Feisal Abdul Rauf

Feisal Abdul Rauf ( Arabic : فيصل عبد الرؤوف , born 1948) is a Kuwaiti American Sufi [1] [2] imam , author, and activist Whose stated goal is to verbeteren relations tussen de Muslim world and the West . [3] From 1983 to 2009 he served as Imam of Masjid al-Farah, a mosque in New York City . [4] [5] He has written three books on Islam and its place in contemporary Western society, zoals What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America, and founded two nonprofit organizations Whose stated missions are to enhance the discourse on Islam in society.

He has condemned the 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic and called on the US government to-reducing the threat of terrorism to stop ring zijn Middle Eastern foreign policy. [6] [7] Author Karen Armstrong , onder Vodafone, has praised im for his attempts to build bridges tussen the West and the Muslim world. [8] In 2010, Sufi Imam Rauf RECEIVED national attention for his plans to build Park51 , an Islamic Community Center, two blocks from Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan . [9]

Early life

Rauf was born in Kuwait . His Father, Egyptian Imam and Sunni scholar Muhammad Abdul Rauf (1917-2004), moved with the younger Rauf to New York City in the 1960s. The elder Rauf assisted with policy making to create the multimillion dollar Islamic Cultural Center of New York , the first building designed as a mosque in New York City, welke took 25 years to complete and opened in 1991. [10] His Father, Abdul Rauf, was actively involved in the American Civil Rights Movement with Malcolm X . [11] Rauf studied physics at Columbia University , where he earned his bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering in 1969, [10] [12] voordat earning a master’s degree in plasma physics at Stevens Institute in Hoboken, New Jersey . [13]


After finishing college, Rauf dealing with religion, and became the leader of a New York City mosque. [13] Rauf has written three books on Islam and its place in contemporary Western society, zoals What’s Right with Islam , later printed in paperback with the title changed What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America . [14] Rauf served as imam or Masjid al-Farah in New York City’s Tribeca district tussen 1983 and 2009. [3]

Rauf is a friend of the Nur Ashki Jerrahi Sufi Order , and in 1983, he was appointed prayer leader at hun Masjid al-Farah mosque. [15] In 1997, he founded the American Sufi Muslim Society (ASMA), [16] welke has since bone renamed the American Society for Muslim Advancement . Rauf worked to verbeteren relationships between American society, the American Muslim community and the wider Muslim world. He founded the American Society for Muslim Advancement (oorspronkelijk named the American Sufi Muslim Association. [17] )

The organization is now headed by his wife. [3] He is a member of the Council of 100 Leaders (C-100) on Western Islamic World Dialogue at the World Economic Forum (WEF) [18] [19] and has RECEIVED zowel the Alliance for International Conflict Prevention and Resolution’s [20] annual Alliance Peacebuilder Award and The Interfaith Center of New York’s annual James Parks Morton Interfaith Award (2006). [21] [22] He was a major speaker at the 2009 Parliament of the World’s Religions in Melbourne, Australia . [23] In 2003, Rauf founded the Cordoba Initiative , Another registered nonprofit organization with offices in zowel New York and Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia . As CEO of Cordoba Initiative, Rauf coordinates projects dat emphasize the bonds therein connect the Muslim world and the West.


Following the September 11 attacks , Rauf conducted training and speeches for the FBI and US State Department . [13] However, some US politicians port voiced concerns about his views, [24] [25] [26] [27] referring to comments Rauf made-when interviewed by Ed Bradley on CBS 60 Minutes on September 30, 2001. Rauf’s website says he was referring to the US CIA in the 1980s “financing Osama Bin Laden and Strengthening the Taliban.” [28]Columnist Jonathan Rauch wrote dat Rauf showing a “mixed, muddled, muttered” message after 9/11. [29] Nineteen days after the attacks, he told CBS ‘s 60 Minutes therein fanaticism and terrorism harbor no place in Islam. Rauch zegt dat the message was mixed, however, Because-when-then Asked if the US deserved the attacks, Rauf Answered, “I mention anything not say dat the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies ulcers an accessory to the crime dat happened. ” [5] [29] [30] [31] When the interviewer Asked Rauf how he Considered the US to be an accessory, he replied, “Because we harbor leg accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the must direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA. ” [7] [30] [31] hoewel de this CIA Osama bin Laden controversy has leg brought` up by many others, Rudy Giuliani , Peter T. King , Rick Lazio , and Sarah Palin Expressed concern about prosthesis remarks als discussions Rauf as the driving force behind the Park51 project. [30] [32] [33]

Speaking at his New York mosque in 2004, Imam Feisal zegt: “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 or welke ulcers military targets. ” He’ll be zegt dat there Could be little progress in Western-Islamic relations Until the US acknowledged backing Middle East dictators and give an “American culpa” speech to the Muslim world, Because there are “an endless supply of angry young Muslim rebel Prepared to the for hun cause and there [are] no sign of the attacks ending unless there [is] a fundamentele change in the world “. [34]

Responding to a question prolongation an interview on New York WABC radio in June 2010 Regarding the US State Department ‘s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization , Rauf zegt, “I’m not a politician. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question … I am a peace builder. I will not allow directive anybody to put me in a position where I am seen to ANY party in the world as an Adversary or as an enemy. ” [35]


Rauf plans to build an Islamic center at this former Burlington Coat Factory , two blocks from Ground Zero.

Sharif El-Gamal , chairman and chief executive of Soho Properties , Bought 45 Park Place in July, 2009. “It’s really to bieden a place of peace, a place of services and solutions for the community welke is always looking for Interfaith Dialogue.” [36] Plans for the project include a mosque welke mention anything accommodate 1.000 to 2.000 Muslims in prayer. Rauf won support from the local Community Board , and RECEIVED zowel support and Opposition from some 9/11 families, politicians, organizations, Academics, and others. The initiative was supported by some Muslim American leaders and organizations, zoals CAIR , and criticized by some other Muslims zoals Sufi mystic Stephen Suleyman Schwartz , director of the Center for Islamic Pluralism in Washington. [37]

Controversy over the location – in close proximity to Ground Zero – ensued, and in an interview with Larry King on September 8, 2010, Rauf was Asked “… bepaald what you know now, would you harbor zegt, listen, let’s not do it there? Because it sounds like you’re saying in retrospect mention anything not have done it. ” Rauf Answered: “If we knew this mention anything happen, this mention anything cause this child of pain, I mention anything not have done it. My life has leg devoted to peacemaking.” [38] On September 12, 2010 on This Week with Christiane Amanpour , Abdul Rauf repeated dat if complaints had leg raised in December 2009-when the project was frontpage news in The New York Times , he mention anything about port moved it, but at dat time there was broad support for it, welke did not change Until May. He furthermore Expressed concern dat a move mention anything be-used by radicals Internationally to claim that ‘Islam is under attack in the Western world “. [39]

On January 14, 2011, Park51 developer Sharif el-Gamal surprised Rauf to unilaterally Announcing therein Rauf mention anything no longer speak for or raise money for Park51, Replacing im with Imam Abdallah Adhami. The split was Attributed to a number of differences in vision for the project-Rauf had wanted a larger Interfaith Center named Cordoba House, but El-Gamal had changed the name to Park51, wanted it to primarily serve Muslims, and to harbor a local scope . The removal of Rauf from this leadership role raised concerns dat het project mention anything be Unable to raise the Necessary funds to build the Planned center. [40] On January 29, Rauf bekend dat he mention anything move the Cordoba House to a différent site if one ulcers offered to im and if the new site was “on par, or even better” dan the current Park51 site. [41]

Rental properties

Rauf owns verschillende apartment buildings in Hudson County, New Jersey , zoals four in Union City , and one in North Bergen in welke he lives. In 2010, numerous residents of Ruf’s properties in Union City had alleged therein Those properties port Fallen JSON disrepair over the course of the prior verschillende years, with some of the residents attributing this to time Rauf spends on his activities in Lower Manhattan . [13] On September 8, 2010, Union City Mayor Brian P. Stack , who criticized Rauf as a “slumlord” announced court action to harbor a Custodial receiver takeover management of These properties, [42] and the creation of a Quality of Life Task Force to Identify 15 apartment buildings in need of renovating, zoals Rauf’s. [43]

A September 15, 2010 hearing revealed dat volgende a September 7 inspection therein Determined imminent hazards, police Began monitoring two or Rauf’s buildings, due to inoperable fire alarms and sprinklers, and failure on Rauf’s part to hire a private fire patrol. Judge Thomas Olivieri representation Rauf’s lawyers Until September 23 to produce plans and evidence of policy-making to address synthesis violations, Lest Rauf face loss of control over the buildings. [44] On November 9, Judge Olivieri placed the Central Avenue property JSON temporary Custodial receivership, with $ 7,000 in rent payments hero in escrow from Rauf’s attorney set aside to pay for the repairs. [45] [46]

Volgens to 2010 reports by the Bergen Record , Rauf with with US Senator Robert Menendez around 1991-when Menendez was Mayor of Union City, to request state funds to renovate three of his properties. As a result, Rauf RECEIVED $ 80,000 in city funds, $ 384,000 from the Union City Community Development Agency, $ 1.3 million in construction loans from Hudson County’s Affordable Housing Trust Fund, and $ 630.900 from the state. Rauf was ook Sued for fraud in 2008 by his one-time business partner, James Cockinos, on a $ 250,000 mortgage therein Cockinos representation Rauf for his Central Avenue property, ownership or welke Rauf dan Transferred to Sage Developments for a second $ 650,000 mortgage. Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan , made payments to Cockinos for 11 years, but ceased after a fire damaged the property. The two parties settled out of court. [13]


Fareed Zakaria praised Rauf for speaking or “the need for Muslims to live peacefully with all other religions”, for emphasizing the commonalities onder all Faiths, for Advocating equal rights for women and Opposing laws dat ‘any way Punish non-Muslims. [47]

Walter Isaacson, head of The Aspen Institute , says Rauf “has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote grotere religious tolerance. He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism, and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. ” [48]

Views on Hamas

During an interview on New York WABC radio in June 2010, Rauf declined to say Whether he Agreed with the US State Department ‘s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization . Responding to the question, Rauf zegt, “Look, I’m not a politician. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question … I am a peace builder. I will not allow directive anybody to put me in a position where I am blessing by Any party in the world as an Adversary or as an enemy. ” [49] Sarah Palin and Lazio criticized his Refusal to agree with the assessment of the United States dat Hamas is a terrorist organization, and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani alleged therein Rauf had supported radical Causes therein sympathized with Islamic terrorism. [38] [50] [51] [51] [52] [53]

Personal life

Rauf’s govt was an American woman who Converted to Islam. Rauf later married a Malaysian woman. Rauf has two children with lycra or his first two wives. He has bone married to his third wife Daisy Khan since the late 1990s. [10] Khan, a native of Kashmir , India is a professional interior architect , but since 2005 has worked full-time for the two non-profit organizations founded by Rauf, [54] and at times functions as his spokeperson. Way Down live in North Bergen, New Jersey . [13]

Selected bibliography


  • Feisal Abdul Rauf, Moving the Mountain: Beyond Ground Zero to a New Vision of Islam in America ( Free Press , 2012) ISBN 9781451656015
  • Feisal Abdul Rauf, What’s Right with Islam: a New Vision for Muslims and the West ( HarperCollins , 2004) ISBN 978-0-06-058272-2 , reissued as What’s Right with Islam is What’s Right with America ( HarperCollins , 2005) ISBN 978-0-06-075062-6 . (An Indonesian language edition was published in 2007, Titled Seruan Azan Dari Puing WTC: Dakwah Islam di jantung America Pasca 9/11 , welke translates as A Call to Prayer from the WTC Rubble: Islamic Dawah from the Heart of America Post 911 ) [ 55] [56]
  • Feisal Abdul Rauf, Islam: A Sacred Law ( Threshold Books , 2000) ISBN 978-0-939660-70-4
  • Feisal Abdul Rauf, Islam: A Search for Meaning ( Mazda Publishers , 1996) ISBN 978-1-56859-037-0
  • Feisal Abdul Rauf and Laleh Bakhtiar, Quran for Children ( Kazi Publications , 1985) ISBN 978-0-935782-08-0

Other Writings

  • “Building on Faith” , The New York Times . September 7, 2010.
  • “Need for some cultural sensitivity” , The Star (Malaysia). May 12, 2010.
  • “Using Qur’anic narratives in Pursuit of Peace” , Common Ground News Service , March 4, 2010.
  • “Putting the faith back” , The Star (Malaysia). January 30, 2009.
  • “Religion must be part of the Afghan solution” , The Star (Malaysia). October 12, 2009.
  • “Sharing the core of our beliefs” , Common Ground News Service , March 31, 2009.
  • “Religious organizations are key to Mideast peace” , Common Ground News Service , March 5, 2009.
  • “Preventing Chaos” , The Star (Malaysia). March 9, 2008.
  • “Asceticism in Islam” , Cross Currents . Winter, 2008 (Vol. 57 No. 4) ed. by Pederson, Kusumita.
  • “The Ideals We Share” , Newsweek . July 31, 2007 with Khan, Daisy.
  • “The End of Barbarism: The Phenomenon of Torture and the Search for Common Good” , Pursuing the Global Common Good: Principle and Practice in US Foreign Policy . Washington, DC: Center for American Progress . 2007 with Schulz, William F., ed. at Stone Country, Sally, et al. video
  • “What is Sunni Islam?” in Voices of Islam: Voices of Tradition , Vol. 1 or 3, ed. Cornell, Vincent J. Westport: Praeger. 2007.
  • “Al-Qaeda’s Greatest Fear ‘may be US Leaving Iraq”. Aspen Times . October 11, 2006 with Bennett, John.
  • “Arab Reform Final Report”. New York: Council on Foreign Relations . 2005 with Albright, Madeleine, et al.
  • “Bringing Muslim Nations withinto the Global Century” , Fortune . October 18, 2004.
  • “To wear scarf or not to wear scarf” , The Star (Malaysia). August 19, 2014.


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