The New York Post had this piece today on the mosque founded by Imam Rauf’s father. As the Post notes, it has become “a centerpiece of Muslim life,” but has also hosted imams whose views were hardly moderate by standard American definitions. From the piece:
The project, however, was still beset by controversy. Governments of the various donor countries vied for influence, and architect Aly Dadras was fired, allegedly because he hired a Jewish-owned firm as a technical consultant, according to news reports.
In October 2001, the mosque’s imam, Sheik Muhammad Gemeaha, blamed the 9/11 attacks on Jews. He then immediately resigned and returned to his native Egypt.
The next month, his replacement, Imam Omar Saleem Abu-Namous, said he needed proof that Islamic extremists were behind the attack.
Rauf, at this time, had relinquished day-to-day management and was involved in a Washington mosque.
The younger Rauf has remained on the board of the Islamic Center of New York but has devoted his time to his own house of worship, the al-Farah Mosque in lower Manhattan.