Sunday, January 20, 2019

"Though widely hailed as moderate by many American elites,

[Feisal Abdul] Rauf's view did not reflect the perspectives of other New York City Muslim leaders, such as Imam Siraj Wahhaj of Masjid al-Taqwa of Brooklyn, imams at the Malcolm Shabbaz mosque on 116th street in Harlem, or others who believe that the affluence of American elites -- born of the capitalism that Rauf depicts as the engine of equality -- often involves the twinned projects of international resource accumulation and domestic labor exploitation, thus impoverishing many communities in the United States and abroad [96] Known as the "drug-fighting Muslim for his 1980s efforts to rid his poverty-stricken neighbhorhood of crack dealers, Siraj Wahhaj has long been unabashed about the ongoing economic marginalization and even political "persecution of blacks." [97] Speaking after 9/11 about Muslim Americans' opinion of the United States, Wahhaj sometimes tempers his political rhetoric. Nevertheless, he remains resolute about the injustices black Americans face. "You might hear some anti-American flavor a little bit," in the stories American Muslims tell, he admits, "but not because they hate America." Rather, he points out, "our civil rights leaders [also] spoke about the injustices of America" from a desire to improve the country, not just from animosity toward it. "And you hear it in that way especially [from] Africa Americans. If that make us militant, then we're militant." [98]

--Rosemary R. Corbett, Making Moderate Islam: Sufism, Service, and the "Ground Zero Mosque" Controversy, (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 2017), pp. 120-121.