Myths, Mosques, & Legends. Why Everyone Is Wrong About The Ground Zero Mosque.
Some listeners have asked me to write a post about my thoughts on the proposed mosque at Ground Zero. I fully intended to from the beginning, but now I feel I have to.
I’ve caught a little flak from everyone on this as a result of my posting the video of the 9/11 families opposition to the mosque, and for things I’ve said in passing. Pro-mosque people think I’m anti-mosque, and anti-mosque people think I’m pro-mosque.
As a result, I figured I’d address my true feelings on the matter while exposing some myths I’ve come across from various sources.
Myth 1 – The mosque is not a mosque, but a community center.
Dictionary time folks:
[mosk, mawsk] Show IPA
a Muslim temple or place of public worship.
The ground zero facility will have prayer rooms for Muslims to worship in public. There, it’s a mosque. Now shut up about it.
Myth 2 – This is about freedom of religion.
No, it’s not. It’s more about private property rights, and the right to peaceably assemble than anything else. Freedom of religion actually, literally, does not apply here. No one has contended they have no right to worship the way they see fit, and the government hasn’t (to this point) taken any steps to limit their free exercise thereof.
This has been the most frustrating aspect of the ground zero mosque debate. Headline after headline, letters to the editor, and even my beloved Reason Magazine have all been factually incorrect in their assertion that this is somehow a violation of the First Amendment’s protection of religion. Really, the debate itself is a flawless example of First Amendment protections being utilized to their full extent by both sides.
Opposition to the mosque has just as much right to speak out against its construction as supporters do the opposite. So long as the government doesn’t step in to resolve the issue all is well. Let the two sides use their rights of speech to engage in public debate over the issue, and hopefully public opinion will be respected and decide the outcome.
The only person actually advocating a violation of anyone’s constitutional rights is Nancy Pelosi.
Myth 3 – The mosque is/isn’t at Ground Zero.
This is completely subjective. What is Ground Zero? Is it just where the World Trade Center towers were? Is it everything along the flight path? Is it everywhere there was actually damage?
The different arguments I’ve heard about this have been … interesting.
Fact: It’s not immediately next door to the towers.
Fact: A piece of wreckage from the attack did hit, and damage, the building exactly where the mosque is to be built.
The mosque supporters have no place to say it isn’t a part of Ground Zero (especially since New Yorkers would be ok with it being built a few blocks away), and opponents are stretching it a bit by saying this building is at Ground Zero. I’ll let you decide that one.
Myth 4 – This mosque is only being built by peaceful Muslims.
Imam Feisal Rauf is, at the absolute best, a turd with questionable allegiances. Any Muslim who won’t denounce prolific terrorist organizations isn’t worthy of trust. His statements over the years have, at times, been pro-jihad and anti-American. He even stated the US was worse than al Qaeda.
Someone of his character should not be involved in this project.
At least $300,000 of the mosque’s funding has come from terrorists and their sympathizers.
A Saudi charity has sunk more than $300,000 into ASMA. It’s called the Kingdom Foundation — headed by Alwaleed bin Talal, the Saudi prince whose 9/11 relief check was rejected after he blamed the attacks on U.S. foreign policy.
That “charity” is the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egypt-based Brotherhood is the parent of Hamas and al-Qaida and the source of most of the jihadi ideology and related terror throughout the world today. Citing its secret U.S. archives, prosecutors say the Brotherhood has a plan to “destroy” America “from within,” and is using its agents and front groups in the U.S. to carry out that strategy. Like the mafia, it’s highly organized, and uses shells and cutouts to launder money.
Therefore, the mosque is funded by anti-American, jihadi terrorists and their supporters. I didn’t even address Israel in all of this. If the mosque is getting terrorist funds from the Muslim Brotherhood then the government does, in fact, have the authority to scrap the project.
Myth 5 – Muslims aren’t trying upset Americans by building this mosque.
I should clarify and say the Muslims currently involved.
Even Muslims admit this is a deliberate provocation of Americans by extreme Muslims.
And Hamas endorses the Ground Zero mosque.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: If terrorists want it, and think it’s a great idea, we shouldn’t do it.
Clearly, terrorists and extremists love the idea of the mosque getting built. Symbolism is prominent in Islamic culture. Hence the attack on the Twin Towers in the first place. A mosque at the location of the greatest jihadi success will be met with declarations of victory by Islamic terrorists worldwide.
Many Muslims legitimately aren’t trying to rub the attack in our face, and are on the defensive against perceived anti-Muslim attitudes in the US. Which we must admit do exist (often justifiably).
Myth 6 – This is a wholly private venture, and should not be interfered with.
I wrote about private property rights earlier. Does a supporter of the mosque project on those grounds alter their position if I told you it may be financed with taxpayer funds?
The Muslim center planned near the site of the World Trade Center attack could qualify for tax-free financing, a spokesman for City Comptroller John Liu said on Friday, and Liu is willing to consider approving the public subsidy.
The bonds could be issued through a local development corporation created for this purpose, experts said.
The Islamic center would have to repay the bonds, which likely would be less expensive than taxable debt.
Private property is one thing, but public funds (tax free) for building a religious prayer center is another.
Myth 7 – The mosque is needed to serve a large Muslim population in the area.
Imam Feisal has admitted most of the mosque’s visitors aren’t from around the area. Many do work near the area, but Feisal predicts many will commute.
The people who come here for jum’a [prayer] come from within the New York tri-state area. Of course, the majority work around here, but a number of them come from Uptown, Brooklyn or New Jersey , specifically to participate in the Friday prayer here and to hear my sermon.
Many have asked who the mosque is for if there isn’t a large Muslim population in the area. This has led some to theorize a sinister agenda. There is no doubt, however, that Muslims who work nearby will use the facility.
Myth 8 – The mosque won’t bother anyone.
Aside from New Yorkers, most Americans in general, and the families of 9/11 victims I suppose that’s true. There may (and I stress, may) be an issue with nearby businesses being allowed to coexist with the mosque. Many bars and businesses in New York have been fighting against local mosques who want them shut down for various reasons. Sometimes it’s because the business serves alcohol, or pork. I’ll encourage you to Google those stories on your own rather than linking to them here.
Myth 9 – Opposition to the Ground Zero mosque came out of nowhere, and is hypocritical.
Some arguments against the mosque are hypocritical, but they definitely come from somewhere. The government and Muslims are to blame.
Truth be told, this might not be as big an issue as it is had the government in New York not taken it’s sweet time in rebuilding the area. That frustration endured by New Yorkers was then amplified when the International Freedom Center was proposed to include global atrocities (the project was abandoned), and is now replaced with a museum that will not tell the story of 9/11. Instead it will be designed to ‘shock’ visitors rather than serve as a memorial to the victims.
Just try to imagine a sympathetic tone to the Japanese at the Pearl Harbor Memorial.
Let’s not forget about the Christian church that still hasn’t been rebuilt.
9/11 was the worst attack in American history, and it has been treated as if it wasn’t all that relevant. The entire country has had to deal with censorship of 9/11 imagery since the attack happened. You can’t even reference 9/11 anymore without coming under attack. I can only imagine the extra frustration for New Yorkers who have to stare at a hole in the ground where loved ones were murdered while the rest of the country debates Katrina rebuilding efforts. Perpetual proposals benefiting Muslims (whether hostile or not), and painting the hijackers in a sympathetic light have become too much for Americans to bare.
As a result, many have taken to not caring about the rights of Muslims. Why would you care about other’s rights when no one cares about yours?
There’s so much more to this issue than the mosque, and much more than I can cover.
Everyone, and I mean everyone, is wrong in one way or another with regards to the mosque at Ground Zero.
The mosque is being proposed on private property. Therefore, they should not be prevented from building it because of location. There is, however, a provable connection to terrorists funding this mosque. Those funds should be seized immediately, and the government is legally and constitutionally allowed to prevent the mosque from being built on those legal and moral grounds. Public funds in any form should not be distributed to build the mosque. Let them raise their own money from legitimate and legal sources.
Those who oppose the mosque have every right to do so under every legal, constitutional, and moral grounds that can be conjured up. Attacks on them proclaiming they are preventing or infringing upon a Muslim’s constitutional right to religion are immediately dismissable. That goes for you too, Reason Magazine!
The same goes for the mosque’s supporters. They have every legal, constitutional, and moral right to support the mosque. Americans don’t get to proclaim the moral high ground, and dismiss them just because we were wounded on that piece of real estate.
The solution is really very simple. If all funding is legal, and the mosque is to be built on private property, they can build it. They just shouldn’t build it.
If we are to believe in compassionate Islam, then they must be compassionate. Building a mosque even remotely close to Ground Zero is offensively uncompassionate. What possible good can come from building it there?
“Just because you can doesn’t mean you should. – Acheron Parthenopaeus”
Sound advice in this circumstance.
Building a mosque at Ground Zero is inviting everything we’re hoping to avoid in this debate. No one wants to see violent outbursts in or around this mosque, but that is exactly the risk they are taking. Every time an American visits that hallowed ground, and sees that mosque, there will be feelings of vengeance. Emotion is not logical, and it won’t matter that those in the mosque didn’t carry out the attacks. What will matter is that some of that mosque’s funding came from those who celebrate those attacks while we mourn every September 11.