A Mosque at Ground Zero
The Muslims want to build a mosque, The Cordoba House, at ground zero and they hoped to open it on the anniversary of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. The reason , they say, is to honor the victims of the attack. That sounds just great, doesn’t it? In fact, it sounds nice enough that city leaders, Congress and even the Governor of New York are actually considering it.
On the surface, this plan sounds like they are attempting to make a monument of sorts to the heroes of that horrific day. And many will rejoice thinking great stride are being made in our relations with the Muslim world. If we dig a little deeper, we may realize that is not necessarily the case. It is in studying history that we learn that this reaching out may not be all that it appears.
History shows us that conquerors prefer seeking out sacred places or sites that hold great meaning for others, whether they are religious places or not, to erect their own monuments. The sacred places of the conquered must be destroyed and replaced with something new to honor. Almost every invader has done this for a variety of reasons. America did it when they attempted to civilize the natives. The Romans did it everywhere they invaded. Heck, even Wal-Mart does it, paving over a temple for a larger parking lot near some sacred pyramids.
Muslims are no exception to this. We see it in every land that Muslims have taken control of. Greek Orthodox churches, Jewish Temples, Hindu Temples and Christian churches are underneath some of the most famous mosques in the world. Even the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is evidence that this is so.
Still, these are just facts. Maybe they don’t mean anything, but what if they do? While I am in no way trying to state that Muslims are conquering the US, I do have to wonder why this spot, at this time. Why is building a mosque specifically at ground zero is so important to them? Would they let Christians put of a church at one of their special places? Even to honor heroes?
A rally was held in June on the site of the World Trade Center in New York City to bring awareness and to protest the idea of a mosque at that sacred spot. The protest was organized by the human rights group Stop The Islamization of America (SIOA) and supported by a wide range of other organizations. 9/11 families were joined by immigrants from India, Russia, Egypt, Israel, Africa, Iran and Europe to show opposition to the construction of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero. Included in the crowd were not only Americans, from many different ethnic backgrounds and races, even Muslims, all united in their opposition to the mosque at this location. Thousands of people showed up. Photos taken at the rally will support that number as do the NYPD. Oddly enough, there wasn’t a single news crew to be found.
This mosque is a very tricky issue for many Americans. We firmly believe in the division of church and state. We also pride ourselves on the diversity of this great country. More than any other country in the world, America has proven that all peoples are welcome and accepted. Maybe some may tangle with this thought but the facts are out there. Are there times when we have messed stuff up? Sure, we have and those facts are also out there. America is a diverse country. Where would America be without the diversity that we strive for? But so many people do not like this idea of a Muslim mosque at ground zero. Not everyone can explain why, but as I heard it said, it just doesn’t feel right.
Instead of becoming a place to promote healing and encourage diversity, a mosque at ground zero will do more harm than good. It will be a constant reminder of the evil perpetrated there. A quote from an unknown complaint states, ““Who wants to bet this place becomes a "tourist attraction" for Muslims? This mosque will become one of Islam's holiest shrines as it sits upon the site of their greatest modern military victory.”
The Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is behind the proposed mosque near Ground Zero and he is a prominent member of a group called Perdana Global Peace Organization that helps sponsor pro-Palestinian activists. Members of this group have publically stated that they believe that the whole 9/11 attack was staged. So, how is that an honor to our dead, to those we consider heroes?
Now, no one would deny the right for Muslims to build a place of worship. But does it really have to be right there? Seriously?
It set my mind wondering why ground zero is that important to them. Especially since they have to know what a huge insult it would be to those who lost loved ones in the attack. So this most urgent push remains a mystery. Why our elected officials would even consider this is also a mystery. The cynic in me says that lots of money must be involved. The cost of the proposed mosque alone is over $100 million dollars and the source of the funding is not being disclosed.
Leaving all discussions about the merits of one religion over another out of this debate, I truly do not understand the need for the mosque to be built precisely at that spot. A few blocks away would not change the purpose or the grandeur of the new mosque nor would it cause the amount of resentment that comes with this spot.
Americans are constantly being asked to be sensitive to those who believe differently than we do. But in this instance, may we ask for a little sensitivity in return?
Among all of the signs at the rally, this one summed it up for me:
“Sensitivity goes both ways. If you really care, build it elsewhere. “
"It is this man's opinion that a Muslim house of prayer that would be cemented in the ashes of catastrophe at the foot of New York's lost Twin Towers would be a symbolic victory flag for Muslims who seek the destruction of America. Further, it is my honest opinion that no matter how the construction of a mosque at ‘Ground Zero’ may be perceived by well-meaning Americans, the construction of a mosque on the spot where Al-Qaeda brought jihad to the United States will unquestionably represent victory to the worldwide forces of Radical Islam."
~Shelomo Alfassa, a scholar of Judaic life in Islamic and Christian Spain and the former U.S. Director of Justice for Jews from Arab Countries
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