I do not believe the Ground Zero mosque should be built.
I oppose it because the land and buildings damaged by the assault are now part of the sacred space of America’s great civic religion. I would oppose the construction of any sectarian project there that wasn’t a rebuild of an existing sectarian use for the same reason.
There is no formal designation for the sacred spaces of America’s civic religion though they extend from the Mall to the Arizona Memorial. The land around Ground Zero is very much part of that space, and any project that politicizes it or brings a religious purpose to those sites should be refused.
If the City of New York will not protect the property from politicization or the use by any religious group, then the federal government ought to use its spending power to secure the result. Federal laws routinely interfere with the use of private property and the decisions of state and local government –see, for example, Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act– and the federal government has every right to closely patrol the purposes to which the Ground Zero area will be put. It was a national trauma, felt most intensely and uniquely in New York, but there is an issue here for every American.
Andrew Bostom on John Locke, Islamic Supremacism, and the Ground Zero Mosque
Whether in the guise of the formal 17th century Ottoman Caliphate of Locke’s era, or currently, the Organization of the Islamic Conference, representing all 57 Muslim nations on earth, and the avatar of global Sharia as the oxymoronic “Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Islam,” timeless, totalitarian Islamic religious law is antithetical to the conceptions of religious tolerance formulated by Locke and other seminal Western political philosophers. Although Locke’s 1685 letter affirms that, “neither pagan, nor mahometan, nor jew, ought to be excluded from the civil rights of the commonwealth, because of his religion,” he appears to have understood the threat to a pluralistic multi-religious society posed by the eternal conception of a global Muslim umma, answerable in the end, only to Islam, and Islamic leadership
Dan Senor’s open letter to Imam Feisal:
Many New Yorkers and Americans will conclude that the radical interpretation of Cordoba House’s purpose is correct. That belief will harm what you have articulated to be Cordoba House’s core mission. Rather than furthering cross-cultural and interfaith understanding, a Cordoba House located near Ground Zero would undermine them. Rather that serving as a bridge between Muslim and non-Muslim peoples, it would function as a divide. Your expressed hopes for the center not only would never be realized, they would be contradicted from the start. Insisting on this particular site on Park Place can only reinforce this counterproductive dynamic.
It is a question most ordinary Americans, as usual, have no trouble defining. Namely, how is it that the planners, who have presented this effort as a grand design for the advancement of healing and interfaith understanding, have refused all consideration of the impact such a center will have near Ground Zero? Why have they insisted, despite intense resistance, on making the center an assertive presence in this place of haunted memory? It is an insistence that calls to mind the Flying Imams, whose ostentatious prayers—apparently designed to call attention to themselves on a U.S. Airways flight to Phoenix in November 2006—ended in a lawsuit. The imams sued. The airlines paid.
Dr. Zuhdi Jasser—devout Muslim, physician, former U.S. Navy lieutenant commander and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy—says there is every reason to investigate the center’s funding under the circumstances. Of the mosque so near the site of the 9/11 attacks, he notes “It will certainly be seen as a victory for political Islam.”
On the question of where’s the money coming from? Claudia Rosett on The Multiplying Mysteries of Creating an Islamic Center Near Ground Zero:
For a good rundown on why New York authorities might want to rethink their approval of this project, here’s a recent article by my colleague, Andrew McCarthy, former prosecutor in the case of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Andy writes on “Rauf’s Dawa from the World Trade Center Rubble,” including a look at a “special non-commercial” version of Rauf’s book on America and Islam, with Muslim Brotherhood connections that Rauf probably did not advertise to the Manhattan community board that approved his Cordoba House project.
New York’s Mayor Michael Bloomberg has come out in favor of building this Islamic center (well, the Cordoba Initiative is describing it as an Islamic center with “prayer space”; some are describing it as a mosque with a lot of amenities attached). But it’s not clear that Bloomberg has done his homework. For questions Hizzoner really ought to get answers to, another of my colleagues, Cliff May, has written a column framed as an open letter to Bloomberg — it’s summarized and linked on Powerline. There’s plenty more that makes interesting reading, including a Pajamas Media piece posted in March by Alyssa A. Lappen, on “The Ground Zero Mosque Developer: Muslim Brotherhood Roots, Radical Dreams.”
I’m a latecomer among reporters looking into this story, but I recently took a closer look at the amounts of money involved, and the media reports that Rauf keeps stonewalling questions about his funding. On Thursday morning, I called Rauf’s New York office, at the Cordoba Initiative, and was told that until at least the end of August he was “traveling,” that he was “out of the country,” that he was “unavailable,” and that he was “not feeling well.”
I asked for a phone number, and was told that Imam Feisal simply could not be reached — which, in an era of global mobile phones, seemed a pretty neat trick.
So, on a hunch about the erstwhile ailing, traveling, unavailable imam, I picked up the phone Thursday night — morning in Malaysia — and called his office in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur. Not to leave you in suspense, but if you want to read more about it, here’s my column on “Where in the World is Imam Feisal?” One thing’s for sure. The more one looks, the more the questions just keep multiplying.
John Hawkins has further roundup, The Case Against The Mosque At Ground Zero In Quotes.
The mosque should not be built.