Shit the Imam Says:
Really, oh, sweet, imbecilic right-wingers? Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the Cordoba Initiative, which dares to want cheap real estate in New York City in order to build a Muslim community center, is a radical? Really? Does anyone actually understand the meaning of "radical" anymore?

Here's what he's said over the last few years. Mullah Omar, he ain't:

"The issue of women's rights is more than an issue for women or about women. It involves everyone...The best of you are those who are best to their women. Consequently, the worst of men are those who are worst to their women."- From the Yemen Times, August 9, 2009, at a conference on advancing the cause of women in Islam.

Rauf believes in "showing those who resort to violence that it is counter to the very idea of Islam." - From the Khaleej Times (UAE), July 5, 2009.

"Islam denounces suicide of any sort, especially suicide bombings that kill innocents. Even in a defensive war sanctioned by Islamic law, suicide is expressly forbidden." - From a June 2009 commentary by Rauf.

"The Quran expressly and unambiguously prohibits the coercion of faith because that violates a fundamental human right - the right to a free conscience. The Quran says in one place 'There shall be no compulsion in religion.' And in another it says, 'To you your beliefs and to me, mine.'"- Same as above.

"Rauf was one of the few Muslim leaders who appealed for calm and tolerance after the Regensburg speech." From the New Yorker, April 2, 2007, regarding Pope Benedict's 2006 lecture where he quoted a Muslim-hating Byzantine emperor. Riots ensued.

Young Muslims "are deeply frustrated by what's going on in the name of Islam. They feel they are paying a price for actions done by a very, very negligible minority, but which capture the attention of the media. Terrorism done in the name of Islam has hurt Muslims as much, if not more, than it has hurt Westerners." - From a June 2006 U.S. State Department press release on a conference regarding Muslim youths.

"This is why we have been looking for, calling for so long for democratic regimes, for societies where people are empowered in much of the Arab and Muslim world. We are seeing massive changes going on right now in the Arab and Muslim world. When you have a disempowered people, you have things like this going on." - From a February 7, 2006 interview on ABC regarding the protests over the Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed.

"The Qur'an needs to be the backing of our activism towards human rights"- From Islamic Horizons, November 2004, at a conference on religion and peacebuilding held at the College of Notre Dame.

"It's because they love what we have here, and we have prevented them from having it there. We have supported regimes that have been authoritarian and oppressive to their own people. This is why people are angry with us. If we had encouraged democracy in Saudi Arabia, Osama bin Laden would have run for political office there." - From a July 10, 2004 interview with the Dallas Morning News, upon being asked if terrorists "hate our freedoms."

"This what we call 'a no-brainer.'" - from the Guardian, September 3, 2002, on the need for just the type of center to be build at Park 51 because, in 2002, there were "25 centres for Jewish-Christian understanding in the United States, only two for Muslim-Christian understanding, and zero for Muslim-Jewish understanding."

(Note: Tonight's the night: Heterosexuals opens in NYC at the Cherry Pit at 6:30.)