Another View of ‘Cordoba’
Does history live up to the Islamic center’s ideal?
Philologos, the Forward’s anonymous language columnist, tackles the name of the Cordoba Initiative, which is the force behind the planned lower Manhattan Islamic center (much as I did earlier this month). While Philologos is happy to “to take him at his word” when Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf states that he called his organization after the capital of the “enlightened, pluralistic and tolerant society” during the “Golden Age of Spain,” Philologos questions whether Rauf’s description is historically accurate. Specifically, Philologos takes a fascinating look at the Spanish city’s architectural history and concludes,
If Córdoba symbolizes anything in the context of architecture and religion, it is how all religions use power, when they have it, to promote their concept of their own grandeur and importance in architectural terms. The proposed construction of Cordoba House on a site two blocks from the area razed by Muslim jihadists is no exception to this rule. It is no worse than what has been done countless other times in the course of history, but it is not much better, either.
Philologos should definitely take a look at Nextbook Press’s Yehuda Halevi, by Hillel Halkin, which expertly examines the same time and place. The columnist would find much to agree with.
Daily rate: $2
Monthly rate: $18
Yearly rate: $180
WAIT, WHY DO I HAVE TO PAY TO COMMENT?
Tablet is committed to bringing you the best, smartest, most enlightening and entertaining reporting and writing on Jewish life, all free of charge. We take pride in our community of readers, and are thrilled that you choose to engage with us in a way that is both thoughtful and thought-provoking. But the Internet, for all of its wonders, poses challenges to civilized and constructive discussion, allowing vocal—and, often, anonymous—minorities to drag it down with invective (and worse). Starting today, then, we are asking people who'd like to post comments on the site to pay a nominal fee—less a paywall than a gesture of your own commitment to the cause of great conversation. All proceeds go to helping us bring you the ambitious journalism that brought you here in the first place.
I NEED TO BE HEARD! BUT I DONT WANT TO PAY.
Readers can still interact with us free of charge via Facebook, Twitter, and our other social media channels, or write to us at email@example.com. Each week, we’ll select the best letters and publish them in a new letters to the editor feature on the Scroll.
We hope this new largely symbolic measure will help us create a more pleasant and cultivated environment for all of our readers, and, as always, we thank you deeply for your support.