Some Historical Context For The Ground Zero Mosque
Amir Taheri, an Iranian-born journalist, offers some important context for the Ground Zero Mosque project in the NY Post:
In fact, the proposed structure is known in Islamic history as a rabat — literally a connector. The first rabat appeared at the time of the Prophet.
The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias (the origin of the English word “raid”). The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders.
After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat — or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided. The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias. Later Muslim rulers used the tactic of ghazva to conquer territory in the Persian and Byzantine empires. After each raid, they built a rabat to prepare for the next razzia.
It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington. The terrorists who carried out the attack are referred to as ghazis or shahids (martyrs).
Thus, building a rabat close to Ground Zero would be in accordance with a tradition started by the Prophet. To all those who believe and hope that the 9/11 ghazva would lead to the destruction of the American “Great Satan,” this would be of great symbolic value.
Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the Ground Zero Mosque, doesn’t it?
As for the “Cordoba House” name, Taheri has some context for that, too:
The argument is that Cordoba, in southern Spain, was a city where followers of Islam, Christianity and Judaism lived together in peace and produced literature and philosophy.
In fact, Cordoba’s history is full of stories of oppression and massacre, prompted by religious fanaticism. It is true that the Muslim rulers of Cordoba didn’t force their Christian and Jewish subjects to accept Islam. However, non-Muslims could keep their faith and enjoy state protection only as dhimmis (bonded ones) by paying a poll tax in a system of religious apartheid.
If whatever peace and harmony that is supposed to have existed in Cordoba were the fruit of “Muslim rule,” the subtext is that the United States would enjoy similar peace and harmony under Islamic rule.
A rabat in the heart of Manhattan would be of great symbolic value to those who want a high-profile, “in your face” projection of Islam in the infidel West.
And, a final warning from Taheri:
Before deciding whether to support or oppose the “Cordoba” project, New Yorkers should consider what it is that they would be buying.
Smart advice, I think.