Raheel Raza and Tarek Fatah, columnists who write at the Ottawa Citizen and who are Muslim, are equally dismayed at the idea of a Mosque being so close to Ground Zero as the American people are, as evidenced by their subtitle: “We Muslims know the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation.”
Those words were written by two men who sound deeply concerned about how their faith is received by non-believers, and as a Christian who cringes every time the Westboro haters are associated with mainstream Christianity, I understand their concern.
Raza and Fatah seemingly wrote their column with the mosque’s planners and their liberal supporters in mind. I wish they had published this piece a few weeks ago because their words could have led to the project being put on hold for a while, but I’m thankful they have come forward to say their piece, nonetheless:
When we try to understand the reasoning behind building a mosque at the epicentre of the worst-ever attack on the U.S., we wonder why its proponents don’t build a monument to those who died in the attack?
New York currently boasts at least 30 mosques so it’s not as if there is pressing need to find space for worshippers. The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel. The proposal has been made in bad faith and in Islamic parlance, such an act is referred to as “Fitna,” meaning “mischief-making” that is clearly forbidden in the Koran.
The Koran commands Muslims to, “Be considerate when you debate with the People of the Book” — i.e., Jews and Christians. Building an exclusive place of worship for Muslims at the place where Muslims killed thousands of New Yorkers is not being considerate or sensitive, it is undoubtedly an act of “fitna.”
So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the “Cordoba Initiative” and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?
Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?
There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.
If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.
Because so few mainstream moderate Muslims have come forward to challenge Muslims like Rauf, many people have started to wonder if there are any moderate Muslims at all, a scary prospect for Americans. Which makes Raza and Fatah’s column so important.
Of course, those who want to build the mosque at Ground Zero have a First Amendment right to do so. However, as so many people have said before, that does not make it necessarily the right thing to do, especially since the mosque’s planners claim to be motivated by a desire to build bridges and heal wounds.
If they want Americans to take their claims seriously, though, they need to prove that they mean them by listening to the growing cacophony of protests, anger, and worry by Americans from all over the country and move their mosque elsewhere in Manhattan. So far, they have not budged from their original plans to build their mosque only feet from Ground Zero -which tells me that they don’t really want to build bridges but blow them up instead; they don’t really want to heal wounds but infect them further.
Hat tip: Hot Air
Update: I don’t have any interest in building bridges with any religious faith that commits these kinds of atrocities on a regular basis.
And here’s Raheel Raza on Bill O’Reilly earlier this evening commenting on why she’s against the mosque at Ground Zero via The Right Scoop:
Update II: Now we learn from JWF that the mosque developers have purchased only half the space needed to build their “cultural center”. The other half yet unpurchased is owned by ConEdison:
The developers of the controversial mosque proposed near Ground Zero own only half the site where they want to construct the $100 million building, The Post has learned.
One of the two buildings on Park Place is owned by Con Edison, even though Soho Properties told officials and the public that it owns the entire parcel. And any potential sale by Con Ed faces a review by the state Public Service Commission.
“We never heard anything about Con Ed whatsoever,” said a stunned Julie Menin, the chairwoman of Community Board 1, which passed a May resolution supporting the mosque.
Daisy Khan, one of the mosque’s organizers, told The Post last week that both buildings on Park Place are needed to house the worship and cultural center. But she claimed ignorance about the Con Ed ownership of 49-51 Park Place and referred questions to Soho Properties, which bought the building at 45-47 Park Place in 2009.
Rep. Peter King, who opposes the mosque, said the developers seemed to be “operating under false pretenses.”
“I wonder what else they are hiding,” said King (R-LI). “If we can’t have the full truth on this, what can we believe?”
And another Muslim, the daughter of a 9/11 victim, speaks out against the mosque being at Ground Zero.