The radical Islamic imam behind the controversial Ground Zero mosque used donations to his nonprofits—created to combat anti-Muslim sentiments in the U.S.—to live the high life with his wife and mistress, according to a lawsuit filed recently in New York court.
Feisel Abdul Rauf, head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, is accused of swindling donation funds intended for the Ground Zero mosque to enjoy an extravagant lifestyle with a New Jersey gal pal and his wife, according to a New York newspaper report. Some of the cash was spent on a luxury sports car, lavish vacations, personal real estate and entertainment. Rauf fleeced the Malaysian government for $3 million and a Westchester County couple for $167,000, according to a lawsuit cited in the article.
Rauf is the figure behind the proposal to build a massive mosque and Muslim community center in the shadow of Ground Zero, the site of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in Manhattan. Back in 2010 Judicial Watch obtained records from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office that show the mayor was instrumental in helping Rauf obtain approval for the contentious project. The documents, which JW had to sue to get, show that Bloomberg’s office was working hand in glove with the Muslim activists driving the unpopular Ground Zero mosque project.
The mayor’s support may seem unbelievable considering Rauf is a radical Islamist, who blames America for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The imam has made a number of controversial statements regarding Islamic extremism, particularly the 2001 attacks. For example, during a 60 Minutes interview about 9/11, Rauf said: “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened…we have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.”
Rauf has also compared the Declaration of Independence to Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism, and he claims that Islamophobia in the U.S. is driven by racism. “There are individuals who are working very hard to promote fear and antagonism towards Islam and Muslims in this country,” Rauf said just a few months ago. “It’s fueled, in part, by the first African-American president that we have. Obama’s father was a Muslim and people have used this to arouse hostility against him.”
The mainstream media insists, however, that Rauf is a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S. A 2010 Time Magazine story says he’s the kind of Muslim leader “right-wing commentators fantasize about; modernists and moderates who openly condemn the death cult of al-Qaeda and its adherents…” A piece published by National Public Radio last May refers to Rauf as a moderate voice in America. A more realistic assessment seems to be outlined in a New York paper’s series about Rauf’s rise and fall.