Robert Spencer: Ground Zero Strip Club is OK, No to Islamic Cultural Center

by Rousseau

How a strip club “at” Ground Zero doesn’t cheapen the sanctity of Ground Zero, while an Islamic cultural center does, is only something a wannabe conquistador could fathom.

Robert Spencer is enraged at the wording used by Politico’s Ben Smith in describing the so-called Ground Zero mosque as “actually a few blocks north of the site…” For Spencer, anywhere you can see Ground Zero may be hallowed ground.

Spencer says:

In the first place, the mosque will not be a few blocks away. I have been to the site, and can tell you: walk half a block down the street from the Burlington Coat Factory that is set to be the site of the mega-mosque, turn left, and you will see Ground Zero. Smith and Haberman have apparently never been to the site, as no one who has could characterize it as “a few blocks north.” It is actually just 600 feet away from Ground Zero.

See, since you can walk a half-block down from the proposed mosque site and then turn to your left and see Ground Zero from 600 feet away this means that the mosque is actually “at” Ground Zero. Right.

So next time you’re looking over the New York skyline from the Empire State Building, remember that you’re standing on hallowed ground even though you’re a mile away from Ground Zero. Or hey, looking at Ground Zero from Google Maps could even make your bedroom hallowed ground.

This is a game of semantics. Spencer is arguing that the mosque is not a few blocks away from Ground Zero, but a mere 600 feet away. So? The implication is that by being 600 feet away, the mosque “near” Ground Zero is in fact “at” Ground Zero. Therefore, the mosque shouldn’t be there. What’s silly about all this is that “the actual mosque location is surrounded by delis, coffeeshops, bars, offices — not to mention a strip club a few feet away from the proposed site,” as Danial Luban points out. None of these trivial and even erotic sites enrage Spencer like the mosque does. How a strip club “at” Ground Zero doesn’t cheapen the sanctity of Ground Zero, while an Islamic cultural center does, is only something a wannabe conquistador could fathom.

Spencer goes on:

But also, and more importantly, the Burlington Coat Factory building is in a larger sense part of Ground Zero. The landing gear from one of the jetliners hijacked on September 11, 2001 flew into the building that the Islamic supremacists want to tear down to construct their mosque. That makes this building part of the 9/11 attack site, and will make the mosque — in the eyes of the Islamic world — exactly what the Dome of the Rock is: a mosque of victory built right on the site of the Muslim defeat of the Infidels. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque, built on the site of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem, are declarations of the superiority of Islam over Judaism, and its victory over Judaism. The mosque at the Burlington Coat Factory site, built on the site — not near it, but on it, because of that landing gear — of the Islamic jihad attack on September 11, 2001, will be seen as a declaration of the superiority of Islam over the United States, and its victory over the American economic machine.

First, Spencer argues that the site of the proposed mosque is somehow “part” of Ground Zero because a piece of one of the planes landed on the building of the proposed mosque. So if a piece of one of the planes landed on Yankee Stadium, would that make Yankee Stadium “part” of Ground Zero? What about all the debris and dust that covered blocks and blocks of Manhattan after the World Trade Center collapsed – shouldn’t that sanctify and make those areas of Manhattan parts of Ground Zero? Of course not. This is to extend the definition of Ground Zero beyond reason. Just because a piece of one of the planes happened to hit the building where the proposed mosque sits doesn’t make the building a part of Ground Zero anymore than if debris had hit Yankee Stadium would make Yankee Stadium a part of Ground Zero.

Next, Spencer gets loonier with his suggestion that the Islamic world would view the building of a mosque “near” Ground Zero as “a mosque of victory,” just like the Dome of the Rock is viewed by Muslims as “its victory over Judaism.”

It would be one thing if the Muslims building the mosque near Ground Zero were putting up a bust of Osama bin Laden or a statue of Ayman al-Zawahiri, but the proposed mosque is designed to be a cultural center that will build bridges between people of different faiths – something completely at odds with the beliefs of Islamic extremists. And last I checked – and I did check – the Muslims defeated the Byzantine Empire, who were Christians, to take over Jerusalem back in the 7th century. And then, Spencer suggests, they built the al-Aqsa Mosque – to declare superiority and victory over the Jews. Huh? Well, I had to check again – and I did – and the Muslims built the al-Aqsa Mosque because they believe that it is where the Prophet Muhammad stopped off to lead prayer with the other prophets on his way up to the heavens on his night journey (al-isra wal miraj).  There was no mention of the Muslims building it because they wanted to stick it to the Jews – or anyone else. Maybe Mr. Expert on Islam should check his sources.

Finally, Spencer wraps up his diatribe with this:

The Burlington Coat Factory building, 45 Park Place, which was severely damaged by that part of one of the 9/11 planes, is Ground Zero, as is the former World Trade Center site. That’s why the Islamic supremacists want that building, and only that building, and why they have rebuffed Governor Paterson’s offer to help them move elsewhere, and why they persist in their plans despite a rising chorus of public disapproval and public anguish that shows up their claims to be “building bridges” with this mega-mosque.

Any Muslims, in Spencer’s imagination, that don’t hold the same views and outlooks as he does are automatically labeled “Islamic supremacists.” Even when they want to build a mosque and community center that is “dedicated to pluralism, service, arts and culture, education and empowerment, appreciation for our city and a deep respect for our planet. Park51 will join New York to the world, offering a welcoming community center with multiple points of entry.”

Let’s be real: this has nothing to do with hallowed ground.  If it did, Spencer and other crazy right wingers would have opposed the strip club in the same area.  It has nothing to do with the sanctity of the location.  It has everything to do with bigotry and pure hatred of Muslims.  It also doesn’t have anything to do with care for the families of the 9/11 victims.  After all, it was the same right wing in this country that rejected the health bill for 9/11 responders, which would have provided “$7.4 billion in aid to people sickened by World Trade Center dust.”  It seems that the profound empathy that right wingers have for 9/11 victims, their families, and responders, stops short of actually helping them out.  Their suffering is merely exploited to further fan the flames of hatred.

20 thoughts on “Robert Spencer: Ground Zero Strip Club is OK, No to Islamic Cultural Center

  1. Pingback: Robert Spencer: Ground Zero Strip Club is OK, No to Islamic Cultural Center | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper

  2. Excellent breakdown.

    A funny tweet I received.

    “In fairness, we’ve been building ‘ground zeros’ near Iraqi mosques since March 2003.”

  3. Great article. I would like you add that when the Muslims built the Al-Aqsa mosque, there was no Jewish temple there, as it had been destroyed by the Romans more than 600 years earlier. In fact, the space was used by the Byzantines as a garbage dump!

  4. And let’s not forget what the actual 9-11 hijackers did before striking:

    they went to a strip club.

    Clearly, men who enjoy strip clubs = 9/11 hijackers
    and the other strip club fans will see this as a symbol of their triumph!

  5. You can say what you like to defend the mosque near Ground Zero but there is no doubt that the families of the 9/11 victims are totally against it and find it insulting. So much that at a recent hearing debate, a mother of a 9/11 victim had a heart attack because she was so disturbed by it. With all the mosques in New York, why insist on building it so close to Ground Zero? Also, last time I checked scantily clad strippers did not hijack the planes that crashed into the WTC? If they did, then that strip club would never have gotten off the ground.

    • I doubt very much that the Muslim families of the 9/11 victims are opposed to it. New York is a big place, and it certainly has more churches than mosques. It even has a church closer to GZ, than this cultural center. People’s resentment towards Islam and/or Muslims should not be appeased; not at GZ, and not anywhere. Also, last time I checked, whatever hijackers there may have been, are dead, and whoever the conspirators were, have nothing to do with this.

  6. @ traeh
    If you learned a little more about history you would have learned that when the Caliph Omar came into Jerusalem after the Muslims conquered it, he refused to pray in or even next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre because he didn’t want muslims in the future to replace this church with a mosque and he didn’t want to show Islamic supremicism over the christian inhabitants of Jerusalem. Moreover, before Muslims conquered Jerusalem, the Jews were forbidden from entering it during the time of Christian Byzantine rule, so why would the Dome of Rock mosque be built to spite the Jews when Omar decided to invite Jews back into Jerusalem and in fact the Jews supported Omar and the muslims in their conquest of that city for the specific reason that muslims would be tolerant to them. By the way, under the Muslims, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre remained a Christian church and the early Muslim rulers protected the city’s Christian sites, prohibiting their destruction and their use as living quarters.

  7. Isn’t it funny how Spencer thinks he knows what the Muslim world thinks of this whole proposed building? Nice bit of projectionism going on there. He seems to be so sure of his knowledge on Islam, he thinks he can speak for muslims all over the world when he says we’ll be rejoicing. Then of course silly ol Hamas come along and say it should be built, this is all the proof he’ needs.

    Lets just ignore the fact that many no muslim as of yet has actually be questioned in the media over what they think of this place. I questioned many muslims, and 1. they think its a good idea because its a good dawah oppurtunity
    2. Its a complete waste of money
    3. The guy behind it is a modernist & moderate, and as such cannot be trusted because he is working with the government.

    I have yet to however see anyone claim this as any sort of victory. Only these morons see it as that.

    Also , isn’t that tat a bit of nice historical revisionism by Robby about the Al-Aqsa mosque? Especially since the site was dis-used and in quite a mess when Caliph Umar found it, and he wept because of what he saw. He built a small little place there, and later on it was made bigger.

    But noooooo….its all about Islam’s supremacy over Judaism. Of course it is. Just like Muslim charities in Haiti were only really there engaging in stealth jihad.

    Man this guy is a real charlatan. He is a lowlife scumbag, and jumps on the bandwagon of any oppurtunity him and his cronies can use to further their campaign of fear-mongering and bigotry towards Muslims.

  8. There is another mosque two blocks away from this building that has been there for years so why is there a nee for another one so close to the current mosque. There is more at play here. If the mosque/community centre goes ahead then they can expect to be targeted by extremists just as any Christian church gets targeted by extremists in Muslim countries.

    • That mosque, which was built even before the WTC by a few months, is a small indistinct place that is not large enough to support the large Muslim population it wishes to serve. Also, to your second reply up there about how scantily clad women weren’t the ones who hijacked planes and crashed them into the WTC, that’s irrelevant. The point is the area/ground won’t be or isn’t desecrated by a strip club but a Muslim community center would somehow desecrate this hallowed land? It’s a baseless argument and irrational.

  9. Pingback: Ahmed Rehab: The Untold Story Behind the "Mosque at Ground Zero" « Read NEWS

  10. Pingback: Ahmed Rehab: The Untold Story Behind the “Mosque at Ground Zero” | Islamophobia Today eNewspaper

  11. Pingback: Ahmed Rehab: The Untold Story Behind the “Mosque at Ground Zero” | ahmedrehab.com

  12. A strip club on the “hallowed” ground of Ground Zero, oh no such defilement. I mean, how best shall we celebrate of memorialize this pure hallowed ground? A peace park? A 9/11 memorial? NO! “They’re” gonna build a huge great shopping mall on this “graveyard”, with Starbucks, Mcdonalds, a huge skyscraper but this is ok with the Tea Party, anti-Constitutional anti jihadist crowd, what a bunch of hypocrites.

  13. Pingback: Alternate Worlds and Conspiracy Theories « Cartografyyka

  14. Terms like “supremacist” and “Sharia” have become buzzwords in current lingo. Any supremacist attitude some Muslims have about themselves in relation to non-Muslims, is not going to be much different than the supremacist attitude some Christians have about themselves in relation to non-Christians (it might actually be less). Furthermore, any rules and regulations a religion has about anything is “Sharia”, so obviously there are different types of it, and different modes of application of it as well.

    Also, a lot of individuals and organizations believe in limits on “freedom of expression”, so that’s a moot point.

    As for the Aqsa mosque, the fact that there is no mention of “victory over the Jews” being a stated reason for its construction, then that reason can be nothing more than vain speculation and conjecture.

    It also doesn’t matter what the attitude of the hijackers was. If they existed, they’re dead. The responsibility and blame only goes to those individuals who were actually behind it. It doesn’t go to others simply because they may have similar views or share the same religion. That whole collectivist attitude has no place in a progressive society. It is a backwards way of approaching things. The sensible approach is one based on individualism, not collectivism.

    In the end, the property belongs to them and with the proper approval, they can build whatever they want on it. That’s their right, and that’s the law. Unless you’re willing to afford people you disagree with, the rights that they are entitled to, then you don’t truly believe in those rights at all, and hence don’t truly believe in the law.

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