Last Saturday, a week before the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 jihad attacks in which 2,977 people were murdered, Anti-Defamation League top dog Jonathan Greenblatt thought it was a good time to take to CNN and announce that he was sorry, so very sorry, that the ADL had opposed the Ground Zero Mosque, four years before he joined the ADL at all. This is a bit like President Eisenhower apologizing for the New Deal, but okay. Apparently Greenblatt thought it necessary for the ADL to shore up its Leftist bona fides, and with the Left becoming increasingly open about its anti-Semitism, it’s easy to see why Greenblatt was feeling the heat.
Greenblatt wrote that “when we opposed the location of the then-proposed Park51 Islamic Community Center & Mosque near Ground Zero in Lower Manhattan… I believe the stance we took is one for which we owe the Muslim community an apology.” He claims he was moved to do this because of Biden’s handlers’ disaster in Afghanistan: For me personally, and ADL as a whole, this catastrophe made our Teshuvah [self-examination and repentance] all the more urgent.”
Then come the flights of fancy: “Today one can see how the Cordoba House,” the organizers’ name for the Ground Zero Mosque project, “could have helped to heal our country as we nursed the wounds from the horror of 9/11.” He claims that “when Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and Daisy Khan envisioned the creation of Cordoba House, they intended to foster better relations between the Islamic world and America, and to serve as a public rejection of extremism.” He adds that “Daisy Kahn once explained how the goal of Cordoba House was to ‘repair the breach and be at the front and center to start the healing.’”
How does Greenblatt know that she was on the level? How does he know that the Ground Zero Mosque would have been a source of healing? He doesn’t, but as a doctrinaire Leftist, he knows that to think otherwise would constitute “Islamophobia,” which he duly decries: “Sadly, rather than heal, we have seen Islamophobia persist in ugly ways.” He knows that the Ground Zero Mosque organizers said that the sixteen-story mega-mosque they planned at Ground Zero would be a mosque of reconciliation, and they wouldn’t lie, would they?
Greenblatt almost certainly doesn’t know, and likely wouldn’t care if he did, that there has never actually been a “mosque of reconciliation” anywhere in the world in the fourteen-hundred-year history of Islam. However, there have been numerous triumphal mosques built to commemorate jihad victories. Many have been built on the sites of synagogues, churches, and Hindu temples that jihadis destroyed. The Dome of the Rock and the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount are the most well-known examples of this phenomenon, but there are thousands of other examples of it worldwide. The proliferation of triumphal mosques makes it a virtual certainty that if the Ground Zero Mosque had been built (which it wasn’t, thanks to Pamela Geller), many Muslims around the world would have seen it as yet another triumphal mosque. Would many have seen it as a mosque of healing and reconciliation with non-Muslims? How could they, without any theological, cultural, or historical context for such a thing?
Plowing on in his ignorance, complacency, and Leftism, Greenblatt also ignores Qur’anic anti-Semitism and the jihad against the Jews, which has also been going on for fourteen hundred years, as he notes that “a dear Muslim friend” recently told him the ADL’s opposition to the Ground Zero Mosque was “a punch in the gut to the Muslim community.” He doesn’t say anything about the spate of attacks by Muslims on random Jews during Israel’s recent conflict with Hamas; evidently real punches in the gut don’t matter, only figurative ones.
Greenblatt claims that “rise in anti-Muslim hate” is “coming,” based on opposition to Afghan evacuees coming into the United States. He doesn’t say anything about the suspected jihad terrorists who have already been discovered among the evacuees, or about how anti-Muslim hate crimes actually decreased by 42% last year. That’s just the kind of information that Jonathan Greenblatt clearly doesn’t want you to know, because it explodes his whole silly narrative of rising “Islamophobic” hysteria calling for solidarity with Muslims who face oppression, discrimination and harassment in the U.S.
“We were wrong, plain and simple,” says Greenblatt. No, sir. The ADL was right then, and you are wrong now. And you’re not just wrong in falling for the slick lies of sharpies who have sold you a bill of goods about Muslim victimhood and a fictional mosque of reconciliation. You’re wrong in demonizing and defaming those who stood up against this sinister project at the time, and who have done the work the ADL should have been doing in raising awareness of Islamic antisemitism and fighting its growing influence. In that great struggle, the ADL has always been on the wrong side, and still is, to your everlasting shame.
Robert Spencer is the director of Jihad Watch and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. He is author of 23 books including many bestsellers, such as The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and the Crusades), The Truth About Muhammad and The History of Jihad. His latest book is The Critical Qur’an. Follow him on Twitter here. Like him on Facebook here.
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