Reminder: United Airlines Flight 93 was one of the planes hijacked by Muslim terrorists on September 11, 2001. The passengers heroically fought the hijackers and the plane crashed near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. All forty of the human beings on the plane were killed. So were the four Muslim savages.
The following is from Alec Rawls, who has long been campaigning for the design of the Memorial to the heroes of Flight 93 to be changed. He demonstrates that the design honors the Islamic terrorists, not the courageous victims:
New Park Service images prove the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 is unchanged.
The original Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial (left) was laid out in the configuration of an Islamic crescent and star flag (right). The crash site sits between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic flag.
When this apparent symbol of Islamic triumph caused a national uproar seven years ago the Memorial Project (a public-private entity overseen by the Park Service) promised to change the design, but as demonstrated by the images below, they never did make any significant changes:
Above: original Crescent of Embrace design. Below: a frame from the Park Service’s new virtual fly-by of the Circle of Embrace “re-design” as it is being built. (Comparison image thanks to MaxK.)
The most significant change is the few extra trees that are being planted outside the mouth of the original crescent (starting at the crescent tip on the right, where the flight path symbolically “breaks the circle,” and continuing down behind the Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site). These few trees supposedly turn the crescent into a circle, but as you can see, they do no such thing, but only apply the most minor window dressing to what is still a bare naked Islamic-shaped crescent.
The circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design also remains completely intact.
The Park Service web site explicitly describes the Circle of Embrace as a broken circle, proving that the terrorist-memorializing theme of the design is also unchanged. Way back in 2005 architect Paul Murdoch described his original Crescent of Embrace as a broken circle. The 9/11 attacks broke our circle of peace and the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent. The terrorist memorializing intent is obvious, or in the words of Tom Burnett Senior (father of flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Junior), “blatantly obvious.”
The actions depicted in the memorial design are those of the terrorists. They break the circle of peace and the result is their flag planted atop the graves of our murdered heroes. Calling the design a broken circle instead of a crescent does not change this symbolism one whit. The unbroken part of the circle is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.
Instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, the half-mile wide crescent now points 3° south of Mecca.
A crescent that points the direction to Mecca is a very familiar construct in the Islamic world. Because Muslims face Mecca for prayer, every mosque is built around a Mecca direction indicator called a mihrab, and the classic mihrab is crescent shaped.
As the Crescent of Embrace was originally designed, a person standing between the tips of the giant Crescent and facing into the center of the Crescent would be facing a little less than 2° north of Mecca. This almost-exact Mecca orientation was confirmed to the Park Service in 2006 by Daniel Griffith, a professor of “geospatial information” at the University of Texas who was brought in as a consultant by the Park Service.
Griffith’s report examined the analysis of Politicalities blogger Jonathan Haas, who had calculated that the crescent pointed .62° off of Mecca. Allowing some margin of error for the exact coordinates used for the crash site and for Mecca, Griffith confirmed Haas’ calculation of the direction to Mecca (“the arctangent value is correct”), and he accepted Haas’ calculation that the bisector of the giant crescent pointed a mere .62° off of this Mecca-line. The actual divergence is slightly larger — a bit less than 2° — but this is what the Park Service was told by Griffith: that the crescent pointed less than 1° from Mecca.
Even the Park Service realized this was bad but their response was pathetic, as Murdoch was only forced to make a slight change in the orientation of his giant mihrab. The conversation is easy to imagine: “How about if I change the orientation by five degrees?” Murdoch presumably asked. “Would that be enough?” So now instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, it now points 3° south of Mecca, both of which are highly accurate by Islamic standards.
For most of Islam’s 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. (Many of the most famous mihrabs point 10, 20, 30 or more degrees off Mecca.) Thus it developed as a matter of religious doctrine that what matters is intent to face Mecca, which architect Paul Murdoch proves by elaborately repeating his Mecca orientations throughout the design.
They misled the public into thinking that the crescent was being removed.
Images of the Circle of Embrace “redesign” that the Park Service released in late November 2005 were calculated to fool the public into thinking that real changes were being made. Here is a comparison between the original Crescent of Embrace (top) and the phony redesign (bottom). At first glance the Circle of Embrace actually does look more like a circle than a crescent, but if you examine closely you’ll see that this is almost entirely due to re-coloring of the image. The only actual change is the addition of the extra arc of trees that extends from the circle-breaking crescent tip down the hill towards the crash site:
Because this extra arc of trees explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle it in no way alters the circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design. Neither does it affect the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent (the unbroken part of the circle) that is left standing in the wake of 9/11. It only looks like a real change, but the Memorial Project apparently decided that even this purely cosmetic alteration conceded too much to critics.
Look again at that screen-grab from the Park Service’s new animated fly-by of the design as it is actually being built. The bold extra arc of trees that was the only actual change in the Circle of Embrace redesign has been taken out and replaced with a wispy wave of trees:
These few trees, planted to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent, do not diminish in any way the crescent’s functionality as a mihrab/Mecca-direction indicator. You can plant as many trees behind a mosque as you want. It is still a mosque, or in this case, a terrorist-memorial mosque.
Feel like complaining? Give Flight 93 Memorial Superintendent Keith Newlin a piece of your mind, and please pass along any response that you receive. (Find the email addresses through the link to Alec Rawls here.)
There is also a petition you can sign, if you haven’t done so already.
“I’m not to blame for any wrong I’ve done, because I’m a victim.”
It’s a statement often implied in defense of criminals. The accused may have murdered in cold blood, but he or she was maltreated as a child, subjected to sexual abuse perhaps, so is more to be pitied than blamed. It has proved to be an effective defense.
To ask “Can a victim not also be a villain?” is to ask an unintelligible question. What would be the use of a victim in our value scheme if he or she were also a villain? A victim, the prevailing sentiment implies, is innocent. Is pure. He or she is Pure Innocence personified.
It is not difficult to explain why being a victim has become a popular choice. Victimhood, even if entirely spurious, is commonly regarded now as a qualification for privileged treatment; routinely when it is claimed by persons identifying themselves with groups genuinely victimized in the past – certain ethnic minorities, homosexuals, or (ever less credibly) women. Victims are held in higher regard than achievers.
Besides which, it is a logical accompaniment to the popularity of compassion. In the West, nowadays, compassion is generally held to be the highest moral good.
Why? Well, to feel it is a quick fix, a drug for the ego. Little else makes one feel as good as immediately and reliably. And it can be bestowed in vast quantities without the bestower becoming any the poorer. Compassion is a supremely selfish emotion – which would be fine if only the selfishness of it were frankly acknowledged.
As it makes people feel good to show they are compassionate – by saying so, or in some cases by acting compassionately, gifting their energy, time, or possessions to their neighbors or even to remote strangers – it also makes people crave it. The need to give it stimulates the need to receive it. It’s abundant availability is a powerful inducement to neighbors and strangers to demand it; to put out their hands to receive it; to plead their superior neediness; to insist that they are pitiable; that they are victims.
Not that Western populations are divided into the pitying and the pitied; not at all – everyone can be both: everyone compassionate and charitable, everyone a victim. Everyone can have the kudos of being a pitier and at the same time the innocence of being pitiable. And with everyone getting double satisfaction, being most good and most innocent, the pitiable-pitying society is surely the happiest.
And surely, you might say, it is a truly good society? Everyone being nice to everyone, and no sufferer going unaided. A utopian Gemüthlichkeit. A mutually supportive community. Isn’t it the ideal, and hasn’t it been the ideal ever since St. Paul invented Christian morality? A universal economy of “love”?
Well, yes, it could make for pleasantness – if it were true; if the well-preened ego could rest with its philanthropy; if there were no evil in the human heart.
But because there is evil in the human heart, a feeling that everyone should be nice to everyone, however widespread, however popular and praised, will not in real life be quite enough to make it happen. In fact it seems that whenever and wherever compassion, pity, charity are most piously preached, just there are cruelty, humiliation, oppression most mercilessly practiced.
Christianity taps deep into the sentiment of pity with a God who (so the Christian myth runs) had himself tortured to death as a man in order to save mankind from innate sin, thus (the Christian myth fails to notice) planting harrowing guilt in its devotees. To cover if not to expiate that guilt, Christians are adjured to love their fellow human beings. Yet have any institutions inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches? Islam is a candidate, but Islam doesn’t preach universal love: it preaches mass murder, enslavement, and sadistic vengeance, so it escapes the charge of hypocrisy, at least in this regard.
What happens when victimization is idolized; when, as a result, there is competition in being more-victimized-than-thou; and when as a result of that, a perverted envy is born if someone is perceived as being the more victimized?
Let’s examine an actual case. I’ve said that Islam does not preach compassion. But Islam is intent on conquering the West, and to do so it is using all the opportunities that the West affords it. The very values, freedom and tolerance, that the West most esteems and embodies in its law, and that Islam would destroy, provide Islam with the means to destroy them. Muslims move into European countries and live freely. (Freely in more ways than one, as disproportionately large numbers of Muslim immigrants live on welfare handouts that the indigenous population pay for with their taxes.) They set up their mosques to preach, and their madrassas to teach their children, to hate the values of their host countries, and to love submission and intolerance. They can do so because the host countries are tolerant. If any of the indigenous people protest that Islam is manifestly incompatible with their values, their own law-courts in the name of tolerance punish them and not the Muslim immigrants. Much encouraged by this policy, some of the newcomers kill their new neighbors in acts of terrorism, intending to instill fear of Islam. But if any of the indigenous people consequently express fear and dislike of Islam, the Muslims cry that they are being subjected to irrational “Islamophobia”. Which is to say, they draw on Western compassion.
The starkest instance of this is what has happened in America since the destruction on September 9, 2001, in a profoundly religious act of hatred, of the World Trade Center in New York, when Muslims piloted two airplanes into the Twin Towers and killed close on 3000 people.
Time passes. The scar remains on the face of the city. For most Americans it is a place of tragedy. But for Muslims it is a place of victory. And certain Muslims propose to build a mosque as close to it as they can. While many on the political Left are in favor of the project – citing freedom and tolerance to support their view – there is an outcry of passionate opposition from many more.
Daisy Khan, the wife of the imam who is the front man of the plan to build the mosque and Islamic Center on the sacred site, was interviewed on ABC TV (22 August, 2010) about the mounting opposition to the project. She ascribed it to hate of Muslims which, she said, went “beyond Islamophobia”, and was ““like a metastasized anti-Semitism”.
By “metastasized” she meant, presumably, that hatred for Muslims in America was more widespread, more threatening, more potentially lethal than the hatred for Jews (the existence of which her declaration acknowledged). “Islamophobia” is a lie that reveals a twisted envy of anti-Semitism.
There is in fact little evidence of “Islamophobia”. FBI reports of recent years show that hate crimes against Muslims are rare; that there are more hate crimes against Christians than against Muslims; and there are about nine times as many against Jews as against Muslims. (See here and here.)
Regardless of the facts of the matter, Ms Khan wanted to make the point that Muslims were the victims of prejudice and bigotry. As the terms “Islamophobia” and “anti-Semitism” carry connotations of irrationality, her words implied that any feeling against Muslims is wholly irrational. But is it?
Antagonism towards Islam since 9/11, however emotional much of it may be, is not reasonless. Reasons for it abound. The attack on the World Trade Center was carried out in the name of Islam, as many other violent attacks, murders, and plans for murderous attacks have been, both before 9/11 and after. Muslims fit the role of victimizers far better than that of victims. So while anti-Islam feeling may be felt as unfair by many Muslims, it is not irrational; and Ms Khan’s analogy with anti-Semitism is wide of the mark. Tactically, however, claiming victimhood to bolster her cause was a shrewd move. Building permission for the mosque and Islamic Center has been granted by the authorizing bodies, including the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
I wonder … Are these authorizing bodies dominated by the Left? And were their arguments legal or emotional? If emotional, did they appeal to tolerance and compassion? If so, why no compassion for the feelings of those who were outraged by the very idea of the mosque in that place? I wonder about these questions because the Left in general claims moral superiority and asks for political power on the grounds that compassion is its highest value and the guiding principle of its policies. As with Christianity – from which this piety derives – it proves over and over again, wherever the Left is in power, to be an empty ideal.
Earlier in this essay I asked, rhetorically, “has any institution inflicted as much mental anguish and physical agony on as many people for as many centuries as have the Christian Churches?” The answer must be, “none over as many centuries”, but take out that phrase and even the Christian establishments are out-matched by the collectivist/leftist regimes of the twentieth century, some of which are still extant. To elect a collectivist government, to trust the Left’s claim to be the guardian of victims, to believe that voting for the Left proves your compassion, is to fall for the Great Political Lie.
Jillian Becker July 21, 2012
Yesterday, Sunday June 6 2010, families of 9/11 victims along with thousands of others rallied in New York to protest against the building of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
Speakers recalled the destruction of the World Trade Center and the terrible deaths of 3000 people murdered by Muslims who flew hijacked planes into it.
For videos and more pictures go here.
Pat Condell eloquently denounces the mosque to be built at Ground Zero as the insult it is to the victims of 9/11, and to civilization.
This video is from Answering Muslims. It includes an imaginary picture of a mosque-dominated New York, circulated by Muslims in America soon after 3,000 people were killed by Muslims on 9/11.
On the proposal that a mosque be built near the site of the World Trade Center, destroyed by Islamic terrorists on 9/11 in the name of their religion, ABC News reported on May 25, 2010:
In a heated, four hour meeting tonight, Community Board 1, which represents the area of lower Manhattan that includes Ground Zero, voted 29-1 in favor of the proposal. There were 10 abstentions. …
The board’s 12-member Financial District committee unanimously voted in favor of the plan earlier this month.
It is scandalous that a mosque is being built in New York where the 9/11 mass murders were perpetrated by Muslims in the name of their religion.
The scandal is deepened by the way building permission was obtained. There was a damaged five-story building on the site. Complaints about “illegal construction” were half-heartedly investigated, and then suddenly all difficulties were said to be “resolved”.
Was it a deal stitched up between Muslims flush with funds of mysterious provenance and a Muslim in the mayor’s office?
This is from WorldNetDaily:
The five-story building at Park Place … was the site of a Burlington Coat Factory. But a plane’s landing-gear assembly crashed through the roof on the day 19 Muslim terrorists hijacked the airliners and flew them into the Twin Towers in 2001.
Now Muslim worshippers currently occupy the building, and they plan to turn it into a major Islamic cultural center. …
“Only in New York City is this possible,” [said] Daisy Khan, executive director of the American Society for Muslim Advancement, or ASMA … Khan is the wife of Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, founder of ASMA.
Rauf will be the imam of the new mosque. What more is known about him? The report tells us that he -
… conducts sensitivity training sessions for the FBI, [and] has reportedly blamed Christians for starting mass attacks on civilians.
There’s sensitivity for you!
The report goes on:
They [Rauf and his associates] have leased the new prayer space as an overflow building for another mosque, Masjid al-Farah, at 245 West Broadway in TriBeCa, where Rauf is the spiritual leader.
The building – vacant since that fateful day when time stood still as millions of Americans grieved the loss of loved ones, friends, family members, co-workers and strangers – was purchased in July by real-estate company Soho Properties, a business run by Muslims. Rauf was an investor in that transaction. …
Rauf has announced his plans to turn the building into a complete Islamic cultural center, with a mosque, a museum, “merchandising options,” and room for seminars to reconcile religions, “to counteract the backlash against Muslims in general” …
Now what backlash would that be? We hadn’t heard of it.
The move [to build the mosque and community center] is supported by the city. The mayor’s director of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, Fatima Shama, told the Times, “We as New York Muslims have as much of a commitment to rebuilding New York as anybody.”
The city’s Department of Buildings records show the building has been the focus of complaints for illegal construction and blocked exits in the last year. Recent entries from Sept. 28 and 29, 2009, indicate inspectors have been unable to access the building. One complaint states, “Inspector unable to gain access – 1st attempt – No access to 5 sty building. Front locked. No responsible party present.” The second, just a day later, states, “Inspector unable to gain access – 2nd attempt – no access to building. No activity or responsible party. Building remains inaccessible at Park Place.”
Agency spokeswoman Carly Sullivan told the Times the complaints were listed as “resolved” under city procedures since the inspectors were unable to gain access.
That’s “city procedure”? Inspectors just give up if they can’t get easy access?
And then there’s the question of where the money for the project is coming from.
Here’s a quotation from Atlas Shrugs:
The 61-year-old Imam said he paid $4.85 million [for the old building] — in cash, records show. With 50,000 square feet of air rights and enough financing, he plans an ambitious project of $150 million, he said …
The origins of such monies are unexplained; neither are the countries or entity advancing such huge donations. Most US mosques, including many in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx are funded directly or indirectly by Saudi Arabia the country to which 15 of the 19 hijackers who bombed the World TradeCenter belonged. The UAE, Qatar and Iran are other major sponsors across the USA.
The money trail is an important question that must be answered by the Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with more than a bland comment by one of his spokesmen, Andrew Brent, who quipped to the Times, “If it’s legal, the building owners have a right to do what they want.”
At the moment, the location is not designated a mosque, but rather an overflow prayer space for another mosque, Al Farah … where Imam Feisal is the spiritual leader. Call this creeping annexation. …
One of the investors for future oncoming funds is listed as the Cordoba Initiative, defined as an ‘’interfaith group’’ – and founded by Imam Feisal [Rauf]. Cordoba is the name militant Muslims often invoke when they recall the glory of Muslim empire in the centuries they occupied Spain. …
The source of money matters as a significant part of the hundreds of mosques being built and already erected in this country double up as cultural Islamic centers for distributing literature – Islamist propaganda in fact … They house Imams of unknown origin and education, many of whom do not speak a word of English but preach in Arabic and Urdu — radical messages, it often turns out. …
It is an established fact that a significant percentage of the mosques built in the USA in the past two decades are receiving a disproportionate amount of their funds not only from the Saudis, but also the UAE, Qatar and Iran — all problematic Islamist activist nations. …
A mosque and Muslim community center is to be built at the site of the 9/11 massacre in New York.
Islam brought down the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, and where they once stood there will now stand a mosque. It will constitute a permanent declaration that in its war against America, Islam won a victory in New York.
It cannot but be a monument to the killers, and a rallying place for Muslims to celebrate a triumph of their jihad.
It is a monument to evil.
How can New York allow it? How can America?
In total 3,497 people died (not counting the 19 mass murderers) in the attacks on 11 September 2001.
2,735 civilians in the World Trade Center.
87 passengers and crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 11 that hit the North Tower.
60 passengers and crew aboard United Flight 175 that hit the South Tower.
343 New York City firefighters and rescue workers and 23 New York City law enforcement officers, 47 Port Authority workers and 37 Port Authority Police Officers.
64 passengers and crew aboard American Airlines Flight 77 that crashed into the Pentagon, killing them and 125 people in the building.
36 passengers and crew aboard United Flight 93, who gave their lives stopping four hijackers over Pennsylvania.
The death toll of the attack on the World Trade Center rose in the days, months and years that followed. By Spring 2009 it was 2,998. More than 3,000 children lost parents.
It’s not even as if the war were over. It’s still going on, and this mosque will very likely recruit more terrorists.