Diana West

Maybe we deserve such a mosque at Ground Zero. It will serve as the perfect monument to post-9/11 America, a shining reproach to a nation that long ago capitulated through loss, or worse, absence of will. Not that it will be widely seen that way. Aside from the torment and seething of survivors, both family and professional family of the 9/11 dead, aside from blog noise and tabloid venting, the phony narrative of Cordoba House as a kind of healing outreach center -- pure deception -- appears ready for chiseling into stone. And that's not because Cordoba's flimflamming Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf obfuscates everything negative about Islam (jihad, for instance), and promotes everything antithetical to Western liberty (Sharia), often with jarring Western references. ("To Muslim ears," he writes, "Sharia law means ... the conditions necessary for what Americans call the pursuit of happiness.") That is, it's not only the efforts of Imam Rauf that are the problem. It's because nearly nine years after 9/11, we are still stupid enough to buy them.

Why? Why do we take it, with Rauf, for example, at his Cordoba Initiative website, still pushing the propaganda that jihad only and merely "boils down to the need for peaceful struggle for self-betterment -- the war we wage against the vices within ourselves." Please. Surely, nine years after 9/11, we know there exists "greater" jihad, the personal struggle against Islamic vice, which means nothing to non-Muslims. But we're also onto (or should be) the other jihad, the one that took down the towers. Sometimes known as "lesser" jihad, it's the first definition of jihad in the authoritative Sharia book, "Reliance of the Traveler": "Jihad means to war against non-Muslims," it says, adding that jihad is also a "communal obligation" in one form (fighting) or another (support). Defining jihad as a clean-living effort is an insult to everyone's intelligence.

Or is it? The land is bought -- with $4.85 million in unaccounted for cash -- and the project is a go. Short of colossal public outcry leading to an administrative miracle, Cordoba House will join the Manhattan skyline, a multiculti vision of togetherness.

Of course, that's the flimflam story. But if Ground Zero, a focal point of Dar al-Harb (House of War) since 9/11, is reconstructed with a "world class" Islamic center, the transformation to Dar al-Islam (House of Islam) becomes symbolically clear.

And that's no way to treat our 9/11 dead.

Diana West

Diana West is the author of American Betrayal: The Secret Assault on Our Nation's Character (St. Martin's Press, 2013), and The Death of the Grown-Up: How America's Arrested Development Is Bringing Down Western Civilization (St. Martin's Press, 2007).