Mosque complete in time for KSM’s trial.? "The 61-year-old Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf said he paid $4.85 million for it. "
Mysterious Group Buys Building Next to Ground Zero For Mosque Wednesday,
December 16, 2009 Jim Hoft
A mysterous Muslim group with unknown sponsors has purchased a building steps away from Ground Zero. Hudson New York reported:
An identified group with unknown sponsors has purchased building steps away from where the WorldTrade Center once stood — to turn it into potentially one of the largest New York City mosques.
At the moment the building, the old Burlington Coat Factory, already serves as a mini-mosque: an iron grill lifts every Friday afternoon for a little known Imam leading prayers a few yards away from where Osama Bin Laden’s airborne Islamist bombers killed nearly 3000 people back in 2001. (Apparently the landing gear from one of the hijacked planes crashed through the roof of the former Building Next to Ground Zero For Mosque. http://www.vosizneias.com/44537/2009/12/08/manhattan-ny-former-burlington-coat-factory-near-ground-zero-now-a-mosque )
The Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, told the New York Times — which put the story on its front page Wednesday — that he has assembled several million dollars to turn it into ‘’an Islamic center near the city’s most hallowed piece of land that would stand as one of ground zero’s more unexpected and striking neighbors.’’
The 61-year-old Imam said he paid $4.85 million for it — in cash, records show. With 50,000 square feet of air rights and enough financing, he plans an ambitious project of $150 million, he said, akin to the Chautauqua Institution, the 92 Street Y or the Jewish Community Center.
This from the NYT on Dec. 8:
Muslim Prayers Fuel Spiritual Rebuilding Project by Ground Zero - NYTimes.com
The building has no sign that hints at its use as a Muslim prayer space, but these modest beginnings point to a far grander vision: an Islamic center near the city’s most hallowed piece of land that would stand as one of ground zero’s more unexpected and striking neighbors.
The location was precisely a key selling point for the group of Muslims who bought the building in July. A presence so close to the World Trade Center, “where a piece of the wreckage fell,” said Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the cleric leading the project, “sends the opposite statement to what happened on 9/11.”
“We want to push back against the extremists,” added Imam Feisal, 61.
The address is Cordoba Initiative which is 2 blocks north of Ground Zero. It is used as a mosque every Friday
“Kukiko Mitani, whose husband, Stephen Pomerantz, owned the building at the time, tried to sell it for years, at one time asking $18 million. But when the recession hit, she sold it in July to a real estate investment firm, Soho Properties, for $4.85 million in cash, records show. One of the investors was the Cordoba Initiative, an interfaith group founded by Imam Feisal. “
The Cordoba Initiative, “founded in 2002, is a multi-faith organization whose objective is to heal the relationship between the Islamic World and America. Working through civil dialogue, policy initiatives, education, and cultural programs, the Initiative focuses on Thought, Action and Outcomes.” 
Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chair
John S. Bennett, Co-founder and Executive Director of the Cordoba Initiative
Courtney Erwin, Chief of Staff and Director of Programs at the Cordoba Initiativ
Josh Martin, Program Associate and Writing and Research Coordinator at the Cordoba Initiative and ASMA Society
Grants and Grantees / Cordoba Initiative, The
The Cordoba Initiative,
$30,000 for 1 year Awarded on November 27, 2006 General support to a growing organization dedicated to the reducing the distrust and animosity in the relationship between the United States and much of the Islamic world.
Program: Peace and Security
Program Goal: Muslim and Western Understanding
Geographic Focus: Africa, Asia, Middle East, United States
Found the foreign money. The Cordova Institute is funded in part by the Malaysian government and has offices in NY where the 9/11 hijackers hit, as well as officies in Kuala Lumpur, where the plot to bomb the USS Cole was developed.
"Imam Feisal said it was Christians who started mass attacks on civilians.
"The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets."
"He said there was an endless supply of angry young Muslim rebels prepared to die for their cause and there was no sign of the attacks ending unless there was a fundamental change in the world.
"Imam Feisal said there could be little progress until the US acknowledged backing dictators and the US President gave an "America Culpa" speech to the Muslim world.
Shariah Index will rate countries’ Islamic law
Last Updated: July 21. 2009 2:21AM UAE / July 20. 2009 10:21PM GMT
Imam Feisal Rauf, the chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, leads the Shariah Index Project for Muslim countries.
Stuart Taylor for The National
KUALA LUMPUR // Many countries are Islamic, but some may be more Islamic than others. Now moves are afoot to rate nations according to how closely they adhere to the principles of Islam.
The Shariah Index Project is led by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, a New York-based cleric who heads the Cordoba Initiative, a multinational project to improve relations between Muslim countries and the West.
He announced it on Sunday, on the final day of the Women’s Islamic Initiative in Spirituality and Equality conference in Malaysia.
The project has been in the works since 2006, with researchers quietly holding behind-the-scenes meetings with scholars, activists and government officials. “We have been soliciting the opinion of scholars throughout the Muslim world, asking them what defines an Islamic state, from the point of view of Islamic law,” he said.
“What are the principles that make a state Islamic? We can say among them is justice, protection of religion and minorities and elimination of poverty, and so on.”
The Cordoba Initiative, which co-sponsored the Wise conference, is a non-profit organisation with offices in New York and Kuala Lumpur. It is funded by the Malaysian government and other sources in both western and Muslim countries.
So far the project has produced a book of scholarly essays on the concept of measuring a nation’s “Islamicity”, providing a theoretical foundation for the index.
By the end of this year, it expects to release the results of an unprecedented poll, conducted with the Gallup Organisation, that asked people in 44 majority-Muslim nations how well they felt their country complied with Islamic principles.
“It will create an annual rating, a score to rate countries on how compliant they are,” said Imam Feisal.
“And we’d like to index both Organisation of Islamic Countries (OIC) and non-OIC countries, because we know some non-OIC countries will score higher than some OIC members on some principles like justice, protection of minorities and so on.”
Imam Feisal admitted the project was ambitious, with difficulties including the technicalities of conducting such a broad poll, and of finding consistent sources of funding for such an expensive process.
Determining Islamic principles had been the easy part, he said. In classical Islamic jurisprudence the ruler must be someone who is “wise and upholds the Shariah”, he explained. “Early scholars debated a third point: whether the ruler must also be pious.“And the answer is no. As long as the ruler is committed to upholding the Shariah, piety should not be a hurdle to reigning over people. “Though on this point in particular there was a big split with the Shia, who disagree.”
He added that measuring the dedication and devotion of a person was too difficult to be done by a poll.
The pillars of Shariah are based on five – some say six sacrosanct rights and principles. Breaching any of them is considered a major sin that requires punishment.
The most important is the protection and furthering of life. Then there is the protection of religion – which includes all three Abrahamic faiths and, through most of Islamic history, other religions as well.
It was this principle that the Muslim world evoked during the controversy over cartoons lampooning the Prophet that were published in a Danish newspaper. The same principle prohibits Muslims from satirising elements of any religion.
Another pillar is the protection of dignity and honour, which can be used as a basis for punishing slander, which recently became a crime in the UAE under the country’s new media law.
The same principle is behind UAE cases where drivers have been prosecuted for making rude gestures at other road users, who took it as an insult to their dignity.
Similarly, a woman can sue a man, even a stranger, for a lewd or inappropriate comment that “undermines her honour”.
Protection of lineage, another pillar of Shariah, is the basis for criminalising adultery and, as was decided by muftis in Dubai last year, for banning IVF.
Protection of the mind or intellect includes the protection of sobriety, the basis for prohibiting Muslims from drinking alcohol or using any mind-altering substance, except under a doctor’s orders.
The final pillar of Shariah is the protection of property, an element that many scholars say contributed to the economic growth of early Muslim states.
Abu Dhabi Media Company PJSC.
ON THE INTERNET:
“Feisal Abdul Rauf blames Christians”
SNIPPET: “Feisal Abdul Rauf, a New York imam, expects us to believe that jihad warfare was started by the West and can only be ended by the West. He is therefore either concealing or ignorant of the fact that violent jihad is a developed tradition within Islam and found in core Islamic texts (including but not limited to the Qur’an, as well as Hadith and books of Islamic jurisprudence). In those it has nothing to do with the behavior of infidels. It only has to do with the fact that they are infidels. Take, for example, this quotation from the Muslim prophet Muhammad:
When you meet your enemies who are polytheists, invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them. . . . If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah’s help and fight them. (Sahih Muslim, book 019, Number 4294)
That is offensive jihad. It is buttressed by numerous other sayings of the Prophet, by the Qur’an, and by Islamic legal scholars. But Feisal Abdul Rauf puts it all on the West, and gets invited to Australia by Premier Bob Carr.
The US and the West must acknowledge the harm they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end, says an Islamic cleric invited to Sydney by Premier Bob Carr.
New York-based Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, who impressed Mr Carr at an international conference last year, arrives in Sydney today for two weeks of meetings and public talks.
Speaking from his New York mosque, Imam Feisal said the West had to understand the terrorists’ point of view.”
Posted by Robert on March 21, 2004 9:13 AM
From December 6-9 2009, Imam Feisal will be participating in the Parliament of World Religions in Melbourne, Australia with such leaders as the Rev. Jim Wallis, His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Jimmy Carter, and Dr. Tariq Ramadan. He is presenting on Islam and Muslim-West relations, as well as leading a dhikr session.