The alleged radical Islamic imam who headed the controversial Ground Zero mosque campaign in New York City is being accused of siphoning-off charitable donations to his non-profit organizations — originally created to combat opposition to his religious projects — in order to live a lavish lifestyle with his wife and mistress, according to a report released Monday by a nonpartisan, public-interest group that investigates and exposes government and political corruption.
The imam, Feisel Abdul Rauf, became a well-known fixture in New York and even gained the support of the city’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg when he faced widespread opposition to the building of a mosque so close to the location of the worst terrorist attack in U.S. history, which had been perpetrated by radical Islamists.
According to Judicial Watch, as the head of the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, Rauf is accused of embezzling and misappropriating donation funds intended for the Ground Zero mosque.
Rauf, his wife, Daisy Khan, and his alleged mistress, Evelyn Adorno, live in the same neighborhood as the Law Enforcement Examiner and are said by neighbors to be low-key people who avoid flaunting their wealth at least locally.
According the non-profit group’s Corruption Chronicles, Rauf used donated cash “to enjoy an extravagant lifestyle with a New Jersey gal pal and his wife.”
“Some of the cash was spent on a luxury sports car, lavish vacations, personal real estate and entertainment. Rauf fleeced the Malaysian government for $3 million and a Westchester County couple for $167,000,” according to a lawsuit cited in the article.
In 2010, Judicial Watch obtained records from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office that revealed Bloomberg helped Rauf obtain the approval for the project despite overwhelming opposition.
The documents, which JW had to sue City Hall to obtain, show that Bloomberg’s office was working hand in glove with the Muslim activists driving the unpopular Ground Zero mosque project.
Rauf is considered by many, including experts with the well-known and widely respected Investigative Project on Terrorism, to be a radical Islamist who blames America for the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The imam has made a number of controversial statements regarding Islamic extremism, particularly the 2001 attacks.
For example, during a 60 Minutes segment about 9/11, Rauf said: “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened…we have been an accessory to a lot of innocent lives dying in the world. In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is made in the USA.”
According to officials at Judicial Watch, Rauf also compared the Declaration of Independence to Sharia law, the authoritarian doctrine that inspires Islamists and their jihadism, and he claims that Islamophobia in the U.S. is driven by racism.
“There are individuals who are working very hard to promote fear and antagonism towards Islam and Muslims in this country,” Rauf said just a few months ago. “It’s fueled, in part, by the first African-American president that we have. Obama’s father was a Muslim and people have used this to arouse hostility against him.”
The mainstream media insists, however, that Rauf is a leading moderate Muslim leader in the U.S.