Today is the ninth anniversary of the atrocity perpetrated by Islamic extremists. September 11, 2001. Can anyone not remember what they were doing when they heard about the attack by Muslim extremists on the United States? I certainly remember. I was working in the shop listening to the machinery cutting lumber for a piece of furniture. I had to make a phone call to a company with which I was doing business and was greeted by a lady sobbing. When I asked her what was wrong, she seemed incredulous that I was not watching the news, and she told me what was happening.
On that horrific day consumed by those horrific events, all we could think about was the tragic loss of life and who could have possibly carried out such an attack. We soon learned that it was a radical Muslim organization called al Qaida. Most of us had never heard of al Qaida before or at most as just some organization in the background noise of the news. Today it is a household discussion item.
This day, September 11, 2010, may have passed as another day of patriotic remembrances and speeches except for two events. First is the anticipated building of the “Victory Mosque” just a few hundred yards from the sight of the collapsed World Trade Center towers. The second, which at this writing has been canceled, is the mass Koran burning at a small church in Gainesville, Florida.
I will address the second “non-event” first. You will never hear me try to defend an ideology that advocates the destruction of non-believers of Islam, however, as Christians we must remember and follow the teachings of Christ. There have been death threats on the pastor of that church in Florida and I’m sure others of the church. Numerous US and international organizations have urged that the event be cancelled.
We have been taught to love our enemies, not incite them. As Christ said, “But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.” (Matthew 5:44-45) I submit that an appropriate celebration of the 9/11 attacks would be a gathering for prayer to ask God to work in the hearts of terrorists and all Muslims so that they may see where their salvation truly lies.
The other event that is of concern is the planned building of the “Victory Mosque” just a few hundred yards from ground zero. This is not the official name given by the Muslim imam in charge of the project, Imam Rauf. The last I heard, it is being called the Cordoba House which is actually a perfect name for it. When you go back and look at the history of the Muslims building their grand mosques, all of them have been built on or in commemoration of great victories over their enemies. When Mecca finally surrendered to Mohammad in 630, he declared that the former pagan holy city would be forever the holiest city of Islam.
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is built on the site of Solomon’s Temple. This was their declaration that Islam had defeated the “People of the Book,” as Mohammad called the Jews and the Christians. This was their victory mosque in Israel.
Another example is the Great Mosque of Cordoba in Spain. After the Muslim conquest of the area in the late eighth century, a Visigoth Christian church was converted to a mosque. It stood as a victory mosque until the area was retaken by the Christian Castilian king Ferdinand III in 1236.
You can see from these examples that the Muslims make it a practice to put an exclamation point on their major conquests. Looking at news clips of Muslim areas around the world on 9/11/2001 you will not see crying or anguish. You will see cheering and adulation for the cowards and their accomplices. The Muslim world saw this day as a victory over the Great Satan. To most Muslims around the world this was a great event.
As I have mentioned, as of this writing, the Koran burning has been canceled. According to Pastor Jones, the stated reason for the cancellation is that he has been given assurances that the victory mosque will be moved. This promise has been refuted by Imam Rauf, but Pastor Jones is in New York to confer today with the planners of the victory mosque. I would be very surprised if the mosque is moved. The radical Muslims are too proud of the events of 9/11/2001 to make any concessions to the Great Satan.
The common view of Islam is that it is a religion. I would dispute this view for a number of reasons, but that is the subject of a future Discourse.
As always, I welcome your questions/comments.