"The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." - Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan
AINA - Murfreesboro, a city in the heart of Tennessee, and, Marseille, France's second-largest city and its largest city on the Mediterranean coast, have few things in common. The two cities are separated by nearly 5,000 miles, and by equally wide divisions of language and culture. And yet Murfreesboro and Marseille are connected by a common challenge. Both cities have struggled against the creeping rise of the mega mosques.
The mega mosque in Marseille has been the subject of an extended legal fight going back a decade. The one in Murfreesboro had a briefer history of being on the wrong side of the law. But in both cases elected officials did their best to aid the mega mosques while ignoring local residents and the law.
The mega mosque business is booming around the world. The Marseille mega mosque has a proposed capacity of 7,000 seats which would make it the largest mosque in France, overshadowing the Ervy mosque which has a mere 5,000 seats. Both of these French mega mosques would have been dwarfed by a proposed London mega mosque with 12,000 seats and usability targets as high as 40,000. If the London mosque is ever built, it will dominate the Mosque of Rome, currently the most mega of all the mega mosques of Western Europe.
The Ground Zero Mosque, located near the site of the most brutal Muslim atrocity inflicted on the West in centuries, had a more modest 2,000 seating capacity plan, but would be vertically taller than most of the mega-mosques with a proposed 100,000 square feet of space. This would make it larger than the Marseille mega mosque, the Murfreesboro mega mosque and the London mega mosque. But despite their differences in size, all four mega mosque projects have followed the same pattern of lawsuits, public protests, exposures of shady mosque backers and public officials eager to look the other way.
The Cologne mega mosque in Germany has also followed the same pattern and is set to become the biggest mosque in Germany. But big is never big enough. The Stockholm mega mosque was finished in the year 2000 and has a capacity of 2,000, but a decade later there was already a proposal to replace it with an even larger mega mosque. At its current size the Stockholm mega mosque had already managed to feature sermons in support of Islamic terrorism and serve as a recruitment center for Al-Qaeda. At several times the size the situation could only get worse.
In yet another common pattern of mega mosques, the Stockholm mega mosque was funded primarily by Sheikh Zayed, the ruler of the United Arab Emirates. The Cologne mega mosque was primarily funded by Turkey's Islamist government. The Marseille mega mosque is being funded by a number of foreign Muslim governments.
Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan has said, "The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers." The foreign funding of mega mosques has raised the question of whether Muslim governments aren't constructing their own barracks and armies in the middle of European cities.
In some cases the militarization of the mega mosque is so overt that it might as well be a bayonet. One of the most blatant examples may be the Copenhagen mega mosque with a capacity of 3,000 which is being financed by Iran. Iran has already constructed another mega mosque in Helsinki and has similar plans all across Europe and the world.
The Copenhagen mega mosque's Imam is Mohammed Mahdi Khademi who ran the ideology department of the Revolutionary Guard militia, an arm of the theocratic regime, which was designated a foreign terrorist organization by the United States. It would be hard to imagine a more explicit example of mega mosque militarization than a regime that sponsors acts of worldwide terror funding a mega mosque headed by the former Islamist political commissar of its terrorist wing.
Not to be left out the Sunnis are getting their own Copenhagen mega mosque funded by Saudi Arabia. This will involve an architectural "mountain" across from the University of Copenhagen topped by two minarets, transforming the Sunni-Shiite rivalry into a competition to create the biggest Islamist eyesores in a city generally known for a quieter brand of architecture.
It's not only in the West that the mega mosques are rising. In Moscow, Muslims have taken over entire streets to call for the construction of new mosques. And the Saudis have already offered to cover the cost.
In China, Saudi money has been transforming mosque designs from the Chinese pagoda to the dome and minaret favored by their new patrons. The more traditional Chinese look of the Great Mosque of Xi'an is making way for the Xiguan Mosque, a monstrous 3,000 capacity mega mosque which looks as if a chunk of Saudi Arabia had been dropped into the middle of Lanzhou.
In Argentina, a year after the bombing of the Jewish center by Muslim terrorists, President Carlos Menem, who has been accused of complicity in the attack, allotted 7.5 acres of public land to build the King Fahd Islamic Cultural Center, the largest mosque in Latin America. It overshadows the Caracas mega mosque in Venezuela which has a capacity of 3,500. Both mega mosques were built by the Saudi royal family.
For now the Islamic Center of America, located in sunny Dearborn, Michigan where Christians can expect to be stoned if they get too close, is the largest mega mosque in the United States. The Shiite mega mosque was already the target of a Sunni Islamic terrorist plot. Nearby is the Sunni Dearborn Mosque which claims the same capacity in an extension of the Sunni-Shiite rivalry. But so long as there's oil money fueling the projects then the mega mosques will keep on growing.
From Markham in Canada down to New York City, and from the West Midlands in the United Kingdom to Sydney, Australia; cities around the world are facing the same threats to their communities. For Muslim states the mega mosque is a tool of power giving them the ability to centralize control of overseas Muslims with a single facility in a single city. For non-Muslim countries, the mega mosque is a center of subversion and terrorism.
As the mega mosque projects grow explosively across the country and the world, so does the resistance to the long shadows that they cast.