Argument: Radical Muslims see ground zero mosque as symbol of victory

Issue Report: Ground zero mosque


Dan Senor. “An Open Letter on the Ground Zero Mosque, the location undermines the goal of interfaith understanding.” Wall Street Journal. August 3rd, 2010: “Those attacks, as you well know, were committed in the name of Islam. We applaud and thank every Muslim throughout the world who has rejected and denounced this association. But the fact remains that in the minds of many who are swayed by the most radical interpretations of Islam, the Cordoba House will not be seen as a center for peace and reconciliation. It will rather be celebrated as a Muslim monument erected on the site of a great Muslim ‘military’ victory — a milestone on the path to the further spread of Islam throughout the world.”

Newt Gingrich. “No mosque at ground zero.” Human Events. July 28th, 2010: “It is simply grotesque to erect a mosque at the site of the most visible and powerful symbol of the horrible consequences of radical Islamist ideology. Well-meaning Muslims, with common human sensitivity to the victims’ families, realize they have plenty of other places to gather and worship. But for radical Islamists, the mosque would become an icon of triumph, encouraging them in their challenge to our civilization.”

John Tabin. “The Cordoba House delusion.” The American Spectator. August 4th, 2010: “But we should be working toward the goal of liberalization with our eyes open to the difficulty of the task. To people raised in a culture dominated by strong horse politics, a large Islamic Center and mosque near Ground Zero is likely to be interpreted just as bin Laden interpreted American interest in Islam: As a sign that the radicals have a point, and the interests of Islam are advanced when a lot of Americans die.

Some criticism of the Cordoba House project has indeed involved distasteful rhetoric — lumping Muslims en masse into an undifferentiated “they” — but a gut-level distaste for the project is more than understandable. Ironically, the cosmopolitan liberals who dismiss this instinctive distaste as mere bigotry actually have a weaker grasp on the perception of symbolism in the Muslim world than the allegedly benighted and parochial opponents they look down their noses at.”

Retired FDNY Deputy Chief Al Santora, whose 23-year-old son, Christopher, was the youngest firefighter to die that day: “That is a burial ground. I do have a problem with having a mosque on top of the site where [terrorists] can gloat about what they did.”[1]