Wake up and listen to the muezzin

Mark Steyn’s Telegraph column addresses the Olympic mega-mosque that has caputured my attention: “Wake up and listen to the muezzin.” Steyn writes:

Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic missionary group, has announced plans to build a mosque next door to the new Olympic stadium. The London Markaz will be the biggest house of worship in the United Kingdom: it will hold 70,000 people – only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium, and 67,000 more than the largest Christian facility (Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral). Tablighi Jamaat plans to raise the necessary £100 million through donations from Britain and “abroad”.

And I’ll bet they do. I may be a notorious Islamophobic hatemonger, but, watching these two projects go up side by side in Newham, I don’t think there’ll be any doubt which has the tighter grip on fiscal sanity. Another year or two, and Londoners may be wishing they could sub-contract the entire Olympics to Tablighi Jamaat.

I was slightly surprised by the number of e-mails I’ve received in the past 48 hours from Britons aggrieved about the new mega-mosque. To be sure, it would be heartening if the Archbishop of Canterbury announced plans to mark the Olympics by constructing a 70,000-seat state-of-the-art Anglican cathedral, but what would you put in it? Even an all-star double bill comprising a joint Service of Apology to Saddam Hussein followed by Ordination of Multiple Gay Bishops in Long-Term Committed Relationships (Non-Practising or Otherwise, According to Taste) seems unlikely to fill the pews. Whatever one feels about it, the London Markaz will be a more accurate symbol of Britain in 2012 than Her Majesty pulling up next door with the Household Cavalry.

For more on Tablighi Jamaat, see the Middle East Quarterly article “Tablighi Jamaat: Jihad’s Stealthy Legions” by Alex Alexiev.

On a related note, the Telegraph also reports on the failure of European Union countries and their Muslim neighbors to agree on a definition of terrorism that they could join in condemning: “EU and Muslim countries fail the terror test.” The sticking point was essentially the felt need to except Jews from any condemnation of terrorism — a point on which Ariel Sharon appears to have proved “intractable,” according to the adviser to the Spanish Prime Minister.

Reader Malcolm Smordin has kindly directed us to this long U.S. News report that is also of interest: “Paying for terror.” In a special Townhall column, Lorie Byrd urges Republicans to “explain to the public how the actions of the Democrats over the past three years have exposed them as incapable of governing in today’s world of global Islamic terrorism.” Lorie’s column is “Set the record straight on Iraq.”


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