The Progressive Muslims (specifically as represented by the Progressive Muslims Union North America (PMUNA) ) went on a campaign to discredit established Islamic practices and beliefs, and held themselves up as the model "good Muslim" with supposed "liberal" (read "western" ) values. They failed to see the absurdity and contradictions of what they were doing. Eventually they collapsed under their own weight of infighting and power hungry personalities, and dispersed their energies elsewhere.
Now, fast forward 2010 - we see that, while not self-identified as a "Progressive Muslim," Feisal Abdul Rauf, who holds some of the same values and strategies of the proggies, is being attacked by both the liberal and neo-cons. Feisal Abdul Rauf, over the years, has provided a space to many proggies, including Ahmed Nassaf (founder of PMUNA) and the notorious Mona Eltahawy (through his Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow program). Feisal Abdul Rauf did not just hold these conferences, he was, and is an active representative of the US state department, a consultant to the FBI, was involved with the Bush regime, and is involved now with the Obama regime. Rauf also apparently received significant funding from the (Saudi) Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal we have previously discussed this so-called "prince" on this blog here and here
The fact is Feisal Abdul Rauf is (or wants to be) very much part of the same people who are slamming him. Rauf is exactly what the neo-cons and the liberal imperialist want from a Muslim "leader"; a complacent liberal, who willingly and happily goes off to visit US puppet dictatorships in the "mid-east" to represent the US State Department. BUT even with all that, he is still not acceptable. Those of us who have watched events unfold over the past five or six years should not be surprised at all at this state of affairs, we knew that compromising our values, our traditions, our religion was not the way to go, and we would not even gain anything in this world (let alone the hereafter).
Update: A couple of links thank you Gambit57:
Solid post. Only would say to flesh it out with some more embedded links. 2 that readily come to mind:
1. Rauf's own "I am a Jew" statement:
2. Zakaria's statement here:
"The debate over whether an Islamic center should be built a few blocks from the World Trade Center has ignored a fundamental point. If there is going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed institute. We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them. Were this mosque being built in a foreign city, chances are that the U.S. government would be funding it."
There are a few voices who are attempting to point out that Rauf is in fact a "moderate" Muslim i.e. a success story for the kind of Muslim "leader" that the Rand Report encouraged, and exactly the kind for which the neo-cons had been clamoring for... These few voices recognize the value of Rauf for the US project to change the face of Islam. But now he has been so vilified that he no longer has the kind of utility that he may have once had, and I would expect that if he has not already been ditched, he is going to be very soon.
The question now is if the larger Muslim leadership (not only the proggies, liberals, moderates etc. ) is willing to understand the lessons - and understand that giving up on our principles is not going to get us a seat at the table in the US (just to be clear, an Iftar dinner at the White House is not a seat at the table). Only through a principled justice oriented social struggle in conjunction with other oppressed "minorities" are we going to earn our civil rights. No one respects a House Muslim/Arab - least of all the owner of the house. It is high time the Muslim "leadership" (including non-proggie types) wakes up from whatever slumber they have fallen under, and renew our sense of purpose and justice in North America.