Last night, Sean Hannity interviewed the Ground Zero mosque imam, Faisal Abdul Rauf on his Fox News show. Rauf, as always, came across as the kind, gentle man who abhors violence. Just as he did when I saw him last year at UCLA, his theme is that we, as Jews, Muslims and Christians, must stand together against the extremists of our religions, which begs the question as to which Jews and Christians are committing all the acts of terror in the world. Oh, sure. Terry Jones burns Qurans, and Charles Worley wants to put gays behind walls, but really. Is there any comparison with all the horror that is going on around the world in the name of Rauf's religion? Below is what Discover the Networks has to say about Rauf:
Hannity is really starting to understand the threat, and he cross-examined Rauf about his post-9-11 statements on 60 Minutes about American policies being "an accessory" to 9-11. Rauf apologized and said he was wrong to say it.
Here is a transcript of the 60-Minute interview of Rauf and three others conducted by Ed Bradley.
When I saw the video clip of that interview last night, I thought I recognized the man sitting next to Rauf. Sure enough. It was none other than Siraj Wahhaj, an imam from Brooklyn, who tries to pose as a moderate when non-Muslims are around. However, the audios from his Brooklyn mosque paint a different figure, one who refers to arming black ex-convicts in the inner city with AK-47s and other incendiary statements about Jihad. Wahhaj was listed as a possible unindicted co--conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York and actually testified as a character witness for the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdul Rahman in his terrorism trial. Too bad Hannity wasn't armed with those facts and able to ask Rauf what he is doing sharing a stage with Wahhaj.
Oh yeah. Guilt by association. Sorry.
Last year at UCLA, Rauf used his soft-spoken charm to wow an audience of academics with his usual message. Sitting in front of me was a 30-something lady who was in the throes of ecstasy as she groaned and nodded assent to Rauf's honey-coated declarations as he shared the stage with the arrogant young Reza Aslan. Later outside, an older gentleman (who I think was Jewish) told me that the whole world should be Islamic with everyone living under Sharia law so we won't have any reason to fight anymore. (I didn't ask him whether he wanted to be Sunni or Shia.)
To me, figures like Rauf are far more dangerous than the obvious radicals like Alim Abdul Musa and Amir Abdel Malik Ali. They don't put on a false face. They tell you what their agenda is. Rauf is a con man who fools people. much like our local Orange County imam Muzammil Siddiqi. In police jargon, it's kind of like, "good cop, bad cop".