How the “Ground Zero Mosque” Meltdown Set the Table for Trump

Within the previous Spanish metropolis of Córdoba, Islam had constructed a European pluralism that anticipated cherished American values. Faisal Abdul Rauf thought-about it a spot America would embrace. The teachings of an historical metropolis, the New York imam thought, may assist resolve the post-9/ 11 disaster afflicting each America and Islam.

Based within the eighth century, Córdoba was the mental heart of Europe, a haven of tolerance, schooling, and achievement. The rich metropolis, centerpiece of a breakaway Umayyad emirate, attracted and nurtured Christian, Jewish, and Islamic students and cosmopolitans. Founding ruler Abdel Rahman I, who had fled the dominant Abbasid caliphate, wrote wistful poetry about being a refugee. A citywide midsummer competition celebrated John the Baptist.

However over centuries, below the stresses of inside political fracture and exterior warfare, Córdoba’s multiculturalism broke down. In his 2004 ebook, What’s Proper with Islam Is What’s Proper with America, Rauf hailed native son Moses Maimonides, the titan of Jewish philosophy and theology. Maimonides, nevertheless, fled Córdoba when the conquering Almohad dynasty revoked protections for dhimmi—Jewish and Christian minorities—and persecuted Spanish Jewry, even separating kids from their dad and mom.

Rauf thought-about American historical past a story of progressive conquer such prejudices. After Pakistani jihadis murdered the Wall Avenue Journal reporter Daniel Pearl for being Jewish, Rauf delivered a transferring tackle to the Higher West Facet’s B’nai Jeshurun congregation. He instructed Pearl’s grieving father, Judea, “Right now I’m a Jew. I’ve at all times been one, Mr. Pearl.” 

“We attempt for a ‘new Córdoba,’” Rauf wrote, “a time when Jews, Christians, Muslims and all different religion traditions will dwell collectively in peace, having fun with a renewed imaginative and prescient of what the nice society can appear like.”

Rauf had been preaching twelve blocks from the World Commerce Heart since 1985. He positioned his new Córdoba there. At 45 Park Place was a mid-nineteenth-century constructing left vacant after undercarriage particles from the doomed planes cratered a number of flooring of what was then a Burlington Coat Manufacturing unit. Aided by Sharif El- Gamal, an actual property developer and self-described “shark,” Rauf and his spouse, Daisy Khan, bought the property for $4.85 million in July 2009. They deliberate to revive it because the thirteen-story Cordoba Home, which might function a group heart, pool, restaurant, efficiency house, mosque and culinary college. Rauf conceptualized it as a Muslim model of the 92nd Avenue Y, a Jewish house on the Higher East Facet that performs a cherished function within the mental lifetime of New York Metropolis. The location of the brand new Córdoba struck Rauf as poetic, even chic. It was an opportunity, he mentioned, to ship “the alternative assertion to what occurred on 9/11.”

However to Rauf’s horror, a number of in New York’s 9/11 survivor group didn’t consider the venture was sending a distinct assertion in any respect. When Khan unveiled Cordoba Home to a Manhattan group board’s finance committee early in Might 2010, Rosemary Cain, mom of fallen 9/11 firefighter George Cain, said it was “atrocious that anybody would even contemplate permitting them to construct a mosque close to the World Commerce Heart.” Khan, shaken, defined to the committee that she and her husband felt “an obligation as Muslims and Individuals to be a part of the rebuilding of downtown Manhattan.”

Fanning the flames was Pamela Geller, who blogged {that a} “monster mosque” was coming to Floor Zero, an “insulting and humiliating…victory lap” celebrating terrorism. A veteran of the enterprise aspect of the ruling-class broadsheet New York Observer, Geller was radicalized by 9/11. She instructed New York Jewish Week that she was embarrassed to not have recognized who it was that attacked America, so she turned to authors and journalists who revealed that the perpetrator was Islam. Geller was additionally a birther, although not one tied to any specific idea of Barack Obama’s origin; she as soon as published a reader’s idea positing that his actual father was Malcolm X. Her ally in opposition to Cordoba was Robert Spencer, whose books lined the FBI library at Quantico. Spencer claimed Rauf was erecting a “victory mosque.” Collectively, they created a strain group referred to as Cease Islamization of America. Requested by The Washington Publish if he was being intentionally provocative, Spencer replied, “Why not? It’s enjoyable.”

Quickly the New York Publish ran columns about “mosque insanity” producing anger from “fed-up New Yorkers.” Fox Information crusaded in opposition to it. By the top of Might protesters holding indicators studying SHOW RESPECT FOR 9/11. NO MOSQUE! packed a four-hour-long public listening to on Cordoba Home. “That is humiliating that you’d construct a shrine to the very ideology that impressed the assaults of 9/11!” Geller lectured. Rauf, who had the assist of New York’s energy construction, was left pleading that they’d “condemned terrorism in essentially the most unequivocal phrases.” El-Gamal described the anger on the assembly as “the scariest factor I’ve ever seen in my life.”

https://www.vanityfair.com/information/2021/08/how-the-ground-zero-mosque-meltdown-set-the-table-for-trump | How the “Floor Zero Mosque” Meltdown Set the Desk for Trump


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