EDITORIAL: New York: The Islamic Beachhead?

by THE EDITOR June 15, 2010
Yesterday, Fox News broke with a truly shocking story. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey has been offering bids for managing the proposed 1,776 foot “One World Trade Center” or “Freedom Tower”, to be built on the site of Ground Zero. Fox’s legal analyst, Peter Johnson Jr., revealed that the Port Authority had narrowed the bidders down to two companies. One of these, called “Related Companies”, whose offices are based on West 56th Street, has financial partners who are organs of Muslim Arab states.
 
Mubadala Development Company, Kuwait Investment Authority and Olayan Group are among the strategic investors in Related Companies. Should the Port Authority offer the contract to Related Cos, these investors’ funds will be used to the new office tower and also the memorial building.
 
Mubadala is owned by the Abu Dhabi government, in the UAE, the Kuwait Investment Authority manages the funds of the Kuwaiti government, and Olayan Group is one of Saudi Arabia’s largest companies.
 
In Kuwait, although freedom of religion is endorsed, sharia law is a main source of legislation and in the United Arab Emirates, Islam is constitutionally enshrined:
 
“The Constitution declares that Islam is the official religion of the country, and the Government defines all citizens as Muslims.”
 
In Saudi Arabia, there is no religious freedom. Christians are banned from bringing Bibles or crucifixes into the country. Churches are forbidden from being built, and people have been jailed for holding private Christian worship. People are still beheaded for “sorcery”, and religious police enforce the strict dictates of sharia law.
 
It is a frightening thought that in the heart of Ground Zero, a company whose strategic funding includes money from these sources could potentially be in charge of the memorial to the 2,605 people who lost their lives on that spot, and that these investors could be making a profit from the offices in the “One World Trade Center”.
 
The attack upon the World Trade Center on September 9, 2001, was a singular act of terrorism that changed the world. An earlier attack on the WTC, planned by blind Egyptian “Sheikh” Omar Abdel Rahman and executed by Al Qaeda operative Ramzi Yousef, took the lives of 6 people and injured 1,042. Yousef had driven a truck laden with explosives into the car park beneath North Tower on February 26, 1993.
 
The destruction of the World Trade Center on 9/11 caused the deaths of 2,605 people, with a further 371 killed in the attacks carried out on the same day by fanatical Muslims. For many people, the events of 9/11 are seared indelibly into their memories.
 
The decision, made in late May  by a “community board” in New York, to give permission to the construction of a 13 story mosque has brought protests. The proposed mosque and cultural center is almost adjacent to the site of Ground Zero. It will be headed by Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf. In 2004, this New York based imam had declared that:
 
“The Islamic method of waging war is not to kill innocent civilians. But it was Christians in World War II who bombed civilians in Dresden and Hiroshima, neither of which were military targets.”
 
This attempt at whitewashing Islam is almost universal. No matter that Islam’s founder sanctioned the taking of women as “war booty” and in the Koran allowed for these female captives to be – let us not mince words – raped at will (see Sura 33: 50) , he is still a role model who must never be criticized, least of all lampooned in cartoons.
 
The New York “community board” did not care that many people, including relatives of 9/11 victims, would object to their proposals. On June 6, thousands of protesters descended upon the site of the proposed Ground Zero mosque, to show their outrage.
 
Christina Regenhard, one of those who joined that protest, said: “Such was the violence on 9-11 that my brother's remains were never found. He was killed by Islamists and now they want to build a mosque on his grave. Their victory will be complete.”
 
There seems to be a pattern in this advancement over the painful memories of the recent past. Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf heads two groups, ASMA (the American Society for Muslim Advancement) and the Cordoba Initiative (which he founded in 2004). Why would he choose such a name for his group?
 
Cordoba in Spain was the capital of an Islamic Caliphate in 10th century Spain. Cordoba was the center of the region known to Muslims as Al-Andalus. In his speeches, Osama bin Laden has called for the return of Al-Andalus to “Muslims”. The Muslim invasion of Spain was initiated in 711 by a young Berber general for the Ummayad army called Tarek ibn Zayed. He gained a foothold on Spanish territory by striking fear into his enemies. It is reported that he took one of his war captives, cut him in pieces and threw the pieces into a boiling caldron. He then released the other captives, who spread the tale that the Muslim invaders boiled and ate their foes. When names such as Andalus, Cordoba, or even Tarek ibn Zayed are used, non-Muslims should question the motives of those who employ the name.
 
To an observer, it seems that there is a pattern of triumphalism by some elements of the Muslim world here. Most Muslims are good citizens, but an increasing number of Islam’s public representatives and organizations are following an agenda of Islamism.
 
Sayyid Qutb was a leading figure in bringing Islamism to the world. He belonged to the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood and wrote books and pamphlets supporting jihad, attacking the West, attacking the Jews, until he was hanged in 1966. His most famous book is called Milestones. In this, he writes of there being a need for an Islamist “vanguard”, which sets out to conquer the unbelieving world:
 
“It is necessary that there should be a vanguard which sets out with this determination and then keeps walking on the path, marching through the vast ocean of Jahiliyyah (absence of Islam, barbarism) which has encompassed the entire world. During its course, it should keep itself somewhat aloof from this all-encompassing Jahiliyyah and should also keep some ties with it.
 
It is necessary that this vanguard should know the landmarks and the milestones of the road toward this goal so that they may recognize the starting place, the nature, the responsibilities and the ultimate purpose of this long journey. Not only this, but they ought to be aware of their position as opposed to this Jahiliyyah, which has struck its stakes throughout the earth: when to co-operate with others and when to separate from them: what characteristics and qualities they should cultivate, and with what characteristics and qualities the Jahiliyyah immediately surrounding them is armed; how to address the people of Jahiliyyah in the language of Islam, and what topics and problems ought to be discussed; and where and how to obtain guidance in all these matters. “
 
Mohammed, founder of Islam, may not have had much respect for the women he allowed to be carried off as “war booty”, but he was a good military strategist. In military invasions, a vanguard of an army takes a beachhead and from there, it works its way into the territory it intends to conquer. For Tarek ibn Zayed, his “beachhead” was the gigantic Rock of Gibraltar separating North Africa from southern Spain. Gibraltar gains its name from him. “Jibril al-Tarek” or “Tarek’s mountain” was the title that the invading Muslims gave to this outcrop. In Europe, Islam has become established politically, greater in political weight than the small number of Muslims within these nations. Now, it seems, the vanguard is moving further on. It is making its beachheads in America.
 
The movement of Islamism into the mainstream of American political life would be against everything that the founding fathers stood for. When Jefferson was president, American ships and sailors were being kidnapped and held to ransom by Muslim fiefdoms in North Africa. The United States Marine Corps’ hymn bears the line “to the shores of Tripoli” for a reason. Jefferson refused to accept the demands of Libya’s pasha for a lump sum payment of $225,000, followed by further annual payments. In 1815, the tributes ended when the Barbary states were shown extreme force by brave Americans.
 
Hopefully, modern American politicians and citizens will wake up to the encroachment of Islamism into society and respond wisely, without a need to resort to force. However, for many Americans and for those who lost relatives in 9/11, New York must already seem like the beachhead of Islam’s vanguard.
 
The Editor.

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