The five-story building at 45-47 Park Place in Manhattan, two blocks north of “Ground Zero,” was built more than 150 years ago. The religion practiced within its walls, however, dates back nearly 1,500 years—and is directly responsible for the slaughter of nearly 3,000 Americans.
Last year, Soho Properties, a Muslim-run real estate company, paid $4.85 million cash for the property. Two of the investors—Cordoba Initiative and the American Society for Muslim Advancement—now want to turn it into what has been called a “mega mosque.”
According to its website, the “Cordoba Initiative hopes to build a $100 million, 13-story community center with Islamic, interfaith and secular programming.” In addition to the mosque, the project calls for a 500-seat auditorium, swimming pool, art exhibition spaces, bookstores and restaurants.
Please understand that I have no problem with buildings. But I have a very big problem with the politics and symbolism behind this building.
The proposed “Ground Zero” mosque, despite its humanitarian cocoon and politically correct marketing, would shout five times every day the contempt the American Muslim community has for thousands of innocent victims and their families. While Westerners who consider themselves chic and enlightened go to any lengths to avoid offending Islam, the Muslim community appears to think nothing of pouring acid in America’s open wounds.
Why was this particular site selected? Because the need for a $100 million mosque is so great? Because 45-47 Park Place is the only place left in Manhattan to put a mosque? No. Because it will make a powerful political and religious statement.
Americans need to understand that the soul of this so-called community center will be an altar to the god that justified and mandated the 9/11 massacre. If allowed to proceed unopposed, it will stand as a bold affirmation of the same Qur’an quoted on camera by 19 fedayeen as they prepared to kill themselves and thousands of innocent men and women. It will be a Petri dish for the virulent virus called Islam, a holy place where its dark god is honored and worshiped.
We need to remind ourselves where thousands of Muslims in America have come from. They came from mosques, just like the one the Cordoba Initiative wants to build up the street from the ruin of the World Trade Center. Mosques in Iran and Iraq and Afghanistan and Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. They came here to escape the corrupt systems and brutal regimes of their homelands.
From the oppression of these Quranic cultures, they came to America to enjoy the benefits of liberty and the protections of the Constitution. Now a growing number of Muslim organizations are using their precious freedoms of speech and religion as weapons against the freedoms themselves. They are using fine-sounding arguments to convince uniformed Westerners that Islam is peaceful, good and caring. And they shame others into feeling foolish and guilty if they dare to insist that the emperor is naked.
“I think this particular group of people in the Cordoba Institute can do a huge amount of good not only for Muslims in New York but also for interfaith relations throughout the country,” said Ibrahim Ramey, director of the Human and Civil Rights Division of the Muslim American Society Freedom Foundation, on CNN’s American Morning.
If Cordoba and other Muslim organizations in America would like to “do a huge amount of good,” let them build a hospital instead of a mosque. Build something that will help the families of the 9/11 victims. Do something productive for humanity in general, instead of challenging liberty and confusing people about the realities of Islam. This is how they can generate good will, not by building a rock of offense two blocks from Ground Zero.