The Mosque at Ground Zero

August 26th, 2010

By Tom Carter

It would be hard to find another issue as emotional and poorly understood as the so-called mosque at Ground Zero.  The issue was created for the most part by a Muslim and his wife and became a hot potato when they announced that ground would be broken for the project on September 11, 2011 — the tenth anniversary of the worst foreign attack on American soil in history.

The imam behind the whole mess has made it worse at every step — refusing to compromise on a location, refusing to divulge the sources of funding (very little of which has been raised), refusing to call Hamas or Hezbollah terrorist organizations, accusing the U.S. of being an accessory to 9/11, and so on.

Politicians have made it even worse.  The mayor and local officials in New York have, for the most part, supported the project.  The President contributed by stating that Muslims have the right to build their project wherever they want to, sounding for all the world like he supported it, even though he denied that the next day.  It didn’t help that he made the first statement at a White House celebration of a Muslim religious observance.

Won’t it be fun if it emerges that this so-called mosque is nothing more than another “flying imams” stunt, where half a dozen Muslims got together and prayed loudly at an airport, then weren’t allowed to fly.  Lots of press, instant martyrdom of a sort (without the virgins), and the possibility of lawsuits and cash.

In any case, we ought to deal with facts.  It’s not to be a mosque but an Islamic community center open to everyone, with facilities that make it sound like a YMCA.  The top two floors will be prayer space, but there won’t be any minarets or loud calls to prayer echoing through the concrete canyons of lower Manhattan.  It isn’t “at” Ground Zero at all; “near” is a better word, given that the site is two and a half blocks, over 700 feet, more than a tenth of a mile from the northeast corner of Ground Zero.  There are Christian churches that are closer, and there are other mosques in the area.

Beyond those facts, there’s also the uncomfortable (for some) reality that building the proposed community center is protected by the Constitution and all relevant laws, federal and local.  There’s no way to stop it on those grounds, nor should there be.

About 70 percent of the American people are against the project.  Unions have firmly stated that they won’t participate in the construction, which in New York means it can’t happen.  Political pressure against it is growing, and it won’t go away.  Realistically, the project is unlikely to ever happen.  But remember the “flying imams” — maybe the goal of those involved has already been achieved.

Regardless of all other considerations, this Islamic community center must not be built so close to Ground Zero, particularly with linkage to an anniversary of the attack, for one simple reason:  it’s a victory monument.

From time immemorial, victorious forces have constructed monuments at the sites of their victories.  They may be very simple cairns (a pile of stones) or very elaborate, like the huge monument erected by the Germans after the defeat of the Russians at Tannenberg in 1914.  It was dedicated by the Germans on the tenth anniversary of the battle — just like Muslims plan to dedicate their victory monument on the tenth anniversary of 9/11.

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6 Responses to “The Mosque at Ground Zero”

  1. Lisa |

    Location, location, location….. Isn’t that what the realtors always say? It is certainly true here where location could not be worse. This is a no brainer.

    Also, I’ve heard part of the 911 wreckage (landing gear?)fell through the roof of the former Burlington Coat Factory/ future mosque making this an even worse location. It is interesting that we are hearing that it will be more of a community center than a mosque.

    The president’s vacillation on this issue, an issue he did not even need to weigh in on, will haunt him for a long time. Also, a Pew Research Center poll taken prior to the president’s comments indicate that one in five people believe Barack Obama is a Muslim. I wonder what a new poll would reveal? I do not care which religion the president practices but if he is a Muslim after declaring he is a Christian, I have a BIG problem with that.

    All of this falls under the big umbrella of: what are Barack Obama’s core values??

  2. Tom Carter |

    There are some people who are so ill-informed and so ready to believe any conspiracy theory that comes along that it doesn’t surprise me they think Obama is a Muslim. It’s particularly bad with those who get so much of their information from demagogues like Beck and Limbaugh (although Beck is much worse). All it takes is for those guys to make a couple of broad statements, followed by a knowing “Hmmm…?” and we’re off to the races.

    Obama is extremely intelligent and very well-educated, but he’s also a politician. He sat in Rev Wright’s church all those years because it got him “in” with the community he was working with. He now says firmly that he’s a Christian because he knows that no one can be a successful politician at high levels by not doing so. The truth is pretty obvious — he’s not religious to any significant extent, or at all. Political reality being what it is, though, I expect he’ll be seen going to church more often than in the past. (Interesting that Reagan didn’t go to church, but I guess that’s OK because he was a conservative.)

    There’s only one core value that’s important for a president — if he’s not an American first and foremost, then he doesn’t belong in the office. That has absolutely nothing to do with religion.

  3. Lisa |

    I did not intend to suggest religion had anything to do with core values. I agree with you. I was going on a tangent suggesting that if Obama was lying about his religion, what other falsehoods are there that we don’t know about? Who is he?

  4. Brian |

    Tom, unless I am much mistaken, it was The New York Times, that bastion of conservative thought, that first brought up the issue of the president and Islam.

    And as for your reference to Reagan, I think his absence from any congregation was probably overlooked because most people didn’t question his love for the republic or his antipathy for communism and socialism. In contrast, this president seems to follow Keynes and Fabian right down the line.

    Could you imagine Reagan yukking it up with the likes of Hugo Chavez, or bowing in the presence of foreign royalty, or blowing off Margaret Thatcher or Lech Walesa the way this current administration has done with the leadership of the UK and Poland (and God only knows who else)? The Lizard Lady may be running Foggy Bottom, but she does have a boss.

    You can go back for Reagan’s entire career from his movie days forward and see that he believed in our greatness. In contrast, we have now a president who thinks he needs to apologize to everyone, who so easily forgets the blood we’ve spilled on nearly everyone’s behalf, the billions, probably even trillions by now, of dollars we’ve spent bailing out other countries, on rescuing people on foreign soil from both natural and man-made disasters.

    The fact that all of Europe isn’t now speaking Russian or German is largely thanks to us. The fact that there is a European economy still functioning – also thanks to us via Marshall and a host of other things we’ve done to help stabilize their currencies following WWII. Even in the Middle East, without American know-how, the Fahds and Emirs would still be racing camels for sport. And even they were able to drill and produce without our technology getting their oil out of the ground for them, they are so dependent upon us as customers that they would still be all living in tents the way their ancestors have done for millenia.

    Natural disasters? We may not always be first on scene (though we usually are), but we always bring the most to those disasters. I don’t remember anybody else parking aircraft carriers off the coast of Indonesia after the Christmas tsunami a couple years ago, providing fresh water, large hospitals, etc., for those victims.

    Philanthropy? There has never been a people anywhere on earth as philanthropic as we are. We give until it hurts, and we give some more. The US alone provides more in philanthropy than the rest of the world combined. I can’t find any numbers on it, but I’d bet that even MSF has more American doctors and nurses than France, and maybe even more Americans than Europeans. And this “leader” apologizes?

    And this pretend intellectual is shallow enough to apologize? This Harvard grad who doesn’t know the difference between “corps” and “corpse”, who thinks there are 57 states, who was venal enough to have written not 1, but 2 memoirs before he even turned 40, we’re not to question him when he says he’s a Christian? Remember, this is the man who canceled the National Day of Prayer but apparently is observing (or at least paying his respects to) Ramadan. Let’s see if he does the same for Yom Kippur or Hannukah, and there are more Jews in this country than Muslims according to every published study that I’ve read (except, of course, CAIR).

    Let’s not forget the whopper he told about how well he knows Blago. His lies and obfuscations are legion and well-documented. There is ample room to question a great many things about Obama, and his devotion to making this country a stronger, better place is easily chief among them.

  5. Tom Carter |

    Brian, I agree with most of what you said. However, your comments on Obama are questionable: Yes, he misspoke, saying “corpse” instead of “corps.” You know as well as I do that he knows the difference, and his malaproprisms are negligible compared to those of Bush. He knows there are 50 states; do you really take one misstatement to mean otherwise? When you mistakenly wrote “venal” instead of “vain” (the correct word, taken in context) I don’t assume that it means you don’t know the difference.

    Your comment that Obama “canceled the National Day of Prayer” is wrong. What he did was he didn’t hold a White House observance of the day. An observance was held every year by President Bush, true; but none were held by Clinton, one by Reagan in eight years, and one by the first Bush in four years. What’s more, Obama issued a National Day of Prayer proclamation, and his Administration appealed a federal court ruling that the law establishing the day violates the Establishment Clause.

    I have no problem with opposing Obama’s politics and policies or other legitimate criticisms. But let’s be accurate.

  6. d |

    Let’s not forget,that after 18 months in office,Reagan and Obama had,exactly the same disapproval ratings in the polls. Funny, how no one ever remembers bad things about Reagan. He never went to church either. I think Obama is afraid to pick a church,because it will be torn apart,in public opinion,whichever way he chooses. What’s wrong with not being religious,the smartest folks I know are not religious? Tom and Brian,for example.:-)

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