Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Fine wordsmith Imam Rauf: America and its core values compatible with Islam

And Imam Rauf ~ which values would those be?

Islam rejects the idea of equality. It promotes the idea that Muslims should be awarded a higher status ~ and all others lower. How can this be in line with America's core values?

DUBAI (AFP)— America and its core principles are compatible with Islam, the US imam behind a controversial initiative to build an Islamic centre near the site of the 9/11 attacks said Tuesday in Dubai.

"The American way of thinking, the American construct, is extremely co-congruent with the Islamic worldview," Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said at the Dubai School of Government.

His visit to the United Arab Emirates is the last leg of a US State Department-sponsored trip that has already taken him to Bahrain and Qatar.

The aim of the visit was for Abdul Rauf to "talk about Muslim life in America" and his "work promoting inter-faith dialogue," according to a statement by the US embassy in Abu Dhabi announcing the visit.

The plan to build the Islamic centre that is to include a prayer space, near the site of the World Trade Center that was destroyed in the September 11, 2001 attacks, has fueled a political furore in the United States.

Proponents say the centre would be a platform for promoting inter-faith dialogue and tolerance. Opponents, some of whom have termed the centre the "Ground Zero mosque," say it is insensitive to build it near the site of the attacks.

Planners say the centre will include an area for prayer, sports facilities, theatre and restaurant, and would be open to the public.

Construction of the centre, a 100-million-dollar (79-million-euro), 13-storey glass-and-metal building to be built on private property, has been approved by city officials.

Abdul Rauf has been the imam of a mosque twelve blocks from "Ground Zero" for the past 27 years, according to the website of the Cordoba Initiative, an organisation promoting inter-faith dialogue and understanding, which he founded.

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