The Ground Zero of Our Madness

In just a few weeks we will be observing the 9th anniversary of the deadliest attack ever to take place on American shores. We will stare solemnly at the gaping hole of Ground Zero, and the hole will stare back at us, until it becomes clear that we are the hole, and the hole is us – politically paralyzed into stagnation; broken, sad and empty.

The crater in Lower Manhattan has become a permanent aching void, but nature abhors a vacuum and so from its empty depths something must arise. In a near-decade that “something” could have taken the form of a park, or a memorial, or a glistening new tower, and the construction of a mosque two blocks thence would have been nothing more than a reinforcement of the notion of American Exceptionalism and what Madeline Albright called The Indispensable Nation, and the narrative would have been a stirring one:

“. . . brought to her knees, Can-Do America has rebuilt and moved on; a proposed mosque two blocks from the new construction only emphasizes her broad shoulders, her self-assurance, her commitment to liberty; it demonstrates to the world the strength that America draws from her own character and constitution, and from knowing who she is . . .

All of that would have been a psychological victory over the spectre of terrorism; it would loom large in the minds of the world and a mosque built in its shadows would only be a mosque, unremarkable in a nation dedicated to freedom of religion.

But because such a narrative does not exist, the American psyche is at a disadvantage, and what should only be a mosque becomes nothing less than a psyops victory for terrorism, a demonstration of divine blessing upon a damnable means of movement: America cannot fill its hole within a decade, but we will raise a mosque in a year!

If Americans can see the psychological victory implicit in such a development, then terrorists–and those who mean no good for the nation–can see it, too. Only the disingenuous politicians and pundits, nobly pooh-poohing the concerns of over 60% of the nation, and labeling them as mere “bigots,” seem unable to see what is before them. People with legitimate concerns about the appropriateness of a mosque being built near a wound so unhealed are being castigated in shrill tones by those who–without a doubt–understood why it was inappropriate for Polish Carmelite Nuns to build a Catholic monastery on the edge of Auschwitz, and applauded Pope John Paul II’s sensitivity in asking the nuns to move.

And this is where our madness is showing. The very people who have no truck with Nativity Scenes in public places at Christmastime are now lecturing the nation about Freedom of Religion. Somehow they want us to believe that a temporary creche displayed in a public space is an insensitive yearly threat to the nation, but that a permanent religious structure looming over our most public failed recovery is neither insensitive nor a threat to our national psyche.

The furor over the Ground Zero Mosque has nothing to do with bigotry – that is just the easy charge some people make whenever they wish to avoid debate and silence opposing viewpoints, even as they proclaim their own flamboyant “openness.” It is not about public space or private enterprise, either. It is about what squabbling, divided and overwrought America’s own inability to rebuild herself portends for her future, and for her whole understanding of herself as a nation.

An exceptional nation leads; it takes a hit, sews the wound and marches on. An indispensable nation dares not dither or it cannot overcome.

Strength or weakness is born in the mind; since 9/11, the American psyche–as manifested in her politics and her popular culture–has been reeling with self-doubt; it has staggered and scattered and turned on itself in a reckless, endlessly divisive attempt to find its bearings. The instinct to preserve the “exceptional” past is battling the urge to ask, “yes, we can, but should we be so indispensable, after all,” and that conflict has infected the whole body, from Ground Zero, to DC, to Arizona, to San Francisco.

A nation on its back with a paralyzing fever is a nation that needs to treat itself with the disinfectant of its own creed, which is its Constitution, and the Constitution guarantees liberty and freedom of worship. But any anti-infectant needs to be taken with care, or it can do more harm than good, upsetting balances and further weakening the vulnerable patient.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin wrote: “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.”

There is a spirit arising from Ground Zero; it is an untethered ghost of American certainties and illusions and it seeks grounding in a solid but safe human understanding, touched with just a little affirmation of its goodness. If it cannot find it within the game-playing rhetoric of political opportunism and elite hectoring, it will gather into its sorrow all of our national lunacy, and will whirl and rise, and whirl and rise, shadowing the mosque that arises nearby.

De Chardin also wrote: “Everything that rises, must converge.”

Our wrecked psyche is peering, wide-eyed and with hands a-tremble, over the edges of an abyss, and the abyss is peering back.

Which is precisely why this mosque needs to be built in New York, but not at the periphery of an unhealed Ground Zero.

Sensitivity is a two-way street or it is wholly an illusion.

St. Nicholas Orthodox Church Will Not ReBuild:

Greek Orthodox leaders trying to rebuild the only church destroyed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks expressed shock this week after learning, via Fox News, that government officials had killed a deal to relocate the church.

I like Kathryn Jean Lopez’ take in the NY Times:

I’m a Catholic who sees threats to religious liberty increasing here at home — largely by judicial legislative fiat — and I’m earnest about ensuring its protection for us all.

But I also think that to build an Islamic center near ground zero is an imprudent move. If Islam had a pope, he might advise the Cordoba House developers as much, just as the late Pope John Paul advised Polish sisters not to build a convent at Auschwitz (my friend Bill McGurn wrote well about this in The Wall Street Journal). It is not a surrender of freedom to be sensitive. It is, in fact, a reverent exercise of freedom.

Archbishop Timothy Dolan tactfully offers any assistance he can give

Saudi Funding a possibility?
Is all of this controversy due to a lack of statemanship?
Is there no one left to investigate?
Do we really want to open this can of worms?
I thought he was just a stupid moron nazi panderer?
Which is it, Nancy?
Investigate Dean?
Are questions allowed?
Is the site too raw?
Some pols not playing football with this?
No Regrets?
Like Some Audio?
Have we Forgotten How to Be Big?
Parsing the Pander?
“hallowed ground” or not?

About Elizabeth Scalia
  • jill e

    To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it. —G. K. Chesterton

  • Catherine Wilkinson

    to me, this is one of your finest essays…and I read them all. Bravo.

  • jh

    I largely agree with this post. However to be honest this has not been conservatives finest hour either at to some folks.

    Yes most people are not bigots. Yet there is a whiff of it in some places.

    I know I was defending the right for it to be built and I have been called un American. That also is a way to try to silence debate Both sides have done a horrible job self policing themselves.

    The problem from the conservative side is I hear “No one is denying the right for them to buid a Mosque” but it is should they.

    Well in reality this seemed to get blurred. If they have the right why the call to have Govt officals do something.

    Obama was critcized for his firt statement which I found pretty uncontroversal

    A couple of years ago the San Fran Board of Supervisors passed a resoluton condemning the Catholic Church. They later passed a resolution on being against a Christian Youth Rally. I was appalled.

    We are getting very close to that here. In fact perhaps we have crossed that line

    We had a Federal Judge out in Caiifornia basically saying that Chrisitan beliefs are harmful to gays and lesbiuans and presented that as a Judicial fact.

    The arguments from conservatives must be a lot clearer than they have been or else we shall be stting up a precedent that will bite us.

    [It's all a wonderful paradox, when you think about it. The Democrats act on FEELINGS but they manage to codify the things they feel into law and legislation; the right acts on reason, but gets tripped up in trying to articulate their reason because so much of it is so commonsensical that it is easily dismissed and sometimes hard to articulate. So each side gets accused of doing what the other side actually does do, and the chasm grows wider. It would be funny if it weren't so serious. -admin]

  • Trencherbone

    The Victory Mosque is just the visible tip of a very large iceberg. Beneath the surface of Western societies, Muslims are waging a campaign of infiltration, subversion, sedition and social sabotage, with the objective of destroying our countries and way of life from within.

  • Linus

    If this mosque is built it will tell nothing about the American spirit founded on common sense but it will say volumes about the gullibility of the citizens of New York.

  • Karen Townsend

    Nicely done. The story of the nuns and Pope Paul is a good parallel. I read that story as I did my post and just shook my head. The story I heard for the first time today about the Greek Orthodox church provides another dose of irony at a time when we have an abundance of that floating around.

  • jh

    Very true about being able to articulate reasons. But the problem is in this soundbite culture and now Lord help the Tweet culture it is hard to do

    I seems the more technology we get to communicate we do a worse job of actually communicating because people are moving though it so fast all you have is the soundbite

  • Joe

    Well written and thought out. Thank you. Yes of course the promoters of this Islamic cultural center and mosque can build this project. Yes they can do so in New York. Yes they can do so in Manhattan. But it would be wrong to do so at the edge of Ground Zero. Not because of some law making it so. Just because it would be wrong.

    If this project really is about building bridges and understanding, its promoters would understand this.

  • Carl Eppig

    We were living in Hawaii in 1975, thirty years after the end of WWII and thirty four years after the attack on Pearl Harbor. If you remember this was when the Japanese had so much money (thanks to us) that they could throw it around. Some of it landed on a golf course overlooking Pearl Harbor. It cause a big stink, at least locally.

    What is going on at ground zero just nine years later is nothing but a poke in the eye. Even though it would be much better if the leader of this operation was a moderate (he isn’t), and even if we knew where the money was coming from (we don’t), it would still be a poke in the eye.

    I can’t believe that so many politicians, religious figures, administrators, and media have their head in the sand about this.

  • Maxime Villeneuve

    Let me get this straight: Extremist Muslims (EM) blow up WTC (X), Mainstream Muslims (MM) did not do X. Because EM did X, MM must suffer the punishment, and we must live in fear of them.

    You are demonizing all Muslims because of what radical Muslims did.

    It speaks to the vibrancy of the American spirit that we can allow a peacful mosque to be built near a site of terror.

    You are fighting hate with hate and fear. We should respond with love and mutual respect.

    Man has a natural right to worship God, these Muslims have met all local laws and ordinances, allow them to build their cultural center.

    [Oh, pull your skirt down from your face; I'm not demonizing anyone -admin]

  • Maxime Villeneuve

    Well you are obviously in fear of them in some way, to the extent that their presence would be “insensitive” to you.

    [Really? Was "fear" the reason the nuns were asked to vacate the convent at Auschwitz, too? What about all those nativity sets that people find so "insensitive" at Christmastime? Is that because they're so fearful? -admin]

  • John Zmirak

    Under the “dhimmi” status Muslims have traditionally imposed on conquered “peoples of the book,” churches and synagogues may be left standing, but those that collapse may not be rebuilt. By allowing the 9/11 victory mosque to rise, while forbidding the reconstruction of St. Nicholas Church (actually crushed by the falling towers), the NYC government is acting like an occupying Islamic state, imposing one little piece of Sharia. And there’s plenty more where that came from….

  • expat

    It is precisely because we don’t know who is behind this thing that we are worried. Several moderate Muslims have come out against it.

  • jh

    A prime example of Catholic civility breaking down on this issue .Of course we can replace this with the next emotional issue and the results are the same.


  • Anya

    Perhaps it wouldn’t be a bad thing to have Muslims praying near the sight. Or nuns praying near Auschwitz.

    I can understand why people would be upset with the situation. But people should be allowed to make amends and a religious building where people would pray to God would be a good place to start.

    Christianity had the Crusades which were a dark, violent period. In the same way, any religion can (and is) being misused. But that doesn’t negate the whole religion and true believers.

    [And who here has made any sort of blanket statement indicting "all" Muslims? Where does "making amends" fit into either of these stories? The Polish nuns were not especially about "making amends" at Auschwitz, and I haven't read a word, anywhere, about this mosque being about "making amends." Have I missed something? The Polish nuns eventually left Auschwitz when they realized that--despite their best intentions--they were afflicting the sensibilities of people who felt they had a particular ownership of that area. I don't see how this is any different. I'm reading a great deal about "love" (which I am all for, but it can't be forced on anyone) and that America must be "sensitive" about the feelings of the mosque builders...okay, that's great...but isn't sensitivity a two-way street? -admin]

  • Jan

    Merciful God in heaven – is there no other place in New York for them to build their damned building?

    How about a little sensitivity from them?

  • the cottage child

    I wrote this earlier in response to a similar question:

    “We had a debate in a Constitution survey when I was in school 400 years ago about flag burning, during a time when a Constitutional amendment was being considered to ban it. It was interesting to see the vehemence against it by students who largely considered themselves moderate – they truly felt “there outta be a law”. More liberal-minded students thought it should be allowed in certain instances – usually at a demonstration that agreed with their own ideologies. What the most conservative, for lack of a better label, of us ultimately agreed was that while it might be in exceedingly poor taste, not particularly effective nor productive, it is far worse to disallow it than to allow it.

    I guess that’s where I am on the mosque just now – I can’t set aside who I am and what I know to be true to suit my own ruffled feathers and maintain intellectual honesty in the matter. Assigning value so heavily to symbolism and insisting on being offended is to me abdicating freedom by own choice, and has a little lesson in idolatry thrown in just to keep me on my toes.

    But I still wish they wouldn’t do it – kindness counts.”

    I still FEEL this way – but am I wrong, legally speaking? Is this actually denying a victory stance by a warring flag? Religious freedom is one thing, subversive behavior that seeks to rob others of the same is something else. I smell something rotten, especially considering the denial of the Orthodox Christian church for rebuild. Gross.

  • KarenT

    I agree that building a mosque scheduled to be completed on September 11, 2011, before the Ground Zero memorial is finished, has a different psychological effect than one planned after a completed memorial would have. But it still bothers me that the building chosen for the mosque was damaged on 9/11, then abandoned. It bothers me that local authorities had stipulated, before the Greek Orthodox Church rebuilding plan was nixed, that the re-built and re-located church could not be taller than the proposed memorial. Unlike the plan for the mosque complex, which would be taller than the proposed memorial.

    And no matter how “broad America’s shoulders”, what about side-issues like Muslim scholars who think the building plan is a Jewish plot to connect Islam to 9/11? As Jonah Goldberg noted at National Review today, someone in NYC or the federal government should have anticipated the controversy which we now face and prevented it. Victor Davis Hansen has an interesting take, too.

  • David La May

    I understand that there is a Muslim population in downtown Manhattan that would benefit from the center. For the rest of us, the outcome will only serve as a symbol for this or that. Truthfully, most symbols these days are tools of rhetoric which are used without much sincerity. I’d rather give the Muslim population their mosque and let us fight other symbolic battles.

  • Rob Kaiser

    Elizabeth, I don’t think I have seen something so articulate, coherent and authentic about something so close to the national psyche in quite some time. That combined with the gracefulness with which you wrote this prompts my comment and my thanks.

  • dymphna

    The towers are destroyed. Thousand dead. The survivors are too afraid to rebuid and now a mosque to mark the victory. Maybe America really is finished. I can’t imagine a Shinto temple being built near Pearl Harbor nine years after the attack.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    If the people behind this mosque really want to make amends, let them give the money to the survivors of 9/11, or to those who lost friends and family on that day, or to a charity for the NYPD, or the New York fire department.

    Or, let them send it to those Pakistani Moslems who’ve suffered during the recent flood there.

    The reasons for not wanting a mosque, any mosque, at Ground Zero, should go without saying. And, no, they are not racist.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Actually, David, from what I understand, there are many Moslems living in New York, but few in this particular area. This mosque, if used at all, would be for commuters, on lunch hours, or on weekends. Furthermore, since Islam doesn’t welcome non-Moslems to services (except on special occasions) I’m very skeptical of all this talk about how it will heal rifts in the community, be a community center, etc.

    Also, the man in charge, Imam Rauf, has a history of siding with radical Islam, and has even stated his support for Shari’a law. This man does not sound like a moderate to me.

    Symbols are important; ideas are important. I think is a very serious thing that this mosque is being rushed through, while St. Nicholas Church can’t rebuild their church—which does serve a congregation in that area.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Maxime, 3,000 people died on 9/11, on that very sport. In the years since that day, there have been numerous Islamic terrorist attacks: in Mumbai, Indonesia, Beslan, Israel, Iraq, and attempted attacks in the US.

    I think, under such circumstances fear is a reasonable reaction to things like this—don’t you?

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Dymphna, not only are they building a mosque—they’re refusing to rebuild a Christian church!

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Oh, and this is an excellent article, Elizabeth!

  • Jeanne Grunert

    Gorgeous prose, lucid and clear. Thank you for saying this.

  • Bender

    **Christianity had the Crusades which were a dark, violent period.**

    First, “Christianity” did not have any dark violence as part of the Crusades, even if a few of the later Crusaders were unsavory types who exceeded the reason for the Crusades.

    And what was the reason for the Crusades? Why were they called? TO STOP ISLAMIC AGGRESSION. Because Muslim armies were attacking and laying seige to Constantinople, after having violently conquered by the sword all the lands of Christendom in the Middle East and North Africa.

  • Lisa

    Anya said “Christianity had the Crusades which were a dark, violent period. In the same way, any religion can (and is) being misused. ”

    Professor Thomas F. Madden said:
    “T]he Crusades to the East were in every way defensive wars. They were a direct response to Muslim aggression — an attempt to turn back or defend against Muslim conquests of Christian lands.

    Christians in the eleventh century were not paranoid fanatics. Muslims really were gunning for them. While Muslims can be peaceful, Islam was born in war and grew the same way. From the time of Mohammed, the means of Muslim expansion was always the sword. Muslim thought divides the world into two spheres, the Abode of Islam and the Abode of War. Christianity — and for that matter any other non-Muslim religion — has no abode. Christians and Jews can be tolerated within a Muslim state under Muslim rule. But, in traditional Islam, Christian and Jewish states must be destroyed and their lands conquered. When Mohammed was waging war against Mecca in the seventh century, Christianity was the dominant religion of power and wealth. As the faith of the Roman Empire, it spanned the entire Mediterranean, including the Middle East, where it was born. The Christian world, therefore, was a prime target for the earliest caliphs, and it would remain so for Muslim leaders for the next thousand years.

    With enormous energy, the warriors of Islam struck out against the Christians shortly after Mohammed’s death. They were extremely successful. Palestine, Syria, and Egypt — once the most heavily Christian areas in the world — quickly succumbed. By the eighth century, Muslim armies had conquered all of Christian North Africa and Spain. In the eleventh century, the Seljuk Turks conquered Asia Minor (modern Turkey), which had been Christian since the time of St. Paul. The old Roman Empire, known to modern historians as the Byzantine Empire, was reduced to little more than Greece. In desperation, the emperor in Constantinople sent word to the Christians of western Europe asking them to aid their brothers and sisters in the East.

    That is what gave birth to the Crusades. They were not the brainchild of an ambitious pope or rapacious knights but a response to more than four centuries of conquests in which Muslims had already captured two-thirds of the old Christian world. At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam. The Crusades were that defense.”

    (written by Thomas F. Madden, a Professor of History and Director of the Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies at Saint Louis University. link)

    We are again reaching this point: “At some point, Christianity as a faith and a culture had to defend itself or be subsumed by Islam.”

    [Link comes very close to exceeding word limit of fair-use and copyright issues. Please be careful -admin]

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    Great post, Lisa! You know your history!

  • Ken in Kansas

    I don’t know what else to say other than, “Thank you, our dear Anchoress.”

  • Zachriel

    the cottage child: I smell something rotten, especially considering the denial of the Orthodox Christian church for rebuild.

    The Orthodox Church can be rebuilt in its current location. The deal for public assistance to rebuild at a nearby location fell through (but may yet be resurrected).

    This is a different issue than the mosque, which is not at Ground Zero, on private land and funded by private money.


  • P. Buchta

    The Mosque should be built. Religious freedom is a first amendment right. If you can’t deal with the building then speak to the folks putting it up. Dealing through governmental means will get you no where. Sort of like trying to deal with the abortion issue.

    If you are really morally concerned, then deal with the strip joint down the block from the Mosque and some of the other businesses in the area. You would have some case for crusading against those instead. In case you are wondering how hollowed the ground will be, I’ll be able to go and buy Fredrick’s of Hollywood in the underground mall that is planned for the area. Woohoo. At least it will put me in good with the wife.

  • Manny

    What?! They are not building that Greek Orthodox Church but will build the mosque? What an out rage. This mosque will not go up there. I am almost sure of it. And the politicians who supported it will have egg on their face.

    “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

    Oh my what a quote. That is vision enlarging.

  • P. Buchta

    In case you do wish to take it up with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf who is building the Mosque near Ground Zero, not at it, please realize that he helped the FBI with counterterrorism efforts. As he has clearly stated, “Islamic extremism for the majority of Muslims is an oxymoron. It is a fundamental contradiction in terms.” It is sad that all of his constructive work is being undermined by this dispute. We should be supporting his religious views on denouncing radical Islam and terrorism. Radical Islam in his eyes is a perversion of his religion. I equate the current senario to the inquisition that followed the crusades. After all, we were taught to turn the other cheek. Now’s a good time to do it.

  • Lisa

    Thanks Rhinestone. The writing credit goes to Professor Madden – I just read: link

  • David La May

    “The Polish nuns eventually left Auschwitz when they realized that–despite their best intentions–they were afflicting the sensibilities of people who felt they had a particular ownership of that area. I don’t see how this is any different.”

    Elizabeth, this is where you argument fails. The people who want to build the mosque are not only muslims but American citizens! They’re the ones who have a sense of ownership in downtown Manhattan where they live! If American citizens want to build a mosque in their own neighborhood, then where do we get off telling them they can’t? Its their hole too!

    [Polish nuns...Polish pope...Polish Auschwitz...over a million non-Jews died under the Nazi jackboot, at Auschwitz and elsewhere...I guess that was their deathcamp, too! And yet it wasn't. -admin]

  • Jan


    I heartily disagree. Unlike most Catholics, (so I’ve heard) who identify themselves first as ‘American’ and only sometime later down the list as ‘Catholic’, Muslims identify first as Muslim.

  • David La May

    My point is this. This is not a case of Jews versus Gentiles. This is a case of American citizens versus American citizens. If you want to say that some people are less American due to their ethnicity, that’s your affair.

    [I haven't said that at all. It is a better thing NOT to put words into people's mouths. I haven't called anyone "unAmerican" for their support of this plan, or denigrated their spirit or sneered "shaaaaame" as is being done from the other direction. I haven't brought up ethnicity, either, because Islam is a religion, not a race, and Americans are a nation, not a race. There are Muslim-Americans who died in that attack, Jews, Atheists, Buddhists, Christians, Hindus, black, white, yellow, etc. But New Yorkers "own" that hole in an especial way, her citizenry, her firefighters, her cops, her skyline, her blood, sweat and tears. If they don't want the mosque on the edge of the hole, because that wound is too raw, is there no obligation of "sensitivity" toward them? Is "sensitivity" a one-way street?

    What I have said is that the mosque MUST be built, for the good of America. And that it should be good elsewhere...for the good of America. :-) Surely you are not unable to see the psychological impact of a successfully built "Islamic cultural center" casting its shadow upon this stinking manifestation of America's inability to pull itself together. It's not hard, really. You know what's so interesting about this? It's the predictability of the responses. 27% really "want" this mosque to be built on this site; they're lecturing about "freedom of religion" to people who embrace freedom of religion and whose kids die defending it--and who have died helping observant Muslims live in liberty--and who have no problem with a mosque being built...anywhere but here. It's' the same 27% who, after 9/11, wanted to sit around wondering "why do they hate us...." and writing pensively that they were creeped out when their kids bought flags with their own money, or saying that the Jihadis who flew planes into the WTC "killed the wrong people; those people voted for Gore!" It's the same 27% who have added a special brand of chaos to our processing of this event and contributed to this utter national stagnation. -admin]

  • Gail F

    Building a mosque and cultural center there is in incredibly poor taste. They have the right to do it, I have the right to think it’s crass, stupid, and mean. Which I do.

  • David La May

    It just seems to me that some people here would change their mind if some friendly, generous muslims were to move in next door to them. And please don’t tell me there are no friendly, generous muslims.

  • Jan

    I wonder what is different about American Muslims? Maybe they just ignore the various lines in the Koran which instruct them to kill Christians relentlessly…

    Maybe they just skip over those parts.

  • Jan

    Actually David, I do have a friend that is a Muslim, but he’s married to a Christian; he isn’t observant and is fully American. But I believe he’s an exception.

    [I know some very sweet observant Muslims, and I'm sure many reading here do. Observant Muslims are not the issue. Radical Jihad is the issue. Except our government has made it very hard to talk about any of this, because so many words are "not to be used." Jihadis are extremists who use their religion to build a faction of hate--kind of like the Fred Phelps disasters who call themselves "Christian." Except even the execrable Phelps crew has never stooped to violence. But this is getting far away from the subject, which is actually the mental health of America. -admin]

  • Bender

    Yes, we all know how the game is played, Mr. LaMay.

    First the oh-so-innocent claims.
    Then the strawmen and totally disingenuous arguments.
    Then the bullying and malicious smearing with accusations of bigotry.

    But let’s be completely clear on one thing — this is not about fostering peace. It is a knowing aggressive action.

    If this is really about freedom, then let’s have a true Islamic freedom center, a center that is dedicated to true freedom for Muslims — freedom for women, freedom for artists, freedom for those who wish to convert away from Islam, freedom to live in peace and safety without threat of having your head cut off or having your house burned down or being stoned to death.

  • exhelodrvr

    If the moderate Muslims are actually moderate, why aren’t they in Afghanistan and Pakistan helping defeat the Taliban, with their horrific (supposed) bastardization of Islam? Because in actuality, there aren’t many moderate Muslims. Most of them, while not actively involved with those types of activities, support the “rights” of those who do those things.

  • Bender

    **I equate the current senario to the inquisition that followed the crusades.**

    Yes, why simply argue a point when you can smear and attack while you are doing it.

    In point of historical fact, the reason for the Crusades having been explained above, what was the foundational reason for much of the Spanish Inquisition (which was controlled by political forces, not the Church)? Again, the answer is ISLAMIC AGGRESSION. The Spanish had only recently, after a few hundred years, finally pushed the Muslim armies out of Spain, the Reconquista, but there were enough people still around with Islamic sympathies who threatened the peace and security of Spain. Here too there were sometimes abuses, but if Muslims had not taken up the sword and invaded Christian lands, it never would have been established.

  • David La May

    I’ve read the past couple entries and… muslims who are not observant are OK. The rest are Christian killers and enemies of freedom. I really have nowhere to go with that. Good night!

  • Sharon

    David La May….please know that those waging war against the west for the cause of Islam consider the Muslims you refer to as infidels also. And how do you know where the money and impetus to build this particular mosque emanates from?? Consider the following:

    I have read at least 10 books on issues involving the Middle East since 9/11 and one of them was Andy McCarthy’s Willful Blindness, probably one of the best named books of the lot. He was the federal prosecutor of the Blind Sheik from the World Trade Center bombing. I will be reading his newest book in the near future as I consider him one of the clearest, most prescient voices of warning in these times. In reading his book, as a believer in the sustaining grace of God, I could only surmise that God is still is watching over us as a country.

    Recently, I read a history book, The Great Arab Conquests by Hugh Kennedy. Three things struck me in reading this volume that records the Islamic subjugation of a territory with an east-west expanse greater than the Roman Empire in just over 100 years (632 to 750):

    1. The permanence of the effect on the conquered lands. Spain and Portugal are the only countries conquered at that time where the spread of Islam had been reversed. In Egypt, North Africa, Iran & Afghanistan there were no Muslims and no Arabic speakers in 632. Islam was confined to the Arabic-speaking tribesmen living in the desert margins of Syria & Iraq. At that time most of the population of Syria spoke Greek or Aramaic and most in Iraq spoke Persian or Aramaic. The Muslim conquest of Syria brought an end to 1000 years of Greek rule.

    2. Much of the conquest didn’t involve warfare. Following the death of Muhammad, this quote from the book is important: “…either the Islamic elite were to lead the Bedouin against the world beyond Arabia and the desert margin or the Islamic polity would simply disintegrate into its warring constituent parts and the normal rivalries and anarchy of desert life would reassert themselves once more.” “…The only way of avoiding an implosion was to direct the Muslims against the non-Muslim world.” NOTE: Think imposition of shariah law!

    3. The line of demarcation that stopped the advance of the Muslim conquest was drawn at the Battle of Poitiers by the Carolingian Warlord Charles Martel (Charles the Hammer, father of Charlemagne). The historian Gibbons declares that Christendom was delivered from “such calamities” by the genius fortune of one man, Charles Martel. In 1915 Edward Creasy included it as one of his “Fifteen Decisive Battles of the World”. Contrast that with this written record of John Bar Penkaye (a monk writing in the 680′s, “How could naked men, riding without armour or shield, have been able to win…and bring low the proud spirit of the Persians?…only a short period passed before the entire world was handed over to the Arabs; they subdued all fortified cities, taking control from sea to sea and from east to west–Egypt and from Crete to Cappadocia, from Yemen to the Gates of Alan (in the Caucasus), Armenians, Syrian, Persians, Byzantines and Egyptians and all the areas in between: ‘their hand was upon everyone’ as the prophet says” He attributed it to “God’s will”.

    Here is a video link of a short interview (under 7 min) w/Andy McCarthy. It is important that believers in Christ pay attention to what he says between the 4 and 5 minute mark. Remember my point #2 above regarding the last historical advance of Islam and that it was only stopped through warfare…physical warfare. Appeasement is likely to be just as successful as it was in the 7th century and was in WW2.


  • Bender

    Yes, those Muslims who refuse to stone people to death are OK. Unfortunately, too many other Muslims are eagerly in favor of it, as happened this past weekend in Afghanistan.

    Which is the “true” Islam?

    It is not for me, as a non-Muslim, to tell them what the truth of their religion is. It is not for me to tell a stone-throwing Muslim that what they do is against Islam. That would be grossly presumptuous and imperialistic, to say the least.

  • Rhinestone Suderman

    P.Buchta, the Twin Towers weren’t destroyed on 9/11 by a strip joint, or a business; they were destroyed by radical Moslems. Hence, building a mosque on this sacred ground—and it is sacred ground—would be as insulting as a Shinto shrine to the Emperor, at Pearl Harbor.

    Why are you so supportive of this mosque, being built at Ground Zero? What do you hope it will achieve?