With Cordoba House becoming increasingly controversial, the matter has become a focal point for debate of radical Islam, with the Imam leading the Cordoba group being accused of being an Islamic militant.
This despite the detail that he has given help to the FBI's counter-terrorism division.
Opponents of the Mosque have trafficiked in guilt by association -- noting his membership on the board of directors for an organization that provided funding to Gaza blockade-runners -- and statements critical of American foreign policy.
All this while they demand that Muslims denounce Islamic radicalism.
The trouble is that Muslim groups have periodically denounced Islamic extremism. This is something that the Jihad Watch crowd continually refuses -- simply refuses -- to acknowledge. Making declaration such as "Muslims take honour in deceeiving non-believers", Islamophobes have given themselves all kinds of excuses to ignore these denunciations.
A recent declaration issued by the Canadian Council of Imams has been similarily ignored.
In the declaration, the Imams throoughly denounce Islamic radicalism:
"1. We believe in the oneness of Allah (God) and in the oneness of humanity and that all the Messengers of God, including the final Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), have taught human beings how to come closer to God and closer to one another. Islam is a religion of nature and humanity, one that teaches that a person cannot be a good Muslim until he/she becomes a good human being. All human beings are equal, and all of them are the children of Adam and Eve (peace be upon them). The best Muslim is the one who is good to his/her family and neighbors and one who avoids harming others with his/her hand or tongue.Naturally, this is a statement that Canada's Islamophobes have chosen to ignore, even as they demand that Muslims denounce radical Islam.
2. We believe in peaceful coexistence, dialogue, bridge building, and cooperation among all faiths and people for the common good of humanity. Islam does not permit the killing of innocent people, regardless of their creed, ethnicity, race, or nationality. The sanctity of human life overrides the sanctity of religious laws. Islamic rulings do not – and should not – contradict natural laws. Islam is a religion that promotes peace, justice, equality, dignity, and freedom for all human beings.
3. We believe in the preservation of all the necessities of life. Islam upholds the sanctity of religion, life, intellect, family/society, and property.
4. We believe that the well-being of our fellow citizens is the well-being of Muslims, and that the well-being of Muslims is the well-being of our fellow citizens. Being law-abiding people is part of the Islamic practice, and following the pristine teachings of Islam leads to good citizenship.
5. We believe in gender equity and each man and each woman’s divine right to education, social contribution, work, and treatment with respect and dignity. Men and women complement each other, and healthy relationships between them are essential to a healthy society.
6. We believe that it is the right of every individual adult person to determine for themselves their conduct towards and within their society (for example, in matters of dress or good manners), and their personal conduct in matters of faith and belief as well, as long as their conduct does not threaten the common good. Likewise, we believe that every society must be allowed to express and celebrate humanity’s profound cultural diversity, as long as the expression of that diversity does not include the compulsion of any individual to violate their own human rights, or their personal values, or their human nature, or otherwise threaten the common good of all people.
7. We believe and strongly encourage Muslims to seriously engage in civic life and contribute to their communities and society as much as they can."
Arguments have been raised by those who deny the existence of moderate Islam that religious training centres are breeding grounds for radical Islam.
As it turns out, those worried by Islamic terrorism should want more, not less, religious training for Muslims.
A recent report from Duke University has found that Muslims who have received religious training are the least likely to be radicalized.
Denunciations of radical Islam, self-policing, and the creation of an identity as Muslim-Americans rather than simply as Muslims have figured largely into the effort of American Muslims to combat radicalism.
These are facts taht, sadly, those who have based their knowledge of Islam on individuals such as Mark Steyn and Robert Spencer simply choose to ignore.
But whether they like it or not, moderate Islam exists -- not that they'll ever admit it.