Quotes by: Feisal Abdul Rauf
|Feisal Abdul Rauf
Abdul Rauf at the 2005 World Economic Forum in Cologny, Switzerland.
||1948 (age 68–69)
||Imam, author, landlord
||Sponsor and director of Park51
It is part of my responsibility as a bridge builder to speak the truth about what's great about America, what we've done right, and what our less glorious moments. And many people feel that the Iraq adventure, for example, has been one of our less glorious moments.
I worked as a teacher in the public school system in New York City for several years, and I was a victim of the layoffs, you know, in the mid-'70s. And then I worked as a sales engineer for a company in New Jersey that was selling industrial filtration equipment.
The American principles of democracy expresses the deepest values of the Sharia both structurally and in the government... Sharia requires us Muslims anywhere to abide by the law of the land.
The battleground has been moderates of all faith traditions in all the countries of the world against the radicals of all faith traditions in all parts of the world.
I was completely surrounded by religion from a young time. I was taught by my father. I engaged in discussions with him and many of these scholars who visited and came around the dining table, the lunch table, and attended many lectures with my dad. And so I learned the apprentice way.
We are Americans. We - we - we are - we are doctors. We are investment bankers. We are taxi drivers. We are store keepers. We are lawyers. We are - we are part of the fabric of America. And the way that America today treats its Muslims is being watched by over a billion Muslims worldwide.
You take the best of our tradition as a start, and I'll take the best of Christianity ... From there we can build.
I as a Muslim want you, as a Christian, to really be a perfect Christian. I want my Jewish friends to be perfect Jews, to live according to the highest principles of what it means to be a Jew, to be a Christian, to be a Muslim.
When I arrived in America, I experienced serious culture shock. For someone with a religious upbringing, the 1960s were an extremely difficult time. Even though religion was a big part of the civil rights and peace movements, in my college religion was treated as irrelevant, hopelessly stodgy, and behind the times.
There are individuals who are working very hard to promote fear and antagonism towards Islam and Muslims in this country. It's fueled, in part, by the first African-American president that we have. Obama's father was a Muslim and people have used this to arouse hostility against him.
If Muslims curse the Christians, then the Christians will curse the Muslims. And people will curse Allah, and Allah will hold us responsible for that.
We tend to forget in the West that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.
We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony.
The fundamental idea which defines a human being as a Muslim is the declaration of faith: that there is a creator, whom we call God - or Allah, in Arabic - and that the creator is one and single. And we declare this faith by the declaration of faith, where we... bear witness that there is no God but God.
I read, read enormously on all different fields of Islamic thought, from philosophy to Islamic literature, poetry, exegeses, knowledge of the Hadith, the teachings of the prophet. That's how I trained myself. And then I was appointed imam by a Sufi master from Istanbul, Turkey.
'Jihad' can mean holy war to extremists, but it means struggle to the average Muslim.
Bigotry toward any faith community cannot have any place in civilized society anywhere in the world.
I've spoken with friends who are rabbis and priests and we've agreed that most people have an emotional attachment to their faith, a desire to fulfill their spiritual longings, but they are not experts in understanding the history of their religion.
What's right with America and what's right with Islam have a lot in common. At their highest levels, both worldviews reflect an enlightened recognition that all of humankind shares a common Creator - that we are, indeed, brothers and sisters.
The ultimate vision is to instate in the Muslim world the notion of multiculturalism, which is part of our heritage and history, part of the fundamental, mainstream ideals of Islam.
Islamic law is clearly against terrorism, against any kind of deliberate killing of civilians or similar 'collateral damage.'