THE TWO FACES OF THE GROUND ZERO MOSQUE
By Raymond Ibrahim
Islamists obviously use this to their advantage: when addressing the West, Osama bin Laden bemoans the "justice of our causes, particularly Palestine"; yet, when addressing Muslims, his notion of justice far transcends territorial disputes and becomes unintelligible from a Western perspective:
Of course, that Osama bin Laden — slayer of 3,000 Americans and avowed enemy to the rest — exhibits two faces, one to Americans and another to Muslims, is not surprising. Yet, the reader may well be surprised to discover that the controversial Cordoba Initiative, which plans on manifesting itself as the largest American mosque, situated atop Ground Zero — that is, atop the carnage caused by none other than bin Laden — also has two faces, conveying one thing to Americans, quite another to Muslims.
The very name of the initiative itself, "Cordoba," offers different connotations to different people: In the West, the Andalusian city of Cordoba is regularly touted as the model of medieval Muslim progressiveness and tolerance for Christians and Jews. To many Americans, then, the choice to name the mosque "Cordoba" is suggestive of rapprochement and interfaith dialogue; atop the rubble of 9/11, it implies "healing" — a new beginning between Muslims and Americans. The Cordoba Initiative's mission statement certainly suggests as much:
Oddly enough, the socalled "tolerant" era of Cordoba supposedly occurred during the caliphate of 'Abd al-Rahman III (912-961) — well over a thousand years ago. "Eight hundred years ago," i.e., around 1200, the fanatical Almohids — ideological predecessors of al-Qa'ida — were ravaging Cordoba, where "Christians and Jews were given the choice of conversion, exile, or death." A Freudian slip on the part of the Cordoba Initiative?
At any rate, the true history of Cordoba, not to mention the whole of Andalusia, is far less inspiring than what Western academics portray: the Christian city was conquered by Muslims around 711, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved. The original mosque of Cordoba — the namesake of the Ground Zero mosque — was built atop, and partly from the materials of, a Christian church. Modern-day Muslims are well aware of all this. Such is the true — and ominous — legacy of Cordoba.
More pointedly, throughout Islam's history, whenever a region was conquered, one of the first signs of consolidation was/is the erection of a mosque atop the sacred sites of the vanquished: the pagan Ka'ba temple in Arabia was converted into Islam's holiest site, the mosque of Mecca; the al-Aqsa mosque, Islam's third holiest site, was built atop Solomon's temple in Jerusalem; the Umayyad mosque was built atop the Church of St. John the Baptist in Damascus between 706 and 715 A.D. ; and the Church of the Holy Wisdom was converted into a mosque and re-named the Hagia Sophia upon the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks in the 15th. Century.
(Speaking of the last mentioned case, in 2006, when the Pope visited the Hagia Sophia in Turkey, there was a risk that the "Islamic world [would go] into paroxysms of fury" if there was "any perception that the Pope is trying to re-appropriate a Christian center that fell to Muslims," for example, if he had dared pray there — this even as Muslims today seek to build a mosque on the rubble of the Twin Towers.)
Such double-standards lead us back to the issue of double-meanings: As for the literal wording of the mosque project, "Cordoba House," it, too, offers opposing paradigms of thought: to Westerners, the English word "house" suggests shelter, intimacy — coziness, even; in classical Arabic, however, the word for house, dar, can also mean "region," and is regularly used in a divisive sense, as in Dar al-Harb, i.e., "infidel region of war." Thus, to Muslim ears, while "Cordoba" offers allusions of conquest and domination, dar is further suggestive of division and separation (from infidels, a la the doctrine of al-Wala' wa al-Bara', for instance).
Words aside, even the mosque's scheduled opening date — 9-11-2011— has two aspects: to Americans, opening the mosque on 9-11 is to proclaim a new beginning with the Muslim world on the ten-year anniversary of the worst terror strikes on American soil; however, it just so happens that Koranic verse 9:111 is one of the loftiest calls for suicidal jihad — believers are exhorted to "kill and be killed" — and is probably the reason al-Qa'ida originally chose that date to strike. So, while Americans may think the mosque's planned 9-11 opening is meant to commemorate that date, cryptically speaking, it is an evocation for all out war. A "new beginning," indeed, but of a very different sort, namely, the propagation of more Islamists and Jihadists — mosques are, after all, epicenters of radicalization — on, of all places, soil sacred to America.
Some final thoughts on the history of Cordoba and the ominous parallels it bodes for America: though many Christian regions were conquered by Islam prior to Cordoba, its conquest signified the first time a truly "Western" region was conquered by the sword of Islam. It was also used as a base to launch further attacks into the heart of Europe (until decisively beaten at the Battle of Tours in 732 A.D.), just as, perhaps, the largest mosque in America will be used as a base to subvert the rest of the United States. And, the sacking of the original Cordoba was facilitated by an insider traitor — a warning to the U.S.A., which seems to have no end of traitors and willing lackeys.
Such, then, is the dual significance of the Cordoba Initiative: What appears to many Americans as a gesture of peace and interfaith dialogue, is, to Muslims, allusive of Islamist conquest and consolidation; mosques, which Americans assume are Muslim counterparts to Christian churches — that is, places where altruistic Muslims congregate and pray for world peace and harmony — are symbols of domination and centers of radicalization; the numbers of the opening date, 9-11-2011, appear to Americans as commemorative of a new beginning, whereas the Koranic significance of those numbers is suicidal jihad. Of course, the two faces of the Cordoba House should not be surprising, considering that the man behind the initiative, Feisal Abdul Rauf, also has two faces.
Going along with the historic analogy, there is one bit of good news: As opposed to the vast majority of onetime Western/Christian nations annexed by Islam, Cordoba, Spain, did ultimately manage to overthrow the Islamic yoke, though only after some 700 years of occupation.
The Islamist Fifth Column -- America's Internal Enemies:
Disloyalty, Subversion, Sedition, & Treason
Middle East -- Arabs, Arab States,
& Their Middle Eastern Neighbors
American Foreign Policy -- The Middle East
International Politics & World Disorder:
War, Peace, & Geopolitics in the Real World:
Foreign Affairs & U.S. National Security
Page Two Page One
Islamist Terrorist Attacks on the U.S.A.
Osama bin Laden & the Islamist Declaration of War
Against the U.S.A. & Western Civilization
Islamist International Terrorism &
U.S. Intelligence Agencies
Counterterrorism & U.S. National Security
U.S. National Security Strategy
Raymond Ibrahim is Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, author of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, and Guest Lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College.
The foregoing article by Raymond Ibrahim was originally published in Pajamas Media, June 22, 2010, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (Article URL: http://www.meforum.org/2678/ground-zero-mosque)
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
LINKS TO PARTICULAR ISSUES & SUBJECT MATTER CATEGORIES
TREATED IN THE PROGRESSIVE CONSERVATIVE, U.S.A.:
American Government 2 * American Government 3 * American Government 4
American Government 5 * American Politics * Anglosphere * Arabs
Arms Control & WMD * Aztlan Separatists * Big Government
Black Africa * Bureaucracy * Canada * China * Civil Liberties * Communism
Congress, U.S. * Conservative Groups * Conservative vs. Liberal
Constitutional Law * Counterterrorism * Criminal Justice * Disloyalty * Economy
Education * Elections, U.S. * Eminent Domain * Energy & Environment
English-Speaking World * Ethnicity & Race * Europe * Europe: Jews
Family Values * Far East * Fiscal Policy, U.S. * Foreign Aid, U.S. * Foreign Policy, U.S.
France * Hispanic Separatism * Hispanic Treason * Human Health * Immigration
Infrastructure, U.S. * Intelligence, U.S. * Iran * Iraq * Islamic North Africa
Islamic Threat * Islamism * Israeli vs. Arabs * Jews & Anti-Semitism
Jihad & Jihadism * Jihad Manifesto I * Jihad Manifesto II * Judges, U.S. Federal
Judicial Appointments * Judiciary, American * Latin America * Latino Separatism
Latino Treason * Lebanon * Leftists/Liberals * Legal Issues
Local Government, U.S. * Marriage & Family * Media Political Bias
Middle East: Arabs * Middle East: Iran * Middle East: Iraq * Middle East: Israel
Middle East: Lebanon * Middle East: Syria * Middle East: Tunisia
Middle East: Turkey * Militant Islam * Military Defense * Military Justice
Military Weaponry * Modern Welfare State * Morality & Decency
National Identity * National Security * Natural Resources * News Media Bias
North Africa * Patriot Act, USA * Patriotism * Political Culture * Political Ideologies
Political Parties * Political Philosophy * Politics, American * Presidency, U.S.
Private Property * Property Rights * Public Assistance * Radical Islam
Religion & America * Rogue States & WMD * Russia * Science & Ethics
Sedition & Treason * Senate, U.S. * Social Welfare Policy * South Africa
State Government, U.S. * Subsaharan Africa * Subversion * Syria * Terrorism 1
Terrorism 2 * Treason & Sedition * Tunisia * Turkey * Ukraine
UnAmerican Activity * UN & Its Agencies * USA Patriot Act * U.S. Foreign Aid
U.S. Infrastructure * U.S. Intelligence * U.S. Senate * War & Peace
Welfare Policy * WMD & Arms Control
Africa: Black Africa *
Africa: North Africa *
American Government 1
POLITICAL EDUCATION, CONSERVATIVE ANALYSIS
POLITICS, SOCIETY, & THE SOVEREIGN STATE
Website of Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
An Online Journal of Political Commentary & Analysis
Dr. Almon Leroy Way, Jr., Editor