Thursday, September 30, 2010
Thomas Lifson says that the motif, with Stars of David tumbling and melting into what looks like a pile of broken glass, reminds him of Kristallnacht. Fair enough. Personally, I wonder about the symbolism behind the name "Park51". (Does that evoke anything other than Area 51? Well, the architecture does look rather alien.)
UPDATE: Another article at American Thinker has more to say on the subject -- from a woman who remembers Kristallnacht personally.
In re the facade of the building -- hmm, facade, and interesting word in this context! -- one of the commenters claims to see an inverted cross. I don't see that... although I do see a giant question mark.
No doubt we could stare cross-eyed at that geometric pattern and see all sorts of things. It doesn't matter much to me; I don't need that image to tell me what Cordoba House is intended to do. It is intended to set up a mosque, on grounds associated with the 9/11 attacks and within sight of them. It is intended to proclaim to the Muslim world: "We attacked them, and ten years later we built a mosque on the ashes."
(Yes, it's a mosque. People have argued with me that it's a community center, because that's what the builders call it. I'd prefer to think of what they intend to do with it. According to the builders, it will include a "cultural and interfaith spiritual center", but an area devoted to prayer for Muslims only. That's a mosque.)
At the risk of stating the obvious: I have no problem with building mosques. Muslims need places to pray within a community. But Ground Zero, NYC is not the place to do that. New Yorkers are still wounded, metaphorically and literally, from what Muslims did there in the name of Islam.
If a Muslim community center is genuinely needed there -- perhaps it is, I wouldn't know -- let it be set up a dozen blocks away. If there is a Muslim desire for finding common ground and commemorating the victims of 9/11, fine -- but do that with a monument that symbolizes America, not Islam.
No doubt building Cordoba House would be perfectly legal. That doesn't make it right. It could also be perfectly legal to set up a pork processing plant next door to a mosque, but good neighbors don't do that sort of thing. We should not consider ourselves free to do anything that isn't illegal; nor should we feel that an action that is legal is beyond criticism.