The Inkblot Mosque

There is an old joke about a man in a psychiatrist's office taking the Rorschach inkblot test where he identifies the first panel as two butterflies, the second as two rhinos and the third as two elephants, but sees them all engaged in sex, and when the psychiatrist gravely diagnoses, "Your problem is you're obsessed with sex," the man retorts, "I'm obsessed with sex? You're the one with all the dirty pictures."

Just so, the proposed $100 million dollar New York community center cum mosque next door to Ground Zero might be called "The Inkblot Mosque."

If the purpose of the inkblot test is to present the study subject with a rather formless shape and analyze what he projects onto that shape, what might people see in the Mosque inkblot?

For the Americans who believe that Islam is truly the religion of peace, and who believe the men who flew airliners into the World Trade Center were not "true Muslims" but just a handful of "crazies," and who believe Muslim terrorists plotting to blow up Fort Dix are mere ‘criminals' to be handled by the justice system in the same way as convenience-store stick-up artists, and who believe the Army physician who donned ritual garb and shouted religious slogans as he shot 12 people to death was just a ‘sad case', and who believe that the vast majority of Muslims are "moderates" who, when the balloon goes up, are really ‘on our side', the Inkblot Mosque is a shining symbol for the freedom of the United States, the tolerance of Americans and the true ‘celebration of our diversity'.

On the other hand, for the Americans who believe that Islam is a barbaric throwback, and who believe the vast majority of Muslims calling themselves ‘moderates' will not only not resist but actively assist when sharia (Islamic law) comes creeping into our social fabric, as it has in the UK, and who have lost loved ones in the far-flung wars against "extremism," the Inkblot Mosque is a symbol for the looming specter of the enslavement of the United States, the suicidal ‘tolerance' of Americans for the intolerant, and the funeral dirge of a society slowly slouching towards Gomorrah.

Yet a third group making their own projections onto The Inkblot Mosque are the people outside the U.S., Muslim or otherwise, and for those people, given the fact that the mosque is being erected on the very soil of Ground Zero, in and on a building actually damaged by parts from one of the airplanes, what else can they see but the symbol of the victory of Islam and the submission of America? After all, the word Islam itself means "submission."

We Americans need to wake up to the fact that World War III is upon us and recognize, as The Great Emancipator said, "Now we are engaged in a great [worldwide] war, testing whether that nation, or any nation, so conceived [in the rights of the individual] and so dedicated [to the rights of the individual], can long endure."

And the great battle now being waged is not merely at Ground Zero or in Washington, D.C., but over the whole planet and that is the to-the-death struggle between collectivism and individualism, a war in which -- our president's recent collectivist policies notwithstanding -- we Americans are supposed to be the individualists.

Whether Islam is the religion of peace and non-violence, as so many of its adherents violently claim, or the religion of war and violence, as so many of the rest of us non-violently claim, one thing is certain: The religion of Islam, indeed, the entire Muslim way of life is collectivist, and to the limited extent that system recognizes individual rights at all, those rights belong only to males. How "American" is that?

But it is not the particular and peculiar form of collectivism represented by Islam that is the danger to us and our way of life, but rather collectivism itself, to which we, as Thomas Jefferson pledged, ought to "swear upon the altar of God, eternal hostility," whether in our modern day that collectivism comes in the form of sharia or a U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding the government's "right" of eminent domain.

Make no mistake; we are in an apocalyptic struggle that can only end with one system in control and the other in submission. Either we will see the victory of the collective, which will move history backwards, or the triumph of the individual, which will allow the continued existence and advance of Western Civilization.

For all protestations to the contrary, the Ground Zero Mosque is not reflective of the American values of tolerance and inclusion, but financed by non-American Muslim money, built for the exclusive use of Muslims, and which, according to the Muslim faith, will actually be defiled by non-believers. Will the 9/11/11 proposed opening date of the Mosque drive home the point to even the dullest among us?

The proposed mosque at Ground Zero is indeed a blot on the American landscape - an inkblot - and one of earth-shaking dimensions and significance, for how we see it is how we see our world.

And when you look at The Inkblot Mosque, what will you see?

F. Owen Smith is a former Army Battalion Surgeon -- 3rd/12th Special Forces Group -- having served in Afghanistan and Iraq. He is the proud father of a daughter -- USMC Captain (Iraq) -- and son -- Army 82nd Airborne Ranger Captain (Afghanistan) .
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