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The Ground Zero Mosque Developer: Muslim Brotherhood Roots, Radical Dreams
The prospective developer of a $100 million, 13-story mosque 600 feet from Ground Zero presents himself as a Muslim moderate (1). Yet Kuwait-born Faisal Abdul Rauf also boasts of his issue from an "Egyptian family steeped in religious scholarship" (2). Indeed, Feisal Rauf's Muslim Brotherhood provenance, radical by definition, is as authentic as it gets.
Rauf's father, Dr. Muhammad Abdul Rauf (1917-2004) — an Egyptian contemporary of Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna — conveyed to Feisal his family's long tradition of radicalism, which he acquired at Islam's closest equivalent to the Vatican, Al-Azhar University. The elder Dr. Rauf studied and taught there before fleeing Egypt in 1948. That year, Feisal Abdul Rauf was born in Kuwait.
Feisal Rauf has planned for some time to further develop his father's U.S. Islamic expansionism. In 1990, Rauf opened the tiny al-Farah Mosque at 245 West Broadway in lower Manhattan. Area residents did not even notice the mosque until 2006, when the New York State Liquor Authority (SLA) refused to license a new bar on the same block and started yanking others' liquor licenses (3).
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