If you can start a war by burning a book, you have proven two things:
One, you are an idiot. Two, your enemy is without civilized restraint and thus incredibly dangerous.
Almost all Americans seem to understand the first part, but too many of us don’t understand the latter.
It is easy to condemn the Florida pastor who has caused worldwide consternation by his on-again, off-again plan to burn Korans. It is harder to acknowledge the significance of the legitimate fear people across the globe share about the consequences of burning one book. And do not pretend it does not matter which book is burned.
Burn a Bible, and watch the whole world yawn. Burn a Koran, and watch the inferno spread from country to country, unleashing death and destruction.
The bottom line is that Islam (call it radical Islam, if you wish) is dangerous. Today, one day after the ninth anniversary of the attacks on 9/11, that truth should be self-evident. Certainly, nine years ago on this day — Sept. 12, 2001 — we said we would never forget. But the emergency sirens of Manhattan have long since given way to the seductive siren songs of peace and tolerance which too often lure the unwitting and naive to their deaths.
So it is up to us now to face the truth. Yes, the anniversary of 9/11 should be a solemn occasion of remembrance and prayer, but it should also be a day to gather our courage and steel our nerves.
We are dealing, after all, with an enemy that is ruthless, persistent, and deadly. And not just al-Qaida, but all of militant Islam. For nearly 15 centuries, it’s goal has been to bring the world into submission — through prayer or through force — to the “revealed truth” of Mohammad. It has been frustrated in its efforts to conquer the world at key moments in history such as the reconquista in Spain and the Battle of Vienna, but if the will of the West ever weakens, it will not take long for Islam to overwhelm us.
Certainly, al-Qaida thinks we are bloated and ineffectual, and perhaps they are right. It took 800 years of blood and toil for Europe to finally free Spain from Muslim domination in 1492. Could that feat ever be repeated today? Could America today withstand a 300-year onslaught such as Europe suffered when the Ottoman Empire spread across the Balkan states all the way up to Austria before being turned around in 1683? When Europe finally roused itself up and said to the Ottomans “this far, and no farther,” the battle was won not with kind words and multicultural sensitivity, but with sacrifice and steely resolve.
America is at a similar crossroads now as it ponders the fate of the so-called Ground Zero mosque. It matters little whether it is a community center supported by kind-hearted liberals of many faiths. It matters not at all whether it contains a swimming pool, a Christian chapel or whether it is truly being supported by “moderate” American Moslems rather than radical Islamists from Saudi Arabia or Iran.
What matters is its name — Cordoba House. That name shouts the true intentions of the mosque’s proponents much louder than their conciliatory words of “bridge-building.” The name Cordoba refers to the Spanish city from which Moslem invaders ruled the Iberian Peninsula from 711 to 1236 A.D. The Caliphate of Cordoba is the very model of Islamic domination over native Christians and Jews. By naming the mosque at Ground Zero after Cordoba, the developers are declaring it is a “beachhead” of Islamic domination on the American mainland. The only ones who don’t see this are those, like Mayor Bloomberg, who have their heads buried in the sand on the beach.
“Freedom and tolerance will always defeat tyranny and terrorism,” Mayor Bloomberg remarked at his Ramadan dinner last month.
Well sorry, mayor, but NO THEY WON’T. Freedom and tolerance are the first victims of tyranny and terrorism. Just ask the freedom-loving Jews who perished under Adolf Hitler. What defeats tyranny and terrorism is not liberal ideals, but guns and the willingness to use them. Just ask George Washington.
That doesn’t mean there is some simple solution to the dilemma of the Ground Zero mosque — anymore than there is a simple solution to the clash between the Christianized West and Islam.
But if we are to find a solution that is not surrender, it is imperative that Americans not be afraid to face the truth. We need to study history, pay attention to the words and deeds of Islam, and honor the fallen victims of 9/11 by taking their deaths seriously.
The attacks on the World Trade Center did not happen by accident. They are part and parcel of the 1,400 year history of Islam, which has one goal and one goal only — to bring the entire world under submission to the words of the Prophet Mohammad and sharia law.
Most people, however, will never say so. Moslems will not say so because they do not want to admit the truth. Liberals will not say so because the truth offends their sensibility. Conservatives will not say so because they know they will be called bigots. Christians will not say so because they believe they are not supposed to judge. Americans will not say so because they think the Constitution will protect them from any and all enemies.
So if no one else will say it, then let’s listen to the “moderate” imam who is the main spokesperson for the Ground Zero mosque — Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
Rauf is the one who has fashioned himself as the “bridge-builder,” the one who aims to teach tolerance to both East and West. But the bridge only seems to go one way — it is we Americans who should submit to the will of Allah by permitting this mosque to be built, no matter how offensive it is, no matter how threatening.
Indeed, Rauf is now using the popular uprising against the mosque among New Yorkers, 9/11 families and survivors, and the general public as an argument why the mosque MUST be built — always in the name of “improved relations” between the West and Islam.
He threatens that if the mosque is moved away from Ground Zero, it will inflame his fellow Muslims to initiate attacks against Americans, including troops fighting in the Middle East.
“If we move from that location, the story will be that the radicals have taken over the discourse. The headlines in the Muslim world will be that Islam is under attack. And I’m less concerned about the radicals in America than I’m concerned about the radicals in the Muslim world,” Rauf told Soledad O’Brien of CNN.
Did you hear that? The rhetoric is unbelievably arrogant. In the nine years since 9/11 we have gone from “America under attack” to “Islam is under attack.” And how do we know that Islam is “under attack”? Because the radicals in the Muslim world are angry!
Listen to Imam Rauf again, as he tries to extort concessions from America:
“...if you don’t do this right, anger will explode in the Muslim world. If this is not handled correctly, this crisis could become much bigger than the Danish cartoon crisis, which resulted in attacks on Danish embassies in various parts of the Muslim world. And we have a much larger footprint in the Muslim world [than Denmark does]. If we don’t handle this crisis correctly, it could become something which could really become very, very, very dangerous indeed.”
In other words, if Americans demand that the mosque be moved away from Ground Zero, then there will be violence against Americans. It is not me saying it, but the “moderate” imam. Don’t call me a bigot for telling the truth.
Americans who opposed the Nazis were not bigots. Jews who fight against anti-Semitism are not bigots. Blacks who resisted Jim Crow in the American South were not bigots. Neither are those Americans who warn against complacency in the face of growing Islamic power in the West.
If our lives are not at stake, our way of life certainly is.