It's now clear to most Americans that while Imam Feisal Rauf has the right to build his mosque wherever he desires, his decision to build it near Ground Zero is grossly insensitive, to say the least, and flies in the face of his reputation as a "moderate" bridge builder. Let's take a closer look at whether Imam Rauf is truly a moderate Muslim leader whose teachings are in line with American principles.
New York Times's Maureen Dowd insists that, "you have to be willfully blind not to know that the imam in charge of the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the moderate Muslim we have allegedly been yearning for." Others have suggested that Rauf can't be a radical because he was selected to represent America to the Muslim world by President George W Bush. And many who have met him speak highly of his charm and apparent good will.
And yet, as we are by now well aware, Rauf has claimed that America's policies "were an accessory" to 9/11, refuses to denounce Hamas as a terrorist organization, and proposes that our secular democracy be replaced with an Islamic state ruled by Sharia law. His supporters counter that the imam believes that the U.S. Constitution is already in line with Islamic law. Nonie Darwish, among others, has exposed the gross absurdity of that position.