Category Archive 'Ground Zero Mosque'
30 Mar 2011

No Ground Zero Mosque

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No Ground Zero Mosque.

Imam Hitler gets the bad news.

21 Sep 2010

Poll Finds 58% of Moderate Muslims Oppose the Ground Zero Mosque

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Fouad Ajami, a Shiite Muslim and a professor at Johns Hopkins, in the Wall Street Journal, quotes a survey by Elaph, the London Arabic electronic daily news publication, which found that 58% of respondents to its poll opposed the construction of the Ground Zero Mosque and cites a better Islamic precedent.

There is a great Arab and Islamic tale. It happened in the early years of Islam, but it speaks to this controversy. It took place in A.D. 638, the time of Islam’s triumphs.

The second successor to the Prophet, the Caliph Omar—to orthodox Muslims the most revered of the four Guided Caliphs for the great conquests that took place during his reign—had come to Jerusalem to accept the city’s surrender. Patriarch Sophronius, the city’s chief magistrate, is by his side for the ceremony of surrender. Prayer time comes for Omar while the patriarch is showing him the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

The conqueror asks where he could spread out his prayer rug. Sophronius tells him that he could stay where he was. Omar refuses, because his followers, he said, might then claim for Islam the holy shrine of the Christians. Omar stepped outside for his prayer.

We don’t always assert all the “rights” that we can get away with. The faith is honored when the faith bends to necessity and discretion.

10 Sep 2010

Which is More Incendiary? Koran-Burning or Islam Itself

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Andrew McCarthy makes some excellent points.

‘He’s going to burn a Koran? Quick, let’s go join a terrorist organization that mass-murders people.’

According to Obama, Jones’s “stunt” (a fair description) is already “a recruitment bonanza for al-Qaeda.” That’s absurd. No sensible person joins a terrorist organization dedicated to mass murder simply because somebody torches a Koran.

If the president, who is principally responsible for American national security, actually believes what he says, what is his excuse for not confronting Islamist regimes? These are not Looney Tunes pastors with followings smaller than the First Lady’s traveling caravan; they are governments that confiscate and destroy Bibles, crucifixes, Stars of David, and other articles of profound religious substance and symbolism to non-Muslims. That goes on, systematically, every single day — although still not as often as you’d imagine, because Islamic societies are so innately intolerant that there aren’t a lot of non-Muslim religious items to be found in, say, Saudi Arabia.

Jones is going to burn a Koran; sharia calls for killing human beings who renounce Islam. Does the president have an explanation for why Christians and Jews are not forming terror cells with the bonanza of recruits that must come forward on a daily basis given the “stunts” that, in Saudi Arabia, are known as law enforcement? …

I wish Americans would trip over themselves with a fraction of the zeal on display here to condemn the torching of the American flag — a symbol of freedom and sacrifice. But that’s beside the point. Burning a book sacred to Muslims is a stupid, provocative thing to do. Yet it is conscious avoidance — okay, willful blindness — to claim that Jones is causing the threat to our troops, in addition to the threat of other attacks and riots by Muslims (of the sort we’ve seen with the Danish cartoons, the false claims of Koran-flushing at Gitmo, the school teacher who named a teddy bear Mohammed, etc.).

Those are all pretexts. The cause is Islamist ideology, which is dehumanizing of non-Muslims (or, in the case of the Ahmadi, even of Muslims who reject parts of mainstream Islamic doctrine). It is the ideology that puts the world’s Muslims on a hair trigger. …

Wouldn’t it be nice if, while they publicly chide an American citizen for striking the match, our public officials took the occasion to chide the ideology that turns cultures into dynamite?

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Michelle Malkin observes that it isn’t easy to avoid offending a religion with the kind of anger management problem Islam has.

Shhhhhhh, we’re told. Don’t protest the Ground Zero mosque. Don’t burn a Koran. It’ll imperil the troops. It’ll inflame tensions. The “Muslim world” will “explode” if it does not get its way, warns sharia-peddling imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Pardon my national security-threatening impudence, but when is the “Muslim world” not ready to “explode”?

At the risk of provoking the ever-volatile Religion of Perpetual Outrage, let us count the little-noticed and forgotten ways.

Just a few months ago in Kashmir, faithful Muslims rioted over what they thought was a mosque depicted on underwear sold by street vendors. …

(numerous examples)

The eternal flame of Muslim outrage was lit a long, long time ago.

09 Sep 2010

Roland Was Right and Palin is Wrong

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Alphonse de Neuville, Count Roland Behaving Insensitively at Roncesvalles, 1894

Or guart chascuns que granz colps,
Que malvaise cançun de nus chantet ne seit!
Paien unt tort e chrestiens unt dreit.

Now must we each lay on most hardily,
So songs of shame shall ne’er be sung of us.
Pagans are wrong and Christians are right.

Chanson de Roland, 1013-1015

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Sarah Palin says that burning a copy of the Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks is “insensitive and an unnecessary provocation” and reminds us of the Golden Rule.

I don’t think Golden Rule applies to foreign enemies in time of war, and I’d say that Sarah Palin is clearly getting too close to Washington and sounds more and more like a conventional politician.

The FBI is warning that a backlash and retaliation is likely.

Pastor Jones may be a crank, and burning the Koran is neither genteel nor the most attractive choice of gestures, but here we are.

We are in a situation in which the obscure minister of an insignificant local congregation proposes an action insulting to Islam, and consequently find ourselves threatened and warned of bloodshed and massive violence if we don’t stop him.

Meanwhile, the leadership class of the country is responding by urging him to cease and desist, openly acknowledging fear of Islamic violence. Mere squeamishness and discomfort with being placed in the position of defending a gesture which is just not nice is additionally at work in rendering the American leadership class hors de combat.

Most of the same people ran, rather than walked, to defend Imam Abdul Rauf’s project constructing and Islamic Cultural Center, originally named for one of Islam’s most prized European conquests, within the zone of impact of the 9/11 attacks.

Personally, I’m completely fed up with the intelligentsia’s culture of utilitarian calculation and its cowardly inclination to shrink from direct opposition and open conflict with a hostile and insolent alien superstition. At this point, Pastor Jones burning that Koran is just like knocking off the chip that the town bully has placed on his shoulder.

Knock it off and then clean his clock for him, or prepare to bow and scrape and cringe in perpetuity is the real choice. We already have the New York Times, the Boston Globe, and Yale University Press practicing self censorship in response to Saracen sensibilities with respect to the Danish cartoons featuring Mohammed. We have Harvard University introducing sexual segregation in its gymnasium to accommodate Islam.

Where does accommodating and appeasing of Islam stop? With dhimmitude (subjection of non-Muslims to Islam) and with payment of the Jizyah, the Islamic tax on non-Muslims.

[T]he Jizyah shall be taken from them with belittlement and humiliation. The dhimmi shall come in person, walking not riding. When he pays, he shall stand, while the tax collector sits. The collector shall seize him by the scruff of the neck, shake him, and say “Pay the Jizyah!” and when he pays it he shall be slapped on the nape of the neck.

09 Sep 2010

Interesting Hypothetical

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Eric Erickson wonders what the elites would do if radical Muslims started demanding prayer in US schools.

09 Sep 2010

“This Is Where We Begin to Say No”

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Andrew McCarthy expresses the view, which I share, that the American people have gotten tired of hearing about how much deference we need to pay to the sensibilities of Muslims.

A tectonic shift is in motion: How fitting that its focal point is Ground Zero, the inevitable fault line between Islam and the West.

Only the blink of an eye ago, uttering the unpleasant truth that in terms of doctrine there is no such thing as “moderate Islam” resulted in one’s banishment from what our opinion elites like to call the “mainstream,” by which they mean the narrow-minded, viciously defended circle of their own pieties and fictions. You could say it, but your skin had better have an extra coat or two of thick: You were in for a fusillade of rage, the likes of which our candor-phobic elites would never dream of unleashing at our Islamist enemies — no matter how clearly those enemies announced their intention to destroy us.

The fusillade still comes, but now its blows only glance. The elites and their mainstream have been exposed as frauds: Being on the wrong side of enough 70-30 issues will do that to you.

Read the whole thing.

08 Sep 2010

Hartford City Council Opening with Muslim Prayers

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The City Council of Hartford, Connecticut is making a special gesture this month.

NBC Connecticut:

In the wake of the battle over a mosque at Ground Zero, a move by the Hartford City Council is sure to have its critics.

The Council announced Tuesday that it has invited local imams to perform Islamic invocations at the beginning of the Council meetings in September.

An e-mail from the Common Council called it “an act of solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

The email even referenced the ongoing issue in New York. “One of the goals of the Council is to give a voice to the many diverse peoples of the City, which is especially important given the recent anti-Islam events throughout the country.”

One wonders when the city fathers of Hartford, Connecticut last felt any inclination to express their solidarity with Americans serving in combat in the Middle East, or even with non-haute bourgeois Americans residing outside coastal cities and suburbs.

Their touching concern for supposititious “Muslim brothers and sisters” (How does the Philippine Insurrection song go? “He may be the brother of Big Bill Taft, but he ain’t no brother of mine.”) has nothing to do with anything real. There is no fraternal (or sororal) connection between the greasy pols of Hartford and Imam Abdul Rauf in Manhattan or to some imaginary peaceful body of tolerant Muslims friendly and well-disposed toward non-believers in Hartford at all. The real relationship is between democrat party politicos and the form of ethical narcissism which expresses itself in gestures of political correctness.

Members of the community of fashion love to strike poses of moral superiority, and no experiences of that kind are quite so gratifying as those which simultaneously embrace the exotic other and at the same time elevate one above the unworthiness of one’s own defective culture, civilization, and fellow citizens.

31 Aug 2010

NYC Considering Providing $70M in Tax Free Financing to Ground Zero Mosque

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Where was Feisel Adbul Rauf going to get the $100 million needed to construct his Cordoba House, excuse me! renamed as Park51 Islamic Center proposed to be sited within the zone of destruction caused by the 9/11 attacks?

Naturally, I suspected Middle Eastern sheiks and Islamists would simply be taking so many dollars off the top of this month’s package of financial aid to Hamas, al Qaeda, and the Taliban and sending it Abdul Rauf’s way. But, no, it’s better than that.

As Reuters reports, New York City may actually provide the bulk of the needed funding for the combined victory monument and recruiting center.

The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.

The Democratic comptroller’s spokesman, Scott Sieber, said Liu supported the project. The center has sparked an intense debate over U.S. religious freedoms and the sanctity of the Trade Center site, where nearly 3,000 perished in the September 11, 2001 attack.

“If it turns out to be financially feasible and if they can demonstrate an ability to pay off the bonds and comply with the laws concerning tax-exempt financing, we’d certainly consider it,” Sieber told Reuters.

Spokesmen for Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Governor David Paterson and the Islamic center and were not immediately available.

The proposed center, two blocks from the Trade Center site in lower Manhattan, has caused a split between people who lost relatives and friends in the attack, as well as conservative politicians, and those who support the project. Among those who support it are the mayor, civic and religious groups, and some families of victims.

The mosque’s backers hope to raise a total of $70 million in tax-exempt debt to build the center, according to the New York Times. Tax laws allow such funding for religiously affiliated non-profits if they can prove the facility will benefit the general public and their religious activities are funded separately.

The bonds could be issued through a local development corporation created for this purpose, experts said.

The Islamic center would have to repay the bonds, which likely would be less expensive than taxable debt.

22 Aug 2010

A Thought Experiment

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Andrew McCarthy describes a thought experiment pertinent to the Ground Zero Mosque debate.

A friend poses the following: Imagine that there really were these fundamentalist Christian terror cells all over the United States, as the Department of Homeland Security imagines. Let’s say a group of five of these terrorists hijacked a plane, flew it to Mecca, and plowed it into the Kaaba.

Now let’s say a group of well-meaning, well-funded Christians — Christians whose full-time job was missionary work — decided that the best way to promote healing would be to pressure the Saudi government to drop its prohibition against permitting non-Muslims into Mecca so that these well-meaning, well-funded Christian missionaries could build a $100 million dollar church and community center a stone’s throw from where the Kaaba used to be — you know, as a bridge-building gesture of interfaith understanding.

What do you suppose President Obama, Mayor Bloomberg, the New York Times, and other Ground Zero mosque proponents would say about the insensitive, provocative nature of the proposal?

Do you think the State Department would make the leader of the Christian missionaries a special emissary and send him to represent the United States on diplomatic business overseas?

What do you suppose the Saudi reaction would be?

20 Aug 2010

Ground Zero Mosque: Liberals Suddenly Discover Property Rights

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John Podhoretz, in Commentary, admires the way the Ground Zero Mosque debate has suddenly caused liberals to embrace property rights.

One of the hilarious ironies attendant on the mosque debate is the sudden discovery by the liberal elites of the vital importance of property rights — how Imam Feisal Rauf and his people have purchased a site on which they should be able to build “as of right,” and how those who are objecting to the mosque’s construction are committing an offense not only against the free exercise of religion but against commonly accepted principles involving real estate.

For the past 40 years, especially in New York City, property rights have taken a back seat in almost all discussions of the proper use of real estate. Following the lamentable razing of the great old Penn Station, the general proposition has been that any major project should have a distinctly positive public use. Landmark commissions, zoning boards and the like have imposed all sorts of restrictions and demands on property owners that interfere with their right to build as they would wish. Laws have been written after the fact (especially when Broadway theaters were jeopardized by real-estate development in the early 1980s) to restrict the right of property owners to do as they would wish with the land and buildings they own.

Thus, the outrage which greeted the suggestion that zoning boards and the like should and could be used to block the Cordoba Intitiative is bitterly comic. Such boards have been used for decades to block projects for reasons involving the “sensitivities” of a neighborhood, like the time Woody Allen and others fought the construction of a building at the corner of 91st and Madison on the grounds that it would harm the historic nature of the area — when in fact he and his neighbors were concerned about a shadow the building might cast on their communal backyard. Walter Cronkite went on a tear against a tall building being built by Donald Trump on the East Side near the UN because it was going to block his view.

Perhaps we should just argue that, once the Saudis and Iranians have paid for putting up the new 15-story building, it should be open to “urban homesteading” by artists and the poor, as liberal New Yorkers have frequently advocated with respect to other people’s buildings.

Or we might simply have Zoning or one of those Neighborhood Development Authorities require Abdul Rauf to include so many low cost housing units as part of the permission price for being allowed to build anything.

Or, why wait? we could just send in some urban pioneering activists right now to set up living arrangements in the empty Burlington Coat Factory building just as it is, thereby acquiring by virtue of the quaint customs of the city squatter’s rights. Then let Abdul Rauf try getting one of the radical leftwing judges of New York City’s Housing Court to issue an eviction order.

18 Aug 2010

Rejoinder to My Liberal Classmates on the Constitution and the Ground Zero Mosque

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But, of course, there is no court case, no legislative or judicial process, no actual involvement of the US Constitution at all. We have instead the occult operations of the infinitely labyrinthine and corrupt zoning and building permit processes of New York City doing whatever it is they do outside of our observation and understanding, and we have the sideline sport of Americans forming up into teams rooting for and against the construction of an Islamic victory monument within the no-longer-present shadow of the fallen World Trade Center towers. The fashionable community of treason is passionately determined to prove their moral superiority by defending the rights of our overseas enemies to raise the banner of the crescent and the serpent over Lower Manhattan, and normal Americans are –as usual– appalled at the insolence and disloyalty of our elite. I find this particular rehearsal of a by-now-only-too-familiar comedy amusing though, because the outcome and comparative strengths of the opposing factions are only too obvious. The Ground Zero Mosque will never be erected. And the community of liberal lemmings will discover, too late, that all that they accomplished was to drive a few more nails in the coffin of everything they hold dear by a particularly effective demonstration in front of the entire country of exactly how demented and offensive they really are.

17 Aug 2010

Obama Succeeding At Building American Consensus

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Erick Ericksen:

There is no great split in the United States of America on the issue of the Ground Zero Mosque. Sixty-eight percent of Americans oppose it.

In fact, using the same metric — CNN Opinion Research polling of 1,000 Americans — more Americans have doubts about Barack Obama’s birth story than support the mosque.

16 Aug 2010

Only Nine Years Later

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“If there is going to be a reformist movement among the Achaians, it is going to emerge from gestures like the gift of this beautiful horse.” — Fareed Zakaria, editor, Trojanweek

Some news agency reports.

German authorities say they have closed a Hamburg mosque used by the Sept. 11 attackers as a meeting place before they moved to the United States.

A statement by Hamburg officials says the Taiba mosque was shut down and its cultural association was banned on Monday.

The prayer house, formerly known as al-Quds mosque, used to be a meeting and recruiting point for some of the Sept. 11 attackers.

Weekly news magazine Focus cites a report by a local intelligence agency branch in saying the mosque has again become the city’s “main center of attraction for the jihad scene.

And it is easy to foresee, several more years down the road, the news agency report of police closure of Corboda House, Park51, or whatever they wind up calling the ground zero mosque, built on the basis of empty liberal optimism, like Fareed Zakaria‘s (“If there is going to be a reformist movement in Islam, it is going to emerge from places like the proposed institute.”)

But there is no reformist movement in Islam. There is only taqiyya and kitman, the concealment of real beliefs and intentions in order to mislead, and ultimately to defeat and subjugate, the unbelieving adversary.

The imaginary moderate, reformist Muslim plays the same role in the liberal’s vision of the world that the unicorn does in the bedroom decor of certain particularly air-headed high school girls, as a fantasy symbol representing a whole collection of comforting, emotionally self indulgent illusions with no connection to reality whatsoever.

13 Aug 2010

Multicultural Bias of the Establishment

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Mayor Bloomberg and reputable members of the establishment in general view people objecting to the erection of mosque and Islamic cultural center in the vicinity of the fallen World Trade Center towers as bigots and yahoos, who irrationally insist on blaming the overwhelmingly larger body of moderate Muslims for the crimes committed by a small number of unrepresentative extremists.

The Muslim religious leader behind the Ground Zero Mosque project is Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. The defense of the Ground Zero Mosque project is intimately associated with
the identification of Abdul Rauf as a moderate Muslim, a reasonable representative of a different religious denomination who is not our enemy and who does not deserve to bear any sort of guilt for Islamic extremism or acts of terrorism.

Yet, Imam Abdul Rauf has made a number of somewhat controversial public statements.

On September 29, 2001, a mere nineteen days after the attacks, when asked by CBS if the U.S. deserved the attacks, Rauf answered: “I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”

The interviewer inquired how the US was “an accessory,” and Abdul Rauf replied, “Because we have been 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.”

In a June interview this year with WABC radio in New York, Abdul Rauf evaded answering whether he agreed with the U.S. State Department’s designation of Hamas as a terrorist organization. “I’m not a politician. I try to avoid the issues. The issue of terrorism is a very complex question.”

Clifford D. May offers this completely devastating rejoinder.

No, actually, it’s quite simple: Whatever your grievances, you do not express them by murdering other people’s children. Not accepting that proposition does not make you a terrorist. But it disqualifies you as an anti-terrorist and identifies you as an anti-anti-terrorist.

A thought experiment: I am grieved by Saudi policies — for example, Saudi religious discrimination, oppression of women, and persecution of homosexuals. If I were to express these grievances by blowing up a Saudi kindergarten, do you think Imam Feisal would say (1) the Saudi Royal family must share responsibility for the carnage, and (2) whether or not I had committed an act of terrorism is a “very complex question”?

How can well-educated, sophisticated people apply such a preposterous double-standard in their thinking that they will perform gymnastic contortions to defend and apologize for a Muslim community leader with all sorts of unsavory personal connections and instantly exclude from legitimate discussion anyone who would criticize the symbolism of the Ground Zero Mosque project or question the bona fides of its organizer?

May explains:

[M]ulticulturalism and moral relativism, doctrines devoutly embraced by the intellectual classes, render “everything the equal of everything else.” As a consequence, some very smart people have “lost the ability to make the most elementary distinctions.” Except one: They reflexively regard those from the Third World as virtuous and those from the West as steeped in blame, shame, and guilt.

So if Imam Feisal says he’s a moderate, he must be a moderate. Why read his books or inquire into what he preaches in his mosque or with whom he associates on his frequent trips to Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, and other exotic locales? Would we ask such questions of a Baptist minister building a church near Ground Zero?

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