A classic image of American resilience and character is the picture of the New York firefighters raising an American flag over the smoldering ruins of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of the terrorist attack on 9/11.
To radical Islamists gloating and celebrating the murder of almost 3,000 people, the image of that act had to dampen their enthusiasm. Raising our flag made it apparent that America would not surrender or bow to the terrorists’ insanity nor make an apology for America’s so-called sins against the world.
The flag symbolizes our values and our freedom which is something radical Islamists fear much more than they fear our will to fight back. Our flag standing amid the ruins of the World Trade Towers was extremely important because it symbolized that Americans were not a conquered people.
Symbolism is not lost on the radical Islamists who seek to conquer the world for Islam. Throughout the history of Islam’s jihads and invasions, they aggressively eradicated the symbols of other faiths and cultures in the lands they conquered and replaced them with their own.
In Europe, Muslim invaders plundered and destroyed thousands of Christian churches, many of which were replaced with mosques with minarets symbolizing that what was once claimed for Christ was now the domain of Allah. The same was true in India and other conquered Asian lands where the Islamic invaders destroyed ancient Hindu and Buddhist shrines and temples and claimed those places as mosques. Erecting a mosque over a sacred or revered place symbolizes Islam’s conquest or victory over that place. Whether it is a country, a territory, a city or a few city blocks, it is forever Muslim.
Next year, on the 10th anniversary of the attack by Islamic terrorists, an Islamic mosque could tower over the scarred earth where the twin towers once stood.
On June 6th approximately 10,000 people, including some who lost family members on 9/11, gathered in New York City to protest the construction of the mosque. Debra Burlingame, whose brother was the pilot of the American Airlines plane that the terrorists flew into the Pentagon, said, “The idea that you would establish a religious institution that embraces the very Shariah Law that terrorists point to as their justification for what they did … to build that where almost 3,000 people died, that is an obscenity to me.”
Moderate Muslim Americans have also joined in opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, the founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy and a U.S. Navy veteran, has spoken out against the Ground Zero mosque saying that building a mosque there is “the worst form of misjudgment.” Jasser said, “Ground Zero shouldn’t be about promoting Islam. It’s the place where war was declared on us as Americans.”
Salah Uddin Shoaib Choudhury is an internationally-known opponent of Islamic extremism and the editor of Weekly Blitz, the largest English language paper in Bangladesh. Choudhoury wrote, “To Muslims worldwide, it would be a symbol of the progress they are making, like triumphantly planting an Islamic flag in Ground Zero.” He added, “Implementation of this mosque will make the Jihadists delighted.”
To make matters worse, the mosque will be called the Cordoba House. Cordoba was the seat of the Islamic caliphate that ruled Spain for over seven centuries, from 711 A.D. to 1492 A.D. Cordoba has a special meaning because it symbolizes the height of Islam’s Golden Age in the effort to conquer Europe. The Grand Cordoba Mosque was built over the site of a Christian church.
The hole where the World Trade Towers once stood is an inspiration to Islamic terrorists. It is the place where they perpetrated their most successful attack against America and the West by destroying two of the most visible symbols of America’s wealth and power. Erecting a mosque there, particularly a mosque named Cordoba, is an insult to America.
The fact that nearly nine years later the site of the World Trade Center still sits empty is indicative to them of America’s inability to recover, of our weakness. To us, it is a sacred place, a stark reminder of the magnitude of the loss we endured and of the war we must win.
About the author: Gary Palmer is president of the Alabama Policy Institute, a non-partisan, non-profit research and education organization dedicated to the preservation of free markets, limited government and strong families, which are indispensable to a prosperous society.