Amir Taheri know that of which he speaks, and speaks of the Ground Zero Mosque being more than just a monument to an Islamic victory, but analogous to what our military calls a "beachhead"- a landing spot for the opening of a large-scale military operation, and a location which will act as a staging ground for future operations. Think Normandy Beach....
It's not a mosque, says Taheri...it's a rabat:
In Islam, every structure linked to the faith and its rituals has a precise function and character. A mosque is a one-story gallery built around an atrium with a mihrab (a niche pointing to Mecca) and one, or in the case of Shiites two, minarets.
This 13-story multifunctional structure couldn't be any of the above. The groups fighting for the project know this;
In fact, the proposed structure is known in Islamic history as a rabat -- literally a connector. The first rabat appeared at the time of the Prophet.
The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias (the origin of the English word "raid"). The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders.
After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat -- or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided. The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias. Later Muslim rulers used the tactic of ghazva to conquer territory in the Persian and Byzantine empires. After each raid, they built a rabat to prepare for the next razzia.
It is no coincidence that Islamists routinely use the term ghazva to describe the 9/11 attacks against New York and Washington. The terrorists who carried out the attack are referred to as ghazis or shahids (martyrs).
Thus, building a rabat close to Ground Zero would be in accordance with a tradition started by the Prophet. To all those who believe and hope that the 9/11 ghazva would lead to the destruction of the American "Great Satan," this would be of great symbolic value.
Read it all, and weep at the stupidity of our ruling liberal elite...
Incidentally, I couldn't find via various searches more information about the "rabat" (besides the translation, which is "fortified place"), although I learned that the capital of Morocco is called Rabat, and the history certainly...synchronizes with Taheri's telling:
Rabat has been the capital city of the Moroccan kingdom since 1912. It was built on Challah ruins ...By the end of the 10th century, the Zenetes, a Berber tribe, made of it a place for their military barracks.
Rome held the colony until 250 AD when they abandoned it to local rulers. In 1146, the Almohad ruler Abd al-Mu'min turned Rabat's ribat into a full scale fortress to use as a launching point for attacks on Spain. In 1170, due to its military importance, Rabat acquired the title Ribatu l-Fath, meaning "stronghold of victory," from which it derives its current name.
Yaqub al-Mansur (known as Moulay Yacoub in Morocco), another Almohad Caliph, moved the capital of his empire to Rabat. He built Rabat's city walls, the Kasbah of the Udayas and began construction on what would have been the world's largest mosque.
Now we get a rabat right on Ground Zero. Tolerance, my ass....this is war.