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In the first place, the mosque will not be a few blocks away. I have been to the site, and can tell you: walk half a block down the street from the Burlington Coat Factory that is set to be the site of the mega-mosque, turn left, and you will see Ground Zero. Smith and Haberman have apparently never been to the site, as no one who has could characterize it as “a few blocks north.” It is actually just 600 feet away from Ground Zero.
But also, and more importantly, the Burlington Coat Factory building is in a larger sense part of Ground Zero. The landing gear from one of the jetliners hijacked on September 11, 2001 flew into the building that the Islamic supremacists want to tear down to construct their mosque. That makes this building part of the 9/11 attack site, and will make the mosque — in the eyes of the Islamic world — exactly what the Dome of the Rock is: a mosque of victory built right on the site of the Muslim defeat of the Infidels. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, are declarations of the superiority of Islam over Judaism, and its victory over Judaism. The mosque at the Burlington Coat Factory site, built on the site — not near it, but on it, because of that landing gear — of the Islamic jihad attack on September 11, 2001, will be seen as a declaration of the superiority of Islam over the United States, and its victory over the American economic machine.
The Burlington Coat Factory building, 45 Park Place, which was severely damaged by that part of one of the 9/11 planes, is Ground Zero, as is the former World Trade Center site. That’s why the Islamic supremacists want that building, and only that building, and why they have rebuffed Governor Paterson’s offer to help them move elsewhere, and why they persist in their plans despite a rising chorus of public disapproval and public anguish that shows up their claims to be “building bridges” with this mega-mosque.