The 9/11 Gazwa and the Cordoba Mosque

I shall never forget that very sad morning in September nine years ago, when Arab-Muslims committed their Manhattan and Washington, D.C. Gazwa, leaving about three thousand innocent people murdered. "Gazwa" is an Arab term used to indicate a successful attack upon the enemy or an invasion of enemy territory.

In the weeks following this horrible tragedy, I began to examine my Egyptian roots, which I had denied from the time I left Egypt for Rome in 1968 until the moment of this attack. Having assimilated into the Italian lifestyle and culture, I took the Italian language as my new first tongue and never looked back, only making occasional visits to my family in Cairo.

There was a reason I left Cairo beyond my choice of university to study architecture, and after Mohammad Atta, an Egyptian Arab-Muslim, slammed a jet into the world trade towers, I decided to fully explore this reason. I could no longer ignore the memories I had buried so long ago and what I had witnessed as a young boy growing up as a minority Copt subject to Islamic rule. I might say that in the aftermath of September 11, I took on a new resolve to remember my own personal history and face the oppression and persecution of my people, for I realized this was the best way to better understand the progress made by Arab Muslims toward their goal of conquering and subjugating the Kafir (non-Muslim population). I pored over ancient and contemporary Arabic texts in my original language, studying the behavior of Arabs throughout history and the development of Islam, to discover more about the land I grew up in and the politics which dominated my country.

The tragedy of the Christian Copts in Egypt as an oppressed and persecuted population inside their own country -- stripped of their identity and living under fear and intimidation for their faith, prohibited from real participation in government and all other important sectors of society -- all began with the violence of a Gazwa in the year 651.

Islamic-Arab aggression began with the first year of the Islamic calendar of Hegira and repeated itself once again in New York City in 2001. For 1,400 years, the people of Arab-occupied countries have suffered a rewrite of their own histories, their identities erased for the purpose of satisfying Arab-Muslim occupation and supremacy.

Looking back upon the weeks following this tragedy, I try to recall which leaders from the Arab-Muslim world reacted honorably in response to the horrible tragedy. No remarks of condolences were said, and no declarations of war against terrorism were stated by any one of the Arab state leaders or any imam within any mosque across the world. Instead, we witnessed unchecked celebrations in the streets by Arab Muslims while the American people were grief-stricken and shocked. Muslims living in America mostly either remained silent on this issue or celebrated as well.

After the 9/11 tragedy, Arab-Muslim media were reporting the success of bin Laden against the Kafirs in America. This same media, along with some Western media, spread rumors that the tragedy was planned and achieved through an inside job done by the FBI. Meanwhile, in this same timeframe, President Bush took a prompt from his Saudi Arabian associates and, based upon abrogated verses from Qur'an, declared Islam a religion of peace!

Statements like this from America's leaders, including some recently made by President Obama, have helped pave the way for us to receive the final emblem of triumph from the Arab Muslim over the American way, namely the Cordoba initiative, an Islamic Center to be built on hallowed American ground.

As an Egyptian-born Copt, I have a decided advantage over my American friends in that I have grown up in clear view of the unfolding Islamic agenda, as well as been victimized by it. The director of the Center for Islamic Study, Bill Warner, poses a question to Americans in one of his recent articles, titled "Do you have any Armenian, Serbian or Coptic friends?" He goes on to note that these individuals could be the key to understanding the progress of Islam in America and give the proper answers to those who question the opposition to building a mosque at ground zero.

The groundbreaking of the Cordoba mosque at Ground Zero will be a symbol of Arab-Muslim Gazwa of New York City, as currently projected in the Arab media, and will directly lead to the Islamization of America.

This in turn will be the beginning of the demands by Muslims for separate Shariah law and Shariah courts.

What a far-fetched conclusion, our American reader might say -- mainly because we have had no precedent for this in American culture. Shariah law compliance? Surely our Constitution will protect us from whatever this Shariah is.

The majority of those who gather in opposition to the mosque this weekend, exercising their freedom of speech, do so upon their objection to the insensitivity and disrespect toward the victims and their family members demonstrated in Imam Rauf and his financiers' stubborn determination to build it at Ground Zero, all the while conceding to Rauf his perfect right to build it.

Using America's freedom of religion for the establishment of a religion that holds steadfastly to cutting off freedom of religion and freedom of speech in both principle and practice places the religion of Islam in direct contradiction with the American way of life. American secular culture, informed with Judeo-Christian principles, is heading on a collision course with its foreign antithesis, a culture I am all too familiar with.

When I ask my American friends about the proliferation of Islam in America, the typical response is that everything will work out just fine in America because America allows room for practice of all religions and all beliefs. Some even quote their Muslim friends who are adept at refuting the skeptics. Americans have become apologists for Islam without knowing the important facts about Islamic religious beliefs and practices, particularly the practice of taqiya.

Lying is allowed, as stated in Islamic doctrine, when a believer (Muslim) is speaking to a non-believer (non-Muslim) for the purpose of achieving his goal, the advancement of Islam. When this convenient tool is utilized by a Muslim in speaking to the non-Muslim, it is especially effective in promoting acceptance of Islam.

Our democracy is at work as we exercise our freedom of speech and assemble in the streets on 9/11 this year to prevent the construction of a mosque at Ground Zero, a symbol of victory commemorating the profound material and psychological damage caused by the enemy of our nation in an attack upon us nine years ago. If the will of the people of New York City combined with the many voices around our country is able to halt this project, then not only is it a testimony to the strength of democracy in America, but, equally as important in defeating this travesty, it becomes the stumbling block to what will be the flagship used in launching the ideological forces aimed at destroying this very process.

Dr. Ashraf Ramelah is founder and president of Voice of the Copts, a human rights organization working to free the oppressed and persecuted Copts of Egypt.
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