Imam Rauf: building bridges to where, exactly? -UPDATED

Feisal Abdul Rauf, the imam at the center of the controversy over the mosque proposed for Ground Zero in New York City, has claimed he is a man of moderation, a bridge-builder between Islam and America, between Muslims and Americans of other faiths. He wants to show that Islam and the Muslims can be a part of America’s democratic society.

Praising Ayatollah Khomeini and Iran’s theocratic fascist dictatorship is a funny way to do that, however. Soon after the fraudulent Iranian elections of 2009, he wrote, as reported by Michael Ledeen:

He proclaimed that calm had returned to Iran, and that the “official” results–Ahmadinejad in a landslide–were correct.  Indeed, the whole system, according to Imam Rauf, is admirable:

  • The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory.
  • After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.


(…)

  • (Obama’s) administration understands that what is going on now in Iran is an attempt by the Iranian people to live up to their own ideals. Just as American democracy developed over many years, the United States recognizes that this election is part of the process of an evolving democracy in Iran.


That’s pure appeasement of Iranian tyranny.

So, then, just where does this bridge Imam Rauf wants to build lead?

UPDATE: From the horse’s… mouth. Tell me again this guy is a moderate? On what scale?

As Jim Geraghty puts it:

…to suggest that the indirect effects of a U.S. sanctions regime is remotely morally comparable to al-Qaeda’s deliberate mass murder – much less to suggest that they are morally worse – is to eviscerate one’s claim to be moderate, pro-American, or sensible. He says it is a “difficult subject to discuss with Western audiences.” Does he ever wonder why?

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