Ground Zero Mosque: Keep Quiet or Provoke Osama Bin Laden – Really?

By Edward Cline

Family Security Matters | August 25, 2010



One of the most appalling and bizarre opinion pieces about the Ground Zero mosque appeared on August 21st in The New York Times, Nicholas D. Kristof’s “Taking Bin Laden’s Side.” The op-ed closely follows and dovetails with a Times report on how opposition to the mosque has only “provoked” Islamic “extremists” and “played into their hands.”

Some counterterrorism experts say the anti-Muslim sentiment that has saturated the airwaves and blogs in the debate over plans for an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing into the hands of extremists by bolstering their claims that the United States is hostile to Islam.

Opposition to the center by prominent politicians and other public figures in the United States has been covered extensively by the news media in Muslim countries. At a time of concern about radicalization of young Muslims in the West, it risks adding new fuel to Al Qaeda’s claim that Islam is under attack by the West and must be defended with violence, some specialists on Islamic militancy say.

This amazing statement is based on the premise that not being “hostile” to Islam would somehow mitigate Islam’s hostility for the West and particularly its hostility for the United States. Ergo, we should just keep quiet about the Ground Zero mosque and not provoke “extremists” with “extremism” of our own.

Incensed about American opposition to the mosque (once Cordoba House, now called Park 51, to move the focus away from any suggestion of Islamic conquest), Kristof maligns the mosque’s opponents by arbitrarily allying them with Osama bin Laden, mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, because they, too, appear to Kristof to be against “interfaith harmony.”. Ergo, they are intolerant bigots, and probably racists, recalcitrant enemies of “religious freedom.” The piece is largely an excuse to attack Republicans, but one may take it as an attack on anyone who opposes the mosque.

Osama abhors the vision of interfaith harmony that the proposed Islamic center represents. He fears Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran to denounce terrorism. It’s striking that many American Republicans share with Al Qaeda the view that the West and the Islamic world are caught inevitably in a “clash of civilizations.”

Osama does not fear Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran, because the Koran can both sanction and “denounce” terrorism — as long as the denunciation is addressed to future dhimmis in English. Krifstof also errs in thinking that most Republicans subscribe to the “clash of civilizations” argument. They do not. Most of them are as ignorant of the subject as most Democrats, and like them unwilling or unable to see the broader picture, that Islam is a totalitarian ideology tricked out in elaborate but disingenuous religious garb. They, too, accept the illogic that to be “anti-Islam” is to be bigoted, racist, or intolerant. Their thinking does not penetrate beneath the garb.

Firmly pinching his leftist nose to obstruct the offensive odors of freedom, Kristof sneers:

The first is that a huge mosque would rise on hallowed land at ground zero. In fact, the building would be something like a YMCA, and two blocks away and apparently out of view from ground zero. This is a dense neighborhood packed with shops, bars, liquor stores — not to mention the New York Dolls Gentlemen’s Club and the Pussycat Lounge (which says that it arranges lap dances in a private room, presumably to celebrate the sanctity of the neighborhood). Why do so many Republicans find strip clubs appropriate for the ground zero neighborhood but object to a house of worship? Are lap dances more sanctified than an earnest effort to promote peace?

I do not know of any YMCA’s that consciously harbor the promulgation of a hostile ideology, as most mosques in America do (about 80% of them financed by Saudi Arabian Wahhabists). Nor am I aware of any Republicans publicly endorsing strip clubs and lap dancing. Frankly, “shops, bars, liquor stores” and even strip clubs are consistent with what America is all about — the freedom to trade, drink, and associate with whomever one pleases — a freedom which Islam opposes and promises to extinguish.

Kristof performs a Joe Biden-caliber gaffe by referring the Imam Feisal Rauf’s mosque as a “house of worship,” when its promoters have strenuously denied it would be one, claiming that this structure would only incidentally have a “prayer room.” One may as well deem St. Patrick’s Cathedral uptown as a “community center” which only incidentally has an altar, pulpit, and nave.

We have Kristof’s assurances that Rauf and his wife, Daisy Khan, are on the up-and-up about the mosque being a mere “community center” because,

“I know Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and his wife — the figures behind the Islamic community center — and they are the real thing.”

The “real thing” President George W. Bush held Saudi King Abdullah’s hand, and President Barack Obama bowed to him, neither of them knowing “the real thing,” either. But then friendship with a con man like Imam Rauf is a necessary condition for the success of the con. However, this should not much bother Kristof, because he himself is devoted to the three card monte scam of moral relativism. He is just not as good at it as Rauf. He has fallen, willingly or not, for the chimera of the imam’s kindly, grandfatherly persona, just as many Americans have fallen for the chimera of ObamaCare and other socialist legislation, proposed or enacted.

Kristof also dwells on irrelevancies. Brushing aside the fact that Islam’s historical record is one of brutal conquest, he cites instead Christianity’s not-very-sterling record.

The second misconception underlying this debate is that Islam is an inherently war-like religion that drives believers to terrorism. Sure, the Islamic world is disproportionately turbulent, and mullahs sometimes cite the Koran to incite murder. But don’t forget that the worst brutality in the Middle East has often been committed by more secular rulers, like Saddam Hussein and Hafez al-Assad. And the mastermind of the 1970 Palestinian airline hijackings, George Habash, was a Christian.

Remember also that historically, some of the most shocking brutality in the region was justified by the Bible, not the Koran. Crusaders massacred so many men, women and children in parts of Jerusalem that a Christian chronicler, Fulcher of Chartres, described an area ankle-deep in blood. While burning Jews alive, the crusaders sang, “Christ, We Adore Thee.”

There, Kristof boasts, is my top-drawer relativist argument, which I offer for your diversion and that you cannot rebut except in a two-volume book, which I won’t read anyway because it would be filled with religious bigotry and character assassination. Our “clashing civilizations” are both guilty of atrocities and massacres. So, don’t pick on Islam, stop throwing stones, because I threw the first ones at my own house, and I wish you would be humble enough to keep your mouths shut.

It is Kristof who labors under a misconception, for Islam is a warlike ideology, posing as a “religion of peace.” Yes, George Habash, a Christian, was a prominent leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization, as well as founder of the rival and Communist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. This is as irrelevant as the fact that Josef Stalin, Communist dictator, studied at a theological seminary before embarking on his murderous career. Kristof implies that, yes, Islam has its bad men, but so has Christianity, so there is no reason to brand Islam as the devil incarnate.

As for Imam Rauf himself, he has a less-than-chaste background that straddles both stealth or “cultural” jihad in this country and the realm of terrorism itself. Alyssa A. Lappen, a leading authority on Islam, meticulously details both aspects of Rauf’s career. His association with the Muslim Brotherhood should dispel any doubts about his true motives and intentions. Discussing Article 17 of a long 1991 Brotherhood-inspired memorandum on how to rot and conquer the West from within, and in particular the United States, Lappen cites this specific section:

“The center we seek is the one which constitutes the “axis” of our Movement, the “perimeter” of the circle of our work, our “balance center”, the “base” for our rise and our “Dar al-Argam” to educate us, prepare us and supply our battalions in addition to being the “niche” of our prayers. (emphasis added)

Lappen concludes with,

The Muslim Brotherhood clearly spelled it out in Article 17. Building Islamic centers equals building military “battalions,” points from which to later stage the planned destruction of the West.

Not so ironically, but wholly consistent with such conscious destruction, Investors Business Daily ran a piece on how American Muslims are now largely planning and directing Islamic terrorism. The article lists five individuals with American backgrounds who are staging these attacks from overseas. These individuals have the advantage of knowing their enemy, while our policymakers refuse to know their enemy.

By remaking itself into an American enterprise, al-Qaida is now more lethal than ever. Its new generation of leaders understands the way America works, having lived here for decades. They have a better sense of our security blind spots. They also know which kinds of attacks will produce both mass panic and maximum economic damage.

Another development is the start-up of an Islamic “college” last Monday (August 23rd) in a most appropriate venue, Berkley, California, home of the radical “free speech” movement (many of whose exponents went on to government careers to better impose socialism on America) and now home of what can only be called a home-grown madrassa for adults, Zaytuna College.

Their training in political science and economic will be confined to courses in shariah law…At the end of their four years of education, the graduates of Zaytuna will be expected to take part of the Islamic conquest of the American continent – – a conquest that began with the Immigration and Naturalization Law of 1965. They will be qualified to serve as imams at the hundreds of new mosques that are cropping up throughout the country every year and as Islamic chaplains in the military…Only two majors are offered at the new college: Arabic Language and Islamic Law and Theology.

Americans are behind this aspect of stealth jihad, as well.

Sheikh Hamza Yusuf, the key founder of Zaytuna College, was born in Washington state and raised by his Roman Catholic father and Greek Orthodox mother in northern California as Mark Hanson. He converted to Islam in 1977. In 1991, he delivered a classic oration entitled “Jihad Is the Only Way” to the California chapter of the Islamic Circle of North America.

It is interesting that Hanson styles himself a “sheik.” What does he think about the country he wishes to see ruled by Sharia law? Among other things,

“I became Muslim in part because I did not believe in the false gods of this society whether we call them Jesus or democracy or the Bill of Rights or any other element of this society that is held sacrosanct by the ill-informed peoples that make up this charade of a society.”

Finally, Massachusetts Senator John Kerry of “Swift Boat” notoriety, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and proud possessor of bogus combat medals from Vietnam, is doing his bit to Islamize America. He introduced a bill, the International Professional Exchange Act of 2010 (S. 3688), would specifically send Americans to “Muslim majority” countries to do Peace Corps type work, and invite Muslims to this country to perform the same kinds of selfless tasks.

“Today we stand at the crest of a demographic wave that will transform the early 21st century,” said Chairman Kerry. “Many societies are grappling with enormous economic strains as they struggle to keep up with the demands of a growing population. We need to meet these challenges head-on. This legislation is designed to help build professional capacity, strengthen civil society, and improve ties between the United States and Muslim-majority countries through a two-way exchange of professional fellows.”

“By targeting professionals like teachers, city planners, and public health workers, this program can be a valuable step in bolstering workforces around the globe. And by encouraging public-private partnerships, this program can help unite our institutions, governments, businesses, and charities around a common cause,” continued Chairman Kerry.

Which proves that one need not be a Muslim “brother” or activist ikhwan to advance the cause and campaign of Islam. There is an ideological linkage between Islam and what Obama, Nancy Pelosi, Kerry, and others propose that Americans “submit” to vis-a-vis their socialist agenda, which will be explored in a future article.

FamilySecurityMatters.org Contributing Editor Edward Cline is the author of a number of novels, and his essays, books, reviews, and other nonfiction have appeared in a number of high-profile periodicals.

An archive of Family Security Matters’ recent Ground Zero Mosque articles can be found here.


All Articles, Poems & Commentaries Copyright © 1971-2017 Alyssa A. Lappen
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Alyssa A. Lappen is a U.S.-based investigative journalist. She is currently Managing Editor at the Leeb Group. A former Senior Fellow of the American Center for Democracy (2005-2008); she is also a former Senior Editor of Institutional Investor (1993-1999), Working Woman (1991-1993) and Corporate Finance (1991).

She served six of her 12 years at Forbes (1978-1990) as an Associate Editor. Ms. Lappen was also a staff reporter at The New Haven Register (1975-1977).

During a decade as a freelance, her work appeared in Big Peace, Pajamas Media, Front Page Magazine, American Thinker, Right Side News, Family Security Matters, the Washington Times and many other Internet and print journals. Ms. Lappen also contributed to the Terror Finance Blog, among others.

She supports the right of journalists worldwide to write without fear or restriction on politics, governments, international affairs, terrorism, terror financing and religious support for terrorism, among other subjects.

Ms. Lappen is also an accomplished poet. Her first full-length collection, The Minstrel’s Song, was published by Cross-Cultural Communications in April 2015. Her poems have been published in the 2nd 2007 edition of Blood to Remember: American Poets on the Holocaust and both 2007 issues of Wales‘ award-winning Seventh Quarry: Swansea Poetry Magazine.

Dozens of her poems have appeared in print and online literary journals and books. She won the 2000 annual Ruah: A Journal of Spiritual Poetry chapbook award and has received a Harvard Summer Poetry Prize and several honorable mentions.

Alyssa A. Lappen can be reached at alyssaalappen@alyssaalappen.org

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