On the non-Ground Zero Mosque, Islam

Not only does religion, more or less, have to answer for 3,000 dead on 9/11 (and slavery, the Salem witch trials, the Crusades and many other blights on mankind), but it has to answer for the crazies who are currently protesting the addition of the Cordoba House near Ground Zero. The proposed mosque and community center is two blocks away from the former World Trade Center site and not within view of the hallowed ground. Yet, Sean Hannity and others continue to refer to it as the Ground Zero Mosque.

Credit: Handschuh/News

Interestingly, and I found out about this from Sarah Palin’s Twitter feed, oddly enough, The Associated Press has ordered its reporters to cease referring to the proposed center as the GZM and simply call it, as I have, the proposed mosque near Ground Zero. For, that’s what it is or will be once it’s built. According to the story referencing the news organization,

The AP suggests that it might “useful in some stories to note that Muslim prayer services have been held since 2009 in the building that the new project will replace.” ((

Folks have been holding services at that location since 2009, you say? So what’s the big deal about the current fiasco, then? I’m not sure. And neither is Rachel Maddow, who has refused until Monday to even mention the story, dubbing it fabricated and non-news:

“I’d rather not cover it,” she tells me [Lloyd Grove], never mind that President Obama has entered the fray. “It’s just one of those fake, non-controversial things that has been ginned up into a controversy for a political purpose. Participating in the discussion of this, as a political matter, is playing right into the hands of the people who ginned this up.” (By “the people who ginned this up,” she means Fox News and its allies—about which more in a moment.) “Adding to the volume—in both senses of the word—of the coverage, um, grosses me out a little bit,” she says. ((

To that point, Hannity has been one of the most outspoken rabble rousers in this regard, ginning up all kinds of hysteria on his radio show today, and I’m sure, on his FOX News program tonight, although I haven’t watched. I got my fill of Hannity on the radio earlier. He actually said today that he believed with all his heart that we were headed down the road toward some 1930s-era final solution in which it will be the Muslims who will this time seek to destroy us all. I guess this would be in addition to the gloomy trail we are plodding toward Nazi-style socialism? But I digress.

Shew, hold on folks. If you believe these guys, it’s going to be a tough road to hoe going forward!

Actually, Hannity’s partly right but generally wrong. Some Muslims, a select few, say, Osama and his followers, are probably whittling away whatever brain power they have to conjure some sort of end game. This would be in the form of a modern day caliphate, in which us infidels will be conquered, subdued and/or killed, and radical Islam would become the rule of the land, not the exception. This vale of woe will be similar to that which existed prior to 1924 when Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, the first president of Turkish Republic, abolished the caliphate institution. Radicals today want to see this reinstalled in the Middle East, and eventually, one can only imagine, everywhere, since Islam officials through history, including Ayatollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden, have stated the goal clearly:

  • “I was ordered to fight all men until they say ‘There is no god by Allah.’ – Muhammad’s farewell address, March 632
  • “I shall cross this sea to their islands to pursue them until there remains no one on the face of the earth who does not acknowledge Allah.” – Saladin, January 1189
  • “We will export our revolution throughout the world … until the calls ‘there is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah’ are echoed all over the world.” – Ayatollah Khomeini, 1979
  • I was ordered to fight the people until they say there is not god but Allah, and his prophet Muhammad.” – Osama bin Laden, November 2001 ((“Islamic Imperialism,” Efraim Karsh))

All that notwithstanding, we are talking about the radicals among the believers of Islam. We are not talking about the millions of peaceful Muslims. And here is where Hannity’s rhetoric hits dangerous territory regarding Islam. We want to, and should be, very clear that our beef as a nation is not with Islam itself. For Hannity, as he did today, saying he doesn’t care what religion a person follows, and then in the same show saying we are heading toward some kind of wild, 1930s-style takeover plan, this time with Islam as the potential threat, no doubt is offensive to the millions of well-meaning and quietly faithful believers around the world. Hannity seems to suggest that we are on the cusp of a gigantic wave of Islamic fervor. There are, indeed, a few crazies running around this planet, Sean, but few people of any religion, believe enough in the voices in their heads to board a plane and launch it into a building or strap themselves with a bomb. And we can be very thankful that their numbers are small.

About the Author

Jeremy Styron
Jeremy Styron
I am a newspaper editor, op-ed columnist and reporter working in the greater Knoxville area. This is a personal blog. Views expressed here are mine and mine alone.

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