Slightly more absurd than any other political argument today is the concerted defense of a proposed mosque at Ground Zero. An Islamic entity known as the Cordoba Initiative, funded by shadowy interests, is looking to erect an ornate mosque and community center at the site of the 9/11 attack in Manhattan, and its proponents in America have deemed it an innocent act of freedom of religion and Islamic outreach while proclaiming that detractors are guilty of religious intolerance.
Most notably guilty of this fallacy is New York Mayor Bloomberg, whose sight is so dulled by political correctness that he cannot see the concern of his constituents. He is blind to the blatantly obvious truth of the political context in which this mosque will be built.
It is clear that many foreign practitioners of Islam today strictly follow its seventh-century doctrine mandating violence, martyrdom, and forced submission in a very literal sense.
Therefore, the 9/11 attacks are perceived by many Islamic fundamentalists as a victory in their struggle, or jihad, for the Islamic hegemony demanded by the Quran, particularly sura 8, verse 39: "And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and polytheism -- i.e., worshiping others besides Allah] and the religion [worship] will all be for Allah Alone [in the whole of the world]." Beyond this unnerving truth, it is an indistinct, well-funded, and likely foreign faction (all three adjectives that would aptly describe an organization like al-Qaeda) that is financing the construction of this mosque near the site of the most devastating attack ever suffered on U.S. soil.
In light of these facts, logic warrants wariness for Americans when considering the purpose of the mosque at Ground Zero.
But since common sense and the pragmatic history associated with fundamentalist Islam isn't enough to convince Bloomberg that the building of this mosque is likely an effort to create a symbolic affront to infidels, perhaps he could listen to the two moderate Muslims heralding that fact in The Ottawa Citizen.
Rahell Raza and Tarek Fatah address Bloomberg's contention that Muslims just want a place to worship and that Americans should be ashamed of themselves for their intolerance in denying them that right. Raza and Fatah educate us that "New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it's not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel."
Muslims in New York do not struggle to find a site to worship, and the location near Ground Zero is certainly not the last viable piece of real estate that could be used for such purposes. But more importantly, it appears that many Muslims know that "the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque" is little more than an insult to American sensibilities, so Bloomberg's argument that opposition to the mosque is just religious intolerance holds little water.
But along with this tried-and-true approach of calling everyone who disagrees with him intolerant, Bloomberg pads his argument with diatribes about freedom of religion and moral equivalency, presenting hypothetical scenarios where the United States could be transposed with the Cordoba Initiative that aims to build the mosque. For example, Bloomberg has said, "We should be encouraging groups like the one behind this project, not demonizing them. Were this mosque being built in a foreign city, chances are that the U.S. government would be funding it."
This ridiculous analogy shows a profound disconnect from reality. If the U.S. government offered to fund the construction of a mosque in a foreign city, it would undoubtedly be as a sign of good faith -- another generous gesture in America's Sisyphean endeavor to win the hearts and minds of the Islamic world. But Raza and Fatah explain why the Ground Zero mosque is nothing of that nature:
If Rauf [of the Cordoba Initiative] is serious about building bridges [between Islam and America], then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.
This pinpoints the precise reason for American apprehension concerning the global Islamic interest in the Ground Zero mosque, and contrary to what Bloomberg would have us believe, it has nothing to do with intolerance or blind prejudice. Americans are suspicious because so few global Muslim groups, like the Cordoba Initiative, have made efforts to vocally repudiate the attacks or violent jihad in general.
On September 11, 2001, treacherous men carried out destructive attacks that cost thousands of Americans their lives under the mantle of Islam, Allah, and his prophet. This was not done in the name of any national body, like Saudi Arabia or Iran. Their battle cry was that of Islamic jihad, not the liberation the Arabs under Israeli occupation or the release of prisoners. The attacks of 2001 were not strictly political, but religious in nature. Therefore, those who practice the religion of Islam should be obligated to explain how their doctrine has become so twisted and affirm their vehement objection to armed jihad, rather than having men like Bloomberg demand that Americans affirm their objection to religious intolerance.
Beyond this fact, the attacks of 2001were meant to be largely symbolic. The World Trade towers were the epicenter of U.S. commerce, thereby symbolic of American wealth and decadence. The Pentagon is an icon of the American military might and imperialism that is loathed by the Islamic world, and the Capitol building is a symbol of our republic that creates inconsistency with Islamic values and prevents the implementation of Sharia law. Even the date is meant to be symbolic of the continuation of jihad. On September 11, 1683, Islamic armies suffered defeat in Vienna, cauterizing the expansion of the caliphate. The September 11 attacks of the new millennium were meant to signal a bold new jihad and the continuation of that expansion.
So perhaps rather than focusing on how intolerant we Americans are, Mr. Bloomberg can cut the American people some slack for being nervous when a shady and foreign entity is trying to put a symbol of Allah's divine providence atop the sacred site where Islamic jihad won its greatest victory in centuries. This is especially so when the construction of this mosque could not only embolden Islamic fundamentalists on a global scale, but it could also increase domestic recruiting for the future indoctrination of the cancerous anti-American Islam that plagues many parts of the globe.