Sam Harris, author of The End of Faith, outlines his opposition to the “Ground Zero mosque”.
If you can raise the requisite $100 million, you might also build a shrine to Satan on this spot, complete with the names of all the non-believing victims of 9/11 destined to suffer for eternity in Hell. You could also build an Institute of “9/11 Truth,” catering to the credulity, masochism, and paranoia of the 16 percent of Americans who imagine that the World Trade Center was intentionally demolished by agents of the U.S. government. Incidentally, any shrine to conspiracy thinking should probably also contain a mosque, along with a list of the 4,000 Jews who suspiciously declined to practice their usury in the Twin Towers on the day of the attack…..
In his speech supporting the mosque, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said: “We would betray our values – and play into our enemies’ hands – if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else.” … At this point in human history, Islam simply is different from other faiths….
It is both ironic and instructive that at the very moment that the path was finally smoothed for the construction of the ground zero mosque, the Hamburg mosque that nurtured the 9/11 hijackers was shut down by the German government. No doubt there were German Muslims who felt their religious liberty was shamefully abridged. However, after a decade of treating this mosque as a monument to tolerance, the Germans were forced to admit that it was actually an incorrigible incubator of jihadism and anti-Western values. And so, the question must be asked: Which of these sister mosques represents the true face of Islam?
It is notable that authors who have made their reputations as militant atheists, hostile to all manifestations of religious belief, manage to find common ground with the Christian Right in claiming that Islam is fundamentally different from other faiths and poses a uniquely dangerous threat to Western civilisation. Richard Dawkins, for example, holds that “Islam is the greatest man-made force for evil in the world today”, while Pat Robertson takes the view that Islam is “a violent political system bent on the overthrow of the governments of the world and world domination”.