I KNOW THAT sounds like a harsh thing to say, but please bear with me for a moment. I'm reading the book, Infiltration. I've had the book for awhile, but didn't start reading it until last night. On the first page of the first chapter, I was surprised to see something about Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque proposal. Infiltration was published in 2005, long before the mosque controversy. Here are the first three paragraphs of the first chapter:
A year after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the FBI invited the head of an influential Arab-rights group to speak about Islam to about four hundred new agents in the auditorium of the FBI Academy, the bureau's high-security training campus hidden in the woods of Quantico, Virginia, about an hour south of Washington. The lecture by Dr. Ziad Asali, then-president of the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, was mandatory and lasted one hour. Asali, a Palestinian refugee, "talked about how peaceful their religion is, and how not to offend Muslims...showing respect for their culture, things like that," says FBI Academy spokesman Kirk Crawford.
And at least four times the following year, the FBI's New York field office held all-day sensitivity training sessions, not far from Ground Zero, featuring Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Masjid al-Farah mosque. Speaking for about two hours each session, "he gave an overview of Islamic culture and some of the differences between what fundamentalist terrorist groups say are the teachings of the Quran and what he believes, as a student of religion, the Quran actually says," says special agent James Margolin, spokesman for the FBI New York office.
For example, Rauf asserted that the Quran, the sacred book of Muslims, "certainly doesn't counsel terrorism, murder, or mayhem," Margolin says. And he said terrorists have misinterpreted the Quranic term jihad to mean violent, or armed, struggle against nonbelievers. Rauf claims it means internal struggle.
Jihad means "struggle in the way of Allah," as Rauf certainly understands. But to say it doesn't mean warfare and really means "internal struggle" is a blatant lie. I can say it's a lie rather than he is merely misinformed or has misinterpreted the writings or taken them out of context, because he is an imam. He has surely not only read the Quran, the Hadith, and the Sira, he has studied them. He knows full well what is in those texts.
And in the Hadith, which is the bulk of Islamic doctrine (see graphic), 97 percent of the references to jihad refer to armed warfare against unbelievers. Three percent refers to an internal struggle.
He knows this. And yet what did he tell FBI agents in New York? When he was brought in to educate FBI agents about Islam, for security reasons, what did he tell them? That jihad does not mean armed warfare or violence against unbelievers. It means inner struggle. What do you think — would accepting Rauf's statement help or hinder people in national security to inhibit jihadist activities?
Let this sink in. Ninety-seven percent versus three percent, and he is saying jihad does not mean armed struggle, it means an internal struggle? That is a blatant, bald-faced lie.
Why would he do this? To protect Islam. To advance Islam. It's part of his struggle in the way of Allah.
In other words, his statement to the FBI is jihad.
This is our representative of a "moderate Muslim leader?" He's smooth, I'll concede that much. He knows how to effectively use phrases like "interfaith dialogue," "building bridges," and "religious tolerance." But he clearly hindered American security when he had a chance to do so. And his lie is a deliberate deception, meant only to serve Islam's prime directive.