The Ground Zero mosque

Because something is happening here
But you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mister Jones?
Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man

Today marks 234 years since the US declared its independence from Britain. Slightly less well known, but almost as important is the date April 9, 1865, the end of our Civil War. Other memorable dates for Americans include December 7, 1941 and September 2, 1945, which bracket our involvement in WWII. And September 11, 2001. These will be on the test, history students.

Does 9/11 belong on the above list? Does it mark a turning point in our history as a nation, or is it simply a rather large ‘man-caused disaster’, in the words of Janet Napolitano, horrible but with no long-term significance? Or something in between?

Since shortly after 9/11 the US has been at war, and as far as I know we’ve never fought a war against an enemy so poorly defined. From fighting ‘terrorism’ — clearly a tactic and not an entity — we’ve gone to fighting al-Qaeda and the Taliban, groups that seem to be the tip of the spear of something much larger, which is unmentionable.

Today’s enemies can’t compare to Nazi Germany or Imperial Japan in military capability, and yet somehow they keep going. In Iraq, we defeated Saddam in a matter of months. But American soldiers are still fighting someone or other there.

My father was asked (OK, told) to spend the first few years of his son’s life at war in the Pacific because the Japanese, rapidly conquering East Asia, had bombed Pearl Harbor, killing 2459 Americans and severely damaging the Pacific fleet. The US entered the war to stop the Japanese aggression and incidentally to help save Europe from Hitler. This made sense to him and many others. Today our ‘leaders’ cannot name the enemy.

Many of us are confused about the significance of events. Here’s something that should wake us up, an issue that separates those who get it from those that don’t:

The proposed Islamic center, two blocks from Ground Zero

The proposed Islamic center, two blocks from Ground Zero

The Imam of a mosque in lower Manhattan, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has proposed building a 13-story, $100 million structure that will house a mosque and community center, in place of the former Burlington Coat Factory building which was damaged by debris on 9/11. Incidentally, this picture, which seems to deemphasize the relative size of the building, appears to be the only one available on the web. It will overlook the site of the destroyed World Trade Center.

Abdul Rauf’s group claims that

This proposed project is about promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture.  Cordoba House will provide a place where individuals, regardless of their backgrounds, will find a center of learning, art and culture; and most importantly, a center guided by universal values in their truest form – compassion, generosity, and respect for all.

New York’s mayor Bloomberg doesn’t have a problem with a mosque at this location, and neither did 29 out of 30 members of a local community board, in a non-binding vote. But five to ten thousand New Yorkers had enough of a problem to join a massive demonstration against it.

It’s a fascinating question. Does Abdul Rauf represent a moderate, conciliatory, tolerant Islam — one that is not previously found in history, I might add — or is he following in the tradition of the Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik ibn Marwan, who built the Dome of the Rock over the ruins of the Second Temple in 692 CE? Is it a work of peace or a triumphal celebration of a successful act of war?

Maybe we can get a hint from this news story:

The imam behind a proposed mosque near Ground Zero is a prominent member of a group that helped sponsor the pro-Palestinian activists who clashed violently with Israeli commandos at sea this week.

Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a key figure in Malaysian-based Perdana Global Peace Organization, according to its Website.

Perdana is the single biggest donor ($366,000) so far to the Free Gaza Movement, a key organizer of the six-ship flotilla that tried to break Israel’s blockade of the Hamas-run Gaza Strip Monday.

Perdana’s ‘peace’ website contains lies and libels more vicious than usual about the Mavi Marmara incident, including assertions that IDF videos of the ambush were fake.

Does the ‘tolerant’ imam support the highly intolerant Hamas?

But there’s more. Abdul Rauf’s bio on the Cordoba Initative site describes some of his publications thus:

His publications include the books, Islam: A Search for Meaning, Islam: A Sacred Law (What every Muslim Should Know About the Shariah), and What’s Right With Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West, which the Christian Science Monitor rated among its five best books of 2004…

Interestingly, the profile on the Perdana site is a bit more explicit:

He is the author of Islam: A Search for Meaning, in which he defines Islam as the universal religion that goes beyond the cultural settings of the Prophet Muhammad, and Islam: A Sacred Law, What Every Muslim should know about the Shari`ah.

…far enough beyond, to include New York City, right?

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4 Responses to “The Ground Zero mosque”

  1. sabashimon says:

    Truly the definition of chutzpa.
    Sadly, most Americans are just ignorant enough of history to totally miss the significance of the name “Cordoba Initative”.
    The true icing on this cake is that they’re planning the groundbreaking ceremony for, wait for it……..Sept 11, 2011
    Unbelievable that the West still falls for Islamic taqiyya

  2. Shalom Freedman says:

    This information on Abdul Rauf should be in the major media. It is not. Again and again we see the failure of the free press to truly investigate the nature of the Islamic leadership in the U.S.
    I am frustrated that my own small efforts to get ‘FresnoZionism’ linked to major Jewish sites such as ‘Daily Alert’ have gotten nowhere. The information and analysis that Vic Rosenthal provides is an invaluable resource to all who care about Israel. Today’s piece is just one example of which there have been so many.

  3. Vic Rosenthal says:

    Re Cordoba: I knew there was something I should have added to this post! Cordoba was the capital of the Islamic caliphate in Spain in the eighth century. It was then — as New York is today — one of the greatest cities on earth, and it was a symbol of Islamic world domination.

    Re information: very rarely am I the first to discover something. There are blogs like Elder of Ziyon who break new information every day. The problem is that the mainstream media — the AP, CNN, NPR, NY Times have an agenda. Part of that agenda, in this case, is the belief that Islam is ‘just another religion’. Mentioning the connection between Islam and politics is taboo.

  4. Robman says:

    The “West”, in terms of the average citizen here, is not so much “falling” for Moslem b.s., but is left completely ignorant because the media simply does not do its job. I’m sure if AP, CNN, ABC, etc., etc., reported on this, there’d be a major uproar at the popular level.

    I don’t think the average American considers Islam a “religion of peace”, not for a moment.

    This does not leave Joe and Jane six-pack off the hook entirely…it isn’t THAT hard to be informed, and they ought to make more of an effort. But there is no question that the major organs of opinion formulation – the academic and journalistic communities – have been utterly corrupted by the bad guys. That is the real story that needs to be told most urgently, that is not getting out.

    Well, we’ll see what happens during the upcoming mid-term elections. We’ll see what happens in 2012. We see how much worse things have become since January of 2009, and hopefully, starting in January of 2013, they can turn the other way…if we’re not past the point of no return by then.

    Remember, the Soviet government had COMPLETE control of the universities and their media. They had legions of sympathizers in the academic communities of the West (believe me, I know, I was in top schools during the last decade of the Cold War), and plenty of apologists in the media here as well (though not as many as the Palis & Co. have in the media today, sadly). Still, they collapsed and lost the Cold War anyway.

    They lost because their subjects simply stopped believing the b.s. of their leaders. Their ideololgy was demonstrated to be bankrupt. That is what undermined support within their system.

    That is where we need to go. That is what we need to do to them. We are a very long way from this, from where we stand right now. Under Obama, we are going in the opposite direction at warp speed.

    The bad guys believe in what they are doing. We – collectively – don’t believe in anything except being comfortable (thanks a heap, Vietnam generation…if you’re Vietnam generation, Vic, present company excepted, of course).

    People who don’t believe in anything are easily impressed by those who do. I’ve been confronted by very nice, middle class, well-educated cohorts within my generation who watch something like “Saving Private Ryan” and are left in utter disbelief that we managed to get ANYONE to do that. They declare outright, “I am not willing to die for ANYTHING”. I’m not making this up at all.

    So, when such people see people who ARE willing to literally blow themselves up for an idea – no matter how horrific or insane – they think to themselves, “Gee…what would it take for me to get to that point? There must be something very powerfully ‘right’ about what they are doing (or ‘wrong’ about their adversaries, read: Israel, the West, etc.), or they wouldn’t be willing to sacrifice themselves like that.” Well, hello there, Christiana Amanpour!

    And, it sure doesn’t hurt when people who haven’t a clue as to how to earn an honest living (99% of the people who pass themselves off as journalists these days, plus most so-called ‘academics’), see a great opportunity to fatten up their retirement portfolios by bashing Israel and otherwise selling themselves out to cover up for, or otherwise turn a blind eye to, subjects of the sort described in the article above. Sure beats working! Whoever dies with the most toys wins, and everybody wants to be a winner! Why, howdy, John Mearsheimer!

    About the only advantage we have is that time and resources are on our side. (By “our” I mean the West generally…I’m not nearly so sanguine about Israel in particular). The bad guys cannot defeat us in any way that we can understand this term. It isn’t like what Germany, for example, was able to do to France in 1940. We aren’t exactly going to wake up one day with the Jihadist Army marching down Times Square (but so far as they are concerned, a nice mosque near the site of 9-11 will do for now, thanks very much).

    They hit us over the head often enough, we’ll eventually wake up, decide what we have is worth fighting for, what they stand for is worth fighting against, and we’ll ultimately crush the bastards. It might take ten or twenty or thirty or fifty years (I’m betting on the long side of this), but I do see us defeating them in the end.

    Whether Israel survives to share in the victory is anybody’s guess at this point. Elections have consequences. Obama is a real problem. We get past him, I’ll be a little more optimistic about Israel. Thanks a bunch, the 78% of my fellow Jewish Americans who voted for that creep. The votes alone may not have made the difference, but the $$$ contributions (as in NOT making them to Obama) and making common cause with genuinely pro-Israel Gentile allies (e.g., Evangelicals whom we hold in such contempt) might have done the trick.

    I sometimes wonder if Obama doesn’t really represent some kind of divine collective punishment for our people, as if he were G-d’s way of saying to us, “OK, maybe you’re really not ready for a homeland yet. I guess you’re happy to remain in the shtetl so long as you can keep your precious abortion rights [not that they were ever really threatened by the alternative, anyway…but you sure couldn’t take ANY chances with that, huh?]. So, now I’ll soon have six million MORE of you to keep me company, and the rest of you are back in the wilderness once again. See you in another two thousand years.”

    Sorry to sound so dismal, but I’ve never felt more worried and discouraged than I do now. There are bright spots, but so many more dark ones. Things seem to deteriorate by the month, and we’re not even halfway through that SOB’s first term yet. Worst of all, I increasingly get the impression that Obama does not give a fiddler’s fart about a second term. He is on a mission, and perhaps he thinks he only needs four years for that mission….a kind of Democratic Party political suicide bomber, if you will. It doesn’t matter what he screws up, so long as he leaves Israel crippled and mortally vulnerable in the end.

    Anybody got good news? I sure need some.