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September 22, 2014 / 27 Elul, 5774
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Posts Tagged ‘Ground Zero’

Possible 9/11 Victims’ Remains Found as NY Touts New WTC (Video)

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

The New York Port Authority showed off on Tuesday the view from what will be the new World Trade Center, one day after potential remains of 9/11 victims were found.

“We would like to see the other 40 percent of the families who have never recovered anything to at least someday have a piece of their loved one,” the Associated Press was told by Jim Riches, whose firefighter son was killed in the terrorist attack.

The death toll from the twin suicide airplane attacks was 2,750, but only 1.634 people have been identified.

Dozens of truckloads of debris from Ground Zero still are being sifted after they are transported to a Staten Island site.

Several relatives of victims have sued New York City for transferring the debris, which may include ashes of victims that families would want to bury in a cemetery.

The Port Authority’s mind is on a new skyscraper, dubbed as One World Observatory.

It will be a major tourist attraction but also will become a prime target for terrorists.

Tuesday’s media briefing showed off the view from the Observatory, to be opened in 2015.

Dave Checketts, CEO of the Legends sport and entertainment company that is developing the center, said, “In one of the most important buildings in the world, we’ll bring back the most important view in the world. The top of this rising phoenix — a three-story observatory — will restore another aspect of the World Trade Center Towers: their phenomenal views.”

A high-speed elevator ride will whisk visitors in one minute visitors to the 102th floor, where a video presentation will relate the history of the site, including the 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 104-story skyscraper is being constructed in the northwest corner of the 16-acre World Trade Center site, occupying the location where the original eight-story 6 World Trade Center once stood.

Was the ‘Ground Zero’ Mosque a Con Game?

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Visit Rubin Reports.

I’ve pointed out months ago my view of the “Ground Zero” mosque controversy that I thought it was more of a con job than an Islamist offensive. The developer and the imam seemed to be shady people who were trying to promote their careers and seemed to believe they were going to collect a lot of Saudi money.

I also predicted that the mosque/community center tower would never be built. Now, one of the project’s backers has launched a law suit full of detailed allegations, including a claim that the imam spent $3 million of the money raised on a good time for himself. I don’t know if these claims are true but presumably a lot more will come out in the law suit about the story behind this controversial project.

Ironically, the mosque/community center project generated too much publicity, after being rushed through a city council willing to do anything to prove it wasn’t Islamophobic, including observe the city’s own regulations and procedures. This brought criticism and public attention.

In other words, this wasn’t really an issue of religious freedom versus bigotry or a choice between “Islamophobia” and jihad but a cautionary lesson about how the fear of seeming to be a “racist” or “Islamophobe” can be manipulated to fool people into forgetting law and logic.

If the whole issue would have been kept quiet, the likely outcome wouldn’t have been jihad next to the World Trade Center ruins but the enrichment of those involved. At any rate, let’s see what evidence is provided in the court case.

Visit Rubin Reports.

Remembering and Forgetting on 9/11

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012

Eleven years after the tragedy, 9/11 events are happening across the United States today and in other places where the memories of that most dramatic of turning-points still resonate.

In Washington this afternoon, the president of the United States promised Americans in a speech from the Pentagon (“Obama says victims will never be forgotten as 9/11 remembrances begin“( that the September 11 victims would be remembered “no matter how many years pass“. The whole country shares their loss, he said.

This is never an easy day, but it is especially difficult for all of you, the families of nearly 3,000 innocents who lost their lives… But no matter how many years pass, no matter how many times we come together on this hallowed ground, know this: That you will never be alone, your loved ones will never be forgotten. They will endure in the hearts of our nation…

The breadth of his solemn undertaking lost some of its majesty, in our view, when Obama  added that

I’ve always said our fight is with al Qaeda and its affiliates, not with Islam or any other religion… This country was built as a beacon of freedom and tolerance.

The problem with that is that no one serious or sane is claiming America is, or ought to be, at war with Islam, whatever such a statement might mean.

But to assert that the threat comes from this amorphous thing called al Qaeda, and then to silence suggestions to the contrary with a reminder of America’s devotion to freedom, is to miss the point. Terrorism is a vast, growing threat today. It’s more than a threat; it steals the innocent lives of ordinary people’s children literally every day of the year. Plainly, the terrorists are not all Moslems. And Islam does not equate to terrorism. But to ignore the ties between myriads of exponents of Islam and of Islamism on one hand, and the proliferating network of lethal and hideously well-armed terrorist groups on every continent on the other hand, is simply foolish. Or dishonest.

Still, it’s good to hear one of the world’s most influential voices speaking about the enduring nature of a nation’s memory of its terror victims.

Here in Israel, we (the bloggers behind This Ongoing War) waged a campaign for years to require the city fathers in the most important, the most central, Jewish city in the world to remember Jerusalem’s victims of terror. Here is a shortened version of an essay Frimet published seven years ago. We hope you agree that it still makes some strikingly relevant points in 2012.

Keeping Murdered Israeli Children in Our Hearts Frimet Roth  FrontPageMagazine.com | Thursday, May 12, 2005

Not since the Holocaust have so many innocent Jewish children been murdered as in the last four and a half years. Not a handful or a few dozen, but hundreds of precious children, targeted by an enemy who saw in their murders nothing but an effective political tactic.

Once a year on Israel’s official Day of Remembrance, the Jewish people accord these children a moment or two of attention. At other times, it seems to me, little thought is given to them and to their deaths. The parents and siblings they left behind—left to grapple for eternity with the daily, grinding pain of loss—get even less.

Some would argue that this is natural and normal. Would I prefer for everyone to pause once every day to remember them? Perhaps that would be asking too much. But there are reasons to think more often of those children, holding no rocks in their hands, having no explosives strapped to their waists, harboring only kindness in their hearts.

This is a particularly appropriate time to do so with Palestinian and Western pressure mounting daily for Israel to release even more Palestinian prisoners.The advocates of prisoner releases like to equate the situation here with South Africa and Ireland. They too “had blown each other up for years” as we have, was the way Amit Leshem, of Jerusalem’s Van Leer Institute, put it. Once released those terrorists embarked on peaceful, productive paths, he wrote recently.

Then there are the expectations of the Palestinian people who demand that Abu Mazen deliver the goods—meaning that every last prisoner goes free, or else. Israel, it is maintained, must bolster Abu Mazen’s regime with a full release or else face the overthrow of Abu Mazen and an end to the current calm.

The Muslim Boycott Of The Mayor’s Breakfast

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

It would appear that New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s vocal support for the Ground Zero mosque – not only did he come out in favor of it, he labeled opponents as un-American – is coming back to haunt him. Some leaders of New York’s Muslim community apparently believe he will bend over backward to accommodate their concerns, however wrongheaded.

Several months ago, the Associated Press reported in a series of articles that the New York Police Department, following 9/11, was working together with the Central Intelligence Agency in a program of surveillance of Muslim neighborhoods and institutions in order to track people of interest and incipient threats. Muslim leaders promptly complained about racial profiling, and several very publicly boycotted an annual mayoral interfaith meeting as a way of registering their protest. The mayor and the police commissioner, Ray Kelly, strongly denied the accusations in the articles and the complaints, insisting the NYPD did not target Muslims, but simply followed leads.

We are reminded of the response attributed to the notorious bank robber Willie Sutton (but which he claimed he never said) when a reporter asked him why he seemed so obsessed with robbing banks: “Because that’s where the money is.”

We do not deny that the NYPD/CIA project is a departure from the reactive approach to law enforcement we all grew up with. The challenges posed by Muslim extremists who blend in with law-abiding citizens of the Muslim faith are a different order of business than the lone felon of yore. Plainly, what constitutes reasonable cause for police action had to change unless we were prepared to commit suicide.

Notwithstanding the anger of Muslim leaders, since 9/11 and the inception of NYPD/CIA cooperation, there has not been one successful terrorist incident here, though several attempts were thwarted. Nor do we know of any wholesale targeting of individual Muslims.

To be sure, as members of a minority group we are always anxious about any expansion of police powers, especially when they could be subverted by people of ill-will. But Michael Bloomberg and Ray Kelly are not threats to the liberty of any New Yorker, and no amount of grandstanding will change that fundamental fact.

Plainly, the importuning of the Muslim leaders is meant to intimidate the mayor into abandoning the program. If he were to do so, it would put the city and its residents at immeasurably greater risk – and constitute as impeachable an offense as anything we can think of.

It’s My Opinion: Sensitivities

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

A minister in Gainesville, Florida, recently caused a major uproar with his plan to burn a Koran on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Reverend Terry Jones’ idea was met with wide-reaching condemnation.

 

Jones certainly does not represent the American nation, nor anyone but himself and his miniscule congregation. Despite this fact, U.S. Military offered that the deed would put American troops in jeopardy. Riots were predicted. Revenge attacks were anticipated. Muslims throughout the world were enraged. 

 

Jones reconsidered and changed his mind.  Chaos was averted.

 

Certainly, the thought of setting fire to holy books is unsettling. As a Jew, I find it especially egregious. Throughout the dark days of the inquisitions, crusades, pogroms and the Shoah, our Torah Scrolls and sacred texts were regularly set ablaze. This type of action is always an outrage.

It is quite ironic, however, that the same Muslim population that is so thin-skinned to any slights to their own feelings, are intransigent when it comes to the sensitivities of other groups. Tourists routinely have bibles confiscated in many Arab countries. One could only surmise what happens to those books. 

 

Muslim clergy on Har HaBayit (the Temple Mount) ban Jews from even carrying a Hebrew prayer book. Jews who dare to move their lips in what is perceived as actual prayer are routinely arrested for “provocation.” When New Yorkers asked that the mosque on Ground Zero be moved two blocks over, the request was labeled an act of Islamophobia. In the atmosphere of this accusation, it is quite interesting to note, that it is forbidden by Islamic law for a non-Muslim to even enter the cities of Mecca and Medina.   

 

The same Muslim sensibilities that decried the infamous Mohammad cartoons are silent while the Arab press routinely run vile anti-Jewish cartoons and caricatures in state-sanctioned newspapers.

 

This one-sided demand for compliance goes on and on.  It is patently absurd for any group to demand world empathy while ignoring the feelings and concerns of all others.  Yes, Pirkei Avot advises, “If I am not for myself, who will be?”  But it also warns, “If I am only for myself, what am I?”  Perhaps it is time for the Muslim world to take notice of this concept.

Quick Takes: News You May Have Missed

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Did Obama Use Material

From Controversial Imam’s Book?
 
      Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, the controversial Islamic leader behind the proposed Ground Zero mosque, has claimed President Obama’s historic address to Muslim world was “all taken” from Rauf’s book.
 
      “If you examine this chapter you will find that the [Obama] speech in Cairo was all taken from this section,” Rauf stated in a February recording, which was first posted by Islam critic Walid Shoebat.
 
      Rauf mistakenly referred to Obama as “Bush” but was clearly speaking about Obama’s address to the Islamic world from Cairo, Egypt June 4, 2009.
 
      Speaking in a combination of Arabic and English, Rauf was describing chapter six of his 2004 book, What’s Right with Islam: A New Vision for Muslims and the West.
 
      That chapter, entitled “Toward a New Cordoba,” presents the strategies of Rauf’s organization, the Cordoba Initiative, for “healing” the relationship between the Islamic World and the West.
 
      The same book was translated into Arabic under a different title, “The Call From the WTC Rubble: Islamic Dawah From the Heart of America Post-Sept. 11.” Dawah refers to the preaching of Islam.
 
      In the February recording, Rauf said the part of the book “taken” by Obama mapped out a “blueprint” outlining how the West and Islam can reconcile.
 
      Obama’s speech in Cairo was a lengthy address in which the president broached multiple issues. He vowed “America is not – and never will be – at war with Islam. We will, however, relentlessly confront violent extremists who pose a grave threat to our security.
 
      “Islam is not part of the problem in combating violent extremism – it is an important part of promoting peace,” Obama declared.
 
      Imam Rauf, meanwhile, recommended that President Obama support the Islamic revolution in Iran. Rauf also argued against the U.S. aiding the pro-democracy protesters who were being violently suppressed by the Iranian regime.
 
      Just after Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was accused of voter fraud in last year’s presidential elections in Iran, Rauf penned a Huffington Post piecein support of the Iranian regime.
 
      Rauf recommended Obama “should say his administration respects many of the guiding principles of the 1979 revolution – to establish a government that expresses the will of the people; a just government, based on the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, that establishes the rule of law.”
 
      The Iranian regime was accused of violently suppressing pro-democracy supporters, some of whom were filmed by international news outlets holding banners protesting the Islamic government.
 
      The Iranian government has confirmed the deaths of 36 people during the protests, while protest leaders allege there were 72 deaths.
 
      Obama largely refused to interfere in the protests, calling the disputed election an internal Iranian issue.
 
      Rauf touted the decision. He also hailed the Islamic revolution of 1979 that brought to power Iran’s Shiite theocracy.
 
      He wrote: “The Iranian Revolution of 1979 was in part to depose the shah, who had come to power in 1953 after a CIA-sponsored coup overthrew democratically-elected Prime Minister Mohammad Mossaddeq. And in part it was an opportunity to craft an Islamic state with a legitimate ruler according to Shia political theory.
 
      “After the revolution, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini took the Shiite concept of the Rightly Guided Imam and created the idea of Vilayet-i-faqih, which means the rule of the jurisprudent. This institutionalizes the Islamic rule of law. The Council of Guardians serves to ensure these principles.”
 

      The Islamic Republic of Iran has been accused of state support of terrorism and of aiding the insurgency against U.S. troops in Iraq. Iran is a main backer of the Hamas and Hizbullah terrorist organizations.

 

While You Weren’t Looking:

Ground Zero’s Other Mosque

 

      While the nation has been focused on a proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero, a mosque has been functioning just four blocks from the site of the 9/11 attacks with rumored plans to build even closer to the spot that once housed the World Trade Center.
 
      The mosque, the Masjid Manhattan, recently boasted of plans to construct a “House of Allah” next to the World Trade Center, exclaiming on its website, “Help us raise the flag of ‘LA ILLAHA ILLA ALLAH’ in downtown Manhattan!”
 
      The Masjid Manhattan has been holding classes at 20 Warren Street, four blocks from Ground Zero. The mosque also holds prayer services several times a day at a cramped location at 384 Broadway, eleven blocks from the former World Trade Center site.
 
      The mosque reportedly has raised about $8.5 million to begin construction of a permanent site after it lost its lease in 2008 at a different building on Warren Street, also about four blocks from Ground Zero.
 
      In May, FoxNews.com quoted a source stating he believed the Masjid Manhattan is considering a five-story building on 23 Park Place, closer to Ground Zero than the 13-story Islamic center the controversial Cordoba Initiative is considering.
 

      This column’s phone calls to the mosque seeking comment were not returned.

      The Cordoba Initiative claims it is seeking to build an open cultural center with a prayer room, while Masjid Manhattan, already functioning near Ground Zero, is a conservative mosque that preaches strict Islamic law.
 
      Prior to the FoxNews.com article, Masjid Manhattan’s website touted plans to construct near Ground Zero. But now the website’s rallying call, “Build the ‘House of Allah’ next to the World Trade Center! Help us raise the flag of ‘LA ILLAHA ILLA ALLAH’ in downtown Manhattan!” has since been scrubbed. Now the site reads, “Help us build the House of Allah and He will build one for you in Jannah.”
 

      Jannah is Islamic paradise.

 

Tax Dollars Fund Mosques Worldwide

 

      The State Department is funding the construction of mosques around the world as part of the U.S. government’s outreach programs to Muslims.
 
      Six million dollars in taxpayer funds will be used this year to restore dozens of Islamic cultural sites and mosques around the world as part of State’s Ambassador Fund for Cultural Preservation.
 

      The State Department website documents some 29 of those projects.

 

 

      Aaron Klein is Jerusalem bureau chief and senior reporter for Internet giant WorldNetDaily.com. He is also host of an investigative radio program on New York’s 770-WABC Radio, the largest talk radio station in the U.S., every Sunday between 2-4 p.m.

Attack Of The Virtuecrats

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010
   Every so often an issue arises that seems tailor-made to give liberals an excuse to parade their supposed moral virtues while denigrating the poor benighted rednecks, bigots and ignoramuses foolish enough to disagree with the received wisdom of The New York Times editorial page.
   The proposed mosque near Ground Zero is one such case, and, predictably enough, virtuecrats like Michael Bloomberg have seized on it with a vengeance. Media liberals have been even worse than the politicians, going out of their way to signal disdain for anyone who raises even the slightest doubt about the wisdom of the plan.

   The Media Research Center has documented the most outrageous examples of how the liberal media are trying to drive this issue. Here are just a few:

 

● “One of the finest moments of his presidency. Obama didn’t just stand up for the legal right of the group to build the Islamic center. He voiced powerful support for their moral right to do so as well, casting it as central to American identity…. Obama directly confronted the demagoguery at the core of much of the opposition to this project…. Ultimately, though, Obama’s speech transcends the politics of the moment, and will go down as a defining and perhaps even a breakthrough performance.”

            - Washington Post “Plum Line” blogger Greg Sargent in an August 14 posting.

 

● “When do we stop praising politicians for doing what is right just because it’s not politically expedient? I thought the reason everybody’s groaning all the time about our politicians is because they’re such hacks and nobody stands up for what’s right. Who cares about the concrete? Somebody’s got to say that, you know, we’re not going to act like the people who stole freedom from Americans, the people who attacked America and killed 3,000 people.”

            - NBC correspondent Norah O’Donnell on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” August 17.

 

● “Despite all the high-minded words about ‘sensitivity’ for the families of the victims, this is slimeball politics, pure and simple, except for when it descends into outright religious bigotry – which seems to be what happens every time Newt Gingrich opens his mouth. Does that demented, anger-infused doofus actually believe that putting the mosque near Ground Zero is the equivalent of putting a swastika next to the Holocaust Museum? I mean, what a jerk.”

            - Time’s Joe Klein writing on the magazine’s “Swampland” blog, August 16.

 

● MSNBC’s Mike Barnicle: “Look, Mika, we’ve descended to one of the lowest points in our politics over the past five, ten years. Newt Gingrich is nothing more than a political pyromaniac here. He is just putting gasoline on fires that don’t even exist….”

Co-host Mika Brzezinski: “That’s a great term…. That is such a great term.”

            - MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” August 16.

 

            ● “The last legal hurdle to the proposed Islamic center near the site of the World Trade Center has been removed, but ignorance, bigotry and politics are more formidable obstacles…. Criticism spans the gamut, from the ill-informed anguish of those who mistakenly view Islam as the malevolent force that brought down the towers to the ill-considered opportunism of right-wing politicians who see Islam as an easy target.”

            - Time’s Bobby Ghosh in an August 3 web posting, a shorter version of which appeared in the magazine’s August 16 issue.

 

● “The proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero created a convenient rallying point for those who instead want to foment hatred, according to national Islamic leaders and academics who study Islam….Which is why it is reprehensible for people claiming national leadership to stir the pot.”

- From a USA Today editorial, August 16.

 

● “Finally, tonight, as promised, a ‘Special Comment’ on the inaccurately described Ground Zero mosque. ‘They came first for the communists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a communist. Then they came for the trade unionists and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews and I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew. And then they came for me and by that time, no one was left to speak up.’ Pastor Martin Niemoller’s words are well known…. In quoting him, I make no direct comparison between the attempts to suppress the building of a Muslim religious center in downtown Manhattan and the unimaginable nightmare of the Holocaust. Such a comparison is ludicrous – at least, it is now.”

            - MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann delivering a “Special Comment” on Countdown, August 16.

 

Jason Maoz can be reached at jmaoz@jewishpress.com.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/media-monitor/attack-of-the-virtuecrats/2010/08/25/

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