Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Mosque That Cannot Be Ignored

After six U.S. Marines fought their way to the peak of Mt. Suribachi in February of 1945, I doubt that there were any citizens of Tokyo who viewed the raising of the American flag over Iwo Jima as a form of "community outreach."

Triumphant armies have always planted their symbols and standards at the conclusion of battle, and I believe that even the most progressive and tolerant elements of Japanese society would have averted their eyes from that symbol to avoid the pain of loss, to avoid a constant reminder of the horrible death suffered by a loved one.

So it will be that we in America must avert our eyes to avoid the pain of loss, because of the cowardice and political correctness of a ruling class that has removed all impediments to the construction of a mosque within yards of Ground Zero.

Indeed, the building over which the mosque will rise is in such close proximity to the World Trade Center site that a piece of landing gear crashed through its roof on the morning of September 11, 2001.

The construction of this mosque will be a heinous act of triumphalism on a scale so massive that it is almost unimaginable.

Over the killing field of 3,000 Americans, men and women who were guilty on the morning of their deaths of nothing more than simply getting up and going to work, the Islamists will smugly plant their flag of victory. Such is the degree of effrontery on the part of its sponsors that it was scheduled to have been opened on September 11, 2011, and was to have been called the Cordoba House, referencing the seat of the Islamic caliphate in Spain in the 8th century, which Muslims consider to be symbolic of Islamic rule in the West.

There is something terribly wrong with the people who would want to do this, and there is something terribly wrong with the people who would allow it to be done when they had the means to prevent it. To desecrate the site of the worst attack on American soil by a foreign enemy, and to do so with a structure glorifying the religion in whose name the terror was perpetrated, staggers the imagination and defies logic.

There is no question that the location is symbolic in a way that sickens most Americans.

The leader of the Cordoba Initiative is one Imam Feisal Rauf, who in the days after the attacks called the United States an accessory to the crime, and said that for all intents and purposes Osama Bin Laden was made in the U.S.A. He has steadfastly refused to condemn Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorist organizations. He has dodged questions about the massive funding required to complete the project.

Still, freedom of religion and speech are the basic principles upon which this country was founded, and I'll fight to the death to defend both them and the constitution in which they were enumerated. However, opposition to this mosque isn't about inhibiting religion or speech - there are thousands of mosques in New York - and I recognize that when something can be built “as of right,” meaning that there are no legal obstacles to the construction, we have no right to prevent it. Not liking the builder – or what he’s building - does not trump his right to build.

This case, however, is simply about common decency. If, as the Imam states, the construction of an Islamic Community Center is about building bridges between the cultures, I would think a good way to start would be to be mindful of the sensitivities of a community, a city and a nation that mourns still. There are dozens of sites upon which to build this project. Why here? Why so close to an open wound? We see through you, Imam Rauf, we are not blind, unlike the cowards and quislings that sit on commissions and inhabit City Hall.

The ruling class may have removed the last legal obstacle to your project, but the souls of 3,000 dead Americans cry “NO!” The families of 3,000 dead Americans cry “NO!” The vast majority of New Yorkers are outraged and cry “NO!”

It may mean nothing to you, but there are millions – no, tens of millions – of ordinary Americans who remain deeply wounded by the cowardly attack that killed 3,000 innocents, and who have not forgotten that the pilots of those planes shouted “Allahu Akbar” as they successfully concluded their insane mission.

We will never know peace if a mosque lords over the site of that murderous act of war, Imam Rauf, but know this: you may never know a moment of peace within it.