As an immigration patriot, I obviously sympathize with
those who oppose the construction of the
Cordoba House Mosque
World Trade Center.
Only the most recalcitrant globalist cannot see what an
extraordinary insult this is to the victims of September
Unlike many of those who support the mosque`s
construction, I was actually in Manhattan on September
11th. And while I was not
close enough to the Twin Towers
to be in any
I was close enough to see them fall with my own eyes.
It`s hard to describe the collective sense of dread we
all felt that day. You just had to be there.
Nevertheless, I am actually relieved that a
mosque is being built near the World Trade Center.
Let me tell you why:
Lost in the debate over the Cordoba House Mosque is the
fact that New York City now has a
larger Muslim population
city in Western Europe.
There are over
living in New York and over 100 mosques—some estimates
are much higher.
There are also an incalculable number of Muslim prayer
rooms or “musallas“
in the city, located in the backrooms and basements of
restaurants, warehouses, and offices buildings. There
even a musalla on the 17th floor of Tower
Since Muslims pray five times a day, and half the cab
drivers in New York are Muslim, you will often find many
cabs double-parked outside these mosques and musallas,
clogging up already overcrowded streets. Sure, the meter
maids write them tickets, but the imams provide the
with letters to bring to traffic court claiming that
double-parking one`s taxi is a constitutionally
protected act of religious freedom.
Masjid al-Farah Mosque,
which is nothing more than a converted storage space, is
just a fifteen minute walk from Ground Zero, and has
since 1985. During the Muslim Sabbath on Fridays, the
cordon off the streets
and sidewalks outside the mosque to accommodate the
overflow of worshipers, who are either kneeling or fully
prostrate on the ground.
The fact that their prayers stop traffic and force
pedestrians to cross the street doesn`t seem to bother
them; in fact,
I think that`s the whole point.
I`ve witnessed this bizarre ritual many times.
Certainly, it does not resemble other forms of public
prayer, such as pro-lifers praying in front of abortion
clinics, or evangelicals holding hands and forming a
circle around a flag pole. No, these Friday prayers are
an act of cultural intimidation, an attempt to arrogate
part of the city and declare it Muslim territory.
The first originally-constructed mosque built in New
Islamic Cultural Center,
opened in 1991 on East 96th Street. The
mosque was largely paid for by the
Emir of Kuwait,
and other Muslim governments. Its opening was delayed
because the original Iranian-born architect was
dismissed for having hired a Jewish consultant.
Only days after September 11th, I attended a
Rosh Hashanah dinner with some Jewish friends on East 96th
Street near the mosque. Afterwards, as we walked home,
we noticed that the mosque was surrounded by a number
of policemen who were there to fend off the
much-anticipated anti-Muslim backlash that, of course,
never did happen.
As we drew closer, a helicopter flew low overhead and
aimed its searchlight directly on us. One officer then
approached and ordered us to cross the street.
It was a close brush with the brave new world of
diversity, and not my last.
A few years later,
St. Ignatius Church,
my former Park Avenue parish, ran an “interfaith
trip to the Islamic Cultural Center. The event was
Imam Omar Saleem Abu Namous,
one of the most prominent Muslim leaders in New York.
The Islamic Cultural Center is an imposing facility that
looks more like a fortress
than a place of religious worship. It lacks any beauty
or warmth and is surrounded by a thick iron fence and
Imam Namous was perfect for the job of ecumenical
outreach—smiley, personable, and able to peddle off the
whole “religion of peace” routine as well as
anyone could possibly do it.
After a brief tour of the mosque, Imam Namous asked us
if we had any questions. I asked him if we were welcome
to come back to the mosque on our own time. He assured
us that we were all welcome to visit any time we liked.
So, naturally, I decided to take him up on his offer. It
was time, I figured, to put diversity to the test.
Obviously, it helps that I`m a pretty big guy. Still, I
decided I`d better bring along a friend, just in case.
Several days later, my friend and I chose to visit the
mosque just after their midday prayers had ended, so as
not to intrude on anything. We entered through the rear
entrance of the mosque at 97th street, just
as I had done with the parishioners from St. Ignatius.
During my previous visit with St. Ignatius, the members
of the mosque kept a considerable distance from us. But
not this time. As soon as we took off our shoes, in
compliance with Muslim custom, we were met with several
We then headed toward the main prayer hall while several
men followed close behind, muttering angrily in Arabic.
As soon as we entered the prayer hall, they confronted
“Are you Muslim?”
one of them demanded to know.
I replied. “But we were invited to come here by Imam
Namous.” This did not impress any of them, even
though I could see Imam Namous on the other side of the
room talking to a group of children.
The man then glowered at us behind a set of almost
lifeless eyes. “You have to leave,” he shouted at
us, “Now!” and he thrust a clenched fist
into his palm.
This was the future of
Muslim-Christian relations in
America staring me right in the eye.
We grabbed our shoes and left.
people could empty half of any room simply by saying
what they truly believe." One of the positive, and
sadly brief, outcomes of 9-11, was that many Americans
actually had the courage to say what they really thought
about the world around us.
Terrible as September 11th was, it awoke the
instinct that has for so long been suppressed among the
American people—and among all Western peoples—the
instinct of self-preservation.
On the afternoon of September 11th, and in
the days following, many people gathered on
Central Park`s Great Lawn,
where you could watch the Twin Towers smolder over the
Manhattan skyline for days. They also met in bars,
restaurants and coffee shops.
Scores of people began to honestly speak their minds
about the world around them, even among strangers, and
no one was afraid of censure.
This racial realpolitik only strengthened when it
was reported that in many Muslim enclaves in New York
and New Jersey, Muslims
when the Twin Towers collapsed.
Unfortunately, ten days later President George W.
Bush addressed the nation
also want to speak tonight directly to Muslims
throughout the world. We
respect your faith.
It`s practiced freely by
many millions of Americans,
and by millions more in countries that
America counts as friends.
Its teachings are good and peaceful, and those who
commit evil in the name of Allah blaspheme the
name of Allah.
He also told the nation that America was attacked not
because of our race or religion, but because of our
The MainStream Media and the Conservative Establishment
immediately began to parrot these patently ludicrous
assertions which tragically lacked any emphasis on
Our response to 9-11 suddenly became about defeating our
enemies “over there” in the Middle East.
But our enemies are not over there.
They are here—and
in greater numbers than ever before because we still
allow them to come.
In the meantime, sharia law continues to inch its icecap
over New York City. Muslim activists have been
Wall Street to practice
They have been pushing the
recognize their holy days.
Whenever a mosque or musalla opens in the city, they try
to muscle any
liquor stores or bars
out of the neighborhood. You get the picture.
The real insult to the
victims of 9-11
is not that a mosque is being built near the spot where
they died—it is that Muslim immigration continues to
flow into the city and country most of them called home.
Moreover, even if opponents of the Cordoba House Mosque
successfully prevented it from being built by Ground
Zero, it will probably still be built a short distance
away. What kind of victory is that?
If we really gave a damn about the victims of 9-11, we
would immediately prohibit all Muslim immigration. But
that isn`t going to happen unless people begin to demand
My hope, then, is that the mosque`s construction will
help to reignite the instinct of self-preservation that
is so essential if the country is to avoid having a
on a scale like that of
While the instinct of self-preservation remains sadly
dormant among our elites, it still burns within the rest
of us. We have seen it in the
number of people who already oppose the Cordoba House
We have all seen it in the thousands of outraged
citizens who crashed the
to oppose another
And, of course, we have seen it in the number of people
who read and
The construction of the Cordoba House Mosque will
hopefully awaken Americans to the reality that our
enemies are not “over there”.
They are already here, and living among us; they are
swelling in strength and size, and right now, they
appear to be winning.
Matthew Richer (email
him) is a writer living in Massachusetts. He is the former American
Editor of Right NOW magazine.