Moderate Islam is still a problem for Muslim haters (and here’s looking at you, radical Zionists):
In March 2003, federal officials were being criticized for disrespecting the rights of Arab-Americans in their efforts to crack down on domestic security threats in the post-9/11 environment. Hoping to calm the growing tempers, FBI officials in New York hosted a forum on ways to deal with Muslim and Arab-Americans without exacerbating social tensions. The bureau wanted to provide agents with “a clear picture,” said Kevin Donovan, director of the FBI’s New York office.
Brought in to speak that morning — at the office building located just blocks from Ground Zero — was one of the city’s most respected Muslim voices: Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The imam offered what was for him a familiar sermon to those in attendance. “Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron,” he said. “It is a fundamental contradiction in terms.”
It was, by contemporaneous news accounts, a successful lecture.
Flash forward six-and-a-half years, and Feisal Abdul Rauf occupies a far different place in the political consciousness. The imam behind a controversial proposal to build an Islamic cultural center near those same FBI offices has been called “a radical Muslim,” a “militant Islamist” and, simply, the “enemy” by conservative critics. His Cordoba House project, meanwhile, has been framed as a conduit for Hamas to funnel money to domestic terrorist operations.