By Fr. George Welzbacher
August 29, 2010
Some of you have asked me for my thoughts about the construction of a major Islamic center-a recreational, cultural and religious complex rising thirteen (or is it fifteen?) stories high, with a mosque as its principal feature-on a site no more than 600 feet from where the World Trade Towers once had stood as the preeminent symbol of America's economic might, and where some three thousand civilians, most but not all of them Americans, were consigned to a monstrous death, incinerated in a fire-storm as hot as the sun or forced, in order to escape the flames, to leap to their death hundreds of feet below, all in the name of a twisted obsession: to wage jihad for the glory of Allah! My own views on this matter leave no room for ambiguity: construction of this complex on this particular site is NOT in America's best interests. Let Faisal Abdul Rauf, the project's instigator and the mosque's imam-to-be, build on another site, one that is not directly and forever linked with memories of 9/11.
David Paterson, the governor of New York State, has offered to help the imam select such a site.
What is at issue is not the constitutional right of a legally recognized religious group to erect a building on a property to which the group holds title. No reasonable American will dispute that right. What is at issue is whether pressing forward with this project will do harm, psychological harm to those whose loved ones had their lives cut short a mere stone's throw from where this mosque would stand-for them execution of this project would be the continuous twisting of a knife in a festering wound--and political harm to our nation as well, in view of the way that radical networks in the Muslim world would certainly interpret our collaboration in such a project. Radical Islamists- such as the Muslim Brotherhood and closely related terrorist groups-would hail the building of this complex precisely at Ground Zero as proof that Americans are cowardly fools and decadent appeasers, willing to humiliate themselves by kissing the feet of their enemies even as those enemies raise in their midst a monument to a spectacular victory. I cannot imagine a more effective ploy for recruitment to the cause of Al Qaeda and friends than representation of the this mosque as a predictive symbol and "divine" assurance of shariah's ultimate triumph. Radical Islam will pass in the Muslim world for "the stronger horse" if America's will to resist implacable foes is perceived to be crumbling.
And then there is the question, the important question, of precisely which version of Islam will be promoted in Imam Rauf's Islamic center. Which prompts in turn the question: Where will the principal funding for this one hundred million dollar project be found? In Saudi Arabia perhaps? With its intransigent commitment to the most fanatical form of Islam, the Wahhabi creed to which most of the 9/11 terrorists adhered?
Helpful in discerning what may lie at the root of the proposal for this Ground Zero Mosque is the principle laid down in the Muslim Brotherhood's own official handbook for radical Islamists working in America, a copy of which fell into the hands of the FBI in a recent raid on a radical mosque, as described in Andrew McCarthy's extraordinary study The Grand Jihad. Mr. McCarthy was the leading attorney in our government's successful prosecution of "the Blind Sheikh" and his collaborators who back in 1993 set off a truck bomb in the basement of one of the Twin Towers. Mr. McCarthy took the title of his book-The Grand Jihad-from the phrase used in the handbook itself to describe the Muslim Brotherhood's on-going effort to bring America down.
Here is the Brotherhood's clear if clumsy description of its goal and the strategy recommended for its achievement: "Eliminating and destroying the Western civilization FROM WITHIN and 'SABOTAGING' its miserable house by THEIR hands and the hands of the believers SO THAT IT IS ELIMINATED and God's religion is made victorious over all other religions." The Muslim Brotherhood would have us collaborate in our own destruction. Is this Act One?
* * * * *The Muslim Brotherhood's scenario for close collaboration with officials of the American government in order to advance the Brotherhood's interests seems to be playing very well. Among those present at President Obama's recent Ramadan dinner at the White House were the following interesting personalities, as described by Frank Gaffney on August 13th over the Cultural Art wire service.
* * * * *Cultural Art wire-service
By: Frank Gaffney
August 13, 2010
...Consider a few examples from this year's Iftar dinner [the White House Ramadan) guest list:
Ingrid Mattson heads the largest Muslim Brotherhood front in the country, the Islamic Society of North America. ISNA was AN UNINDICTED CO-CONSPIRATOR in the biggest terrorism-financing trial in the nation's history and was identified as a Brotherhood "associated or friendly" group in documents introduced as evidence uncontested in that Holy Land Foundation prosecution. Ms. Mattson now presides over the selection, training and certification of MUSLIM CHAPLAINS for the U.S. military and prison system--interestingly, a job formerly in the hands of Muslim Brother Abdurahman Alamoudi, the founder and first head of the American Muslim Council, who is currently serving a 23-year sentence on terrorism charges.
Salam Al-Marayati is president of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC). In 1991, then-House Democratic Leader Richard Gephardt withdrew his nomination of Al-Marayati to a leadership position on the National Commission on Terrorism when it became public that Al-Marayati claimed that the TERRORIST group, Hezbollah [Iran's catspaw on Israel's northern border] is a legitimate organization and has the right to attack the Israeli Army.
Dalia Moghed runs the insidious Gallup Center for. Muslim Studies and advises President Obama on Muslim affairs
as a member of the President's Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
In an October, 2009 interview with the London Telegrapah, she made the following astounding assertions: "I think the reason so many women support shariah is because they have a very different understanding of shariah than the common perception in Western media." "The MAJORITY of women around the world associate gender justice, or JUSTICE FOR WOMEN, WITH SHARIAH COMPLIANCE." [Shariah compliance involves such woman-friendly measures as stoning to death, divorce at the caprice of the husband, wearing the burqa, foregoing education, polygamy and wife-beating]....
The most prominent American public figure to directly challenge such pap is former House Speaker Newt Gingrich who, in remarks before the American Enterprise Institute last month, declared: "STEALTH jihadis use political, cultural, societal, religious, intellectual tools, VIOLENT jihadis use violence. - But in fact they're BOTH engaged in jihad and they're BOTH seeking to impose the same end state which is to replace Western civilization with a radical imposition of shariah"....
* * * * *
As for the Ground Zero Mosque's imam-to-be, Faisal Abdul Rauf himself, you may find the following report by historian Victor Davis Hanson to be illuminating. -* * * * *
The Cynical Brilliance of Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf
From: National Review Online
By. Victor Davis Hanson
... To his liberal defenders, Imam.Faisal Abdul Rauf is a sort of respectable Deepak Chopra who at respectable places like Aspen mouths pop platitudes of interfaith tolerance-so much so that our own State Department has employed him, apparently for quite some time, for goodwill gailivanting abroad.
But to those in the Middle East, he is known equally well for doing what he can, as a Western liberal, to contextualize terrorism, bin Laden, and Islamic extremism within the tired Western postmodrn tropes of cultural relativism: "The United States' policies were an ACCESSORY TO THE CRIME that happened' on 9/11; "In fact, in the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden is MADE IN THE U.S.A.".; 'The U.S. and the West must acknowledge the HARM they have done to Muslims before terrorism can end" [like, for example, the hundreds of millions of dollars that Americans donated to Muslim Indonesia after the recent day-after-Christmas tsunami, even as oil-rich Saudi Arabia gave a mere pittance; or like the U. S. military intervention in Bosnia to stop the Serbs from killing Muslims]....
The entire notion of a "Ground Zero mosque" was the brainchild of Imam Rauf himself. He grasped at once the brilliant cynicism involved: Here at home well- meaning liberals would APPLAUD the audacity of hope in positioning a mosque near the 9/11 site in order to "commemorate" the "tragedy," as a token of TOLERANCE where ALL COULD COME TOGETHER and thus avoid another MISUNDERSTANDING of the sort that sent two airliners crashing into two skyscrapers.
ABROAD, THE MESSAGE WOULD, OF COURSE, BE INTERPRETED QUITE DIFFERENTLY: To the radical Islamists, a mosque rising near Ground Zero (well before a new World Trade Center is constructed) is a message of ISLAMIC TRIUMPHALISM-IN THE LONG TRADITION OF MINARETS ON THE CONQUERED SANTA SOPHIA [Justinian's immense Christian Church] in Istanbul; the eighth-century Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, rising on the site of the DESTROYED Jewish.Second Temple; and the great mosque at Cordoba retrofitted from the GUTTED Christian Church of St. Vincent. Again, there are thousands of sites in New York where another mosque could be built; but without the Ground Zero RESONANCE the IRONY would be lost....
Then there is the IMAGE OF AMERICA. Note that the world is NOT TALKING about.banning the burqa in FRANCE, or shutting down a mosque in GERMANY. Much less are we familiar with the RUSSIANS leveling Muslim Grozny or the CHINESE rounding up and jailing or shooting Muslims. And, of course, few care that the SAUDIS... would JAIL a Christian [who dared to display a cross in public]... or WOULD KILL A NON-BELIEVER who tried to enter Mecca.
No, Imam Rauf wanted to SHOW THE WORLD that the most religiously tolerant country in-thie world [the U.S.A.] was, in fact, hypocritically INtolerant. It is hard to do that in an anything-goes America, where [expletivedeleted] Christ art and shoot-Bush Knopf novels are considered hip creative expressions. But build a mosque a stone's throw away from Ground Zero? Now that was a brilliant move, one that would draw a reaction from everyone from Glenn Beck to the New York labor unions. All Imam Rauf had to do was PROPOSE the Mosque site, scram out of the country for a month and LET THE LIBERAL ELITE AND THE MEDIA LECTURE THE WORLD on how nativist, xenophobic, and INTOLERANT the most tolerant nation in the world, [America] REALLY was-sort of lighting a firecracker, tossing it into a crowd from a moving car, speeding away, and watching the ensuing human fireworks in the rear-view mirror ....
... Imam Rauf is a rascal, but he is at least a brilliantly cynical one.