Are the mosque opponents making a fatal mistake?

A friend makes a powerful and disturbing argument about the mosque debate. He says that the Ground Zero mosque opponents, by objecting only to the location of the mosque, are giving Muslims a golden opportunity to trick America into surrendering to Islamization.

All that the Cordoba Initiative needs to do is reverse its position and agree to move the mosque farther from the World Trade Center site. That will instantly end the controversy. Feisal Rauf will be universally praised for his conciliatory attitude, for proving that Muslims are moderate after all, for proving that Islam critics have been hysterically exaggerating the dangers of Islam. At the same time, the mosque opponents will have nothing left to complain about. In effect, all mosques in America that are not next to Ground Zero will henceforth be ok. There will be no basis to oppose the steady spread of mosques and Islam in our society, since the mosque opponents have made it such a principle that it is only the closeness of a mosque to Ground Zero that is objectionable.

The underlying problem, once again, is that the supposed Islam critics are not critics of Islam, but critics of “extreme” Islam, of “supremacist” Islam, of “insensitive” Islam. Therefore the Muslims simply need to pretend for a while not to be “extreme” and “insensitive,” and the critics of “extreme” and “insensitive” Islam, who already are declaring that they “love Muslims,” will open their arms to them even further, and the future steady Islamic takeover of America will be assured.

My friend predicts that a day or two before the scheduled 9/11 anti-mosque rally, Feisal Rauf will announce that he is moving the mosque to a different location. This will leave the 9/11 rally with no reason for taking place, and it will be cancelled. Or else, I would suggest, if it goes forward, its only remaining message will be praise for that great moderate Muslim Imam Rauf, who has shown the way to the successful assimilation of Islam into America.

- end of initial entry -

My friend writes:

But there is a further reason for the rally to go ahead (if my prediction come true)—namely a wild hysterical demonstration of inter-faith dialog, holding hands and singing kumbaya in front of the whole world, RIGHT ON 9/11 TERRITORY. This would of course be covered ad nauseam by the mainstream media, to our worldwide detriment. Indeed, it could trigger a whole series of love-ins in every city that has suffered an attack. Pamela and Robert, assuming they participated in the 9/11 love-in, could become conciliatory figures for the pro-Islamization movement, now loved by the media.

LA writes:

This is creative, if dark, thinking, like something in a dystopian novel.

Mark Jaws writes:

With all due respect to you and the wonderful work you have been doing at VFR, I find it somewhat irritating that in the face of this widespread white awakening in DC and in New York and throughout the nation you are seeing only the glass as half empty as opposed to it having been increased to half full within the past year. Do you not understand the concept of incrementing our demands and moving the society to adopt a less pro-black mindset? Do you not understand that once we can openly talk about Black Liberation Theology, as Glenn Beck has done, then we can talk about Louis Farrakahan, and black racism, and black crime, and the increasingly menacing black underclass all while still supporting the Civil Rights Act of 1964? While I lack your literary eloquence, I am at least smart enough to know a good thing when I see it, and I am convinced white people are starting to wake up, and they are saying things (at least to me) that they never would have said five—let alone two—years ago.

LA replies:

Mark, I don’t feel like locking horns with you on this for the 12th time.

Also, the idea that the 9/11 rally has anyting to do with white consciousness is just absurd; it shows how you are being obsessive and see just that one thing, even when it’s not there.

Also, I’ve been much pro the opposition to the mosque (in the last few weeks, that is; before then, I wasn’t writing about the subject). I’ve posted a huge number of items on it. It’s been by far the number one topic at VFR over the last three or four weeks. If I also have critical thoughts about the opposition to the mosque, I post them as well. Why don’t you add up the number of items I’ve had supportive of the mosque opponents against the number of items critical of them? It would be ten or twenty to one.

But VFR is not an “activist” site per se. It’s not about signing on for cheerleading duty. If I have critical thoughts, I post them. Anything I consider interesting and worthwhile, I post. I don’t follow a program. If you don’t like that independent and critical aspect of VFR, you don’t like it, and there’s no point in your constantly repeating the same complaint.

September 4

Katherine B. writes:

The reason why there should be NO mosques anywhere in the U.S. or any Western country is that—apart from all Islam’s human rights abuses and even its mandate of permanent warfare to impose its Sharia—Islam demands death for apostasy and, therefore, Islam denies America’s (and the entire West’s) most fundamental freedoms, freedom of belief and free speech. One can’t have one freedom without the other since it would be impossible to exercise freedom of belief (or even non-belief) if one were not able to express it openly. Also, in Islam, since criticism of Islam, Mohammad or Sharia, is regarded as “slander,” “blasphemy” or “apostasy,” even a non-Moslem——-religious or atheist——-is at risk of curtailment of his freedoms or even of death.

The mandate of death for apostasy comes from both the Koran (“making mischief in the land”——-defying Allah and its Messenger, Mohammad), and from Hadith Bukhari (“The Apostle said, “Whoever leaves his deen (Islamic religion), then kill him.”), and it is upheld by all five schools of Sharia (Hanafi, Shafi’i, Maliki, Hanbali and Ja’fari) and it is in the “Umdat al-Salik, The Classic Manual of Islamic Sacred Law, The Reliance of the Traveller.

To me, this nails Islam in its most concrete form as a danger to all peoples because we can actually trace this death threat from its warlord founder onwards through the Sharia into the law manuals and then into The Cairo Declaration of Human rights in Islam, signed 1990 by majority of Islamic-dominant countries, which in its Articles 19d, 24 and 25 upholds the Sharia as the only determinant for crimes and punishments.)

This present controversy over a proposed mosque should have been removed from its emotive appeal on “sensitivity” grounds to the far more fundamental one of the core teaching of Islam. It was an opportunity that all opponents of Islam have badly fumbled. [LA replies: But of course they are NOT opponents of Islam; they are opponents of “Islamism.”] I think it may have something to do with the basic liberal attitudes of some of the main participants (Spencer and Geller). Also, others may feel that Americans would balk at the necessary ruthlessness and firmness required to demand reclassification and proscription of Islam as a seditious political ideology, because, obviously, that raises the issue of deportation of its adherents and the recognition that because of the mandated use of deception (taqiyya) by Muslims, Americans could not risk allowing self-professed “moderate” Moslems to remain in the U.S.

Not taking the firmest possible stand now, and allowing this present controversy to be seen only as a “location” issue, is the surest way of guaranteeing that, not too far down the line, America will face intifadas on its streets, Moslem enclaves widening their spheres of of influence, and possible civil war. A temporary peace, whether through suicidal liberalism, or the Moslem feint of a hudna (by the false “moderates”) only gives dangerous breathing space to more accommodation to Sharia in America so, even if actual war is avoided, America could face defeat and destruction of its freedoms, Constitution and Bill of rights.

John Press writes:
As my video argues, this “sensitivity” argument is a loser. It robs us of the chance to talk about Sharia. Furthermore, it robs us of the ability to say “freedom of religion is under attack!” Instead it just becomes about the feelings of some sentimental folks.

But your reader-contributed article points out another dystopic possibility. Since our side hasn’t argued on principle, if Rauf moves the mosque, he ends up as a champion of sensitivity. Thus the entire love fest would leave us with NO ground to stand upon in future battles.

The only prepared signs at the August 22nd rally that Pamela Geller denounced said “Sharia” in dripping blood. The message could not be missed. And while I respect Geller, she has said she’ll confiscate all signs other than American flags at her rally. Editors will have an easy time cutting out the message of Sharia America needs to be educated about.

That position leaves us nothing to parade but sensitivity and tolerance as bulwarks against Sharia. The symbol has so little content that it does not stand for freedom of religion, the West, or defiance to submission. As Geller has stated, it only reflects compassion for the victims.

Let’s hope politicians will rally to stop the mosque out of “compassion for the victims.” But this compassion only speaks to our hyper-sensitivity. It speaks to no other culture’s aggressiveness. The flag, taken out of context of a world that threatens it, can be read as providing universal guarantees that obscure cultural differences and open our borders.

Let’s hope that a strong cry of “Stop Sharia” permeates this easy-to-swallow pill showing a nice world full of sensitive people wanting their pain respected. Because without this core, the rest of the message provides little traction and can easily be used against us.

Matthew writes:

I am surprised you consider your friend’s analysis of the Ground Zero mosque situation to be original. Can I humbly suggest you read “Influence: Science and Practice” by Robert Cialdini. He demonstrates how to control people and public opinion using various tactics to acquire influence.

Let us say I want to borrow twenty dollars from you but am concerned you will say no. I ask for forty. You say no so then I ask for twenty. I have now demonstrated my conciliatory nature and you wish to reciprocate so I get the twenty. Reciprocity is Cialdini’s main theme which permits influence since he believes that when one person / group / country demonstrates its willingness to do something, then other people / groups / countries reciprocate. This is what your friend is concerned about.

I believe a flaw in Cialdini’s argument is that reciprocity applies more towards the older generation and people brought up decently. You are not going to get reciprocity from a thug. Nor does it work with badly behaved, disorganized, self-indulgent, or forgetful people. I have given birthday presents and waiting to see if they will reciprocate. They do not.

It may be that Rauf never intended the mosque to be built at Ground Zero.

The book really shaped my way of seeing the media and pressure groups.

Vivek G. writes:

I have seen you argue very skillfully against many ills. You, amongst only a very few others at the moment, are spot on when you are able to relate these ills to the essential position of liberalism, which is absoluteness of non-discrimination and human will. This hits at the root principle and not the other extenuating causes.

A similar treatment is necessary for the Islam problem. There are many evils in Islam, but one has to identify the primary root. Is it Burqa for women? Is it prohibition of pork? Is it claiming that Islam is the only Truth? Is it the social practices it enjoins? There are many problems with its internal practices. But if someone chose Islam in a suicidal way, the way they choose drugs or liberalism, we can have no issues, except humanitarian concerns, so long as it affected only themselves! But Islam affects others, even the very survival of others!

Hence, I think the central problem with Islam is its treatment of “those who disagree” or the Other. For Islam the very existence of the Other is illegitimate, so the Other must either be converted, or be destroyed, and only as the last and temporary option be dhimmified! And no-holds-barred against the Other. This aspect of Islam will not change, even if, however unlikely, Islam superficially modified itself and allowed some liberty to women, like relaxing the mandate on the burqa, or allowed consumption of alcohol or pork!

You have often pointed out that certain types of opposition to Islam lack real substance. I would greatly appreciate if you highlight a principle in a nut-shell, like you have done against liberalism. I feel “Death to disagreement; convert or destroy, at the very least enslave. No-holds-barred!” does some bit. But I am not sure or fully satisfied with this summary. Could you give your version?

This will equip one to have a principled position even in relation to various other Islam-critics. There are many Islam-critics who criticize Islam for other superficial reasons rather than essential ones.

LA replies:

But I have identified the key principle of Islam over and over, and the key principle that I have identitified is the same that you have suggested: that Islam requires the submission of all non-Muslims. I have said many times that I’m not concerned about Islam’s laws and practices as they pertain to the treatment of Muslims, but rather about Islam’s laws and practices as they pertain to the treatment of non-Muslims. It’s of no interest to us if Muslims find Islam fulfilling. What’s of interest to us is that Islam demands our submission to Islam.

Dean E. writes:

I read that Pamela Geller has said they’ll confiscate any signage, except American flags, at “their” 911 rally next Saturday. I plan on attending because Sir Geert will be there, and so had been considering messages suitable for a sign to carry. I’ll abide the organizer’s wishes regarding signs, however, and admit to being somewhat relieved as I wasn’t really relishing the prospect of having to hold aloft a sign for some hours, not to mention seeming to play the role of long-haired, maggot-infested, dope-smoking, commie-lib street agitator (especially while wearing a tie). But thinking up suitable sign slogans is an engaging exercise in boiling down piles of abstract ideas into some punchy blow that might flatten one’s opponents while rallying one’s comrades. Here’s the (two-sided) sign I came up with:


(and on the reverse:)


… the idea being that our enemy—and clearly identifying the enemy is paramount in any fight—is, primarily, liberalism, in league with their Muslim proxies, hence “Liberalislam”, and “Liberal Jihad.” That message may be too obscure for some but it might also make some people think, and of course many on our side would know exactly what it meant. I wonder if VFR readers would like to send in some more 9/11 rally sign slogans? We could have our own anti-mosque rally right here on VFR, and bring any damn sign we please. (But please, no giant papier-maché puppets!)

Posted by Lawrence Auster at September 03, 2010 09:31 PM | Send

Email entry

Email this entry to:

Your email address:

Message (optional):