Dueling mosque protests begin following 9/11 ceremony

Dueling mosque protests begin following 9/11 ceremony

by Associated Press NEW YORK  — A crowd in New York City protested an Islamic center proposed near Ground Zero with chants of “USA, USA” on Saturday following a ceremony in remembrance of the 9/11 terror attacks. Some protesters were wearing hats and T-shirts festooned with the Stars and Stripes. Some were carrying signs including messages like “Never forgive, never forget, no WTC mosque.” A rally in support of the Islamic center took place at the same time a few blocks away. Both gatherings began after Sept. 11 victims were remembered in ceremonies marking the ninth anniversary of the attacks. The anniversary is typically somber and focused on remembrance, but this year it has coincided with a debate about the planned Islamic center and mosque two blocks from ground zero. Earlier Saturday, bells rang throughout a solemn New York City to begin a day of mourning for nearly 3,000 Sept. 11 victims. Bagpipes and drums played to open the ceremony, followed by brief comments by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. “Once again we meet to commemorate the day we have come to call 9/11. We have returned to this sacred site to join our hearts together, the names of those we loved and lost,” Bloomberg said. “No other public tragedy has cut our city so deeply. No other place is as filled with our compassion, our love and our solidarity.” A moment of silence began at 8:46 a.m., the time the first hijacked jetliner hit the north tower of the World Trade Center in 2001. US President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama were attending separate services at the Pentagon...
Deadly deceit

Deadly deceit

by Joseph Puder, FrontPageMag.com The anti-mosque rally at Ground Zero held in New York City on Sunday, August 22 brought over 12,000 Americans to lower Manhattan. They gathered to express their opposition to the building of a mosque next to the site where the World Trade Center towers once stood.  To the thousands of men and women assembled, including family members and friends of the 3000 victims of the 9/11 attacks, it was a grassroots expression of outrage at the audacity of Islamists and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to refuse to consider another location for the mosque. Americans who are familiar with Islamic history understand the significance of the initial choice to name the Islamic community center/mosque the Cordoba House. They correctly understand that this as an expression of Islamic triumphalism. Cordoba was the seat of the caliphate established in what is now modern Spain after the Islamic invasion from North Africa in the 8th century C.E.  The medieval occupation of Spain – “al-Andalus” – is considered by Islamic theorists to have been an inevitable step in the manifest destiny of Islam. The mosque was built to celebrate the victory of Muslims over the Spanish “infidels.”  The eventual Muslim military reversals during the lengthy Spanish Catholic “Reconquista” are still considered a tragic but temporary triumph of the infidels.  The great mosque in Cordoba was built on the foundation of a Christian cathedral, and when the Spanish retook Cordoba in the 13th century, they turned the magnificent mosque back into a cathedral.  No longer a church, today the structure is called La-Mezquita or “The Mosque.” Americans, unlike many Europeans, reject...
What hath the Ground Zero imam wrought?

What hath the Ground Zero imam wrought?

by Nat Hentoff The source of the firestorm over the mosque at Ground Zero, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, could have located his mosque in New York anywhere he liked if he had not fixated on the spot two blocks north of Ground Zero. During a bitterly divided demonstration at the planned site on Aug. 22, retired firefighter Jack McLaughlin said: “Part of the (bombed) plane landed (here). There’s a mosque only four blocks away up Warren Street. So why didn’t they build … there?” (New York Daily News, Aug. 23). As of this writing, Rauf has not wavered, despite the resulting national furor that has anguished and enraged opponents of the mosque, and, alarmingly, increased hostility toward American Muslims in general — including those who reject violent jihadism. Even if Rauf were to decide tomorrow to move the mosque/cultural center’s site, the deeply penetrating rage on all sides will take a long time to fade. As the imam’s partner and wife, Daisy Kahn, says, “We understand the pain and the anguish that has been displayed throughout the country” (ABC News, Aug. 23). As someone affected for years — most threateningly as a boy — by anti-Semitism in this country, I can understand the anxiety of a considerable number of Muslims. That experience of hatred made me an outsider, with the Constitution as my Bible. And the mosque in lower Manhattan is not the only one to come under siege. An Aug. 23 Washington Post report on unexpected resistance to a proposed Islamic center in Murfreesboro, Tenn. — before the eruption of the 9/11 mosque — where Muslims had “worshipped...

Tenants don't see imam as ‘healer’

by Peter J. Sampson and Jean Rimbach, Jewish World Review The Muslim cleric at the center of the proposed mosque and community center near ground zero is also a New Jersey landlord who got more than $2 million in public financing to renovate low-income apartments and has been beset for years by tenant complaints and financial problems. Imam Feisal A. Rauf won support for his Hudson County projects from powerful politicians, among them Robert C. Janiszewski, the disgraced former county executive. He also was awarded grants from Union City when U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez was mayor. The proposed $100 million development two blocks north of ground zero has sparked a firestorm of emotions. Menendez recently added his name to the list of prominent supporters, which includes New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Rauf forged ties with Fred Daibes, the prominent waterfront developer and bank chairman. Additionally, Rauf is a one-time business ally of a Daibes associate who sued the imam for alleged mortgage fraud. The 2008 suit was quietly settled in June. The revelations about Rauf, who lives in North Bergen, add another dimension to the public profile of a man lauded as a builder of bridges between diverse religions and cultures and vilified as being insensitive to the survivors of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attack by proposing a mosque near the World Trade Center site. Best known as the religious face of the controversial proposal, called Park51, Rauf, the revelations show, has had some success navigating the realm of secular power — in this case the rough-and-tumble world of Hudson County government. In conjunction with others, Rauf...
The 'end of the beginning' on Shariah?

The 'end of the beginning' on Shariah?

by Frank Gaffney, Jr. As I looked out at the thousands of people assembled near Ground Zero on Sunday to oppose the construction of a megamosque there, I was reminded of Winston Churchill’s famous line that enspirited Britain at the first sign the tide was turning in World War II:  “Now, this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.” To be sure, the rally held two blocks from the World Trade Center was not a decisive defeat of the enemy like that dealt by the storied British “Desert Rats” to Hitler’s Afrika Korps in November 1942.  But there was something pivotal about the fact that throngs of ordinary Americans – many of them family or friends of those who died on 9/11 – had come together to stand for hours in an intermittent rain not just to contest the construction of a megamosque at a wholly inappropriate location, but in informed opposition to the impetus behind that mosque: shariah. In fact, throughout the crowd could be seen signs with just the word “shariah” lettered in dripping, blood-red ink.  The prospect that the tide is beginning now to turn in our generation’s War for the Free World can be found in those signs. They bespeak a recognition of the danger posed by the brutally repressive, totalitarian and anti-constitutional program that is espoused by the authorities of Islam.  Shariah, the law of Saudi Arabia and Iran, is what Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the prime-mover behind the Ground Zero mosque, says he wants to “bring to America.”...
The Raufs' Original 'Interfaith' Mosque: Jews Responsible for 9/11

The Raufs' Original 'Interfaith' Mosque: Jews Responsible for 9/11

by Andrew Bostom The most informed and understandably passionate critics of Sharia-supremacist Imam Feisal Rauf’s proposed Ground Zero mosque are men and women such as FDNY Rescue’s Tim Brown, and 9 /11 Families for a Safe and Strong America, Debra Burlingame. Motivated by the profound personal losses they experienced as a result of the cataclysmic acts of jihad terrorism on 9/11, Brown and Burlingame have studied all aspects of Rauf’s efforts to build his triumphal mosque with unparalleled tenacity and intelligence. Burlingame and Brown have steadfastly maintained that a central aim of Feisal Rauf and his coterie in building their Islamic edifice is to cynically re-write history, altering “the narrative about 9/11,” by contending the 19 jihadist airplane hijackers “were not Muslims.” At first glance, one would assume that Rauf and his coterie are speaking in metaphorical terms, arguing that the jihadist hijackers were somehow “hijacking Islam,” thereby “forfeiting” their claim to be Muslims. Although this disingenuous argument is concerning, and raises obvious, grave questions about Rauf as an ostensible champion of sincere, mea culpa-based interfaith “dialogue,” there is an alternative much darker “narrative” that the ecumenical imam may wish to promote. A report yesterday (8/17/10) by the NY Post’s Chuck Bennett (hat tip Rich Lowry) reviewed some alarming recent history involving the Islamic Society of New York (ISNY) mosque, founded by Feisal Rauf’s late father, Mohammed Rauf (d. 2004), and where the younger Rauf has long been, and remains, a board member. Bennett’s story raises serious questions about the ISNY mosque’s own funding sources, and the conspiratorial, Islamic Jew-hating ideology espoused there—with clear implications for the younger Rauf’s...
Symbols and their meaning

Symbols and their meaning

by Michael Anbar Cultures are full of symbols. Flags, standards and banners are symbols. They are not just pieces of colored cloth, wood or metal; they symbolize armies, ideologies and nations. Idols are not deities but symbols of such entities.  The cross is a symbol, reminiscent of the crucifixion of Jesus, and so is the crescent, the symbol of the Mesopotamian moon god, that has been adopted by the Muslims as the symbol of Islam. While celestial religious symbols and deification of humans have been prohibited by the Jews, they symbolically sanctify the Torah scrolls, hand-written on parchment, that describe the pre-monarchic history of the Israelites, their laws and faith, inherent in Jewish culture.  People honor and protect their own symbols but often destroy the symbols of adversaries as a token of dominance. The New York Trade Center was a symbol of US global economic dominance. Its destruction by suicidal Jihad (holy war) has symbolized for Muslims all over the world the dominance of Islam over the non-Muslim West. Jerusalem and its temple have been a symbol of sovereignty and independence of the Jewish nation, and thus became the main reason for their destruction by the Chaldeans and subsequently by the Romans.  Today, like 2000 years ago, Jewish reign over Jerusalem and its Temple Mount symbolizes the vitality of the Jewish nation; this is the reason for the persistent attempts of the Muslim to infringe on, and eventually abolish this sovereignty by any way possible. In their attempts to symbolize the superiority of Islam over Judaism, the Muslims built a mosque on the ruins of the ancient Jewish temple...

Obama, Hamas Weigh In on Ground Zero Mosque

by Samara Greenberg, Jewish Policy Center When it comes to the Ground Zero Mosque, just about everybody has an opinion. After skirting the controversy for weeks, President Barack Obama weighed in Friday evening. Speaking to a crowd at the White House gathered there to observe the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, President Obama said: “…I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. That includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in lower Manhattan…Time and again, the American people have demonstrated that we can…stay true to our core values and emerge stronger for it. So it must be and will be today.” Meanwhile, just days later, Mahmoud al-Zahar, a Hamas co-founder and leader in the Gaza Strip, added his two cents. In an interview on Aaron Klein Investigative Radio on WABC-AM, al-Zahar said that Muslims “have to build” a mosque near the Ground Zero site, as well everywhere, so that Muslims have a place to pray, like Jews and Christians.   But with more than 100 mosques in New York, and no synagogues in places such as Saudi Arabia or Jews in the Gaza Strip, al-Zahar’s comments are proposterous. And, while the president backtracked just one day later, claiming he was only speaking of the right to build the Ground Zero Mosque rather than the “wisdom” in doing so, the damage has been done. It is hard to tell why the president decided to speak out after first claiming the issue was a local one. Perhaps he was attempting to reach...