Minister Louis Farrakhan’s new point man in New York is calling for improved ties with the Jewish community as he works to strengthen the Nation of Islam’s base in the area.
But Minister Benjamin Chavis Muhammad, like Farrakhan, refuses to repudiate — or even acknowledge — the black Muslim movement’s links to anti-Semitism, a task Jewish leaders say is a necessary first step to opening dialogue.
Can America’s democratic values accomplish what our military actions and diplomatic efforts have not yet been able to — namely, tame militant Islam?
That’s what Feisal Abdul Rauf, imam of the Al-Farah Mosque in Lower Manhattan, is counting on.
Considered by many to be a key voice of reason among Muslim leaders here, Abdul Rauf, 54, is confident that American principles and ideals will have a moderating influence on Islam, a religion whose very name instills fear in so many Americans.
By the end of a spirited and high-level debate held here last week, many in the audience of about 400 dramatically shifted their opinions and agreed with the proposition that “Islam is dominated by radicals.”