I don’t know how September 11 plays in the rest of the country, but here in the NY metropolitan area it is a somber day. I watch little television, but I do listen to the radio. Most of the morning programming today has been about the attack. In my opinion, this is entirely appropriate.
This year has added piquancy due to the planned Ground Zero mosque-no-it’s-an-outreach-center-no-really, and the hitherto obscure pastor from Florida who wants or doesn’t want to burn Korans today, depending of which interview was last broadcast.
As one who savors irony, I have found the last couple of weeks particularly interesting. The imam, whose name I can’t seem to remember but sounds like a dog barking, announced his project in the name of “outreach,” and then promptly left the country, allowing the situation to fester. It’s a curious style of outreach, rather like wanting to erect a Shinto shrine at Pearl Harbor.
I am compelled to include a show business reference because the parallelism is striking. The present situation mirrors the old Weber & Fields act. For those scratching their heads, Weber and Fields are believed to have been the originators of the wold’s most famous “old joke.”
Fields: Who vas dot lady I saw you with last night?
Weber: Dot vas no lady, dot vas mine wife.
That was offered only to identify Weber & Fields. Their routine was always punctuated with the taller Lew Fields pummeling the smaller Joe Weber brutally. Audiences liked much more violent humor in those days. Invariably, at some point, Fields would poke his finger into Weber’s eye, or choke him, saying, “You know how much I luff you!” Weber’s reply would be something along the lines of, “Jah! I can feel it.”
Having stuck his thumb in New York’s eye, the imam announces how much he luffs us.
In the latest development, the imam has announced that if the project is stopped now, the offensive nature of the halt will merely inflame the radicals.
No one in the media has pointed out the “heads I win, tails you lose” nature of this overwhelmingly unconvincing argument. Equally ignored is the inescapable conclusion that in order to get the respectful attention of American officialdom, one must merely lop off a few heads, mutilate a few bodies, and promise more of the same. The President has chimed in with his endorsement of the U. S. Constitution’s First Amendment, perhaps the first known instance of this President invoking the Constitution in defense of individual liberty. This should have gotten more notice — the President’s volte face in support of Muslims who bitterly cling to their boxcutters and religion.
It has been little remarked (although I have seen mentions), that the President’s position is another in a succession of his straw man arguments — no one is claiming there is no right to build a mosque at Ground Zero. In fact, for years there has been a mosque about four blocks from ground zero to the outrage of absolutely no one. Curiously, the Greek Orthodox church destroyed in the attack has not been allowed to rebuild. The Greek Orthodox don’t lop off heads these days, so New York City’s gargantuan bureaucracy feels no compunction about giving them the run-around.
Donald Trump has chimed in, offering to pay cash for the building on the condition that any mosque resulting be placed at least five blocks away. His offer has apparently been refused.
I look at this in a historical context, and the clues for doing so are there for anyone who cares to examine them. Radical Islamists have a history of building mosques at the sites of great victories. The mosque at Ground Zero is to be called “Cordoba House,” after the capital city of Muslim-ruled Spain. And the dedication of the planned building is to be held on … wait for it … September 11, 2011, exactly ten years to the day after the attack.
Coincidences, all, I’m sure.
We’re told how offensive we are if the mosque is stopped.