What’s in a name? Why the mosque at Ground Zero is called the Cordoba House

The Cordoba Initiative, the group that has long campaigned for and spear-headed the building of a mega-mosque near the ruins of Ground Zero in New York City, has yet to acknowledge this place a mosque, instead referring it as a ‘cultural centre’. It boasts according to it’s web site, that the centre (to be guided by Islamic values in their truest form”) will play host to restaurants, a swimming pool, a conference area, art exhibition spaces and a ‘spiritual place’ all attempting to bridge the great divide between Muslims and non-Muslims. Living harmoniously with each other in the name of freedom will be brought about by such an effort and Cordoba House will be perfect testimony to the Islamic ideals of bridge-building, tolerance and dialogue. Muslims have a voice! they proclaim, and what better way of improving relations than to build an “inter-faith” centre at Ground Zero, the very place where “a few of the misguided who hijacked Islam” smashed planes into the Twin Towers on the morning of September 11, 2001. Of course they did not speak for true Islam…..

This is a project intent upon setting the record straight according to the CI, to address the many ‘misconceptions’ non-Muslims have of Islam. It is set to represent the ideal of working together, Imam Feisal AbdulRauf of the Cordoba Initiative says, much in the same way I suspect that his group’s Sharia Index Project will work together to deliver to American Muslims a ‘peaceful parallel to American civil law’. As such, the initiative can successfully claim:

“After two years of work, ‘the Sharia Index Project’s working team of Sunni and Shi’a legal scholars from Morocco to Indonesia achieved consensus on a final structure on philosophy, methodology, and approach to providing the general public, opinion leaders, and state officials in both the Muslim and Western worlds with an Islamic legal benchmark for measuring the “Islamicity” of a state’.

And what does the good Imam have to say about 9/11, the same horrible event he purports to denounce? ” Fanaticism and terrorism have no place in Islam. I wouldn’t say that the United States deserved what happened, but the United States policies were an accessory to the crime that happened”. His wife Daisy Khan chirps that the building of Cordoba House is ” no big deal”.

Harmony away!

The Cordoba Initiative chose this particular site deliberately; to show ‘solidarity with the American people’ that such an act of terror would not be forgotten and in a grand denouncement of radicalism, a mosque (excuse me, cultural centre) built at this site would represent the hope for a peaceful coexistence, a commemorative measure complete with a suitable symbol that would replace the act of hostility that was leveled against the people of the United States on that fateful day. Peace and harmony will abound are the claims, the same peace and harmony that Islamists still claim today was enjoyed by Christians, Jews and Muslims in Spain from the 8-13 centuries.

So, in the spirit of open dialogue, let’s get down to it. There will never be peace and harmony as long as Islamists continue on with either Muhammed’s violent or sleazy stealth rampages of conquest and re-conquest.  The Cordoba Mosque is literally just one more erection in Islam’s long hard-on for an established world caliphate. The great mosque at Cordoba Spain was built upon the ruins of a Christian cathedral in the 8th century, when Muhammed’s legions of warriors from North Africa invaded the Christian land. It wasn’t until the 13th century when the Europeans re-took Cordoba that a new cathedral was built within it. And so it goes, the golden age of Islam, that great model of science, development and advancement which apparently has sustained itself throughout much of the Islamic world today, was beaten back, with Muhammed’s violent call to Islam castrated. To this day Islamists still refer to Spain as Muslim Spain holding strong to it’s dreams of expansion, invasion and conquest to the nightmare of everyone else.

Cordoba represents a history of Islamic conquest and the Cordoba Mosque in New York, represents it’s unfinished business. Like the Cordoba mosque in Spain built atop the rubble of a Christian cathedral, this mosque will be built atop the ruins of Manhatten’s Twin Towers, conquered by nineteen of Islam’s holiest and truest of warriors where bodies of the innocent are still being found today, almost nine years later. Never mind this is a burial ground; Both the chosen site and the mosque’s accompanying name are moves not ground in peace but in hostility and are direct provocations presented to the people of New York as they still grieve. They are also by extension, provocations to the rest of America and to the West. As a Canadian, I must also remember my fellow Canadians, who also perished that day.

Add to these, the Cordoba Initiative’s ‘considerate’ choice of Cordoba House’s opening on September 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

So in the name of openness, dialogue and the American way, I urge that everyone sign this petition. While doing so, and in the spirit of protested revulsion, consider preparing one of Spain’s more popular dishes for this evening’s dinner, ‘ moros y cristianos’. Few Spanish dishes can be tied to historical events as directly as this one: the black beans represent the occupying Moors surrounded by the white rice representing the Christians, who finally triumphed over the Muslims expelling them from the Iberian Peninsula. This dish, celebrates the victory.

Moros y Cristianos

for the rice:

2 tbsp. olive oil

2 c. short-grain rice

4 c. vegetable stock

salt and pepper

for the beans:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 oz. serrano (Spanish) ham, diced (bacon will do)

2 large green peppers chopped finely

1 onion chopped finely

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 fresh red chile, seeded and finely chopped

12 oz canned black beans, rinsed

1 1/4 c. vegetable stock

2 tbsp sherry vinegar

4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Heat oil in a large pan and add the rice and stir until rice is coated in olive oil. Add stock and salt and pepper, cover and leave for 20 minutes until rice is done. Remove from heat.

Add olive oil to a pan and cook the serrano ham (or bacon) with the peppers, garlic and garlic. When the onion is soft, add the beans and continue to cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat and let simmer uncovered for about 10 minutes until the stock has evaporated. Remove from heat.

Grease the inside of a 6 cup ring mold. Pack the rice into the mold smoothing the surface and bake in a 300 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Reheat the beans and add sherry vinegar and parsley.

Un-mold the rice onto a large serving plate and spoon the black beans into the center. Serve.

10 Replies to “What’s in a name? Why the mosque at Ground Zero is called the Cordoba House”

  1. Dear grace. I must here disagree with you. I think the Muslims have it exactly right this time. In fact, as much as it pains me to disgaree with you, on this one issue I must.
    I think we should not only understand what the Muslims are doing in this instance but we should reciprocate in kind. I say, we drop a few thousand pounds of TNT on the black box at Mecca and to show interfaith understanding, we should build a giant 13 story cathedral there as a kind of center to show how wonderful we, and Christianity really are. We could use the exact blueprint of the one at Constantinople, one the Muslims still seem to control, and still will not allow the prayers of Christian faithful. So I say, in this case, lets understand the Muslims, and reply in kind.

  2. Great recipe Grace. Will give it a try.
    I agree with eeyore…. actually my favorite daydream is a nuclear bomb taking care of that mecca dome once and for all.
    World peace thereafter.

  3. quote: ” has yet to acknowledge this place a mosque, instead referring it as a ‘cultural centre’.”

    Consider this from Nigeria:

    Do mosques have other roles? By Abdulfatah Oladeinde

    “Do mosques have any other role in addition to being places to offer prayers in? Please give details if the answer is yes.
    In Islam, mosques are not just places for prayers. Mosques are in modern terminology ‘community centers.’ In my view, the role of the mosque in Islam is one of the major things that have to be reformed before the Muslim nation is capable of recovering from its present status.

    How do we Muslims judge what the role of the mosque is from what is not? The answer is clear: by referring to the Sunnah (tradition) of the Prophet of Islam (peace and blessings be upon him). A quick survey reveals the following roles for the Prophet’s mosque during his lifetime.
    1. A place for prayers for all
    The mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the main place for the believers to meet for collective prayers five times a day. This is, sadly, the one and only role that the mosque is playing now. However, there is still a major difference, which is that the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was opened for everybody, men and women, old and young, Arab and non-Arab. For evidence, refer to numerous hadiths narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim, for example, under the chapters referring to mosques. There are currently shortcomings in mosques in this area in the following senses:

    a. Women are generally not allowed in the majority of mosques in the Muslim world and their prayer area, if it exists, is usually less nice, to say the least, than the men’s area. The Prophet’s mosque was different. There was only one area for everybody to pray. Women prayed behind men in their own lines, and the rationale was clear: Islam avoids that men and women have close physical contact while praying to God. Praying around the Ka`bah is an exception to this rule for the obvious reason of space limits.

    Banning women from mosques happened a couple of decades after the death of the Prophet (peace be upon him) despite the protest of some Companions who narrated the hadith: “Do not prevent the maids of Allah from visiting the houses of Allah (the mosques).”

    b. We see, especially in the West nowadays, mosques for Arabs and, in the same vicinity, mosques for Indians, mosques for Turks, and yet others for Africans, etc. All of this is non-Islamic. The Prophet’s Companions were from all sorts of backgrounds and all walks of life, and they all prayed together.
    c. We also see some people banning small children from entering the mosque, which is also contrary to the tradition of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him).
    2. A place for socialization
    The praying community used to connect in the mosque. And it is reported that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to ask about any Companions (male or female) whom he missed from the mosque for a day or two to help them if they needed help or visit them if they were sick.
    3. A place for da`wah (calling to Islam)
    There are several authentic hadiths that demonstrate that the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the normal place for those who would like to ask about Islam to come and ask. Non-Muslims were neither banned nor discouraged from the mosque as we, sadly, see today.
    4. A place for celebration
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) advised the Companions to “announce the wedding ceremonies, hold them in mosques, and make them known by beating the drums,” and the mosque is the place for all that. `Eid day was also a celebration day when the “Ethiopians used to play with their spears in the mosque,” as the Prophet’s wife `A’ishah narrated. She also reported that she watched them while standing beside the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) in the mosque.
    5. A place for meetings and deliberation
    The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to gather his Companions in the mosque to discuss serious matters (like wars, treaties, famines, etc) and come up with decisions about them. The mosque was also the mustering place for the soldiers of the Islamic army, from which they started their march for wars and to which they returned when they came back.
    6. A place for medical care
    Before the Islamic civilization developed hospitals a couple of centuries later, the mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him) was a place for care of the wounded in wars and similar crises.
    7. A place for education
    The illiterate used to learn how to read and write in the mosque of the Prophet (peace be upon him). Muslims developed their whole Islamic civilization based on the education they got in mosques.
    The only activity that was forbidden in the mosque in addition to the forbidden immoral acts was buying and selling and related things. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) made it a point that mosques are not to be used for material gains. Otherwise, there is much evidence that the mosque of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was simply a ‘community place’ that was full of all sorts of activities.”

  4. Maybe the Japanese should build Pearl Harbour House right next to Cordoba House. Oh, I know, then the Germans can build Auschwitz-Birkenau House in some real Jewish neighbourhood. People, the choosing of the name Cordoba House is a vicious insult to the American people, and the American people, apparently, are too uninformed to see it. If only some of this information could find its way to some of the soft-left, basically ok-at-heart (I’m trying to say non-communist) Democrats . If the Muslims started to loose the support of these oh-so-usefull idiots, it would be a major battle won for the good-guys.

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