The supremacist program authoritative Islam calls Shariah is big on symbols. Arguably, none is more effective than its practice of building mosques on its conquests' most sacred sites.
In Jerusalem, triumphant Muslims built the Al Aqsa mosque on top of the Jews' revered Temple Mount. They transformed what had been for 1,000 years the largest cathedral in Christendom, Constantinople's magnificent St. Sophia basilica, into a sprawling mosque complex. The Moorish Umayyad dynasty in Spain made the city of Cordoba its capital and installed an immense mosque on the site of an ancient Christian church there.
Now, an imam in New York who suddenly has come into $100 million from undisclosed sources wants to build a 13-story Islamic Cultural Center adjacent to the site of Shariah's greatest triumph to date in America: Ground Zero, the place where the World Trade Center's Twin Towers proudly stood until they were destroyed by Shariah-adherent jihadists on Sept. 11, 2001. It is not a coincidence that the imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has called his project the Cordoba House.
Such a mosque on Sept. 11's hallowed ground would not only constitute a durable, symbolic taunt by our enemies about their bloody victory. In accordance with Shariah, once ground has been taken for Islam, it can never revert to the non-Muslim Dar al-Harb, literally "the house of war."
In other words, the ground zero mosque is designed to be a permanent, in-our-face beachhead for Shariah, a platform for inspiring the triumphalist ambitions of the faithful and eroding resistance to their demands for separate and (for the moment, at least) equal treatment in America.
So why, one might ask, have Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, various other elected officials and clergy and community leaders expressed support for the Cordoba House?
In part, it is a function of local considerations: Who wouldn't welcome the prospect of an infusion of $100 million into the still-suffering economy of Lower Manhattan? What is more, if the mosque serves as a magnet for new Muslim residents, depressed housing prices could rebound.
The larger problem is that too few of our leaders understand the nature of Shariah and its implications. Even when a leader like Imam Rauf explicitly says he favors bringing Shariah to America, officials at every level of government seem untroubled by the fact that such an agenda necessarily is anti-constitutional and incompatible with our freedoms.
To be sure, Imam Rauf is a skilled practitioner of the Shariah tradition of taqqiya, deception for the faith. It turns out that he was to the manner born: As ace researcher Alyssa A. Lappen has documented, Imam Rauf has family and other long-standing ties to the Muslim Brotherhood.
So, in a page taken straight out of the Brotherhood taqqiya playbook, the imam and his wife and collaborator on the Cordoba House project, Daisy Khan, have been much in evidence of late, professing their commitment to interfaith dialogue and the dedication of their new facility to serving the non-Muslim as well as Muslim communities.
As it happens, similar assurances about mosque complexes built elsewhere by other Shariah adherents have amounted to the old "bait-and-switch" scam. A group called Americans for Peace and Tolerance (APT) has monitored, for example, the Islamic Society of Boston's Saudi-funded, city-enabled mega-mosque in Roxbury, Mass. Despite professions of tolerance, the mosque has ties to Hamas and other terrorists. According to APT, the mosque's imam, "Abdullah Farooq, has told his followers to 'pick up the gun and the sword' and supported local terror suspects Aafia Siddiqui and Tarek Mehanna."
In the United Kingdom, the North London Central Mosque (aka the Finsbury Park Mosque) has been embraced by the British government and is considered an archetype for its effort to counter radicalization by working with the Muslim Brotherhood's "nonviolent" Islamists. Yet this mosque hosted one of America's most wanted terrorists: Anwar al-Awlaki. According to National Public Radio, among those who attended his sermons was the Nigerian would-be panty bomber, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.
We have reason to fear that the U.S. government is poised to follow Britain's disastrous course - further compounding the muddle-headed thinking among leaders across the country about Shariah and the threat it poses. John Brennan, President Obama's homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, has repeatedly signaled that he wants to reach out to "moderate" jihadists of the Taliban and Hezbollah. President Obama has said he intends to provide more than $400 million for Hamas-run Gaza.
Then, Mr. Brennan gave an interview in The Washington Times last week in which he displayed anew his profound misunderstanding of the enemy and its threat doctrine. As the Times' Eli Lake reported: "Mr. Brennan said that he opposed granting any legitimacy to what he called al Qaeda's 'twisted' interpretation of Islam. 'Clearly, bin Laden and al Qaeda believe they are on this very holy agenda and this jihad. However, in my view, what we cannot do is to allow them to think, and the rest of the world to think, for the future terrorists of the world to believe al Qaeda is a legitimate representation of jihad and Islam.' "
Such denials of the centrality of violent jihad to authoritative Islam - and the obligation to engage in more stealthy forms of jihad to the same end, the global triumph of Islam, where violence is not practicable - is a formula for disaster. Unchallenged, it will produce a toxic shrine at Ground Zero to the doctrine that animates al Qaeda and the Muslim Brotherhood alike, Shariah.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a columnist for The Washington Times and host of the syndicated program "Secure Freedom Radio," heard in Washington weeknights at 9 p.m. on WTNT 570 AM.
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