Attending the World Forum of Spiritual Culture, recently held in Astana, Kazakhstan, Rauf made exclusive statements to the Cihan news agency.
He claimed that Westerners’ lack of knowledge about Islam had led them to harbor prejudices and fears about the religion and explained that the source of prejudice against Islam in the West is not the Sept. 11 attacks but Islamophobia, which is caused by a lack of knowledge of Islam and provocative media articles.
Rauf also noted that religious leaders, politicians and faith organizations gave their project strong support, adding that even President Barack Obama was in favor of the project.
“We are now trying to explain to the people that it will be a cultural complex that will be constructed, not solely a mosque,” he said.Hmmmmm........what happened to "It's not a mosque."?
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Ayaan Hirsi Ali: “The Proposition That Islam is Tolerant is Not Only Fallacious But It’s Also Dangerous”
From Weasel Zippers:
WASHINGTON – Though most Muslims are tolerant and peace-loving, Islam itself is not a religion of tolerance, a former Muslim asserted.
Well-known activist and author Ayaan Hirsi Ali made the argument Monday at the National Press Club as security guards stood in the back of the ballroom. An outspoken critic of Islam, Hirsi Ali has been living under a fatwa, a religious ruling or in this case an order to kill, for years.
The Somali native addressed the question “Is Islam a Religion of Tolerance?” to highlight the political dimension of the widely practiced faith.
“I’m frustrated with the continuous belief and, I think, self-delusion that Islam is only a religion,” she said. “Islam is more than a religion. It does have a spiritual dimension … but there is another dimension to Islam – a political dimension.”
In general terms, religious tolerance is understood to be the willingness to recognize and respect the beliefs and practices of others, she noted. But there are different levels of tolerance, she added.
“For instance, if you oppose smoking you may think of yourself as tolerant of smokers but it’s different when you allow a smoker in your house … to smoke,” the now atheist pointed out.
The Prophet Muhammad defined the state of peace and tolerance as a moment when the entire world submits to Allah and embraces Islam, said Hirsi Ali, who fled from her Muslim family and an arranged marriage in her early twenties and sought asylum in the Netherlands.
“That word ‘peace,’ ‘tolerant’ is not defined in Islam as you define it in the West,” she clarified. “It doesn’t mean ceasefire or compromise. That’s temporary.
In Islam, the way to achieve peace is through settlement, jihad, and the institution of sharia (Islamic law), she explained.
And before the state of universal Islamization, “it is the duty of every Muslim male to wage war” – not just by carrying weapons but by preaching and persuading, she added.
“The proposition that Islam is tolerant is not only fallacious but it’s also dangerous,” Hirsi Ali underscored