Sunday, August 29, 2010

The Mosque and Gitmo

The first reaction anyone has to the idea of building a mosque at ground zero is, "What? You must be kidding. Why would Muslims want to draw so much negative attention to themselves?" It's a good question. Why? Even if one looks past Imam Rauf’s remarks that the US was complicit with the 911 attacks, or want to give him the benefit of the doubt that the ground zero mosque is the Islamic equivalent of an extended hand of friendship, there are overwhelming reasons why the ground zero mosque should not be built. If one believes that Guantanamo Bay is being used to recruit Islamic terrorism, what do you think the result would be if the largest mosque in America was built on ground zero of the worst terrorists’ attack on US soil. Dr Zuhdi Jasser MD the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy says “Make no mistake, this Islamic center is not a spiritual statement but a global one in the name of Islam…It will be used by Islamic leadership around the world to say, ‘despite the violence that al-Qaeda perpetrated on the American population, political Islam will always be victorious and from it’s ashes has risen the largest religious Muslim structure in the United States.’”

Islam is a very compartmentalized religion, local Imams or religious leaders like a pastor, determines the form of Islam he will present to his followers. It is not unusual to ask Muslims about aspects of Islam which they will have no concept of, as their Imam does not delve into that part of Islam; they will always direct you to find a cleric that imparts and interprets that area of the Koran. But just because political jihad and sharia law are not generally taught to American Muslims, that does not mean there is not pressure to do so. Much of this pressure comes from the likes of the Muslim Brotherhood The Muslim Brotherhood and the Ground Zero Mosque, of which Amam Rauf is a member, who are considered moderate, not because they do not believe in political Islam, but because they do not purport the use of violence for proselytizing political Islam . Jasser warns us against ignoring “Islamist" or "Ilamism,” his words for political Islam that is bent on world domination, “As the (Obama) administration continues to move backwards, (outlawing) the use of specific religious Islamic terms like jihad, Islamism, and salafism, the Islamists continued to make unopposed headway in the contest of ideas. We are losing the war of ideas.”

The glaring difference of course between Gitmo and the planned ground zero mosque, is Gitmo is a Marine base and the mosque will be built on private property that would normally be protected by the Constitution’s freedom of religion. I say normally because the First Amendment right is not absolute; one would not be allowed to practice the Aztec religious rite of human sacrifice, nor was Utah allowed to become a state until the Mormons stopped their religious practice of polygamy. Any religion in the United States must still not violate the rule of law. The very existence of sharia in Islam and its use by the Muslim Brotherhood as a method of proselytizing political Islam, combined with the Amam Rauf repeated remarks regarding the need for sharia Law in the United States, show the purpose for the mosque, at least in part, is to challenge our Constitution and the rule of law. Jasser believes that Aman Rauf also continues to fan the flame of what he calls the “narrative”, or the false paradigm spread by Islamic Extremists that America is at war with and wants to extinguish Islam. The belief in this narrative is so strong, that many Muslims are taught and believe that the United States is using its full military might to destroy Islam and only Allah stops it from happening. “Until anti-Islamist Muslims wage the intellectual battle against Islamism with the Muslim consciousness, we will make no headway against the narrative.” When a religion comes with its own form of political tyranny, and the leaders and followers refuse to separate themselves from that tyranny, then it is no longer protected by our Constitution. America is not at war with Islam, but we will resist political Islam or any other tyranny no matter what it looks like or purports itself to be.

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