Well, the planned Ground Zero Mosque/”Muslim Community Center located coincidentally close enough to Ground Zero that debris from one of the airliners landed on its roof” is continuing to stir controversy.
I’ve made my own position clear: I oppose it. I don’t know what can be done, legally, to stop it, but I would very much like to see it stopped.
Andrew McCarthy’s piece over at National Review sums up a lot of really, really good points, but there’s a few things more that need to be brought up.
Islam is, at its core, an aggressive religion. It actively promotes spreading its faith by force and conquest. And, historically, it makes a point of supplanting pre-existing faiths and symbology thereof.
For example, Mecca. Mecca was a very important city before the founding of Islam, and the city was run by what we would call pagans. Mohammed was born there, and his conquest of Mecca began the spread of Islam by the sword.
The holiest place in Islam? A former pagan high holy site. After the conquest, the it was stripped of its pagan elements and declared for Muslims only. Non-Muslims are forbidden by law from even setting foot in the city.
Then there’s Jerusalem, and the Temple Mount.
The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism. According to the Jews, it is where God’s creation of the Earth started. It is where God gathered the dust to form Adam. It is where Abraham nearly sacrificed Isaac.
When the Jews decided to build their first, most important temple, it is where they built it. Then, when they were conquered by the Babylonians, it was destroyed. They rebuilt it, and then they were conquered by the Romans — who destroyed that one. The only remnant of that second temple is the Western Wall. The Jews say that they will not build the Third Temple until their Messiah arrives, and that temple will stand forever.
Many are also reluctant to set foot on the site of the Temple directly. Jewish law forbids all but a few from stepping on the place where the Holy Presence rested, and they don’t want to take the chance of stumbling on it by accident.
Well, when the Muslims conquered Jerusalem in the 630s, they suddenly decided that they had found the site of Mohammed’s last moments on earth. According to the Koran, he didn’t die; he physically ascended into heaven on a horse or some such thing. His point of departure wasn’t spelled out, but Muslim scholars at the time decided that it must have been atop the Temple Mount (despite the fact that Jerusalem is not mentioned once in the Koran. So they built two mosques atop the ruins of the two Jewish temples and promptly forbade any non-Muslim from setting foot up there.
That’s “Islam’s Holiest Sites Number One And Three.” Let’s take a look now at a former mosque — the Great Mosque Of Cordoba.
During the Muslim invasion of Europe, they occupied a large portion of Spain. One Muslim leader bought a Visigothic Christian church that had fallen into disuse and started converting it into a mosque. It became one of the most important Islamic sites in Muslim Europe.
And a key element was the symbolism that it was built on the site of a former Christian church. Just like in Mecca, just like in Jerusalem, it had to be shown that Islam was greater than the preceding faiths that had held the site, and the building of the mosque was a sign that the area had submitted to Islam. (Remember, “Islam” does NOT mean “peace,” it means “submission.”)
This message was not lost on the conquered Europeans. After the Muslims were driven off, they went in and converted the Great Mosque of Cordoba to a Catholic cathedral.
The relevance here? The New York City project is to be named after the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
The parallels are inescapable, especially when dealing with a culture like Islam that is so wrapped up in symbolism. The New York City project is in a building acquired not by conquest but by legal purchase, and is situated very, very close to a site that many Americans hold sacrosanct — a site where almost 3,000 people were killed by people who proclaimed their actions in the name of Allah and a great victory for Islam.
That the backers plan to open their mosque on September 11, 2011 — the tenth anniversary of the attack — can not be a coincidence.
As I said, I don’t know if there is any legal way to stop the mosque project from going forward. Whether or not it is stopped, though, it must never be forgotten that its purpose is to assert and advance the conquest of the United States by Islam.
And I will never submit to that.