Self-described Sufi moderate Imam Rauf may prove to be an Islamic version of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright. With Wright, the Left kept insisting that outrage over his racist and anti-American remarks was driven by right-wing racism, and for a while, the narrative worked — hence Obama’s pre-under-the-bus assertion that he “could no more disown Reverend Wright than” etc. But then Wright committed the mortal sin of insulting the elite media right at their embryo, at the D.C. National Press Club.
So too Imam Rauf. He has a vast record of quackery — the latest tidbit is his 2005 contorted assertion that Westerners have more innocent Muslim blood on their hands than does al-Qaeda (e.g., “We tend to forget, in the West, that the United States has more Muslim blood on its hands than al Qaida has on its hands of innocent non-Muslims”), presumably because between 1991 and 2003 America tried to stop Saddam’s aggressions and WMD program through non-violent sanctions. Given Rauf’s long paper trail and bad habit of talking in different personas to different audiences, much more will drip out each day, as was the case with Wright’s DVDs and occasional outbursts. And that might necessitate a correction of Obama’s grandstanding, disingenuous remarks to his iftar Muslim audience, in which the president deliberately conflated legal right with ethical and moral sensibility and earned a standing ovation for his distortion.
Perhaps with two or three more disclosures from Imam Rauf’s corpus of speeches, we will hear a stronger walk-back from the president — something analogous to “The person I saw yesterday is not the person I met 20 years ago.”