Rural Mosque or Trojan Horse?
Four years after opposition from residents and a lawsuit forced the withdrawal of plans for a multi-purpose Islamic center in rural San Martin, California, the proposal is back, tripled in size and with a burial center double the original capacity. The Southern Valley Islamic Center (SVIC) again calls its center “Cordoba,” a reference to the so-called “Golden Age of Islam,” after 8th-century Islamic invaders converted the Spanish city into a center for religious learning under Islamic rule for two centuries, restricting others to second-class status. Like those invaders from another age, the Cordoba Center may well be part of a larger plan to usurp American values and lifestyle and replace them with Muslim ideology and culture.
As I reported here in 2012, the SVIC proposal included a prayer hall, community center, cemetery and play area on a 15-acre parcel in the unincorporated town of San Martin, population 7,500, known for producing garlic, mushrooms and wine. In 2013, the SVIC withdrew their proposal and relinquished a Santa Clara County permit after a lawsuit was filed by a local group, the People’s Coalition for Government Accountability. The coalition’s suit against the county, the Board of Supervisors and the Planning Commission sought to stop planning and construction on the center for a rigorous and thorough environmental impact review.
At the time, residents were concerned that failed soil-percolation tests made the site susceptible to poor drainage and flooding and that decaying human remains would pollute the local water supply. They worried about the impact of increased traffic in their pastoral oasis as well as noise from dawn-to-dusk calls to prayer. Anxious about decreased quality of life, they sought a full discussion of issues that had received short shrift during permit review.
Further, they felt that with no significant Muslim population in the surrounding area and several mosques nearby, the large-scale Islamic center failed to meet the county’s requirement that projects be kept to a size, scale and intensity that serves local needs. The county general plan requirements were created to minimize impacts from outside the community.
But today, four years later, different rules apply. Santa Clara County rescinded its “local use" policy and now evaluates projects based on size, scale and intensity compared to similar buildings -- in this case churches -- in the general vicinity. The SVIC has revived the Cordoba Center, bringing it back with a proposed, 8,938-square foot mosque, up from the original 5,000-square feet, and a 14,548-square-foot community building, up from the original 2,800 square feet.
On Feb. 25, the first informational and planning advisory meeting drew over 300 area residents who heard presentations by the project manager and architect. The Cordoba Center development team likened the project to other local houses of worship. They displayed renderings of the proposed mosque, ancillary buildings, cemetery and landscaping and said 300 people would use it weekly and up to 500 during holidays, an almost four-fold increase from SVIC’s 2012 usage estimates. To allay community concerns, they explained plans for site drainage, wastewater removal, and aesthetic considerations. A Planning Committee representative said a 9- to 18-month environmental impact study would be required before any approvals.
During public comments, largely in opposition to the project, residents expressed concern over environmental impacts and doubted that the number of worshippers at the site could be policed to comply with stated usage. They also worried about the noise level. Calls to prayer occur five times daily, from around 6:00 a.m. to around 10 p.m. Only a handful of residents expressed concerns about the supremacist nature of Islam, which, in fact, may be the most important objection against the center.
Four members of the clergy in a stark display of ignorance of Islamic doctrine waxed enthusiastic about the proposed religious center as a welcome addition to the local faith community. One priest, clearly unfamiliar with the Koran and its pervasive mandate of enmity for non-Muslims, noted that Islamic concepts of “love of G-d” and “love of neighbor” were identical to those of his faith. Despite the reality that Christians are being persecuted and their houses of worship are being destroyed throughout the Middle East and North Africa, none of the Christian clergy made any connections between this reality and Islamic doctrine nor voiced any concerns about Christian oppression under Muslim rule. Another member of the clergy proclaimed his solidarity with his “Muslim brothers and sisters,” even though throughout much of the Islamic world, fellowship with non-Muslims is non-existent, even verboten, and Christians are unable to build or repair churches, pray or even celebrate holidays.
In coming to its final determination on the Cordoba Center, the Santa Clara County Planning Commission will focus only on environmental impacts. However, the presence of a mosque potentially promoting a jihad-centric theo-political ideology in the area raises legitimate, national security concerns.
According to terrorism expert, author and investigative journalist Dr. J. Michael Waller, the North American Islamic Trust (NAIT), a Muslim Brotherhood affiliate and unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism funding trial in America, controls most of the mosques in the United States.
“An organ of ISNA, NAIT finances, owns, and otherwise subsidizes the construction of mosques and is reported to own between 50 and 79 percent of the mosques on the North American continent,” Waller explained before the Senate Subcommittee on Terrorism, Technology and Homeland Security on October 14, 2003.
In its planning document, “Explanatory Memorandum On the General Strategic Goal for the Group in North America,” published in 1991, the Muslim Brotherhood lists NAIT in “A List of our Organizations and the Organizations of our Friends.” In it the historical stages of Islamic activism for “civilizational jihad,” including the proliferation of mosques and Islamic centers, are delineated. They are part of
“a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house by their hands and the hands of believers so that it is eliminated and G-d's religion is made victorious over all other religions.”
In 2006, Freedom House's Center for Religious Freedom released a report revealing that over 80% of American mosques have been radicalized by Saudi money -- between $70-80 billion worldwide over three decades -- and influence. Researchers found that the vast majority of American mosques espouse radical hate ideology – teaching Muslims that it is a religious obligation to hate Jews and Christians, condemn democracy as un-Islamic and engage in stealth jihad to infiltrate American institutions and amass power.
Further, the existence and prevalence of mosques within the United States that have harbored and trained terrorists, as well as raised money for terrorist groups and activities, underscores the conclusions of the Freedom House study and bolsters the concern over existing and future mosques and the threat they bring to Americans.
The Center for Security Policy (CSP), a Washington, D.C. national security think tank, recently conducted a survey of American Muslims and found that 51% agreed that Muslims should be able to choose to be governed by shariah rather than the Constitution. Close to 25% stated that they believe that it is legitimate to use violence to punish those who offend Islam, including offences such as depicting Mohammed. Nearly one-fifth of American Muslims surveyed felt that the use of violence was justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in the United States.
These are worrisome findings, given the U.S. liberal refugee resettlement policy, asylum and other immigration programs and Obama’s plans for bringing thousands of additional Syrian refugees into the country. They are especially dangerous now in light of the outrages committed by increasing numbers of welfare-dependent migrants flooding Europe. Furthermore, nearly 1,000 American Muslims are currently being investigated by the FBI as individuals known to support ISIS.
The truth is that Islam is unlike other religions and a mosque is not like a church or synagogue. The question that needs to be answered in communities like San Martin is: Does this project represent a benign construction of a house of worship or yet another orchestrated effort to oust traditional American values and replace them with Islamic practices, laws, and beliefs? To believe the latter is neither evidence of bigotry nor misguided caution, but a reasoned response to stated Islamic goals and past Islamic actions.