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To Build a Mosque

Posted By William Kilpatrick On August 31, 2010 @ 12:10 am In FrontPage | 82 Comments


Opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque should think twice about basing their opposition to it solely on the provocative nature of the proposed site.  To say, “They can build it anywhere else” seems like a reasonable compromise, but in the long run it may prove to be a strategic mistake.  Once you say that your only objection to the building of a mosque is its location, you’ve given up the 99 other arguments that can and should be used to prevent the Islamization which regularly accompanies the introduction of a mosque into a community.

Each time a new mosque is proposed—whether it’s in Chicago or Atlanta or Pleasantville—its proponents will be quick to remind the opposition of the many previous assurances that the only objection to the New York City mosque was its location.  And, of course, local and national media will chime in with the same reminder—along with not-so-subtle suggestions that the real objection to mosques is and always has been nothing but a matter of pure bigotry.  Thus, “You can build it anywhere else” is a formula for insuring that future mosque construction in America will be all the more difficult to oppose.

“Location, location, location” may be the first three rules for buying a house, but you don’t want to bet the farm on the issue of location—the farm in this case being the jihad resistance movement. Unless you hone the other arguments for a Sharia-free America, you might end up confirming the liberal contention that there are no other arguments. As liberals see it, if you take away the location argument, the only other reason why people would oppose mosques is that they are hopelessly bigoted and ignorant. Thus, the liberal elites may be willing to concede that the people of New York have a point, but from their point of view the people of Pleasantville can have no case at all.

So it makes sense for those who are opposed to the Ground Zero mosque to lay out the full panoply of reasons for resisting the spread of Islam. Contrary to the liberal mantra about “bigoted ignorance” they are very good reasons. The views of the many Americans who oppose mosque proliferation are rooted in solid realities, while the views of the cultural elites are more often of the “This-is-what-we-have-always-believed-in-the-village” variety.

Why do Americans increasingly oppose mosques?  It’s because they correctly perceive Islam to be a hostile political and religious ideology.  For a long time after 9/11 the vast majority of Americans felt otherwise.  They accepted the explanation that a handful of extremists had hijacked a religion of peace.  But now they have their doubts.  What is causing them to change their minds?  Answer:  a ton of facts.  Unlike their “betters” in government and media, average Americans are able to adjust their views to accommodate new facts.  They certainly don’t rush to judgment, but, given enough evidence, they are eventually willing to bow to the evidence.  For many Americans the insistence on building a mosque at Ground Zero was the final straw—the last piece of evidence needed to come to a conclusion about the real nature of Islam.  The Ground Zero mosque is considered “inappropriate,” “insensitive,” “provocative,” “insulting,” and “obscene” by a majority because they have finally come to realize that the connection between the bombing of the twin towers and the teachings of Islam is not an accidental one.

In short, increasing numbers of Americans no longer accept the meme that Islam is a religion of peace.  The evidence to the contrary is now overwhelming.  It’s no longer a case of two plus two equals four.  At this point it’s more in the nature of two thousand plus two thousand equals four thousand.  At this point you can’t help but notice that 9/11 was not a one time aberration—not after the massacre of school children in Beslen, the Paris riots, the London tube bombing, the Bali bombing, the Madrid train bombing, the Mumbai hotel massacre, the Ft. Hood massacre, the attempted bombing over Detroit, and the Times Square bombing.  And each day brings more evidence.  The bombings of mosques, marketplaces and schools in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Somalia are now so numerous that they are only brought to our attention when the death toll reaches into the dozens.  Altogether there have been 16,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11.  That’s enough for most people, but not, apparently, for the smart set. Another 16,000 attacks might convince them, but don’t count on it. It’s one thing to wait for the evidence to come in, it’s another to sit on your porch for nine years and watch a never-ending parade of evidence go marching by.  Fortunately, a growing number of Americans are coming to the realization that the evidence for Islam’s warlike nature is already in.

Americans are also awakening to the fact that, aside from the bombs and bullets, adherence to the teachings of Islam brings other forms of misery.  By now, all but the most obtuse know that in Muslim majority countries there is very little or no freedom of speech or freedom of religion.  And there is, decidedly, no freedom from fear. Along with accounts of the adventures of Tiger Woods and  Lindsay Lohan, one now sees occasional stories about the vicious persecution of Christians and other minorities in Muslim lands—in Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sudan, Nigeria, Malaysia, and just about anywhere where Muslims have the power to enforce their will. Naturally enough, Americans are beginning to wonder what would happen if Islam increases its power here.

Moreover, many Americans have, to paraphrase the song, “just met a girl named Sharia,” and they don’t like the looks of her.  The post-9/11 message that Islam is a religion of love and justice was so widely accepted that it took a long time before people even knew about the existence of Sharia law, let alone about its harsh provisions.  Now that they do know, they can be forgiven if they’re not too anxious to have it introduced into their neighborhood.

Apologists for Islam like to say that people fear what they don’t understand.  But that’s not always true.  The more that European Jews came to understand Nazism the more they rightly feared it.  That seems also to be the case with Islam.  The more you get to know the real thing, and not some whitewashed version of it, the more frightening it appears.  It would be interesting to conduct a “knowledge of Islam” survey comparing those with a favorable view of Islam to those with an unfavorable view in order to see who really has the most accurate knowledge.  My bet is that the unfavorably disposed would win by a big margin.  The “Know-Nothings” of today are not those who fear Islam, but rather those who gullibly swallow assurances that Islamic leaders would like nothing better than to promote interfaith harmony.

Here are some items for them to chew on:

(*) A 2003 CIA report found that over a 30-year period the Saudis spent at least $2 billion a year to spread Islam.  According to another estimate the amount to date is nearly one hundred billion.  Much of that money goes to building mosques.

(*) In many Muslim countries civil authorities require that the text of the Friday sermon be pre-submitted for approval.  The reason:  Friday sermons have frequently incited rampages against non-Muslims or against minority Muslim sects.

(*) The Mapping Sharia in America Project conducted by the Center for Security Policy found that three out of four of the two hundred mosques they investigated supported anti-Western extremism.  A prime example is the Dar Al Hijrah mosque in Falls Church, Virginia, which was long touted as a model of moderation until it was discovered that Major Nidal Hassan, the “underwear bomber,” the Times Square bomber, and two of the 9/11 terrorists had received mentoring either at the mosque or from its former imam, Anwar al-Awlaki.

(*) Mosques are frequently used as recruitment and training centers for terrorists.  Police raids on numerous mosques in Europe have uncovered false papers, weapons, ammunition, and bomb making equipment.

(*) Islam is not just a religion, and a mosque is not just a place of prayer.  According to a well-known Islamic poem:

The mosques are our barracks,
The domes our helmets,

The minarets our bayonets,
And the faithful our soldiers.

If you’ve ever wondered why the penalty for apostasy is death, it helps to realize that many Muslims think of Islam as an army, and they think of themselves as soldiers in Allah’s army. An apostate is like a soldier who deserts.

(*) Numerous Islamic scholars and leaders have expressed either publicly or privately a desire to overthrow Western Civilization.  The Muslim Brotherhood’s plan for the United States reads in part as follows:  “[Muslims] must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western Civilization from within and ‘sabotaging’ its miserable house…so that it is eliminated and Allah’s religion is made victorious…”  As the commercial for a new TV espionage series puts it, “Not every conspiracy is a theory.”

Some have suggested that at the last minute Imam Rauf will bow to public opinion, and graciously agree to build the Ground Zero mosque elsewhere.  If he did, it might turn a public relations disaster into a public relations coup.  He would then be hailed by the media and the other usual suspects for his good faith gesture and his spirit of cooperation and compromise.  Rauf will emerge as a true American, and the mosque protestors will have been deprived of their main argument.  Muslims will have lost their victory mosque—at least temporarily—but they will have won a significant tactical advantage:  the ability to build mosques all across America with little opposition.  After such a “bridge-building” gesture, any further opposition to mosques will be portrayed as proof positive of mean-spirited bigotry.

Whether or not such a scenario plays out, the possibility that it might reveals the drawback of placing all your bets on the one issue of location.  Nor is it wise to turn the moderation—or lack thereof—of a particular imam into the main issue. In both the Muslim world and in the West, moderate imams tend to lose their jobs with appalling regularity to radical imams. A “moderate” substitute for Imam Rauf at a relocated site might serve to satisfy many of the objections to the project, but the moderate man could easily be replaced once the furor dies down—or, alternatively, he could turn out to be not so moderate. To be sure, there is nothing moderate about Imam Rauf—a man whose main project is the advancement of Sharia law—and, to be sure, there is something very wrong about the proposed location for the Ground Zero mosque.  But the main point of resistance to Islamization is and ought to be that there is something very wrong with Islam.

William Kilpatrick’s articles have appeared in FrontPage Magazine, First Things, Catholic World Report, National Catholic Register, Jihad Watch, World, and Investor’s Business Daily.

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