The question to ask is: Can any group genuinely believe that building a mosque two blocks from where jihadists pulverized 3,000 New Yorkers nine years ago will promote cross-cultural understanding between Islam and the West?
If the answer is yes (God knows, some people believe anything) the next question is: Having observed their New York neighbours' actual reaction to their plan, do they believe it still?
The answer to this question can no longer be yes for anyone non-delusional with a measurable IQ. This leaves Cordoba Initiative with two choices. It can withdraw voluntarily, thereby demonstrating good faith, or continue building, thereby demonstrating that whatever it's doing it for, it isn't to promote understanding.
What is it for? Search me. Mischief? Subversion? Pushing the envelope? To rub salt into wounds, assert dominance, boost militant spirits?
Although human naivete is boundless, the likelihood of an organization hoping to promote understanding through what others view as desecration is remote.Speaking of boundless human naivete--poking around on the Internet a little earlier this morning, I learned that the Ontario branch of the CJC is "a member of the Interfaith Social Assistance Reform Coalition (ISARC), an interfaith initiative to address poverty concerns in the province." The Muslim member of the ISARC executive is Habib Alli, of the Canadian Council of Imams. Problem is that along with being vehemently anti-poverty, Imam Alli also happens to be vociferously pro-sharia, specifically, pro-sharia financing. Here's how he was described in promotional material for a sharia finance conference held in Toronto back in '07:
Shaikh Habeeb Alli is a member of Imams Council and Jamiatul Ulama and has served in many programs to better establish a true multicultural Canada. Being an educator and Khateeb he constantly drives home the message that we have to live in harmony with all and must commit our loyalty to the country we now call home by working for congruent alternatives. He is currently working with North American Muslim Foundation whose vision is to make religion relevant to young Canadians through the values of respect and cooperation, et al. He has a passion for Islamic Banking for the last twenty years through his Islamic Studies at Deoband Islamic University, India. He served two years in the banking industry prior to undertaking studies overseas and presently is founder member of UM Financial Shariah Advisory Board. He has authored nine books and presented on Islamic Financing at numerous workshops and conferences. Mr. Alli speaks sis (sic) languages and has traveled widely. He believes that Islamic financing is lucrative not because of the huge booty available in the Muslim communities but because it's a spiritual dynamic that has to be exploited, as against the spoils of Globalization.Now, who wouldn't want to get together for some convivial interfaith shmoozing/anti-poverty planning with such an erudite chap, no questions asked?