Cordoba revisited: Muslim community center at ground zero

The debate over a

New York, NY — August 25 — The debate over a 13-story “community center” and mosque in a building close enough to ground zero to have been damaged by the fuselage of one of the jets-turned-weapon is about the duel for minds, land and control between the children of Abraham dating back almost 4000 years. Outside a basic understanding of Islam and Judeo-Christian tenants and history, the argument looks to be about the right to build, tolerance, Islamophobia, or even sensitivity for 911 families.

 The Cordoba Initiative, headed by imam Feisal Abdul Rauf on his fourth Mideast mission funded by the US State Department to symbolize American religious freedom, proclaims the project will “promote inter-community peace, tolerance and understanding locally in New York City, nationally in America, and globally.”  The important issue, albeit subterranean in terms of news reporting, is symbolic, a foreshadowing. An Islamic place of worship steps away from the place where a full-frontal attack on America, organized and perpetrated by a coalition of Muslims with the reasoning “My religion says I must convert or destroy you,” is a powerful message.

 Expansion of Islam in America that is fed and watered by Islamic countries in the Middle East and Africa has but one ultimate objective and that is to convert America to an Islam-based society. Throughout history many countries and entire regions have been batted back and forth between ruling classes that adhere to Islam or Christianity. There is no shame in naming this objective. It is what it is, but that’s not how Feisal and his friends play it. They know that the majority of Americans, even those protesting in favor of the new community center/mosque, like the culture, laws and social mores born out of a Judeo-Christian founding.

 Cordoba is an excellent name because the Spanish city’s history mirrors well the Islamic mission. When the Romans built Cordoba in 206 B.C., they cultivated wheat and produced olive oil and wine there. They also established a large pagan temple. Around 400 A.D. the Visigoths, Catholics who cohabitated with Jews, conquered Spain and erected a church for St. Vincent on the site. In 711 A.D. the Moors, Muslims from North Africa, conquered the city and replaced the church with the Mezquita, or Great Mosque, one of the largest in the Islamic world.

 During the Moor rule, the city is said to have reached its glory as a center of art, architecture, philosophy, and poetry. “Although Christians and Jews lived under restrictions, for much of the time the three groups managed to get along together, and to some extent, to benefit from the presence of each other,” the BBC has reported.

 Islamic rulers controlled the city and Andalusia for 524 years until the reconquest by the Christians under King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella in 1236. They were awed by the grandeur of the Mezquita which included 1,000 pillars of granite, onyx, marble and jasper to support its arches. The Christians decided to build a cathedral within the mosque. Cordoba became Ferdinand and Isabella’s headquarters as they went about ousting the remaining Moors from Granada. It was in Cordoba that they established the tribunal of the Inquisition which eventually led to exile of Jews from Andalusia 200 years later in 1483.

 Note the pattern of Cordoba’s history. It’s a common formula. There’s always a struggle between Muslims and Christians. Jews always play a very important role and in the end are usually persecuted and exiled by some zealous ruler. It’s no wonder the Jews defend their tiny homeland with such tenacity. As for the many new mosques and “community centers” popping up all over America from ground zero to cornfields in the heart land, Islam is simply doing what it does – seeking to conquer and convert a fertile land and people. Christians and Jews have held this continent for almost 500 years if you go back to the early Spanish, French and English voyages to the New World. That’s a pretty good run. Who will win in the end this time around? It all depends on who wants it the most, in my mind.

Image of Cordoba mosque found at Skyscraper city.

Technical and creative writer, Carla G. Harper follows current events with one eye on history and one eye on the future.  Her goal is to encourage people to think critically about what’s going on, both around them and in their lives. Follow Carla at Twitter: CarlaGHarper

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Carla Garrison

Carla writes about current issues and events with an aim toward telling the truth, using the writings of great thinkers, dead and living, as well as common sense.

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