May 20, 2012
VIDEO: “The real battlefront is between the moderates of all faith traditions against the extremists of all faith traditions” – Imam Feisal on Fox Weekend Live
One of the key Muslim leaders backing the effort to build a mosque near ground zero is now hoping to evolve the vision of Islam in America through his new book “Moving the Mountain.” Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf joined America’s News HQ to talk more about the controversial mosque that prompted much criticism and his hopes for Islamic relations in the U.S.
Host Uma Pemmaraju asked Rauf why he is no longer connected to the project to build the mosque. He said, “It was a difference of opinion between me and the developers, but my vision is still alive. And my vision of establishing a place that can be a space where everybody from all religions can come together and build understanding and mutual respect, which is a basis for building global peace today, that’s my vision and I still hope to do that.”
Pemmaraju asked the imam if he came away with a greater understanding of the sensitivity surrounding the building of the mosque near ground zero in New York. Rauf said, “No doubt, I mean we are very very sensitive to the concerns of everyone in that area especially the 9/11 community. But the thing that many people did not know … is I’ve been an imam in that neighborhood for almost 30 years. Since 1983 I’ve been imam of a small mosque about 12 blocks north of ground zero and about 60 members of our own Muslim faith community were among those who perished, so 9/11 was a calamity to all of us.”
There are those who say condemnation by Muslim leaders of jihadists and terrorism is not enough. Rauf responded to that point by saying, “We have to work with law enforcement agencies, I mean terrorism is our common enemy, extremism is our common enemy. The discourse which has shaped and tarnished Islam as being the enemy is false and wrong and actually rather dangerous.”
He continued, “The real battlefront is not between Muslims and the West, or Muslims and Hindus, or Muslims and Jews and Christians, etcetera. The real battlefront is between the moderates of all faith traditions against the extremists of all faith traditions. Unfortunately the nature of news media today is that the bad news grabs the media attention and therefore the extremists on both sides have fueled each other and really have polarized the middle. What we need to do is we need to work together to bring together the middle and strengthen them whether it’s in India, whether it’s in Israel and so forth. And the vast majority of people are moderates and want to live together in peace and harmony.”
Read on FoxNewsInsider.com: here.