They will not build it.

So we have bittersweet victory: The International Freedom Center will not be built at the World Trade Center.

Gov. Pataki, ever the wimp, blames the IFC:

“There remains too much opposition, too much controversy over the programming of the I.F.C.,” the governor said, “and we must move forward with our first priority, the creation of an inspiring memorial.” Mr. Pataki said he had instructed the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation to “work with the I.F.C. to explore other locations.”

But that is really Pataki’s fault: He is the one who put the IFC in this no-win position of trying to come up with inoffensive center to discuss offensive issues.

But the IFC is passive-aggressive to the end:

“We do not believe there is a viable alternative place for the I.F.C. at the World Trade Center site,” the center’s executives, Tom A. Bernstein, Peter W. Kunhardt and Richard J. Tofel, said in the statement. “We consider our work, therefore, to have been brought to an end.”

What a cynical act. If they truly believed in their freedom center, they would have built it anywhere. But, in the end, its’ clear that they believed only in bringing their agenda to the World Trade Center memorial.

I am glad they are gone.

All credit goes to Debra Burlingame, who had the courage to tell us what was happening at the site in her original Wall Street Journal op-ed and to stand up to nothing less than personal vilification from the editorial page of The New York Times. She did this to preserve the memory of the heroes and innocents of 9/11 and to keep the memorial true to its purpose as a memorial. God bless Debra.

Here‘s Michelle Malkin, who first introduced me to Burlingame. See Take Back The Memorial, the movement that made this happen. More blog reaction here. This was a populist movement that worked.

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  • Josh


  • Will

    I suppose you are pleased with yourself.

    Any celebration of the values attacked on that day would be offensive. We New Yorkers must not celebrate those values that they tried to destroy, and we must not remember the event in concert with other similar attacks on liberty and freedom. No, we must remember our anger and fear; it sustains us and provides us with meaning. All we should take from that day is the spineless outlook of a trembling man who reaches to his darker nature for purpose. A hopeful perspective is a foolish one, and you are wise to discard it. Monuments should remember victim-hood, not triumph in the face of adversity.

    When our children (your grandchildren, I suppose) visit Ground Zero they should be reminded only of the death and sadness of that day, for that is the only meaning of 9/11. It would be foolish to leave them with a grander picture of the survival of hope and liberty in the face of adversity. Instead, they should leave in tears, with a nugget of anger to cherish against those who harmed us.

    I do hope that whatever else is proposed is met with equivalent vehemence should it not related directly to the victims of 9-11. Be it another museum, a gift shop, a McDonalds, or whatever. Everything about that site should relate only to death. For it is our death: private, personal, and painful – we should hold it out on display for the all the world to see.

    Also, should any private supporter with an identifiable political outlook support any future development I expect to hear the same volume of squawking, we can’t have the site politicized, you know.

  • kat

    Thanks for space you devoted to this worthwhile cause, Jeff. I am elated the ‘we are sorry’ museum is no longer going to built there–maybe Will could build one in his backyard to honor Atta and friends.

  • Athena1040

    Will writes:

    “Any celebration of the values attacked on that day would be offensive.”

    O.K.Will, let’s go slowly and try to get a grip on this. Although talking about “the values that were attacked” that day sounds good, sounds very highminded, it is incorrect. It is not what happened.

    Here is what happened, try to absorb this Will. The followers of Islam attacked us, as they have attacked Hindus, Copts, Armenian Christians, Greek Cypriot Christians, Thais, Australians, Spaniards, British and many, many more people in their bloody 1400 year history.

    Islam, an imperialistic and totalitarian political system created by Mohammed, born 570 A.D. reached its pinnacle in about 1400 and declined until it was official abolished in 1920. Although the economic and political strength of Mohammed’s followers has seriously declined since 1400, their goal in the same. Control and domination of the entire earth. As Mohammed said “Islam shall dominate and not be dominated.”

    Islam is a totalitarian war against the entire world, against EVERYTHING that is not Islamic. The didn’t attack “values” they attacked and continue to attack everything that is not dominated by Islam, as simple as that.

    The followers of Islam attacked us, as they have attacked Hindus, Copts, Armenian Christians, Greek Cypriot Christians, Thais, Australians, Spaniards, British and many, many more people in their bloody 1400 year history.

    Failure to recognize the identity and intent of the murderers, a complete failure to mention Islamic Jihad, is a form of cover-up that assists the jihadis.

    Does this make some sense?

    If you want a generalized history museum, go build one. Putting a generalized history museum on the 9/11 site and NEGLECTING TO MENTION ISLAM as the cause of the murders committed there, is to cover up the crime.

    The IFC’s real intent was to “cover up the Islamic crime.” Does this make sense, Will?

  • Will

    When I talk about Oklahoma city I do not blame Christianity. I blame far-right, racist, anti-government extremist. But hey, by your line of reasoning I should start talking about Christians instead.

    And are all Muslims out to take over the world? I’ll have to tell my friends that. They really need to get with the program (I suspect they did not get the memo).

  • Hurrah, Jeff. Thanks for speaking out about this. As soon as Hillary came out against it, I knew Pataki would. But good on both of them!

  • kat

    (They really need to get with the program (I suspect they did not get the memo).) They must have not read the koran!!!

  • John

    The statement that there is noplace in the nearby area where the IFC could go just shows the organizers knew than were they to present their positions without having a captive audience at the Ground Zero site, the museum would slip quickly into irrelevance, because it would be easy to ignore off-site.

    The MTA’s about to rip down an entire block of buildings at Broadway and Liberty streets for their new downtown transit hub. But that building only has to be one floor high, since it’s designed to be an underground subway connector. If the IFC wanted to, they could easily work something out with the MTA for air rights above the site, which is all of one block east of Ground Zero. Or they could have found a site five blocks north of Ground Zero near Stuyvesant High School, which is build on landfill from the original dirt dug out to build the World Trade Center in the early 1970s. But people going to Ground Zero can ignore either of those places if they choose. The IFC knew an on-site location would give them power an off-site place wouldn’t, so now that they’ve lost that option, they’re taking their ball and going home.

  • Will

    Without tracking them down at 10:30pm and asking them I will assume that they have. But I imagine that like most Christians reading the Old Testament, they gloss-over, rationalize, avoid, or just plain ignore the bits of the Koran that disagree with modern morals.

  • Athena1040

    Will and Kat

    They actually have gotten with the program. Try reading Bernard Lewis, a respected historian of Islam and he will tell you that Mohammed has always been understood to preach militaristic expansion of the power of Islam. Every Muslim understands that.

    Islam is a militaristic and imperialistic political system begun by Mohammed who claimed to be a prophet of God. Mohammed was a warlod and led many battles. He slaughtered prisoners of war, took women and children as slaves and concubines and plundered the villages of those his conquered. Mohammed is considered the “perfect man” and everything about him is considered above criticism. Criticizing the Prophet in an Islamic country will get you jailed or worse.

    Islam continued after the death of Mohammed to expand under the Caliphate. From 700 to 1400 Islam spread its influence through war after war after conquering war. They conquered the Middle East wresting it from the control of the Christian Byzantine Empire. They conquered a Christian Egypt and spread across North Africa to Spain. They were stopped in France by Charles Martel and in the East at the Gates of Vienna.

    Muslims held control of Eastern Europe for hundreds of years. They subdued the native Christian population by treating them as a population of slaves for the plucking.

    Hindu historians estimate that Muslims killed 80 million Hindus in the campaing to conquer India. Muslims conquered the northern portion of India.

    Muslims created the slave trade in Black Africans. Robert Segal, a socialist by the way, documented the Muslims slave trade in a book called “Islam’s Black Slaves.’ It was Muslim slave traders that sold black african slaves to the West. It was the West the began the modern moverment to end slavery.

    Mohammed always taught that Islam was to be expanded by the sword and there has been no authoritative renunciation of that command. Islam divides the world into the House of War (the non-Muslim world) and the House of Peace the Muslim world.

    Yes, Kat and Will, it is true, your apologist university teachers have been hoodwinked. In the 19th Century, the West had full knowledge of Islam’s ugly and bloody history, it was taught to everyone.

    Edward Said fought a war to hide that knowledge and to make us discredit it. Again, I invite you to read Bernard Lewis.

    As to Christianity, Jesus said that “My kingdom is not of this world.” Although Christianity, has at times been a state religion, it is structured to exist without official government backing, Islam is not. Islam is a political system.

    People like you, I am afraid, my dear friends, are what Lenin would call “useful idiots.”

    Islam is attacking the entire world. Isreal, Chechnya, Kenra, Nigeria, Thailand, Australia, Spain, England and the United States.

    Everything I had reported in this post can be confirmed through reading Bernard Lewis, again the Dean of American historians of Islam.

    Wake up before it is too late, guys. What is it going to take? Maybe the murder of 3,0000 people. Atta killed in the name of Islam, and thousands of Muslims celebrated the day. Wake up.

  • Congratulations, Jeff.

  • Athena1040

    Taslima Nasrin

    Please google Taslima Nasrin and read what she has to say. Ms. Nasrin is a physician who was born and raised in Bangladesh. She now lives in hiding in Switzerland, living under a fatwa. Afraid for her life.

    What caused this fatwa.? She wrote a book exposing what life in Islamic Bangladesh is like for women.

    Here is the message that she is trying so hard to get out. Mainstream Muslims support sharia law. Sharia law is Islam and Islam is sharia law.
    To be a Muslim is to support Sharia law. Most Muslims will not take up arms to advance Islam BUT they consider themselves to have a religious duty to do so.

    Wake up!! Is it going to take us losing an entire city to a dirty bomb?

    You think that you represent “enlightened” opinion when you drone on about “only a tiny minority” of Muslims support Sharia law. You are wrong.
    The Telegraph did a recent survery of English Muslims. Only 30% of them stated that they had loyalty to Britian and 70% of them stated that they would support Sharia law in Britain.

    Wake up. Islam has always announced itself and told us exactly what it is. Why don’t you take them at their word.

  • Will

    (Don’t drag poor kat into this, she was just calling me a terrorist-lover and marked out my quote poorly)

    For that very reason Athena1040, when someone starts talking about putting the rules of the Old Testament on the walls of a school I start sweating. Political Islam is dangerous, as is political Christianity (though this one has lost its grip as of late, it is trying to hold-on and re-establish its grasp here in the states).

    Some Muslims have changed, just as some Christians have abandoned the nastier bits of the old testament. We need to encourage more of that change. I’m not too sure what alternate suggestion you are hinting at in your comments though, spell it out for me.

    But how did we get here? I thought this was a comment thread about Ground Zero.

  • kat

    You’ll get no argument from me, Athena. I know the idea of a world caliphate is the dream of every muslim. I know there is not a country on earth free from muslamic terrorism. I know islam does not mean peace. I know muslims in America preach about the moon rag flying over Pennsylvania Avenue and the terrorists in Britain want to fly that terrorist rag over Downing Street. I know the greatest threat to world peace is islamic terrorism.
    ( I believe that these 19 Muslims were known about and aided by many other Muslims living here.  These Muslims came here long ago as men on a mission.  They were supported by Muslims throughout America and the world.  If need be, the Muslim accomplices will proclaim that “Islam is a religion of peace”, fly an American flag, cry crocodile tears, and proclaim, “we feel your pain”.  But just as Muhammad’s followers betrayed fellow citizens at an opportune time, these Muslim terrorists, and their Muslim accomplices, betrayed America.  “Islam has broken the former ties”, thus the early Muslims betrayed those who were once their friends.  They ate with you, drank with you, shared part of their lives with you, but the call of Islam is stronger then American citizenship or American values, or simple values of integrity and trust.  Make no mistake about it, when the time is ripe, more Muslims living here in the states will commit the same type of violent actions that were committed on 9/11/01.   They aren’t done, and in their hearts, it ain’t over, not by a long shot.
    Not all Muslims are terrorists, but the fundamental, orthodox Muslims will teach and pressure the nominal Muslims towards obeying Muhammad’s commands to establish the rule of Islam, if necessary including the use of violence.  Nominal Muslims only need to awaken to the actual call of the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, to violence for Islam’s sake.   More and more they are awakening, and their violence increases.) 

  • Ravo

    For crying out loud, Will… realize that
    CHRISTianity has NOTHING to do with the old Testament.

    Christianity came only AFTER Christ was born.

    CHRIST as in Christianity did not exist back in the days of the old Testament.

    CHRISTianity is the NEW Testament only….the one Christ gave to his followers, and it REPLACED the old covenant with God.

    Your Muslim friends may be as ignorant now of the Koran as you are of Christianity, but the time will come when they either have to slay you if you won’t submit to Islam, or by refusing to slay you, become what is called an apostate, and will be slain themselves.

    Islam uses the term “useful idiot” for those thinking like you. will educate you.

  • kat

    A simple contrast between Christ (He who lives by the
    sword will die by the sword), with Muhammad (the
    sword is the key to heaven and hell).
    Christians who kill are ignoring the words of Christ.
    Muslims who kill are obeying Muhammad.

  • Will

    It appears that we have wandered off the rails of a discussion as to the appropriate nature of the 9-11 memorial. (sigh) It will be missed I suppose.

    Before I respond to Ravo though, a quick question: To all those of you who believe that the only Islam is fundamentalist Islam, and that it can never be changed or modified to fit with democratic society, what is your solution? How shall we deal with this threat of ever-present hidden assasins in our midst (as kat so spine-chillingly described).
    Let us say that you convince me, and having seen the light I awake tomorrow with the clear realization that Islam cannot exist in accordance with the principles that I hold so dear.

    What then? (c’mon, step up to the plate, don’t be shy)

    Good heavens, have you just tossed aside the entire Old Testament on behalf of all christians? Good for you! Now get rid of the New as well and we’ll be making real progress.

    But wait a minute…. We might have a slight contradiction here.

    All those events in the Old Testament, as a CHRISTian do you believe that they did not occur? Or was that some other god giving orders? Or was that god somehow not as perfect as the one in the New? (hint: Matthew 5:48)

    And I must wonder, what is Jesus talking about in Matthew 22:29?
    -“You are in error, because you do not know the scriptures, or the power of God.”

    – Then there’s this little gem from John 5:45, Jesus: “If you believe Moses, you would believe me, for he wrote about me. But since you do not believe what he wrote, how are you going to believe what I say?”

  • Athena1040

    Comparing Christianity and Islam: Fair Rules of Comparison

    A)Compare Theology with Theology: Christianty teaches that Christ is the exemplar. Christ taught that “my kingdom is NOT of this world” and “turn the other cheek.” The use of violence violates Christian teaching. Mohammed is the examplar in Islam. He taught that the “way of the sword is the way to heaven.” He killed many people and is considered the “perfect man.”

    B) Compare Orthodox Christianity with Orthodox Islam. Muslims who reject the duty of Jihad or who reject Sharia law are apostates. If they asserted any deviation from support of Sharia law in a Muslim country they would be jailed for apostasy. Only those “liberal” Muslims, a tiny handful living in the protection of the West, talk about reforming Islam.

    Osama Ben Laden is Orthodox Muslim and according to his own statements it is his goal to RESTORE the Caliphate. Believe him and believe Taslima Nasrin.

    The “tiny minority” that Will is relying on HAS NO POWER in the Islamic world. Depending on them is dangerous. This is what Taslima Nasrin is trying to tell YOU, Will, believe her.

    C)There are no true Christian theocracies in existence today BUT there are true Islamic theocracies. Islam, as fully practiced, is available for direct observation in Jordan, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and the rest of the countries of the Organization of Islamic States. Look at life there and you will see TRUE ISLAM as lived by over a billion Orthodox Muslims. As I said the tiny minority of Westernized Muslims that speak on college campuses are NOT MAINSTREAM Muslims.

    D) Take Islam at its word. The Muslims Student Association at my local state university has postings on its website supporting the adoption of polygamy. Will, they really mean it when they say they want Sharia law and they are working for it HERE AND NOW in the United States

  • Ravo

    Will, ….

    I didn’t say the Old Testament was false. I said it was replaced. It was not invalidated. When Christ came, there simply was no more need for an eye for eye, or sacrifices on the alter etc……as Christ atoned for all sin.

    God worked thru Him, to replace the old Convenant with a new one, based on love, one that calls simply to accept His gift of love, then one is saved, and to strive to live how he showed the world to live.

    Hey, Will, :-) I’m no preacher,…but that is how I understand it to be.

  • kat

    Will–the same way you get rid of a cancer–remove it. If they won’t live by our rules, they can’t live here because we sure as hell won’t live by sharia. If they can’t accept our ways, then they need to go back to where they came from. There will be no sharia states here. No caliphate either. We should not have to respect the rights of terrorists. Doing that got 3000 killed. Hunt them like the animals they are–in mosques, madrasas,CAIR offices, wherever.

  • “CHRISTianity is the NEW Testament only….the one Christ gave to his followers, and it REPLACED the old covenant with God.”

    Ahem. Not for us it didn’t. And I am tired of people stereotyping the Jewish scriptures this way. The “Old” Testament (it’s our only one) is a very complex collection of myths, laws, parables, poetry, theology, philosophy …. and compassionate precepts and radical calls for social justice. It inspired Martin Luther King and the first Protestants and the Pilgrims and many others.

    If some Christians want to ignore it, you are ignoring the source of wisdom that your Christ studied and believed in.

  • …. and we don’t ignore any of the problematic bits, either. We discuss them and interpret them; there are generation upon generation of layers of interpretation of the Bible, which are as holy as the original. As we say, “These and these are the words of the living God.” That’s why we are still around after 5000 years, and the ancient Greek and Roman civilizations aren’t.

  • Ravo

    Yehudit, I mean no disrespect to any religion. I am not educated in religious matters.

    From what I picked up in Church…..

    For Christians the new replaces the old…hence the name Christianity. There was no Christianity before Christ…as all who eventually followed Christ in his day, were Jewish….who came to believe Christ was the Son of God.

    Since Jewish folks don’t believe in Christ as being the Son of God, they therefore do not accept the new Convenant.

  • Will

    “The use of violence violates Christian teaching”

    [chuckle… snort] Like THAT ever stopped them!

    I understand that you follow different rules than those laid down in the old testament (the love of the 10 commandments by US christians puzzles me though). What I was trying to point out is that I had thought that you took the God of the old and the God of the new to be one and the same – and also perfect.
    So how does a christian reconcile the teachings of one with the far more violent teachings of the other? And why can’t followers of other faiths do the same?

    “If they can’t accept our ways, then they need to go back to where they came from… Hunt them like the animals they are–in mosques, madrasas,CAIR offices, wherever.”

    I assume by “accept our ways” you mean give up Islam?
    Well hell, at least you sacked up and stated your position, Athena1040 is still dithering around like a weak-kneed punk.

    Speaking of which…
    Thanks for telling me who I have been talking to and what they have been saying. It’s good that you know so much about me and where I come from.

    As for your points: Ok… I concede them all. Religion is dangerous and has no place in the public square. (damn, that was easy)

    Now then, that still didn’t get rid of the problem. So what next? The “tiny minority” which I so foolishly rely on (so you say), argues that Islam must change. You say this is impossible. What now?

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  • penny

    “The use of violence violates Christian teaching”

    [chuckle… snort] Like THAT ever stopped them!

    No, but historically it certainly did reform Christianity at some point and that’s the difference with Islam. The Reformation. Islam hasn’t had one and resists one. the violence Jihad as a a tentant of Islam violates nothing.

    So chuckle/snort all you want.

    All those events in the Old Testament, as a Christian do you believe that they did not occur?

    Give it up. Most Christians and Jews understand metaphors and parables for what they are. Your inane attempt to assume that most Christians and Jews are literalists is stupid and disingenuous.

    Nice try. But stuck on stupid and playing games separates the lame from the serious.

    Sorry that your like thinking lame memorial got trashed. Guess you’ll have to take your toys to another playground with less adult supervision.

  • I got the email from the Take Back the Memorial team and came straight here, thinking, “I bet Jeff has a post with the subject They will not build it. Not here..” Finding out that they’re not going to build it at all makes the money and effort put into fighting their sick plans even more of a waste. Of course, it is never a waste to stand up for what is right, but the IFC should be ashamed of themselves nonetheless.

  • kat

    {I assume by “accept our ways” you mean give up Islam?} Absolutely not–I mean give up jihad and terrorism. Muslims refuse to see terrorism as an islamic problem. They blame everyone but themselves. It is always ‘the West’, or the CIA, or ‘the Indians’, or ‘the Zionists’, the Joos, America, or George Bush. It’s the koran, Stupid. We weren’t afraid to voice our contempt of Naziism–well, islamofascism is today’s naziism. Moderate muslims need to condemn the islamofascists–and if they don’t, America is not the right place for them.

  • Bob

    What took Gov. Pataki so long? Was he waiting to see which way the political winds were blowing before committing himself? Probably….after all, he is a politician first and statesman never. Heh.

  • Tony Alva


    Thanks for saying the things that need to be said. It’s hard to state the case so clearly knowing that you will be labeled a pile of derogatory things. I’ve tried to make the same commonsensical case to my more liberal friends and they just don’t get it.

    I like to tell them their naivety reminds me of the scene in that lame “Independence Day” flick where all the idealists ran up to the top of the empire state building to meet the alien invaders only to be fried in place holding their “Welcome to Earth” signs.

    I think out of all that is wrong with geopolitical discourse these days (and there’s a lot wrong), the idea that anyone can marginalize the true motives of the Islamic movement just completely mystifies me. Are we just that dumb?

  • owl 1

    It’s good to know there are still some issues we can be in agreement.

    Everything I read about IFC’s plan to “explain”, just made me furious. So I have to wonder, did Gov Pataki just think Freedom Center…..”hmmm, I am for Freedom”……….rather like the anti-war protesters just marching along with communists? Does not matter, Pataki needs to tell me why everything he read about IFC did not make him just as furious. He should be glad I am not his voter.

    Nice work JJ.

  • “When I talk about Oklahoma city I do not blame Christianity.”

    That’s because nobody was loudly taking their god’s name in vain when they blew the place up.

    This is *not* like the case of New York City.

    Get it?

  • kat

    Now that taking back the memorial from the PC crowd has worked, I wonder if we could take back our country before we become like the Europeans, banning Winnie the Pooh and Piglet and pulling art because they are AFRAID of terrorists’ attacking them. Are we going to stand up and refuse to allow CAIR and CO. to dictate to us, or will we allow ourselves to be run by terrorists? Had the IFC been successful, the museum would have been nothing more than a symbolic gesture of apology to terrorists–a we deserved it and you were right , moonbats, memorial. I was sick of the crescent of embrace chosen for Pennsylvania and I have to wonder what idiots are in charge of these memorials? Is Wahabi oil money funding them or what? The day the crescent is seen as a symbol of a loving embrace is the day Piglet will come alive and fly. Having a crescent in a memorial to people killed by worshippers of the moon god is ridiculous.,,2-2005450600,00.html

  • Stephanie

    Will – McVeigh was an atheist.

    His domestic terrorism had nothing to do with Christianity.

    Christ’s words do not condone violence. I’m sure you must know that. So, any Christian committing an act of violence is doing it IN SPITE OF Christ’s words.

    Not so with Muslamics. The Koran commands them to “Kill the Unbelievers.”