The American Muslim site assures us that the purpose of the Cordoba House is to promote integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture by providing a place where individuals, regardless of their backgrounds, can learn about art and culture. The center is described to be guided by the Islamic values of compassion, generosity, and respect for all. It is due to be opened on September 11, 2011.
It is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero, so what’s the problem?
The same author assures us that the only possible problem with the building of Cordoba House must be baseless islamaphobia and irrational fear driving criticism about the project. As Americans, the author contends, concerned about the future of our nation and concerned about our values, we have to vehemently oppose these critics. The choice is presented as an issue of fears versus values. We can stand with our values or we can stand with our fears.
The irony makes one’s head spin. Let’s take a moment and try to understand what’s really going on here and see where our values truly lie.
First of all, why the Spanish name? What does Cordoba represent?
Well, according to Answering Islam, the first Cordoba mosque was built in that Spanish city in the aftermath of the Muslim conquest of Christian Spain. This Islamic “Conquista” was followed by the killings of men, and the enslavement of women, many of whom were carried away to the Arab lands to work as servants and concubines for their Muslim masters. For both Arabs and Muslims, the history of their conquests remains as a symbol of their past glory, and power. That such a name was selected hardly indicates an example of community cohesion, nor does it imply anything to do with compassion, generosity, and respect for all. It represents religious conquest.
The location of Cordoba House – 600 feet from Ground Zero – is similar in effect to the Japanese erecting a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbour or the Germans opening a cultural center outside the gates of Auschwitz. These sites mean something important in and of themselves as sites of sanctity, and by maintaining that sanctity we honour and remember the victims whose deaths consecrated that ground. Opening such a center directly contradicts this sanctity: of all the place NOT to build a center for islam, Ground Zero surely ranks very highly. Building Cordoba House as close as possible to the site of this islamic inspired atrocity shows a singular lack of cultural sensitivity on behalf of its supporters and is insulting and offensive to those who lost people to this islamic inspired mass murder. This building of Cordoba House is many things, but as example of showing compassionate respect for the families of victims is not one of them.
The opening date is clearly chosen to focus on the tenth anniversary of the attacks. From afar, it would seem that from the ashes of the World Trade Towers rises an islamic building ten years to the day, a sign of islam’s eventual victory over the infidels. This becomes a potent symbol that emboldens the enemies of America while it has the added benefit that promotes the cause of that righteous holy war: islam.
No matter how often we are told that islam is the religion of peace, we must keep in mind that islam means submission to god according to the rules of the quaran. There is no peace, no respect, no compassion for anything or anyone other that those who agree to share this truth. Look to 9/11, 7/7, Madrid, Bali, the response to the Danish cartoons, Fort Hood, Mumbai, Times Square, and the endless blood spilled every day in its name and understand that what islam actually brings is not peace but the sword of conquest under the banner of religion. But don’t take my word for it: read the quaran for yourself and read the haddiths that explain the correct interpretation. This is a religion of conquest that upholds values antithetical to those afforded to individuals in the West under secular governments, hence the body bags for women called burkas we are told by religious appeasers to be a sign of healthy individual freedom of expression by those who wear it and by tolerating its use in the West we show respect for their equality of gender.
Although many western imams will cherry pick a few phrases from the quaran that seem to be about peace and respect and generosity and social cohesion and integration and tolerance seemingly in tune with human rights and the dignity of personhood, the barbarism of this Iron age religion continues to be played out throughout the world with the hanging of gays in Tehran, the stoning of women accused of adultery, acid attacks on girls going to school, daily suicide bomb attacks to kill civilians, and so on. These human rights abuses are as much a part of islam in action as a nice and shiny new cultural center funded by muslims in New York City. What’s wrong with building Cordoba House is that we show tolerance of both when we choose to think ourselves sophisticated and tolerant to support the one.