Founder of Ground Zero mosque part of group that helped fund Gaza flotilla

More specifically, he’s part of a group that’s funding another group that helped organize the flotilla. Too far removed for culpability? Let’s see.

The imam behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is a prominent member of a group that helped sponsor the pro-Palestinian activists who clashed violently with Israeli commandos at sea this week.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a key figure in Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, according to its Website.

Perdana is the single biggest donor ($366,000) so far to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the six-ship flotilla that tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Monday.

Here’s Rauf’s bio at the Perdana website. Reuters confirmed with the Free Gaza Movement — whose supporters include William Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn, natch — that its biggest donation did indeed come from Perdana. Any reason to fault Rauf for belonging to a “global peace organization” willing to give money to another group that promises only “civil resistance and non-violent direct action”? Well, it depends. Did he know that the flotilla was being co-organized by a Turkish charity with terrorist ties? Did he know that goon provocateurs would be aboard the flotilla, some of them from the Muslim Brotherhood? Does he realize that the stated mission of the Free Gaza Movement, i.e. to “establish a permanent sea lane between Gaza and the rest of the world,” will assuredly result in weapons shipments to Hamas? If he didn’t know those things before — and maybe he didn’t — does finding out now change his opinion of the FGM? Inquiring reporters should want to know.

But as intriguing as the Post’s report is, it’s actually missing a bigger story. Go take a look at who the most prominent member of Perdana is. Right — Mahathir Mohamad, former prime minister of Malaysia, Jew-baiter extraordinaire, and prominent … 9/11 Truther. Actual quote: “There is strong evidence that the attacks were staged. If they can make Avatar, they can make anything.” Question for Rauf: If you’re all about peace and healing at Ground Zero, why stick with a charity that’s being spearheaded by a guy who blames the U.S. government for what happened there?

Which brings me to a point that’s been drowned in the uproar over the mosque. A few days ago, Greenroomer CK MacLeod accused the mosque’s critics of playing into jihadists’ hands by conflating radical Muslims with all Muslims. Why punish all members of the faith collectively by denying them a mosque near Ground Zero, asked CK, when it’s the Bin Ladenites who are culpable for bringing down the towers? The problem is, Islam isn’t divided cleanly into “radical” and “liberal” camps, with Osama emblematic of the first camp and, say, Dr. Zuhdi Jasser (who, incidentally, opposes the Ground Zero mosque) emblematic of the other. It’s a spectrum, which includes true jihadis, who are willing to commit violence; those who support them morally (and financially) but are unwilling to commit violence themselves; those who oppose violence but nonetheless believe in Islamic supremacy; those who believe civil law should be supreme but nonetheless condone various forms of cultural self-isolation; and of course truly assimilated, liberal Muslims like Jasser, who risks his life every day speaking out against the scum on the other end.

At what point on the spectrum does Rauf fall? Does his association with Mahathir affect that judgment? How about the fact that, as Greenroomer J.E. Dyer notes, he’s coincidentally chosen to name his mosque after a great Muslim victory over the west? Or, if all that’s too heady, what about his insistence on bringing his symbol of “healing” to Ground Zero despite the fact that the idea’s had quite the opposite effect for many New Yorkers? As I’ve said before, that’s a curious bit of cultural insensitivity, particularly when no one’s objecting to the idea of a new mosque located pretty much anywhere else in the city. Just wondering: If some imam decided he wanted to build a mosque on Ground Zero itself, at the foot of the never-to-be-completed Freedom Tower, shouldn’t we indulge him per CK’s logic? And if he decided he wanted to build it in the shape of an airplane — just to “reclaim the symbol” from the evil jihadists who attacked on 9/11, mind you — shouldn’t we indulge him that, too? At what point is it okay to question motives here?