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September 8th, 2010
06:00 AM ET

My take: The Imam Feisal I know

Editor's Note: Eboo Patel, Founder and President of Interfaith Youth Core, a Chicago-based organization building interfaith cooperation and is author of Acts of Faith. Follow him at @EbooPatel. CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on "Larry King Live" Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET. Submit questions for the imam via iReport here.

By Eboo Patel, Special to CNN

The first time I saw Imam Feisal - the man behind the proposed Islamic center in New York - speak was at a church.

He opened with the line, “My dear brothers and sisters.” His message was clear and simple: Islam is a faith of peace and pluralism, that above all Muslims believe in loving God and in loving our neighbor and that this is the most powerful common ground Muslims share with Christians and Jews.

He quoted from the Quran, the Constitution and the Bible.

The second time I saw Imam Feisal speak was at a Jewish conference.

He opened with the lines, “My dear brothers and sisters.” His message was clear and simple: Islam is a faith of peace and pluralism, that above all Muslims believe in loving God and loving our neighbor and that this is the most powerful common ground Muslims share with Christians and Jews.

He quoted from the Quran, the Constitution and the Hebrew scriptures.

The third time I saw Imam Feisal speak was at a Muslim conference. He opened with the same line, quoted the same sources, got the same response: love and respect.

I have seen Imam Feisal speak a dozen times, from largely Muslim audiences in London, to largely Christian audiences in upstate New York, from an audience of grassroots interfaith leaders in Louisville, to an audience of political heavyweights in Washington.

His message is always the same. His demeanor is always gentle. His audience always leaves enriched and inspired.

I have prayed with Imam Feisal, waking up at dawn to face Mecca and repeat, “In the name of God, the All-Merciful, the Ever-Merciful.”

I have envisioned the future of Islam with Imam Feisal, talking about the emergence of a distinctly American Islam, a faith community that is simultaneously true to its tradition and making significant contributions to its country.

“This is what happened to Catholics and Jews in America,” Imam Feisal would explain. “The change was good for those religions and it was good for this nation.”

He would talk about Jewish hospitals and Catholic universities as models, institutions that had been founded by faith communities but that served the common good of the country.

This is what Muslims have to do in America, too, he would say. We need to put the spirit of our faith - peace, pluralism, mercy, generosity, beauty - into the form of an American institution, one that serves people of all backgrounds.

Imam Feisal has spent much of his time with young Muslim professionals, counseling couples considering marriage, coaxing Muslims to learn more about their own faith and conveying the privileges and responsibilities of American citizenship.

He has lived all over the world and has a deeply personal sense of how special the United States is. Imam Feisal believes that God wants the human family in all its diversity to flourish, that America is the world’s best opportunity to realize this divine possibility and that Muslims have much to contribute to the American project.

Looking back, I can see glimpses of the vision of Cordoba House - Imam Feisal’s proposed Islamic Center in Lower Manhattan - in my conversations with him over the years.

Patterned after a Jewish community center, the Islamic center is meant to be the American institution into which Muslims could pour their energies and serve their country.

It has been shocking to watch that vision twisted, its founder smeared.

But Imam Feisal is not the first person in history this has happened to. Mahatma Gandhi was called seditious, the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Nelson Mandela branded dangerous communists.

Each of them, in the spirit of their respective religions, forgave their tormenters and achieved their dream.

I have no doubt that Imam Feisal will do the same.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Eboo Patel.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: 'Ground zero mosque' • Houses of worship • Interfaith issues • Islam • Mosque • Muslim • New York • Opinion • United States

soundoff (145 Responses)
  1. Lou

    To all of you who beleive in religion! This has been the down fall of mankind. Islam, Jewish and Christianity they all beleive in death of those who do not agree with them. God as all of you know it does not excite. God , Alla and what ever you want to name your believe was created to keep you people in place. This Iman Feisal is just another pervert who is using your sence of belonging. He will rape your heart and kill you with a smile in the name of alla. Patel is just a tool. If they love their culture so much, they would all live America and its people alone. People of New York, if you allow these people to bring their culture to your country you will have war in this land the rest of your short excistance. No religion is good in its current format!

    September 8, 2010 at 1:11 pm |
  2. chris jones

    Freedom of religion is part of america. My question is this, should american muslims , who are moderate and peaceful , be approached by radicals to perform jihadist acts in america or elsewhere, would they choose to report these people to the authorities or would their loyalties to their muslim brothers be more important.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Kate

      @chris jones

      Come to Arlington National Cemetery and visit Section 60, count the number of headstones with a star and crescent carved into them, then ask yourself that question again ...

      Just sayin'

      September 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
    • Buddy

      Chris,
      Your question is reasonable.
      Of course they should report to the authorities and THEY HAVE. For example, the young men from northern Virginia who went Afghanistan/Pakistan for extremist training were reported by their own families. The father of the Nigerian underwear bomber was reported by his own father.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:22 pm |
    • Buddy

      ...I meant: "reported his own son"

      September 8, 2010 at 2:24 pm |
  3. Sacramenton

    Hate hate hate, ignorance, arrogance and bigotry. Those are the comments I keep seeing on every Islam related story. There are a handful of individual that have nothing else in their lives but to bash Islam.

    The common thing that these individuals have is they have never read or studied anything about the true Islam. All they have ever seen anything about Islam is from a pastor like the one in Florida and Media like Fox News. If you choose to stay in ignorance go ahead.

    You think you are spreading hate against Islam but in retrospect your mentioning Islam’s name keep bringing more and more people towards the light of Islam on daily basis. Check the facts, see how many people everyday convert to Islam in United States. Our beloved country of US is much greater than bigotry and hatred of these ignorant individuals. Americans always seek the truth and they will about Islam. American history teaches us that racists and haters always fail and pioneers like Dr. King always prevail.

    So if one choose not to be on the side of ignorance study about Islam with an open mind. Be on the right side of history, this is you are time!

    September 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • marcia

      blah,blah,blah!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:18 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      what the hell? "So if one choose not to be on the side of ignorance study about Islam with an open mind. Be on the right side of history, this is you are time!" ... spoken in circles like a true muslem

      September 8, 2010 at 1:29 pm |
  4. Edourad France

    How stupid some people are !!!! Burning the Quram would be like burning the Bible! They both share the Old Testament and some parts of the New One like the Inmaculate Conception of Mary and the Nativity of Christ. Some people are just ignorant.

    September 8, 2010 at 1:05 pm |
    • Beena

      The Bible is written by God own hand through 40 different authors, in 3 different languages(Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic), time span 1500 years,3 different continents(Africa, Asia, and Europe). The Koran can not say that or even compare. The Koran might mention about Jesus. The Bible tells about space, biology, chemistry, where to find oil, how sound works and so much more. We still use the bible to show thing in modern science, math, on human interaction and about the future events. Every one who truly tested the Bible has come to find out how accurate and exact the Word of God is. Anyone who has truly read the Bible would know that. It is so obvious.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Chris R

      Beena, the bible is a series of allegories and doesn't contain anything about how sound works or where to find oil. Show me the chapter and verse where it explains the propagation of pressure waves through the air as an explanation for sound. Show me the maps where it says we can find oil. Where in the Bible does it talk about space in any sort of scientific manner? In which book where we find information about orbital mechanics? The nature of the planets? The fact that the sun is at the center of our solar system?

      Also, if the bible is the unerring word of God why are there so many different versions that say different things? Heck, the Catholic bible even has books that aren't in a lot of protestant bibles. Even the protestant bibles don't agree with each other. Take a look at a concordance at some point if you don't believe me.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:43 pm |
    • Stephen Charchuk

      Yes, some people..........

      September 8, 2010 at 1:47 pm |
    • Stephen Charchuk

      Beena, the bible does none of that stuff. Have you actually read it? Many of the event in it have recently been found to be inaccurate to say the least. i.e. It wasn't the parting of the Red Sea, but the Reed Sea. The so-called "bible code" can be used on ANY work of literature and you can get the same results as well.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  5. Quincy Ottawa

    If the Reality states thjat Mohamed is an illitrate, Jesus Christ is also an illitrate there is no account in the bible that indicates that Jesus went to school, he was a carpenter just like his folks.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:51 pm |
    • Beena

      Several places in the Bible it tells that Jesus taught in the Jewish temple in Jerusalem and that he read from the Torah. This started at the age of 12. He taught and read so well that they were amazed of his knowledge. He dumb founded the wisest of them all. Even on of the priest came to learn from Christ. The Romans even admitted that He was God. Jesus was and is God. He knew their thoughts and heart. That is the difference between Muhammad and Jesus. Jesus stated it loud to everyone to hear that Jesus is the Son of God that came to earth. Muhammad could not and would not say that.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • marcia

      and your point is..................?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:20 pm |
    • Get real

      An illiterate would not be able to read or teach learned people.

      Luke 4:16-19
      "16He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. And he stood up to read. 17The scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:
      18"The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
      because he has anointed me
      to preach good news to the poor.
      He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
      and recovery of sight for the blind,
      to release the oppressed,
      19to proclaim the year of the Lord's favor."

      Luke 2:41-47
      "41Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the Feast of the Passover. 42When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom. 43After the Feast was over, while his parents were returning home, the boy Jesus stayed behind in Jerusalem, but they were unaware of it. 44Thinking he was in their company, they traveled on for a day. Then they began looking for him among their relatives and friends. 45When they did not find him, they went back to Jerusalem to look for him. 46After three days they found him in the temple courts, sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. 47Everyone who heard him was amazed at his understanding and his answers."

      September 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • JPo

      And yet he astounded the Scribes and Pharisees with His knowledge. He wasn't a prophet (like Muhammed), He was deity. He was literate inherently. If you take the view He wasn't God, then you have to ask yourself how He gained so much knowledge of the scriptures. One could argue acute memorization but if it was it was so acute as to negate the necessity to be literate. The ability to read is an avenue to knowledge. If you have another avenue to the same knowledge, literacy is of no more importance.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • Stephen Charchuk

      He didn't write the bible, or even dictate it either. Mohammad took full credit for the Quran. Though, the Quran that Muslims worship today is not the same Quran that Mohammad dictation. Right after his death when they were collecting up his dictated manuscripts some of those who were doing the collecting would destroy the original and replace it with their own version and this was used to put together the Quran. They may assert that the Quran is the same as when it was first published, but it was already corrupted by then and has been ever since.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:44 pm |
    • Abuzayd

      @ Stephen Charchuk, in the Quran the Creator challenges all of mankind to produce a single chapter like the chapters of the Quran. It is the most read text of all time, MILLIONS of people have it memorized verbatim since the time of the Prophet(pbuh), thousands upon thousands of mosques recite the Quran in its entirety while standing in congretional prayer over the month of Ramadhan. NOTHING compares to Quran. learn arabic to fully appreciate it, if not then read it in your language, its a message for YOU and everyone for all time, straight from your Creator. no other scripture claims to be the verbatim word of God, not even the bible makes such a claim. Quran says it and challenges anyone who doubts it authenticity to write a single chapter like it.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:57 pm |
    • Reality

      o The illiteracy of the simple preacher man aka Jesus, as per contemporary experts:

      From Professor Bruce Chilton's commentary in his book, Rabbi Jesus, An Intimate Biography,

      "What Luke misses is that Jesus stood in the synagogue as an illiterate m–amzer in his claim to be the Lord's anointed". Note: Luke 4: 16 is a single attestation. No where else in the NT does it say Jesus could read thereby making said passage historically unreliable.

      Crossan suggests Jesus was an illiterate "Jewish Cynic" from a landless peasant background, initially a follower of John the Baptist.

      The question of Jesus's literacy has been much discussed in modern scholarship; the Jesus Seminar and others feel references in the Gospels to Jesus reading and writing may well be fictions.

      The only Gospel reference to Jesus writing is John 8:6 in the Pericope Adulterae, widely considered a later addition, where it is not even clear he is forming letters in the dust, and the Greek "εγραφεν" could equally mean he was drawing.

      It is very unfortunate that Jesus was illiterate for it resulted in many gospels and epistles being written years after his death by non-witnesses. This resulted in significant differences in said gospels and epistles and with many embellishments to raise Jesus to the level of a deity to compete with the Roman gods and emperors. See Raymond Brown's book, An Introduction to the New Testament, (Luke 4:16 note on p. 237) for an exhaustive review of the true writers of the gospels and epistles.

      Of course, Muslims believe that Mohammed was also illiterate. This way, they can claim that the only way he could have received the "angelic", koranic passages of death to all infidels and Islamic domination of the globe by any means, was orally since he could not read and write. Google it for verification

      September 9, 2010 at 12:35 am |
  6. DOVE

    Philippians 2:9-11 (New International Version)

    9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
    10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
    11and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:49 pm |
  7. Mark

    Quick question:

    If Islam is a religion of peace, why are non-Muslims not allowed to Mecca?

    Doesn't sound like tolerance to me.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
    • JAMIL ARSHAD

      DEAR MARK

      ITS THE SAME REASON MUSLIMS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO GO TO VCATICAN CITY CAUSE ITS A RELIGIOUS CITY AND ALL ONE AHS TO DO IS PRAY, LIKE CHRISTIANS DOES IN VATICAN CITY ..I HOPE U UNDERSTAND

      September 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Ash

      It has nothing to do with islam. Saudi king should be the one to be blamed.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • marcia

      You are the voice of reason! Unfortunately there aren't enought like you out there!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:19 pm |
    • siva

      Hello Jamil, Don't say the facts that you don't know. Vatican city is allowed for all religions. Being a Hindu, I went there without any issue. Get Facts Right.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:25 pm |
    • Neal

      Exactly how do the Muslims in Mecca tell if a visitor is not a follower of Islam. In the same vain how do the people in Vatican City know a visitor is Christian.
      I do agree that the cultural center should be built. But not now. We have yet to heal enough to allow this to take place.

      September 8, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
    • Kate

      @Neal

      And American Muslims don't need to heal for the same reasons? They're Americans too, they were just as hurt as anyone else by the actions of 9/11.

      Maybe this center is needed to help heal?

      Just wonderin'

      September 8, 2010 at 10:46 pm |
  8. JAMIL ARSHAD

    I PERSONALLY DISAGREE THAT WE NEED A MOSQUE NEAR GROUND ZERO ..ALLAH DOES NOT REQUIRE A WALL TO WORSHIP HIM..N ITS EASY TO BUILT MOSQUE BUT HE WANTS US TO BECOME A BETTER MUSLIMS A MOMIN WITH OUR ACTIONS AND WITH THE KNOWLEDGE I HAVE ABOUT ISLAM AS BEING MUSLIM THAT IF MAJORITY OF PEOPLE IS GETTING HURT DO'T DO IT AND AT LEAST DO NOT DO IT NOW..
    ONE THING FOR MY NON MUSLIM FRIENDS ITS ALRIGHT TO DISAGREE WITH MUSLIMS ITS EVEN ALRIGHT TO SAY THAT MUSLIMS ARE GENERALLY BAD ITS ALRIGHT TO CALL THEM NAMES BUT ITS NOT ALRIGHT TO CALL NAMES OF ANYONE GOD CAUSE MY ALLAH IS YOUR GOD WE ARE CREATED BY THE SAME SUPER POWER NAD ITS NOT RIGHT TO CALL HIM NAMES AND BURN HIS BOOK REGARDLESS ITS QURAN OR BIBLE OR ANY OTHER RELIGIOUS BOOKS WEATHER WE BELIEVE HIM OR NOT BUT WE ARE MADE BY THE SAME POWER ..RESPECT EACH OTHER AND MAKE THIS WORLD A HEAVEN ...MAY ALLAH / GOD/BHAGWAN /ELOHIM/ MAKE US TO UNDESTAND HIS TEACHING N THAT IS TO B UNITED NAD RESPECT HIS CREATURES ...AMIN

    September 8, 2010 at 12:41 pm |
    • marcia

      You are hilarious! Are you a professional comedian,Jamil??

      September 8, 2010 at 1:22 pm |
  9. jdc

    We as a nation will rue the day we allowed the violent, murderous hate-filled factions of Islam on our soil. We should no more turn a blind eye to what they are doing anymore then we would turn away from the Taliban setting up shop in any of our small towns. The ground Zero mosque is provocation, its a test to see how much of thier BS we'll tolerate, and we will tolerate it until its too late. Its hgh time to say enough is enough. Our way of the highway.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:34 pm |
    • JPo

      It's more than that. It's a using our own system against us. Taking advantage of our political and legal system to invoke the very things we hold dear as a means of destroying us. It's the equivalent of a stranger taking advantage of the kindness of someone who would take them in from the cold as an opportunity to rob them.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:17 pm |
    • Chris R

      JPo, exactly how are they using our legal system against us? You might not understand this but there are at least 2 million American citizens that are Muslim. Are we to treat them differently because they aren't Christian? Muslims have been part of the American experience since the founding of this country. They're been here, with us, building this nation, from the beginning. They've fought, as citizens, in our wars. They've voted, as citizens, in our elections. They've attended, as citizens, our schools. They're as much of a part of this country as you or I.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • Chris R

      JDC, I agree it is our way or the highway. It just so happens to be that our way is the way of religious toleration and the rights of a private citizen to believe what he likes and act as he likes as long as it is in accordance with the law. Did you forget that part?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:35 pm |
    • ALS

      You are totally true, extremists have taken advantage of American freedom to try and take it down. We should not allow them to deceive us in this manner where they try and introduce a masked portrait of islam , where the truth is the complete opposite.
      In order to understand these people you have to be living as a minority within a community full of them like Egypt where you feel that as a Christian you are threatened every day and step you take. Then and only then we could understand the amount of hatred these people have for anything but muslims.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:55 pm |
    • Chris R

      ALS, so are you saying that we should more like Egyptians? I thought we were Americans. Maybe I'm confused but isn't this the greatest and freest country on Earth? Aren't we supposed to be better, act better, and live better than everyone else?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:59 pm |
  10. nachooooo libre

    idiots... its ok to lie to an infidel..... dont base your opinion of these heretics with your value system

    September 8, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • marcia

      nachooooo libre...you are right again!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
  11. Phil

    For those of you quick to bash and slam Islam as "warmongering" and "invasive", may I remind you of an interesting historical footnote: Muhammad was, at first, attempting to seek out the truths of Christianity, however, he was dismissed by Christian scholars in Alexandria because he was "a dirty Arab". So, while Islam might be perceived as "intolerant", Christianity has shown as equally often throughout history of its own intolerance; sadly, its intolerant actions upon a "dirty Arab" may have created the Islam you fear today.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      read the quran..... its full of hate to non believers ..... things like death and unpleasent thoughts to those who arent believers.,... blame the christians for those beheaded in the name of allah

      September 8, 2010 at 12:30 pm |
    • Gandhi was killed by an Extremist Hindu

      Perhaps you should actually go and read history.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:48 pm |
    • marcia

      nachooooo libre...You are sooooooooo right!!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:21 pm |
    • Chris R

      Nacho, you sadly have no idea what you are talking about. My guess is that you haven't actually bothered to learn anything about Islam. You don't have to read the Qu'ran but if you ventured outside of your narrow set of media sources and websites you might find that there is a lot more to Islam than the 'death to the infidels' thing you are harping on. Oh, by the way, Christians and Jews aren't infidels according to Islam. In fact, Muslim theology sees Jews and Christians as, essentially, co-religionists being that all three religions help by 'people of the book'. The infidels mentioned in the Qu'ran are actually pagans/polytheists.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:30 pm |
    • Shinea

      Phil...what difference does it make ? Even if 99.999 percent of the Koran is peace and love and forgiveness the remaining 0.001% says that all of the good thing are only for the believers and any unbeliever is to be put to death. There is a complete disconnect with what say it is and what it actually does. NO OTHER major religion preaches death to non-believers only Islam. No other major religion has it's leaders afraid to chastise the savagery of some of it's practitioners. Don't bother telling me that there are some leaders who do, because a feeble protest is not a protest at all.

      September 8, 2010 at 2:06 pm |
    • muslimah

      Unbelievable how much hatred and rudness you collected in your commen! i have no decent comment to describe it.
      An American Muslim, and proud to be, and despite the anger & disgust your comment may have caused to Muslims and rational non-muslims equally, I have to follow the teachings of Islam & be tolerant of your ignorance, & advice anyone who wants to comment about Islam to get educated first from the right sources, expresses oneself with respect to oneself & to others, only then one's opionion would be of any value. Assalamu alaykom.

      September 9, 2010 at 3:22 am |
  12. commonsense

    Iranian accepted Islam by force. Today Islam proves that have same coquering attitudes !

    Since 1979 after centuries Islam showed itself tyranically, stoning women, raping legally by government of Islam, kills young generations as they want basic freedom. I am sure many have seen the crimes pictutres on a diffrent websites for years, why do we need to have Islam in United States ? Islam must prove for being peace before it gets to America ! If it was true peace, why there is no peace in Middle East, Africa...

    In Saudi SArbia women cannot drive ! we see Islam in Pakistan, Afghanistan all around the world. The mistakes are not suppose to happen all over again.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:26 pm |
  13. curious

    So now the Imam is being "tormented" like Ghandi, Mandela and the Rev. King, because 70% of Americans believe it is wrong to build his "Cordoba" mosque a few feet from ground zero? Give me a break.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:20 pm |
    • nachooooo libre

      why dont we ask ghandi? oh yeah ... muslems killed him....

      September 8, 2010 at 12:31 pm |
    • H. E.

      Hindu extremists, not Muslims, assasinated Gandhi. When someone cannot get even basic historical facts right, he or she loses all credibility.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:45 pm |
    • Marathi Hindu

      Natthuram Godse – a Hindu Marathi Brahmin – assasinated Gandhi, after Gandhi agreed to the Partitioning of Bangladesh, Pakistan and India with the Britishers. No human being can be greater than the Nation he/she lives in. It was this idealogy (if you call it extremist). Natthuram Godse's ashes have to this day not been scattered, as his last wish was that it be scattered over a unified Hindustan (including todays Pakistan, India and Bangladesh).

      India has seen muslims live in its borders for 1300 years, but there is no point in the history of India that there was ever peace. The advent of the muslim faith is new to the western society, and I am sure there will be no peace for 1300 more years.

      – Best of luck

      September 8, 2010 at 1:06 pm |
    • Truth

      @H.E. The person who killed Gandhi is not a terrorsit. He is a very good man with moral principles and always abided by them. He never killed any one in his enter life except Gandhi.

      Do not follow blindly the books which are baised mostly.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  14. SmellsLikeAllahBS

    My brothers and sisters.. here's the Iman you should know..
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c88GKAZkCVc

    September 8, 2010 at 12:15 pm |
    • JPo

      Yeah, as if "blood on its hands" isn't bad enough he invokes the U.N. as some sort of credible entity. This man is a political construct. He's a politician, not an Imam. He's Al Sharpton as a Muslim. He's using the backdrop of his religion to gain political power and strength. He's an enemy of the U.S. and a very insidious one because he's already here. He's a bacteria, a parasite designed to destroy from within. Oddly enough, this is how more conservative Muslims work. He's using the pillars of our political philosophy against us. There comes a time when you much ignore the technicalities of your principles to keep out a very clear danger (fire in a crowded theater). This man needs to be removed from our country.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:12 pm |
    • marcia

      he is such a jerk!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:24 pm |
    • Steve

      I watched this video and saw a claim that could be just as well be made by Native Americans, and African Americans. If you believe America has not made mistakes and has no culpability for injustice, then you are either a fool or a liar. He has a point of view, and American values are such that diversity of opinion is encouraged, not branded as evidence of Anti-Americanism. The prejudicial nature of many of these comments and profile names ("SmellslikeAllahBS") only prove that the motivation is bigotry. Measuring this Imam by the acts of fundamentalist terrorists is like measuring Bill Graham by the acts of an abortion clinic bomber.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:52 pm |
  15. Asim

    Why can't one see islam for what it is? Why do you pretend to be blind to all its hateful teachings? Most muslims are not evil, but being forced to believe in the hateful divisive teachings of islam simply because they are born muslim and the koran threatens anyone who leaves it (apostates) with the most horrible fate. Encouraging islam by looking at only a few nice things in it is not helping save nice people from such an evil ideology.

    September 8, 2010 at 12:13 pm |
    • wattsrn

      It is obvious that a sane Muslim understand what is good and what is not. Kuran may have 20% good things to show a path to find god but 80% is rubbish that is not digestible to any scientific thinking muslim. The fear is most powerful emotion when mixed with braver and egoistic feelings the man may be born in any religionn becomes crazy and burst like a dynamite. Mansur who spoke of "ANAL HAQ" was put to the gallows by fanatic Sultans of India. In his memory , MANSURPUR a villagenamed after him is still exists in the District of Muzaffarnagar,UP , India. He tried to corelate the Vedic Knowlede superiority through Quran but the fundamentalists could not digest. The repurcussion is that a Hindu-Muslim divide created Pakistan in the last century. IMAM RAUF MAY BE AN AUTHORITY ON QURAN. To pay in the same coin I refer to Quran which clearly states that a mosque cannot be built on any land which is disputed. No spiritual knowledge will be attained at such a spot which is chaotic before it is built. What Mr. Imam now have you to say on TV if you have read Quran minutely you will automatically quote the AAyata from Quran.Please reply.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
    • JS

      Thanks for your interest in Islam . You have obviously not read the Quran or maybe missed important verses of Quran .

      “Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good
      1) To parents,
      2) Kinsfolk,
      3) Orphans,
      4) Al-Masakin (the poor),
      5) The neighbor who is near of kin,
      6) The neighbor who is a stranger,
      7) The companion by your side,
      8) The wayfarer (you meet),
      9) And those whom your right hands possess.
      Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”
      The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 4, Verse 36

      “And the (faithful) slaves of the Most Gracious (Allah) are those who
      1) Walk on the earth with humility and sedateness
      2) And when the foolish address them (with bad words) they reply back with mild words of gentleness.
      3) And those who spend the night in worship of their Lord, prostrate and standing.
      4) And those who say: “Our Lord! Avert from us the torment of Hell. Verily, its torment is ever an inseparable, permanent punishment.” Evil indeed it (Hell) is as an abode and as a place to rest in.
      5) And those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor niggardly, but hold a medium (way) between those (extremes).
      6) And those who invoke not any other ilah (god) along with Allah
      7) Nor kill such person as Allah has forbidden, except for just cause
      8) Nor commit illegal sexual intercourse – and whoever does this shall receive the punishment. The torment will be doubled to him on the Day of Resurrection and he will abide therein in disgrace;
      9) Except those who repent and believe and do righteous deeds; for those, Allah will change their sins into good deeds, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful. And whosoever repents and does righteous good deeds; then verily, he repents towards Allah with true repentance.
      10) And those who do not bear witness to falsehood, and if they pass by some evil play or evil talk, they pass by it with dignity.
      11) And those who, when they are reminded of the Ayat of their Lord, fall not deaf and blind thereat.
      12) And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring the comfort of our eyes and make us leaders of the Muttaqun (the pious).

      Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.” The Holy Qur'an, Chapter 26, Verse 63-75

      Allah means "The God" in Arabic

      September 9, 2010 at 8:18 pm |
    • JS

      @Wattsrn : Sure – please pick up any decent translation of Qurah ( Sahih , Asad ) and then make up your mind about what is "WRONG" in Islam .

      1) Islam is the answer to racism . Everyone is Equal .. watch the Hajj congregation where people from all races come together to worship One God . There is a reason why Mohammed Ali , Malcom X embraced Islam

      2) Islam provides practical solution to modern problems of extreme poverty , alochol , gamblng . One of the basic pillars of Islam is Zakaat ( Charity ) where every Muslim is commanded to pay 2.5 % of his wealth every year in charity

      3) Islam gave property right to women in 7 th Century .. Let me know when Women were given property right in Europe

      September 9, 2010 at 8:30 pm |
  16. Reality

    Islam for the last 1400 years:

    Mohammed was an illiterate, womanizing, lust and greed-driven, warmongering, hallucinating Arab, who also had embellishing/hallucinating/plagiarizing scribal biographers who not only added angels and flying chariots to the koran but also a militaristic agenda to support the plundering and looting of the lands of non-believers.

    This agenda continues as shown by the massacre in Mumbai, the assassinations of Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh, the conduct of the seven Muslim doctors in the UK, the 9/11 terrorists, the 24/7 Sunni suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the 24/7 Shiite suicide/roadside/market/mosque bombers, the Islamic bombers of the trains in the UK and Spain, the Bali crazies, the Kenya crazies, the Pakistani “koranics”, the Palestine suicide bombers/rocketeers, the Lebanese nutcases, the Taliban nut jobs, the Ft. Hood follower of the koran, and the Filipino “koranics”.

    And who funds this muck and stench of terror? The warmongering, Islamic, Shiite terror and torture theocracy of Iran aka the Third Axis of Evil and also the Sunni "Wannabees" of Saudi Arabia.

    Current crises:

    The Sunni-Shiite blood feud and the warmongering, womanizing (11 wives), hallucinating founder.

    September 8, 2010 at 10:26 am |
    • Tradition

      Reality, you have hit the nail square on the head.

      Hoards of brainwashed god-zombie minions for power mad clerics.

      Where are there examples of Islamic societies that are not infected by this ancient hubris?

      I take hope in remembering that they have had 1400 years to try and pull of this Pinky and the Brain plot to take over the world, and they are no closer today then they were beaten back at the Battle of Tours.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:11 pm |
    • nick

      REALITY: Let me enlighten you with some reality. 1.5 BILLION Followers. Christians /Catholics in FIRST world countries converting by the dozens weekly. Pastors and Ministers converting in record numbers in FIRST world countries. The contents of much of the Old Testament and some of the New Testament in agreement in the Koran. It appears you are the one who is living the life outside of REALITY. By the way AMERICA considers it self a CHRISTIAN country. It also happens to be the murder capital of the world and rape capital. Am i to say then that Christianity preaches murder since almost all murderers in jail have a cross around their neck???

      September 8, 2010 at 1:01 pm |
    • Martin Korvak

      There has never been any people of any religion or race in history (or likely pre-history) who have matched the atrocities of "Christian" Germany in WWII. Do you – Christian – have something to be proud of?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:08 pm |
      • Get real

        Nazi Germany was by no means acting in any way that followed the Holy Bible. I would not describe Nazi Germany as "Christian" Mr. Korvak.

        September 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
      • Beena

        Martin Korvak you really do not know your history. Nazi was a version of communites. If you really know Jesus then you really will know who are Christians. The acts of true Christians will credit to Jesus Christ and no one else. They will not glorify themselves by the actions. They will humbly serve and raise other around them up. That is a true heart of a Christian. Read the Holy Bible and you will see what a true Christian is suppose to be because that is what Jesus Christ our LORD asked us to be. Any part of the New testament will talk about it.

        September 8, 2010 at 1:49 pm |
        • Chris R

          Beena, I can only ask you to reflect on Jesus' answer when he was asked what the most important law was. Think on this hard and ask yourself if you are ready to accept the truth of his answer.

          September 8, 2010 at 1:57 pm |
        • Stephen Charchuk

          Beena, The Burning Times, The Crusades, etc,etc........

          Hitler was a devout Catholic, his own words, and believed that the gas chambers were the most "Humane' way to get rid of the Jews.
          By the time Hitler took over the Nazis it became a fascist right-wing group.

          September 8, 2010 at 2:00 pm |
      • E Lee

        The Christian bible never teaches "death to Jews" so Germany was not acting on any "Christian" biblical teaching. And who stepped forward to stop the atrocities being done in the name of Christianity? The United States - a country (at the time) steeped in Christianity. When in history has one "Islamic" nation ever stepped in to stop another "Islamic" nation from committing atrocities in the name of the Quran? When? When?

        September 8, 2010 at 1:51 pm |
    • maxrajryan

      What a perfect description Mr Reality

      September 8, 2010 at 1:13 pm |
    • Sameer

      @Reality,

      You are talking like a well brainwashed person, at the start you told that Islam is 1400 Year old and your explanation just goes back to 50 years or so. This shows how ill informed you are, by insulting other religion you are showing how tolerant you are!

      September 8, 2010 at 1:34 pm |
    • Yamin Ibrahim

      Let us know of one instance where a Human Being could "re produce" the Koran in the last 1400 or so years. there is even a challenge in the Koran itself where Allah says " Poets speak through desire, this is not the word of desire, this is the word of God" – and Humans were challenged to produce a single page similar to the Koran – Nobody succeeded yet . every sura in the Koran was revealed based on Certain circumstances – hence it varies between wartime and peacetime. It is the Koran that teaches us not to destroy anything that we cannot create. It is the Koran that teaches us that even breaking a fellow human's heart is like breaking the house of god or to kill a fellow human being is to same as destroying the whole of mankind. It is the Koran that teaches us to ask and ask again and to learn to educate ourselves to find out Allah's hidden signs within nature (education). It is our prophet who said (in his last sermon – Google it should you want) – No person is better than anyone else except in piety. No black is better than white and no white is better than a black person except in piety. No Arab is better than a non Arab and no non Arab is better than an Arab except in piety. hence during the hajj everyone is wearing white as all humans are same in God's eyes (no status).
      Based on that, Islam flourished for over seven centuries due to religious tolerance and ethnic harmony being the core of its message. The first person to Render the Azan (call for prayer) was Hazrat Bilal (an African ex slave). Later on the Muslim and Jewish scholars working side by side in the libraries of Baghdad , Cordova and elsewhere within the Islamic empire brought back to life the ancient learning's from the Greeks and thus in fact starting the "real" renaissance while Europe lingered in darkness. The Jews who were being singled out and persecuted throughout Europe found refuge and respect in the Islamic empire. This helped the Empire flourish in science, arts and also international trade. It was wholly or partly due to the early Muslims we owe thanks for some magnificent discoveries ranging from the coffee that we drink to , Mathematics, Algebra (Al Jabir) & Trigonometry, Geometry, Chemistry (Al chemists) Medicine (Avicenna or Ibne Sina). It was the Muslims who started Hospitals, and the use of the compass to navigate and the modern numerical system (how we count today). It was the 7th century Muslims who calculated earth's circumference and declared the earth was round (600 years before Galileo). The foundations for Oxford & Cambridge came from the University of Paris which in turn was founded based on the Muslim University of Al-Andalus (in Cordoba, Spain).... Today the Muslims are in a bad shape and understandably there will be plenty people who will take advantage of this situation. Which is fine – but do try a bit harder before coming to a forum like this and make a complete waste of yourself (at least do some research).. Adios

      September 8, 2010 at 9:48 pm |
    • Reality

      For new member eyes only:

      Recognizing the flaws, follies and frauds in the foundations of Islam, Judaism and Christianity by the "bowers", kneelers" and "pew peasants" will quickly converge these religions into some simple rules of life. No koran, bible, clerics, nuns, monks, imams, evangelicals, ayatollahs, rabbis, professors of religion or priests needed or desired. Ditto for houses and classes of "worthless worship" aka mosques, churches, basilicas, cathedrals, temples and synagogues

      September 9, 2010 at 12:31 am |
    • JS

      Reality Bro : You need to go for a reality check .
      Gibbon in 'The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire' 1823

      The good sense of Muhammad despised the pomp of royalty. The Apostle of God submitted to the menial offices of the family; he kindled the fire; swept the floor; milked the ewes; and mended with his own hands his shoes and garments. Disdaining the penance and merit of a hermit, he observed without effort of vanity the abstemious diet of an Arab.

      Reverend Bosworth Smith in 'Muhammad and Muhammadanism,' London, 1874.

      "Head of the State as well as the Church, he was Caesar and Pope in one; but he was Pope without the Pope's pretensions, and Caesar without the legions of Caesar, without a standing army, without a bodyguard, without a police force, without a fixed revenue. If ever a man ruled by a right divine, it was Muhammad, for he had all the powers without their supports. He cared not for the dressings of power. The simplicity of his private life was in keeping with his public life."

      Alphonse de LaMartaine in 'Historie de la Turquie,' Paris, 1854.

      "Never has a man set for himself, voluntarily or involuntarily, a more sublime aim, since this aim was superhuman; to subvert superstitions which had been imposed between man and his Creator, to render God unto man and man unto God; to restore the rational and sacred idea of divinity amidst the chaos of the material and disfigured gods of idolatry, then existing. Never has a man undertaken a work so far beyond human power with so feeble means, for he (Muhammad) had in the conception as well as in the execution of such a great design, no other instrument than himself and no other aid except a handful of men living in a corner of the desert. Finally, never has a man accomplished such a huge and lasting revolution in the world, because in less than two centuries after its appearance, Islam, in faith and in arms, reigned over the whole of Arabia, and conquered, in God's name, Persia Khorasan, Transoxania, Western India, Syria, Egypt, Abyssinia, all the known continent of Northern Africa, numerous islands of the Mediterranean Sea, Spain, and part of Gaul.
      "If greatness of purpose, smallness of means, and astonishing results are the three criteria of a human genius, who could dare compare any great man in history with Muhammad?

      September 9, 2010 at 8:12 pm |
    • Reality

      What Mohammed and his 1400 year old, mythical angel and mythical god have brought to the modern world:

      (for new members only)

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed mostly by koranic-driven Sunni and Shiite suicide bombers

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops killed in action 1,116 killed in action, 902killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan citizens killed by the koranic-driven Taliban.

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam

      September 10, 2010 at 12:55 am |
    • Ash

      Reality or Should I Say Fake, You surely are coming from Inda and you are not an American, you surely belong to religion who do not believe on any prophet, Be it Moses, Abraham , Jesus or Mohamed , Did you ever read any of the religious books that Jews, Christain or Moslim follows, Did you ever read Holy Koran what it says about Moses, Abraham , Jesus and Mohamed , what is the similarity between this religion Before commenting on prophets please read Torah, Bible and Koran.

      September 11, 2010 at 9:27 pm |
    • bob

      ifeel sorry for you

      September 16, 2010 at 2:21 pm |
  17. Lorne

    Here Mr Patel goes again,
    Now Iman Feisal is compared to the of the Greats.
    Please Patel, give us a break.
    Iman Feisal is nothing but a Iman.
    I do not see him as a loving person, I see him as a Muslim Iman.
    He never hesitated to condamn US for some of their action.
    He is just a guy who wanted to have a prayer room in a community center called Park 51 using an association to Cordoba.
    His wife never realized that people will be so upset; the project is so great.
    We have the right to criticize, it is imperative in our society. You may agree or disagree. Saying move the mosque somewhere else is a critic, it does not imply any bigotry or whatsoever. Feisal did not really replied, muslims do for him.
    Would have it be a different public reaction if "his" project in any case would not have been associated to celebrating Ground Zero. Maybe but we will never know; but the association was not made by the public but by Mrs Daisy Khan herself. The rest is know history.

    From Huntington Post, your citation.
    "I gave my wife an earful that morning. Why didn't the ADL oppose the Off-Track Betting parlors and strip joints in the neighborhood if they are so concerned about the sacredness of Ground Zero? Why didn't they oppose churches near the site of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, where Eric Rudolph - a terrorist who claimed inspiration from Christianity - set off a bomb?"

    As usual, you compare a current situation with an history fact; which is very irrelevant, because the situation is clearly different. You may if you want continue to write as if you were a victim, it is your choice but for a scholar like you, I would expect a lot more.
    Who is intolerant?

    September 8, 2010 at 9:22 am |
    • Phil

      "the situation is clearly different" – how? You are not even giving a clear and provable answer, you simply dismiss his comparison of an idea to 2 fact that may, or may not, fit a pattern. Nonetheless, you have proven nothing by your statement except your being reactive to it.

      September 8, 2010 at 12:23 pm |
  18. Broderick Greer

    Mr. Patel,

    Thank you for sharing the peace-loving message of Imam Feisal. Gandhi, King, and Mandela all announced a new world of love and peace and were martyrs of that message. It's sad that we often can't tolerate that message as human beings and end up killing the prophets of our time. Years later, their blood cries out from the ground and we realize the travesty we've committed. Again Eboo, thank you.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:57 am |
    • JPo

      If he's so peace loving why is he so bent on furthering the discord this project has fostered? Maybe he's not so peace loving after all.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:03 pm |
    • Chris R

      JPo, You may not believe this but people filled with fear and hatred have a hard time accepting the offer of peace. They say they want peace but only the peace of the barren wasteland or the peace of a graveyard. What this Imam is doing is offering you a peace filled with people – people that aren't like you but respect you for the sake of your shared humanity. This is what you are having a hard time accepting. You say he should sit down and be quiet. That he should respect people like you, who are filled with fear and hate, and not do something every other citizen of the United States has the right to do. He shouldn't give in to the hateful people who thrive on discord and disunity.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:23 pm |
  19. Joctan

    Excellent commentary by Eboo. Could not agree more with his stance. It's very clear that this is issue which has it's basis in PEACE BUILDING, and BRIDGE BUILDING and INTERFAITH work has become highly politicized thanks to anti-Democratic fervor from the right lighted like tinder from the flame that are the forces of intolerance (Pam Geller & Co).
    After reading REALITY's comment above, it's clear that this commenter is also among those who have taken the side if intolerance, branding an entire belief system, culture, even race guilty by association.
    I'd have taken REALITY more seriously if not for their opening volley.
    Also is simply clear that REALITY has no idea how non-profit organizations work nor of salary scales for non-profit directors.
    Inclusion must defeat Intolerance.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:40 am |
    • Howard

      Lets build a monument next to ground zero in Japan to promote peace and understanding that science brings. How about a Japanese Zero next to the Pearl Harbor memorial to represent the views of all cultures on historical events. The whole idea is to give Islam another chance to be shoved in our face by thoughtless and ruthless individuals that hide behind the Koran and shout peace, fairness, rights, and the bad ole Christians. True muslims should be ashamed to have a mosque so close to the 9/11 murder site.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:26 pm |
    • Talgrath

      @Howard
      #1 The proposed building is two (2) New York City blocks from Ground Zero, you can't even see Ground Zero from there.
      #2. It's not a "monument" to Islam, it's a mosque with secular things included like a restaurant and workout area. If I built a church near the site of the Oklahoma City Bombing, you wouldn't call that a "monument" would you?

      Let's be honest, Fox news (arguably the biggest media critic of the mosque) actually praised this very Mosque and the imam behind it before a bunch of bloggers mentioned it as the "ground zero mosque" and it became a rallying cry for ultra-right wing "Christians". What is hilarious is that Fox is asking where the money is coming from, one of the mosque's largest contributors is the second largest owner of Newscorp, Fox News' parent company! Not only that, but they've previously had this contributor on Fox praising his work in both the business world and charitable industries.

      September 8, 2010 at 7:34 pm |
    • Reality

      Some other big players in the non-profit game. From guidestar.org, a free on-line site where the complete IRS Form 990 forms are posted.

      Rev. Franklin Graham $800,000+/yr.
      Rabbi Bradley Hirschfield $331,708/yr
      Rev. Susan Brooks Thistlethwaite, $200,000/yr
      Erica Brown $134,221/yr
      Eboo Patel $120,000/yr.

      Some examples of large non-profi tax shelters and salaries:

      From the Chicago Council on Global Affairs IRS Form 990:

      Investment holdings in publicly-traded securities, 2007-2008 tax period, $6,145,612. Dividends and interest from these investment for the same period, $705,970. Again, non-profit organizations pay no federal taxes on dividends, interest or capital gains. With such large investment holdings, are many non-profits simply a way to beat the system by the directors of these groups?

      Director Josephine Heindel’s salary, $184,000 including savings plans. VP of Finance, Robert Cordes’ salary $159, 000 to include savings plans. Three other directors make in the range of $140,000/year.

      From above: Did Eboo Patel's Interfaith Youth Core work for Obama's election campaign as we see Eboo is not only on the recent Chicago Council of Global A-ffairs' task force but also on Obama's Faith advisory council? Note: Mrs. Obama worked for the CCOGA and made about $100,000/yr. No doubt Mrs. O influenced Eboo's opp-ortun-ities?

      Did a Faith Initi-ative grant from the State Department help defray the cost of CCOGA's report and Mr. Patel's task force pay?

      continued below:

      September 9, 2010 at 12:19 am |
    • Reality

      Mr. Barton of Wallbuilders pays himself $108,071 and his wife $14,770 per year from the approximately $1,000,000 of donations to Wallbuilders. In 2006, his investments (from donations?) netted him $102,000.

      Chris Seiple is the president of The Inst-itute of Global Engagement. His salary in 2008 was $162,261. Approximately 30% of this group funding is from government grants.

      One of the largest expenditures for this group is the money paid to an independent contractor in China,for cultural consultancy. Strange that government grant money is being used in China for cultural consultancy???

      The Acumen Fund:

      CEO, Ms. Novogratz’s salary for 2008 was $260,000 which included a $20,000 bonus. The CFO and four other highest paid managers made on average over $150,000/year which included bonuses and benefits. They apparently lost $1,596,997 on the stock market and other investments. Hmmm??

      Center for American Progress

      John Podesta is the president of the CFAP making over $250,000/yr with eight managers averaging $200,000/yr.

      The AC-LU has a stock and bond portfolio whose value is in excess of $250 million.

      The Interfaith Alliance Foundation:

      The mission of this tax-exempt non-profit is to promote the positive and healing role of religion in public life through education, research and civil dis-course.

      Considering that the president of the Interfaith Alliance Foundation, Dr. Welton Gad-dy, pays himself a salary of $208,598/yr, one wonders what is being promoted? More profit from mythical prophecies/profitcies.

      Special Olympics

      Dr. Shriver's salary at Special Olympics, is $235,514 which includes benefits. Twelve other directors/managers make on average $175,000.

      Special Olympics has/had $38,145,655 invested in the Christmas Records Trust. Said trust apparently lost $18,757,600 in value in the 2007-2008 time period.

      Mikey Weinstein is the president of the non-profit Military Religious Freedom Foundation. And Mikey W's salary for 2008 was ? And the donations were?????

      As per Form 990, Mikey W's salary for 2008 was $252,485. Total donations made to his foundation for 2008 were $545,434. Hmmmm????????

      September 9, 2010 at 12:23 am |
    • Reality

      Continued from above:

      The Ac-umen Fund:

      CEO, Ms. Novogratz’s salary for 2008 was $260,000 which included a $20,000 b-onus. The CFO and four other highest paid managers made on average over $150,000/year which included bonuses and benefits. They apparently lost $1,596,997 on the stock market and other investments.

      Center for American Progress

      John Podesta is the president of the CFAP making over $250,000/yr with eight managers averaging $200,000/yr.

      The AC-LU has a stock and bond portfolio whose value is in excess of $250 million.

      Special Olympics

      Dr. Shriver's salary at Special Olympics is $235,514 which includes benefits. Twelve other directors and ma-nagers make on average $175,000.

      Special Olympics has/had $38,145,655 invested in the Christmas Records Trust. Said trust apparently lost $18,757,600 in value in the 2007-2008 time period.

      September 9, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  20. Reality

    Once again: Excercising free speech!!!

    Is Eboo Patel is working for a better world or has he found a way to make money from the inherent sordid nature of Islam and the worst book ever written aka the koran?

    e.g.

    Mr. Patel pays himself well ($120,000/yr) from his Interfaith Youth Core "non-profit" group's receipts (donations etc.) which, based on the group's IRS Form 990, appears to be more of a stock holding company ($2,335,960 portfolio in 2008- guidestar.org) for Mr. Patel than it is a non-profit. Non-profits do not pay taxes on dividends, interest or capital gains.

    Did Eboo Patel's Interfaith Youth Core work for Obama's election campaign as we see Eboo is not only on the recent Chicago Council of Global Affairs' task force but also on Obama's Faith advisory council?

    Did a Faith Initiative grant from the State Department help defray the cost of CCOGA's report and Mr. Patel's task force pay?

    Put this all together and it vitiates any pro-Islamic commentary Mr. Patel might have now or in the future.

    September 8, 2010 at 8:11 am |
    • Martin Korvak

      There has never been any people of any religion or race in history (or likely pre-history) who have matched the atrocities of "Christian" Germany in WWII. Do you – Christian – have something to be proud of?

      September 8, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • Tariq

      Whats your point ? Even if true, how does that in any way change the commentary on Imam Feisal.
      As americans we must try to get an insight to the true & peaceful dynamics of Islam. Religious leaders like Feisal are an excellent source to that.

      September 8, 2010 at 1:33 pm |
    • New Guy

      @ Martin

      "Christian Germany in WWII"? I have no idea where you get your information, but it is clearly not from reading. The Nazis were not Christian, in fact, Hitler had a plan to exterminate Christianity (as was revealed at the Nuremberg trials).

      September 8, 2010 at 1:38 pm |
    • RealityChecked

      So you spent a lot of time and researched about Eboo and tried to bring the REALITY to light ! Instead if you had educated yourself about the true Islam (not the one that Bigots are spreading around) you would have benefited yourself and also others !

      So you discovered that Mr. Eboo Patel is not working for free even though he is doing the society a big favor by trying to dispel ignorance. Then how do you expect people working for charities/ non-charities to feed their families ? by Govt Handouts ? or are you going to feed them ? "Talking" is easy .. trying to tarnish somebody's good work is easy.. any one with half a brain with a cheap computer and Internet connection can do it. "Doing" is different. It takes an individual with courage, conviction, intelligence and perseverance to do it. Don't try to politicize everything that you don't agree with.. That is lame..

      September 8, 2010 at 8:06 pm |
    • Reality

      RChecked,

      Hmmm, Eboo's "non-profit" has a stock portfolio of $2,335,960 which he, being the CEO, pays no taxes on. A tax dodge? Of course it is!!!

      September 8, 2010 at 11:14 pm |
    • Reality

      What Mohammed and his mythical angel and mythical god have brought to the modern world:

      (for new members only)

      1a) 179 killed in Mumbai/Bombay, 290 injured

      1b) Assassination of Benazir Bhutto and Theo Van Gogh

      2) 9/11, 3000 mostly US citizens, 1000’s injured

      3) The 24/7 Sunni-Shiite centuries-old blood feud currently being carried out in Iraq, US Troops killed in action, 3,481 and 924 died in non-combat, 97,172 – 106,047 Iraqi civilians killed mostly by koranic-driven Sunni and Shiite suicide bombers

      4) Kenya- In Nairobi, about 212 people were killed and an estimated 4000 injured; in Dar es Salaam, the attack killed at least 11 and wounded 85.[2]

      5) Bali-in 2002-killing 202 people, 164 of whom were foreign nationals, and 38 Indonesian citizens. A further 209 people were injured.

      6) Bali in 2005- Twenty people were killed, and 129 people were injured by three bombers who killed themselves in the attacks.

      7) Spain in 2004- killing 191 people and wounding 2,050.

      8. UK in 2005- The bombings killed 52 commuters and the four radical Islamic suicide bombers, injured 700.

      9) The execution of an eloping couple in Afghanistan on 04/15/2009 by the Taliban.

      10) Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan: US troops killed in action 1,116 killed in action, 902killed in non-combat situations as of 08/10/2010. Over 40,000 Afghan citizens killed by the koranic-driven Taliban.

      11) The killing of 13 citizen soldiers at Ft. Hood by a follower of the koran.

      12) 38 Russian citizens killed on March 29, 2010 by Muslim women suicide bombers.

      13) The May 28, 2010 attack on a Islamic religious minority in Pakistan, which have left 98 dead,

      14) Lockerbie is known internationally as the site where, on 21 December 1988, the wreckage of Pan Am Flight 103 crashed as a result of a terrorist bomb. In the United Kingdom the event is referred to as the Lockerbie disaster, the Lockerbie bombing, or simply Lockerbie. Eleven townspeople were killed in Sherwood Crescent, where the plane's wings and fuel tanks plummeted in a fiery explosion, destroying several houses and leaving a huge crater, with debris causing damage to a number of buildings nearby. The 270 fatalities (259 on the plane, 11 in Lockerbie) were citizens of 21 nations.

      15) Followed by the daily suicide and/or roadside and/or mosque bombings every day in the terror world of Islam.

      September 10, 2010 at 12:53 am |
    • Satheesan Kochicheril

      Religious fundamentalism is a psychic disorder that is being created by the people who control the consciousness of the followers. Whether in the prosperous America where all followers of the faith can attain material success, or elsewhere this has become a problem with the fundamentalists. Islam under the present leadership has taken a departure from what the Prophet preached. What the Prophet demanded was living on the relationship with the System of Life that controls our life. He called the System the Truth, like many other enlightened ones. Faith in God is faith in the System of God/Truth, which is living intellectually and emotionally in relationship with the System which is Nature. The demand came at a time when the people around him were depending on their faiths to manage life. Degradation of consciousness takes place when the mind gets taken over by the elements that we make based on our reasoning. Such products are external to life, what is internal is our relationship with life and its relations. Life is supported by the products of the System that are necessary for the maintanance of life. This way of life really expresses our spirituality. Spirituality can be had only by living in relationship with the System of God. What ails the believers is the externals to life such as the religious techniques that the preachers assert as the signs of faith. Islam has thus deviated from the enlightened vision of the Prophet, for that there is only one remedy- enlighten the followers of the demands of the Prophet which are different from the religious preachings of islam. for more visit http://www.purereason.org

      September 13, 2010 at 8:23 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.