Most Americans believe that a $100 million Islamic center two blocks from the place thousands of Americans were incinerated by 19 Muslims acting in the name of Islam is not right. Proponents make three arguments against this:
1. Religious freedom demands support for Cordoba House.
2. Islamic terror has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam.
3. The imam involved, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is a moderate Muslim, and moderate Muslims need to be supported.
As explained above, reason No. 1 is irrelevant because no legal issue of religious freedom is involved.
Reason No. 2:
Given that about 100,000 innocents (mostly Muslims — in Sudan, Algeria and Iraq) have been murdered by Muslims in the name of Islam; given that whole countries are governed by Muslim totalitarians in the name of Islam (Saudi Arabia, Iran and, previously, Afghanistan); given that popular Islamist movements threaten to take over countries such as Somalia and Yemen; given that Christians are frequently killed in Muslim countries such as Egypt and Indonesia; given that Palestinian Muslims voted for the terrorists of Hamas and Lebanese Muslims for the terrorists of Hezbollah; given that murderous Muslim demonstrations took place around the Muslim world after the publication in Denmark of cartoons depicting Muhammad; given that we are unaware of any sizable demonstration of more than a few dozen Muslims anywhere on earth against Muslim violence; given all these things, the question of whether Islamic violence has anything at all to do with Islam is not necessarily foolish or prejudiced. Moreover, for many Muslims today (at least 100 million according to polls), their understanding is that Islam does preach violence.
In any event, this is not a matter of opinion: Muslims representing at least 100 million Muslims around the world slaughtered 3,000 Americans on 9/11, and putting up an Islamic center and mosque two blocks away seems to most Americans inappropriate. Furthermore, to those Muslims who do hate us and who do celebrate 9/11, this would represent a victory for Islam.
Reason No. 3:
I entirely agree that Muslim moderates need to be supported. The great battle against Islamist violence and against Sharia-run states must be waged by other Muslims.
The question is whether Imam Rauf is such a man.
I don’t believe so for many reasons:
First, an American Muslim leader, upon learning of the pain he was inflicting, and who cared about Muslim-American relations would have immediately abandoned plans to build his Muslim center near Ground Zero. Rauf is almost solely responsible for the outpouring of American anger at his center and to whatever extent the anger is expressed at Islam generally.
Second, if Jews in the name of Judaism or Christians in the name of Christ had slaughtered 3,000 innocent Muslims in, let us say, Jakarta, Indonesia, it is hard to believe that either group would insist on building a $100 million synagogue or $100 million church two blocks from the carnage, just nine years later.