I was on record, before the Cordoba mosque and Islamic Center became a national story after Obama weighed in, that the organizers should have picked a different location, because the location was bound to result in the center being a target of radical Islamists for propaganda and agitation purposes.
But I do not agree with the tenor and scope of the “Stop the Islamization” movement and protest. Muslims, as any other religious group, should be held to abide by our civil laws. Period. To insist on such compliance is not anti-Muslim or Islamophobic, which is how some people want to play the issue.
An insistence on the supremacy of our civil laws does not require or justify a broad swipe at any religious group.
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"From Spain, home of the FIRST ‘Cordoba’ that fell victim to Islamic Jihad centuries ago, comes a short video that paints a graphic, disturbing, but accurate picture of jihad that should be seen by anyone who supports a mosque at Ground Zero."
"Islam isn’t in America to be equal to any other faith, but to become dominant."
What you write is true, Professor, and in normal circumstances, I would agree. The problem is that the prologue to our present situation will prevent this. Indeed, I predict, things will get ugly.
Too many Muslim leaders believe the hype about jihad; too many Muslims are lousy neighbors, co-workers, and residents/citizens; and finally, too many Lefties have suppressed any reasonable discussion of these things when the tone could be reasonable.
Now it won't be.
There are always those that go too far and it is the responsibility of the rest of us to stop the radicalization. I personally just want some questions answered as to where is the funding coming from and what this Immam really stands for, not condemning Hamas and being for a more Sharia compliant US. Too many times Mosques have been used as centers of radicalism and violent anti-American activity, but just as easily mosques get blown up by rival moslem sects, see what is happening in Iraq today.
If the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque really is to promote understanding and respect I think that those who are building the Center need to understand the community's concerns and emotional response. Respect is a two-way street if you want it you have to give it. Just move the Cordoba House a few blocks away, that would go a lot longer way in promoing understanding than anything else ever could.
This entire episode is a very clever trap by the radical Islamists.
If they build it, it will be touted as a victory monument. If it's blocked, it will be used as propaganda that America's freedom of religion doesn't apply to Muslims.
I say let them build it. It's legal.
Then, investors appalled by them building it there should snap up the surrounding property and put in gay bars, BBQ restaurants, and art theaters where they showcase films/plays/etc. showcasing how Sharia law is a barbaric 12 century nightmare.
Let them scream about being offended then.
Independent Patriot: I agree that funding might need to be looked at but I disagree with your Sharia comment. If the Imam thinks Sharia should be the law of the land, so what? He is a Muslim Imam, I would expect all of them to believe that. He is part of the Islamic faith. This would be like asking a Catholic, 'Do you think the 10 Commandments would be the law of the land?' This is all part of free exercise of religion in America. You can't tell people what to believe. Muslims believe in Sharia law.
Andrew McCarthy has a good article at National Review on the Islamic factions competing for the heart and soul of American muslims.
"An insistence on the supremacy of our civil laws does not require or justify a broad swipe at any religious group."
However, if American Muslims continue to insist in pushing for "Islamization" of our laws everywhere they establish their own communities, at what point will it become accurate to say that Islam itself is the enemy? How close do we have to tipping point before we drop the squishy "kumbaya" arguments in a panic?
Renowned American scholar Bernard Lewis has written dozens of books on the nature of Islam and one of the most important points he makes is Islam not only doesn't care what we think, but they are offended that we try to understand them. They are not interested in our understanding but in our submission to Allah.
We live in the "world of war". They live in the "world of Islam". For a Muslim living in America, he is living in the "world of war" which obligates him to either leave or fight to impose Islamic law on everyone else. That's just the way it is and we need to recognize their war on their terms because they will never accept ours.
Where are the "sensible" and "rational" American Muslims? Why aren't they speaking out? Maybe they just don't exist.
It is not for Judeo-Christian Americans to prove ourselves to Islam but the opposite. They
should at least acknowledge that they have a cloud over their heads, that they are responsible for it being there and that we have a legitimate reason for forcing to prove that they accept American values. This isn't like Protestants vs Catholics vs Jews who only share the same basic values. Islam doesn't recognize the other groups' right to even exist. They are different!
Maybe our Muslim Miss America will educate her fellow American Muslims in her run for Miss Universe? Doubt it. She will be gagged.
Professor, you wrote, "Muslims, as any other religious group, should be held to abide by our civil laws. Period."
This is all that Americans want. It is, however, not what we are getting.
Instead, local authorities and even courts are bending over backwards to make special arrangements and work-arounds for Muslims, even extending to having Muslim prayer rooms in public schools and (in Dearborn) police enforcement of regulations that prevent Christians from leafleting near an "Arab" festival. New definitions of rape that are "sensitive" to Muslim men's "special" sensibilities, special dress codes, hand-wringing over whether it is permissible to require a Muslim cabbie to give rides to handicapped people assisted by guide dogs: the list goes on and on and on.
Americans are, rightfully, alarmed at the failure of our system to hold Muslims to the same rules and regs that the rest of us follow in the interest of getting along as Americans.
When debating my liberal co-workers, I frame my argument like this:
• The 1st Amendment isn't a building permit. Anymore than the 2nd Amendment automatically grants you a gun permit.
• Context is everything.
• You have the right to bear arms. But… private guns are prohibited within 1,000 feet of elementary schools, within federal buildings and at public events. Would we entertain the arguments of gun enthusiasts that their 2nd Amendment right takes precedence over the context of these existing restrictions?
– Is it unconstitutional to tell someone that he can bring his gun to the firing range…just not to my wedding, baby shower or dinner party because the presence of a weapon may unnerve the guests?
• There is therefore no moral or constitutional dilemma in objecting to the insensitivity (never mind the security issues) of this conceited Imam and the GZM because context is everything.
There will always be extremists on either side of an issue. I don't agree with either side's extremists. Frankly, though, I totally agree with you that "the location was bound to result in the center being a target of radical Islamists for propaganda and agitation purposes."
JohnJ: "extremists" is a very convenient word that squishy people like to use to position themselves as reasonable people. Some issues deal with absolutes. Like when Israel is labeled as "extremist" because they won't negotiate a "peace" with neighboring countries who insist that Israel has no right to exist. In that case, there is no middle ground. Same thing with Muslims insisting on building a mosque on Ground Zero and insisting that we put aside our constitution to accommodate Dark Ages Sharia law.
There are times when you have to hold the line. This is one of them. You cannot negotiate with an enemy that won't grant you the right to exist. Being "reasonable" is suicide against such an unreasonable enemy.
Christianity has render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's.
Islam has "And we do not descend but by the command of your Lord; to Him belongs whatever is before us and whatever is behind us and whatever is between these, and your Lord is not forgetful." (Quran, 19:64)
This is an accepted hadith from the collections of Sahih Muslim. It was one of the last things Mohammed said.
"When you meet your enemies who are polytheists [Christians], invite them to three courses of action. If they respond to any one of these, you also accept it and withhold yourself from doing them any harm. Invite them to (accept) Islam; if they respond to you, accept it from them and desist from fighting against them … If they refuse to accept Islam, demand from them the Jizya. If they agree to pay, accept it from them and hold off your hands. If they refuse to pay the tax, seek Allah's help and fight them"
Perhaps Legal Insurrection should await the disclosure of Imam Rauf's 13 hours of tapes, that will be made public the week of August 23, 2010 by Steve Emerson's blog, before it gives a clean bill of health to this noxious project. Just saying…
@showbiz111 – I'm ot giving a clean bill of health to anyone, just the opposite. If there are specific facts with regard to this person, the people providing the funding, or otherwise, that is fair to point out.
In 1943 a book called Under Cover by John Roy Carlson was published. It detailed underground Fascist activity in the US, and notes more overt activity previous to the war. The authors name was a pen name, his history etc… can be looked up by doing a search on the pen name.
In 1951 the same author published a book called Cairo to Damascus, it details early history of the Muslim brotherhood and what becomes Hamas. What the two books have in common and the reason Carlson wrote this book was because he was continuing to track Fascist activity. There is another book between these two called the Plotters, though it is not particularly germane to this discussion except to note that it continues in the vein of unmasking those who would seek to make America an authoritarian country and to note also how much more difficult it was for him to infiltrate communist groups vs. fascist groups.
There are other more or less forgotten books of the time that are a treasure trove of information regarding the movement of German style Fascism known of course as Nazism, into the middle east both before the war as well as after the war. A good study of the much of this information not only makes it clear that what we are fighting today is a fight that goes back more than 60 years, it also explains the simplistic left/right divide that too many Americans fall for today, as one begins to understand how the communist left used the corporatism inherent in the non communist left to become THE left solution.
It is imperative to realize that an authoritarian political system that uses religion is much more dangerous than a secular authoritarian political system to this country precisely because of our deep seeded belief in religious freedom. It is also imperative to understand that much of what passes for religious edict in Islam is little more than cultural norms incorporated into the religion by Mohammad, not allowing those things to be questioned because it is too radical is akin to stating that since St. Paul instructed slaves to obey their masters means Christians have erred by fighting to stop slavery.
I would urge all to find old books and articles from times past and study, study and study it some more. Do not go by what you have been taught in school, or by what you have been gently fed. There is a very strong connection between Nazism and Islamists. We are fighting a very, very old fight. One our founding fathers understood and we had best learn as well.
I notice a lot of the comments above take several things for granted:
1. Islam is a religion in the sense that Christianity or Judaism is.
2. Most people will care if the Muslims are offended.
Islam is a political system with religious trappings. As we all know, it means 'submission'. Muslims will tell you, yes, it means submission to Allah. What they will only tell you if you press them, is that this 'submission' includes submission of other cultures, submission of any non-Islamic legal code, submission of women, submission of lifestyle to Allah. In other words, live by the tenets of Islam or suffer the consequences. As a religion, it is not satisfied to merely exist in a place, it seeks to control it. Need proof? Look at all the nations, past and present, where Islam has existed, and look at the effects of that ideology on those places.
Frankly, I don't think it matters if this mosque is stopped and the Muslims cry foul. After ten years of hearing about Islam being a religion of peace, and then watching all the goings-on in Iraq and Afghanistan, the rantings and ravings of devout Muslims like Ahmadinejad and Bin Laden, and seeing how every single time there has been a terrorist act during this period, it has been a Muslim, the whole 'religion of peace' and the accompanying sympathy for Islam is wearing thin. I know that many, many people I talk to from across the country, even democrats, from different backgrounds, are increasingly less impressed that Islam is a religion of peace. The thing I keep hearing is that there might be peaceful adherents of Islam, but Islam itself is not peaceful. It's a lot like the race card; an empty cause of solid harms. And people are sick of it.
Islam is a political ideology with religious trappings. It does not seek to coexist with other religions/cultures/political systems, it seeks to make them 'submit'.
Before you mindlessly jump to its defense, quit listening to what Muslims tell you about peace and coexistence and look at the history of this so-called religion. Muhammad was a warlord. In the Quran and the stories of the Hadiths, he approved lying to and murdering one's enemies. He explictly laid out a system of oppression in CONQUERED territories. Look at the places where Islam is practiced, or where Muslims are a large minority. Oppression and intolerance of non-Muslims is rife in the former (any churches or synagogues in Saudi? Is evangelization allowed in Iran? Can you convert from Islam in Somalia and live? Even Afghanistan, which we 'freed', tried to execute a man, by law, because he left Islam. The so-called Constitution we helped them write makes Islam the state religion and law.). Murder, intimidation, infiltration and the seeking of special rights (prayer rooms in secular schools, footbaths in airports) which relegate the rest of the population to second-class status are common.
As far as the stopping of this mosque being a problem for us, don't bet on it. After 10 years of hearing how Islam is a 'religion of peace', and then seeing that every terror plot or attack against us has been perpetrated by a Muslim in that period, people are not buying it. What I am hearing from people all over is that there may be peaceful adherents to Islam, but Islam is not a peaceful religion. It's a lot like the race card; it's getting really old to rank and file Americans.
Actually, I think folks knew Imam Rauf's views even before the release of these tapes. The debate is heated. I think seeing the 9/11 families speak out was a clincher for me. It's too raw, and this mosque is indeed right there at the center.
Besides, if the Imam's truly moderate, no doubt he'd enjoy some hot summertime bikini blogging!
Thou shalt not lie is one of the Ten Commandments, for anybody unfamiliar with the basic Judaeo-Christian code. Taqiyah is lying in the service of spreading the dogmas of Islam. The Ground Zero Imam is practicing this to the fullest in his quest to sell this "mosque" to the West and it's useful idiot stooges. The Third Reich will last a thousand years indeed. The GZM is a pearl in the belly of American Islam— whether it be founded by radical dogs of Hamas or the Muslim Brotherhood. Muslims the world over will come to visit this landmark that glorifies their religion in all of its facets and aspects. And to think there will be places to store ammunition and to safehouse terrorist jihadists away from the prying eyes of law enforcement. It is time for Americans to throw out the bums who give succor to our enemies, foreign and domestic— and it is time to revoke the passports and citizenship privileges of practicing American Muslims who do not resist terrorist soldiers of Islam and their benefactors. Nothing complicated about it. Do. Or Die.
I strongly recommend that people read some of Bernard Lewis' books, particularly "Islam and the West" and "What Went Wrong?"
Islam was created to dominate, not co-exist. It is foolish to believe that we can change their minds by demonstrating that we respect them. They not only don't care what we think but are offended that we butt into their world.
Islam is the last of the major religions that is still attempting to become a "world religion" the way the Catholic Church once aspired to control the world. They are here and intend to conquer and we are making it too easy for them.