Saturday, 27 August 2011

Ground Zero Mosque Imam Supports Ban on SDL

Apparently devoid of any sense of irony, the ground zero mosque imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, advocates suppressing the freedom of those who, in his opinion, wish to suppress freedom.
An American Muslim leader who spearheaded plans for a controversial Islamic community centre near the site of the World Trade Centre has supported the decision to ban a far-right group from marching in Scotland on the eve of 9/11.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, whose proposed Park51 Islamic community centre was dubbed a "megamosque" by critics who objected to its proximity to New York's 'Ground Zero', has given a talk in Scotland's capital.

He was invited to speak at the Festival of Spirituality and Peace by Edinburgh University's Prince Alwaleed Centre for the Study of Islam.

His visit comes almost a fortnight ahead of the 10th anniversary of the September 11 2001 attacks, and six days after Edinburgh City Council turned down an application from the Scottish Defence League to march on September 10 amid public safety fears.

Speaking after the talk, Imam Feisal said: "I don't think we should allow, in our communities, space for those who wish to abridge the freedoms of another person on the basis of their religion, race, language or gender. I think we have to combat those tendencies."

He added: "I do believe that freedoms are not absolute. A famous American judge said: 'Freedom of speech does not give you the right to shout fire in a crowded theatre'. The outcome will result in innocent people being made victims. So the freedom comes with a responsibility."

Imam Feisal added that he supported the Scottish Government's decision to release Abdelbaset al-Megrahi, the Libyan Muslim who is the only man convicted of the Lockerbie bombing, but he would have been equally supportive if they had decided to keep him in prison.

He said: "I am not a Scotsman so I don't have the jurisdiction to comment, but if the government of Scotland deem that it is in its best interests to do something then it is up to them, but I would have supported their decision either way."

Imam Feisal is also due to meet Glasgow MSP Humza Yousaf, who has been vocal on Muslim issues in Scotland since his election to the Scottish Parliament in May.

He will hold a second talk in Glasgow on Wednesday, and will receive a peace award from the festival, the city of Edinburgh, Edinburgh Interfaith Association, and the Conference of Edinburgh's Religious leaders.
Source: The Herald

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