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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Not Give the $100 Million for the Ground Zero Mosque to Pakistani Flood Victims?

In an op-ed in today's New York Times entitled "Our Mosque Madness"(, Maureen Dowd predictably favors the construction of the mosque and Muslim community center beside Ground Zero and scolds Obama for waffling. My online response, if not censored by the "moderators" of The Times, who are willing to tolerate Holocaust denial (, but who are often unwilling to brook reasoned criticism of their columnists(

According to Ms. Dowd, "By now you have to be willfully blind not to know that the imam in charge of the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the moderate Muslim we have allegedly been yearning for."

Oh really? It comes as no surprise that Maureen ignores Feisal Abdul Rauf's famous quote: "I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened. But the United States’ policies were an accessory to the crime that happened."

Instead of building a $100 million (where is the money coming from?), 13-story mosque and Muslim community center at this location, why isn't Feisal Abdul Rauf seeking to construct a multicultural, interfaith center for global peace and healing? If this was the case, I am confident there would be no opposition, but this possibility has not been advanced. Again, time to be informed who is funding this venture.

Ms. Dowd also states, "Have any of the screaming critics noticed that there already are two mosques in the same neighborhood — one four blocks away and one 12 blocks away." Exactly. No one is asking for these mosques to be torn down, but why is there a need for another? Moreover, few are saying that a new mosque cannot be legally built, but rather that the location of this new mosque represents a thumb in the eye for families of 9/11 victims.

Ignored by Ms. Dowd is the historic use of mosques as trophies following conquests, resulting in the conversion of churches, synagogues and Hindu temples into mosques. For example, the Turks converted almost all of the churches of Constantinople (today Istanbul) into mosques, including the Hagia Sophia cathedral, after capturing the city from the Byzantines in 1453.

Feisal Abdul Rauf plans to name his 13-story mosque and community center "Cordoba House". The Great Mosque of Cordoba was first a church that became a mosque after the Muslim conquest of Spain, but which again became a church (Catedral de Nuestra Señora de la Asunción) when Ferdinand and Isabella reconquered Spain.

One must wonder: With 20 million flood victims in Pakistan, why is $100 million from some anonymous source being channeled into a mosque in the shadows of the World Trade Center instead of being used to assist these poor persons in desperate need of help? Sure, legally there is nothing standing in the way of the mosque, but the motivation for its construction need be questioned.


  1. Very reasonable argument, Jeff.
    And why is the Muslim world not lining up to donate funds? Surely the first address for help should be the Sunni Arab world.
    What have Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the Emirates, Indonesia, Libya or the countless Arab billionaires donated?
    Surely the first port of call for donations should be those nations.
    Why was the head of state of Pakistan visiting Germany and France? He should have been touring the Gulf.

  2. "By now you have to be willfully blind not to know that the imam in charge of the project, Feisal Abdul Rauf, is the moderate Muslim"

    This is a famous logical fallacy: to use as argument what needs to be proven. Also, she uses "argumentum ad homimem" here, blaming her opponents' "willful blindness" for disagreement with her.

    The problem is: there is no criterion for "moderate Muslim". So, in liberal thinking, they use "argument from ignorance": one is considered "moderate", until he is proven guilty as an accessory to terrorism.

    I doubt there is such thing as "moderate Muslim". In my discussions in person and on Internet American Muslims casually advocate destruction of Israel. This is as "moderate" as regular fascism.

    Until there is an acceptable definition of a "moderate Muslim" and some proof that such exemplars exist, "moderate Muslims" can be considered a liberal invention, contradiction in terms.

  3. Looking for definition of the "moderate Muslim" I found the link:
    According to this definition, the imam Rauf is a radical.
    And there is a poll after the post, where Muslims and non-Muslims separately select a definition of "moderate "Muslim" from the list. It is peculiar. Almost equal number of Muslims define as "moderate" somebody who strives for world dominance and consider "moderate Muslim" an oxymoron.

  4. Last night, I saw a clip of a past Glenn Beck program where he was denouncing our own country for supporting dictators in the Islamic world and meddling. He cited this as a cause for the hatred among extreme fundamentalist Wah'habists for the 9/11 attack. Yet not a word on your blog about this. Why? Other Americans on the Right and Left have made similar analyses, and the Right ignores their own, while attacking the Left.

    It might also interest you to know that despite your cherrypicking of a single quote taken out of context, (and including the entire larger quotation from that speech would have given that a completely different meaning - but not conducive to your hatemongering efforts.

    In addition, the Imam Rauf has worked with the FBI ever since 9/11 to help them to identify and root out extremist Muslim clerics in the United States. He was also chosen by President George W. Bush (you DO remember him, don't you?) to be sent abroad as a special presidential emissary to foster understanding between Americans and moderate Muslims and to undercut the charges of a "war against Islam" that the more extreme jihadis, like Osama bin-Laden were making.

    It must make you proud that you and your comrades in hatred and intolerance have done so much to convince the Muslim world (one-fifth of the total world population) that bin-Laden's charges were credible and America's were not.

    It is not Imam Rauf who is undermining American freedom and giving aid and comfort to the enemy, but you and the rest of the xenophobes who let their hatred of the tiny extremist group al-Qaeda be morphed into a hatred of 1.3 billion human beings just because of their religious beliefs.

    bin-Laden said in his fatwas and subsequent interviews with London's al-Quds-al-Arabiah newspaper that all he needed to do is to start the ball of terror rolling through the American heartland, and we would bankrupt our own country and tear down our own democratic form of government ourselves. He counted on people like you to take up the hatemongering and fear spreading for him.

  5. Blue Sun,

    I understand that you are angry, but you obviously haven't taken the time to read this blog, which, inter alia, opposes U.S. involvement in Afghanistan. Moreover, you didn't read the blog entries seeking to foster women's rights throughout the Muslim Middle East (I am sure you have never witnessed the aftermath of an honor killing). You didn't take the time to familiarize yourself with this blog's advocacy of Kurdish rights. And you didn't consider this blog's advocacy on behalf of basic human rights for Iran's Baha'is.

    But more to the point, you don't answer the simple questions posed by this particular blog entry: Who is donating the funds for the construction of this Manhattan mosque? Wouldn't it be better to build a center for interfaith healing and understanding? Wouldn't it be better still to use the $100 million to assist Pakistani flood victims?

  6. What happened, Blue Sun? Did the cat get your tongue?