Flt 93 Blogburst: Muslim Consultants LIED to Park Service

September 7th, 2011 by xformed

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The Park Service enlisted three outside consultants to assess whether the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 really can be seen as a giant mihrab: the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. All three consultants, including two Islamic scholars, were blatantly and provably dishonest.

Consultant #1 (details below) confirmed to the Park Service that the giant crescent (now called a broken circle) does indeed point almost exactly at Mecca, then when asked about it by the press, denied that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca (insisting that “you can face any direction to face Mecca”).

Consultant #2, a professor of Islamic architecture at MIT, lied about one of the most familiar of all Islamic doctrines, claiming that a legitimate mihrab must point exactly at Mecca. (The original Crescent of Embrace pointed less than 2° north of Mecca. The broken-circle “redesign” points less than 3° south of Mecca. Both highly accurate by Islamic standards.)

Consultant #3, a professor of sharia law at Indiana University (!), came up with an almost comically dishonest rationale for dismissing concern about the giant Mecca-oriented crescent: don’t worry, no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this BIG before. Not so funny is the Park Service’s eagerness to embrace such a transparently ludicrous excuse.

The details are documented in a large advertisement that Alec Rawls and Tom Burnett Sr. are running this week in Somerset Pennsylvania as President Obama and the national press arrive in town for the 10th anniversary of 9/11.

The press has so far been unwilling to check even the most basic facts about the memorial, like whether the giant crescent really does point to Mecca (takes about 2 minutes). Maybe charges that the Park Service and its consultants are telling easily verifiable lies will be more up their alley.

That’s the hope, but a strong push might also make the difference. If you want to help, here are email addresses for the new Park Superintendent Keith Newlin and for a few Pennsylvania newspapers. You can write your own letter, or just copy the first four paragraphs above, and tell them that you want these charges checked!

Keith_Newlin@nps.gov, alec@rawls.org, swischnowski@phillynews.com, chepp@phillynews.com, ajohns@tribdem.com, cminemyer@tribdem.com, news@dailyamerican.com, skalson@post-gazette.com, TBirdsong@post-gazette.com, mcollier@sfchronicle.com, newsdesk@kpix.com

Ad copy, with links to documentation

After a brief primer on the giant Islamic crescent-and-star flag that the Park Service is building on the Flight 93 crash site, the ad exposes the three blatantly dishonest consultants that the Park Service invited to please pull the wool over their eyes:

Academic charlatan calculates the direction to Mecca, then tells the press that there is no such thing as the direction to Mecca

Here’s a novel way to deny that the giant crescent points to Mecca. Just deny that there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca. This from the Park Service’s first consultant, as reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:

Daniel Griffith, a geospatial information sciences professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, said anything can point toward Mecca, because the earth is round.

That is not an errant paraphrase. Griffith said the same thing to Tribune Democrat reporter Kirk Swauger:

He said you can face anywhere to face Mecca.

So when Muslims face Mecca for prayer, they are just deluding themselves? They could actually face any old direction and still be facing Mecca? Is there really no such thing as a direction on planet earth?

Griffith was lying of course, and the Park Service knew it, because the first thing Griffith’s report on the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace does is calculate the direction from Shanksville to Mecca:

I computed an azimuth value from the Flight 93 crater site to Mecca of roughly 55.20°.

“Azimuth” means direction, in degrees clockwise from north. Muslims calculate the direction to Mecca by the “great circle” or “shortest distance” method (“as the crow flies,” curving only in the over-the-horizon direction), and this is the method Griffith used. He also accepted that the Crescent in the original design drawings points a mere .62° away from Mecca (about a degree closer than it actually points, but no matter).

In short, Griffith confirmed the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent, then denied it to the public, but the Park Service knew the truth, because they had Griffith’s actual report. Thus when the Park Service repeated Griffith’s denials that the giant crescent points to Mecca, they too were knowingly hiding the truth from the public. One example is the previous Park Superintendent Joanne Hanley. Asked directly whether the giant crescent points to Mecca she denied it, telling the Post Gazette that:

The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash site.

The Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent is clear evidence of an enemy plot to re-hijack Flight 93. The American people need to know the facts, while these public figures have worked desperately to keep the facts from them.

Muslim consultant from MIT lied about one of the most familiar of all Islamic doctrines, claiming Mecca-orientation must be exact

After Griffith verified that the crescent/broken-circle does indeed point almost exactly at Mecca, the Park Service asked two Islamic scholars whether there was any Islamic significance to this giant Mecca-oriented crescent. Could it by any chance be seen as a giant mihrab? After all, the archetypical mihrab IS crescent shaped.

The Park Service’s second consultant, a professor of Islamic and mosque architecture at M.I.T. named Nasser Rabbat, assured the Park Service that because the crescent does not point exactly at Mecca it cannot be seen as a mihrab:

Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.

That is a bald lie, and every practicing Muslim knows it. For most of Islam’s 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. Thus it developed as a matter of religious principle that what matters is intent to face Mecca, with no requirement for precision in actually facing Mecca. Two or three degrees off is highly precise by Islamic standards. Many of the world’s most famous mihrabs face 20, 30, 40 or more degrees away from Mecca and it matters not one whit.

Every practicing Muslim knows that they only need to face very roughly towards Mecca for prayer because they are constantly availing themselves of this allowance when, five times a day, they seek out walls that they can pray towards that will leave them facing roughly towards Mecca. Not having to face exactly at Mecca for prayer is one of the most familiar of all Islamic doctrines.

Saudi religious authorities confirm: mihrab orientation does NOT have to be
exact

The mihrab-orientation issue came up in 2009 when the denizens of Mecca itself realized that even their local mosques only face very roughly towards the Kaaba. is is an unusual case because the people who built these mosques couldn’t say they didn’t know the actual direction to the Kaaba. They could see it. No problem, according to the Saudi Islamic Affairs Ministry, which assured worshippers that, “it does not affect the prayers.”

Nobody would know this better than Nasser Rabbat, who actually teaches mosque design. Indeed, he would know the full basis for the primacy of intent: that intent is given preeminence throughout Islamic teaching, not just in Mecca-orientation. For instance, Islam’s first instruction to converts is that they are supposed to lie about their religion (Tabari 8.23):

en Nu’aym came to the Prophet. ‘I’ve become a Muslim, but my tribe does not know of my Islam; so command me whatever you will.’ Muhammad said, ‘Make them abandon each other if you can so that they will leave us; for war is deception.’

What matters in Islam is not whether Muslims tell the truth, but whether their intent is to advance Islamic conquest.

Of course we made sure the Park Service saw the proof from the Saudi Islamic A airs Ministry that their Muslim consultant had lied to them about the Mecca-orientation of a mihrab needing to be exact. That was a couple of years ago now. If they had any integrity they would re-open their investigation, but then if they had any integrity they would never have handed their watchdog role over to a pair of Muslim consultants in the first place.

Islamic scholar from Indiana University says don’t worry, no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this BIG before

Kevin Jaques, a professor of Islamic sharia law at Indiana University, does not say whether he is Muslim (remember Tabari 8.23: converts who live amongst the infidels are supposed to hide their religion), but he did write an article right after 9/11 urging that any U.S. response should be based on the principles of sharia law, so he pretty much has to be Muslim. He is definitely an Islamophile.

Professor Jaques’ report to the Park Service acknowledges that the crescent is geometrically similar to the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built, but dismisses any concern about Islamic symbolism on the grounds that no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this BIG before:

… most mihrabs are small, rarely larger than the figure of a man, although some of the more ornamental ones can be larger, but nothing as large as the crescent found in the site design. It is unlikely that most Muslims would walk into the area of the circle/crescent and see a mihrab because it is well beyond their limit of experience. Again, just because it is similar does not make it the same.

You know, like no one can recognize Abe Lincoln’s likeness on Mount Rushmore. It’s just too darn big for ordinary folks to get their tiny little minds around, and the Flight 93 crescent is much bigger than that. It’s actually big enough to be easily visible from airliners like Flight 93 passing overhead. The scale would be epic beyond belief so … don’t believe it!

[Jaques full comment was left anonymously on this radical fruitcake left-wing blog (scroll to the last comment at the bottom). It can be identified as Jaques’ because a chunk of the text is identical to what the Memorial Project released a few months later, naming Jaques as the source. Notice that the Park Service did not release the revealing part of Jaques’ statement, where he acknowledges that the giant crescent IS similar to a mihrab, but is too big to worry about.]

Too big to worry about is not technically a lie perhaps, but it is a transparently dishonest excuse. That it was good enough for the Park Service shows how badly they wanted to be deceived. It would even be funny if the issue were not so deadly serious. Muslims are not allowed to deceive for just any reason. Orthodox doctrine tells them to deceive when by doing so they can advance the cause of Islamic conquest, and one of the oldest traditions of Islamic conquest is the building of victory mosques on the sites of their attacks.

To be completely certain that the memorial is actually intended to be a mosque one has to work through Murdoch’s endless proofs of intent: his elaborate repetition of the Mecca-orientations, the year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial (tomorrow’s ad), the 38 instead of 40 Memorial Groves (Thursday’s ad), etcetera. But the Park Service’s extensive lying to the public about the most basic facts of the design should by itself be a clarion call to everyone to insist on an independent investigation. The Service’s own internal investigation was nothing but proven lies from beginning to end. That is not acceptable!

Neither is the news media’s consistent refusal to check and report the facts. News-people all know that Muslims face Mecca for prayer, yet the Post-Gazette did not question Griffith’s claim that “anything can point to Mecca, because the earth is round.” They too are complicit in foisting this lie on the public. Every reporter who reads this ad and does not try to fact-check our easy-to-verify claims is part of the problem.

What this means, people, is that you have to stand up on your own. Your opinion leaders have abandoned you to this Islamic assault, but if you do stand up to your supposed betters, if you check the facts for yourselves and demand that the press and the government conduct proper investigations, then Murdoch’s plot can still be undone. The hijacker can still be ousted from the cockpit. Now that would be a fitting memorial to Flight 93.

Alec Rawls and Tom Burnett Sr.

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Stop the Flt 93 (Murdoch) Memorial: Saudi authorities contradict U.S. Park Service: mihrabs do NOT have to point exactly at Mecca

May 9th, 2009 by xformed

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A Muslim consultant told the Park Service in 2006 that the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 cannot be seen as a mihrab (the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built), because the giant Islamic-shaped crescent does not point exactly at Mecca:

Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.

Saudi religious authorities recently had to address this question when observers noted that some 200 mosques in Mecca itself do not point directly at the Kaaba (the “Sacred Mosque” that all Muslims are supposed to face for prayer). Meccans who worried that their prayers might not count were assured by the Islamic Affairs Ministry that “it does not affect the prayers.”

The necessity for such a rule is obvious. Throughout most of Islam’s 1400 year history, Muslims who were any significant distance from Mecca had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. Thus it became established religious principle that what matters is intent. It is the mind of the believer that needs to face directly towards the Kaaba, and directly towards God. This principle applies in Mecca the same as anywhere else.

All the great mosques of the ancient world point well away from Mecca

Older mosques often point 10, 20, 30 or more degrees away from Mecca. The most famous mihrab in the world, the mihrab of the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain, points more than 45° off of Mecca:


The Cordoba mihrab points south, while Mecca is east-southeast of Spain.

In contrast, the Crescent of Embrace points a mere 1.8° north of Mecca, ± 0.1°, which is highly accurate by Islamic standards.

The Muslim consultant who lied to the Park Service was a classmate of architect Paul Murdoch

Who told the Park Service that a mihrab has to point exactly at Mecca to be legitimate? It was Nasser Rabbat, a professor of Islamic architecture at MIT and an expert in the history of mosque design. No one knows better than Professor Rabbat that mihrab orientation does NOT have to be exact.

There is only one reason why Rabbat would lie to the Park Service about such a basic fact. He recognizes that the giant Mecca-oriented crescent at the heart of the Flight 93 memorial IS a legitimate mihrab, and he wants this al Qaeda sympathizing plot to succeed.

A look at Rabbat’s background shows that he was a classmate of Crescent of Embrace architect Paul Murdoch, both getting masters degrees in architecture from UCLA in 1984 Jezebel’s Kiss release and both doing their masters work on Middle Easter subjects. (Murdoch wrote a “masters project” titled: “A museum for Haifa, Israel.” Rabbat wrote a master thesis on house design in Cairo and Damascus.)

This prior connection between Murdoch and Rabbat raises the possibility that Murdoch himself was able to orchestrate the Park Service investigation into warnings about his own design. By the same token, having the two classmates both show up in the Flight 93 memorial raises the possibility that Rabbat was Murdoch’s source of expertise on how to incorporate the full complement of typical mosque features into his Crescent design. (For the dozen typical mosque features, see Crescent of Embrace, chapter 5.)

The Crescent of Embrace also includes an exact Mecca-orientation

While exact orientation on Mecca is not a traditional requirement, modern mosque designers do generally employ now-available techniques for orienting their mihrabs more precisely on Mecca than was previously possible. Murdoch satisfies this modern norm (and provides hidden proof of intent) by including a true thematically-defined crescent that does point exactly at Mecca.

Murdoch’s thematic explanation for his crescent design is that the circle was broken on 9/11 by the path of Flight 93. The terrorist-piloted airplane smashes our peaceful circle, turning it into a giant Islamic-shaped crescent (that just happens to point to Mecca). The terrorist-memorializing implications of this theme are hardly less overt than the Islamic symbol shapes themselves. Nothing particularly subtle here folks.

The symbolic breaking of the circle occurs at the upper crescent tip, where the fifty-foot tall, thousand-foot long Entry Portal Wall is parted by the Entry Portal Walkway, which follows the flight path through the wall:

The section of wall to the right of the walkway in this image is symbolically “broken off” by the flight path. Remove this symbolically broken off part, and the remaining crescent structure points EXACTLY at Mecca, ± 0.1°:


What symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11: a giant Islamic-shaped crescent pointing EXACTLY at Mecca.

Rabbat knew about this too, since the original report that Rabbat was commenting on detailed both the slightly inexact Mecca-orientation of the full Crescent of Embrace, and the exact-Mecca-orientation that results when the symbolically broken-off parts are removed. Same for the Park Service. As the original recipient of Alec Rawls‘ report, the Park Service knew about both orientations. They also knew, because it was also in the original report, that a mihrab does NOT have to point exactly at Mecca. Yet they still publicly touted Rabbat’s claim that the crescent can’t be seen as a mihrab because it doesn’t point exactly at Mecca. A veritable web of self-conscious lies by Rabbat AND the Park Service.

The design is called a broken circle now, but the circle is still broken in the same place as before (where the flight path crosses the upper crescent tip). The unbroken part of the circle, what is symbolically left standing in the wake of 9/11, remains completely unchanged. It is still a giant-Islamic shaped crescent, still pointing exactly at Mecca.

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Stop the Murdoch (Flt 93) Memorial Blogburst: Moral Muslims don't want a memorial to the terrorists on the Flight 93 crash site

April 22nd, 2009 by xformed

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Thanks to Khalim Massoud, president of Muslims against Sharia–Islamic Reform Movement, for his press release Nancy Drew download in support of Tom Burnett Sr.’s efforts to stop the Park Service from planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent atop his son’s grave.

Islamic Reform Movement is clear eyed on the problem:

We all know who the enemy is. It’s Islamic radicals who are guided by the ideology of Islamic supremacy. Just as Nazis were guided by the ideology of Aryan supremacy. The only difference is that Gihadis consider it their religious duty to impose Islam all over the world and many of them yearn to die (and kill) for Allah. They use lines from the Koran such as “kill them [infidels] wherever you find them” or “slay the idolaters wherever you find them” as their guiding principles.

Islam needs to be reformed so that it rejects supremacism and violent conquest, but trying reform Islam is a difficult and dangerous business:

Islamic radicals murder more Muslims than Christians, Jews, Hindus and everybody else combined. Gihadis may hate you for being infidels. But they really hate us for not following their demented dogma.

In this struggle for the soul of Islam, the last thing that moral Muslims want is any kind of victory for the supremacists, never mind a mind-boggling symbolic victory over the heroes of Flight 93:

What possible reason could be there for including anything Islamic or anything even resembling an Islamic symbol into Flight 93 Memorial? Inclusion of Islamic symbols memorializes murderers who brought down the plane and is tantamount to spitting in the faces of victims and their families. United Airlines Flight 93 was hijacked in 2001. Let’s not allow hijacking of Flight 93 Memorial in 2008.

Muslims know all about facing Mecca for prayer

One of the difficulties in getting people to understand the significance of the Mecca-orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is that it all seems so esoteric, and if it is esoteric, how important can it be?

Witness Allahpundit, who as Michelle Malkin’s pointman on this issue ought to be one of our strongest allies. Instead, he dismisses

all concern about Islamic symbolism (effectively dismissing Michelle’s original concern about the giant crescent, which remains completely intact

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in the “broken circle” redesign), on the grounds that: “if you need a protractor to properly express your outrage, you’ve probably gone too far.”

We don’t need a protractor to express our outrage. We need a protractor to explain what architect Paul Murdoch did. He built the world’s largest mihrab: the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. The planned memorial will be the world’s largest mosque by a factor of a hundred. The gigantic Sacred Mosque in Mecca would fit four times over inside Murdoch’s 3000 foot wide crescent, which is just the centerpiece of Murdoch’s mosque.

Orientation on Mecca is THE central symbol of Islam, together with the crescent shape. Unlike Allahpundit, Khalim knows these things:

The shape of the “broken circle” resembles a crescent moon. So does the shape of the tower. Crescent moon is the most recognizable Islamic symbol. When we pray, we face Mecca and Mosques are traditionally built to face Mecca. The case could be made that the proposed design is aligned in North-Easterly direction, which corresponds with Qiblah, a direction to Mecca. Conventional wisdom would dictate that since Mecca is located to the South-East of Somerset, Qiblah cannot possibly have a North-Easterly direction. This assumption would be correct if you’re using a flat map. However, if you take a globe, place pins on locations of Somerset and Mecca, and connect those pins with a string, you’ll see that the string at the base of the Somerset pin points North-East. This symbolism may not be noticeable to a non-Muslim, and it is also possible, but likely improbable that the designer is ignorant of its significance. The proposed design would be perfect for EgyptAir 990 memorial. But for United 93 memorial, it is simply unacceptable.

Allahpundit is just being careless, but the willful blindness of the Park Service is foundational

The Memorial Project is committed to the idea that Islam was also hijacked on 9/11. To them, blaming Islam would be as bad as blaming the hijacked passengers and crew. Thus the possibility of hostile Islamic intent cannot be contemplated, no matter how high the “coincidences” pile.

According to Flight 93 Advisory Commission member Tim Baird, the Memorial Project participants all know that the Crescent of Embrace does in fact point almost exactly at Mecca (despite the Memorial Project’s many public denials

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). They just assume it has to be a coincidence, just as they assume it is a coincidence that the Sacred Ground Plaza sits almost exactly in the position of the star on an Islamic crescent-and-star flag.

(Both of these almost-exact Islamic symbol shapes also contain exact Islamic symbol shapes. Remove the symbolically broken-off parts of the giant crescent and what is symbolically left standing in the wake of 9/11 is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent pointing EXACTLY at Mecca. In the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag is a separate upper section of Memorial Wall, centered on the centerline of the giant crescent, that will be inscribed with the 9/11 date.)

Backers of the crescent design chose it specifically as a symbol of healing and outreach, implicitly to the Islamic world. Having been so generous to Islam, they just can’t believe that a hidden al Qaeda sympathizer could be so ungenerous as to take advantage of their outreach by sneaking a memorial to the terrorists past their noses. They just can’t believe that anyone could actually want to hijack Flight 93!

This refusal to acknowledge evidence of hostile Islamic intent stabs at the heart of what Islamic reformers like Khalim are trying to accomplish.

How to distinguish a moral Muslim from an Islamic supremacist

Being knowledgeable about Islam, moral Muslims recognize (as bin Laden’s followers do) that Osama bin Laden is a perfectly orthodox Wahabbist, using traditional means of violence and deception to pursue the traditional Islamic objective of world domination. The difference is that moral Muslims reject the totalitarian methods and objectives of established Islam. Moral Muslims recognize that traditional Islamic orthodoxy needs to be reformed.

Textually, the opportunities for reform are very propitious. The Koran contains both sweeping calls to violence (9.05, 9.29) , and sweeping calls for tolerance (2.256, 109). To turn these diverse commands into a religion of violent conquest, every major school of Islamic interpretation, both Sunni and Shiite, considers the peaceful verses of the Koran to be expunged via the doctrine of “abrogation.” Where different verses can be seen to contradict each other, the doctrine of abrogation holds the earlier verses to be abrogated and replaced by the later verses.

The peaceful verses are all early verses, so as far as traditional Islam is concerned, they don’t even exist, except as a device for deceiving infidels into believing that Islam is a “religion of peace.”

This doctrine of abrogation flies in the face of the Koran’s own insistence that it contains no contradictions (4.82), and that nothing

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is abrogated (2.106). Textually, traditional Islam does not have a leg to stand on, but anyone who points it out is subject to the traditional Sharia death penalty for blasphemy. Alternatively, in a Wahabbist specialty called “taking takfir,” such heretical interpretations constitute apostasy, another death penalty crime in every major school of Islamic interpretation.

The Koran repeats dozens of times over that those who forget the words of Moses will burn in Hell forever (e.g. 2.75, 3.187, 5.13, 13.25, 15.90, 16.63). This is repeated so many times because it is Muhammad’s accusation against the Jews: that they twist the “allegorical parts” of the Torah (3.07). But the LEAST allegorical part of the Torah is the Ten Commandments. Thus according to the Koran, the 6th Commandment–Thou shalt not murder–is binding on Muslims.

Murder is any killing that is not in defense against either a violent attack or a conspiracy to violent attack, and there is no clearer case of murder than the traditional Islamic death penalty for apostates, who only want to go their own way. The same goes for blasphemy. To kill someone for challenging doctrine is MURDER. If the Koran really is the word of God, then every traditional Muslim in the entire world who supports established Sharia law is “wood for the fire.”

Whether Islamic reformers are out to save the lives of those who would be murdered, or out to save the souls of the murderers, they are engaged in a great contest with perhaps the greatest evil the world has ever known: a RELIGION of evil. All they need to do to win is expose the truth: that traditional Islam is in systematic violation of the Koran’s own most fundamental commandments, yet to expose this truth they must break through the teeth of traditional Islam’s strength: its totalitarian repression of dissent. In short, all they have to do is bring truth to the most psychologically brutalized people in the history of the planet.

What could be worse, in a battle like this, than to see the land of liberty–the great haven from which truth can be spoken–build a gigantic terrorist-memorial mosque on the Flight 93 crash site?

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If this willful blindness prevails, it will be a clear signal that in the battle to wrest Islam from the grasp of evil, America will not help. By following the morally blind idea that goodwill to Islam means having a see-no-evil attitude toward Islam, America is refusing to witness what moral Muslims are trying to expose: that the worst evils–condemned to the fire many times over by the Koran itself–thrive at the heart of Islamic institutions.

That evil heart is what throbs, a half-mile across, in the crescent memorial to Flight 93, and the refusal of our own Park Service, fully alert to all the facts, to witness this evil is the worst possible betrayal, not just of America, but of the good people in the Islamic world as well. A see-no-evil attitude towards Islam is NOT goodwill. It emboldens the worst in Islam at the expense of the best. To help the good against the bad, we have to distinguish the good from the bad.

The good are those who are trying to reform Islam. The bad are those who pretend that traditional Islam orthodoxy is already peaceful, and deny that reform is necessary.

Muslims against Sharia has a facebook group

, if anyone wants to join. Check out the Islamic Reform Movement website here.

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