The controversy over the proposed mosque near the World Trade Center has been years in the making.
It’s a short — too short — story from the Associated Press today which provides a comparison between two cities that were targets of terrorists on 9/11:
A chapel was built at the Pentagon in 2002 to host prayer services by a number of different religions, Muslim included, according to the AP, which reports that “nobody has ever protested.”
The story seems to originate from a fairly smarmy Salon.com blog post a few weeks ago that appears to have gone largely unnoticed.
Yes, Muslims have infiltrated the Pentagon for their nefarious, prayerful purposes — daring to practice their religion inside the building where 184 people died on Sept. 11, 2001. They haven’t even had the sensitivity to move two blocks, let alone a mile, away from that sacred site.
The “desecration” began shockingly soon after the attacks.
This week, FactCheck.org addressed the question of whether an actual mosque existed at the Pentagon.
The truth is that there is no “mosque” in the Pentagon, according to Army spokesman George Wright. There is a chapel inside the Pentagon where Muslim employees can go to pray, as ABC News recently reported. It’s just not exclusive to followers of Islam.
The Pentagon’s non-denominational chapel was built and dedicated in 2002 in honor of Pentagon employees and passengers of American Airlines Flight 77 who died in the terrorist attack on the building on Sept. 11, 2001.
So, in New York the issue is an actual mosque/community center. In Washington, there’s less of a controversy because other faiths are involved. And unmentioned in all of this is Shanksville, Pennsylvania, which started the controversy over the inclusion of an Islamic symbol with a 9/11 memorial years ago when the parents of Thomas Burnett Jr., of Bloomington, said they didn’t want their son’s name on the memorial as long as a design (above) included a crescent, the symbol of Islam.
About two weeks ago, the Flight 93 Memorial Task Force disbanded after an agreement was reached on the memorial’s construction. Burnett’s name will appear on it (Update: See comments).
The memorial site is being called Sacred Ground.
Meanwhile, back near the World Trade Center, the controversy continues. Today, President Obama said he has “no regrets” about defending religious freedom in the controversy about whether a mosque planned near the WTC site is “disrespectful.”