A column (h/t, MEMRI) in the August 16, 2010 London daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat by Abdul Rahman Al-Rashid, director of Al-Arabiya TV and the paper's former editor, “A House of Worship or a Symbol of Destruction?” should mean the end of plans for a mosque near Ground Zero. Mr. Al-Rashid supports President Obama’s stand for the mosque in principle (as he supports Obama-like or even beyond-Obama-like policies with respect to the Middle East). He’s no neocon. But his practical case against building the mosque is irrefutable. It should lead well-meaning liberals to join with us dastardly conservatives (well, it would be too painful for them to join with us—they can simply act in parallel, on their own, while continuing to denounce us) in calling for the organizers to shelve the plans for a mosque at this site. Or will the organizers pull the plug even before their supporters get around to urging them to do so?
Here’s the crux of Mr. Al-Rashid’s argument:
"I cannot imagine that Muslims want a mosque on this particular site, because it will be turned into an arena for promoters of hatred, and a symbol of those who committed the crime. At the same time, there are no practicing Muslims in the district who need a place of worship, because it is indeed a commercial district....The last thing Muslims want today is to build just a religious center out of defiance to the others, or a symbolic mosque that people visit as a museum next to a cemetery....[T]he battle against the 11 September terrorists is a Muslim battle...and this battle still is ablaze in more than 20 Muslim countries. Some Muslims will consider that building a mosque on this site immortalizes and commemorates what was done by the terrorists who committed their crime in the name of Islam. I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a symbol or a worship place that tomorrow might become a place about which the terrorists and their Muslim followers boast, and which will become a shrine for Islam haters whose aim is to turn the public opinion against Islam.”
Feel free to read the whole thing here.
This will be over soon. There will be no thirteen-story mosque near Ground Zero.