Chesler Chronicles

Muslim Summit Backs Cordoba House Mosque

Muslim groups have just called for “tolerance.” They “decry bigotry.” The Muslim leaders said: “We stand for the constitutional right of Muslims and Americans of all faiths to build houses of worship anywhere in our nation as allowed by local laws and regulations…Ground Zero belongs to all Americans.”

Technically, these words are both true and stop short of an outright endorsement. However, given the situation, these are also fighting words. Given the groups which attended the meeting and issued this statement, (e.g. Council on American Islamic Relations, the Islamic Society of North America, etc.), these are disingenuous words meant to falsely pacify, confuse, and disorient the infidel listener. They are words of “taqiyya.” This approach is but one example of how belligerent Islamists—not peaceful Muslims–use Western laws about tolerance in order to justify an era of anti-infidel intolerance.

These groups have known ties to the Muslim Brotherhood, Hamas, and other known terrorist associations. We now also know that Imam Rauf has himself been a slumlord in New Jersey and that his real estate partner has failed to pay taxes; even worse, we know that Rauf’s own books reveal his hypocrisy, anti-Americanism, and anti-Zionism. Read Ibn Warraq’s recent piece about this in The National Review.

On September 30, 2001, on “60 Minutes,” Imam Rauf himself said that “American policies were an accessory to the crime that happened” on 9/11; that “America has been an accessory to a lot of…innocent lives dying in the world…In the most direct sense, Osama bin Laden was made in the USA.” Rauf refuses to condemn acts of terrorism.

He does not sound like a mystical Sufi to me. Nor does he sound like a peacemaker or a bridge-builder. Indeed, Rauf’s latest argument is that if Americans do not allow him to build his mosque in this specific location, American national security will be endangered because the Muslim world will rise up in anger.

Sounds like a Mafia-like threat to me.

A friend of mine lives near the mosque on East 96th Street. He told me that the mosque had, this past Friday, used their loudspeakers to amplify their call to prayer–and possibly their prayers.

“They used to do that, but then they stopped. Now, it’s begun again.”

I can only wonder why. Is the planned Cordoba House mosque near Ground Zero and the acrimony it has caused the catalyst for the mosque loudspeakers? Or was it the fact that a Muslim Summit was coming to town—one which would undoubtedly, carefully, cannily, lawfully, support Cordoba House near Ground Zero?

Over the years, New York City police have told me that hundreds, possibly thousands of taxicab drivers park illegally outside the city’s mosques in order to pray. The police choose not to ticket or arrest anyone. They don’t want “trouble.” In addition, I have seen Muslims block traffic in order to pray in the streets. In western terms, their prayer service looks like a belligerent demonstration—a protest, perhaps, about the small size of a particular mosque. In Muslim terms, it is simply one’s custom, one’s right, to stop wherever you are and pray at the appointed time. Such street prayer “protests” are very common all over Europe. This is what it means when the mosque and state are “one.”

In Saudi Arabia, the religious police pull people out of restaurants and throw them out of shops if they have lingered beyond the time for prayer.

I have lived in the Muslim world.  Mosques are, indeed, lovely, even “feminine”—although in my time, Muslim women did not go to the mosque; even today, they are only welcome to pray apart, in a separate room, or at the back, often behind thick curtains. Recently, in Washington D.C., the metropolitan police were used to eject six Muslim women who had chosen to sit in the main sanctuary, in the back.

I have visited the Islamic Cultural Center of New York (the East 96th Street mosque). More and more women are wearing burqas. They are also begging outside in burqas. Those women who wear hijab which tightly frame their faces, also wear heavy, dark, long coats which they button up to their chins—even on the hottest days. I note that their bearded husbands wear comfortable, light-weight western-style clothing.

Something is very wrong with this picture.

The Muslim Summit has called for a “week of dialogue” in which non-Muslims are invited to visit mosques in an effort to “ease tensions.”

Why, then, am I so uneasy? Why does it feel like New York City and the West are being attacked by those who have hijacked the so-called religion of peace which, more and more, feels like a religion of war?