Feisal Abdul Rauf

Feisal
Abdul Rauf
1948

Kuwait-born American Sufi Imam, Author and Activist improving relations between the Muslim World and the West

Author Quotes

I have never made a threat. I've never made a threat, never expressed a threat, never - I've never - I would never threaten violence ever, because I am a man of peace, dedicated to peace.

One of the misperceptions that exists in the Muslim world, which needs to be fixed, is the perception that Muslims in America are - are - are living in - in very, very, very bad circumstances. They cannot practice religion freely. It is not the truth at all. The fact is, we are practicing. We fast, we pray, we do our prayers.

There are moderates in Israel. There are moderates in Iran, there are moderates in the Republican Party, moderates in the Democratic Party. What we need to do is we need link all of these moderates together and to figure out a way by which this particular coalition can speak to important issues to marginalize the voice of the extremists.

I read, read enormously on all different fields of Islamic thought, from philosophy to Islamic literature, poetry, exegeses, knowledge of the Hadith, the teachings of the prophet. That's how I trained myself. And then I was appointed imam by a Sufi master from Istanbul, Turkey.

Our enemy is not Islam. Islam is not the enemy of America; Americans are not the enemy of Islam. Our real enemy is extremism and radicalism.

We are Americans. We - we - we are - we are doctors. We are investment bankers. We are taxi drivers. We are store keepers. We are lawyers. We are - we are part of the fabric of America. And the way that America today treats its Muslims is being watched by over a billion Muslims worldwide.

I was completely surrounded by religion from a young time. I was taught by my father. I engaged in discussions with him and many of these scholars who visited and came around the dining table, the lunch table, and attended many lectures with my dad. And so I learned the apprentice way.

Religion is defined by the relationship between God and man. And Islam is the submission and the acknowledgment of the human being to the creator.

We are not going to toy with our religion or any other. Nor are we going to barter. We are here to extend our hands to build peace and harmony.

I worked as a teacher in the public school system in New York City for several years, and I was a victim of the layoffs, you know, in the mid-'70s. And then I worked as a sales engineer for a company in New Jersey that was selling industrial filtration equipment.

Staying chaste until marriage, a commandment of my faith, was one of the most difficult challenges of my young life. I had a powerful sense that if I did not get a grip on my identity, my ethics, and my religion, I would go off the rails.

We tend to forget in the West that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than Al Qaeda has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims.

If Muslims curse the Christians, then the Christians will curse the Muslims. And people will curse Allah, and Allah will hold us responsible for that.

Sufis teach that we first must battle and destroy the evil within ourselves by shining upon it the good within, and then we learn to battle the evil in others by helping their higher selves gain control of their lower selves.

We've got to be fair. You can't say a place that has strip joints is sacred ground. We've got to be just. We've got to speak the truth. We've got to have justice for everybody. We're a country of justice for all, not justice for non-Muslims only or some groups and not for others.

A kind of racism still exists in the United States, and Islamophobia is a more convenient way to express that sentiment. There has also been an attempt to paint Muslims as enemies of the United States.

I'm not an agent from any government, even if some of you may not believe it. I'm not. I'm a peacemaker.

The American principles of democracy expresses the deepest values of the Sharia both structurally and in the government... Sharia requires us Muslims anywhere to abide by the law of the land.

What's brilliant about the United States system of government is separation of power. Not only the executive, legislative, judicial branches, but also the independence of the military from civilians, an independent media and press, an independent central bank.

Americans must outgrow the unbecoming arrogance that leads us to assert that America somehow owns a monopoly on goodness and truth - a belief that leads some to view the world as but a stage on which to play out the great historical drama: the United States of America versus the Powers of Evil.

In Malaysia, where Western culture was extremely influential, I'd grown up listening to Elvis and the Beatles and watching American movies. People wanted to be like Americans. In contrast, when I got here, I saw prosperous middle-class American college students wanting to somehow join the Third World.

The battleground has been moderates of all faith traditions in all the countries of the world against the radicals of all faith traditions in all parts of the world.

What's right with America and what's right with Islam have a lot in common. At their highest levels, both worldviews reflect an enlightened recognition that all of humankind shares a common Creator - that we are, indeed, brothers and sisters.

Any organization or any individual that targets civilians and kills them for political agenda is a terrorist organization.

In spite of the polls, the fact is that American Muslims are very happy and they thrive in this country.

Author Picture
First Name
Feisal
Last Name
Abdul Rauf
Birth Date
1948
Bio

Kuwait-born American Sufi Imam, Author and Activist improving relations between the Muslim World and the West