America already is an Islamic society

By John Kiser Yes, we need the Cordoba House complex to set an example for the rest of America and … Continued

By John Kiser

Yes, we need the Cordoba House complex to set an example for the rest of America and for the world, and so the fear and hate mongers don’t win. It is necessary to show the world that Americans are neither trembling in their boots nor willing to compromise the dignity and rights of American Muslims because of the actions of few dubious “Muslims” around the world.

The Cordoba name harkens back to Muslim dominated Spain — a time and place when Jews, Christians, Muslims lived in relative harmony with each other. This was also a time when Jewish intellectuals spoke and wrote in Arabic, and an Aquinas, an Averroes, and a Maimonidies all drew from a common well of rediscovered Greek knowledge that eventually fed the European Renaissance. The spirit of Cordoba is an ideal of interreligious harmony that Feisal Rauf and Daisy Khan are seeking to recreate to counter a false, ideological Islam that has dangerously stamped and degraded a great monotheistic religious tradition. In the late 19th century admiring Jewish scholars, such as Abraham Geiger and Ignaz Goldziher, venerated and validated Islam as a sister faith.* Goldziher called Islam a pure monotheism towards which other religions should strive, and, more than any other scholar, made Islam a respectable subject of study in European universities where previously it languished in the departments of heresies and Hebrew studies. Again, Jews are emerging as defenders of Islam. Let’s start in Manhattan. Ground Zero.

What does the Jewish Community Center of New York, United Jewish Federation, Mayor Bloomberg, the FBI, Community Board One, and two hundred and fifty 9/11 families have in common? Yes, they all have publically supported the center, or so-called mosque, even if the mosque occupies only 10% of the total projected space. Why are New York’s community leaders uniformly supportive of the multiple story cultural complex, which includes a mosque and multifaith center two blocks away from Ground Zero, while its opponents, who are overwhelmingly non New Yorkers, are doing everything possible to sabotage it. What is their purpose? To instill fear and to play on emotions.

It seems that the Robert Spencers and Pamela Gellers of the world want us to believe that the Muslims have a secret plot to take over America by masquerading as peaceable and democratic, so they can ultimately “impose” sharia law ( ie Taliban variety) on unsuspecting, gullible Americans. Sharia is evil, Islam is a false and violent religion and no Muslim can be trusted. Most dangerous of all is my friend, Imam Feisal Rauf, who has been preaching at his mosque, twelve blocks from Ground Zero for the past twenty years. Apparently, he has already converted, hoodwinked or lulled the local FBI director (who asked the imam to train 600 agents) Rabbi Joy Levitt, Rabbi Arthur Scheiner, Reverand James Morton, Mayor Bloomberg, Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer, as well as the US State Department into believing he is a democracy-loving American, one who -get this–believes America, in many respects, already is an Islamic society!

How could that be? Because the application of sharia law is to be judged according to how well it protects six basic human values: life, religion, family, property, intellect and dignity. All educated Muslims know this and most famously affirmed by a 19th century Egyptian reformer, Mohammed Abduh( 1849-1905). After visiting European countries he made the remarkable observation , “I go to the West and see Islam, but no Muslims; I go East and see Muslims, but not Islam.”

Collective guilt syndrome is a terrible, and sadly, common facet of America’s dark side. Japanese Americans suffered collective incarceration for the sins of their racial kin across the Pacific, and absurdly unrealistic fear of immanent invasion. Thanks to the Four Minute Men, propaganda squads organized by President Wilson to whip up war fever among Americans and animus against Germany, prejudice against German Americans skyrocketed. German culture clubs around the county were disbanded or hounded out of business. Horror stories were carefully selected to instill fear that brutal “Prussianism” might take over America. Group guilt by association is also part of Catholic Christianity’s nasty past, one completely at odds with the teachings of Jesus. Only in 1964 did the Vatican decide that the Jewish people were not collectively “Christ killers,” and the principal reason Islam shines in comparison to Christianity in its historical treatment of Jews, as well as “people of color.” Reducing minorities to labels relieves the intellectually lazy of having to think. It makes killing others easier.

Politically motivating others by mixing a cocktail of fear, hatred and ignorance are time- tested ingredients for bringing out the worst in people. Human beastiality makes animals behavior look saintly. They, at least, kill individuals -not groups. An older American generation remembers Communist fear mongering that had Americans looking for pinkos under every bed or dinner table. Slander, guilt by association, ruined careers, character assassinations were the glorious legacies of McCarthyism. Mc Carthyism was ultimately repudiated without lessening America’s will to resist communist aggression. Islamophobia is a mixture of racism, undiscriminating ignorance of the diversity and complexity within the Islamic world, and the hard reality of some truly dangerous, Western-hating Muslims (estimated by intel sources variously at 10-40,000 hardcore fanatics worldwide). But sending overseas the military equivalent of bulls to fight wasps is not the right strategy, nor is demonizing all Muslims going to make America or the world safer. Indeed, the opposite. As Gen Petraeus’s Australian advisor, David Kilcullen, has argued in Accidental Guerilla, aggregating our enemies under one big, bad label merely multiplies them.

John Kiser is author of Commander of the Faithful: The Life and Times of Emir Abdelkader, French prize winning The Monks of Tibhirine: Faith, Love and Terror in Algeria and Stefan Zweig, The Death of a Modern Man. He is a friend and supporter of Cordoba initiative.

* Albert Hourani, Islam in European Thought, Cambridge Univ Press 1991

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  • PSolus

    “…Muslim dominated Spain — a time and place when Jews, Christians, Muslims lived in relative harmony with each other.”Define “relative harmony”.

  • dickshady2

    This article makes me sick. How can the author even think the Muslims want to co-exist? Excuse me, I have to go throw up.

  • relmasian

    This article reflects the spirit of the Constitution. Our founding fathers would have understood its point, even if some disagreed. Unfortunately, many, if not the majority, of today’s Americans, will simply think it is crazy.

  • govthawkwp

    Aren’t these same people that cut off hands for theft and hang 16 year old girls for some trivial offense? If that is their “law”, then I want nothing to do with them. It’s barbaric.

  • Schiavo216

    Dear JohnHistory shows, time and again, that when the mosques go up, human rights go down the toilet; gangs of thugs (i.e. “religious police”) troll the streets looking for women to throw rocks at or kill because they dared to voice an opinion, etc. etc. we’ve all read the news, except apparently for you. Please spare us the PC posturing and take a look at what really goes on. I’m not a Catholic, but I can stand on any street corner and shout: “the Pope is a sissy and wears a pink tutu!” and I’ll probably get away with it. Let’s make a deal: I dare you to stand outside any mosque, anywhere in the world and say the same thing about Mohammed. You won’t last five second. If you’re not willing to put your money where your mouth is, please shut the hell up.

  • Printdevil

    We’re opposed to the mosque “because of the actions of few dubious “Muslims” around the world”?No, the objection is because of the actions of most-definite Muslims at the gaping, smoldering hole in New York City where the World Trade Center towers used to be.Look it up, Mr. Kiser. It was in all the newspapers.

  • tsoitawodi4u

    Muslims do well in a sand pit..not in America…their hate filled religion has no place here…any religion that kills innocent people to achieve their goals is unfit for any place on this earth

  • dgladish66

    “Our founding fathers would have understood its point, even if some disagreed.” You must be joking, the founding fathers would have charged the author with treason. Sharia law does not call for living in harmony it calls for domination. Infidels can be converted, killed, or become the subjects of thier Muslim leaders. Read a history book maybe you will learn something.

  • Phil1957

    This is a classic example of how a person can think they are sounding so very intelligent and everyone else knows they are an idiot.

  • tsoitawodi4u

    racism?…who is the racist?? The Muslims are the RACIST ones…get your facts straight…pathetic reporting…or rather…sending YOUR Muslim views via the media…rid the world of Muslims and enjoy more peace

  • AmericanMuslim

    How about “Jewish Golden Age in Spain” as stated by non other than a famous Jewish philosopher!

  • gogidjan

    muslims will destroy Europe and eventually US if europeans and americans would not understand that they are hostile towards the nonmuslim population. Especially turks – are the most nationalistic and hostile to all non muslim world

  • craschke

    The comment, mouthed here once again, that Muslim-dominated Spain in the Middle Ages was an interfaith utopia where everyone lived in harmony is a persistent urban legend that is grossly contradicted by historical realities. It is the left-wing counterpart to the white segregationist claim in the Old South that “all our blacks are happy.” Historians know better. First, Medieval Spain’s “harmony”, like all Muslim dominated part of Europe for centuries (the result of aggressive military conquest) was based on a rigid system of religious classification (known as “dhimmitude”) which gave special privileges to Muslims and second-class citizenship to everyone else, especially Christians. It is true that Jews fared better in Spain than in the rest of Europe, but that was because they were considered necessary to keep the economy going. Christians were persecuted and far worse off, as they are today in thoroughly “Muslim” countries like Sudan, Iran, and Saudi Arabia.Second, the only place where Muslim “tolerance” of any kind was practiced was in Cordoba, and that is because the emir there decided he would thumb his nose at the caliphate in Baghdad because of the protection of vast distances and the Strait of Gibraltar. The rest of the Islamic empire was always bent on sending armies to overthrow him and re-instate the norm, which was “tolerance” based on subjugation.Third, if Spain was such a happy place, why did their non-Muslim subjects devote almost six centuries to driving out Muslim rule, which they finally did with a vengeance in the 1400s? Islam in Spain was colonialism, pure and simple, and it wasn’t any better than the European version centuries later.

  • Scruitol

    Co-existence goes against the basics of Islam. Look up the term Dhimmi to see the how both Christians and Jews are considered and treated by Islam and keep in mind that this treatment is better than anyone who is not of the “people of the book” such as Hindus, Buddhists, etc.

  • bbsnews

    It’s truly sad to read the vile hate speech in these comments. As of this writing I believe there is one rational comment.The others are all unvarnished hatred.

  • AmericanMuslim

    It never seizes to amaze me how some of us like to rewrite history. Folks, let me remind you of the crusaders and the slaughtering of Coptic Christians, Jews and Muslims alike in the name of Christianity.

  • Seksor

    If America is already an Islamic society then I want out. Much of the world already ridicules us for our Christian extremism so we should now openly embrace even more extreme strains of Abrahamic religion?There is not a good point you can make about religion that isn’t countered by thousands of years of conflict and utter misery. Islam especially deserves no positive treatment as it’s probably the most viral and least accepting of the lot.I would far prefer we live without all mosques, churches and synagogues.

  • Scruitol

    One more thought, Mr. Kiser – You stated: “It seems that the Robert Spencers and Pamela Gellers of the world want us to believe that the Muslims have a secret plot to take over America by masquerading as peaceable and democratic, so they can ultimately “impose” sharia law ( ie Taliban variety) on unsuspecting, gullible Americans.”

  • jerroldcanning

    You write these words from the relatively free and safe haven of the otherwise largely Christian influenced America. Islam brutally enforces itself upon the rest of the world and relies upon individuals like yourself to spout “Let live and let die!” so that it may enslave it and bring it into its third world poverty that most countries of this “religion” find themselves in. If your so-called tolerance to this construction is allowed to prevail, your only hope is that time will be sufficient to spare you in your relative safety of a “free” America today and only permit Muslims to oppress your grandchildren!

  • relmasian

    dgladish66, you quoted my post and said,”Our founding fathers would have understood its point, even if some disagreed.” You must be joking, the founding fathers would have charged the author with treason.The Founding Fathers would have understood the effects of religious intolerance because many of them came from religious minorities, thus the First Admentment.I do agree with you and others and not the article, that Islam itself has a sad history of intolerance. However, one becomes the pot calling the kettle black if you respond to muslim intolerance with your own intolerance.

  • chaos1

    “I’m not a Catholic, but I can stand on any street corner and shout: ‘the Pope is a sissy and wears a pink tutu!’ and I’ll probably get away with it. Let’s make a deal: I dare you to stand outside any mosque, anywhere in the world and say the same thing about Mohammed.”Test your own claim. Stand in front of a Catholic church, in, say, NYC, while people are streaming in for Sunday Mass, and shout your shout. I suspect you’d soon be singing a different tune, and at a higher pitch.

  • Rsquared

    Mr. Kiser’s whole article appears to rest on the presumption that anyone who objects to a mosque being at ground zero hates Muslims, is ignorant of Muslim contributions, etc. I think that it is inappropriate for the mosque to be located at this location. The vast majority of Americans feel like this, some of them because they do hate Muslims, but most, like me, just don’t think it is the right thing to do since, although it was a radical sect of Islam, Muslims perpetrated this awful crime and should have no part in or around its memorial. I am a bit puzzled as to why they would even want to put it at this location as it appears to be inflammatory to do so.

  • superfred911

    Maybe, in reciprocity, Saudi Arabia would allow construction of a Jewish synagogue or Christian church in Mecca, perhaps near Masjid al-Haram, the largest mosque in the world…..Ooops, I forgot, non-Muslims are prevented by law to enter Mecca. And therein lies the reason why Americans and Muslims will never see eye-to-eye. The western world has an open community. The Muslim community, for all their protestations to the contrary, is basically a closed one, both by Islamic law and the laws of individual Muslim/Islamic nations.In America, we learned early on to separate church and state. Most of the Islamic/Muslim nations have not learned this lesson yet. Thus, there will always be a long line at the ‘Martyr Registration Office’.

  • OldWarDog

    Mutual respect and religious harmony have always been foundations of The American Way. There are many more Muslims in America, and indeed in the world, who value peace and coexistence than there are fundamentalists and terrorists. Certainly, in this country which has always valued diversity so highly, allowing our Muslim neighbors to have this voice in our vision for the future will prove that the majority of Americans, too, is neither fundamentalist nor insane.

  • jboston

    With all due respect to the author America is absolutely NOT an Islamic society. We do not live our lives in accordance with Sharia law, we are tolerant of other beliefs and do not call for the murder of those who offend us. As for the mosque itself, being a New York Jew who not only lived through the attacks but also has ties to Israel through business and family all I can say is that this article made me want to vomit. Despite the fact that I came across large numbers of Muslim in Brooklyn who were cheering for the destruction of the Towers I am no more accepting of a mosque, as that is exactly what the Cordoba House will be, at the hallowed ground which is the World Trade Center then I would be of a McDonald’s at Mecca. The website for the project states that the Cordoba House is “about promoting integration, tolerance of difference and community cohesion through arts and culture. Cordoba House will provide a place where individuals, regardless of their backgrounds, will find a center of learning, art and culture; and most importantly, a center guided by Islamic values in their truest form – compassion, generosity, and respect for all.”Not only is the first part, about promoting integration, tolerance and community absolutely NOT what we have seen from the Muslim comunity the remainder of the statement is pure code speak for Islam to subvert our own laws and religions and seek converts. Whether it be cartoons of Muhammed in Denmark to Muslims in Great Britain demanding that public pools provide set times when only Muslim are allowed to swim or French Muslim rioting out of control for weeks at an end there is NOTHING in Islam that promotes integration, tolerance or community cohesion.The very fact that Islam mean “submission to god” should provide no more clarity to the intention of Islam. This is a religion that seeks to strip us of our rights, individuality and own sense of self.And to that I say, no mosque and Ground Zero.

  • truffes_du_jour

    Are the U.S. still a beacon of liberty, an open society, an inspirational example across the world?

  • jboston

    “Posted by: OldWarDog – Mutual respect and religious harmony have always been foundations of The American Way. There are many more Muslims in America, and indeed in the world, who value peace and coexistence than there are fundamentalists and terrorists. Certainly, in this country which has always valued diversity so highly, allowing our Muslim neighbors to have this voice in our vision for the future will prove that the majority of Americans, too, is neither fundamentalist nor insane.”Just not so close to WTC. Since it was members of their group that committed these acts then perhaps they should have the decency to not place it so close.It’s like Japanese Americans attempting to get a shrine placed at Pearl Harbor right next to the Arizona.It’s called decency and to date it’s just not something that I see from a lot of Muslims.

  • novagem01

    when americans see the real cost of islam, we can look at the beheaded women and lack of human rights in islamic country, who are the peaceable and freedom loving people we find in our midst?? no free born woman would want the here. they are our enemy!!!!!

  • jboston

    On second read I’m starting to get an idea of just what a silly coward Kiser is.”Yes, we need the Cordoba House complex to set an example for the rest of America and for the world, and so the fear and hate mongers don’t win. It is necessary to show the world that Americans are neither trembling in their boots nor willing to compromise the dignity and rights of American Muslims because of the actions of few dubious “Muslims” around the world.”This is just more apologist malarkey that got us into this mess in the first place. Clinton demonstrated this same lack of fortitude during his administration and it was everything the likes of OSama needed to determine that the US no longer had the strength to fight for itself. Khobar Towers, Embassy bombings in 1998, USS Cole, Mogidishu and the first WTC. All under his watch and not a single one provoked a substantial response.And now Kiser doesn’t want to “let the hate mongers win”.I find it a tad pathetic that Kiser eqautes those who would stand against Muslim aggression that hate-mongers and not those who attacked us. Sorta lets me know where he stands in the equation.

  • nmrabbit

    You Ivory Tower types always are looking out for me-When I don’t want you looking out for me. I will look out for myself. If my history book is correct -When the Muslims overran So. Europe way back when, the countries where run by little fuedal kingdoms that repressed the poor just like Britton had done. This left a vacuum. So. Europe was conquered. The Muslim leaders had a rule- deny us and die or join us and live. What choise did the poor have? Not much of one. The richer people had a choise too. They didnot have to join Islam, they could buy their way out. Which neerly all did. When those fuedal kindoms acquired strong leaders again they overthrew the Muslims. Since the rich and the leaders never were Islamic, It didn’t take much for Catholism to take hold again. Read a little history once in a while, bubba.

  • maceoin

    I’m afraid the author has acquired a politically correct view of Islam that diverges from historical fact and textual expression. Islam is predicated on several basic principles: the need to use violence to conquer and dominate. Muhammad fought in about 34 battles and sent out armies on a mission of conquest. Within very few years of his death, Islamic armies had conquered all the Middle East, destroyed the Christian Byzantine empire and the Zoroastrian Sasanid empire. Further conquests spread Islam to Western China and into Spain/Portugal. There is no doctrine of tolerance in Islam: Jews and Christians can choose to keep their faiths, but they pay a heavy cost for doing so and are treated as non-citizens. Hindus, Buddhists and others simply have no rights: they can convert or they can be killed. Prisoners of war are turned into slaves. Overall, the Arab slave trade went on longer and took more slaves than its Western equivalent. Wherever it has gone, Islam has created closed societies. It is totalitarian, firmly opposed to democracy and human rights. (Democracy because human beings cannot rule themselves and cannot make laws of their own, different to God’s laws in the shari’a.) The author is wrong to mock those who think there is a Muslim conspiracy. Some years ago the FBI discovered and exposed an important document drawn up by the Muslim Brotherhood in the US. This document laid out a systematic plan to undermine Western civilisation in the States. The Brotherhood is still active. Muslim organisations like CAIR have again and again been indicted for supporting terrorism, usually by fundraising. CAIR is not a minor sect: it is the largest and most mainstream Islamic body in the US. I won’t go on. It’s nice that people want to be tolerant towards Muslims, because tolerance is what we in the West do well. But thoughtless tolerance leads to bad results. We are frequently tolerant of intolerance, using PC principles to turn a blind eye to all manner of wrongs. In Europe, we have allowed Muslims to get away with terrible things, and now we have no-go areas in major towns and a Muslim community that, by and large, refuses to integrate. Do read more about Islam, from good sources. Reject the more extreme Islam haters, by all means. But don’t bend over backwards to accommodate anyone who operates on the fundamental Islamic principle of al-wala’ wa’l-bara’, loyalty and enmity: loyalty to Muslims, enmity toward non-Muslims. Does the author even know about this doctrine?

  • ledit

    Here is my thought; but 1st let me put things in perspective, ; since 911 10s of thousands of Americans have died at the hands of illegal alliens (car accidents , etc.)

  • Aramine

    KIser is moronic blowhard. Islam IS the enemy no matter how you try to excuse it. Stop the euphemistic garbage and call it what it is for a change. Terrorists against America are Islamists. The LACK of outrage by so-called mainstream Muslims speaks for itself. Quietly behind the scenes and bank accounts, these Islamist Muslim followers support every heinous act that has been carried out. Spare me the image of the poor little neighborhood Muslim–he/she is in it up to their hateful necks.

  • laraine2

    Again, we need to ask why the muslims are choosing to build their mosque just blocks away from ground zero. I think most Americans DO see it as a slap in the face. Those Americans who preach tolerance and religious freedom and the Constitution are missing the point. Many muslims cheered when the towers went down and they would like to see all of America go down. Tolerance only extends as far as the limits of self preservation. If someone is trying to destroy me or mine, I’ll resist with every means I have. Islam is not a peaceful religion regardless of how much the muslims try to make out to be. Yes, other religions have gone way over the top, but that’s history. We’ve grown and changed. Islam hasn’t changed in over 1500 years. It’s a way of life. Their treatment of women is sickening. As for the sharia law–what kind of man could whip a woman with 99 lashes for what, in America, is accepted behavior? Do you really believe that we can assimilate and educate people who believe that it’s okay to stone other human beings? As much as I hate it, I’m with the conservatives on this issue.

  • dixienormus101

    With all due respect. The association of anything Muslim being constructed near the Ground Zero point where a group of “Radical Muslims” used planes as weapons and intentionally rammed them into buildings is deplorable and worthy of anger.If the shoe were on the other foot, and a group of “Radical Christians” flew planes into the Kaaba during Hajj where some 3 million come to worship, I am confident that the Muslim community would not allow anything related to United States or American or even a Starbucks be erected near where the Kaaba was, and would be furious if any such association of a building were being constructed near it. After all, Americans are objecting peacefully, it’s not like they burning Qur’ans or Flags in protest and marching in the streets with signs of hate and death towards Muslims. Americans are more civilized than that.

  • heathergreeneyes

    I beleive it is a stated purpose of Islam to make any country Muslims are in, into an Islamic society.So I very much doubt any Muslim groups is focused on equality between faiths.Are you suggesting that the people who want to open this center would not prefer that our system of justice be converted to Shira law?I also find it interesting that liberals are so open to Islam and Islamic law. I would like to see womens groups comment on Islamic law, I would like to see gay rights groups comment on Islamic law, I would like to see the supporters of freedom of the press comment on Islamic law!So long as women can be stoned to death for showing their ankles in public and people cry for the beheading of cartoonist for drawing a picture, I will question the idea of Islam as “the religion of peace”.Every radical movement is peaceful, once they kill everyone who disagrees with them!

  • heathergreeneyes

    To try to compare Shira law to the protections Americans are granted under our laws is insane.American law and Shira law would look at the South Park episode that had Mohammad dressed in a bear costume very differently.One would not even deal with it, since it is all about freedom of speech, the other would have a public beheading as punishment for insulting the prophet Mohammad!I sort of think those are two very distinctly different legal systems!

  • heathergreeneyes

    The FBI endoreses this project? Has the FBI ever endorsed building a Synagog or a Christian church?Can’t we all hear the cries of seperation of church and state and see the sworms of ACLU and DOJ lawyers decending on New York, if the FBI ever publically supported the building of a christian church!

  • remartantiques

    New Yorkers support the mosque because they are overwhelmingly liberals; non-New Yorkers oppose the mosque because they are predominantly sane, ie: conservative.It is a “in your face” location like GZ that makes it so blatantly obvious neither the Muslims nor the liberals want to get along…they want to dominate. This entire argument about the GZ mosque would not be had they simply picked another location……or did so now.In America today we somehow have a 30% liberal minority dominating a 70% conservative majority. In other cases we have far smaller minorities dominating. I admit it….the liberals have been smarter than the conservatives, more long-range in their insidious planning and implementation of socialist and communist agendas, more dominant in securing the media and education.Yes, we need to mosque at Ground Zero to show the rest of the world what idiots we are. Look at the riots in Paris, the train bombings in Spain, the terrorist acts around the world (google and see how many of the terrorists happen to have variations of the name “Mohammad”), and see what bringing European attitudes to the US is going to give us.I am not saying that the vast majority of Muslims are not peaceful… is that fraction of one percent that still numbers in the hundreds of thousands that scare me, when we live in such an open society and leave our borders wide open for soon-to-be-democrats to invade us.The 70% needs to get off its duff and go to work.Ecclesiastes 10:2 (ESV)*A wise man’s heart inclines him to the right,

  • LaLydia

    The very idea is thoroughly disgusting. Building a mosque at Ground Zero is an insult. It is disrespectful. The people who are proposing this are, in effect, spitting on each and every one of the 9/11 victims and their families. Any politician misguided enough to go along with such an insulting plan should be voted out of office. And John Kiser is more than happy to kiss the feet of those who want to kill him.

  • camainc

    “Jews, Christians, Muslims lived in relative harmony with each other”THAT, sir, is patently ridiculous.Have you never heard of the Pact of Umar, which defined how Christians and Jews are allowed to live “in relative harmony” with Muslims when Muslims are in the majority?This is what Christians and Jews had to agree to abide by, as ‘dhimmis’:• We shall not build, in our cities or in their neighborhood, new monasteries, Churches, convents, or monks’ cells, nor shall we repair, by day or by night, such of them as fall in ruins or are situated in the quarters of the Muslims.• We shall keep our gates wide open for passersby and travelers. We shall give board and lodging to all Muslims who pass our way for three days.• We shall not give shelter in our churches or in our dwellings to any spy, nor hide him from the Muslims.• We shall not teach the Qur’an to our children.• We shall not manifest our religion publicly nor convert anyone to it. We shall not prevent any of our kin from entering Islam if they wish it.• We shall show respect toward the Muslims, and we shall rise from our seats when they wish to sit.• We shall not seek to resemble the Muslims by imitating any of their garments….• We shall not mount on saddles, nor shall we gird swords nor bear any kind of arms nor carry them on our persons.• We shall not engrave Arabic inscriptions on our seals.• We shall not sell fermented drinks.• We shall clip the fronts of our heads.• We shall always dress in the same way wherever we may be, and we shall bind the zunar round our waists.• We shall not display our crosses or our books in the roads or markets of the Muslims. We shall use only clappers in our churches very softly. We shall not raise our voices when following our dead…. We shall not bury our dead near the Muslims.• We shall not take slaves who have been allotted to Muslims.• We shall not build houses overtopping the houses of the Muslims.• We shall not strike a Muslim.

  • camainc

    I’d like to report this whole article as offensive…

  • archie521

    …the application of sharia law is to be judged according to how well it protects six basic human values: life, religion, family, property, intellect and dignity. All educated Muslims know this…

  • SanchoK

    This article is at best wishful thinking, at worst utter nonsense. American Muslims should and must be treated exactly as Americans of any faith, no more and no less. That is not how Christians or Jews are treated in many, if not most Muslim nations. To ignore that is dishonest, just as it would wrong to impose those injustices on American Muslims.

  • gjtitus

    What planet is Mr. Kiser living on? Wishful thinking indeed.FTA: “It seems that the Robert Spencers and Pamela Gellers of the world want us to believe that the Muslims have a secret plot to take over America by masquerading as peaceable and democratic, so they can ultimately “impose” sharia law ( ie Taliban variety) on unsuspecting, gullible Americans.”On the contrary, adherents of Islam have never made a secret about their desire for world domination. Mohammed certainly didn’t, and neither do his followers. And has the author ever heard of the concept of taquiya? Where a Muslim can lie to promote Islam? Why, in Islam you can even deny your faith to save your own skin.”Sharia is evil, Islam is a false and violent religion…” Yes, it is.

  • gjtitus

    And here is what John Adams had to say about Islam:“In the seventh century of the Christian era, a wandering Arab of the lineage of Hagar the Egyptian [i.e. Muhammed], combining the powers of transcendent genius, with the preternatural energy of a fanatic, and the fraudulent spirit of an imposter, proclaimed himself as a messenger from Heaven, and spread desolation and delusion over an extensive portion of the earth. Adopting from the sublime conception of the Mosaic law, the doctrine of one omnipotent God; he connected indissolubly with it, the audacious falsehood, that he was himself his prophet and apostle. Adopting from the new Revelation of Jesus, the faith and hope of immortal life, and of future retribution, he humbled it to the dust by adapting all the rewards and sanctions of his religion to the gratification of the sexual passion. He poisoned the sources of human felicity at the fountain, by degrading the condition of the female sex, and the allowance of polygamy; and he declared undistinguishing and exterminating war, as part of his religion, against all the rest of mankind. THE ESSENCE OF HIS DOCTRINE WAS VIOLENCE AND LUST; TO EXALT THE BRUTAL OVER THE SPIRITUAL PART OF HUMAN NATURE… Between these two religions, thus contrasted in their characters, a war of twelve hundred years has already raged. The war is yet flagrant… While the merciless and dissolute dogmas of the false prophet shall furnish motives to human action, there can never be peace upon earth, and good will towards men.”

  • kmsmncs

    Your argument is illogical. It presupposes that Islam is a tolerant faith–it is not. It seeks world domination, with subservience (with a fee), conversion, or death (jihad) as the only outcomes. Christianity may have had its bad years, but nothing like this!

  • Al4HH3

    This whole article is sickening?

  • Al4HH3

    To all of you that say Islam is the enemy soon it’ll become the majority.

  • wfm612

    Kiser is out of touch with the real world in his thinking that ‘we’ are already an Islamic society. That is just as ridiculous as Obama stating ‘we are not a Christian nation’. If all these liberals are dead set on this mosque being built then I suggest the Hamptons be an alternate location.

  • SeanShryne

    Certainly, Mr. Kiser’s article is well written but he has misplaced his Antigone and Creon in this misbegotten passion against the “haters” as he so decently refers to Americans. I believe in beneficial relations between America and Islamic nations. I believe in fostering dialogue, student exchanges, and contact at all levels. But, there exists what might be called plain or common sense manners. This veritable quality of manners born of sensitivity is not found in this mega-Mosque endeavor though.To build such an edifice at this site appears more a juvenile, mean spiritedness than any sincere desire to be thoughtful and considerate of American feelings about the sacredness of Ground Zero.While Kiser will not accept my judgment of his missive as himself in the role of a crude, vicious Creon denying Americans the sacredness of these deaths and their roles in the present case as defenders against an abomination- neither will he accept that most of the commenters here are anything more than “haters”.Heck, and that’s what Creon thought about poor Antigone. So, like they didn’t say in that baseball movie: if they build it. . . Oh well, Creon didn’t quite think that one through.Grace to Antigone.

  • EddietheInfidel

    If the backers of Cordoba House were really interested in inter-faith outreach, dialog and healing, they’d include a Jewish synagogue, Christian chapel, and Hindu and Buddhist temples in their design.I highly doubt, however, that they’d do any of this.

  • gjtitus

    As we can see from Al4HH3’s comments, the Islamic mind is incapable of engaging in rational dialogue with its opponents.Islam is at war with the West and the rest of the world, as it has been from its inception. Its fatalistic mindset leads its adherents to incuriosity, apathy, the blaming of others for all misfortune, a refusal to accept personal responsibility, and a stunning lack of initiative, which is why Islam has never advanced any culture it has dominated. It simply is incapable of doing so. That is why there are so few Muslim Nobel Prize winners. Science and medicine did not advance due to Islam and it never will. And then there is the despicable treatment and oppression of women. That alone should give Islam’s apologists pause to reconsider this ideology. There is no such thing as “human rights” in Islam.

  • dixienormus101

    Ref Wikipedia:”Al-Taqiyya:The taqiyya doctrine is based on this sura from Qur’an 3:28: “Let not the believers take for friends or helpers unbelievers rather than believers. If any do that, in nothing will there be help from Allah; except by way of precaution, that ye may guard yourselves from them.” Al-Tabari’s famous tafsir is a standard and authoritative reference work in the Muslim world. Regarding 3:28, he wrote:

  • crowne2

    This ‘article’ is patently ridiculous on its face. As far as living ‘in harmony’ with the normal world, forget that! We have neighbors who are muslim and they spit on me when out walking! THEY are the interlopers in my neighborhood, not me in theirs. All muslims need to go home. They killed more than 3000 people…how can you forget this?

  • OxyCon

    I think I’ll take the word of an American President and true patriot over a far-left dhimmi who scribbles for the far-left Newsweek.”The precept of the Koran is, perpetual war against all who deny, that Mahomet is the prophet of God. The vanquished may purchase their lives, by the payment of tribute; the victorious may be appeased by a false and delusive promise of peace; and the faithful follower of the prophet, may submit to the imperious necessities of defeat: but the command to propagate the Moslem creed by the sword is always obligatory, when it can be made effective. The commands of the prophet may be performed alike, by fraud, or by force”. John Quincy Adams 1829

  • MaryMc1

    Islam is not a religion. It is an ideology masquerading as a religion. Wrap your head around this and it all becomes easier to comprehend.

  • rrpopseal

    Multicultural “dhimmi” can hardly wait to surrender to the primitive and violent superstition known as Islam. Western willfull ignorance, naivete’, and cowardice are the triumvirate of Muslim strength. Truth, liberty, and human dignity are the Muslim’s great enemies.

  • elanamama

    The responses have been accurate and factual. What was over looked was the purpose of the article – to diminish the hard work and efforts of Robert Spencer and Pamela Geller and to assure the reader there is no hidden agenda, but ……..NOTE THE USE of the following dangling questions.What does the Jewish Community Center of New York, United Jewish Federation, Mayor Bloomberg, the FBI, Community Board One, and two hundred and fifty 9/11 families have in common? Kiser attempts to validate his voice with name dropping and 250 families. We know that there were 3,000 families. We know that there are muslim FBI agents, we know that the JCC or UJF does not speak for New York nor America. We also know that the Mayor is not particularly popular even among liberal New Yorkers. Kiser omits that while Christians and Jews lived with Muslims, they were taxed [jizya]. Kiser omits that that the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem sided with the Nazis.Finally, Kiser omits not just the teachings of the Koran, but the hadith. He miserably fails to mention how women like Aayan Hirsi Ali suffered under the brutality of Islam. The rule book for Islam has not changed, only the players pushing it.

  • faithfreedom2

    Dear Mr. John Muslim ass Kisser. Shame on you Mr. Muslim ass Kiser for twisting the facts and for being a useful idiot for Muslims! I am certain you are being paid by the enemy to act as the Trojan horse in America.

  • SukieTawdry

    No sale, Kiser. Muslims who slaughter others in the name of Allah seem fairly straight forward. As do the teachings of the Koran. Now, Rauf and Kahn? Them I consider dubious. If NY Muslims think they need another mosque to serve their community, they should be all means build one. But not at Ground Zero. Period.America doesn’t need to “show the world” anything. Islam, on the other hand, has its work cut out for it.

  • oneStarMan

    As-Salām – The source of Peace and Safety. One of the 99 names of God in the Qur’an. Salam – common greeting equivalent to the the Hebrew Shalom. If Cordoba were to be a place whose mission it is to proclaim to the one Billion Muslims of the world the message of surrender of hatred and prejudice; we non-Muslims might hear the message and heed it also.

  • faithfreedom2

    Some of other names of Allah are:

  • Baaku

    It seems the Devil will tell you a thousand “truths” to tell you a lie, and by the time you spot the lie, you’ve been taken!I speak as one who lived for 14 years under a violent and brutal dictatorship. My family was killed, raped, brutalized and tortured. Perhaps if yours had been, you’d be singing a different tune.Mr Kiser, no need try to enlightened us, daily life in an any Islamic country is all we need to see the truth.

  • mubarika

    How many of you know that Islam is the only religion to limit the number of wives a man may have? The Quran says if men fear they cannot treat their wives equally they must only marry one. Christian kings in Nigeria are known to have around ten wives while their Muslim counterparts marry a maximum of four.

  • x123y

    See the Pat Condell interview on the ground zero Mosque-A MUST SEE

  • twforg

    We have to more to fear from the unthinking zealots of all faiths and/or political persuasion than we do from Cordoba House.What I would like to know is just who is funding Cordoba House?The Cordoba Initiative (founded 2004) last filed an IRS Form 990 in 2008 showing revenues $0, expenses $2767, and net assets of $18,255.The American Society for Muslim Advancement (founded 1998) has apparently never filed an IRS Form 990.Regarding 9/11, the culprits are closer to home — Enver Masud

  • ramakrishnahosur

    After 1400 years Islam could make no headway in India as it met its staunchest rival and resistance there. Since it could not live or coexist in peace with others it sought the partition so that they could live o n their own leading to the creation of Pakistan a migraine of the world and a terrorists paradise.

  • tlwinslow

    Sorry, but Islam and the culture of the West are like two scorpions in a bottle, and only one can remain in the end. Islam isn’t just a religion seeking equality but a world domination system seeking political and social superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims and men over women, with the all-inclusive Sharia law system that destroys all basic freedoms with the intolerant attitude that Islam is the absolute truth. Yes, it tolerates Christians and Jews under subjection of Muslims, but only after they pay a yearly jizya tax not to be killed for being infidels. And the restrictions they must endure are all designed to humiliate them, indeed, the special yellow clothing forced on Jews by the Nazis was taken from Islam. Hindus and other pagans aren’t even given this option, it’s convert or die after they invade and conquer your land, Google Tamerlane to read about his horror show. So Kiser has exposed himself as an Islam history ignoramus, which isn’t surprising since most people still are. Why remain ignorant about Islam when you can go direct to the source and study Islam’s past back 1400 years to see how deep its intolerance and supremacy go? Try the Historyscoper’s free online Islam history course at

  • swarz226

    Kiser states, “the application of Sharia Law is to be judged according to how well it protects six basic human values”:LIFE: According to the Umdat al-Salik, there is to be no ‘retaliation’ against any Moslem who kills a non-Moslem, an apostate from Islam or his/her Moslem child or grandchild. Islam thus denies all non-Moslems, and certain categories of its own adherents, the right to life.RELIGION: “Muhammad said, ‘Whoever leaves his deen (Islamic faith), then kill him.'” (Hadith Bukhari) All five schools of Sharia uphold the death penalty for an apostate male or female and all of the schools except one also uphold death for an apostate child. Islam thus denies its own adherents freedom of faith. FAMILY: See above, the right of a Moslem parent or grandparent to kill his/her child or grandchild without fear of ‘retaliation.’ Also, Islam mandates for polygamy, female genital mutilation, pedophilia (child marriage) and wife-beating in the Koran and supporting Hadiths.INTELLECT: In Islam, any criticism of Islam or Muhamad is considered ‘slander’, ‘blasphemy’ or ‘apostasy’, the latter two carrying a death penalty. PROPERTY: In Islam, every female is the property of a male, whether wife, daughter, sister, etc. The female has the ‘property’ of being ‘awra’ (a shameful orifice which must be covered) and the Koran encourages Moslem men to regard non-Moslem females as “that which the right hand possesses” as his property. As for non-Moslems in general, the Koran and Hadiths speak of Moslems as “the best of all peoples for all mankind because you bring the people in chains to Islam.”DIGNITY IN ISLAM: See all above.

  • DVL1

    Poppycock! The overwhelming majority of New Yorkers do not want to see a mosque near the site where Muslim hatred caused such death and devastation.Newspeak aside, allowing this mosque would result in a joyful monument to the fear and hate mongers who cheered when the towers fell.

  • Janet13

    It is amazing how people filled with hate forget their own history. Do they know how many millions of indigenous people were killed in North America, South America,and in the islands near these two continents to make way for the white Christians arriving from Europe? And in Ausralia? And in New Zealand? And then they uprooted millions of Africans from their homes and brought them in chains to the Americas and the Islands to service their economy. This was all done in the name of Christianity! This was not all. Read your history and find out how they planned and executed their colonial adventures in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and every where else in the world. To all of those who have posted hateful comments here, first learn to look at yourselves in the mirror before you criticize others.

  • wakeup3

    I know that if I remain faithful to the God of Abraham through the shed blood of Jesus Christ, the muslims can build a mosque on every corner for all I care. And when they come to take our heads for not bowing to Allah (Satan), Jehovah will preserve me here or take me home. To God be the glory!

  • jm125

    This may be the most stupid article ever written and John Kiser gives a new meaning to the term pseudo intellectual PC jibberish. Every day muslim terrorists blow people up, usually other muslims. The terrible things the muslims do in Europe, terrorist attacks and attempted terrorist attacks in the US, trying to kill cartoonists, censoring western publications under threat of death, blah, blah, blah, the list goes on and on. Who in their right mind would want these dark ages killjoys around?

  • phvr38

    The amazing ignorance of Islam and what’s offensive to it ought to be grounds for a successful suit against our “school” system. Islam has “only” been around for 1400 years or so, so there’s zero reason to be ignorant about it … or to push upon it the West’s post-Christian notions of pop culture, pagan abominations to the Muslim.

  • tomof12

    Islam has a very long, rich, and diversified cultural heritage which includes what we would today identify as “enlightened rationalism.” To identify Islam with violence is extremely reductive. In any case, Christianity probably has the blackest history of any religious culture. (Of course, it would be just as irresponsible to say that European violence was “caused” by its religion. It was caused by Western culture in all its complexity–with a good helping of innate human aggression.) There is no peaceful answer except integration, and building a mosque at Ground Zero is, in my opinion, a very good idea. To reject it in the spirit of sweeping generalizations about another culture is to suffocate change. Jesus would definitely be in favor of building it.

  • creatornaturelover

    The problem with viewing history is that a person tends to focus on one time period more than another period.Did the Jews, Christians, & Muslims live in harmony? Yes, for a time.However, as Mohammed got older, he became more violent against people that were Jews or Christians.It was only later in life, did Mohammed say that Jews were descendants from apes & pigs.He became more violent towards the Jews as well. If you find a Jew hiding behind a tree, kill him. Hadith “Saying” 4:52:176KORAN [5.51] O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.So, in a growing US population, the Koran specifies that Muslims can’t be friends with Jews & Christians.If they follow the Hadith’s there will surely be antagonism between the religions.For those Muslims who believe in Jesus as Messiah. What about the one whom the Father set apart as his very own and sent into the world? Why then do you accuse me of blasphemy because I said, ‘I am God’s Son’? John 10:36Jesus claimed to be God. No one has ever seen God, but God the One and Only, who is at the Father’s side, has made him known.John 10:25-30The used for one is “by nature.” It doesn’t mean “in purpose.”