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One way to manifest Islamic supremacy over all other religions, especially Christianity, is by ensuring that its leading mosque in a neighborhood is larger and taller than any churches in the vicinity. Not only will the PrayerSpace mosque dwarf any churches or synagogues in lower Manhattan. It will rival the Catholic Church’s pre-eminent symbol in the United States.
The pitchmen for the mega-mosque complex are trying to transform the narrative regarding their wisdom and sensitivity in putting up their mega-mosque complex in this particular location to what they like to call a “teachable moment” on religious freedom and non-discrimination. For example, a package for use in schools prepared by the Morningside Center for Social Responsibility, entitled “Controversy over the NYC Muslim Community Center & the 9/11 experience,” provides “public announcement” videos for students to watch that were produced by the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR).
One such video is called “We Have More in Common Than You Think.” It uses the Golden Rule as an example of what Islam, Christianity and Judaism purportedly have in common, and it solemnly declares that “If we don’t have our rights, you don’t have your rights.” This is dishonest in two respects.
First of all, CAIR believes in neither the Golden Rule nor equal rights of all religions. Its public spokesperson Ibrahim Hooper has been quoted as saying that he would like to promote the idea of a future Islamic government in the United States – not violently mind you, but “through education.” In 2003 Hooper stated that if Muslims ever become a majority in the United States, they will likely seek to replace the U.S. Constitution with Islamic law, which they deem superior to man-made law.
Secondly, opponents of the Ground Zero Mosque are not seeking to restrict Muslim-Americans’ right to build mosques and to pray freely there, or to take away any other rights that other Americans enjoy. We believe strongly in religious pluralism, freedom of religion and freedom of speech. But we don’t believe that tolerance or accommodation is a one-way street. With rights come responsibilities.
New York City has close to 130 mosques, two of which already exist several blocks from Ground Zero. But not in the location where one of the hijacked plane’s landing-gear assembly crashed through the roof. And not within 350 feet of where human remains were found. Yet that is where the Ground Zero Mosque or PrayerSpace will be built.
We are simply asking Sharif El-Gamal and his cohorts to empathize with the suffering of families and friends who lost loved ones on 9/11 and with the feelings of those who survived the horrors of that day. Do the project sponsors really believe that seeking federal money meant to help rebuild lower Manhattan after 9/11 is appropriate for use on a Muslim-centric entity controlled by a Muslim-majority board and which will adjoin, and be under common control with, a mosque that is slated to match or exceed the capacity of the seat of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of New York? Is there no other site in lower Manhattan that could accommodate PrayerSpace and the Park51 community center?
Instead of trying to outdo the capacity of St. Patrick’s Cathedral so near the hallowed Ground Zero site, the Ground Zero Mosque sponsors should emulate what the Catholic Church decided to do when objections were raised to the building of a convent adjacent to the walls of Auschwitz. They followed the Golden Rule and moved it.
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