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Imamen bak moskesenteret nær Ground Zero, Feisal Abdul Rauf, har endelig grepet ordet etter å ha forholdt seg taus i flere uker. I en forblommet artikkel i New York Times sier han at prosjektet skal og må realiseres.

Rauf sier navnet Cordoba House er bevisst. Det peker tilbake på Granada og Andalusia. Men han ignorerer alle motforestillinger om at samdrektigheten ikke var så fullkommen som idealbildet tilsier.

Above all, the project will amplify the multifaith approach that the Cordoba Initiative has deployed in concrete ways for years. Our name, Cordoba, was inspired by the city in Spain where Muslims, Christians and Jews co-existed in the Middle Ages during a period of great cultural enrichment created by Muslims. Our initiative is intended to cultivate understanding among all religions and cultures.

Rauf er lite konkret, og ordbruken er økumenisk, og nesten på grensen til New Age.

Rauf bruker plasseringen som begrunnelse: nettopp her, nær Ground Zero, skal det søkes religiøs forståelse og fellesskap. Han lurer inn et politisk spark: for å bekjempe radikalere på begge sider. Rauf sidstiller altså radikale islamister med motstanderne av Ground Zero-moskeen. Men 67 prosent av amerikanerne er mot prosjektet. Er de radikale?

Rauf sier man skal vise økumenisk fellesskap på tiårsdagen for 9/11,

I therefore call upon all Americans to rise to this challenge. Let us commemorate the anniversary of 9/11 by pausing to reflect and meditate and tone down the vitriol and rhetoric that serves only to strengthen the radicals and weaken our friends’ belief in our values.

The very word “islam” comes from a word cognate to shalom, which means peace in Hebrew. The Koran declares in its 36th chapter, regarded by the Prophet Muhammad as the heart of the Koran, in a verse deemed the heart of this chapter, “Peace is a word spoken from a merciful Lord.”

Men hva ligger i ordet «barmhjertighet»? Hvordan brukes det av muslimer, eller rettere; kan brukes? Økumenisk forutsetter at man legger det samme i ordene.

Statsråden for religiøse saker i Indonesia, Suryadharma Ali, vil vurdere et forbud mot ahmadiya-retningen, og han sier det er av kjærlighet til ahmadiyaene.

“Banning Ahmadiyah, in my opinion, is not an act of hatred or enmity, it is an act of love and care for all our brothers across the nation. To ban them is far better than to let them be,” Suryadharma said.

“To outlaw them would mean that we are working hard to stop deviant acts from continuing. It is better for us to take the hard steps now and, God willing, all will be well.”

According to Suryadharma, all Ahmadis want to follow mainstream Islam, and therefore “it is the duty of every Islamic figure to take them in, teach them the correct way of the religion.”

The minister also said that until a ban was enacted, Ahmadiyah followers would continue to be targets for violent attacks by hard-line groups.

“Why don’t you study the reactions toward the Ahmadiyah?” he said. “We believe such harsh reactions are because there are rules that are not being followed.”

Ahmadiyah followers have been the target of numerous attacks by hard-line Muslim groups, with authorities being accused of failing to take steps to protect sect members.

Rights activists have said the minister’s comments could be construed by hard-liners as justification for more attacks on the group. Suryadharma, however, said that, in principle, there should be no violence.

Founded in India in 1889, Ahmadiyah holds that the group’s founder, Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, was a prophet — a belief that goes against mainstream Islam, which holds that Muhammad was the last prophet.

Said Aqil Siradj, chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, the country’s largest Muslim organization with an estimated 40 million members, last week urged caution against banning Ahmadiyah.

“Ahmadiyah has been in Indonesia since 1925. Why is it being made a problem now?” he said. “This is not a local organization, it is present in 102 countries around the globe.”

Building on Faith

Ahmadiyah Again Faces Minister’s Call for a Ban