First, The Bold Pursuit offers our condolences to those most affected by the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001: the families, friends and associates of the victims. We also wish to pay tribute to the first responders who taught us the true meaning of heroism.
Nine years after that dreadful morning, the Cordoba Initiative, led by Chairman Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, plans to construct a $100 million, 13-story Islamic center, including a mosque. Chairman Imam Rauf is quoted as saying, "I wouldn't say that the United States deserved what happened [on September 11th], but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened.”
There is fierce opposition to the Ground Zero mosque, the unsanctioned name of the structure based on its proximity – 500 feet – to the site of the most brutal terrorist attack on our nation and the de facto graveyard of many who perished on that day. “Ground Zero” is the location where innocents and heroes lost their lives in an act of premeditated evil.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, during his annual Ramadan Iftar dinner (Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims each day fast from sunrise to sunset for the purpose of inner reflection, devotion to God, and self-control. Iftar is the evening meal in which Muslims break their fast), defended the Ground Zero mosque plans:
"...If we say that a mosque or a community center should not be built near the perimeter of the World Trade Center site, we would compromise our commitment to fighting terror with freedom,” said Bloomberg.
Fighting terrorism with freedom, Mayor Bloomberg? Let’s hope that your next gig isn’t an appointment to the Pentagon.
As for another term as mayor, today’s polls indicate that Mayor Bloomberg’s Republican support sharply decreased by 19% in light of his support of the Ground Zero mosque or park 51, as he often refers to the site for the Islamic edifice.
Conversely, President George W. Bush, in his remarks to a joint session of Congress following the September 11th aerial ambush, addressed the issue of terrorists and fighting terror:
|September 20, 2001|
“We are not deceived by their pretenses to piety. We have seen their kind before. They are the heirs of all the murderous ideologies of the 20th century. By sacrificing human life to serve their radical visions – by abandoning every value except the will to power – they follow in the path of fascism, Nazism, and totalitarianism. And they will follow that path all the way, to where it ends: in history's unmarked grave of discarded lies. Americans are asking: How will we fight and win this war? We will direct every resource at our command -- every means of diplomacy, every tool of intelligence, every instrument of law enforcement, every financial influence, and every necessary weapon of war -- to the disruption and to the defeat of the global terror network.”
Barack Obama wished his Iftar guests “Ramadan Kareem” at the White House on August 13th. His dinner address included the following remarks:
“ … let me be clear. As a citizen, and as President, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America. And our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakeable.”
The following day, Mr. Obama, refused to clarify his remarks of the previous evening, telling a reporter:
“I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making the decision to put a mosque there. I was commenting very specifically on the right people have that dates back to our founding. That's what our country is about. And I think it's very important, as difficult as some of these issues are, that we stay focused on who we are as a people and what our values are all about."
What Mayor Bloomberg and Mr. Obama fail to acknowledge is that American’s do support our First Amendment right to freedom of religion, but that’s not the issue.
Americans object to the Cordoba House (Ground Zero Mosque) on principle: the gravesite of over 2600 souls is not just “park 51” or “private property in Lower Manhattan,” it is sacred ground. The survivors of the victims of the Al-Qaeda terrorist strikes and the citizens of New York City are not the only ones who suffered when Islamic extremists brought hate-based terrorism to our country.
In the past few decades, news reports provide ample evidence of Islamic animosity toward America: “Death to America” and “The Great Satan” are familiar slogans found on protest signs and chants. The sight of Muslim protestors burning our nation’s flag is captured in photos and film.
They said they hated us – and they meant it. They chanted “Death to America” – and they meant it.
Past Islamic terrorism primarily targeted at our military and diplomatic personnel, not civilians, thus giving us a false sense of security within our own borders. One September morning, those who proclaimed their hate and death wishes carefully crafted a plan to make good on their promise to slaughter Americans.
The September 11th attacks were a sucker punch to the American psyche. It was an unexpected attack on our soil, on our homeland and a personal assault on every American.
Few events in life leave indelible imprints on our minds; we remember where we were, what we were doing and other mundane details when such events occurred. In my parent’s generation, it was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King and to my grandparents; it was that “Day of Infamy,” the attack on Pearl Harbor.
This generation will remember a late summer morning, September 11, 2001, when Islamic terrorists boarded planes, drove two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, plunged another plane into the Pentagon and crashed another into a vacant field in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Flight 93 departed Newark, New Jersey for San Francisco at 8:01am ET. After learning of the attacks on the World Trade Center via cellphones, passengers accurately surmised a similar fate was in store for their hijacked jet and planned a coup against the Al-Qaeda terrorists. “Let’s Roll” was their battle cry and their efforts likely caused the Boeing 757 to dive to the ground, disintegrating on impact. The last words heard from the cockpit of Flight 93, in Arabic, “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest!”
Adding Insult to Injury: Cordoba House
The Cordoba House or Ground Zero mosque is intended to be, according to Imam Rauf, a cultural center and mosque.
Cordoba was an Iberian and Roman city, conquered by Muslims caliphs during the Middle Ages. During this period, the Caliphate of Córdoba, descended from the Umayyad dynasty, brought about territorial expansion and bolstered trade. Cordoba flourished under the Umayyads and Arabic became the state language.
The Umayyad caliphs considered themselves as “deputies of God," the representatives of God on earth, and to have been responsible for the "definition and elaboration of God's ordinances, or in other words the definition or elaboration of Islamic law."
Under the Umayyads, Cordoba rose to such eminence in Mohammedanism that its mosque, known as the Ceca, was considered the Western Mecca.
The Cordoba House seeks to “to cultivate multi-cultural and multi-faith understanding across minds and borders” via the following concepts (from the website):
* Advising policy makers and thought leaders on urgent Muslim-West issues
* Bringing new perspectives to familiar debates
* Providing expert knowledge of Islamic Law and other technical subjects for use in the public square
* Building a network of young Muslim leaders to lead the drive for change in future generations
* Responding to Muslim-West crises
* Advocating for human rights, including higher standards for the treatment of women
* Raising the bar of Islamic governance in Muslim-majority countries (emphasis added)
* Changing perceptions of the other in both the Muslim World and the West
* Fostering cooperation between governments, civil society organizations, media, academics and business leaders in the Muslim World and the West
What’s missing? Denunciation of Bin Laden, Al Qaeda, the 9/11 terrorists and their actions. Also, a message of tolerance and acceptance of other religions and divergent points of view. Cordoba House asserts “freedom of religion” for Muslims, but no one else. Freedom of religion for all beliefs goes to the very core of this country.
Furthermore, the Cordoba Initiative sponsors the Shariah Index Project. Shariah Law “evolves around the right balance between institutions of political power and authority and institutions of religious power and authority, and whether the modern nation state Muslims live in should be a secular or religious.” Muslims consider Shariah (or Sharia) Law as God’s law and dictates all aspects of Muslim life including daily routines, including family obligations and financial dealings.
Cordoba House and Islamic Extremists
When taking all into context (Islamic extremists’ unapologetic abhorrence of America and everything it represents, numerous past terrorist attacks on American interests and the September 11th massacre of innocent Americans), one takes offense at the intention of the Cordoba Initiative to pursue building their cultural center/mosque just two blocks from the site of the 9/11 massacre.
Every American is a victim of that attack and the Cordoba Initiative, with great insensitivity, refuses to budge and build their mosque elsewhere. Why? What could be more insulting to America, to the victims and survivors of the al-Qaeda terrorist attacks than to build a shrine to the terrorist’s faith near the target of their hatred? Is this an insult or a throwing down of the proverbial gauntlet with an agenda to antagonize our country?
Will Americans allow the building of this mosque … or will we declare our own Jihad?
Below are some thoughts on September 11th and the Ground Zero mosque; please feel free to share your own:
Columnist and author, Erik Rush: “Jihadists are out to destroy the paradigm of life for all Americans, so any American who doesn't want to live under Shariah law needs to choose a side. Radical Muslims don't care who they kill in the name of jihad; themselves, their families, friends, countrymen. So they most assuredly don't care about those they killed on 9/11 who might have been sympathetic to them. In general, people who are willing to summarily kill you if they perceive an obscure threat are not great friends to have.”
Sharron Angle, Republican U.S. Senate Candidate 2010, Nevada: “History is replete with examples highlighting the importance of learning from experience.
“September 11th is a hallowed day of remembrance, forever enshrined in the hearts of the American people.
“The sacrifice and resolve from the American patriots on September 11th, 2001 has left us with the lesson we will never forget. We must not forget; so that another assault on our way of life - which will be met with equal measures of patriotism and resolve – will never be repeated.”
Contributing Writer and Editor, Cynthia Toney: “If this center is for outreach, why do the Muslims not erect a small monument to the victims at the site, along with their mosque? (Not that I believe the mosque should be built at all!) The massive funding provided would certainly allow for at least that much of a tribute to them.”
Genevieve, TBP Senior Associate: "The escalating danger from the radical fringe as it infiltrates our lives makes intense scrutiny and vigilance essential to our survival. We must join together to maximize our strength and resolve to prevent another occurrence like September 11, 2001."