O, what to say, what to say, what to say?!
The United States of America is a nation under siege. But, just as the crew of the Titanic thought the sudden appearance of ice was part of the ships recreational program, our leaders would have us believe that it is un-American to be alarmed about Islam. They say, “It’s a peaceful religion!” (Would someone please show me how Islam has brokered peace in this world? Don’t give me anecdotal evidence that is only the exception to the rule. Show me how, on balance, Islam has the reputation of being an honest broker of peace in the world.) Our leaders and media commentators, and mainline denominations, and liberal humanists would have us believe that our freedoms demand that we succumb to every demand of Islam, peaceful or otherwise.
Nine years ago, our nation endured an attack on its soil when two planes were flown into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, one into the Pentagon, and if not for the valiant passengers on flight 93, another plane would have made it to our nation’s capital. Instead, it crashed prematurely in an open field near Shanksville, PA.
Now, nine years later, we find ourselves in a peculiar position. Last week on CNN, Mr. Rauf, the Imam leading the way to a Ground Zero mosque, said that “our national security now hinges on how we negotiate this, how we speak about it. The battlefront is between moderates of all sides… and the radicals on all sides.” We are being told that if we do not allow the ground zero mosque it will be tantamount to a declaration of war with Islam.
Interesting to me, this new balance of power we have. We have a new face sitting at America’s domestic table of political and social power, telling us that we must allow a mosque at Ground Zero or else there will be war, and that an American will die for every letter in the Quran if it is burned as was proposed last week.
I’m sorry, did I miss something? Had there been a truce up to this point? Have the terrorists been holding back? Had we made it off the naughty list recently? Aren’t they already trying to hurt us in every way possible? Aren’t they already trying to kill Americans? You mean they have the power to attack us right now but they are just holding back because they like us?
All that remains to be seen in this new configuration of power is the funny looking letter with words cut from different magazines and pasted into a collage that spells out the demands: “Do what we say or else.” Suddenly, we are being held hostage (which is what radical Islam does best when it’s not blowing up innocent people or threatening disaster). Suddenly, we have to be careful what we build or don’t build ON OUR SOIL! Suddenly, our citizens, crazy or not, are not protected under our Bill of Rights. Suddenly, the tail is wagging the dog more than usual (let me see: violate the Quran and Americans die; violate Ground Zero and that’s okay). Suddenly, as one writer from the UK puts it, our President is the middleman between the United States and radical Islamic states, as though he were uniquely qualified to bring us together (they seem to like him; they seem to listen to him.)
So, what will happen next? If seventy percent of Americans don’t have enough clout with our leaders and politicians to stop a mosque from being built in the heart of one of the most cherished parcels of ground in America, then we have surely turned the corner into an era in which we will cease to be an America that our fathers would recognize.
The sole attention of Ground Zero should be directed to the memorial being built there in honor of those who lost their lives in the 9/11 attacks. As it stands now, every time we revisit 9/11 on the calendar, Americans will remember those who died and those who rushed into harm’s way to serve. We will remember that we were attacked and that we rallied together. Muslims the world over, however, will point to the opulent thirteen story Ground Zero “victory” mosque, and say, “See! There stands the holy site erected in honor of our great victory over America, and thus, over the world!”
This is not just about Ground Zero anymore. This is about our inability to see a devious enemy worming its way into our national psyche. It is about an assault on our nation that continues to reveal that we have lost our understanding of freedom. Freedom does not mean allowing the wholesale replacement of our national fabric and heritage by an ideology hostile to it simply because its adherents are showing up in large numbers. The American experiment does not include allowing a hostile takeover.