I am conflicted on this issue. I believe in property rights. Though it seems the whole property does not belong to this developer and there are issue that public money may actually be involved. George Jonas asks the right question.
‘We have to let them build their mosque. But we don’t have to buy the project’s phony rationale’
The much-disputed mosque near Ground Zero has been described as a test of our commitment to liberty. With great respect to pundits on both sides of the issue, I think it is a test of our commitment to the wrong question.
The question isn’t whether people should be able to build whatever they like on their private properties. To this, the answer is a simple yes in a free society, subject only to the appropriate municipal zoning laws and building codes. Anyone who denies others this right because of religious or political sympathies needs a refresher course in the basics.
Except this isn’t the question to ask about the Cordoba Initiative.
Described in news reports as a non-profit organization whose stated goal is to promote cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West, Cordoba Initiative spent US$4-million to purchase property two blocks from the one-time World Trade Centre in order to pull down an old building at the site and erect an US$100 million 13-storey Islamic cultural centre, including a mosque, in its place.
The question to ask is: Can any group genuinely believe that building a mosque two blocks from where jihadists pulverized 3,000 New Yorkers nine years ago will promote cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West?
If the answer is yes (God knows, some people believe anything) the next question is: Having observed their New York neighbours’ actual reaction to their plan, do they believe it still?
The answer to this question can no longer be yes for anyone non-delusional with a measurable IQ. This leaves Cordoba Initiative with two choices. It can withdraw voluntarily, thereby demonstrating good faith, or continue building, thereby demonstrating that whatever it’s doing it for, it isn’t to promote understanding.
What is it for? Search me. Mischief? Subversion? Pushing the envelope? To rub salt into wounds, assert dominance, boost militant spirits?
My friends tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza understand the jihadi logic behind this mosque.
So what gives Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the "Cordoba Initiative" and his cohorts the misplaced idea that they will increase tolerance for Muslims by brazenly displaying their own intolerance in this case?
Do they not understand that building a mosque at Ground Zero is equivalent to permitting a Serbian Orthodox church near the killing fields of Srebrenica where 8,000 Muslim men and boys were slaughtered?
There are many questions that we would like to ask. Questions about where the funding is coming from? If this mosque is being funded by Saudi sources, then it is an even bigger slap in the face of Americans, as nine of the jihadis in the Twin Tower calamity were Saudis.
If Rauf is serious about building bridges, then he could have dedicated space in this so-called community centre to a church and synagogue, but he did not. We passed on this message to him through a mutual Saudi friend, but received no answer. He could have proposed a memorial to the 9/11 dead with a denouncement of the doctrine of armed jihad, but he chose not to.
It's a repugnant thought that $100 million would be brought into the United States rather than be directed at dying and needy Muslims in Darfur or Pakistan.
These builders may have the right to build this , but they really shouldn't. It is a deliberate provocation and will further poison the atmosphere between Muslims and other North Americans.
Indeed even Muslim victims of 9/11 are appallled.