president of a Muslim country to establish good relations with America, and I AM NOT GOING TO HIDE FROM YOU THAT ONE OF THOSE WHO PARTICIPATED IN WRITING THE SPEECH, TRANSFERRED ENTIRE PARTS OF MY BOOK ‘A NEW VISION FOR MUSLIMS AND THE WEST’, which he referred to U.S. interests being compatible with top interests of the Muslim world”.

    The interview with Hani Alwaziri dated February 7th, 2010 intended to discuss Rauf’s plans for what he terms “American Style Islam” and the Cordova Initiative goals for the U.S. Rauf later stated that his goal was “To establish an American style Islam in the United States” in which he explains his aspiration of spreading Islam in America by using flexibility and molding Islam to become palatable to the American culture while preserving the integrity of Islamic ideology:

    “If we look how Islam was spread from Hijaz (Arabia) to Morocco then Turkey, we note that Islam was shaped by the culture and society, hence showing a Muslim version of the architecture and culture and the arts, but with preservation of the framework of belief and worship. We need to provide a GLOBAL ISLAM in accordance with the nature of each society.”

    Rauf boasted about his towering structure by Ground Zero as:

    “an icon that will make Muslims proud, not only locally but globally.”

    His suggestion to Muslims on how to deal with western Christians and Jews was:

    “deal with them as one courts a pretty girl he wants to date; stop thinking like a typical Muslim. Then you can engage.”

    He also discussed how he courted Bloomberg and the Jewish Community boards that “we have inroads with the Jewish Community Center”. It is interesting that Rauf stated in Arabic to Hadielislam, another prominent Muslim think tank that:

    “people need to use peaceful means to advise the governors and government institutions…we also suggest to the governors and political institutions to CONSULT [MUSLIM] RELIGIOUS INSTITUTIONS AND [MUSLIM] PERSONALITIES IN THE FIELD SO AS TO ASSURE THEIR DECISION MAKING TO REFLECT THE SPIRIT OF SHARIAH.”