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Thursday, January 31, 2008

A plea from Tom Burnett Sr. to the wonderful people of Somerset

Flight 93 blogburst logo: It points to Mecca!Lizard link: Push it!

(The ad copy below is running in tomorrow’s Somerset Daily American.)

My son Tom confronted a terrible moment of truth. Faced with a plot against our nation, he and the other heroes of Flight 93 fought back, and at the cost of their lives, foiled that plot to destroy the White House or the Capitol. Now it is time for the rest of us to face our moment of truth. Flight 93 has been re-hijacked, and I am requesting that if you can, you go down to the public meeting of the Memorial Project at Somerset Courthouse Saturday, sign up to comment at the end, and demand that a proper investigation be conducted.

THIS was no accident:


The Memorial Project held an open design competition in time of war, inviting the entire world to enter. Guess who joined in? That group of trees that sits roughly in the position of the star on an Islamic flag is the crash site. Who do YOU think is being memorialized here?

A second Islamic feature that I also protested when I served on the Stage II jury is the minaret-like Tower of Voices, formed in the shape of a crescent, with its top cut at an angle so that its crescent arms reach up into the sky.


Upturned crescents are a standard mosque adornment in many Muslim countries.

Every iota of this original Crescent of Embrace design remains completely intact in the so-called “redesign.” That is why Congressman Tancredo asked the Park Service this autumn to scrap the existing design entirely. Instead of getting rid of the giant crescent as Tancredo demanded back in 2005, architect Paul Murdoch only disguised it with a few surrounding trees.

Also remaining are those damned 44 glass blocks on the flight path. (There were forty passengers and crew and four Islamic terrorists on Flight 93.) The Memorial Project acknowledges the 40 blocks inscribed with the names of my son and the other heroes, and they acknowledge the three inscribed with the 9/11 date, but they pretend not to know about this one: the huge glass block that dedicates the entire site.

44th block close up

When this 44th glass block is pointed out, Project Partners say that it can’t be counted with the other blocks because it is not the same size. What? Because the capstone to the terrorist memorializing block count is magnificent, that is supposed to make it okay?

For every Islamic or terrorist memorializing feature of the crescent design, the Park Service has another equally phony excuse. Please read the exposé below of the Park Service’s fraudulent investigation, and please come to the meeting on Saturday to demand state and Congressional investigations into the Flight 93 memorial.

Tom Burnett Sr.
February 2008

PDF of ad copy here.

Non-locals who want to help, please contact your senators and representatives!

Daily American ad #2: the fraudulent investigation of the Flight 93 memorial

Flight 93 blogburst logo: It points to Mecca!Lizard link: Push it!

The Memorial Project gave only five days public notice for this Saturday's public meeting in Somerset. Tom Burnett and I are trying to crash their party, calling on the population of Somerset to come out and protest the terrorist memorializing design.

Our first ad is Tom's call to action. (PDF version of actual ad copy here. HTML version, with links to documentation, here.)

The second ad (HTML version below) exposes the Park Service whitewash of the crescent design. (PDFhere.)

Lizards who want to give this expose a bump on the LGF link-rating utility, you can do so here.

To the people of Somerset: Come out this Saturday and help tackle the hijacker!

Two days after the Crescent of Embrace was unveiled in September 2005, several bloggers discovered that a person facing into the giant crescent would be facing almost exactly at Mecca. That makes the crescent a mihrab: the central feature around which every mosque is built.

The simplest mihrab--and the one you might be familiar with--is an Islamic prayer rug, which Muslims lay out facing Mecca for prayer. The Crescent of Embrace is, in effect, a gigantic Muslim prayer rug.

The Mecca orientation of the giant crescent is trivially easy to verify. Just use the Mecca-direction calculator at Islam.com to generate a graphic of the great circle direction from Somerset to Mecca. Muslims define their direction for prayer (called the “qibla”), as the great circle direction to Mecca (also called the “shortest distance direction,” or the “straight line direction”).

Here is a graphic of the qibla for Somerset, superimposed on the crescent site plan. The bisector of the crescent (red arrow) points almost exactly to Mecca:

All the redesign did was add some trees to the rear of a person facing into the giant crescent. That is like planting some trees behind a mosque. It doesn’t matter how many trees you plant around a mosque. It is still a mosque.

The Mecca orientation of the giant crescent should have long ago been headline news across the nation, and it would have been, if not for the extraordinary measures taken by the Memorial Project and the Park Service to cover up this explosive information. Project Superintendent Joanne Hanley denies the Mecca orientation of the crescent in public: “The only thing that orients the memorial is the crash site," she told the Post Gazette (August 18, 2007). Yet in private, she acknowledges the Mecca orientation of the crescent, and makes excuses for it.

“It has to be exact,” Hanley told me in an April 2006 conference call, explaining why she was not concerned about the almost-exact Mecca orientation of the crescent: “That’s one we talked about: it has to be exact.” (The crescent
points 1.8° north of Mecca, ±0.1°.)

Patrick White, Vice President of Families of Flight 93, makes similar excuses, telling a colleague of mine last July that the almost exact Mecca orientation of the crescent cannot be intended as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of it would be “disrespectful to Islam.”

That isn’t what he was telling the public. White told the press that my claims are untrue and “preposterous”: “We went through in detail all his original claims and came away with nothing.” (Tribune Democrat, July 15, 2007.) Nothing that is, but a bunch of bogus excuses for explosive information that they know to be factually accurate.

To make this willful blindness official, the Park Service found a trio of fraudulent academics to make blatantly dishonest excuses for the Mecca oriented crescent. One has been telling every reporter he can find that there is no such thing as the direction to Mecca:
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.(Post Gazette, August 18, 2007.)
This is not a misquote. Griffith said essentially the same thing to Tribune Democrat reporter Kirk Swuager, claiming that: “You can face anywhere to face Mecca.” One billion Muslims most certainly disagree.

The other two academics admit the giant Mecca oriented crescent and make the most ridiculous excuses for it. Kevin Jaques, a professor of Islamic sharia law at Indiana University, notes the similarity between the Mecca oriented crescent and a traditional mihrab, but assures the Park Service that there is no need for concern, because no one has ever seen a mihrab this BIG before:
Thirdly, 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 at 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.
The other academic fraud is a Syrian professor of Islamic architecture named Nasser Rabbat who tells the Park Service not to worry about the almost exact Mecca orientation of the giant crescent because it cannot serve as a proper mihrab unless it points exactly to Mecca:
Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.
That is a bald lie. Many traditional mihrabs are off in their Mecca-orientation by 10, 20 or 30 degrees. The most famous mihrab in the world, the mihrab at the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain, is oriented more than 45° off Mecca.

None of these “experts” even pretend to be objective. They only list excuses not to be concerned, and do not even make a show of considering possible Islamic intent. So who are these guys? Rabbat is described as an independent scholar, but in fact is an old classmate of Paul Murdoch, both having received masters degrees in architecture from UCLA in 1984. This raises the possibility that Paul Murdoch himself was able to orchestrate the investigation into warnings about his own design.

Kevin Jaques is also a highly suspicious character, having written an article shortly after 9/11 where he insists that the American response to 9/11 should be formulated in accordance with Islamic sharia law. Not only that, but he whitewashes sharia law by pretending that it is spurned by Islamic terrorists. Nowhere does he acknowledge that the terrorists' goal is impose sharia law on the entire world.

Jaques does not admit his religious affiliation, but it seems obvious that he must be a convert to Islam. Who else would call for a sharia law response to 9/11? He would also seem to be on the side of the radical supremacists, describing “Islamic revivalism” (the general heading for Bin Ladnism, Khomeini-ism, and other aggressively supremacist strains of Islam) as “new and exciting.”

Thus it seems that the Park Service let two blatantly dishonest Muslims whitewash warnings of a radical Islamic plot. Not that the Park Service was duped. They were just as dishonest themselves, claiming that it isn’t possible to check the orientation of the crescent because: “none of the data or imagery used to develop the site plan has been geo-referenced.”

On the contrary, you can see to the left that the site plan is drawn on a topographical map. This topo map was provided by the Memorial Project itself to all of the design contestants. A topo map is the epitome of a geo-referenced map. North on a topo map is true north, which is all that is needed to calculate the orientation of the crescent.

They don’t even bother to notice that their so-called experts are contradicting each other. Griffith says you can face anywhere to face Mecca and Rabbat says that orientation on Mecca must be exact. The Park Service gladly embraces whatever mutually exclusive dishonesties are available. Any excuse to turn a blind eye to the undeniable Islamic and terrorist memorializing features of their chosen design.

The full significance of Murdoch’s plot takes a whole book to explain. (Given the importance of getting this information out to the public now, a provisional draft of my Crescent of Betrayal book is temporarily available for free download at CrescentOfBetrayal.com. Updates are being posted on my Error Theory blog.)

Very briefly, there are a dozen typical mosque features. All are realized in Paul Murdoch’s design, all on the same epic scale as his half-mile wide mihrab. The planned memorial is a terrorist memorial mosque, and this hijacking is still on track to succeed.

The Memorial Project’s public meeting begins at 10 tomorrow at the Somerset Courthouse. There is usually an intermission at noon, so if you arrive by 12 you should be able to sign up to comment.

-- Alec Rawls

PDF of ad copy here.

No point in contacting the Memorial Project or the Park Service at this point. They are 100% aware that the crescent design is a terrorist memorial mosque and they are desperate to cover it up.

Contact your Representatives and Senators!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The crescent-topped tower

Not all of the Islamic symbolism in the Flight 93 memorial is hidden. One of the things that Tom Burnett Sr. protested from the beginning was the overtly minaret-like Tower of Voices. The Tower is formed in the shape of an extruded crescent, and even has its top cut at an angle so that its crescent arms reach up into the sky, similar to the upturned crescent motif seen atop minarets all over the world:

Up tower view (left) shows the Tower of Voices to be formed in the shape of an Islamic crescent, covering about 2/3rds of a circle of arc, with a circular inner arc. The top of the tower is cut at an angle (right) so that the crescent arms reach up into the sky.

This sky-reaching crescent is a standard mosque motif, seen from the Abdul Gaffoor mosque in Singapore:


... to Your Black Muslim Bakery in Oakland:


... to the Uppsala mosque in Sweden:

Swedish mosque with crescents 55%

There is no way that the Islamic shaped crescent atop architect Paul Murdoch's minaret-like tower is an accident, any more than THIS could possibly be an accident:


That's before you even get to the hidden stuff, like the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent; the 9/11 date placed in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag; or the fact that the Tower of Voices turns out to be a year round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial:


Every particle of the original Crescent of Embrace design remains completely intact in the Bowl of Embrace redesign, which only disguised the original crescent with a few irrelevant trees.

That Islamic crescent reaching up into the sky is completely undisguised. How can anyone abide this?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

More deceptions from Muslim advisor regarding Flight 93 mosque

Nasser Rabbat, a Syrian professor of Islamic architecture at MIT, told the Park Service not to worry about the giant Mecca oriented crescent at the center of the Flight 93 Memorial. He said that since it does not point quite exactly to Mecca (it is off by 1.8°) it can’t be considered a proper mihrab (the central feature around which every mosque is built).

Liar. Many of the most famous mihrabs face as much as 20 or 30 degrees off of Mecca.

Here is another Rabbat deception:
Mosques are never in the shape of a crescent or a circle. This defeats the purpose of lining up the worshipers parallel to the Qibla wall (Mecca orientation), which usually translates into a rectangular shape, or sometimes a square. [From the White Paper released by the Memorial Project in August 2007.]
It is true that most mosques are rectangular, the more clearly to mark the direction to Mecca, but this is certainly not a requirement, given that the two most religiously significant sites in Islam are round mosques. Significant site #1 is the Sacred Mosque in Mecca:

Sacred Mosque

Second most significant is the Mosque of Omar, also called the Dome of the Rock, on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, from which point Muhammad supposedly ascended into heaven:

Dome of the Rock

Perhaps because of the prominence of these precedents, a small but significant number of mosques around the world follow the round model.

There is the Tun Abdul Aziz mosque built in Malaysia in 1975, referred to colloquially as the “Masjid Bulat,” or “round mosque.”

There is the new 5,000 person Arafat Mosque in Nigeria, which the architect claims is “the only round mosque in Africa," but he is wrong. Another round mosque, Al Nileen, sits at the confluence of Blue and White Nile rivers in Khartoum:

Round Al Nileen Mosque
[From Google Earth. Look up "alnileen mosque".]

Africa is also home to some older round mosques. Here is a round mosque from the Ivory coast. Similar mosques have also been found in Sierra Leone.

Here is a modern Russian mosque, laid out in shape of an eight point star.

There is even a famous round mosque right in the heart of the EU, at the northwest corner of the Parc du Cinquantenaire in Brussels.

There is a round mosque in Kuwait, a round mosque in Kadavu India, and probably many more.

At the Islamic architecture website Archnet, a Muslim architect (not a native English writer) explains the problem with round mosques:
… a circular mosque can not function well because a mousqe should have an oriantation to kibla and as we all know that a circle does not have an orientation, How can we know the kibla wall if it is a circle ?
This problem does not afflict Paul Murdoch’s mosque design for the Flight 93 memorial because Murdoch's giant crescent does create an orientation. Face into the crescent to face Mecca, just as with a smaller size mihrab.

Geometrically, Murdoch’s Crescent of Embrace is just a gigantic Islamic prayer rug:

Prayer Rug and Crescent
A Muslim prayer rug is a two dimensional mihrab, laid out to face Mecca, just as the Crescent of Embrace is.

Notice that to a person looking into the Flight 93 crescent, the irregularity of the outer arc of the crescent is not visible. The radial arbors are all behind the double row of red maples that line the walkway. The ends of the crescent are also well defined by the end of the walkway of red maples at the bottom and the end of the thousand foot long, fifty foot tall Entry Portal Wall on top. This is a perfectly comprehensible and recognizable Mecca direction indicator.

Rabbat’s comments to the Park Service do not even pretend to be objective. He lists “talking points” in defense of the crescent design without ever even pretending to weigh the merits of the case against the design.

Most obviously, Rabbat never considers the almost exact Mecca orientation of the giant crescent as a grounds for concern, but limits his remarks to possible excuses for not worrying about this obviously worrisome fact. The same for all of his other talking points. He only even considers ways to absolve the crescent design.

In short, Rabbat is as overtly biased as he could possibly be, yet the Park Service has no qualms about this overt bias. Rabbat gives them the excuses for unconcern that they want and they eagerly embrace him. The Park Service investigation into warnings of an enemy plot was a total fraud.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pentagon not the only Department giving the last word to Muslims covering up terror threats

The military's top expert on jihad ideology was fired last week at the behest of a Muslim aide to Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England. The aide is a friend to the grand-daddy of all modern Islamic terror groups, the Muslim Brotherhood. His influence is penetration of the top levels of the Pentagon by our terror war enemies.

What happened in the Park Service's Flight 93 memorial investigation is very similar. Our last three blogbursts exposed how two Muslim academics fed the Park Service blatantly dishonest excuses for the giant Mecca oriented crescent in the Murdoch-designed memorial.

Kevin Jaques from Indiana University said that the similarity to an Islamic mihrab should be ignored (a mihrab is the Mecca direction indicator around which every mosque is built) because there has never been a mihrab anywhere near this big before.

Nasser Rabbat
said that because the Flight 93 crescent does not point quite exactly at Mecca (it is 1.8° off), it cannot be regarded as a mihrab:
"Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees." [From the Park Service's White Paper.]
Liar. Many classic mihrabs are oriented 10, 20 or 30 degrees from Mecca. The most elaborate mihrab in the world, the mihrab at the great mosque in Cordoba Spain, is oriented more than 45° off Mecca:

Cordoba mihrab points south. Mecca is east-southeast of Spain.

More Rabbat deceptions

Nasser Rabbat's other lies to the Park Service are just as blatant. One of Rabbat's "talking points," as he calls them, questions whether the crescent is really an Islamic symbol at all:
The Crescent is a debatable Islamic universal symbol. Many groups do not use it. I know in fact of no militant group that uses it. Islamic modern states have opted to use it, sometimes with the star, which is a modern symbol with no Islamic connotation.
Appearing on the vast majority of Islamic flags is "no Islamic connotation"?

The specific question Rabbat was supposedly addressing is the use of a crescent for the shape of a mihrab, and here the Islamic usage is undeniable. Lots of mihrabs are pointed arch shaped, but the archetypical mihrab--the Prophet’s Mihrab at the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina--is crescent shaped both in its vertical dimension and its depth dimension:


Rabbat is a professor of Islamic architecture. Mosque design falls within his field of expertise. He knows the traditional crescent shaped mihrab better than anybody and just lies about it, the same way he lies about mihrab orientation having to be exact.

And that bit about not knowing of any militant groups that use the crescent? That would make Rabbat a very rare Syrian, if he has never seen the Hezbollah flag:

When the terror groups have the crescent embrace the globe, they mean that Islam will one day rule the world and subjugate all the infidels.

Here are some more:





Palestinian Liberation Front




Perhaps a better question is whether there are Islamic terror groups that do not identify with the crescent.

At both the Park Service and the Pentagon, Muslim consultants who are engaged in blatant cover up of terror threats are being given the last word by top level administration officials.

Let's get those Congressional investigations going.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Blogburst blockbuster: Professor who white-washed the Crescent of Embrace was Paul Murdoch's classmate at UCLA

An excerpt from the Park Service investigation into the Flight 93 memorial identifies one of their consultants as a scholar from MIT who "wishes to remain anonymous." Another document identifies this person as a religious scholar or a professor of Islamic architecture. MIT does not have a religion department, and they only have one professor of Islamic architecture: Professor Nassar Rabbat, who has confirmed that he is the Park Service consultant.

A check of Rabbat's background shows that he was a classmate of Paul Murdoch, both getting masters degrees in architecture from UCLA in 1984 and both doing their masters work on Middle Easter subjects. Murdoch wrote a “masters project” titled: “A museum for Haifa, Israel.” Rabbat did a masters thesis titled: “House-form, climactic response and lifestyle: a study of the 17-19th century courthouse houses in Cairo and Damascus.”

This connection between Murdoch and Rabbat raises the possibility that Murdoch himself orchestrated the Park Service investigation into warnings about his own design. Rabbat denies knowing Murdoch, but given the blatant dishonesty of what he told the Park Service, that denial cannot be trusted.

Rabbat lied about something that every practicing Muslim knows

Rabbat's first "major talking point" (from the Memorial Project's White Paper, towards the bottom) is a blatantly dishonest excuse for why the Park Service should not be concerned about the almost exact Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace. A crescent that Muslims face into to face Mecca is called a mihrab and is the central feature around which every mosque is built. Rabbat assures the Park Service that because the Mecca orientation of the Crescent of Embrace is inexact, it can't be seen as a mihrab:
Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.
Absolutely false, and Rabbat certainly knows it. This goes to the most basic principle of mosque design: that all mosques are expressions of Muhammad’s prototype.

Muhammad's original mosque in Medina was not oriented precisely on Mecca. It was built to face Jerusalem. Later in his career Muhammad changed the direction that Muslims were to face for prayer (their qibla direction). Instead of facing north from Medina to Jerusalem they were to face south, towards Mecca (Koran 2.142-145). To effect this change, Muhammad just started using the southerly wall of his mosque as his "qibla wall" instead of the northerly wall, even though this wall had not been built to face Mecca.

In the abstract, Muhammad held the qibla direction from Medina to be “south.” But Mecca is not quite due south from Medina either. Thus both in practice and in the abstract, Muhammad was not particular about an exact orientation on Mecca, and in Islam, what is good enough for Muhammad has to be good enough for everyone. He is the model.

This leeway to face only roughly towards Mecca for prayer is not some obscure bit of doctrine. Every practicing Muslim knows that qibla orientation does not have to be exact because they all have to avail themselves of this allowance pretty much every day as they seek walls that are oriented not too far off of Mecca which they can face into for their frequent prayers.

Rabbat just flat out lied about something that every practicing Muslim knows, and this is an expert in Mosque design. He knows better than anyone the historic leeway afforded in Mecca orientation.

Is Rabbat the source of Patrick White's foolishness?

Rabbat's dishonest report to the Park Service may explain an amazing argument made by Patrick White, Vice President of Families of Flight 93. At the July 2007 public meeting of the Memorial Project, White argued in a private conversation that the almost exact Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent cannot be intended as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of it would be "disrespectful to Islam."

At the same time as White was privately making excuses for the almost exact Mecca orientation of the crescent, he was telling the newspapers that the Mecca orientation claim was false and preposterous, so he certainly cannot be absolved. But it is possible that he himself was misled about how Muslims would regard an inexactly oriented mihrab.

The Memorial Project received Rabbat's comments about a year earlier, and Patrick White certainly had access to them. It seems likely that when White said that an inexact orientation on Mecca would be "disrespectful to Islam," he was following Rabbat's "can't be off" lead.

The crescent design also includes an exact Mecca orientation

If Nassar Rabbat actually read the information that I sent to the Memorial Project, he would know that in addition to the physical crescent, the Crescent of Embrace design also includes a thematic crescent, defined by architect Paul Murdoch himself. The upper tip of this thematic crescent is the point where, in Murdoch's explanation, the flight path breaks the circle. If this thematic or "true" upper crescent tip is used to define the orientation of the crescent, then the crescent points exactly to Mecca.

If Rabbat really thinks that exactness is what matters, he would have been alarmed to see that this thematic crescent is oriented exactly on Mecca. Instead, he ignored it.

The Park Service already knew about the Mecca orientation of the crescent

The Park Service's other Islamic scholar, Kevin Jaques, did the same thing as Rabbat. He admitted the similarity between the giant Mecca oriented crescent and a traditional Islamic mihrab, then concocted a blatantly dishonest excuse for why the Park Service shouldn't be concerned about it. Jaques assured the Park Service that there was no reason to worry because no one had ever seen a mihrab this big before:
Thirdly, 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 at 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.
If Jaques and Rabbat were willing to engage in such blatantly dishonest excuse-making, why did they start out by admitting that the giant crescent was geometrically close to a perfect mihrab? Because the Park Service already knew that the giant crescent was oriented almost exactly on Mecca, and that a crescent that Muslims face into to face Mecca is the central feature around which every mosque is built.

Advisory Commission member Tim Baird would admit this explicitly in 2007, but it was obvious much earlier. What the Park Service wanted when it conducted its internal investigation in the spring and summer of 2006 was excuses not to be concerned about these damning facts, and that is what Jaques and Rabbat provided. Similarly for the egregious Daniel Griffith, the "professor of geospatial information," who told the newspapers that "anything can point to Mecca, because the earth is round."

The Park Service knew this was all fraudulent. Griffith's "anything can point to Mecca" and Rabbat's "it has to be exact" were complete contradictions of each other, but the Park Service gladly embraced both as excuses to pretend that there was nothing to worry about.

If these government functionaries were this desperate for a cover up, it is certainly plausible that they would accept any help they could get from Paul Murdoch. Not that it is hard to find radically dishonest, America-hating academics, but these three frauds are outliers even by worst standards.

More dishonest excuse-making from Rabbat

Rabbat's next talking point is more of the same dishonest excuse-making:
Besides, in the US, a debate has been going on as to which is the right Mecca orientation: the one going through the North Pole or the one that follows a flat representation of the globe.
The orientation "through the North Pole" (55.2° clockwise from north, to be precise) is the great-circle direction to Mecca. This great circle direction to Mecca is the orientation of the Crescent of Embrace (almost exactly), and it is the direction in which almost all Muslims pray.

A few dissenters pray in the rhumb-line direction to Mecca (the direction of constant compass heading, which spirals down the globe in an east-southeasterly direction from North America). Rabbat pretends that the existence of these few dissenters somehow makes the whole matter of the Mecca oriented crescent a non-issue.

If anything, the debate over qibla direction shows the flexibility of the qibla direction, giving the lie to Rabbat's earlier assertion that mihrab orientation "can't be off."

Rabbat certainly knows that the great-circle direction to Mecca is the dominant qibla direction. (It won out over the rhumb line direction for the very good reason that a person facing in the rhumb-line direction to Mecca is not actually facing Mecca, since the rhumb-line follows a curved path.) But don't worry about a little thing like the crescent facing in the dominant qibla direction. Rabbat has plenty of lame excuses why you don't need to care.

Tom Burnett's call for a Congressional investigation

The Park Service won't say how they came up with Griffith, Jaques and Rabbat so we have to force them. A lot of People must be forced to answer these and a lot of other hard questions, and the only way to do it is to heed Tom Burnett's call for a Congressional Investigation.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Crescent mosque violates the only physical requirement for design entries

Defenders of the crescent design for the Flight 93 memorial describe the landform around the crash site as a bowl shape that fairly dictates the use of a crescent design. On the Mike and Juliet Morning Show, Memorial Project Chairman John Reynolds was asked by host Mike Jerrick: “Why couldn’t you just use some other shape?”

Reynolds cupped his hands together for the audience and insisted that the design had to be a crescent:
Because, if you do this with you hands, this is the land there. This bowl is America holding its heroes.
But in fact, the site is not a bowl shape at all, as one can tell by looking at the topo lines on the site plan. The land slopes continually from north-northwest to south-southeast:

Crescent Bowl35%
The Sacred Ground Plaza that marks the crash site sits between the crescent tips (above the 4). 20 feet of elevation per topo line.

Instead of following the rim of a bowl, the crescent starts on a ridgeline above the crash site and circles around to well below it, passing across the middle of a wetland that sits about 70 vertical feet below the crash site.

Not only is the crash site not a bowl, but the crescent actually does not fit the natural landform at all. Of all the designs entered in the design competition, Paul Murdoch’s Crescent of Embrace is the only one that that fails to meet the Memorial Project’s single stated physical requirement: that design entries should “respect the rural landscape.” (Scroll down to "purpose.")

To create the full arc of the crescent, a raised causeway will have to be filled in across the wetlands that collect about half-way out the lower crescent arm:

Raised causeway, 'healing landscape' 40%

This filling in of the wetlands would never be allowed in a private project. There are environmental laws against it.

To sneak his design past the requirement to leave the landscape undisturbed, Murdoch played a very clever trick. His preliminary Crescent of Embrace design did not build a causeway across the wetlands. It only showed a quarter circle of red maple walkway, with a natural footpath skirting around the bottom of the wetlands area instead of crossing it:

Preliminary crescent design 55%

This original crescent design already had the flight path breaking the circle, turning it into what was called from the start the Crescent of Embrace, so it seems that Murdoch had in mind from the beginning to memorialize the terrorists’ circle-breaking/ crescent-creating feat. He could well have had the basic geometry of his full terrorist memorial mosque already worked out, but he knew that he would never make the first cut if he broke the competition’s one rule and violated the wetlands, so he only showed a little bit of crescent, and had his innocuous looking footpath skirt the wetlands.

To turn his preliminary design into a full Islamic crescent, Murdoch needed to build his causeway. How did he justify this violation of the wetlands? With typical brass, declaring that the causeway created a “healing landscape”:
Here visitors will be most aware of continuously connected living systems as the circular path literally bridges the hydrology of the Bowl. ["Wetlands," p. 5.]
The highway department should hire this guy for P.R.. He could sell the environmentalists on how close a new road will bring them to nature. Why, they will be "literally bridging it!" What could be better? Good pitch. The Memorial Project bought it.

Most remarkable is Patrick White, vice president of Families of Flight 93. In private conversation at the Memorial Project's July 2007 meeting, White told one of my compatriots that an expensive drainage system had been developed for the crescent design and that no other design could work on the site because this elaborate drainage system would only work with the crescent design.

Duh. The crescent design is the only design out of all thousand submitted that needs a drainage system. Every other design left the wetland untouched, as the Memorial Project had asked. Yet these people all really seem to mean it when they insist that this is the only design that fits the land.

Didn't they notice that not one of the other thousand designs was a crescent? How could that be, if the landform really dictated a crescent? How did they get so wrapped in the emotion of the crescent’s “healing embrace” that they can’t see anything else?

Because Paul Murdoch is an artistic genius who had these grieving people in the palms of his hands. The man is diabolical!

Stop the Crescent Mosque Blogburst/Blogroll

Want to join our blogbursts and be on the blogburst blogroll? Email Cao at caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com, with your blog's url address. The blogburst will be sent out once a week to the participants, for simultaneous publication on this issue on Wednesdays.

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