Newt Gringrich called him "islamic extremist", he even went as far as to compare the guy to the Nazis. Sarah Palin made many other dumb accusation against the man. While those 2 idiots are busy attacking muslim-americans, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf helped the FBI with Counterterrorism efforts.
According to Huffington Post's Sam Stein, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was called by the FBI in 2003 in order to help ease tension after the FBI was accused of disrespecting the rights of Arab-Americans in their efforts to crack down on domestic security threats in the post-9/11 environment. Back then, FBI officials hosted a forum on ways to deal with Muslim and Arab-Americans without exacerbating social tensionsand, they called Feisal Abdul Raul to speak.
The goal of the FBI was to provide agents with "a clear picture" of the issue, according to Kevin Donovan who is the Director of the FBI's New York Office. I guess the FBI wouldn't have asked for his help if they thought that Feisal Abdul was some sort of radical islamist. Don't you think ? The FBI must know better than Sarah Palin and Newt Gringrich, right ?
Speaking at the Forum in question, Imam Rauf reportely told the audience :
"Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron, It is a fundamental contradiction in terms."
As stated by Sam Stein, Mr Rauf isn't quite the "evil islamic extremist" painted by conservatives. According to those who know him, Imam Rauf should be characterized as Moderate. In fact, the man they know, spent the past decade fighting against radical Islam.
Walter Isaacson who is the head of The Aspen Institute told the Huffington Post that :
"Imam Feisal has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance. He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism, and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. Some of this work was done under the auspices of his own group, the Cordoba Initiative. I liked his book, and I participated in some of the meetings in 2004 or so. This is why I find it a shame that his good work is being undermined by this inflamed dispute. He is the type of leader we should be celebrating in America, not undermining."
In November 2004, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf participated with U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia in a lengthy discussion on religion and government. Yes Justice Scalia. I wonder how those wingers will react when they learn that Justice Scalia used to share stage with the so-called "Ground Zero" Mosque's Imam. Then in 2006, according to Stein, in the New York Time, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright praised him and placed him among those who inspired her to write her book "The Mighty and the Almighty" :
She mentioned Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter, the two Democratic presidents in whose administrations she served; King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and King Abdullah II of Jordan; Vaclav Havel and Tony Blair. She organized discussions with Senator Sam Brownback, Republican of Kansas, a conservative Catholic.
''The epitome of this,'' she said, was ''a totally fascinating, interesting discussion'' with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a New York Sufi leader and author; Rabbi David Saperstein, director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; and Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention.
In 2008, Madeleine Albright collaborated with Iman Rauf, along with Richard Armitage and Dennis Ross, in signing a report a report claiming that the war on terror had been inadequate in actually improving U.S. security. At the time, the report was praised by other than Senator Richard Lugar (R-Ind.), the ranking minority member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, who is strangely mum lately.
In February 2006, he took part in a U.S-Islamic World Forum in Doha, Qatar with Undersecretary of State, at the time, Karen Hughes, a close adviser to President George W Bush. Months later, Feisal Abdul Rauf praised Karen Hughes expressing the wish of meeting other officials of the Bush Administration.
I don't know the guy, I don't know if he is sincere or not but it's dangerous and irresponsible for Newt Gringrich and Sarah Palin to call him names knowing that one of their followers or dittoheads can take a gun and harm the guy.