The 4 Freedoms Library

It takes a nation to protect the nation

An excellent article by Christopher Caldwell.  It seems the Western world is waking up.  It garnered a surprising number of hostile comments from indoctrinated dhimmis though.

By Christopher Caldwell

Published: August 6 2010 21:47 | Last updated: August 6 2010 21:47

Urban planning votes do not usually garner widespread attention in the US. But this week, when New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Commission okayed the demolition of a 19th-century coat factory on Park Place, the story made front pages. The decision removed the last obstacle to building a 15-storey, $100m mosque-cum-community centre a stone’s throw from where the World Trade Center stood until it was destroyed by terrorists on September 11 2001. The mosque organisers say they want to build bridges between Islam and the west. More than half of New Yorkers, and more than half of Americans, oppose the project.

New York mayor Michael Bloomberg thinks they are wrong. Citing freedom of religion, he has defended the mosque project in speech after speech. He gave another this week, saying of the fire-fighters who died on the day of the attack, “We do not honour their lives by denying the very constitutional rights they died protecting.” This would be stirring if constitutional rights were the whole of the issue. But they are not.

Not even the tongue-tied former vice-presidential candidate Sarah Palin, who called on “peaceful Muslims” to “refudiate” [sic] the project – disputes the right of Muslims to build houses of worship where they wish. Few mosque opponents argue seriously that this one can be blocked. The argument of Ms Palin and others is instead that it is insensitive to build a mega-mosque next to the spot where 2,700 people were killed in Islam’s name. This distinction – between what is constitutional and what is appropriate – is an important one.

It is lost on Mr Bloomberg. In May, he said: “If somebody was going to try, on that piece of property, to build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming.” That is right. But history matters, too. The attacks of 2001 were not a political-science abstraction. They were an expression of Islam. Not all of Islam, certainly – and Islam is neither the only religion that has such crimes to answer for nor the only one that has provoked such controversies. The building of a Carmelite convent at Auschwitz in the 1980s so wounded Jewish sensibilities that Pope John Paul II ordered it removed in 1993, even though the Holocaust was not carried out in the name of any faith.

It was perhaps with that episode in mind that the Anti-Defamation League, which fights anti-Semitism and other forms of religious bigotry, produced an admirably balanced response to the controversy, one that respected both the constitutional and historical aspects of it. While defending Muslim religious freedom unreservedly, the ADL warned that building the mosque at Ground Zero “will cause some victims more pain – unnecessarily – and that is not right”. In other words, if the consortium wants to build it, it can build it. But it would be a very bad idea. They should build it somewhere else in Manhattan.

Including Islam within the fold of traditional western religious tolerance is not business-as-usual. It is an experiment. Our Lockean ideas of religious tolerance had their origins in the 16th century (the peace of Augsburg) and the 17th (the peace of Westphalia). Those understandings regulated relations between Christian sects and were steadily liberalised. Judaism later proved assimilable into this system in the US, but not, to put it mildly, everywhere in the west.

Islam – which is, like Christianity but unlike contemporary Judaism, an evangelising and expansionist religion – is a bigger challenge. A radical school of it views the US as its main enemy. Because that school is amply funded by Arabian oil, there is a standing fear that radicals will capture any large international project involving Islam, no matter how good its original intentions.

Most newspaper accounts of Manhattan’s mosque project have lauded its leader, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf. Bloggers are quicker to note that he said after the 2001 attacks that US policies had been “an accessory to the crime”. The organisers have been unforthcoming about their sources of funding. They are proceeding with the mosque project, even as it produces the very opposite of the inter-religious harmony they claim to seek.

A married couple from Connecticut, whose son, daughter-in-law and granddaughter were killed on a flight that hit the World Trade Center, wrote to The New York Times to oppose the project on the grounds that it “has the trappings of a victory mosque”. That expression captures a lot. People around the world will differ over the meaning of September 11 2001, but there can be no doubting that it is one of America’s most consequential military defeats. It led to a stalemate in Afghanistan and a war in Iraq that undermined the US’s standing in the world. By providing another reason for low interest rates and easy credit, it helped spur the present economic crisis. Whether or not this was inevitable, it happened. Osama bin Laden’s strategic calculus – that the US lacked either the resolve, the cohesion or the cultural self-confidence to stand up to a mighty blow – has in many ways been vindicated.

Remedying the weakness that Mr bin Laden diagnosed and exploited is seen by a lot of Americans as a matter of national survival. “Building bridges” to other cultures is a distraction from that task. It will be years before we know whether such sentiments are counselled by the voice of fear or the voice of reason, but they must be taken seriously. Mr Bloomberg is not taking them seriously. Faced with a delicate and intellectually complex situation, he has taken refuge in cant. He may have squandered an opportunity to resolve this controversy at a relatively low cost.

The writer is a senior editor at The Weekly Standard

Tags: A, FT:, bridges, mosque, that, wrecks

Views: 85

Replies to This Discussion

Buliding a Mosque anywhere near Ground Zero, is allowing them to build a battefield. To claim that it is in the interest of relgious tolerance is a lie. It is being allowed out of fear.
Once agian the President has betrayed this country by endorsing it. All that proves to me is his true relgious thoughts.
All non-Muslim countries should prevent the building of any new Mosques until that time we are assured that the teachings going on in there are not a threat to the country in which they reside.

'Everyone knows that Mosques facilitate the teachings of Islam and therefore the promotion of Sharia law. We reject this outcome and these efforts. We know where it will lead.

'Until we see an Islam that totally rejects the teaching of the domination of Muslims over Non-Muslims, and rejects Sharia law we must error on the side of caution and say with Leon and Snowy: ‘No new mosque in Dudley, no new Mosques anywhere in England.’

'However, our opposition to the new Mosque should not be seen as an attack on the local Muslims in Dudley. We make no judgment on them but we have an obligation to look at the larger picture and so too do local and central government.

'Islam is a belief system with an international following. Therefore, decisions about local Mosques and how society benefits or not, need to be considered in light of a longer history and wider geography. If such a view is taken, a very disturbing role of the mosque in the life of these communities emerges.

'I would like to share two quotes by people who know a thing or two about Islam.

'“Mehrab [or Mosque] means [a] place of war, the place of fighting. Out of the Mosques, wars should proceed. Just as all the wars of Islam proceeded out of the Mosques. The prophet had [a] sword to kill people. Our Holy Imams were quite militants. All of them were warriors. They used to wield swords. They used to kill people. We need a Caliph who would chop hands, cut throats, stone people. In the way that the messenger of Allah used to chop hands, cut throats, and stone people.”

'This quote is from Ayatollah Khomeini, 1981, on the commemoration of the birth of Mohammed.

'The second quote is from the Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan who publicly read an Islamic poem including the lines: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and Muslims our soldiers…”

'The plans for the local Mosque include a minaret 65 ft high which would tower over the town and residents of Dudley. If this minaret becomes a reality all who fall under its shadow or view it from afar should remember these quotes.
Alain Wagner called them 'Business Centres', I think, because they are huge buildings of which only half is the "prayer hall", the rest if for organising other activities. Who else does this on this scale?

Who else has a 15-storey 'church'? Give me a break. This is a Command and Control centre. Or, as the great Ayatollah Khomeini said, a place from which "wars should proceed". Or, as the prime minister of Turkey said " mosques are our barracks ... and Muslims our soldiers". Wake up liberal scum of the left! Which part of these words don't you get? What a bunch of frightened dumb asses. They, at least, deserve to get subjugated, deserve 'submission', the very word which 'Islam' means, because they are so well conditioned into the popular narrative they won't even look it up.

Also, I think someone here quoted an Islamic text about defeating the enemy in battle then putting a mosque there to establish for all time the victory over that people. Now 9/11 was a defeat of the US by an Islamic force. Derr, now let me see if I can figure this one out ... Here again I have to agree with the Muslims - it does establish that conquest. It shows that the idiots are too stupid to correct their legal systems and will stick with them till they are defeated. Such a people, that ties its own hands with its own ropes, while under attack, deserves to lose its freedom. And it shows that they cling to their sacred beliefs (we must not interfere in a religion and anybody who's book has God in it is practising a religion), like a child to his rag doll, even while those beliefs are producing contradictions sufficient to destroy the society itself. Such a people deserves to be humiliated.
Until a church, temple and synagogue are allowed to be built in Mecca, and until people of other religions can be left in peace to practice their faith in Muslim lands, and until children of Muslim families can convert to any other religion or become atheist, without fear of being killed, well, until then, no more mosques should be permitted anywhere in the world.

But who has the moral insight or the political will to implement this? Just about all the political leaders are corrupt, just about all the academics who should be analysing and distributing the correct information, are self-serving opportunists, and where are the people of courage and integrity?

We need an uprising of citizens of the world, to initiate protests that disrupt the construction of every mosque.

Certainly communication via the internet is a vital beginning in the rising awareness of the dangers of this ancient form of fascism, Islam. It is still very surprising to me that leftists of the West can't see that Islam is not so much a religion but a political structure that is so blatantly, a form of fascism.
Precisely. I like to copy the phrase of Radu Stoenescu of the Riposte Laique and refer to Islam as the Political Project, as discussed here:
I was wrong above, Alain Wagner calls the mosques "Town Halls".
Since they are in competition with the secular town halls, we should chant "No more Islamic Town Halls!"
Obama attacked over NY mosque
By Daniel Dombey in Washington
Published: August 15 2010 20:47 | Last updated: August 15 2010 20:47

US president Barack Obama and his family take a boat trip in Florida to encourage tourists to visit the gulf region. However, most media coverage has been on his comments on the building of an Islamic centre near Ground Zero, New York

Republicans have assailed Barack Obama over his response to plans for an Islamic centre close to the site of the September 11 2001 attacks in New York, after a weekend in which the White House sought to clarify the president’s stance on the issue.
Opinion: Obama’s brave remarks reveal a true patriot - Aug-15
Obama backs New York mosque project - Aug-14
Zero tolerance and Cordoba House - Aug-13

The proponents of the centre, which would include a prayer space, include Michael Bloomberg, mayor of New York City, who says it will be a symbol of US commitment to religious freedom.

Republican opponents, such as Newt Gingrich, the former House speaker, and Sarah Palin, former vice-presidential nominee, say the plans are disrespectful to 9/11 victims.

“This is such a raw wound and they [the plan’s champions] are just pouring salt into it,” Pete King, a Republican congressman from New York, told CNN on Sunday.

At a dinner with foreign diplomats on Friday to mark breaking the Ramadan fast, Mr Obama stepped into the fray, arguing that freedom of religion in the US “includes the right to build a place of worship and a community centre on private property in lower Manhattan in accordance with local laws and ordinances”.

However, within 24 hours the president appeared to pull back in comments he made to a television journalist while on a trip to Florida. “I was not commenting and I will not comment on the wisdom of making a decision to put a mosque there,” he said. “I was commenting very specifically on the right that people have that dates back to our founding.”

The White House subsequently issued a further clarification, insisting that “we are not backing off” from the president’s comments.

The sequence of events has overshadowed a trip intended to highlight recovery efforts in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. It also appears to put the president at odds with public opinion at a time when Democrats are seeking to avoid big losses in Congressional elections this November. In a CNN poll last week, only 29 per cent of respondents supported the plans for the Islamic centre, while 68 per cent said they opposed it. Republicans say it will become an election issue.
Should be a good demo on 9/11 in New York. Will try to get the cash to go. Perhaps Cameron will sponser us?
American Muslim organization says President Obama is wrong
August 15, 2010

AIFD: American Islamic Forum for Democracy

PHOENIX (August 15, 2010) - Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, a devout Muslim and the president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy issued the following statement regarding remarks from President Obama on the proposed mosque and Islamic Center at Ground Zero:

"As an American Muslim whose family fled persecution in Syria and as someone who has stood in the face of some resistance to the building of many of our houses of worship in the U.S., I fully understand the value of standing for religious freedom in America. But President Obama's statement about the Ground Zero mosque at last night's White House Iftar dinner is the latest example of political correctness gone awry.

The President commented that:

"Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as everyone else in this country. And that includes the right to build a place of worship and a community center on private property in Lower Manhattan, in accordance with local laws and ordinances. This is America."

Yes, Mr. President, this is America and you have fundamentally misunderstood the stakes in this discussion and the sentiments of the American people. Instead, you have focused on the very issue that the Islamist propagandists wish you to-- the narrative that Americans somehow need lectures about Islam, Muslims, and religious freedom.

Your message to Americans will be spun on Al Jazeera and by Islamists across the world that President Obama reassured a friendly global Muslim audience at the White House Ramadan dinner that he was going to remind Americans about the principles of religious freedom for Muslims since they seem to be trampling over those principles in the local dispute at Ground Zero in New York.

Mr. President this is not about religious freedom. It is about the importance of the World Trade Center site to the psyche of the American People. It is about a blatant attack on our sovereignty by people whose ideology ultimately demands the elimination of our way of life. While Imam Faisal Rauf may not share their violent tendencies he does seem to share a belief that Islamic structures are a political statement and even Ground Zero should be looked upon through the lens of political Islam and not a solely American one.

As a Muslim desperate to reform his faith, your remarks take us backwards from the day that my faith will come into modernity. I do not stand to eliminate Imam Rauf's religious freedom; I stand to make sure that my children's religious freedom will be determined by the liberty guaranteed in the American Constitution and not by clerics or leaders who are apologists for shar'iah law and will tell me what religious freedom is.

'Park 51', 'The Cordoba House' or whatever they are calling it today should not be built, not because it is not their right to do it - but because it is not right to do it." Mr. President, your involvement in this issue is divisive not uniting. Your follow-up stating that 'you will not speak to the wisdom of the construction of that mosque and center' indicates a passive-aggressive meddling on your part that only marginalizes those Muslim and non-Muslim voices against it while pretending to understand both sides of the debate.

Contact: 602-254-1840
(office), email:, web:

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD's mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at
"Your follow-up stating that 'you will not speak to the wisdom of the construction of that mosque and center' indicates a passive-aggressive meddling on your part that only marginalizes those Muslim and non-Muslim voices against it while pretending to understand both sides of the debate."

This phrase is just beautiful! I wish I'd written it.

And when Obama goes thru his "I'm a dignified president" charade whilst reciting his nebulous catch-all lines, he's beginning to look more and more like a robot - especially as we get used to his packaged library of gestures and can see them coming.
Thanks Alan for the letter and link to AIFD: American Islamic Forum for Democracy
i read most all of their website and sent them them following message:

No where on your website do I see a religious basis of your position that Islam can actually be separated from political hegemony and the establishment of Sharia law on non-Muslims. I would like to see an exegesis on the multiple dozen of texts and hadiths which encourage (and indeed require) Muslims to rule over non-Muslims. (e.g. Qur'an 9:29) Am I missing something?



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