Ron Arnold's Left Tracking Library

The Ground Zero Mosque
 formally The Cordoba Initiative
and the
American Society for Muslim Advancement

The Cleric behind the planned 13-story mosque only two blocks away from the 9/11 Ground Zero - actually a $100 million Islamic community center called Cordoba House - is Feisal Abdul Rauf, author, activist, and Imam since 1983 of Masjid al-Farah, a New York City mosque, not far from Ground Zero.

Imam Rauf's
stated goal is to improve relations between the Muslim World and the West
. However, shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, Rauf said, "United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened." It didn't improve relations.

In a 2010 radio interview, he refused to call the radical Islamic group Hamas a terrorist organization, saying "the issue of terrorism is a very complex question." It didn't improve relations.

The site of the new Cordoba House mosque is an old Burlington Coat factory on Park Place (right) that will be demolished - it was damaged by Mohamed Atta's 9/11 airplane's landing gear and aircraft undercarriage that scooped up human bodies when the pieces fell from the World Trade Center into the roof of the old factory. Even though six-hundred feet from the Trade Center plaza, the site is very much in Ground Zero itself. Many other sites are available. This mosque's true intent, some argue, is to mock Americans who died in the 9/11 terrorist attack.

Imam Rauf's posh new Cordoba House Muslim community center (left, with image of the proposed high-tech, glass-front, energy-efficient building), is to be equipped with a 500-seat auditorium, a gym, swimming pool, and a mosque at the very top overlooking Ground Zero where the faithful can look out and gloat over their victory.



Imam Rauf already has a mosque at 225 Riverside Drive in SOHO near Tribeca (right) that would be a more appropriate site, still not far from Ground Zero, but not like a viewing platform for those with secret revenge in their hearts. The imam could perhaps find more public support for his Cordoba House tucked away behind taller buildings with no view of the new One World Trade Center now being built. Tear down the old mosque and build the new one there. But would that defeat the real purpose?

As The One World Trade Center goes up on 9/11 Ground Zero (left), the nearby Muslim project stirred broad outrage among the majority of Americans.

An August 2010 Washington Post poll found 70 percent of independents opposed the project.

The editors of National Review said, "Not at Ground Zero."

President Barack Obama spoke in support of the plan to build the Ground Zero Mosque without informing Democratic Party leaders (above, AP photo). When it became public, it ignited a firestorm of national protest. He backed down slightly, but then said he "had no regrets" for his supporting statement. A poll found that 20-24 percent of Americans believe Obama is a Muslim, like all of his father's family in Africa. In fact, Obama was a member of Rev. Jeremiah Wright's Trinity United Church of Christ for 20 years.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called for an investigation, not of who is funding the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque, but who is funding the opposition to the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque. Perhaps her millionaire husband, Paul Pelosi - who owns and operates Financial Leasing Services, Inc., a San Francisco, California-based real estate and venture capital investment and consulting firm - is an investor in the Ground Zero Mosque.


Leaving the open question of "how can a little outfit like the Cordoba Initiative afford a $100-150 million building?"

DISCLAIMER:
TECHNICALLY, ISLAM IS NEITHER LEFT NOR RIGHT IN AMERICAN TERMS,
BUT THIS PROFILE IS INCLUDED FOR ITS NATIONAL SIGNIFICANCE.



The Cordoba Initiative
a 501(c)(3) public charity


Principal location
:
475 Riverside Drive, Suite 248
New York, NY 10115
Phone: 212-870-2552 ext. 4
Email contact: jm@cordobainitiative.org
Website: www.cordobainitiative.org




Malaysian
Office:
PNB Darby Park, Suite 2608
10 Jalan Binjai
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +607490-3797
Fax: +607490-3049



2008 Income: $0
2008 Assets: $
18,255
EIN: 41-2140798
Exempt since 2004

The Cordoba Initiative is operated with a related Rauf organization,
the American Society for Muslim Advancement (ASMA), a 501(c)(3) public charity. A 2009 ASMA audit document states:

  • Cordoba was formed as non-profit in Aspen, Colorado in 2004 and secured its incorporation status as a 501(c)(3) in New York in April 2009, The corporation was established for the purpose of improving Muslim and Western relations. ASMA is acting as a fiscal agent and is developing Cordoba’s ability to function independently. Although Cordoba is a separate corporation, it will continue to work with ASMA as a sister organization sharing the same infrastructure, space, utilities, vendor services and co-sponsorship of programs to remain fiscally lean and keep operational costs low for both.

Significance of the name Cordoba:in the Middle Ages, Cordoba, Spain, was capital of an Islamic caliphate, known for its high culture, huge libraries, and tolerance of the Jews - at a price: Jews enjoyed the protection of the Islamic government by paying a tax as Dhimmis, non-Muslims in a Muslim land. Failure to pay was a death offense. Payment meant accepting the status of subservience. Some have seen Rauf's use of the name Cordoba as an indication of his hidden intent to make Americans Dhimmis in some fashion.
The Ground Zero Mosque project Cordoba House was quickly re-named Park51 when the significance of Cordoba became known.

The Cordoba Initiative has only three officers or directors:

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, Chairman
John S. Bennett,
Executive Director
Daisy Khan
(wife of Rauf), Director

Bennett is a former Mayor of Aspen, Colorado and a former Vice President of the left-leaning Aspen Institute.
An original director, Texan Julia Jitkoff, wealthy daughter of the King Ranch's president, resigned May 4, 2007.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf was born in 1948 in Kuwait and educated in London, Cairo, Malaysia, and the U.S. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Columbia University and a Master of Science in Plasma Physics from Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He speaks English, Arabic and Malay. Obama's State Department has sent Rauf on religious outreach trips to the Middle East on behalf of the U.S. government since 2007. The imam is a Sufi Muslim, a mystical branch of Islam whose adherents have been attacked by Muslim extremists overseas.


Daisy Khan is Imam Rauf's wife, and heads the American Society for Muslim Advancement, a non-profit organization "aimed at promoting positive engagement between American society and American Muslims." Khan is an interior designer by profession.

 

Oz Sultan, spokesman for the Cordoba House mosque now called Park51, said: "We will disclose funding of the project in compliance with state and federal law as well as vet investors with the [Department of] Treasury." He would not comment when asked whether money from Saudi Arabia or Iran would be accepted for the Ground Zero Mosque.


The Cordoba group "aims to improve relations between Islam and the West by hosting leadership conferences for young American Muslims, organizing programs on Arab-Jewish relations, and empowering Muslim women," according to public statements. This is partially confirmed by grants to the American Society for Muslim Advancement from two funds that give primarily to protect and advance rights for gender equality, shown in a chart below, Millennium Development Goals 3 Fund and Hunt Alternatives Fund. 

Imam Rauf's stated mission is to enhance the discourse on Islam in society. He has condemned the 9/11 attacks as un-Islamic and called on the U.S. government to reduce the threat of terrorism by altering its Middle Eastern foreign policy, which most commentators interpret to mean the U.S. should stop supporting Israel.

While he promotes himself as a moderate bridge builder, Rauf has made comments over the years that have alarmed some observers and helped fuel opposition to the proposed project. In a CBS News interview shortly after the September 11 terrorist attacks, 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.” In a radio interview in 2010, he refused to call the radical Islamic group Hamas a terrorist organization, saying "the issue of terrorism is a very complex question."

Imam Rauf has written several books on Islam and its place in contemporary Western society, including What's Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West and  Islam: A Sacred Law : What Every Muslim Should Know About the Shariah.

BOOKS YOU CAN BUY BY IMAM FEISAL ABDUL RAUF

THE SHOCKER
SAME BOOK
TWO TITLES FOR TWO COUNTRIES

AMERICA

INDONESIA

YOU CAN READ THE ENGLISH

 CAN YOU READ INDONESIAN?


THE INDONESIAN TITLE SAYS

A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble:
Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11


“Dawa” means Islamic proselytizing,
a process used to impose Islamic sharia,
sacred law dismissing the U.S. Constitution
.

ARE WE DECEIVED YET?
National Review's opinion:

As National Review’s Andrew C. McCarthy has documented, Rauf’s book, published in the West as What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America, had a significantly different title abroad: A Call to Prayer from the World Trade Center Rubble: Islamic Dawa in the Heart of America Post-9/11. “Dawa” means Islamic proselytizing, a process that ends in the imposition of sharia. The book was published abroad with the assistance of the Islamic Society of North America and the International Institute of Islamic Thought, which are two appendages of the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization behind much of the world’s murderous Islamic terrorism. The Islamic Society of North America was identified as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terrorism case. The co-founder and president of the International Institute of Islamic Thought, Shaykh Taha Jabir al-Awani, was an unindicted co-conspirator in the Sami al-Arian terrorism case.



Two money questions arise:
First, how can a little outfit like the Cordoba Initiative with its zero revenue and
$18,255 assets in 2008 afford a $100-150 million building? Answer: It can't.

The old Burlington Coat factory property was purchased by SME Acquisitions Corporation, c/o SOHO Properties LLC, 552 Broadway, Suite 6N, New York, NY
f
or $4.85 million in cash for the Park Place site in July, 2009. SOHO will not reveal the source of the money on advice of their attorneys, but Imam Rauf is thought to be an investor, perhaps through the Cordoba Initiative.

Even so, the developers bought only half the Mosque site on Park Place. The CEO of SOHO Properties, Sharif El-Gamal, bought the building at 45-47 Park Place in 2009, but only obtained a lease on Con Ed's 49-51 Park Place. Soho Properties told officials and the public that it owns the entire parcel. El-Gamal said the lease was equivalent to ownership. Any potential sale by Con Ed faces a review by the state Public Service Commission. And ConEd's appraisal looks like an additional $10 million to $20 million price tag will be tacked on to the developer's land cost.

Nevert
heless, El-Gamal is adamant about going ahead with the project despite ownership problems and feeble fundraising results. Just $200 in donations has come in as of August 2010, according to Ameena Meer, head of Muslims for Peace, the nonprofit accepting the contributions.

El-Gamal expects the new Islamic center to be completed and unveiled on September 11, 2011.

Where did the $4.85 million in cash come from?

Second, who has been funding the Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement?

2009 grants to American Society for Muslim Advancement

The United Nations Population Fund 

Millennium Development Goals 3 Fund   

Hunt Alternatives Fund 

Carnegie Corporation of N.Y.

The Rockefeller Brothers Fund 

Qatar government fund

 $53,664
$481,942
$15,000
 $144,752
$50,000
$576,312

Foundation grants to Cordoba Initiative
 

ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND INC
New York

$15,000

2008

General support

WILLIAM & MARY GREVE FOUNDATION INC
New York

$32,000

2007

 

RODEL FOUNDATION
Scottsdale
Arizona

$50,000

2005

Support for community development

Foundation grants to American Society for Muslim Advancement

CARNEGIE CORPORATION OF NEW YORK
New York

$300,000

2008

Toward capacity building and media outreach and trainings

SWANEE HUNT FAMILY FOUNDATION
Cambridge
Massachusetts

$30,000

2008

Prime movers program

WILLIAM & MARY GREVE FOUNDATION INC
New York

$25,000

2008

To support Cordoba Initiative in improving Muslim-West relations

WILLIAM & MARY GREVE FOUNDATION INC
New York

$75,000

2007

 

SWANEE HUNT FAMILY FOUNDATION
Cambridge
Massachusetts

$30,000

2007

Health & Human services

ROCKEFELLER PHILANTHROPY ADVISORS INC
New York

$25,000

2007

Culture & Heritage

ROCKEFELLER BROTHERS FUND INC
New York

$50,000

2007

For general support and the Women's Islamic Initiative in spirituality and Muslim leaders of tomorrow projects

WALLACE ALEXANDER GERBODE FOUNDATION
San Francisco
California

 

$10,000

2007

 

HENRY LUCE FOUNDATION INC
New York

 

$10,000

2007

Development of a global Muslim women Shura council

HENRY LUCE FOUNDATION INC
New York

 

$15,000

2006

Muslim Women Leaders' Forum

Cordoba Incorporation Record, Colorado Secretary of State
 

ID Number: 20041191886
Name: THE CORDOBA INITIATIVE

Registered Agent: JOHN S. BENNETT
Registered Agent Street Address: 2211 E SOPRIS CREEK RD, Basalt, CO 81621, United States
Registered Agent Mailing Address: PO BOX 10600, ASPEN, CO 81612, United States

Principal Street Address: 475 Riverside Drive, New York, NY 10115, United States
Principal Mailing Address:

Status: Good Standing
Form: Nonprofit Corporation
Jurisdiction: Colorado
Formation Date: 05/26/2004
Term of Duration: Perpetual
Periodic Report Month: May

Cordoba Incorporation Record, New York Department of State

Current Entity Name: THE CORDOBA INITIATIVE
Initial DOS Filing Date: DECEMBER 01, 2008
County: NEW YORK
Jurisdiction: COLORADO
Entity Type: FOREIGN NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION
Current Entity Status: ACTIVE

AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT (ASMA)
Incorporation Record, New York Department of State
 
Current Entity Name: AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT (ASMA)
Initial DOS Filing Date: JULY 07, 1997
County: NEW YORK
Jurisdiction: NEW YORK
Entity Type: DOMESTIC NOT-FOR-PROFIT CORPORATION
Current Entity Status: ACTIVE
AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT (ASMA)
475 RIVERSIDE DRIVE
SUITE 248
NEW YORK, NEW YORK, 10115
Registered Agent
NONE
Filing Date Name Type Entity Name
FEB 20, 2008 Actual AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT (ASMA)
NOV 08, 2006 Actual AMERICAN SOCIETY FOR MUSLIM ADVANCEMENT
JUL 07, 1997 Actual AMERICAN SUFI MUSLIM ASSOCIATION

 

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