Monday, September 12, 2005

When is a Crescent not just a Crescent?

Credit: Zombie

The multiculturalism that acts as a screen for "Islamophilia" hit a new low today with the unveiling of the winning design for a memorial for the victims of Flight 93, to be erected in the fields near Shanksville, Pa., where the 40 brave passengers of Flight 93 made sure their plane went down on September 11, 2001, rather than let terrorists turn it into a weapon to be used against other innocent human beings.

Blogger Michelle Malkin told her readers: "Tons of you are stunned, outraged, and sickened by the new Flight 93 Memorial, the 'Crescent of Embrace.' I called the architect responsible for the redesign, Paul Murdoch of Los Angeles, yesterday for comment. He did not return my call, but he did speak with the Johnstown, Pa., Tribune Democrat, as quoted in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Neither Murdoch nor his supporters see any problem with the red crescent wrapped around the crash site near Shanksville, Pa., where 40 innocent people were murdered at the hands of Islamic terrorists:

"This is not about any religion per se," Murdoch said in a telephone interview with the Tribune-Democrat in Johnstown. "It's a spiritual space, and a sacred place, but it's open to anyone."
The word "crescent," he said, was used as a generic architectural term for a curved line.

Oh really. I am sure if they had tried designing the memorial in the shape of a Cross and calling it “the Cross of Embrace” the ACLU would have been jumping all over this. See also here and here. The same people who are blinded by political correctness when it comes to Islam are also incredibly ignorant of it. The crescent is every bit as much a symbol of Islam (think "Ramadan," lunar month, etc.) as the Cross is of Christianity.

Well, in one way, having a memorial to the victims of Flight 93 that reminds the viewer of Islam may be ironically appropriate. It was, after all, in the name of that religion that 40 victims were sacrificed one bright September morning.


Julian said...

I'm not convinced. Out of curiosity, what would you think about crosses on former concentration camp sites? Should we forget that many Christians suffered in doing what was right, simply because the Nazi regime "hijacked" churches to accomplish its evil deeds?
It is not necessarily "Islamophilia" to simply recognize that 9/11 is not a good reason to tar the *entire* Muslim world with the same brush. We Christians often have to show non-believers that just because some Christians in the past have killed people for more or less religious purposes, doesn't mean Christianity is completely worthless. Surely we do not think it is offensive when we pray for people who were victims of "Christian" religous motives. Shouldn't we treat Muslims with the same sort of forbearance? Pope Benedict's recent statements seem to have been an example of this sort of respectful honesty.
I simply do not think it is at all likely that the architects were doing this intentionally. Yes, the choice of the word "Crescent" is absolutely disastrous, and yes, they should pay attention to the fact that some people are interpreting their work in unforseen ways. It is truly unlikely that an architect would jeopardize his repuation to make some sort of offensive statement here. And, hypothetically, it would not be the worst thing in the world if this memorial could be an example of a step in the right direction for Islam: a representation of an Islam that repudiates the use of terrorism.

The newspaper article you linked to implies that it is actually conservative watchdogs rather than families of victims who are most vehemently opposed. If this perception is correct, we really should be listening to what the family members are saying, not what bloggers are saying.

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