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To Build or Not to Build, That is the Question

August 25, 2010

There has been much said and written about the controversy surrounding the plans to build a mega-mosque near Ground Zero scheduled to open on 9-11-2011, so why not a little more.

First, I find it remarkably refreshing that the President and so many others, especially those on the left, seem to have rediscovered the Constitutional right to freedom of religion.  I was growing concerned that the subtle change in language heard recently from the President and Secretary of State where we were entitled to the “right to worship” was a reflection of a policy change.  Interesting how it took a debate regarding the expression of Muslim rights to prompt this clarification.  I hope it lasts.

And as so many have pointed out, this is not a question of the Constitutional right to build a mosque near ground zero as was stated by the President—who brought this issue to national attention by stepping into it—which I dare say the majority of Americans never doubted, but the prudence of it.

Second, this past Sunday on “This Week” Rabbi Joy Levitt of the Jewish Community Center in Manhattan, who is an advisor on the project, stated that, “[The Governor] refused to allow synagogues to be built in New York in the 1600s. It took an act of Congress here in Washington to allow a synagogue to be built,” so “we understand some of this pain” for the Muslims as they apparently struggle to fight some sort of intractable discrimination.  I must assume that Rabbi Levitt is unaware that there are currently “more than 100 mosques in the five boroughs” in New York City.  I also assume Rabbi Levitt has neglected to read the Koranic verses which clearly define Jews as part of the swine family and other diatribes, but I digress.

Third, there are a multiplicity of questions that remain unanswered about the founders, financing, and motivation for this mosque.  For instance, is Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf truly a “moderate” Muslim?  If so, why has he not denounced Hamas as a terrorist organization?  Why did he implicate the U.S. in the 9/11 attacks?  Why did the name of the project change from the “Cordoba House” to the innocuous “Park51” after it was pointed out that the Cordoba mosque in Spain was built by Muslims as a sign of domination in their continued conquest of Europe?  Was the Imam of the Islamic religion unaware of this historical fact?

Where is the funding for this $100 million project coming from?  Why has the State Department sent Imam Rauf on a taxpayer funded tour of the Middle East? Why is it that the second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Senator Durbin, has demonized opponents to the mosque as being motivated out of “fear and hate”, when they are merely exercising their right to peacefully protest and petition the builders to find a less controversial location in Manhattan in deference to the victims of 9/11 and the country?  Why have the founders rejected attempts by Governor Paterson to assist them in finding a different location in Mahattan?  While it may be irrelevant to Mayor Bloomberg that funding could come from Saudi Arabia, the heart of the Wahabi brand of Islam that inspired 15 of the 19 terrorists on 9/11, I don’t believe the families of the victims of the most horrendous attack suffered on U.S. soil see it that way, nor do most Americans.

With just a few of these questions unanswered why did Daisy Khan, the wife of Imam Rauf, state on the same “This Week” program that “There’s too much at stake. We have to go ahead with this project”.  Really–“We have to go ahead”?  And what is “at stake”? Sounds more like defiance than sensitivity to me.

Finally, this is not some titanic struggle for recognition of the plight of persecuted Muslims in a country rife with “Islamophobia” as this month’s Time magazine cover has pronounced.  Name one prominent incident of an attack on Muslims motivated by our supposed “fear and hate”.  One.  Anyone?  Unfortunately I can name three in the past year of Muslims against Americans—two from the inside and one from outside—the Fort Hood Massacre, New York bomber, and the Underwear bomber—so much for our supposed Islamophobia.

By the way, did you know that a portion of the landing gear from one of the planes that struck the Towers crashed through the roof of this proposed site? Find another location to build the mega-mosque and let the dead rest in peace.

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