Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Absurd Lies About Cordoba

From The American Thinker:

August 31, 2010

Absurd Lies about Cordoba (updated)

Jonathan David Carson

Readers of the American Thinker have no doubt heard numerous instances of the following disinformation about Cordoba, this version coming from Whitney S. Bowman in the Austin American-Statesman:

"The name 'Cordoba House' is significant. It is named after the famed medieval Spanish city of Cordoba where philosophers, mystics, artisans and poets--Muslim, Christian and Jewish--lived and shared together.

"Its libraries were vast, and the translations of Arabic works into Latin changed Europe and Christianity forever. Among the resident luminaries were Maimonides, a noted Jewish intellectual, the poet Ibn Hazm, and Averroes, the Muslim philosopher and mystic. A Saxon nun of the time called Cordoba 'the brilliant ornament of the world.' With the coming of the Inquisition and Christian exclusivism, the brilliance of Cordoba faded, but its significance endures as a vibrant, inter-religious community."

The idea that Muslims, Christians, and Jews "lived and shared together" in medieval Cordoba could perhaps be dismissed as a rhetorical flight of fancy, but the idea that Christianity and the Inquisition ended the brilliance of Cordoba is a deliberate lie.

According to The Cambridge Companion to Maimonides, "the fundamentalist Almohad movement," which "fought to restore the pristine faith of Islam, based on the Quran and the Sunna, and to enforce the precepts of the sacred law" (sound familiar?), conquered Cordoba in 1148 and drove out the ten-year-old Moses Maimonides and his family. They hid from the Almohads in Andalusia for ten years, then emigrated to Morocco, where Maimonides wrote his Epistle on Forced Conversion to console his Jewish brethren forced to choose between conversion to Islam and death. Later he moved to Cairo, where he achieved safety by acting as a physician to the Muslim rulers. Obviously, the great works of Moses Maimonides were not written in Cordoba, and Christian exclusivism and the Inquisition had nothing to do with his departure.

Though born in Cordoba and not a Jew, Averroes also suffered Almohad oppression, and "his teachings [were] condemned and his philosophical works torched as dangerous to religious faith," according to the Cambridge Companion.

For the record, Averroes died in 1198, Maimonides died in 1204, and Cordoba was conquered by Christians in 1236. As for the translations, more hokum has been said on that subject than just about any other.

Update. Andrew Bostom adds:

More on Cordoban "Ecumenism"

Reinhart Dozy (1820-1883), the great Orientalist scholar and Islamophile, wrote a four volume magnum opus (published in 1861 and translated into English by Francis Griffin Stokes in 1913), Histoire des Musselmans d'Espagne (A History of the Muslims in Spain). Here is Dozy's historical account of the mid-8th century "conversion" of a Cordovan cathedral to a mosque:

All the churches in that city [Cordova] had been destroyed except the cathedral, dedicated to Saint Vincent, but the possession of this fane [church or temple] had been guaranteed by treaty. For several years the treaty was observed; but when the population of Cordova was increased by the arrival of Syrian Arabs [i.e., Muslims], the mosques did not provide sufficient accommodation for the newcomers, and the Syrians considered it would be well for them to adopt the plan which had been carried out at Damascus, Emesa [Homs], and other towns in their own country, of appropriating half of the cathedral and using it as a mosque. The [Muslim] Government having approved of the scheme, the Christians were compelled to hand over half of the edifice. This was clearly an act of spoliation, as well as an infraction of the treaty. Some years later, Abd-er Rahman I requested the Christians to sell him the other half. This they firmly refused to do, pointing out that if they did so they would not possess a single place of worship. Abd-er Rahman, however, insisted, and a bargain was struck by which the Christians ceded their cathedral....

Indeed by the end of the eighth century, the brutal Muslim jihad conquest of North Africa and of Andalusia had imposed rigorous Maliki jurisprudence as the predominant school of Muslim law. Thus, as Evariste Lévi-Provençal (1894-1956)-the greatest modern scholar of Muslim Spain whose Histoire de l'Espagne Musulmane remains a defining work-observed three quarters of a century ago:

The Muslim Andalusian state thus appears from its earliest origins as the defender and champion of a jealous orthodoxy, more and more ossified in a blind respect for a rigid doctrine, suspecting and condemning in advance the least effort of rational speculation.

For example, the contemporary scholar J.M. Safran discusses an early codification of the rules of the marketplace (where Muslims and non-Muslims would be most likely to interact), written by al-Kinani (d. 901), a student of the Cordovan jurist Ibn Habib (d. 853), "...known as the scholar of Spain par excellence," who was also one of the most ardent proponents of Maliki doctrine in Muslim Spain:

...the problem arises of "the Jew or Christian who is discovered trying to blend with the Muslims by not wearing the riqā [cloth patch, which might be required to have an emblem of an ape for a Jew, or a pig for a Christian] or zunnār [belt]." Kinani's insistence that Jews and Christians wear the distinguishing piece of cloth or belt required of them is an instance of a legally defined sartorial differentiation being reconfirmed...His insistence may have had as much to do with concerns for ritual purity and food prohibitions as for the visible representation of social and political hierarchy, and it reinforced limits of intercommunal relations

Moroever Ibn Hazm was not merely a Muslim "poet," and hardly a paragon of ecumenism. He was a viciously bigoted Antisemitic Muslim theologian, whose inflammatory writings helped incite the massive pogrom against the Jews of Granada which killed 4000, and destroyed the entire community in 1066. And Averroes, despite his "philosophical studies," was also a traditionally bigoted Maliki jurist who rendered strong anti-infidel Sharia- rulings and endorsed classical jihadism for the very same Almohads who eventually turned upon him.

Finally, what Maimonides escaped in the 12th century-disguised as a Muslim-was nothing less than a full-blown Muslim Inquisition under the Almohads. The jihad depredations of the Almohads (1130-1232) wreaked enormous destruction on both the Jewish and Christian populations in Spain and North Africa. This devastation-massacre, captivity, and forced conversion-was described by the Jewish chronicler Abraham Ibn Daud, and the poet Abraham Ibn Ezra. Suspicious of the sincerity of the Jewish converts to Islam, Muslim "inquisitors", i.e., antedating their Christian Spanish counterparts by three centuries, removed the children from such families, placing them in the care of Muslim educators. Ibn Aqnin (d. 1220), a renowned philosopher and commentator, who was born in Barcelona in 1150, also fled the Almohad persecutions with his family, escaping, like Maimonides, to Fez. Living there as a crypto-Jew, he met Maimonides and recorded his own poignant writings about the sufferings of the Jews under Almohad rule. Ibn Aqnin wrote during the reign of Abu Yusuf al-Mansur (r. 1184-1199), four decades after the onset of the Almohad persecutions in 1140. Thus the Jews forcibly converted to Islam were already third generation Muslims. Despite this, al-Mansur continued to impose restrictions upon them, which Ibn Aqnin chronicles.

Posted at 01:03 AM

Islam, Islamophobia, Christophobia, And Hatred Of The Jews

From The American Thinker:

August 31, 2010

Islam, Islamophobia, Christophobia, and Jew hatred

Eugene Veklerov

Here is a reality check to keep in mind when someone issues another condemnation of Islamophobia in the Western World. Surely, we have plenty of room for improvement, but we are pikers at the game of religious discrimination.

In many Muslim countries, discrimination against Christians and Jews is not just practiced, it is codified into law. Thus, consider Egypt, which is one of the more secular and moderate countries in the Muslim World with a sizable religious minority of Coptic Christians. Egyptian law stipulates that a "Muslim man may marry a Christian woman but the opposite is forbidden; and if a Muslim woman does marry a Christian man, both the husband and the wife would be considered adulterers". This quotation is drawn verbatim from a UN document.

It is noteworthy that civil, rather than just religious, laws prevent Christian men from marrying Muslim women. Marrying an Israeli woman is an entirely different matter altogether. "An Egyptian appeals court upheld a ruling that orders the country's Interior Ministry to strip the citizenship from Egyptians married to Israeli women" (Associated Press report of June, 2010).

While conversion to Islam is encouraged in Muslim countries, conversion from Islam to another religion is a sin. And since the legal systems in many Muslim countries are based on Sharia law, such apostasy is also a crime, and we are not talking about the most fanatical countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia or Sudan. In a widely publicized case, a citizen of now-democratic Afghanistan, Abdul Rahman, was arrested in 2006 for converting to Christianity. He was threatened with execution but eventually he was released from prison under heavy pressure from Western governments.

A curious piece of trivia in Harper's index style: the approximate number of mosques in New York City: 80; the approximate number of mosques in Jerusalem: 70; the number of churches and synagogues in whole Saudi Arabia: 0. Furthermore, Christians in Saudi Arabia have been arrested and lashed in public for practicing their faith openly. We do not know what punishment is meted out to those who openly practice the Jewish faith in Saudi Arabia. But this is what we do know, courtesy of a Reuters report in 2005. A court in Saudi Arabia sentenced a teacher to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes. His crime was promoting a "dubious ideology, mocking religion, saying the Jews were right".

Amnesty International and the UN officially have confirmed cases of slavery in Mauritania and Sudan. Who are the slaves? In Sudan, the slaves are usually non-Muslims and slavers are Muslims.

My friendly neighbor is a Palestinian man who moved to California a few years ago and he had it made: he bought a house and a small grocery store here. In his native land, the moderate Palestinian Authority (mind you, not fanatical Hamas) considers selling real estate in the areas under its control to Jews or Israelis "high treason" punishable by death.

The examples given above are not meant as a comprehensive scholarly treatment of the subject. But they give the reader a taste of reality. A quote from the Sermon on the Mount (Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7) pretty much sums it up: Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

Posted at 09:34 AM

Mosque of Conquest

from World Net Daily and Vision to America:

Mosque of conquest?


Posted: August 24, 2010

1:00 am Eastern

By William J. Federer

© 2010

Muslim groups are proposing a 13-story $100 million mosque in the most prominent spot in America – the heart of downtown New York City near the World Trade Center site.

Is this mosque a sign of America's tolerance, or is it a sign of Muslim conquest?

The past may hold answers:

In 630, Muhammad led 10,000 Muslim soldiers into Mecca and turned the pagans' most prominent spot, the Ka'aba, into the Masjid al-Haram Mosque.

In 634, Rightly Guided Caliph Umar conquered Syria and turned the Christians' most prominent spot, the Church of Job, famous for being visited by Saint Silva in the fourth century, into the Mosque of Job.

In 637, Caliph Umar conquered Hebron and turned the second-most prominent spot in Judaism, the Cave of the Patriarchs, into the Ibrahimi Mosque. (This was repeated by Saladin in 1188.)

In 638, Muslim generals Amr ibn al-As and Khalid ibn al-Walid conquered Gaza and turned the prominent fifth-century Byzantine church into the Great Mosque of Gaza.

In 638, Caliph Umar conquered Jerusalem. In 691, Caliph Al-Malik ordered the Dome of the Rock built on the most prominent spot in Judaism, the Temple Mount, followed by Caliph Al-Walid building the Al-Aqsa Mosque there in 705.

In 651, Muslims conquered Persia and turned Zoroastrian temples in Bukhara and Istakhr into mosques.

In 706, after Muslims took Damascus from the Byzantine Empire, Caliph Al-Walid turned the prominent Orthodox Church of St. John the Baptist into the Umayyad Mosque.

In 710, Gen. Muhammad bin Qasim conquered Pakistan, defiled the prominent Sun Temple in Multan, which house the great idol "sanam," and erected a mosque.

Get this fascinating history of Islam and the United States: Bill Federer's "What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran"

In 784, after the conquest of Spain, Emir Abd ar-Rahman turned the prominent Visigothic Christian Church of Saint Vincent into the Great Aljama Mosque of Cordoba.

After the conquest of Egypt, Caliphs al-Mamun (813-833) and al-Hakim (996–1021) turned prominent Coptic Christian churches and Jewish synagogues in Cairo into mosques.

In 831, Muslims conquered Palermo, Sicily, and Asad ibn al-Furat turned the prominent Church of Saint Mary of the Assumption into the Great Mosque of Bal'harm.

In 1193, Muslims conquered Delhi, India, and Qutbuddin Aibak turned the Red Citadel in Dhillika, the most prominent spot of the last Hindu rulers, into the Qutb Minar Mosque.

From 1250-1517, Mamluk Muslims controlled the Golan Heights and used the ancient Synagogue of Katzrin as a mosque.

In 1387, Turkish Muslims conquered Thessaloniki and turned the Katholikon Monastery and the Church of Aghia Sophia, which housed the relics of Saint Gregorios Palamas, into mosques, as Symeon of Thessaloniki recorded:

"The greatest number of the buildings of the churches fell to them, of which the first was the Holy Church of the Savior. … These were trampled underfoot and the infidels rejoiced in them. … Most of the religious buildings in the city were despoiled, while altars were demolished and sacred things profaned."

On May 29, 1453, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Constantinople and turned the great Byzantine church, Hagia Sophia, into the Ayasofya Mosque. The largest church in Christendom for a thousand years, the church's four acres of gold mosaics were covered with whitewash and Quran verses.

In 1458, Sultan Mehmet II conquered Athens and turned the Greeks' most prominent spot, the Parthenon on Acropolis hill, into a mosque. When Venetian Gen. Francesco Morosini drove the Muslims out in 1687, a cannonball hit the gunpowder stored in the mosque, blowing it up.

In the 15th century, Ottoman invaders turned Saint Clement's Macedonian Orthodox Monastery in Plaosnik, Balkans, into the Imater Mosque.

From 1519-1858, Muslim Mughal rulers gained control of India and turned over 2,000 Hindu temples into mosques, including demolishing the Temple of Ram Janmabhoomi in Ayodhya, the birthplace of Rama, and replacing it with the Babri Mosque.

India's Mughal Muslim ruler, Jahangir (1605-1627), wrote in Tujuk-i-Jahangiri:

"At the city of Banaras [was] a temple. … I made it my plea for throwing down the temple … and on the spot, with the very same materials, I erected the great mosque."

In 1543, Hayreddin Barbarossa's 30,000 Muslim troops wintered in Toulon, France, and turned the prominent Toulon Cathedral into a mosque.

In 1570, under Sultan Selim II Khan, Muslims conquered Paphos, Cyprus, and Gov. Mehmet Bey Ebubkir turned the prominent Christian church into the Great Mosque of Paphos.

In 1571, Muslims invaded Famagusta, Cyprus, and turned Saint Nicolas Cathedral, a rare Gothic church, into the Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque, and Saint Sophia Cathedral in Nicosia, constructed in 1228, into the Selimiye Mosque.

In 1588, Sultan Murat III turned the Eastern Orthodox Church of Saint John the Forerunner in Constantinople into the Hirami Ahmet Pasha Mosque.

In 1781, after having conquered the Old City of Acre, Ottoman Muslims turned the Roman Catholic church built by Crusaders into the Jezzar Ahmet Pasha Mosque, where a hair from Muhammad's beard is preserved.

(Column continues below)

In 1923, Muslims expelled Greeks from Turkey and turned Orthodox churches into mosques.

In World War II, Nazis allied with Bosnians and turned the prominent Artists' Gallery Museum in Zagreb, Croatia, into a mosque.

In the 1950s, Muslims expelled Jews from Arab lands and turned synagogues into mosques.

Algerian Muslims warred against French colonial rule till France pulled out in 1962, after which the Cathedral of St. Philippe was turned into the Ketchaoua Mosque. Violence against Jews caused 30,000 to flee and the Great Synagogue of Oran was turned into the Mosque Abdellah Ben Salem.

In 1974, Turkish Muslims invaded northern Cyprus, and prominent Greek Orthodox churches were turned into mosques.

In 1981, Muslim immigrants to the Netherlands converted Amsterdam's historic Catholic Sint-Ignatiuskerk into the Fatih Mosque, and a synagogue in The Hague into the Aksa Mosque.

On Sept. 11, 2001, Muslim terrorists attacked the most prominent spot in America, the World Trade Center. In less than 10 years, the number of mosques in New York City has skyrocketed to over 140.

In light of history, reasonable citizens have a right to question if the mosque proposed at Ground Zero is a sign of America's tolerance, or a sign of Muslim conquest?


William J. Federer is the author of "What Every American Needs to Know About the Quran: A History of Islam and the United States."

Monday, August 30, 2010

Islamophobia and Islamo-Reality

From The American Thinker:

August 30, 2010

'Islamophobia' and Islamo-reality

By Andrew G. Bostom

Count me among those daring to rationalize -- and echo -- the sentiments of 70% of my fellow Americans, who oppose the Ground Zero mosque/Islamic center edifice for ecumenism. But simply expressing legitimate, widespread concerns about this project has unleashed a torrent of obloquies emanating from distressingly ill-informed political and media cultural relativists, decrying "bigotry" and "intolerance." Contrast this outpouring of self-righteous indignation by these elites about the purported "Islamophobia" of Americans opposing the mosque with their own egregious ignorance of, and/or silence about, the extensive writings, pronouncements, and living, hateful legacy of the late Muslim Pope, Sheik Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi.

For over a thousand years, since its founding in 792 A.D., Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egypt, has served as the academic shrine -- much as Mecca is the religious shrine -- of the global Muslim community. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi was Sunni Islam's " moderate" papal equivalent, Grand Imam of this Muslim Vatican, Al-Azhar, from 1996 until his recent death on March 10, 2010.

Tantawi was born in 1928 in Selim Al-Sharqiya, Egypt. He graduated from Al-Azhar University's Faculty of Religious Studies in 1958 and received his Ph.D. in 1966. Tantawi's Ph.D. thesis, Banu Israil fi al-Quran wa-al-Sunnah (Jews in the Koran and the Traditions), was published in 1968-69 and republished in 1986. Two years after earning his Ph.D., Sheikh Tantawi began teaching at Al-Azhar. In 1980, he became the head of the Tafsir (Koranic Commentary) Department of the University of Medina, Saudi Arabia -- a position he held until 1984. Sheikh Tantawi became Grand Mufti of Egypt in 1986, a position he was to hold for a decade before taking on his final post, first assumed in 1996 and serving for fourteen years, as the Grand Imam.

Lengthy extracts translated into English from Tantawi's 700-page magnum opus Banu Israil fi al-Quran wa-al-Sunnah,are provided in my compendium, The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism. This brief excerpt summarizes, in Tantawi's own words, the salient features of the Koran's normative Muslim Jew-hatred:

[The] Koran describes the Jews with their own particular degenerate characteristics, i.e., killing the prophets of Allah [Koran 2:61 / 3:112], corrupting His words by putting them in the wrong places, consuming the people's wealth frivolously, refusal to distance themselves from the evil they do, and other ugly characteristics caused by their deep-rooted lasciviousness...only a minority of the Jews keep their word [Koranic citation, here] ... [A]ll Jews are not the same. The good ones become Muslims [Koran 3:113], the bad ones do not.

Tantawi was apparently rewarded for this scholarly effort by being named Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University in 1996. These were the expressed "carefully researched" views on Jews held by the Muslim Pope -- the former head of the most prestigious center of Muslim learning in Sunni Islam for fourteen years, which represents some 90% of the world's Muslims. And Sheikh Tantawi never mollified such hatemongering beliefs while serving as the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar as his statements on "dialogue " (January 1998) with Jews, the Jews as "enemies of Allah, descendants of apes and pigs" (April 2002), and the legitimacy of homicide bombing of Jews (April 2002) made clear.

The statements on dialogue Tantawi issued shortly after he met with the Israel's Chief Rabbi, Israel Meir Lau, in Cairo on December 15, 1997, provided the late Grand Imam another opportunity to reaffirm his commitment to the views expressed about Jews in his Ph.D. thesis:

... anyone who avoids meeting with the enemies in order to counter their dubious claims and stick fingers into their eyes, is a coward. My stance stems from Allah's book [the Koran], more than one-third of which deals with the Jews...[I] wrote a dissertation dealing with them [the Jews], all their false claims and their punishment by Allah. I still believe in everything written in that dissertation [i.e., Jews in the Koran and the Traditions, cited above].

Unfortunately, Tantawi's antisemitic formulations are well-grounded in classical, mainstream Islamic theology. The Koranic depiction of the Jews -- their traits as thus characterized being deemed both infallible and timeless -- highlights, in verse 2:61 (repeated in verse 3:112), the centrality of the Jews "abasement and humiliation" and being "laden with God's anger," as elaborated in the corpus of classical Muslim exegetic literature on Koran 2:61, including the hadith and Koranic commentaries. The terrifying rage decreed upon the Jews forever is connected in the hadith and exegeses to Koran 1:7, where Muslims ask Allah to guide them rightly, not in the path of those who provoke and must bear His wrath. This verse is in turn linked to Koranic verses 5:60 and 5:78, which describe the Jews' transformation into apes and swine (5:60), or apes alone (2:65 / 7:166), having been "... cursed by the tongue of David, and Jesus, Mary's son" (5:78). Moreover, forcing Jews, in particular, to pay the Koranic poll tax "tribute" (as per verse 9:29) "readily," while "being brought low," is consistent with their overall humiliation and abasement in accord with Koran 2:61 and its directly related verses.

An additional, much larger array of anti-Jewish Koranic motifs build to a denouement (as if part of a theological indictment, conviction, and sentencing process), concluding with an elaboration of the "ultimate sin" committed by the Jews (they are among the devil's minions [Koran 4:60], accursed by God [Koran 4:47]), and their appropriate punishment: If they do not accept the true faith (i.e., Islam), on the day of judgment, they will burn in the hellfire (Koran 4:55). As per, Koran 98:6, "The unbelievers among the People of the Book and the pagans shall burn forever in the fire of Hell. They are the vilest of all creatures."

However, understanding and acknowledging the Koranic origins of Islamic antisemitism is not a justification for Tantawi's unreformed, unrepentant modern validation of these hateful motifs -- with predictably murderous consequences. Within days of the Netanya homicide bombing massacre on a Passover Seder night, March 27, 2002, for example, Sheikh Tantawi issued an abhorrent endorsement (April 4, 2002) of so-called "martyrdom operations," even when directed at Israeli civilians.

And during November 2002 ("Tantawi: No Antisemitism," Associated Press, 11/19/2002), consistent with his triumphant denial, Sheikh Tantawi made the following statement in response to criticism over the virulently antisemitic Egyptian television series ("Horseman Without a Horse") based on the Czarist Russia forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion:

Suppose that the series has some criticism or shows some of the Jews' traits, this doesn't necessitate an uproar ... The accusation of antisemitism was invented by the Jews as a means to pressure Arabs and Muslims to implement their schemes in the Arab and Muslim countries, so don't pay attention to them.

On January 22, 2008, it was reported that Tantawi cancelled what would have been an historic visit to the Rome synagogue by Ala Eldin Mohammed Ismail al-Ghobash, the imam of Rome's mosque. The putative excuse for this cancellation was Israel's self-defensive stance -- a blockade -- in response to acts of jihad terrorism (rocket barrages, attempted armed incursions) emanating from Gaza. The Italian newspaper Corriere della Sera, commenting aptly about these events, observed that the cancellation proved that "... even so called Muslim moderates share the ideology of hate, violence and death towards the Jewish state." Al Azhar, Corriere della Sera further argued, which in the absence of a central Muslim authority constituted a "Vatican of Sunni Islam," had in effect issued "a kind of fatwah." The paper concluded by noting that "[w]hat the Cairo statement really means is that Muslim dialogue with Jews in Italy is only possible once Israel has been eliminated."

This is the overall context in which to view Tantawi's better-known -- if meaningless -- bland condemnation of generic terrorism as "un-Islamic." Tantawi's case illustrates the prevalence and depth of sacralized, "normative" Jew-hatred in the contemporary Muslim world. Arguably Islam's leading mainstream cleric, the late Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, Sheikh Muhammad Tantawi, epitomized how the living legacy of Muslim anti-Jewish hatred and violence remains firmly rooted in mainstream, orthodox Islamic teachings, not some aberrant vision of "radical Islam."

It is axiomatic that our elites will declare this whole discussion "Islamophobic" -- despite the contents being based almost entirely on Islam's sacred texts and Tantawi's own expressed words and actions. Fortunately, tens of millions of Americans are not playing our elites' endless, self-destructive game of Wonderland croquet, and they understand the stark difference between Islamophobia and Islamo-reality -- some 16,000 jihad terror attacks after 9/11.

How To Win The Clash Of Civilizations

from American Freedom Alliance and The Wall Street Journal:

How to Win the Clash of Civilizations

The key advantage of Huntington's famous model is that it describes the world as it is—not as we wish it to be..ArticleComments (606)more in Opinion ».EmailPrintSave This ↓ More.



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close Yahoo! BuzzMySpacedel.icio.usRedditFacebookLinkedInFarkViadeoOrkut Text By AYAAN HIRSI ALI

What do the controversies around the proposed mosque near Ground Zero, the eviction of American missionaries from Morocco earlier this year, the minaret ban in Switzerland last year, and the recent burka ban in France have in common? All four are framed in the Western media as issues of religious tolerance. But that is not their essence. Fundamentally, they are all symptoms of what the late Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington called the "Clash of Civilizations," particularly the clash between Islam and the West.

Huntington's argument is worth summarizing briefly for those who now only remember his striking title. The essential building block of the post-Cold War world, he wrote, are seven or eight historical civilizations of which the Western, the Muslim and the Confucian are the most important.

The balance of power among these civilizations, he argued, is shifting. The West is declining in relative power, Islam is exploding demographically, and Asian civilizations—especially China—are economically ascendant. Huntington also said that a civilization-based world order is emerging in which states that share cultural affinities will cooperate with each other and group themselves around the leading states of their civilization.

The West's universalist pretensions are increasingly bringing it into conflict with the other civilizations, most seriously with Islam and China. Thus the survival of the West depends on Americans, Europeans and other Westerners reaffirming their shared civilization as unique—and uniting to defend it against challenges from non-Western civilizations.

Huntington's model, especially after the fall of Communism, was not popular. The fashionable idea was put forward in Francis Fukuyama's 1989 essay "The End of History," in which he wrote that all states would converge on a single institutional standard of liberal capitalist democracy and never go to war with each other. The equivalent neoconservative rosy scenario was a "unipolar" world of unrivalled American hegemony. Either way, we were headed for One World.

President Obama, in his own way, is a One Worlder. In his 2009 Cairo speech, he called for a new era of understanding between America and the Muslim world. It would be a world based on "mutual respect, and . . . upon the truth that America and Islam are not exclusive and need not be in competition. Instead, they overlap, and share common principles."

The president's hope was that moderate Muslims would eagerly accept this invitation to be friends. The extremist minority—nonstate actors like al Qaeda—could then be picked off with drones.

Of course, this hasn't gone according to plan. And a perfect illustration of the futility of this approach, and the superiority of the Huntingtonian model, is the recent behavior of Turkey.

According to the One World view, Turkey is an island of Muslim moderation in a sea of extremism. Successive American presidents have urged the EU to accept Turkey as a member on this assumption. But the illusion of Turkey as the West's moderate friend in the Muslim world has been shattered.

A year ago Turkey's President Recep Erdogan congratulated Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on his re-election after he blatantly stole the presidency. Then Turkey joined forces with Brazil to try to dilute the American-led effort to tighten U.N. sanctions aimed at stopping Iran's nuclear arms program. Most recently, Turkey sponsored the "aid flotilla" designed to break Israel's blockade of Gaza and to hand Hamas a public relations victory.

True, there remain secularists in Istanbul who revere the legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, founder of the Republic of Turkey. But they have no hold over the key government ministries, and their grip over the army is slipping. Today the talk in Istanbul is quite openly about an "Ottoman alternative," which harks back to the days when the Sultan ruled over an empire that stretched from North Africa to the Caucasus.

If Turkey can no longer be relied on to move towards the West, who in the Muslim world can be? All the Arab countries except Iraq—a precarious democracy created by the United States—are ruled by despots of various stripes. And all the opposition groups that have any meaningful support among the local populations are run by Islamist outfits like the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood.

In Indonesia and Malaysia, Islamist movements are demanding the expansion of Shariah law. In Egypt, Hosni Mubarak's time is running out. Should the U.S. support the installation of his son? If so, the rest of the Muslim world will soon be accusing the Obama administration of double standards—if elections for Iraq, why not for Egypt? Analysts have observed that in free and fair elections, a Muslim Brotherhood victory cannot be ruled out.

Algeria? Somalia? Sudan? It is hard to think of a single predominantly Muslim country that is behaving according to the One World script.

The greatest advantage of Huntington's civilizational model of international relations is that it reflects the world as it is—not as we wish it to be. It allows us to distinguish friends from enemies. And it helps us to identify the internal conflicts within civilizations, particularly the historic rivalries between Arabs, Turks and Persians for leadership of the Islamic world.

But divide and rule cannot be our only policy. We need to recognize the extent to which the advance of radical Islam is the result of an active propaganda campaign. According to a CIA report written in 2003, the Saudis invested at least $2 billion a year over a 30-year period to spread their brand of fundamentalist Islam. The Western response in promoting our own civilization was negligible.

Our civilization is not indestructible: It needs to be actively defended. This was perhaps Huntington's most important insight. The first step towards winning this clash of civilizations is to understand how the other side is waging it—and to rid ourselves of the One World illusion.

Ms. Ali, a former member of the Dutch parliament, is the author of "Nomad: From Islam to America—A Personal Journey through the Clash of Civilizations," which has just been published by Free Press.

Terminal Tolerance

From American Freedom Alliance:

Terminal Tolerance


19 Written by: Diana West

Thursday, August 19, 2010 6:59 AM

We've been hearing more talk, buzz and chatter about Shariah lately than I imagined was possible. Unfortunately, much of it is still uninformed and reliant only on the emotional bouyance of 9/11, as though the battleground of Lower Manhattan is the only place a Shariah-advancing imam should be barred from building an anti-Constitutional outpost of Islam. Defenders of the mosque project, meanwhile, exhale testaments to religious freedom and tolerance that crest and crash over the apparently unimagined, unknown, ungrasped perils to liberty, equality and freedom of conscience that are actually advertised in Islam's mainstream tenets. We must support this mosque, we are told, lest we become, as MSNBC's Norah O'Donnell actually said on the air (without blushing, fainting or otherwise convulsing), like the 9/11 jihadists. But this is a kind of tolerance without limits.

And how virtuous is that? The British philosopher Karl Popper formulated his answer more than a half century ago.

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed and tolerance with them.... We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant. We should claim that any movement preaching intolerance places itself outside the law, and we should consider incitement to intolerance and persecution as criminal, in the same way we should consider incitement to murder, or to kidnapping, or to the revival of the slave trade (Italics added.)

As the situation vis a vis the Shariah-spreading, Wahhabi-supporting, Qaradawi-admiring, taqiyya** (deception) - mongering, open-to-jihad-funding Imam Fesial Rauf tells us, the West is now at the point where enforcing “openness” trumps preserving “tolerance.” In other words, better to be “open” to intolerance (read: Islamic doctrine as codified in the Shariah on women, non-Muslims, freedom of conscience) than “closed” to anything -- including intolerance. There is some ripe irony in the fact, according to this mindset, that tolerating the intolerant becomes the ultimate act of openness -- literally “ultimate,” as Popper tells us, since tolerance of the intolerant leads to the destruction of the tolerant.

Call it terminal tolerance.

With several changes, from The Death of the Grown-Up, pp. 161-162


** Taqiyya is Islamically sanctioned deception. When I first ventured onto Imam Rauf's Cordoba Initiative website earlier this year, I found this classic example, now scrubbed from the site, along with other extremely interesting information, as Christine Brim startlingly reports at Big Peace.com (more on that in this week's column):

Here's what I saved from the Cordoba Initiative website, circa May 2010:

The Qur’an makes it clear that Mohammed did not establish his new faith in a vacuum; he simply reinstated a primordial religion originally founded by Abraham, making it accessible to all of humanity.

Catch the blenderizing of Judaism and Christianity into Islam.

Because of this, Jews and Christians (known in Islam as “People of the Book”) are seen as brothers and sisters of Muslims and common followers of scripture. Forced conversion, as a result, was never a policy of Muslim conquerors during the period of Islam’s spread.

Never (no, not much)!

Instead, Jews and Christians living under Muslim rule simply had to pay a tax to finance their protection by their Muslim overlords.

"Simply had to pay a tax" ... Sounds greatl Gee, where do we sign up? The Ground Zero Mosque?

In the post-9/11 environment, some Americans tend to think of Islam as a violent creed and of those who practice jihad as terrorists by definition. Jihad, however, is a large and complicated concept, whose meaning actually boils down to the need for peaceful struggle for self-betterment—the war that we wage against the vices within ourselves—

like Weight Watchers.

-- a central injunction to all Muslims. That Americans associate Islam with violence is, of course, entirely the fault of the extremists who perpetrate crimes under a false Islamic guise.

Lies. But not because I say so. Because Islam says so. From Reliance of the Traveller, the multi-mufti and Al Azhar approved guide to Shariah (that every American should study to learn about Shariah):


(O: Jihad means to war against non-Muslims, and is etymologically derived from the word mujahada, signifying warfare to establish the religion. And it is the lesser jihad. As for the greater jihad, it is a spiritual warfare against the lower self (nafs), which is why the Prophet ... said as he was returning from from jihad,

"We have returned from the lesser jihad to the greater jihad."

The scriptural basis for jihad, prior to scholarly consensus (def. b7) is such Koranic verses as:

(1) "Fighting is prescribed for you" (Koran 2:216)

(2) "Slay them wherever you find them" (Koran 4:89) ...

It goes on from there, moving from the Koran to the Hadiths (lore of Mohammed) but the gist is clear.

The Rauf site failed to come clean about a crucial, authoritative definition of jihad; in fact, the only definition of jihad that actually matters to -- and endangers -- non-Muslims. That is, it's all very nice if Muslims successfully take up their greater jihads on a personal level, but it's the so-called lesser jihad (holy war) to Islam (submission) that counts for everyone else.

Flimflamming jihad -- how "moderate" is that?

Islam Means Submission

From Winds of Jihad:

Diana West: there’s a reason “Islam” means “submission”

by sheikyermami on August 30, 2010

Diana West: Islam outlaws all the things that allow Bloomberg to tolerate it

Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance

By: DIANA WEST Examiner Columnist

Bloomberg: vested interests or just a kumbaya monkey?

“We are Americans, each with an equal right to worship and pray where we choose,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this week. “There is nowhere in the five boroughs that is off limits to any religion.”

An Open Letter to Mayor Bloomberg

Our founding documents guarantee that – and not just in the five boroughs.

But the unprecedented furor over plans for a mosque complex at ground zero tells us there is a coalescing sense that Islam is more than a “mere” religion as non-Muslims conceive of “religion.” It is becoming clear to people, despite the gag of political correctness, that there’s a reason “Islam” means “submission.”

Islam not only seeks to order the spiritual realm inhabited by a Muslim and Allah, it lays out a doctrine to control every believer’s behavior (down to the most intimate bodily functions) as well as the public life of the collective. Doctrinally, Islam is thus “doubly totalitarian,” in the words of G.H. Bousquet, a leading scholar of Islamic law, in accordance with the body of law known as Shariah.

Under Shariah, freedom of conscience and freedom of speech are outlawed with extreme sanction (those who leave Islam fear death to this day), while non-Muslims and women exist as legal inferiors to the Muslim man. Meanwhile, jihad — holy war to extend Islamic rule — is a sacred command. And I have the books that prove it.

In other words, this isn’t Islam because I say so, but because its sacred, authoritative, mainstream, non-hijacked, untwisted texts say so. It is the religious and political and legal ideology that inspired the al Qaeda killers on 9/11, and it is the religious and political and legal ideology that inspires the mosque complex at ground zero.

And I didn’t come up with that, folks; I just happened to notice, and thought you should know.

The crucial fact is, whether we are brutalized by acts of jihad or confused by acts of dawa (proselytizing), their goal is identical: more Islamic law. And this end will always justify the means as seen, for example, back in 2005 when hundreds of acclaimed Islamic clerics and heads of state gathered in Amman, Jordan.

There, quite anti-climactically, they issued the “Amman Message” that declares that no Muslim who adheres to a recognized school of Islam may be labeled an apostate. Subtext: Not even Osama bin Laden could be, in effect, excommunicated or otherwise blackballed or removed from good standing by these Islamic authorities. One of the 552 signatories was Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.

Bloomberg types are blind to these things, from the Shariah-spreading efforts of Rauf (noted here last week), to dictates of Shariah that subvert constitutional liberties. So, blindly, they sound platitudes in Islam’s defense, plucking emotional chords that resonate with Americans about “liberty,” “tolerance,” and “religious freedom” on behalf of a belief system that, ultra-ironically, outlaws them all.

Bloomberg actually suggested that a failure to erect the mosque complex would “undermine our soldiers,” “our foreign policy objectives” — even “our national security.”

“Just as we fought communism by showing the world the power of free markets and free elections,” said Bloomberg, “so must we fight terrorism by showing the world the power of religious freedom and cultural tolerance. Freedom and tolerance will always defeat tyranny and terrorism – that is the great lesson of the 20th century, and we must not abandon it here in the 21st.”

It almost sounds wonderful – until the froth dries and you remember that fighting tyranny is never as easy as show and tell. This is something that victims of the Soviet Union and Eastern Bloc, for example, could explain to the mayor. Freedom and tolerance, regardless of how well they are exemplified, don’t have a chance against tyranny and terrorism if they aren’t vigilantly protected.

Indeed, tolerance is doomed if it is extended to the intolerant, something philosopher Karl Popper worked out in the last century.

“Unlimited tolerance must lead to the disappearance of tolerance. If we extend unlimited tolerance even to those who are intolerant, if we are not prepared to defend a tolerant society against the onslaught of the intolerant, then the tolerant will be destroyed and tolerance with them. … We should therefore claim, in the name of tolerance, the right not to tolerate the intolerant.”

For the sake of the twin towers that’s a duty.

Examiner Columnist Diana West is syndicated nationally by United Media and is the author of “The Death of the Grown-Up: How America’s Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization.”

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New york High School Tests Applauds Islam, Deplores Christianity

from Act! For America:

HS test 'slams' Christianity, lauds Islam

By YOAV GONEN Education Reporter

Last Updated: 5:07 AM, August 24, 2010

Posted: 2:33 AM, August 24, 2010

State testmakers played favorites when quizzing high-schoolers on world religions -- giving Islam and Buddhism the kid-gloves treatment while socking it to Christianity, critics say.

Teachers complain that the reading selections from the Regents exam in global history and geography given last week featured glowing passages pertaining to Muslim society but much more critical essay excerpts on the subject of Christianity.

"There should have been a little balance in there," said one Brooklyn teacher who administered the exam but did not want to be identified.

"To me, this was offensive because it's just so inappropriate and the timing of it was piss-poor," he added, referring to the debate over the plan to build a mosque near Ground Zero.

The most troubling passage came from Daniel Roselle's "A World History: A Cultural Approach," observers said.

The passage reads: "Wherever they went, the Moslems [sic] brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western Christendom."

Meanwhile, an excerpt listing the common procedures used by Christian friars to introduce the religion in Latin America stated that "idols, temples and other material evidences of paganism [were] destroyed," and "Christian buildings [were] often constructed on sites of destroyed native temples" -- and built with free Indian labor, to boot.

"I can see why some people might see these questions as skewed," said Mark MacWilliams, a religious-studies professor at St. Lawrence University in upstate Canton. "Why does the exam seem to have only documents that portray Islam as a religion of peace, civilization and refinement, while it includes documents about Christianity that show it was anything but peaceful in the Spanish conquest of the Americas?"

At the same time, MacWilliams criticized the presentation of Hernando Cortes' conquest of Mexico -- which he said portrayed him as a "choirboy" rather than a "conquistador."

"It's quite a whitewash," he said.

Some other religious-studies experts contacted by The Post said they didn't see what the fuss was all about.

"[The] selections seem about equal in terms of being historically/culturally focused, all relatively positive about the contributions made by each religion as it was introduced into various societies," wrote Barbara Sproul, an associate professor of religion at Hunter College in Manhattan.

Yet Michael Dobkowski, chair of Religious Studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in upstate Geneva, asserted that it was only Christianity for which both positive and negative aspects were highlighted.

"Some [essays] suggest a kind of Christian triumphalism and the desire to convert the other that is not present in the treatment of Islam," he said. "My impression is that there is certainly a divergence of approaches and impressions that should not appear in a Regents exam of this caliber."

State education officials said that every effort had been made to present accurate historical information through the excerpts.

They said the questions had been developed over a four-year period and require students to use their own knowledge of social studies to produce answers.

They added that they weren't aware of any complaints about the exam.

The Muslim reading:

* “Wherever they went, the Moslems [sic] brought with them their love of art, beauty and learning. From about the eighth to the eleventh century, their culture was superior in many ways to that of western Christendom.

* “Some of the finest centers of Moslem life were established in Spain. In Cordova, the streets were solidly paved, while at the same time in Paris people waded ankle-deep in mud after a rain. Cordovan public lamps lighted roads for as far as ten miles; yet seven hundred years later there was still not a single public lamp in London!”

Source: Daniel Roselle, A World History: A Cultural Approach

The Christian reading:

Common Procedures used by Friars in Converting Areas in Spanish America:

* “Idols, temples and other material evidences of paganism destroyed.”

* “Christian buildings often constructed on sites of destroyed native temples in order to symbolize and emphasize the substitution of one religion by the other.”

* “Indians supplied construction labor without receiving payment.”

* “In a converted community, services and fiestas were regularly held in the church building.”

Source: Based on information from Charles Gibson, Spain in America

Additional reporting by Chuck Bennett

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Left's Unlikely Alliance With Islam

From The American Thinker:

August 28, 2010

The Left's Unlikely Alliance with Islam

By Robert Eugene Simmons Jr.

As we look around the world at the countries that practice Islam as a state religion, it is almost incomprehensible that the left should defend Islam so fervently. We don't have to look to the radicals in the Taliban or Hamas to see issues that most Americans would question. Sharia Law is practiced by most Islamic centric countries, and it is in almost direct opposition to the principles on which America was established and in direct contrast to the agenda of the left in America. What is important to realize is that Sharia Law isn't an outlier, practiced by radicals like al-Qaeda, but actually the mainstream core of jurisprudence in the Islamic world.

The application of Sharia Law is incomprehensible to most Americans used to Western common law. For example, late last year, the Saudi equivalent of the Supreme Court refused to grant a divorce to an eight-year-old who was essentially sold to her fifty-year-old husband by her father. Child brides are prevalent and legal in Muslim countries governed by Sharia law. In another example, just recently, a case of a couple who were stoned to death for having sexual relations outside marriage made the news from Afghanistan, and a thirteen-year-old was stoned to death for being raped and ending up pregnant. When the leader of Iran says that there are no homosexuals in Iran at a Columbia university speech, he is saying the bare truth, as Iran frequently executes homosexuals since homosexuality is a capital crime under Sharia Law. In addition, under Sharia law, killings of children or wives for embarrassing the "honor" of a family are often tolerated and considered excusable. In Saudi Arabia, it is even taught to children that killing adulterers is a good thing. Finally, even in moderate Islamic countries, women are second- or third-class citizens, being denied education, prevented from driving, holding a job, and even dressing themselves as they wish.

Without even delving into the actions of violent radicals, in one paragraph, we have illustrated any number of things that would be outright crimes in the USA and would seem to go directly against the agenda of the left. Apparently gay rights, women's equality, protection of children, human trafficking, and murder or domestic violence are not important to the left so long as the perpetrator of the incident is of the religion of Islam.

The left's support for the Ground Zero mosque in New York is perplexing, as it would seem to go against many of their stated political goals. However, the support for the mosque is only one of many incidents that form a pattern of political and moral support for Islam. In fact, the Obama administration has made a number of conciliatory gestures to Islamic countries, even going so far as apologize to Islam and preach American tolerance of Islam in Cairo, Egypt. Combined with the removal of the words "terrorism" and "Islamic radicalism" from State and Justice Departments language, the pattern is unambiguous. Finally, the left has shown that it is perfectly willing to deride those who question the practices of Islam and Sharia law as "Islamophobes" while ignoring obvious intolerance from the practitioners of Islam. The fact that the critics of Islam get censored and threatened with death for speaking out doesn't seem to bother the left's interpretation of the First Amendment in the way that a death threat from a Catholic to atheist critics would.

The alliance between the left and Islam is also a study in irony. If either of the two groups were to achieve all of its aims, the other group would be wiped out. Let's say, hypothetically, that the left is able to convert the whole world to a secular socialist state. In such a world, there would be no room for discrimination of gays or slavery of woman, not to mention any room for a fundamentalist religion at all. On the other hand, if the Islamic radicals were ever to establish their Caliphate, the left would be plowed under with all of the rest of the non-believers, the homosexuals would be executed on discovery, the women who dared practice feminine independence in selection of their intimate partners would be stoned to death, and in general they would be subjugated to be little more than property.

When searching for the reason why these two unlikely groups might get together, we find that the only thing that they share in common is a deep-seated belief that America is the cause of most of the problems throughout the world. Even moderate Islamic countries have long pressed the worldview that despite the fact that the world's energy supply has come from the Middle East for sixty years, that it is America that is the reason for abject poverty in most of the Middle East. Neither the American left nor the Islamic countries even consider that it could be the dictators sitting on golden toilets and oppressing their people with militant force and autocratic control of the media that might be the problem. America is, to many countries in the Islamic world, at best infidels and at worst the great Satan. In either case, the Koran mandates violence against us in many suras; those suras are no more open to interpretation than are any other part of the Koran, as the Koran is the exact word of God to Muslims. Interpretation is not only impossible; it is blasphemous to Muslims. The violent Islamic radicals have been very clear that their goal is to bring about a world-dominating Caliphate and convert the world to Islam and Sharia Law by force. This isn't an accusation, but something they admit to and are proud of. They occasionally latch on to various political issues to forward their agenda, but the agenda itself is driven by a deeply believed religious conviction that "there is no god but Allah" and anyone who believes otherwise is to be subjugated if possible or destroyed.

The left in America proceed under the assumption that it is the "excesses" of the Western Caucasians that are the cause of strife in the world. The left has outright said that it is the "imperialism" of the USA that has caused the problems in the world today despite America not actually having an empire. The undertone message is that if it weren't for us, there wouldn't be any terrorism, poverty, war, disease, or strife. Of course, that is preposterous. Only a person with little education in the way the rest of the world actually lives would put forth such incredible proposals. In a recent talk at the Brookings Institution, Hillary Clinton actually opined that America should be more like Brazil, a statement that could be uttered only by someone who hasn't seen the miles and miles of slums that make the poor in America look like millionaires. Still, even the educated and well-traveled left fail to recognize the excellence of America. The left often attribute to American soldiers the traits of third-world dictators' armies without blinking an eye. Finally, the left often accuse America of being imperialistic even though America has left after rebuilding every country that has attacked it.

However, the problem that many Americans not on the hard left have with the moderate Islamic countries has nothing to do with racism, as Islam is a political and religious ideology, not a race. Instead, the disagreements center around the Islamic countries' continued support of brutality inherent in Sharia Law, their refusal to condemn and expel violent extremists in their midst, and their steadfast devotion to demonizing the Western world for all of their domestic woes. Tolerance, in the American psyche, is not a one-way street, but must be reciprocated by the Islamic people tolerating the American culture. When the Muslims wish to build a mosque in a spot designed to twist a knife in America's guts, named The Cordoba House -- historically symbolic of Muslim conquest -- Americans don't see tolerance of their views.

Most fair-minded Americans have no problem with people who wish to practice their religion. In addition, most fair-minded Americans know of the difficult pasts of Christianity and Judaism and would demand of Islam what has been demanded of other religions. Americans don't tolerate inquisitions anymore than they do Sharia courts. Americans realize that religious freedom is inherent in the melting pot that is America, but they also understand that all religions must exist under an umbrella of mutual respect and within the boundaries of common law. Americans would no more accept honor killings than they would accept a Catholic man killing atheists for the sake of his religion. The freedom of religion, in the end, is not a carte blanche to do whatever you wish and then yell "first amendment," but rather a constraint to prevent the government from imposing a single religion, as Islamic governments do.

The Islamic radicals are happy to use their influence with the left to forward their agenda, but when are fair-minded people who lean politically left going to realize that their allies are not allies at all -- that they are being used to forward an agenda in direct contrast to their own?

The Enemy At The Gate

from The American Thinker:

August 28, 2010

The enemy at the gate

Don Watson

The enemy is at the gate and Michael Bloomberg wants to sing Kumbaya.

At least that is what it feels like.

It reminds me of a weirdly comical Far Side cartoon where the Indians have laid siege to the fort and the Calvary are looking down in horror as the dim witted cook opens the doors to take out the garbage. We can criticize Bloomberg but this is not a joke.

Everything about this Mosque positively reeks of Islamic hegemony. It is a historic tradition for Muslims to build their mosques on top of the religious sites they have conquered; The Temple Mount, The Cordoba mosque, the Umayyad Mosque in Syria etc. It is a list too long to mention and it is not just ancient history. In 1981 Muslims converted the Catholic Sint-Ignatiuskerk into the Faith Mosque and a synagogue in the Hague into the Aksa Mosque. In Afganistan the Taliban blew up the world famous Buddhist statues not long before 9/11. In Turkey and Crypus Synagogues and Churches were taken over and converted to Mosques in 1974.

The ground zero Mosque is part of this pattern. It is being called the Cordoba House because some historians have described that period and place as a time when there was a true heterodoxy of faith. The Christians and the Jews still paid the special tax for their right to practice their religion as a provision of Sharia. The dhimma of medieval Cordoba was the traditional practice of a hegemonic Islam where non Muslims had no rights before the law, Islamic law, which was the law of the land. They had their own laws which were a back seat to anything Islam. That Imam Rauf would think this is a shining example of coexistence is alarming.

Imam Rauf has said that Sharia law is almost like the Declaration of Independence. In other words American culture is almost as good as Islamic culture. Really? He gauges American culture by its conformity to Sharia like measuring a shoe for the fitting. Again alarming. This man has already been exposed for what he is by Fox, 60 minutes and others.

The Greek Orthodox Church that was destroyed at ground zero, despite enormous support for its restoration, (financially documented by the way) remains mired in the usual red tape that makes projects like that poke along at a snail's pace. This mosque on the other hand has very little popular support and yet seems to be enjoying an accelerated fast tract for such a controversial project. Once again Christianity is taking a back seat to Islam. Again we see the pattern.

Bloomberg is no Guliani. He appears to be caught like a deer in the headlights intimidated by Islam on the one hand (threats of being labeled Islamophobic? why else the fast tract?) and trying to hide it by righteously defending freedom of religion and property rights on the other.

Posted at 11:06 AM

Ground Zero Hypocrites

from The American Thinker:

August 28, 2010

Ground Zero hypocrites

Russ Vaughn

It's the only conclusion an intelligent, well-adjusted graduate of any collegiate journalism/media program can possibly draw from the facts extant. The small, unassuming, St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, a fixture in Lower Manhattan for 100 years was one of the lesser-noted casualties of the 9/11 terrorist attack. Attempts to resurrect and rebuild this historic place of worship have been stymied for years now by those narrow-minded, bigoted, public service union thugs at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, who most obviously are stubbornly clinging to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them.

Oh the shame, the unbearable shame, America, that a bunch of merely uninformed rubes like those in Manhattan could subject the rest of the nation to this sort of outrageous trampling of the constitutional rights of the Greek Orthodox Church to build, nay rebuild, an edifice of worship in the lower reaches of this benighted borough. It has been reported by as yet undetermined members of our select group that upwards of 70% of the mindless masses of Manhattan are staunchly, and needless to say, ignorantly, opposed to the resurrection of this pillar of religious freedom. That such a hateful fringe of voters could stand in the way of the basic tenets of our Constitution is unthinkable.

We the enlightened, we the scribes, spiritual attendants at the temple of truth, can only shake our heads in abject shame and wonder that we must share the same real estate as these unlettered, uninformed, and yes, most probably unwashed, malcontents who would shutter the flame of religious freedom that we have so long and so devotedly upheld in our unwavering support of evangelical America and the Catholic Church. Here we, the true guardians of religious freedom in America, have devoted so much ink, air time and heartfelt effort to correct this injustice against this tiny church and, alas, all has come to naught.

Oh the shame, the unbearable shame...

Comments should be directed to the moderator at JournoList.

Posted at 11:15 AM

How Christian Is Obama?

From The American Thinker:

August 29, 2010

How Christian is Obama?

Jill Meyer

With all the discussions about whether or not the President is a Christian, I did something I'd never expected to do: I went to the library, checked out a copy of The Audacity of Hope, and read it.

We have to be careful judging - but in his own words, in his own book, in his own chapter on Faith (page 226 of the hard-cover edition) -- Obama recalls his little daughter asking what happens to us when we die. His response was to tell her she wouldn't have to worry about that for a long time, and, he writes, that seemed to satisfy her.

He goes on to say:

"I wondered whether I should have told her the truth, that I wasn't sure what happens when we die, any more than I was sure of where the soul resides or what existed before the Big Bang."

Christianity didn't seem to factor into his answer to his daughter, or into his own thoughts about life after death. You'd think a Christian father would have told his little girl at least something about God and heaven.

Jill Meyer

Posted at 08:56 AM

The Truth About Islam Will Set You Free

from The Patriot Word:

Sunday, August 29, 2010The Truth About Islam Will Set You Free...

In Islam, God's self-revelation took the form of the Koran. The Encyclopaedia of Islam (1982) observes, "The closest analogue in Christian belief to the role of the Koran in Muslim belief is not the Bible, but Christ." The Koran alone is the revelatory event in Islam.

Proof of earlier versions of the Koran establish beyond reasonable doubt that it was not dictated by the Archangel Gabriel to the Prophet Mohammad during the 7th century. It is merely a fiction redacted by writers from a variety of extant Christian and Jewish sources, once again confirming that the entire Islamic faith is nothing more than a long running fraud.

Even without long hidden photographic evidence confirming the existance of multiple versions of the Koran, the internal inconsistency between Mohammed's time in Mecca and Medina present gross unreconciled differences of posture and make the Koran's veracity and authenticity highly suspect. The fact that territories where the Koran is the predominant source of moral character provides further strong circumstantial evidence that the Koran is unfit as a moral guide and where employed as such the moral structure of society decays to wanton violence, disrespect for human dignity and equality, independent of whether empolyed tyrannically by governments or anarchically by individuals the effect is the same.

Contrary to islamic doctrinal rhetoric, it has long been known that variant copies of the Koran exist, including some found in 1972 in a paper grave at Sa'na in Yemen, which were the subject of a cover story in the January 1999 Atlantic Monthly. Before the Yemeni authorities shut the door to Western scholars, two German academics, Gerhard R Puin and H C Graf von Bothmer, made 35,000 microfilm copies, which remain at the University of the Saarland. Scholars believe that the German archive, which includes photocopies of manuscripts as old as 700 AD, provide conclusive evidence of variation in the Koran.

On the night of April 24, 1944, British air force bombers hammered a former Jesuit college housing the Bavarian Academy of Science. The 16th-century building crumpled in the inferno. Among the treasures claimed to have been lost, by Anton Spitaler an Arabic scholar at the academy, was a unique photo archive of ancient manuscripts of the Koran.

The 450 rolls of film had been assembled before the war for a bold venture: a study of the evolution of the Koran, the text Muslims view as the verbatim transcript of God's word. The wartime destruction made the project "outright impossible", Mr Spitaler wrote in the 1970s.

Mr Spitaler was lying. The cache of photos survived, and he was sitting on it all along. "He pretended it disappeared. He wanted to be rid of it," says Angelika Neuwirth, a former pupil and protégée of the late Mr. Spitaler. Academics who worked with Mr. Spitaler, a powerful figure in postwar German scholarship who died in 2003, have been left guessing why he squirreled away the unusual trove for so long.

The reason Spitaler hid the archies lies in the Nazi alliance with Islamist Leaders, who shared their hatred of the Jews and also sought leverage against the British in the Middle East. Here is a picture of the Mufti of Jerusalem meeting with Adolf Hitler.

The dissemination of European models of anti-Semitism among Muslims was not haphazard, but an actual project of the Nazi Party, meant to turn Muslims against Jews and Zionism. Years before World War II, two Muslim leaders in particular willingly and knowingly carried Nazi ideology directly to the Muslim masses. They were Haj Amin al-Husseini, the mufti of Jerusalem, and the Egyptian proto-Islamist Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It may be a very long time before the contents of the Bavarian archive are known. The archive's custodian, has denied access to scholars who stray from the traditional interpretation and as such access is very limited. Neuwirth, the custodian, admits that she has had the archive since 1990.

The Quran is viewed by most Muslims as the unchanging word of God as transmitted to the Prophet Muhammad in the 7th century. The text, they believe, didn't evolve or get edited. The Quran says it is "flawless" and fixed by an "imperishable tablet" in heaven. It starts with a warning: "This book is not to be doubted."

So many Muslims have this belief that everything between the two covers of the Koran is just God's unaltered word. Countless acts of wanton violence and immorality immitating Mohammed's sadistic criminal life and vindicated through his fictious prophecies have been justified on this errant belief.

The fact that the Koran has a history proves that all of the evil done in the name of the Islam is infact just evil, reveals the pointlessness of forcing Islam on others, and justifies all Muslims considering abandonning Islam. The truth eventually emerges about everything, and it will set you free. Abandoning Islam is the first step in the rest of your life, a better life where joy and forgiveness replace guilt and terror, isn't it time that you took that step?

Posted by Walter L. Brown Jr. at 2:02 PM

Who Are You Calling A Bigot?: Middle East Studies Professors Attack Ground Zero Mega-Mosque Opponents

from Campus Watch:

Who're You Calling a 'Bigot'? Middle East Studies Professors Attack Opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque

by Brendan Goldman

American Thinker

August 29, 2010


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John Esposito, director of the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim Christian Understanding at Georgetown University, having observed that a large majority of Americans oppose an Islamic center at ground zero, could not decide whether American society now more closely resembles that of Birmingham, Alabama circa 1963 or Nazi Germany on the eve of Kristallnacht:

[Newt Gingrich is] somebody...from the South [who] can remember the problem of racism and civil rights. He's also reportedly a Christian.... He's got to remember how a theology of anti-Semitism led to a history of pogroms that ultimately led to the Final solution.

Such callous historical analogies were but one component of a concerted effort by a group of Middle East studies professors to discredit the opponents of the ground zero mosque, whom they helpfully labeled "rural rednecks," "so-called Christian ministers," and "the Israel lobbies."

Most of the academics echoed a warning that a "tidal wave of 'Islamophobia'" would soon overtake America -- act two of the "wave of hate crimes" that occurred "post-9/11." These statements ignore a basic fact: no such "wave" ever occurred. As columnist Jonah Goldberg writes, despite the rhetoric of the Left, statistics demonstrate this country is not particularly susceptible to "Islamophobia."

In 2001 (the year of 9/11), there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents [in America] as there were anti-Muslim, according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim incidents by at least 6 to 1.

Undeterred by facts, these same academics offered spirited defenses of the "moderate" ground zero mosque Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf -- who called America an "accessory" to the 9/11 attacks and said Osama Bin-Laden was "made in the USA". What they rarely revealed is that their conception of a Muslim "moderate" is defined on a spectrum utterly alien to their American audience.

The prominent Egyptian sheikh, Yusuf al-Qardawi, sits at the center of the academics' spectrum. According to mosque supporter Marc Lynch, associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, Qardawi is a practitioner of wastataniyya or "centrism" and "a barometer of Muslim opinion." Esposito likewise calls Qardawi a "reformist". Rauf says the sheikh is "the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today."

The problem: Qardawi, as a "reformist" and exemplar of "centrist" Islam has said, for instance, that "[Hitler] put the Jews in their place," that homosexuality is an "abominable practice" which warrants the death penalty, and that women should be genitally mutilated to protect their chastity. Reassurances of Rauf's moderation ring hollow when this context becomes clear.

Although, according to these academics' definition of the spectrum of Muslim public opinion, one might expect that only fringe voices in the Islamic world would reject the mosque, in reality such prominent Muslims as Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, director-general of Al-Arabiya TV, oppose its construction. As al-Rashid, perhaps one of the best placed sources for analyzing popular opinion in the Arab-Islamic world, said:

I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a monument or a place of worship that tomorrow may become a source of pride for the terrorists and their Muslim followers.

But a genuine debate over the choice of location for the mosque, the radical connections of its leadership, and the opaque sources of its $100 million budget was apparently less edifying than painting all of the mosque's opponents as bigots. In the process, the academics revealed their own striking prejudices.

Richard Bulliet, professor of Islamic history at Columbia University, suggested one theory -- the malignant influence of Jewish paranoia.

I see [some of the opposition to the mosque] as linked to broad apprehensions, both in this country and in Israel that evil deeds...suspected of being a part of a Muslim master plan, pose an existential threat to the Jewish people.

The professor provided no evidence for his assertion, but perhaps he simply mixed-up the subject of the conspiracy theory he ridiculed: The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, which outlines a farcical Jewish "master plan" to rule the world, is a perennial best-seller in many parts of the Islamic world.

Moataz Abdel-Fattah, associate professor of Middle East Studies at Central Michigan University, took a swipe at Christians too, arguing that opposition to the mosque is rooted in "the theological bias of the Judeo-Christian tradition."

Muqtedar Khan, the director of Islamic Studies at the University of Delaware, chose to be vaguer, warning that "dark elements" have formed an alliterative "pernicious partnership between politics and prejudice." He added, "[This 'partnership's'] anger could manifest in myriad forms of discriminatory behavior towards Muslims."

Khan is an expert on "discriminatory behavior," having refused to sit on an academic panel with Israeli-American Scholar Asaf Romirowsky, because Romirowsky, like all citizens of the Jewish state, served in his country's armed forces.

Other scholars sought Khan's "myriad forms" of anti-Muslim behavior in an isolated incident in which the pastor of a small church in Gainesville, Florida called for burning the Quran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. The pastor was the subject of countless academics' editorials in which they stigmatized American society as "Islamophobic."

Hamid Dabashi, Hagop Kevorkian professor of Iranian Studies at Columbia University, was one such scholar; he warned in a CNN op-ed of "those promoting an orgy of Quran burning." Dabashi failed to mention that "those promoting" this "orgy" consisted of precisely one man, and that the state denied the pastor a permit necessary to do so.

Stephen Zunes, chairman of Middle East Studies at the University of San Francisco, told the Islamic Republic of Iran's state funded Press TV that, "We have seen [this pastor's] kind of extreme rhetoric for some time now," adding:

If you really look at Western history, you can see scapegoat[ed] minorities.... It shows an ugly aspect of Western societies despite claims of religious pluralism.

This "ugl[iness]" is obviously a uniquely Western phenomenon, since in enlightened "Eastern societies" like Iran Jews historically were not allowed to leave their homes when it rained because they were considered polluted, practicing Baha'is are still regularly arrested without pretense and -- of course -- "there are no gays."

Esposito seconded Zune's bizarre theme of America's exceptional intolerance in the eyes of the Islamic world, telling his American audience that opposition to the ground zero mosque "stunned...the vast majority of Muslims." Muslims living under the rule of Esposito's Saudi sponsors must be "stunned" by Americans' opposition to the construction of a thirteen-story Islamic center at ground zero, considering the erection of the most humble synagogue or church anywhere in Saudi Arabia is prohibited and non-Muslims may not even enter the cities of Mecca or Medina.

If you find yourself asking why the defenders of the ground zero mosque keep recycling hyperbolic accusations of bigotry, listen to the analysis of many of our nation's "leading" Middle East studies scholars. Their attempts to characterize all opposition to the mosque as examples of "Islamophobia" ignore the complicated emotions evoked by the 9/11 attacks and the genuine concerns of many Muslims and non-Muslims alike over the mosque's fundraising, location, and the radical connections of its leadership. Finally, if one must embrace these professors' infatuation with perceived prejudices, then associating "centrist" Muslims with homophobes, misogynists and anti-Semites -- while embracing conspiratorial charges against "so-called Christian ministers," "rural rednecks" and "the theological bias of the Judeo-Christian tradition" -- seems to fit the very definition of bigotry.

Brendan Goldman, a member of New York University's class of 2010, earned a B.A. in Middle Eastern and Islamic studies. This essay was sponsored by Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

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Cordoba, Al Andaluz, The Golden Age And More Islamic Fairy Tales

from Winds of Jihad:

Cordoba, Al Andaluz, Golden Age & More Islamic Fairy-tales

by sheikyermami on August 29, 2010

2 articles!

Wonderful, Wonderful Cordoba

Posted By David Solway/Frontpagemag

The Media Myth of Córdoba

Unfortunately for the credulous and gullible amongst us, the entire story is bogus. The myth of “the Golden Age of Islam” in Iberia is just that, a myth. (Andrew Bostom plucks this goose here on the Gates of Vienna)

The proposed construction of the “Cordoba” mega-mosque near Ground Zero has served as a catalyst for a renewed interest in the history of Cordoba under Islamic rule in Al-Andalus (Spain). Many of those who are opposed to Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s presumed “bridge building” initiative, as represented by the project first called Cordoba House and now renamed Park51, have gone back to the history books, or have decided to speak out and address the purport of the designation: “Cordoba.” For instance, Victor Davis Hanson in a recentinterview [1] alludes to “the rather silly evocation of Cordoba; in toto, it was not really a utopian medieval city of understanding.” And Lisa Graas shows [2] that “things started out rather bad under Muslim rule…and went downhill over time…The history for us is clear and it is a history that no Catholic would like to see a repeat of in Manhattan.” Cordoba Jews fared better for a time, as Jane Gerber lavishly chronicles in The Jews of Spain [3], but they too eventually fell victim to persecution. Even the renowned Jewish sage Moses Maimonides [4] was forced to flee the city, escaping to Fez where he lived for years disguised as a Muslim.

And yet all this should have been evident in the weeks and months after the Twin Towers were destroyed and nearly three thousand people were murdered by so-called “Islamist” terrorists. For it would not take long before Muslim and non-Muslim apologists for the “religion of peace” would hearken back to the ostensibly genial and temperate era of Moorish Spain, a time, we were instructed, when Christians and Jews were welcomed by their Muslim overlords and peacefully integrated into the life of the realm, permitted to worship freely and even received into the learned professions, many as katibs (secretaries) to the Caliph. Such conjurings by journalists and pundits constituted nothing less than an intellectual embarrassment. Mutatis mutandis, these fairy tale votaries resembled an updated version of Danny Kaye and crew singing “Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen [5],” that “friendly old girl of a town.”

I recall coming across numerous references to the splendors of Cordoba in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy, which were obviously intended to deflect indignation and fury and to distill for a supposedly vulgar multitude the deeper meaning of Islam. For example, in order to strengthen and validate a benign conception of Islam, attention was (and still is) frequently drawn to the intellectual activity of Cordoba, in particular to the translation and transmission of the seminal texts of the classical world that would otherwise have been lost to mankind. What such advocates for the great Islamic contribution to the Western library forgot is that none of this material was original to Islam.

As David Bentley Hart writes in Atheist Delusions [6], “Islam was the beneficiary of Eastern Christendom.” It was “Syriac-speaking Christians who provided an invaluable caste of scholars and physicians, and through them the achievements of Greek and Roman antiquity passed into Islamic culture.” In fact, not Moorish Spain but medieval Italy was “perhaps a more important port of entry for Greek texts into Western Europe…in the late eleventh century,” when scholars, poets, clerics and doctors fled from the Muslim conquest of Constantinople to Pisa, Venice and Palermo. But resonant specifics are precisely what the glib justifiers of a presumably Islamic monument to human progress, of Cordoba as a shining city on the hill, have labored to suppress.

The point they were (and are) trying to make, of course, is that this particular epoch represents the essence of Islam, a religion which, according to President Obama, advances “the dignity of all human beings,” and which was later hijacked by extremists who perverted the root message of the faith. The destruction of the WTC and the human carnage of the event was, somehow, an aberration, a “man-caused disaster” which had nothing to do with the real Islam. Ground Zero was only a grotesque distortion of the true Islamic inglenook where marchers for peace warm their bunions.

In order to maintain this fantasy, there is no recognition of the fact that the suicide terrorists, as Charles Krauthammer points out in an article titled “Moral Myopia at Ground Zero[7],” “were the leading, and most successful, edge of a worldwide movement…with cells in every continent, with worldwide financial and theological support, with a massive media and propaganda arm and with an archipelago of local sympathizers.” Those who defend the Cordoba project, dreaming the dream of pastoral reconciliation betokened by what is, at least in part, an Andalusian mirage, facilitate the task of the jihadists.

As I argued in The Big Lie [8], which I began writing in September 2001 a few days after the catastrophe (and which was published in 2007), the golden age of Moorish Spain that features in the history books and glitters in the public imagination is, to a significant degree, something of a historical fiction: the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties were by no means an unbroken halcyon interregnum in the annals of Islam but cruel and intolerant dispensations given to fervid and prolonged outbursts of savagery. Even the famed Caliphate of Cordoba, as Hanson and others indicate, was not the uniformly enlightened Castle in Spain of popular fancy. Islamic tolerance, as Bat Ye’or in her The Dhimmi: Jews and Christians Under Islam [9] unpacks for us, is more of a modern fable than a historical verity.

Nothing is ever uni-dimensional when it comes to historical exegesis; complexities must always be allowed for. The history of Cordoba, which Richard Fletcher masterfully elaborates in Moorish Spain [10], was exceedingly chequered: “years of peace and plenty under the Caliphs of the tenth century,” patronage of the intellectual and scientific disciplines and economic prosperity, broken by years of turbulence, political intrigues, exactions of tribute, fratricidal strife, sumptuary laws, vestimentary differentiation, slavery and in general the ill treatment of minorities. Ultimately, as Fletcher writes, “The simple and verifiable historical truth is that Moorish Spain was more often a land of turmoil than it was a land of tranquility.” One wing of the historical diptych is impressive in the context of the age; the other is disfigured with the limning of atrocities. It is this second panel that is left out of the picture of Cordoba that has been painted for us.

And that is the trouble. A half-truth readily morphs into a complete lie. The misery and spoliation of conquered peoples, the executions and martyrdoms, the humiliation and oppression which is also Cordoba, are airbrushed out of the historical register. Amnesia and “bridge-building” are the order of the day. The pristine figment of an idealized Cordoba, the cherished beacon of tolerance and enlightenment in an otherwise dark and barbarous period, is meant to disarm skepticism in the present. “Cordoba” is, paradoxically, code for both grandeur and deception. I would respectfully suggest that the Shanksville memorial [11] in honor of the heroic victims of Flight 93, currently under construction and scheduled to be dedicated on September 11, 2011—which is, interestingly enough, also the slated opening date [12] of the Cordoba mosque—might be a far more relevant and exalted pledge of remembrance than a minaret at Ground Zero.

Meanwhile, a vast chorus of Islamophiles are still busy warbling a melodious ditty to the pleasures, delights and glories of an immaculate Cordoba, a wonderful, wonderful Cordoba with its “welcome so warm and gay,” the Copenhagen of its day of which the Park51 mosque is touted as an exemplar and a revival. It is pitched to an increasingly dubious public as a metaphorical “bridge” to the long-desired destination of ecumenical harmony. Perhaps it should just be called al-Qantara, “the Bridge,” rather than the inscrutable Park51.

A bridge, however, is not always what it seems. Richard Fletcher reminds us that “the first mosque in Cordoba was built on a central site in the city near the Roman bridge over the river Guadalquivir.” The parallel is striking. The thirteen-storey high Cordoba House mosque is planned for the “central site” in New York City near the place where an architectural cynosure once stood. Is the mosque a bridge or a structure meant to overshadow it?

Questions remain. Assuming it is some kind of bridge, who is crossing it? Which way does traffic flow? Both ways? Or is it rather a permanent and grandiose pontoon intended to facilitate an inexorable invasion under cover of “mutual understanding,” what former Muslim and author [13] Sayed Kamran Mirza calls [14] “an iconic symbol of Islamic victory”? And where exactly will we find ourselves once the bridge has been crossed? In the modern or the medieval age? In New York? Or in Cordoba?

What One Needs to Know about Islam

The controversial “Ground Zero” mosque will be launched by the so-called Cordoba Initiative. So Cordoba stands for the legendary Al-Andalus, where Muslims, Christians and Jews lived together in peace, right?

(By the Editrix/ via PI)

Not quite. Cordoba stands for many other things as well. It was the name of the Islamic empire’s center, from where Islam ruled most of the then known world. It’s stands for one of the grandest mosques of that time which was, notabene, built on the ashes of a Christian Visigoth church. It stands, too for a massacre of the Jews of Cordoba in 1011 (yes, Al-Andalus wasn’t quite what Muslims and their enablers would like us to believe) and for the rape of the city by the Almohades in 1148. Some websites claim that the year 1011 carries some symbolism as well, but while that is entirely possible, it is too far-fetched to make it a point here.

To understand the full implications one has to know two basically simple things:

First, Christians and Jews build their places of worship to, well, worship. Muslims build mosques to symbolize Islamic supremacy over others, to proselytize, to politicize, as an arsenal.

Second, Muslims act on symbols.

The Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem on top of the Jewish temple symbolizes Islamic supremacy over Judaism, the Ummayyad Mosque in Syria is built on top of St. John the Baptist, Hagia Sophia in Constantinople was converted into a mosque as a symbol of Islamic supremacy over Christianity. The Cordoba Initiative mosque will be built on the ashes of almost thousand Americans who couldn’t be recovered after September 11, 2001. An innocent naive fallacy? Maybe, but I doubt it.

Here are some examples from Germany, my country, a country with, as of 2009, 4.3 million Muslims (5.4% of the population). Of these, 1.9 million are German citizens (2.4%). As of 2006, there were about 15,000 ethnic German converts. The large majority are of Turkish origin. Most Muslims live in Berlin and the big cities of former West Germany, mainly in the those of the industrial stronghold along the rivers Rhine and Ruhr.

The Yavuz-Sultan-Selim mosque in Mannheim is one of the biggest in Germany. Its patron, Selim I was the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire from 1512 to 1520. Selim carried the empire to the leadership of the Sunni branch of Islam by his conquest of the Middle East. On the eve of his death in 1520, the Ottoman empire spanned almost 1 billion acres.

More than 50 mosques in Germany are called Fatih. Fatih means conqueror and refers to Mehmet II who was Sultan of the Ottoman Empire for a short time from 1444 to September 1446, and later from February 1451 to 1481. At the age of 21, he conquered Constantinople in a bloodbath, bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. Mehmet continued his conquests in Asia, with the “Anatolian reunification”, and in Europe as far as Belgrade.

Other popular names for mosques in Germany are:

Aksa/Aqsa means “farthest”, and in this context the “farthest [so far] from Mecca”. The Muslim claim to Jerusalem and the Holy Land comes in here as well.

Ayasofya is emblematic for and purposefully reminiscent of Christian humiliation.

Hicret (arabic hidschra) refers to Mohammeds flight from Mekka to Medina in 622.

Imam Ali.

Al-Quds stands for Jerusalem. (It was an Al-Quds mosque in Hamburg from where Mohammed Atta set out to promote his very own brand of conquering.)

Selimiye refers to the megalomaniac Selimiye mosque in Edirne:

Then we have the Merkez mosque in Duisburg (Merkez means stronghold in Turkish), currently the biggest in Germany and probably in Europe as well. I discussed it previously for example here and here.

The controversial projected mosque in Cologne is called “Merkez” as well, which is (politically correct) translated not as “stronghold”, but as “center”. Everything not to let Muslims appear in a less than angelic light. I have covered the interesting and complex controvery that was triggered by the Cologne mosque, but went far beyond, it here:

» 02/17: What Americans don’t twig

» 04/26: Innocents Abroad

» 04/30: The Unembarrassables

» 05/10: Loose Apes with Razors

» 05/10: Shameless Cologne

» 05/13: The “Fission Fungus”

» 05/15: Rent-A-Nazi

» 10/02: German Patriot now Muslim

Another popular name for mosques in Germany is Bilal. No, this has no apparent, blatant connection to Muslim conquest, however, it is interesting in a different sort of way. The Ethiopian Bilal ibn Ribah was the first Muezzin in the history of Islam and called from the rooftop of the first mosque, no minaret in sight. Until today, minarets are not mandatory in Saudi Arabia and many minaret-less and relatively inornate mosques among the older ones, some of them very important, can be seen there. Why? What about “symbolism”? Saudi Arabia was, and is, Muslim heartland and needed no “spearheads” to impress and bully infidels.

Ask for the name of the mosque next to you and do a quick Google search. The result might be interesting.

One more word about the Cordoba Initiative. Granted for argument’s sake that the Ground Zero mosque, pardon me, the Cordoba outreach center to make better people of infidels, was planned and is being realized in good faith. Then we still have to deal with the sensitivity aspect, haven’t we. Wasn’t it abundantly clear in the first stages of the planning process already that only too many Americans wouldn’t react kindly to a project like that? It seems that the sensitivity and respect Muslims are always so stridently demanding for themselves is utterly missing when they are addressing non-Muslims. Is it too far fetched to speculate how the idea of a German cultural center together with Protestant church, theater, swimming pool, the lot, as a gesture of reconciliation at the Westerplatte would be received by the Poles? Or why the Japanese did never propose a center for the promotion of their culture at Pearl Harbor?

I will never forget where I have been when 9/11 happened and how long it took for the reality of WHAT had happened to seep in — and the horror when it finally had. Shortly after 9/11, an anonymous New Yorker released a Macromedia Flash presentation with a collage of news photos from the attacks and the victims. “Only Time” by Enya (which I hadn’t heard before) was used as a soundtrack. The Flash presentation spread rapidly over the internet and it is still available. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched it during the days and weeks following 9/11, bawling my eyes out. 30 times? 50 times? How can I ever forget the pictures of those who chose to fall to their death rather than to burn or to suffocate. Some choice. How the thought of the hundreds of firefighters who rushed to the scene to never come back? How the face of the gallant Father Mychal Judge who died, 68 years old, in a hail of steel and concrete as he administered the last rites to a firefighter and an office worker. And you, you who have been there, allow THEM to build one of their disgusting symbols of heathen supremacy over YOUR culture on the ashes of the victims.

What else do you need to know about Islam?