I have added this page in order to make postings of articles or notices that are not original from this author.
These articles are mostly related to the “Mosque Invasion” and will be primarily from Alec Rawls (Crescent of Betrayal-author) whom I recognized in my “Flight 93″ article. Alec did most of the “Crescent Memorial” research that I included in that story and has asked that I include his “Blogbursts” on my site in order to reach more people. His information checks out and I am pleased to be included in his network. You can help by passing this link on to your contacts and also by visiting Alec’s site by clicking “ErrorTheory” on my blogroll and checking him out.
Latest Post First:
Monday, September 10, 2012
9/11: New Park Service images prove the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 is unchanged
The original Crescent of Embrace design for the Flight 93 memorial (left) was laid out in the configuration of an Islamic crescent and star flag (right). The crash site sits between the tips of the giant crescent, in the position of the star on an Islamic flag.
When this apparent symbol of Islamic triumph caused a national uproar seven years ago the Memorial Project (a public-private entity overseen by the Park Service) promised to change the design, but as demonstrated by the images below, they never did make any significant changes:
Above: original Crescent of Embrace design. Below: a frame from the Park Service’s new virtual fly-by of the Circle of Embrace “re-design” as it is being built. (Comparison image thanks to MaxK.)
The most significant change is the few extra trees that are being planted outside the mouth of the original crescent (starting at the crescent tip on the right, where the flight path symbolically “breaks the circle,” and continuing down behind the Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site). These few trees supposedly turn the crescent into a circle, but as you can see, they do no such thing, but only apply the most minor window dressing to what is still a bare naked Islamic-shaped crescent.
The circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design also remains completely intact
The Park Service web site explicitly describes the Circle of Embrace as a broken circle, proving that the terrorist-memorializing theme of the design is also unchanged. Way back in 2005 architect Paul Murdoch described his original Crescent of Embrace as a broken circle. The 9/11 attacks broke our circle of peace and the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is a giant Islamic-shaped crescent. The terrorist memorializing intent is obvious, or in the words of Tom Burnett Senior (father of flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Junior), “blatantly obvious.”
The actions depicted in the memorial design are those of the terrorists. They break the circle of peace and the result is their flag planted atop the graves of our murdered heroes. Calling the design a broken circle instead of a crescent does not change this symbolism one whit. The unbroken part of the circle is still a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.
Instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, the half-mile wide crescent now points 3° south of Mecca
A crescent that points the direction to Mecca is a very familiar construct in the Islamic world. Because Muslims face Mecca for prayer, every mosque is built around a Mecca direction indicator called a mihrab, and the classic mihrab is crescent shaped. Here are the two most famous mihrabs in the world:
Left: the Mihrab of the Prophet, at the Prophet’s mosque in Medina. Right: the mihrab of the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain. Face into these crescents to face Mecca, just as with the Flight 93 memorial.
As the Crescent of Embrace was originally designed, a person standing between the tips of the giant Crescent and facing into the center of the Crescent would be facing a little less than 2° north of Mecca (proof here). This almost-exact Mecca orientation was confirmed to the Park Service in 2006 by Daniel Griffith, a professor of “geospatial information” at the University of Texas who was brought in as a consultant by the Park Service.
Griffith’s report examined the analysis of Politicalities blogger jonathan Haas, who had calculated that the crescent pointed.62° off of Mecca. Allowing some margin of error for the exact coordinates used for the crash site and for Mecca, Griffith confirmed Haas’ calculation of the direction to Mecca (“the arctangent value is correct”), and he accepted Haas’ calculation that the bisector of the giant crescent pointed a mere .62° off of this Mecca-line. The actual divergence is slightly larger—a bit less than 2°—but this is what the Park Service was told by Griffith: that the crescent pointed less than 1° from Mecca.
Even the Park Service realized this was bad but their response was pathetic, as Murdoch was only forced to make a slight change in the orientation of his giant mihrab. The conversation is easy to imagine: “How about if I change the orientation by five degrees?” Murdoch presumably asked. “Would that be enough?” So now instead of pointing 2° north of Mecca, it now points 3° south of Mecca, both of which are highly accurate by Islamic standards.
For most of Islam’s 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. (Many of the most famous mihrabs point 10, 20, 30 or more degrees off Mecca.) Thus it developed as a matter of religious doctrine that what matters isintent to face Mecca, which architect Paul Murdoch proves by elaborately repeating his Mecca orientations throughout the design.
They misled the public into thinking that the crescent was being removed
Images of the Circle of Embrace “redesign” that the Park Service released in late November 2005 were calculated to fool the public into thinking that real changes were being made. Here is a comparison between the original Crescent of Embrace (top) and the phony redesign (bottom). At first glance the Circle of Embrace actually does look more like a circle than a crescent, but if you examine closely you’ll see that this is almost entirely due to re-coloring of the image. The only actual change is the addition of the extra arc of trees that extends from the circle-breaking crescent tip down the hill towards the crash site:
Because this extra arc of trees explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle it in no way alters the circle-breaking, crescent-creating theme of the design. Neither does it affect the Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent (the unbroken part of the circle) that is left standing in the wake of 9/11. It only looks like a real change, but the Memorial Project apparently decided that even this purely cosmetic alteration conceded too much to critics.
Look again at that screen-grab from the Park Service’s new animated fly-by of the design as it is actually being built. The bold extra arc of trees that was the only actual change in the Circle of Embrace redesign has been taken out and replaced with a wispy wave trees:
These few trees, planted to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent, do not diminish in any way the crescent’s functionality as a mihrab/Mecca-direction indicator. You can plant as many trees behind a mosque as you want. It is still a mosque, or in this case, a terrorist-memorial mosque.
Feel like complaining? Give Flight 93 Memorial Superintendent Keith Newlin a piece of your mind (and please pass along any response that you receive). There is also a petition you can sign, if you haven’t done so already.
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Flt 93 mother on Crescent jury: “I don’t want to reach out to those people! THEY MURDERED MY DAUGHTER!”
Alec Rawls, who has been working with Tom Burnett Sr. to stop the Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93, explains the circumstances (related by Mr. Burnett in 2008, but not published until now).
Mr. Burnett had been telling his fellow design competition jurors that the crescent is a well known Islamic symbol. In addition to the giant central crescent (now called a broken circle) Tom also objected to the minaret-like Tower of Voices. “I made a point at that meeting,” says Mr. Burnett, “to tell people that we have an Islamist design here that can’t go forward, please, stay with me.”
One of the left-wing design professionals on the jury, Tom Sokolowski (then director of Pittsburg’s Andy Warhol Museum) thought that objecting to the crescent shape, just because it happens to be used by Muslims, was anti-Muslim bigotry. In a rude attempt to shut down criticism, Sokolowski actually called Mr. Burnett “asinine” for objecting to the huge Islamic-shaped Crescent. (Sokolowski would later repeat this performance to the press, calling a local preacher “asinine,” “small minded,” “bigoted,” “repellant,” and “disgusting” for protesting the Crescent design.)
It was in this atmosphere, charged with universal awareness amongst the jurors that the giant crescent was indeed a well-known Islamic symbol shape, but also charged with uncertainty as to whether people would be allowed to mention this fact, that another family member, Sandra Felt, started to explain what she liked about the Crescent design. She liked the “embracing” nature of it, says Mr. Burnett. She liked the way it “reached out…”
At which point another family member “lost it” (Mr. Burnett’s description), screaming in agony: “I don’t want to reach out to those people! THEY MURDERED MY DAUGHTER!”
The Park Service claims it “lost” the minutes
This extreme level of conflict on the jury over perceived Islamic symbolism should have come out years ago. The jury included a designated, non-voting, minutes taker. This was not supposed to be a private deliberation. These were volunteer citizens, doing the people’s business, and the jury minutes were supposed to be made available to the public.
The Memorial Project and the Park Service claim that the minutes were “lost.” No doubt, but that doesn’t mean the loss was accidental, and defenders of the Crescent design had good reason to make the minutes go away. Any faithful record would have been explosive, revealing these fierce objections from multiple Flight 93 family members to the blatant Islamic symbolism in the Crescent design.
The ballot wasn’t supposed to be secret either, but the Park Service refuses to account for what they claim was a 9 to 6 tally in favor of the Crescent design. What does 9 to 6 even mean on what was a ranked vote amongst three designs? Did every ballot that did not rank the Crescent last get counted as a vote in favor?
The whole thing is fishy, and there is one most obvious reason why the defenders of the Crescent might want to keep the vote details hidden. The seven family members on the jury were outnumbered by eight academics and design professionals. Thus all six of the votes against the Crescent could have come from the kin, with only Sandra Felt voting for it. This is more than just possible. It is likely.
Another mother of the murdered said only that she agreed with Mr. Burnett, and he thought that the other two men amongst the family members (Gerald Bingham and Ed Root) were on his side as well, though both have since spoken out against his ongoing effort to rescind the chosen design. Bingham and Root are angry at the anguish that the families are still being put through over the memorial design, but could such men have voted for the Crescent in the first place, in the face of that mother’s anguished cry?
A vicious left-wing ideologue like Sokolowski, yes, but it seems almost inconceivable that family members could vote for a design that other family members saw as a tribute to the terrorists, or at the very least, as reaching out to Islam. Since Bingham and Root are willing to speak out, can they please tell us whether they voted for the Crescent? If they didn’t, then the vote amongst the family members was at least 5 to 2 against.
In support of Powerline’s John Hinderaker
The immediate impetus for making these revelations public now is to support John Hinderaker’s 10th anniversary 9/11 post:
You may remember that there was considerable controversy when the design for the Flight 93 memorial was unveiled. It was called “Crescent of Embrace.” The crescent is, of course, the central symbol of Islam, and the design apparently was intended to symbolize some sort of rapprochement with that religion. The winning design was chosen by a jury, and some members of the jury, including Thomas Burnett, whose son was one of the heroes who brought down the airplane, vigorously opposed it. As I understand it, no one on the jury questioned the Muslim reference inherent in the crescent, but a majority believed that it would somehow be “healing” for the memorial to be, in part at least, a sort of tribute to Islam.
That was John’s response to Tom Sr.’s revelations, and his statement is fully supportable, but for people to know why, the supporting information has to be available to everyone. Now it is.
Given the conflict between Mr. Burnett and Tom Sokolowski, there could not have been any doubt in any juror’s mind that the Crescent was an Islamic symbol shape. Indeed, the jury made a specific request, not honored by the Park Service or by architect Paul Murdoch, that:
The crescent should be referred to as ‘the circle or arc,’ or other words that are not tied to specific religious iconography.
The only question was whether the use of this Islamic symbol shape should be seen as bad, and for a majority to favor the crescent design, a majority just have decided that it wasn’t bad, even in the face of family members who found it horrific.
Maybe these left-wing design professionals actually wanted to torture the families, but the generous interpretation is the one John gives: that they saw the Crescent design as symbolizing “some sort of rapprochement” with Islam. Certainly that seems to have been Sandra Felt’s idea, and at least one family member not on the jury thought it obvious that this must have been the intent ofeveryone who voted for the Crescent design. Mark Bingham’s mother, Alice Hoglan, just wished that the outreach to Islam had been made explicit:
The Flight 93 Memorial selection committee has admitted to misgivings about the word ‘crescent.’ I almost wish that instead they could claim they deliberately chose the crescent design as a gesture of peace and unity with the Islamic world. If they were to make that claim, I would not object. I would welcome such a compassionate gesture.
Unfortunately, regardless of the intentions of the jurors, architect Paul Murdoch did not have a compassionate gesture in mind.
A terrorist memorial mosque
Mr. Hinderaker’s anniversary post does not investigate whether the giant crescent actually does point to Mecca (allowing it to serve as an Islamic mihrab), or whether the Tower of Voices really is a year-round-accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial. Perfectly understandable, as these claims take some work to check and John had only just learned that the memorial controversy is still aboil, after thinking that it had been resolved in 2005.
The minaret-like Tower of Voices is formed in the shape of a crescent and is cut at an angle at the top so that its crescent arms reach up to the sky, as seen on mosque minarets across most of the Islamic world.
Literally dangling down below these symbolic Islamic heavens are the symbolic lives of the 40 heroes. This symbolic damnation is repeated over and over in Murdoch’s design. The memorial is not just any mosque, it is an al Qaeda victory mosque.
So much for trying to reach out to Islam without bothering to vet what part of Islam is being reached out to. Nothing could be worse for the decent people of the Islamic world than to hand a great victory to the very worst in the Islamic world. That is the problem with doing this Muslim-outreach thing on the sly.
Knowing the American people would never go along with intentional Islamic outreach, the Memorial Project had to cover up what actually went on in the jury room, and once they got into cover-up mode, they just kept covering up revelation after revelation about what is actually contained in Murdoch’s design.
Sokolowski’s own vile cover-up: attributing the Crescent choice to the families, after vilifying family members who opposed the Crescent design
Here is how the Post-Gazette reported on local preacher Ron McRae, who believed that architect Paul Murdoch had intended the Crescent as a tribute to Islam:
It’s a memorial to the terrorists,” McRae said. “It’s not a memorial to the innocent Americans who died there.”
But Tom Sokolowski, the director of the Andy Warhol Museum, and one of the Stage II jury members, said that claim is “asinine.”
“If the families of the 40 people who were killed felt this was an appropriate symbol to honor their loved ones, then I think he is delusional,” he said. “To take this small-minded, bigoted view is disgusting and repellent.”
Sokolowski knew that family members on the jury had taken that exact same “disgusting and repellent” view because he had said as much to their faces, and now here he was pretending that it was McRae, not himself, who was vilifying the families. Absolute moral trash of the highest order, even if he is just a feckless little worm. By intent, he is as evil as Murdoch.
Gordon Felt’s defense of the Crescent design is also belied by what transpired on the jury:
Gordon Felt, whose brother, Edward, died in the crash, called the focus on the crescent an “unfortunate distraction,” from the fourth anniversary memorial service tomorrow at the crash site.
Still, he continued, “It would be silly of us to have some sort of symbolism [in the memorial] that would be offensive to people.”
This from the man whose own sister in law had spoken in favor of the “reaching out” symbolism of the Crescent, symbolism that was seen by other family members as intending to reach out to Islam, inspiring the most dreadful offense. All this is FACT, and Gordon Felt waves off any thought of it as “silly.”
Did Gerald Bingham lie in his letter to the Memorial Project?
Mr. Bingham’s letter to the Memorial Project (p. 21 here) was timed to counter Mr. Burnett’s appearance at the 2008 Project meeting. It in-effect calls Mr. Burnett a liar, denying that Tom Sr. had ever raised any protest about Islamic symbolism when they served on the jury together:
Attention: Joanne Hanley
RE: Mr. Tom Burnett’s disapproval of the Memorial scheduled to be built honoring those on United Flight 93
Please read the following letter into the minutes of the Flight 93 board meeting scheduled for August 2, 2008.
I served on the Jury to select the final design for the Flight 93 Memorial along with Mr. Burnett. As I recall, Tom liked the design with a line of rocks along a 2 ½ mile walking trail. He indicated in his discussion with me that when it came to final vote that this would be the design of his choice. After the vote was taken and his design was not chosen he was very upset. Not once during these discussions did he mention that the design chosen by a majority vote of the committee had anything to do with a “symbol to the terrorist” as he is now saying.
The final design was chosen because its’ layout fit the landscape where the plane crashed and kept with the surrounding area.
I believe that Mr. Burnett has forgotten that this memorial is for 40 individual people who were on a flight taken over by terrorists and that all 40 of those people became heroes that day. All he is accomplishing at this point is causing other families aggravation and needless controversy.
We need to forge ahead with the plans as voted upon and join together as one just like our loved-ones did on United Flight 93, September 11, 2001.
Father of Mark Bingham
Mr. Bingham’s denial that Tom Sr. said anything about Islamic symbolism is contradicted by numerous data points, starting with the fact that Mr. Burnett spoke out to the press immediately after Crescent design was unveiled in 2005:
Tom Burnett Sr., whose son died in the crash, said he made an impassioned speech to his fellow jurors about what he felt the crescent represented.
“I explained this goes back centuries as an old-time Islamic symbol,” Burnett said. “I told them we’d be a laughing stock if we did this.”
But his fellow jurors — and it turns out, many of the other family members — disagree with his interpretation.
“I got blown off.”
But not entirely. The jurors, in their final report, suggested the name of Murdoch’s design be changed from crescent to something with less religious significance, like an arc or circle.
This is corroborated by Helene Fried, who helped to manage the design competition:
Fried said the connection was raised by some history buffs on the jury during three days of deliberations last month.
Compare “old time Islamic symbol,” with “history buffs.” And if the Jury’s statement that the Crescent name is “tied to specific religious iconography” was not in response to Mr. Burnett’s protests, where did it come from? Is Bingham saying that others on the jury were more vehement than Mr. Burnett in pointing out and objecting to this tie?
Then there is Mr. Burnett’s account of Tom Sokolowski calling him “asinine” for objecting to the Islamic symbolism of the crescent. This is corroborated by the fact that Sokolowski used the exact same language to condemn Pastor Ron McRae. Altogether, the evidence is overwhelming that it is Gerald Bingham who is lying when he accuses Mr. Burnett of lying.
For the sake of the families
Bingham makes his motivation clear. He opposes Mr. Burnett because:
All he is accomplishing at this point is causing other families aggravation and needless controversy.
But notice what Bingham doesn’t say. He is willing to discuss how Mr. Burnett voted, but he keeps his own vote secret. (Gerald Bingham has been divorced from Mark Bingham’s mother Alice Hoglan since the 1970′s, so her stated approval of Muslim-outreach in the Flight 93 Memorial should not be linked to him.)
If Bingham voted for the Crescent, his secrecy about his vote would make no sense. Everyone from Sokolowski on up appeals to the will of the families. Bingham himself does this. These appeals obviously turn on whether the nine votes for the Crescent design came from family members or from the cadre of left-wing design professionals who outnumbered the families 8 to 7.
For Bingham’s objective of ending the controversy, the most weighty thing he could say is that he voted for it, but he doesn’t. And how could he have voted for the Crescent? This is a man who is so keen to avoid pain for the families that he is even willing to tell slanderous lies about the one family member he blames for dragging out the controversy. Surely such a man would never have voted in the first place for a design that was already causing the most extreme anguish to multiple family members.
Ed Root is also loud in his condemnations but mum about his vote
Jury member Ed Root also attacks Mr. Burnett and Mr. Rawls for continuing to oppose the Crescent design (p. 22 here):
Those who oppose this Memorial, for whatever misplaced reasons, have voiced their belief on numerous occasions. That is a striking example of the democracy we hold dear. When those unfounded beliefs turn to a zealotry that attempts to overthrow the very democratic process that selected the winning design it does a terrible disservice to those who worked long and diligently during the design process and, to me, it mocks those very 40 that we long to honor. Our nation is one of laws and due process. To let a few destroy what many have built is not democracy, but tyranny.
Yet Root too keeps his vote secret. It could just be embarrassment, not wanting to admit that he voted for such an obvious perversion, crammed to the gills with Islamic-shaped crescents. Or it could be that he was better than that, and despite the magnificence of Murdoch’s Crescent, was unwilling to vote for as design that other family members found so appallingly offensive.
Mr. Burnett says he liked Mr. Root, and it is easy to see why. They both believe the passengers and crew were fighting, not just to stop the terrorist attack, but to get back to their families:
“The people of Flight 93 wanted to live,” Root said while visiting “Father Al” and the chapel in July. “There’s no doubt in my mind, they didn’t want to die.”
That distinguishes the passengers and crew from the hijackers, in Root’s eyes.
“[The passengers and flight attendants] wanted to try to get control of the plane and, if possible, to survive,” he said. “But they knew from all of the phone calls that if they didn’t do something, it would be far worse. So it really is this comparison of philosophies of a free society versus a terrorist society. One is, their cause is death; the other is, their cause is life. And that’s what makes this worthy of a national memorial. That’s what makes this worth being remembered.
Maybe he can join with Mr. Burnett in demanding an explanation for Memorial Superintendent Keith Newlin’s claim that it was the passengers and crew who crashed the airplane: “They are the one’s who brought the plane down,” says Newlin. This is his way of avoiding the implication that the circle-breaking crescent-creating theme of the memorial can only be depicting the actions of the terrorists. “[The terrorists] TRIED to break the peace,” says Newlin, “but they failed.” Surely Root would disagree.
But Root is wrong about who is refusing to respect democratic principles. Their 15 person jury does not take precedence over the will of the nation, clearly expressed in the national uproar over the original Crescent of Embrace design. The Memorial Project promised to remove the offensive features—the Islamic symbol shapes—but they never did. They just disguised them.
“The difference is at best a subtle one”
Thanks to Powerline for exposing this as well:
They call it a broken circle now, but the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is just the original Crescent of Embrace. All they did was recolor the graphics, then add an extra arc of trees, placed to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent, that explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle. As a result, Murdoch’s circle-breaking crescent-creating theme is now even more explicit, and so are its obvious terrorist-memorializing implications.
Will other front-line conservative blogs and publications take notice?
John Hinderaker is a top lawyer, a lifelong expert at evaluating evidence. When he announces that there is serious substance to the Flight 93 controversy, serious people ought to listen.
Everybody understands the difficulty. With multiple Flight 93 family members crying their anguish against anyone who prolongs the controversy, people need to actually look at the facts before taking a position. So take a look! MANY of the facts are perfectly straightforward and utterly damning. Not everyone can be as brave as Pamela Geller, but no one should let the whiff of danger stop them from examining this most important issue.
We’re talking no less than the re-hijacking of Flight 93 by an actual al Qaeda sympathizing architect. Think 9/11 folks. The whiff of danger should be an attractant, a chance to tackle a hijacker. Those lied-to and in some cases lying family members need to have their fat pulled out of the fire. Ride to the sound of the guns.
Muslim consultants LIED to Park Service
Park Service enlisted three outside consultants to assess whether the Crescent
of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 really can be seen as a giant mihrab:
the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. All three
consultants, including two Islamic scholars, were blatantly and provably
Consultant #1 (details below) confirmed to the Park
Service that the giant crescent (now called a broken circle) does indeed point
almost exactly at Mecca, then when asked about it by the press, denied that
there is any such thing as the direction to Mecca (insisting that “you can face
any direction to face Mecca”).
Consultant #2, a
professor of Islamic architecture at MIT, lied about one of the most familiar of
all Islamic doctrines, claiming that a legitimate mihrab must point
exactly at Mecca. (The original Crescent of Embrace pointed less than
2° north of Mecca. The broken-circle “redesign” points less than 3° south of
Mecca. Both highly accurate by Islamic standards.)
#3, a professor of sharia law at Indiana University (!), came up with
an almost comically dishonest rationale for dismissing concern about the giant
Mecca-oriented crescent: don’t worry, no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere
near this BIG before. Not so funny is the Park Service’s eagerness to embrace
such a transparently ludicrous excuse.
The details are documented in
a large advertisement
that Alec Rawls and Tom Burnett Sr. are running this week in Somerset
Pennsylvania as President Obama and the national press arrive in town for the
10th anniversary of 9/11.
The press has so far been unwilling to check
even the most basic facts about the memorial, like whether the giant crescent
really does point to Mecca (takes about 2
minutes). Maybe charges that the Park Service and its consultants are
telling easily verifiable lies will be more up their alley.
hope, but a strong push might also make the difference. If you want to help,
here are email addresses for the new Park Superintendent Keith Newlin and for a
few Pennsylvania newspapers. You can write your own letter, or just copy the
first four paragraphs above, and tell them that you want these charges
firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org,
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com,
After a brief primer on
the giant Islamic crescent-and-star
flag that the Park Service is building on the Flight 93 crash site, the ad
exposes the three blatantly dishonest consultants that the Park Service invited
to please pull the wool over their eyes:
calculates the direction to Mecca, then tells the press that there is no such
thing as the direction to Mecca
Here’s a novel way to deny that
the giant crescent points to Mecca. Just deny that there is any such thing as
the direction to Mecca. This from the Park Service’s first consultant, as
reported by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Daniel Griffith, a geospatial information sciences professor at the
University of Texas at Dallas, said anything can point toward Mecca, because the
earth is round.
That is not an errant paraphrase. Griffith said the
same thing to Tribune Democrat reporter Kirk
He said you can face anywhere to face Mecca.
Muslims face Mecca for prayer, they are just deluding themselves? They could
actually face any old direction and still be facing Mecca? Is there really no
such thing as a direction on planet earth?
Griffith was lying of course,
and the Park Service knew it, because the first thing Griffith’s report on
the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace does is calculate the direction from
Shanksville to Mecca:
I computed an azimuth value from the Flight 93 crater site to Mecca
of roughly 55.20°.
“Azimuth” means direction, in degrees
clockwise from north. Muslims calculate the direction to Mecca by the “great
circle” or “shortest distance” method (“as the crow flies,” curving only in the
over-the-horizon direction), and this is the method Griffith used. He also
accepted that the Crescent in the original design drawings points a mere .62°
away from Mecca (about a degree closer than it actually points, but no
In short, Griffith confirmed the Mecca-orientation of
the giant crescent, then denied it to the public, but the Park Service knew the
truth, because they had Griffith’s actual report. Thus when the Park Service
repeated Griffith’s denials that the giant crescent points to Mecca, they too
were knowingly hiding the truth from the public. One example is the previous
Park Superintendent Joanne Hanley. Asked directly whether the giant crescent
points to Mecca she denied it, telling the
The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash
The Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent is clear evidence
of an enemy plot to re-hijack Flight 93. The American people need to know the
facts, while these public figures have worked desperately to keep the facts from
Muslim consultant from MIT lied about one of the most
familiar of all Islamic doctrines, claiming Mecca-orientation must be
After Griffith verified that the crescent/broken-circle
does indeed point almost exactly at Mecca, the Park Service asked two Islamic
scholars whether there was any Islamic significance to this giant Mecca-oriented
crescent. Could it by any chance be seen as a giant mihrab? After all, the archetypical
mihrab IS crescent
The Park Service’s second consultant, a professor of Islamic
and mosque architecture at M.I.T. named Nasser
the Park Service that because the crescent does not point exactly at Mecca
it cannot be seen as a mihrab:
Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by
That is a bald lie, and every practicing Muslim knows
it. For most of Islam’s 1400 year history far-flung Muslims had no accurate way
to determine the direction to Mecca. Thus it developed as a matter of religious
principle that what matters is intent to face Mecca, with no requirement for
precision in actually facing Mecca. Two or three degrees off is highly precise
by Islamic standards. Many of the world’s most famous mihrabs face 20, 30, 40 or
more degrees away from Mecca and it matters not one whit.
practicing Muslim knows that they only need to face very roughly towards Mecca
for prayer because they are constantly availing themselves of this allowance
when, five times a day, they seek out walls that they can pray towards that will
leave them facing roughly towards Mecca. Not having to face exactly at Mecca for
prayer is one of the most familiar of all Islamic
Saudi religious authorities confirm: mihrab
orientation does NOT have to be
issue came up in 2009 when the denizens of Mecca itself realized that even their
local mosques only face very roughly towards the Kaaba. is is an unusual case
because the people who built these mosques couldn’t say they didn’t know the
actual direction to the Kaaba. They could see it. No problem, according to the
Affairs Ministry, which assured worshippers that, “it does not affect the
Nobody would know this better than Nasser Rabbat, who actually
teaches mosque design. Indeed, he would know the full basis for the primacy of
intent: that intent is given preeminence throughout Islamic teaching,
not just in Mecca-orientation. For instance, Islam’s first instruction to
converts is that they are supposed to lie about their religion (Tabari 8.23):
en Nu’aym came to the Prophet. ‘I’ve become a Muslim, but my tribe
does not know of my Islam; so command me whatever you will.’ Muhammad said,
‘Make them abandon each other if you can so that they will leave us; for war is
What matters in Islam is not whether Muslims tell the
truth, but whether their intent is to advance Islamic conquest.
course we made sure the Park Service saw the proof from the Saudi Islamic A airs
Ministry that their Muslim consultant had lied to them about the
Mecca-orientation of a mihrab needing to be exact. That was a couple of years
ago now. If they had any integrity they would re-open their investigation, but
then if they had any integrity they would never have handed their watchdog role
over to a pair of Muslim consultants in the first
Islamic scholar from Indiana University says don’t
worry, no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this BIG
Kevin Jaques, a
professor of Islamic sharia law at Indiana University, does not say whether he
is Muslim (remember Tabari 8.23: converts who live amongst the infidels are
supposed to hide their religion), but he did write an article
right after 9/11 urging that any U.S. response should be based on the principles
of sharia law, so he pretty much has to be Muslim. He is definitely an
Professor Jaques’ report to the Park Service acknowledges
that the crescent is geometrically similar to the Mecca-direction indicator
around which every mosque is built, but dismisses any concern about Islamic
symbolism on the grounds that no one has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this
… most mihrabs are small, rarely larger than the figure of a man,
although some of the more ornamental ones can be larger, but nothing as large as
the crescent found in the site design. It is unlikely that most Muslims would
walk into the area of the circle/crescent and see a mihrab because it is well
beyond their limit of experience. Again, just because it is similar does not
make it the same.
You know, like no one can recognize Abe Lincoln’s
likeness on Mount Rushmore. It’s just too darn big for ordinary folks to get
their tiny little minds around, and the Flight 93 crescent is much bigger than
that. It’s actually big enough to be easily visible from airliners like Flight
93 passing overhead. The scale would be epic beyond belief so … don’t believe
[Jaques full comment was left anonymously on this
radical fruitcake left-wing blog (scroll to the last comment at the bottom). It
can be identified as Jaques’ because a chunk of the text is identical to what
the Memorial Project released a few
months later, naming Jaques as the source. Notice that the Park Service did not
release the revealing part of Jaques’ statement, where he acknowledges that the
giant crescent IS similar to a mihrab, but is too big to worry
Too big to worry about is not technically a lie perhaps,
but it is a transparently dishonest excuse. That it was good enough for the Park
Service shows how badly they wanted to be deceived. It would even be funny if
the issue were not so deadly serious. Muslims are not allowed to deceive for
just any reason. Orthodox doctrine tells them to deceive when by doing so they
can advance the cause of Islamic conquest, and one of the oldest traditions of
Islamic conquest is the building of victory mosques on the sites of their
To be completely certain that the memorial is actually intended
to be a mosque one has to work through Murdoch’s endless proofs of intent: his
elaborate repetition of
the Mecca-orientations, the year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial (tomorrow’s
ad), the 38 instead of 40 Memorial Groves (Thursday’s
ad), etcetera. But the Park Service’s extensive lying to the public about
the most basic facts of the design should by itself be a clarion call to
everyone to insist on an independent investigation. The Service’s own internal
investigation was nothing but proven lies from beginning to end. That is not
Neither is the news media’s consistent refusal to check and
report the facts. News-people all know that Muslims face Mecca for prayer, yet
the Post-Gazette did not question Griffith’s claim that “anything can
point to Mecca, because the earth is round.” They too are complicit in foisting
this lie on the public. Every reporter who reads this ad and does not try to
fact-check our easy-to-verify claims is part of the problem.
means, people, is that you have to stand up on your own. Your opinion leaders
have abandoned you to this Islamic assault, but if you do stand up to your
supposed betters, if you check the facts for yourselves and demand that the
press and the government conduct proper investigations, then Murdoch’s plot can
still be undone. The hijacker can still be ousted from the cockpit. Now
that would be a fitting memorial to Flight 93.
and Tom Burnett Sr.
We all know who broke the circle of peace on 9/11
It was 19 Islamic terrorists. That makes the broken-circle memorial to Flight 93 a memorial to the terrorists, who are depicted not only as smashing our circle of peace, but as leaving a giant Islamic crescent-and-star flag in its place:
They call it a broken circle now, but the unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is just the original Crescent of Embrace: a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, pointing to Mecca.
The damned thing is actually an al Qaeda victory mosque, with the Mecca-oriented crescent as its mihrab: the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built.
That is the short version of an advertisement that started running in western Pennsylvania newspapers last week. Alec Rawls sends along this update on the effort to stop the crescent mosque.
10th anniversary ad campaign now underway
The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review recently solicited Tom Burnett Senior’s response to some new design images for the Flight 93 memorial. When he said that the so-called redesign leaves all of the terrorist memorializing features intact, editors instructed reporter Kari Andren to leave his remarks out. They preferred un-interrupted praise from the same few family members who always speak up for the broken-circle design.
The people of Pennsylvania deserve to see what their information gate-keepers don’t want them to know, so Mr. Burnett and his backers decided to begin their 10th anniversary ad campaign a few weeks early. The first full-page color ad just ran in the Somerset Daily American and will appear in two other local papers next week.
For a PDF of the ad copy, click on the thumbnail below, or scroll down for the same content formatted for browsing. If anyone wants to help fund additional advertising, a very generous soul has offered to match all donations up to a total of $5000.
More explicit than a giant Islamic crescent-and-star flag?
As the ad-headline notes, the Circle of Embrace “redesign” only accentuates the circle-breaking crescent-creating theme of the original Crescent of Embrace. Mr. Burnett’s full remarks explain:
The only visible change is the addition of an extra arc of trees that explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle. The unbroken part of the circle, what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11, is just the original Crescent of Embrace: a giant Islamic shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.
People also need to know that a Mecca-direction indicator is the central feature around which every mosque is built. It is called a “mihrab,” and the classic mihrab is crescent shaped.
So the terrorists broke our circle of peace on 9/11, and all that remains standing is the central feature of a mosque. The inclusion of a broken-off part of the circle only accentuates this terrorist-memorializing symbolism. It bastardizes what my son Tom and the other heroes of Flight 93 accomplished. The crescent/broken-circle design is a desecration of sacred ground.
Tom Burnett Sr. Northfield MN
Park Service calls the circle “broken”
A proper newspaper would ask the Park Service if the extra arc of trees really does represent a broken-off part of the circle. Still, people can easily verify this crucial fact for themselves. It is right on the Park Service’s own website. Their “questions about the design” page asks “Is this circle ‘broken’ at all?” Their answer is yes:
… the circle is symbolically “broken” or missing trees in two places, depicting the flight path of the plane, and the crash site.
The locations of these two breaks in the “circle of embrace” are spelled out:
…first, where the flight path of the plane went overhead (which is the location of the planned memorial overlook and visitor center), and second, where the plane crashed at the Sacred Ground (depicted by a ceremonial gate and pathway into the Sacred Ground).
These are the two ends of the extra arc of trees, which starts near the original upper crescent tip and continues down to the crash site. So Mr. Burnett is right. Both ends of the new arc of trees are explicitly broken off. The unbroken part of the circle—what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11—is just the original Islamic-shaped Crescent of Embrace that the Park Service promised to change.
To illustrate, the ad includes a side-bar of graphics, showing just what is changed and what is not changed in the memorial. This is slightly complicated by the fact that the Park Service pretended that they were going to make one very big cosmetic change that they are not actually making, but a few pictures easily tell the tale.
The Park Service pretended the outside of the crescent would be filled in with a forest of trees
When this blatant Islamic symbolism caused an uproar, architect Paul Murdoch re-worked his mock-up to show a forest of additional trees surrounding the outside of the original Crescent:
Only the inner arc of the crescent remains visible, making the new Circle of Embrace name seem reasonable. But none of these surrounding trees made it into the actual Circle of Embrace design drawings. (The “Stage 1″ drawings, encompassing the area seen in these images, were released in 2009.)
The Park Service may eventually let the bare field grow in with trees, but this is not a change in the design. The only actual change is the extra arc of trees, seen below in orange. It explicitly represents a broken off part of the circle:
What the Circle of Embrace actually looks like. The original giant crescent still sits naked on an open field and the flight path still “breaks the circle” at the upper crescent tip.
Remove the explicitly broken off part of the circle (in orange), and what symbolically remains standing in the wake of 9/11 is the same giant Mecca-oriented crescent the Park Service promised to change. It constitutes a classic “mihrab,” the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built, and will form the centerpiece for the world’s largest mosque.
Who broke the circle of peace on 9/11?
When the “Crescent of Embrace” was unveiled as the winning design, architect Paul Murdoch explained the crescent name and the crescent shape by saying that the circle was broken on 9/11, leaving only a part of the circle still standing: the giant crescent. The fact that this circle-breaking crescent-creating theme remains completely intact in the broken-circle design demands the question of WHO is being depicted as breaking the circle of peace on 9/11.
The final section of the ad points out that there can only be one answer. We all know who broke the peace on 9/11. Thus the memorial can only be depicting the actions of the terrorists, who are seen not only as smashing our circle of peace, but as replacing it with their own crescent and star flag.
With the media censoring all criticism, people who don’t like all this blatant Islamic symbolism need a way to signal each other directly, so the ad finishes with a handy dandy flyer that readers can post on windows, walls, bulletin boards etcetera:
If you want to put a few up yourself, click the image above for a printable PDF, complete with urls for our petition to stop the memorial and for more information. And here is an ad-copy version that anyone can run in their own local paper (the free weeklies can be pretty reasonable).
As Flight 93 showed, just because the hijacker has control of the cockpit doesn’t mean he can’t still be stopped.
Alan Keyes against the Flight 93 memorial
Conservative hero Alan Keyes is asking whether there is a pattern of submission surrounding the nation’s 9/11 sites. Apparently he has seen our video expose of Islamic and terrorist memorializing features in the crescent memorial to Flight 93 (now called a broken circle). Like any straight-thinker, he doesn’t like what he sees. The Flight 93 crash site is no place for a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, no matter what it is called.
On this point, Keyes cites Colorado Representative Tom Tancredo’s 2005 objection to the newly unveiled Crescent of Embrace design:
Back in 2005, then-Rep. Tom Tancredo was reported to have sent a letter to the National Park Service “asking the Interior Department to reconsider the crescent-shaped design of the memorial to those aboard a plane hijacked on Sept. 11, 2001, because some may think it honors the terrorists.” Tancredo quite sensibly argues that “regardless of whether ‘the invocation of a Muslim Symbol’ was intentional, ‘it seems that such a symbol is unsuitable for paying appropriate tribute to the heroes of Flight 93 or the ensuing American struggle against radical Islam.’”
Keyes notes our claim that the design is still replete with terrorist memorializing features and he seems to find it credible. Why shouldn’t he? The damning features are all right there in architect Paul Murdoch’s design drawings. Thank you Doctor Keyes!
“It’s not just embarrassing. It is a dangerous willful blindness, spurning the woken vigilance of Flight 93.”
Flight 93 on 9/11: Ride to Stop the Crescent Mosque by Alec Rawls
Anyone live within driving distance of Somerset Pennsylvania? It’s a beautiful place to visit and a group of motorcyclists from Indianapolis is already going.
Tom Burnett Senior and Alec Rawls are buying full page color ads in the Somerset Daily American for both Friday the 10th and Saturday the 11th, so anyone who makes the trip will have a ready made protest sign waiting for them. Just buy a newspaper, tape the ad to a piece of cardboard, and let the massed national media know what side you are on.
That’s right. With Laura Bush and Michelle Obama both attending, it’s going to be a media circus, and a rare opportunity to force coverage of our issue. Just self-organize. Ad-holders will show a core of united opposition (and the media might even be forced to read our brief expose).
A PDF of the ad will be posted in another blogburst next week for anyone who wants to make signs ahead of time. There is also a set of small posters that were put together for a previous talk by Mr. Burnett. Just print with tiling to make the finished product as large or small as you want:
Board 1: The giant crescent
Board 2: It points to Mecca
Board 3: The gigantic Islamic sundial
Board 4: The 44 glass blocks
Petition to stop the Flight 93 memorial passes 10,000 signatures
Including a spate of dozen or so by 9/11 family members that feature some very strong comments. (See pages 198 and 199.)
It Points to Mecca video nearing 20,000 hits
Here are parts 2, 3 and 4 (also worthy):
If you haven’t been to Shanksville before, there really is no lovelier place on earth than an open field in that sprawling Sherwood Forest that is Western Pennsylvania. Drink it in. There is something in the air at that patriots’ grave.
To join our blogburst against the crescent mosque, just send your blog’s url.