May 19, 2011

“Muslim Leader Hopeful Iran Will Free U.S. Nationals”

“A prominent U.S. Muslim leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, said in Seattle he is ‘hopeful’ Iran will free two imprisoned U.S. hikers set to go on trial for espionage in Tehran next Wednesday.

The two hikers, Josh Fattal and Shane Bauer, both 28, have been jailed since July of 2009. The two men, old college roommates, may have crossed the border in scenic mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. A third hiker, Sara Shourd, was released.

In town Friday for a conference on Islamaphobia at St. Mark’s Cathedral, the Imam waxed enthusiastic about the ‘Arab Spring’ and the desire of Middle East peoples to live in democracy after suffering a century of colonial and authoritarian rule.

The Imam feels, however, that the ‘Arab Spring’ is lasting and will move country to country, noting that the American Revolution influenced the French Revolution. ‘My feeling is that Gaddafi’s days are numbered,’ he said of the man who has ruled Libya for 41 years.”

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