Whatever Happened to Steve Emerson’s ‘13 Hours’ of Rauf Audio?
At Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion: Whatever Happened to Steve Emerson’s “13 Hours” of Rauf Audio?
A couple of weeks ago, it was announced that Steven Emerson had “unearthed” thirteen hours of “audio tape” of Faisel Rauf, containing material that was both “shocking” and “explosive”:
Among the shocking revelations Emerson’s team will reveal next week — they found Rauf:
Defending wahhabism – a puritanical version of Islam that governs Saudi Arabia
Calling for the elimination of Israel by claiming a one-nation state, meaning no more Jewish State.
Defending Bin Laden’s violence
Although this caused much excitement, some of us were able to cast our minds back a whole six weeks or so to the previous time a conservative pundit had released an “explosive” recording of someone speaking; the results had not been encouraging.
And indeed, Emerson’s “discoveries” failed to deliver the goods. Most of the “exposé” turned out to be a public lecture which Rauf gave in Australia in 2005, which was freely available anyway as an mp3 from a university website; the only new material was a 2006 13-minute talk with a journalist named Mark Sommers, made when Rauf thought he was off-mic, but there was nothing there which exposed him as being a secret extremist. Overall, Emerson’s “revelations” turned out to be nothing more than his own extrapolations from Rauf’s public political views – views which we all knew anyway - to an extremist motivation.