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 a thousand years the largest cathedral in Christendom, Constantinople's magnificent St. Sophia basilica, into a sprawling mosque complex. And the Moorish Ummayad 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 has suddenly 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 September 11, 2001. It is not a coincidence that the imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf, has called his project "the Cordoba House."
Such a mosque on 9/11'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 resistence to their demands for separate and (for the moment, at least) equal treatment in America.
So why, one might ask, have Mayor Michael 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 an imam like 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.
Frank Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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