In 1993, Ramzi Yousef ignited a van-load of explosives in the basement of the WTC.

In 2001, lead hijacker Mohamed Atta flew a Boeing 767 into the North Tower while Marwan al-Shehhi flew another 767 into the South Tower.

ramzi yousef, mohamed atta, imam feisal abdul rauf
Ramzi Yousef, Mohamed Atta, and Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf

And in 2010, Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf proposes to build a mosque two blocks from the site of the now-destroyed office complex.


The ostensible reason is to “foster better understanding between Muslims and the U.S.”

A better explanation though is that it represents a third attack– a third act of “terror” on the WTC– in this case, on its very memory.

Here’s why . . .

Terrorism gets its potency by dramatically disrupting the “taken for granted” world of its victims. The 2001 destruction of the WTC did that in a stunning way. Who would have thought two gigantic structures could be there one minute and gone the next?

Although not nearly so obvious, Abdul Rauf’s proposal for a “ground-zero” mosque works the same way, but even better– terror without the physical evidence– “terror by other means.”

It does that by evoking a powerful sense of dismay over the mere fact that anyone would even consider such a thing.

    In a sane world, Muslims would feel guilt and a sense of collective responsibility for the association of their religion with the destruction of the WTC– but they do not.

    In a sane world, the President and the Speaker of the House would side with the citizens and victims of terror– but they do not.

    In a sane world, the government, the media, the schools, etc. would privilege the religious tradition that gave birth to the nation and sustains it– but they do not.

    In a sane world, the U.S. would disdain a transparent attempt to humiliate and demoralize the nation via a disingenuous call to “prove its values”– but it does not.

    And on and on . . .

No person of normal sensibilities would expect to be arguing over the propriety of a mosque being built two blocks from where many Muslims in the name of Islam have claimed a great victory over the U.S.. Yet here we are, doing just that, not in jest, but all straight-faced and serious.

All of this of course is crazy, insane, and totally disorienting to the normal Western sense of the way things ought to be.

And all of this of course is also a lot like terrorism . . .

. . . all brought to bear by Imam Rauf’s brilliant maneuver for throwing Americans and their values into an uproar.

. . . all brought to bear by a proposal that ought to be challenged for what it quite naturally represents–

A “third attack” on the WTC.


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One of the more confusing things for many people is the political Left’s sudden enthusiasm for religion. To understand what that’s all about, remember that the Left’s fascination with terror goes back to the French Revolution and that it has been waging “terror by other means” on traditional American culture for decades. Thus the Left is naturally supportive of Abdul Rauf’s proposal because it produces the same kind of disorientation the Left routinely seeks to achieve.

So all the apparent devotion to religious expression and religious freedom is but a Jacobin feint. The real motive and the real joy comes from discomfiting opponents by scandalizing “the common places” of moral consensus.

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1 Comment on Third attack on the World Trade Center…

  1. wtb says:

    The lastest from Rauf on his plan for the Ground-Zero Mosque is that if it isn’t built as he planned, terrorists will attack the U.S.

    Setting aside the threatening nature of that comment, it certainly makes Rauf’s plan a plague and him the chief pest.

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