This morning the final hurdle (well it least with the go ahead of construction) of a mosque/community center was approved. New York City’s Landmark Preservation Panel voted 9-0 against granting historic preservation to the building currently located where Park51 would be built which is described as: “a tower of as many as 15 stories that will house a mosque, a 500-seat auditorium, and a pool. Its leaders say it will be modeled on the Y.M.C.A. and Jewish Community Center in Manhattan.” The political class in New York is behind this. Mayor Bloomberg is expected to give a speech in support of this project. I wonder what political fallout, if any, will result in their support.
Sarah Palin has weighed in on this, Liberal NPR correspondent Juan Williams is against it, Senator Joe Liberman (I-CT) says wait, and Newt Gingrich has pointed out the hypocrisy of the man behind this, Inman Feisal Abdul Rauf:
There are many reasons to doubt the stated intentions of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the Ground Zero mosque. After 9/11 he did not hesitate to condemn the United States as an “accessory” to the attacks but more recently refused to condemn Hamas as a terrorist organization. This is unsurprising considering he has well-established ties to U.S. branches of the Muslim Brotherhood. He has also refused to reveal the sources of funding for the mosque project, which is projected to cost $100 million.
More importantly, he is an apologist for sharia supremacy. In a recent op-ed, Rauf actually compared sharia law with the Declaration of Independence. This isn’t mere dishonesty; it is an Orwellian attempt to cause moral confusion about the nature of radical Islamism.
The true intentions of Rauf are also revealed by the name initially proposed for the Ground Zero mosque—“Cordoba House”—which is named for a city in Spain where a conquering Muslim army replaced a church with a mosque. This name is a very direct historical indication that the Ground Zero mosque is all about conquest and thus an assertion of Islamist triumphalism which we should not tolerate.
They say they’re interfaith, but they didn’t propose the building of a mosque, church and synagogue. Instead they proposed a 13-story mosque and community center that will extol the glories of Islamic tolerance for people of other faiths, all while overlooking the site where radical Islamists killed almost 3,000 people in a shocking act of hatred.
Building this structure on the edge of the battlefield created by radical Islamists is not a celebration of religious pluralism and mutual tolerance; it is a political statement of shocking arrogance and hypocrisy.
Gingrich notes, and I agree, that well meaning Muslims understand there are plenty of places where they can worship. A true desire to build bridges and bring about reconciliation would recognize this particular move lacks sensitivity to the victims families. They should take a lesson from how Pope John Paul II handled a similar circumstance with the Auschwitz Nuns. It may be legal for this group to build at that location, but it doesn’t make it right.