A noted expert on the Islamic movement in the U.S. and aboard says a mosque at New York’s Ground Zero would be seen by Muslims worldwide as a significant victory in ultimately bringing Islam’s Sharia law to America.
Stephen Coughlin, a former Pentagon adviser on Islam who now briefs organizations on the Islamic movement’s true goals, told HUMAN EVENTS that type of victory is the objective of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the mosque’s sponsor.
“Among other things, it’s to establish a triumph by establishing its mission of ‘Dawa,’ just like Rauf’s book suggested when published in its original title,” said Coughlin. “I also think it’s close to the nature of what it is to open a mosque. It opens up a seat of government. When a mosque is open, there’s a claim of territory. When you open a mosque it establishes Islamic law within the purview of the mosque. There is a history of Islam putting up mosques that are associated with claims of victory.”
One example, he said, is the Cordoba Mosque, which Muslims constructed on top of a Catholic church after conquering Spain and imposing Islamic rule in 784.
Imam Rauf chose that name in 2003 when he founded the Cordoba Initiative, which wants to build the large community center and mosque two blocks from where al Qaeda terrorists flew two planes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, killing nearly 3,000 innocent people.
Coughlin said Rauf’s book, What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, was first published in Malaysia under the title, A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11.
The cover shows the Statue of Liberty, with a crescent moon overhead, the internationally recognized symbol of Islam.
In another Rauf-authored book, Islam: A Sacred Law, the imam argued that Sharia—laws based on the Koran—must supercede all others. He seems to suggest it should replace the U.S. Constitution. The Muslim Brotherhood, a secretive global network of Islamists, also wants the West and all countries to live under Sharia law. Its goal is to methodically dominate the culture and politics of the United States, according to documents seized by federal authorities.
In Sacred Law, Rauf wrote, “justice and equity, and the concepts of right and wrong, can only be an extension of an attachment to God and abiding by his dictates. And since a Sharia is understood as the law with God at its center, it is not possible in principle to limit the Sharia to some aspects of human life and leave out others.”
He also writes, “The Sharia thus covers every field of law—public and private, national and international—together with enormous amounts of material that Westerners would not regard as law at all.”
Asked if Rauf is a moderate, as promoted on U.S. State Department-financed tours of the Middle East, Coughlin said:
“I think he is a person who does ‘Dawa,’ which is bring the message. You bring the message before you bring jihad. You have to remember if he is a man of peace, and he’s an imam, peace means total submission to Islam. World peace means there will be peace in the world under Islamic law.”
Is Rauf part of the Muslim Brotherhood?
“I will not say he is Muslim Brotherhood. I will just say he is closely aligned with them. Just note who funded his book for ‘Dawa’ in America. He’s seems to conform to what the Muslim Brotherhood calls the Islamic Movement.”
Rauf has irked both Democrats and Republicans with some of his observations such as: America created al Qaeda; and America has killed more Muslims than has al Qaeda.
New York is one of the bluest (read liberal) states. Yet a Quinnipiac poll released Friday of likely New York voters found 67% said Cordoba Initiative should build the mosque in another location. The poll also found a majority of 57% said it would be “wrong” to put the mosque near Ground Zero. Ninety percent of Republicans took that view; 63% of independents; and 50% of Democrats.
The project’s financier, Egyptian-born Hisham Elzanaty, reiterated last week that he plans to build the mosque on a site he purchased for $4.8 million.
“I did not expect this commotion, this hate, this anger,” he said, according to the Daily News.