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The Ground Zero Mosque would be viewed by jihadists as a monument to their "triumph" on September 11.

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Ground Zero Mosque Would Embolden Our Enemy

The Ground Zero Mosque would be viewed by jihadists as a monument to their "triumph" on September 11.

In America today, which of these building projects is most likely to be approved?

1. A synagogue in Dearborn, Mich.—a.k.a. “Dearbornistan.”

2. An evangelical church in the mostly gay Castro District in San Francisco.

3. A mega-mosque in New York City just steps from the site where 3,000 Americans perished at the hands of radical Islamists.

You know the answer. Approval for construction of the Ground Zero Mosque is more proof of the ridiculous lengths to which liberal elites will go to accommodate Islam, even as they hector those who do not share their view. Once erected, the 13-story mosque will embolden our enemies and make America more vulnerable to attack.

Mosque proponents, including New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the New York Times and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), are quick to accuse those who oppose the mosque being built so close to Ground Zero of bigotry.

But they are less keen to acknowledge the bigotry of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the man behind the mosque project. Rauf refuses to denounce Hamas, the terrorist group currently launching rocket attacks at Israel from Gaza. He has called the U.S. an accessory to 9/11. And he’s a big fan of sharia law, the Islamic legal system that promotes the brutal subjugation of women, gays, and religious minorities throughout the Muslim world.

To the left, though, the real bigots are the families of 9/11 victims who oppose the mosque. And those who, knowing that scores of American mosques have been cited for encouraging violence of the kind we saw on 9/11, are concerned about what might be taught there.

It is often said that the left is in the grips of a stifling political correctness about Islam and Islamic terrorism. But it’s much worse than just political correctness. The left and much of the media prostrate themselves before our enemy, accommodating and appeasing it to the point of absurdity.

It is as if they’re trying to compensate for previous mistreatment of Muslim Americans. Only we have nothing to compensate for as Muslim Americans have never been institutionally discriminated against. Nor do we have anything to “prove” to the Muslim world, much of which does not allow religious liberty.

We accommodate Islam by allowing Muslim extremists to recruit in our prisons and by whitewashing Islamic history in our children’s textbooks. We appease Islam by refusing to name it as our enemy’s inspiration. When Ft. Hood shooter Maj. Nidal Hassan repeatedly demonstrated his Islamic extremism and hatred of America, he was promoted, not investigated by military brass afraid of being labeled Islamophobic.

Gitmo has earned the nickname the “American Madrassa” because of the extreme religious accommodation that goes on there. Muslim inmates are given prayer beads and rugs, special halal meals and copies of the Koran. U.S. guards are required to wear gloves when handling the Koran, playing to the Muslim bigotry that infidels (us!) are so unclean that we must not be allowed even to touch their holy book.

Americans have no reason to feel guilty for alleged intolerance toward Islam. We are one of the most tolerant nations in the world. As various European countries ban the burka, bar all new mosque development and consider halting all immigration from Muslim nations, we go out of the way to welcome Muslims. Many immigrants come because they would rather be a minority in a free country than a majority under a despotic Muslim regime. 

The U.S. already contains more than 1,200 mosques, more than 100 of which are in New York City. Our Presidents constantly refer to Islam as a “great religion.” Nearly 100,000 people from Muslim countries immigrate to the U.S. every year.

The tolerance of average Americans for Islam has been proved again and again—perhaps most of all by the conspicuous lack of attacks against Muslim Americans after 9/11, and after the numerous subsequent Islam-inspired attacks on U.S. soil.

Far from a nation of Islamo-phobes, we become more accommodating of Islam after each Islamic-inspired attack on our country.

Nobody is saying Muslims don’t have a right to build mosques in Manhattan. It’s that they ought not to build one mere steps from Ground Zero out of respect for the families of those who died on 9/11. As the Anti-Defamation League stated, it is not “a question of rights, but a question of what is right.”

Rauf and his partners should follow the example of Pope John Paul II. In 1993, the pope told a group of Roman Catholic nuns to move their convent at the Auschwitz death camp in Poland to another convent within the diocese. They moved out of respect and compassion for the feelings of Jews, more than one million of whom were exterminated at the camp.

Rauf says he is building the mosque to promote interreligious understanding. But his insensitive plan has done the opposite. If he were serious about building comity, he would move the mosque to another location in the city. I’m not holding my breath waiting for that to happen.

Mayor Bloomberg, who has no interest in finding out whether Saudi money is funding the project, says that to prohibit the mosque’s construction would “betray our values and play into our enemies’ hands.” “In fact,” he said, “to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists, and we should not stand for that.”

The opposite is true. The Ground Zero mosque would hand the terrorists a great symbolic victory. Symbolism is very important to our enemies. It’s the reason why on 9/11 they targeted the symbols of American strength—the Twin Towers, the U.S. Capitol and the Pentagon.

The 9/11 attacks sent a message to radical Islamists across the globe that the “Great Satan” was vulnerable and could be crippled. The Ground Zero Mosque would be viewed by jihadists as a monument to their “triumph” on that hellish day.

It would also be a giant emblem of America’s unwillingness to come to terms with the nature of the Islamist threat we continue to face. It would thus embolden America’s enemies and put more American lives at risk.

Editor’s Note: Sign on to Human Events’ Stop the Mosque Petition here

Written By

Former presidential candidate Mr. Gary Bauer is president of American Values and chairman of the Campaign for Working Families.

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