Thursday, September 30, 2010


Cordoba House

Thanks to this article at American Thinker, we find architectural renderings of the Park51 project, aka Cordoba House, aka the Ground Zero mosque.

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.


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