Thanks to Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims against Sharia–Islamic Reform Movement, for his press release in support of Tom Burnett Sr.’s efforts to stop the Park Service from planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent atop his son’s grave.
Islamic Reform Movement is clear eyed on the problem:
We all know who the enemy is. It’s Islamic radicals who are guided by the ideology of Islamic supremacy. Just as Nazis were guided by the ideology ofAryan supremacy. The only difference is that Gihadis consider it their religious duty to impose Islam all over the world and many of them yearn to die (and kill) for Allah. They use lines from the Koran such as “kill them [infidels] wherever you find them” or “slay the idolaters wherever you find them” as their guiding principles.
Islam needs to be reformed so that it rejects supremacism and violent conquest, but trying reform Islam is a difficult and dangerous business:
Islamic radicals murder more Muslims than Christians, Jews, Hindus and everybody else combined. Jihadis may hate you for being infidels. But they really hate us for not following their demented dogma.
In this struggle for the soul of Islam, the last thing that moral Muslims want is any kind of victory for the supremacists, never mind a mind-boggling symbolic victory over the heroes of
What possible reason could be there for including anything Islamic or anything even resembling an Islamic symbol into Flight 93 Memorial? Inclusion of Islamic symbols memorializes murderers who brought down the plane and is tantamount to spitting in the faces of victims and their families. United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked in 2001. Let’s not allow hijacking of Flight 93 Memorial in 2008.
One of the difficulties in getting people to understand the significance of the Mecca-orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is that it all seems so esoteric, and if it is esoteric, how important can it be?
Witness Allahpundit, who as Michelle Malkin’s pointman on this issue ought to be one of our strongest allies. Instead, he dismisses all concern about Islamic symbolism (effectively dismissing Michelle’s original concern about the giant crescent, which remains completely intact in the “broken circle” redesign), on the grounds that: “if you need a protractor to properly express your outrage, you’ve probably gone too far.”
We don’t need a protractor to express our outrage. We need a protractor to explain what architect Paul Murdoch did. He built the world’s largest mihrab: the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. The planned memorial will be the world’s largest mosque by a factor of a hundred. The gigantic Sacred Mosque in Mecca would fit four times over inside Murdoch’s 3000 foot wide crescent, which is just the centerpiece of Murdoch’s mosque.
Orientation on Mecca is THE central symbol of Islam, together with the crescent shape. Unlike Allahpundit, Khalim knows these things:
The shape of the “broken circle” resembles a crescent moon. So does the shape of the tower. Crescent moon is the most recognizable Islamic symbol. When we pray, we face Mecca and Mosques are traditionally built to face Mecca. The case could be made that the proposed design is aligned in North-Easterly direction, which corresponds with Qiblah, a direction to Mecca. Conventional wisdom would dictate that since Mecca is located to the South-East of Somerset, Qiblah cannot possibly have a North-Easterly direction. This assumption would be correct if you’re using a flat map. However, if you take a globe, place pins on locations of Somerset and Mecca, and connect those pins with a string, you’ll see that the string at the base of the Somerset pin points North-East. This symbolism may not be noticeable to a non-Muslim, and it is also possible, but likely improbable that the designer is ignorant of its significance. The proposed design would be perfect for EgyptAir 990 memorial. But for United 93 memorial, it is simply unacceptable.
Park Service is foundational
The Memorial Project is committed to the idea that Islam was also hijacked on 9/11. To them, blaming Islam would be as bad as blaming the hijacked passengers and crew. Thus the possibility of hostile Islamic intent cannot be contemplated, no matter how high the “coincidences” pile.
According to Flight 93 Advisory Commission member Tim Baird, the Memorial Project participants all know that the Crescent of Embrace does in fact point almost exactly at Mecca (despite the Memorial Project’s many public denials). They just assume it has to be a coincidence, just as they assume it is a coincidence that the Sacred Ground Plaza sits almost exactly in the position of the star on an Islamic crescent-and-star flag.
(Both of these almost-exact Islamic symbol shapes also contain exact Islamic symbol shapes. Remove the symbolically broken-off parts of the giant crescent and what is symbolically left
standing in the wake of 9/11 is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent pointing EXACTLY at Mecca. In the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag is a separate upper section of Memorial Wall, centered on the center line of the giant crescent, that will be inscribed with the 9/11 date.)
Backers of the crescent design chose it specifically as a symbol of healing and outreach, implicitly to the Islamic world. Having been so generous to Islam, they just can’t believe that a hidden al Qaeda sympathizer could be so ungenerous as to take advantage of their outreach by sneaking a memorial to the terrorists past their noses. They just can’t believe that anyone could actually want to hijack Flight 93!
This refusal to acknowledge evidence of hostile Islamic intent stabs at the heart of what Islamic reformers like Khalim are trying to accomplish.
Being knowledgeable about Islam, moral Muslims recognize (as bin Laden’s followers do) that Osama bin Laden is a perfectly orthodox Wahabbist, using traditional means of violence and deception to pursue the traditional Islamic objective of world domination. The difference is that moral Muslims reject the totalitarian methods and objectives of established Islam. Moral Muslims recognize that traditional Islamic orthodoxy needs to be reformed.
Textually, the opportunities for reform are very propitious. The Koran contains both sweeping calls to violence (9.05, 9.29) , and sweeping calls for tolerance (2.256, 109). To turn these diverse commands into a religion of violent conquest, every major school of Islamic interpretation, both Sunni and Shiite, considers the peaceful verses of the Koran to be expunged via the doctrine of “abrogation.” Where different verses can be seen to contradict each other, the doctrine of abrogation holds the earlier verses to be abrogated and replaced by the later verses.
The peaceful verses are all early verses, so as far as traditional Islam is concerned, they don’t even exist, except as a device for deceiving infidels into believing that Islam is a “religion of peace.”
This doctrine of abrogation flies in the face of the Koran’s own insistence that it contains no contradictions (4.82), and that nothing is abrogated (2.106). Textually, traditional Islam does not have a leg to stand on, but anyone who points it out is subject to the traditional Sharia death penalty for blasphemy. Alternatively, in a Wahabbist specialty called “taking takfir,” such heretical interpretations constitute apostasy, another death penalty crime in every major school of Islamic interpretation.
The Koran repeats dozens of times over that those who forget the words of Moses will burn in Hell forever (e.g. 2.75, 3.187, 5.13, 13.25, 15.90, 16.63). This is repeated so many times because it is Muhammad’s accusation against the Jews: that they twist the “allegorical parts” of the Torah (3.07). But the LEAST allegorical part of the Torah is the Ten Commandments. Thus according to the Koran, the 6th Commandment–Thou shalt not murder–is binding on Muslims.
Murder is any killing that is not in defense against either a violent attack or a conspiracy to violent attack, and there is no clearer case of murder than the traditional Islamic death penalty for apostates, who only want to go their own way. The same goes for blasphemy. To kill someone for challenging doctrine is MURDER. If the Koran really is the word of God, then every traditional Muslim in the entire world who supports established Sharia law is “wood for the fire.”
Whether Islamic reformers are out to save the lives of those who would be murdered, or out to save the souls of the murderers, they are engaged in a great contest with perhaps the greatest evil the world has ever known: a RELIGION of evil. All they need to do to win is expose the truth: that traditional Islam is in systematic violation of the Koran’s own most fundamental commandments, yet to expose this truth they must break through the teeth of traditional Islam’s strength: its totalitarian repression of dissent. In short, all they have to do is bring truth to the most psychologically brutalized people in the history of the planet.
What could be worse, in a battle like this, than to see the land of liberty–the great haven from which truth can be spoken–build a gigantic terrorist-memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site?
If this willful blindness prevails, it will be a clear signal that in the battle to wrest Islam from the grasp of evil, America will not help. By following the morally blind idea that goodwill to Islam means having a see-no-evil attitude toward Islam, America is refusing to witness what moral Muslims are trying to expose: that the worst evils–condemned to the fire many times over by the Koran itself–thrive at the heart of Islamic institutions.
That evil heart is what throbs, a half-mile across, in the crescent memorial to Flight 93, and the refusal of our own Park Service, fully alert to all the facts, to witness this evil is the worst possible betrayal, not just of America, but of the good people in the Islamic world as well. A see-no-evil attitude towards Islam is NOT goodwill. It emboldens the worst in Islam at the expense of the best. To help the good against the bad, we have to distinguish the good from the bad.
The good are those who are trying to reform Islam. The bad are those who pretend that
traditional Islam orthodoxy is already peaceful, and deny that reform is necessary.
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