Park51 Imam Steps Down Days After Controversial Statements

Sheik Abdallah Adhami, the newly appointed imam at the Park51 Islamic Community Center in lower Manhattan, stirred up controversy last week by claiming that most gays and lesbians experienced "violent emotional or sexual abuse" in their youth. Yesterday, just a few days after he made the statements, Adhami announced that he has stepped down from the post, which he's been in for just three weeks.

The project's developer, Sharif El-Gamal, made the announcement on Facebook.

"Imam Abdallah Adhami announced today that he will no longer serve as Senior Adviser to Park51. 'We have been humbled by Imam Adhami’s contributions to this project over the past few months. His teachings and scholarly work on the Islamic faith remain an important part of our community. We look forward to him, God willing, leading prayers informally for Park51 in the near future.'"

As for Adhami, he will now turn to writing a book "which assists English readers in understanding and facilitating the language of the Quran."


  1. Bill Perdue says

    1 down, 99,999 to go. Priests, rabbis, ministers, imams, pastors and other bigoted parasites are a substantial rain on the economy at a time when tens of millions of potentially productive workers are un/under employed.

    We can’t afforded to keep these parasites in the lifestyle they’re accustomed to. They do no productive work, they rape children at an alarming rate, they swindle the public at every turn, promising miracles and wealth that never happen (unless it’s the miraculous growth of their own bank accounts) and to rub salt in our wounds, they make us pay their taxes.

    Keep them away from children.

    End the tax breaks for religious swindlers.

    Secularize their schools, colleges, universities, “charities” and medical facilities to prevent widespread rape.

    Require them the get real jobs and do productive work.

    Criminalize their interference in civil affairs.

    Tax them like any other part of the entertainment/fantasy industry.

    Expel clerics, priests, bishops, preachers, pastors, imams and rabbis who are not US citizens, beginning with the papal nuncio.

  2. Mawm says

    All religions are stupid, and their followers, deluded animals. Religion should be the enemy of all gay people, since it is mostly from its followers that we experience our oppression.

    Remember, WE are the natural ones. They have to be trained to believe in their delusions. But by sheer force of numbers, they steal our civil birthright, and force the entire world into dark ages.

    Resist religion in all its forms.

  3. Gigi says

    I agree Max. He might have stepped down but he’s not out of the picture. The official statement says it all:

    “We have been humbled by Imam Adhami’s contributions to this project over the past few months. His teachings and scholarly work on the Islamic faith remain an important part of our community. We look forward to him, God willing, leading prayers informally for Park51 in the near future.”

    It’s another example of not being sorry for what was said, just being sorry that he was caught and called out on it. I think that if churches and other religious entities are to continue with their tax exempt status they should be forced to omit all forms of hate speech from their teachings. Period.

  4. Kayla says

    I’m sorry, but there was definitely Islamophobia in the response to his statements. Christians say things ten times more vile that this man said. The reaction was definitely disproportionate. I don’t agree with his comments, but he was still approaching the subject from a different perspective, than the traditional, homosexuals are just evil point of view….Why didn’t the critics of his remarks open a dialogue with him instead of just condemning him? This man was a fairly moderate Imam.

  5. Dan Cobb says

    Imagine a community where all members have the same utter conviction that their religion is 100% correct –without fault. That’s the UMMA or the Moslem world. I think the Moslem world suffers from the same small-minded ignorance that born-again evangelical communities in the West suffer from: ignorance and solipsism borne of navel-gazing self-regard. Fortunately most people in the West have a mentality that is further evolved than the unthinking piety of religious zealots. Will Islam ever move forward? It’s amazing to see two like-thinking movements (Islam and born-again Christianity) at each others’ throats. Goes to show you what a primitive mentality they have. Conservative Christians agree 100% with the Islamists. And like conservative Christians, the clash in the future will be between gays and Moslems. Let’s face it, if you’re gay, you should be VERY MUCH AGAINST all things Islam. There is no quarter of acceptance in the Moslem world for gay people. None. While I abhor the notion of a “Christian” USA –because I think it would be brutal on gays and lesbians, the fact is that Moslems hang gay people. (Born-again Christians might come to that some day, but at least for now most of them are not calling for the execution of gays).

  6. TANK says

    So because what he stated was nonetheless vile homophobic bigotry, but not as bigoted as what the christers say, he should have gotten a pass? Hey, so long as he’s expressing his bigoted false beliefs from a different perspective…which it really isn’t if you have any. Then it’s okay. So if a homophobe blames the gays for his sandwich not tasting as good as he expected it to (same falsity), he should get a pass because it’s from a different perspective. And further, the cosmetic response from the image handlers at park51 in forcing his resignation is “islamophobia”…the pressure they felt after his public hate speech…because of the existence of yet greater bigots who aren’t punished for spewing their vile hate speech. I guess it’s an issue of fairness for you douchers.

    Let me see if I can duplicate this magical thinking in another scenario. A convicted murderer who is sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole shouldn’t be because there are worse murderers who don’t get caught, or receive lighter sentences. Any other response seems to be rampant discrimination and bigotry toward murderers. And honestly, we need to take into account the motivation of those punishing the murderers. If, for example, the goal is the peaceful regulation of social exchange to take those who do others harm out of the equation, then it’s clearly unfounded and we should set murderers free…as what they have done isn’t the motivating reason for their punishment; it’s tangential.

    Face it: islamophobia is a word without any meaning when it’s used to defend rampant religiofascist bigotry and horrendous treatment of women and gays throughout the muslim faith. Perhaps you and those like you have an agenda that isn’t altogether sympathetic to human rights…or more likely, you just want attention. However, this vacuous complaint is mewled by the most daft, spineless moonbats to clog up the sewer of contemporary religious/political discourse.

  7. Skeptical Cicada says

    I would have found this dabbling in debunked quack psychology offensive, no matter who said it and would criticize them for it.

    But here’s the difference. I haven’t been devoting my personal time to defending the right of any Christian churches to open, as I have with Park51.

    Sorry, but I have no obligation to devote my time to arguing with the anti-Muslim bigots who want to destroy Park51. And I REFUSE to devote my time to that cause, if Park51 is simultaneously spitting in my face. You can’t take up every cause in the world, and there are plenty of other equally deserving causes that could use my help and won’t spit in my face.

    That’s the reality of needing some help from gay New Yorkers. You don’t spit in the face of an ally if you expect them to keep volunteering their time and energy to help you.

  8. TANK says

    The last time I got a speeding ticket (hmmm, this week, actually), I told the officer that though I was speeding other vehicles nearby were going just as fast if not faster than mine. I then told him that he was being very naughty and discriminatory for issuing me a speeding ticket while letting them go…and that if he had an ounce of human decency, he’d tear it up. He didn’t have an ounce of human decency. Pigs.

  9. Max says

    It’s fascinating that some of the comments reference or explicitly criticize Christianity. This post is about an Imam. That’s 100% Islam.

    I’ve said this before: “liberals” are utterly incapable of criticizing Islam all on its own. They must always also bash Christianity or “all religions” along with it. It’s quite a mind-bending phenomenon.

  10. ghostwhitehorse says

    “Damn you from makeing stupid, crass, mockmoral, hyperbolic, vitrolic, dishonest, pigheaded, kneejerk, fearmongering, generalistic statements about me. . .but I reserve the right to do the very same to you (and you don’t have the right to call me out for it! Cause I say so. So there. Ha!). *pthbbttt*”

    Fairly sure I just boiled down this thread quite nicely. . .

    Lord and Lady I hate politcs.

  11. AladinSane says

    Max, let me make this as clear as possible as an atheist: When talking about imaginary sky fairies, it doesn’t matter if you mention one or all of them. They still remain imaginary.

  12. Kayla says

    None of you needed to defend the mosque, there was no way, they could have been prevented from building it, it was just political posturing by the right. Had it gone to court, it was a slam dunk for its proponents….The midterms are over and nobody cares now….

  13. Max says

    Aladinsane, I’m inclined to agree with you, but that’s not the point.

    The point is that it’s absurd to distribute blame against all religions evenly out of some kind of misguided political correctness or fear of Islam. I have no problem with criticism of other religions, but arguing that they are all the same is simply not true.

    According to a 2010 Pew Research Report, 76% of Jews favor same-sex marriage. Amongst all religious categories polled, that’s second only to 80% of atheists/agnostics. (Catholic support is 46%, Muslims were not polled.)

    Pew report here:

  14. sal says

    to those here saying that muslims should go and stuff you are just as bad as this guy,not all muslims are ignorant.Imagine a moderate muslim on this website reading this?and you basically telling him or her you dont like him or her for their culture/faith…i agree this statement from park51 is in a way disturbing,no excuses should be made for this man and if he says such ignorant things it makes any smart person wonder what positive thing made them still praise him after those deadly statements….the muslim community needs to show the moderate faces more and i hope you all get the opportunity to see the faces i have seen…

  15. Stephen says

    Max, its not just the Muslims look at the “christians” that run NOM and like hate orginisations. The upside gay bashing is less tolerated than it used to be

  16. Max says

    Stephen, this post is not about Christianity or NOM. This post is about a homophobic, hate-spewing Imam. That’s Islam.

    And yet, like clockwork, it’s as if there is some kind of unwritten fairness doctrine that you cannot criticize Islam at all unless you also blame Christianity and “all religions” at the same time.

    Next time there is a post about a Catholic priest molesting a child, will you all rush to condemn Islam? I doubt it.

  17. X says

    Again, to generalize about all Muslims/Christians based on some of them (like this one) is pretty inaccurate/dumb. That’s the same as saying all gay guys like glory-hole sex and get AIDS.

    Yes, be mad at the ignorance of people, religious or otherwise, who say dumb or dangerous stuff, but don’t blame everybody for it. Blanket attacks are lazy and will come back to bite us in the ass, deservedly.

  18. BobN says

    “Next time there is a post about a Catholic priest molesting a child, will you all rush to condemn Islam? I doubt it.”

    More to the point, next time a Catholic Bishop is elevated to Archbishop and placed at the head of a NY diocese, will anti-gay comments from him lead to a resignation three weeks later?

    Islam may be worse when it comes to attitudes, but at least they listened this time…

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