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Construction drawings released: Flight 93 crescent now points less than 3° from Mecca

From Error Theory:

The original Crescent of Embrace memorial to Flight 93 faced less than 2° from Mecca. That made it a mihrab, the Mecca-direction indicator around which every mosque is built. (Some mihrabs are pointed-arch shaped, but the classic mihrab is crescent shaped.)

The Park Service dismissed concern about the Mecca-oriented crescent on grounds that the construction drawings had not yet been finalized. “Those trees could move fifty feet, or three hundred feet,” said Project Manager Jeff Reinbold in the Spring of 2006, as if this kind of “tweaking” would make any difference (Crescent of Betrayal Ch.8 p.145-6).

The construction drawings have now been released, and yes, they moved the lower tip of the half-mile wide crescent about 300 feet, enough to change the orientation of the crescent by about 4.5°. Instead of pointing less than 2° north of Mecca, the giant Islamic-shaped crescent now points less than 3° south of Mecca.

Here is the original Crescent of Embrace:


“Qibla” is the direction to Mecca, which you can verify using any online Mecca-direction calculator (just type in Somerset PA). A person standing between the tips of the giant crescent and facing into the center of the crescent (red arrow) would be facing 1.8° north of Mecca, ± 0.1°.

Here is one of the new construction drawings:


Instead of facing a titch north of Mecca, the giant crescent now faces a titch south of Mecca (2.7° south ± 0.1°).

As with the original Crescent design, the upper crescent tip is the end of the 50’ tall Entry Portal Wall and the lower crescent tip is the last of the 50’ tall Maple trees on the bottom. The landscape overlays make the details hard to see in the thumbnail image above, but at full resolution they are fully legible. (Copy of source PDF, without the superimposed orientations lines here. Large file warning. Graphic is on p. 30 of 233.)

The Park Service was SUPPOSED to remove the Islamic symbol shapes

When architect Paul Murdoch’s winning Crescent of Embrace design was announced in September 2005, it appeared to show a bare naked Islamic crescent and star-flag planted atop the crash site:

Burned by the resulting firestorm of protest, the Park Service to agreed to get rid of the Islamic symbol shapes, but they never did. They added an extra arc of trees, and 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 still a giant Islamic shaped crescent.

This is explained on the Park Service’s own website, where the extra arc of trees is explicitly described as a broken off part of the circle:

In summary, the memorial is shaped in a circular fashion, and the circle is symbolically “broken” or missing trees in two places, depicting the flight path of the plane, and the crash site.

Those two breaks are the two ends of the extra arc of trees:


The extra arc of trees extends from blue circle to blue circle, marking the two “breaks” in the circle referred to in the Park Service’s official explanation of the broken-circle design. One is where the flight path breaks the circle (left), the other is near the crash site (center).

What is symbolically left standing (the unbroken part of the circle) is just this:


Remove the symbolically broken off parts, and you get the original Crescent of Embrace design.

The only change is that the crescent has now been rotated clockwise a few degrees. In the construction plans it faces slightly south of Mecca instead of slightly north of Mecca. For a parallel, imagine airline security discovering a terror bomber, then playing with the fit his suicide vest before escorting him to his plane.

They said they were going to remove the giant crescent. They claim they HAVE removed it, but they haven’t. Symbolically, the design remains completely unchanged. The terrorists are still depicted as smashing our peaceful circle and turning it into a giant Islamic-shaped crescent, still pointing to Mecca.

The giant crescent is actually a mihrab

Here is the mihrab at the Great Mosque in Cordoba Spain. Face into the crescent to face Mecca, just like the crescent memorial to Flight 93:

Confronted with evidence that the Crescent of Embrace is actually designed to be the world’s largest mosque, the Park Service sought advice from a pair of Muslim scholars. Both acknowledged the almost exact Mecca-orientation of the giant crescent and both offered overtly dishonest excuses for it. One said not to worry about the likeness to an Islamic mihrab because no one has ever seen a mihrab this BIG before:

…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.

Right. That’s why everybody scratches their head at Mt. Rushmore. No one has ever seen Abraham Lincoln so BIG before. They just can’t figure it out.

To be fooled by this excuse, you have to really really want to be fooled. The other Muslim scholar said not to worry, the crescent cannot be seen as mihrab unless it points exactly at the Kaaba:

Mihrab orientation is either correct or not. It cannot be off by some degrees.

In fact, a mihrab does NOT have to point exactly at Mecca, for the simple reason that, throughout most of Islamic history, Muslims in far-flung parts of the world had no accurate way to determine the direction to Mecca. As a result, it was established as a matter of religious principle that what matters is intent to face Mecca. This was recently affirmed by Saudi religious authorities, after Meccans realized that even most of their local mosques do not face directly towards the Kaaba. “It does not affect the prayers” assured the Islamic Affairs Ministry.

Faced with evidence of an Islamic plot, why would the Park Service send this evidence exclusively to Muslims for appraisal? Have they forgotten who attacked us on 9/11?

The Service has long since been apprised of the patent dishonesties retailed by its two Muslim advisors but they don’t care. They wanted to be lied to, they knew where to go to be lied to, and they got what they wanted.

Michelle Malkin and Ed Morrissey

So where are the patriotic stalwarts like Michelle Malkin whose objections were instrumental in getting the Park Service to agree to remove the Islamic symbol shapes in the first place? If they knew in 2005 that the symbolic outcome of 9/11 should not be a giant Islamic shaped crescent why are they silent about this exact same symbolism today, after THEY were promised that this perversion would be removed?

Ed Morrissey urged his readers “to tell the National Parks Service and the Secretary of the Interior to rethink their plans,” promising for his own part that “as long as that crescent remains in the design, I’m not donating a red cent to the memorial.” Well Ed, the crescent does remain in the design, so please rejoin the fight.

The desertion of Malkin et. al. makes a difficult gap to fill, but we had better fill it, or the Flight 93 crash-site will soon be home to the world’s largest mosque.

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Congressman Ramstad comes out in opposition to the Flight 93 memorial

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Congressman Jim Ramstad (R-MN) gave a House speech this month, supporting Mr. Burnett’s opposition to the crescent design. The speech is entered in the Congressional Record here, along with supporting statements from Tom Burnett Sr. (father of murdered Flight 93 hero Tom Burnett Jr.).

That makes two Congressmen now who have come out publicly against the crescent memorial. (Tom Tancredo took the lead last November, asking the Park Service to choose a completely new design.)

News coverage revs up confrontation at this Saturday’s public meeting

Ramstad’s speech, and our ongoing petition drive, netted a full width banner headline on the front page of the Somerset Daily American, with the story continuing full width on an inside page as well. This high profile local news coverage should make for an interesting Memorial Project meeting at the Somerset County Courthouse this Saturday. Several critics will be speaking during the public comment period, and the first batch of petitions will be delivered in bulk (over 5000 signatures to date, 4700 online and 500 on paper).

The Daily American article includes lots of powerful language from Mr. Burnett and other critics of the crescent design, along with some remarkably disingenuous evasions from the usual defenders. Most egregious is Patrick White, vice president of Families of Flight 93, who tries to pretend that the criticisms of the design are all about Mr. Burnett trying to get an undemocratic “do over” after failing to stop the Crescent of Embrace design when he served on the design competition jury.

While on the jury, Mr. Burnett only complained about the giant Islamic shaped crescent and the minaret-like Tower of Voices. No one on the jury, including Mr. Burnett, knew anything about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent; or about the placementof the 9/11 date in the exact position of the star on an Islamic crescent and star flag; or about the 44 glass blocks on the flight path; or about the fact that the Tower of Voices turns out to be a year-round accurate Islamic prayer-time sundial.

Not that the jury is beyond reproach. It was bizarre for these family members and design professionals to plant a bare naked crescent and star flag on the graves of our murdered heroes, but given everything that the jurors did NOT know, this configuration at least COULD have been an accident. What came out after the design was selected is absolute proof of terrorist memorializing intent, with every Islamic and terrorist memorializing feature being repeated in the Tower of Voices portion of the memorial.

One example is the 38 Memorial Groves. (There were supposed to be 40.) By itself, it is merely suspicious that the arc of 38 groves can be seen as a set of 19 nested crescents: one for each 9/11 hijacker. But architect Paul Murdoch proves this terrorist memorializing intent by surrounding the Tower of Voices with a second set of 19 nested crescents. And on it goes. EVERYTHING gets repeated in the Tower of Voices, and the 93 foot tall Islamic sundial is itself a very precise structure that could NEVER occur by accident.

Patrick White wants to dodge all this by pretending that the controversy is about the initial jury decision, instead of the ensuing blindness to voluminous evidence of terrorist memorializing intent. No one exemplifies this willful blindness better than Patrick White himself.

Patrick White denies the Mecca orientation in public while admitting it in private

At the July 2007 Memorial Project meeting, a critic of the crescent design engaged Mr. White in private conversation, asking how he could be unconcerned about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. White’s reply was to suggest that this orientation cannot be seen as a tribute to Islam because the inexactness of it would be “disrespectful to Islam.” (The crescent points 1.8° north of Mecca, ±.1°.)

But this isn’t what White was telling the public. That same week, Patrick White told the press that all of the claims about Islamic symbolism had been thoroughly investigated and been found to be untrue and “preposterous.” In private, White was acknowledging the almost exact Mecca orientation of the crescent and making excuses for it, while issuing sweeping denials in public.

He is still doing the same thing. He KNOWS that the giant crescent points almost exactly to Mecca, yet claims that such “assumptions,” have been “repeatedly shown-to-be-false.” In fact, not a single factual claim about what is in the design has ever been rebutted. If the crescent did not point to Mecca, it would be trivially easy to demonstrate. This is a simple geometric claim. But all the Memorial Project has ever offered is unsupported denials, denials that they acknowledge in private to be FALSE.

Patrick White’s dishonest attack on Tom Burnett

The jury process is irrelevant. No one is criticizing it. The jurors bear no responsibility for hidden Islamic and terrorist-memorializing features that they knew nothing about when they chose the crescent design. If it were not for two ugly bits of misinformation, put forward by Patrick White in his effort to make the jury process the issue, there would be no reason to mention the jury process at all. Both of White’s falsehoods are aimed at discrediting Tom Burnett Sr.

1. In the Daily American article (half way down) White claims that Mr. Burnett: “gave his consent to support what the majority picked.”

Mr. Burnett was incensed in 2005 when the Memorial Project announced that the jurors had united behind the majority choice. Without ever consulting with Mr. Burnett, the Memorial Project wrote in their jury report that: “By consensus the Stage Two jury forwards this section of the Flight 93 memorial to the partner [Paul Murdoch] with the full and unqualified support of each juror.” Tom has been trying to correct the record ever since, and Patrick White OUGHT to know it.

2. White also claims that: “No one agreed then with Mr. Burnett’s preferred choice for a final design.”

“To the contrary” says Mr. Burnett, “the vote not unanimous; it was 9 to 6.” Five people were with Mr. Burnett in rejecting the crescent design. This on a jury made up of 8 design professionals and 7 family members. It could even be that a majority of family members opposed the Crescent of Embrace. Tom requested the vote tally in a formal letter to the Memorial Project which was never answered. Now Patrick White throws the vote tally in Tom’s face, and completely misrepresents it.

3. Bonus badness. White claims that: “Jurors gave all of Mr. Burnett’s concerns a complete airing.”

In fact, the design professionals on the jury tried to shut Mr. Burnett up. Tom Sokolowski, director of Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum called Mr. Burnett “asinine” just for noticing that the crescent is a traditional symbol of Islam. This overt hostility to Mr. Burnett’s concerns is not what most of us would call “a complete airing.”

So no, the jury process is not the issue here, but if it were, it couldn’t stand up to scrutiny either.

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Petition picking up steam

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World Net Daily has a very informative article today about our petition to investigate the Flight 93 memorial. It includes excerpts from Tom Burnett’s letter to the American people; it includes information about the fraudulent Park Service investigation (where an Islamic scholar said not to worry about the half mile wide Mecca oriented crescent because nobody has ever seen a mihrab anywhere near this BIG before); and it reviews the four specific complaints highlighted in the petition (the giant crescent, the Mecca orientation, the Islamic sundial and the 44 blocks).

Those last four links are to graphics that Tom Burnett is going to have on poster-boards when he addresses a Republican convention in Wisconsin at the end of the month. World Net Daily is looking to add video content these days so Tom is going to try to get video of his speech that we can edit down to five minutes of highlights for WND.

The first place we will be delivering the petitions is to the Memorial Project’s public meeting on May 3rd in Somerset PA. It looks like we are going to have quite a few signatures, both from the electronic petition (zooming towards 2000 already), and from the paper petitions (now circulating on the ground in PA).

At least one state legislator from Pennsylvania has signed the petition, and a Congressman has expressed interest in entering the whole thing into the congressional record. That would be a second Congressman coming out publicly against the memorial. (Tom Tancredo asked the Park Service last fall to scrap the crescent design entirely.)

Will any of the big radio radio voices wake up to the evidence that al Qaeda accepted our open invitation to the ENTIRE WORLD to enter our design competition? All they have to do is look at the FACTS.

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I did a 45 minute interview with Washington D.C talk-radio host Joe Ardinger Saturday night (3-8-08, Segment 3).

It rips. We exposed a lot of the terrorist memorializing parts of the Flight 93 Memorial, and went over the clear proofs of intent that architect Paul Murdoch included in the design.

Joe’s interests: “Ghosts, UFO’s, The Lizard People from The Hollow Earth, Politics, True Crime, Conspiracies, you get the idea…” If he wants outlandish, the truth about the Flight 93 Memorial is tops, which could just make Joe the man for the Job.

I know nothing about the Lizard People, or Joe’s politics, but this issue ought to transcend all domestic divides, and for Joe it certainly does. Very fun interview. Joe is a great host, and he says he wants to keep after this.

That’s excellent. Thank you Joemericans!

(If Joe’s 3-8-08 Segment 3 link ever disappears, there is a backup copy here.)

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It points to Mecca! Push it!

Flight 93 is the symbol of our woken vigilance. We are supposed to be alert now, to jihadist enemies that hide amongst us, pretending to be trustworthy friends.

Those charged with the memorialization of Flight 93 have instead embraced an anti-spirit of Flight 93, regarding vigilance as somehow beyond the pale even of contemplation.

Listen to the words of Clay Mankamyer, one of the founders of the Flight 93 Memorial Project, describing the Project’s reaction to warnings of Islamic symbolism in the Crescent of Embrace design. They asked the accused architect Paul Murdoch about it. They agreed with him that it was “too big a stretch” to think that he had conspired to intentionally include Islamic symbolism, and so they decided that: “we’re just not going to address the issue.” They made an up-front decision NOT to look at the facts.

Here is the audio (50 seconds) followed by a transcript:

Audio button, reel to reel
The controversy then arose. When I first heard it, it was a street preacher who had drawn attention to the similarities to the red crescent, and when you heard what he had to say about it, and looked at the design, there were without a doubt some striking similarities. He went to, I went to, Paul Murdoch and expressed some concern and wondered what they were going to do about it. Their decision was that, well, certainly everybody is going to see that any similarity is going to be just coincidental and it’s too big a stretch to think that anybody conspired to create anything but a memorial to the heroes who WON the battle that fateful morning, and so they decided that, ‘we’re just not going to address the issue.’

Mankamyer is not ideologically disposed to be politically correct. He is a conservative Christian patriot, speaking in this instance to a Christian Coalition meeting (recorded by Bill Steiner, with the knowledge and permission of those in attendance, 9-18-2007, Greensburg PA). What seems to be operating here is a generous spirit of goodwill, unwilling to believe anything bad about this architect they had all worked with and put their trust in.

Goodwill only towards the man accused of an enemy plot

The problem is that Mankamyer et al. failed to similarly give the benefit of the doubt to those who were issuing warnings about the design. If they had treated the critics as credible people too, they would have let the facts decide, and Murdoch’s dishonesty would have been quickly exposed.

When the controversy over the crescent name and shape first erupted, Murdoch denied that his giant crescent had the same shape as an Islamic crescent:

Theirs is a lunar crescent. Ours isn’t based on that.

Oh yeah? Zombie posted a “throbbing crescent” animation (no longer active) that showed otherwise, and Michelle Malkin broadcast it to the online masses. Here is a three panel re-creation:

Throbbing crescent 50%
“Throb on” shows the Tunisian crescent, matching the geometry of the Crescent of Embrace almost exactly: about 2/3rds of a circle of arc, with a circular inner arc. (Most definitely NOT a lunar crescent, which covers half a circle of arc and has an elliptical inner arc.) “Throb off” shows bare crescent site plan. (Click pic for larger image.)

All that people like Mankamyer had to do was actually look at what people were telling them and they would have known immediately that Murdoch was deceiving them. Instead, they explicitly decided that they were NOT going to look at the facts. They extended good will only to the man who was accused of perpetrating an enemy plot, while extending nothing but ill will towards his accusers.

“A shrine to Micky Mouse”

Mankamyer’s presentation includes some wrenching examples of just how willfully blind he and others have become as they continued down their chosen fact-free path. Listen to the crazy excuse he comes up with for not being concerned about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent (ten seconds):

Audio button, reel to reel
You see what we are up against though. I could come in here and say… I could draw a point from this window to that window, and it goes right to Orlando Florida and this is a shrine to Micky Mouse. [laughter]

This is clever? A Mecca-oriented crescent or arch shape is the central feature around which every mosque is built. A line across two windows does not orient anything, and the scumbags who hijacked Flight 93 did not pray to Micky Mouse five times a day.

Of course Mankamyer was intentionally offering the stupidest example he could concoct as a way of suggesting that it is just as stupid to be concerned about planting a giant Mecca-oriented crescent on the Flight 93 crash site. If he had said that directly everyone in the room would have been disgusted, so instead he made the most disingenuous comparison he could come up with.

This is what their spirit of goodwill has degenerated into: pure malignant bias.

They all know about the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent

Notice that Mankamyer does not deny the Mecca orientation of the giant crescent. This squares with what Flight 93 Advisory Commission member Tim Baird told Alec Rawls in July 2007: that everyone involved in the Memorial Project is fully aware that the giant crescent does in fact point within two degrees of Mecca. They all just have excuses for why they are not concerned about it.

“I won’t be concerned unless you can prove intent,” Baird said, “and it is impossible to prove intent.” i.e. Baird does not care what the facts are. There is absolutely nothing that could ever wake him up from his anti-vigilant slumber.

They all know that the public would never accept a giant Mecca oriented crescent on the crash site, regardless of whether it was intentional or not, so they lie about it. One project spokesman after another keeps declaring that factual claims like the Mecca orientation of the crescent are false and “preposterous.”

How long before one of these fine upstanding citizens recognizes that it is wrong to keep lying to the public about explosive information that they all know to be true?

Mankamyer says that he would like to see a Congressional investigation

The scenes are quite astounding. Clay Mankamyer, a conservative Christian, manages to get a Christian Coalition meeting laughing about the Mecca orientation of the Flight 93 crescent. How do you ever live that down?

You start by trying. In the question and answer part of the meeting, Bill Steiner asked for an independent investigation, and Mankmyer said he would join Bill in that (10 seconds):

Audio button, reel to reel
Bill Steiner: “The only concerns we have is that this design be fully vetted by a Congressional investigation before it goes any further.”

Bill talks over Mankamyer’s reply, but Mankamyer repeats himself enough to be heard: “And I would like … I would join you in that.”

If Mr. Mankamyer would insist publicly on a Congressional investigation, it would go a long ways. So would admitting to the public that he and others in the Project are aware of the factual accuracy of the Mecca-orientation claim.

Tom Burnett Sr. is asking everyone to help him get state and Congressional investigations started. It would certainly help if at least a few people from inside the Memorial Project would start telling the truth.

“I came into this world to be a witness for truth”

The heroes of Flight 93 did not obfuscate. They faced the harsh truth of their situation and acted as love required. Mankamyer understands that. He is a genuine patriot, who dedicated himself to the memorialization of Flight 93.

Somehow–apparently at the urging of architect Paul Murdoch–he let himself be guided by presumption, finding excuses to avoid unpleasant truths. (It was in talking to Murdoch that Mankamyer and others decided it was “too big a stretch to think anyone conspired” and they should therefore “not … address the issue.”)

Facing threat of death, Jesus told Pilate that he “came into the world to be a witness for truth” (Jn 18:37). This is his most fundamental instruction to his followers: trust in truth. Never EVER put presumption ahead of witness. For those who make this mistake, it is never to late to undo it.

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Where is the lizard army?

Pennsylvania is on fire. Tom Burnett’s color advertisement in the Somerset Daily American, asking the people of Somerset to protest the crescent memorial to Flight 93, raised a great deal of awareness. At least four television stations covered the controversy, and there were two news stories in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review alone.

Those who went on to read Alec Rawls’ more detailed advertisement (exposing the fraudulent Park Service investigation of the giant Mecca-oriented crescent) are burning mad, and are taking up Tom Sr.’s call for state and Congressional investigations. Word is that two Pennsylvania state representatives, one Democrat and one Republican, are hot enough to co-sponsor a resolution initiating a state investigation.

That is a long way from actually getting an investigation. The hurdles are still huge, and it would sure be a big help if the high traffic conservative bloggers were pitching in. Charles Johnson and Michelle Malkin played a critical role in raising the initial alarm when the Crescent of Embrace design was unveiled in September 2005. Both also helped to expose the phony redesign, which leaves every particle of the original design completely intact.

But since 2006, nothing. For two years, as the revelations about the Memorial Project have become ever more explosive, the fire-hoses have ignored what will undoubtedly become one of the biggest scandals in American history.

This is a difficult story for our high traffic bloggers. With Flight 93 family members on both sides, no one can weigh in without checking the facts, and our high traffic bloggers are all stretched too thin to check the facts. Charles Johnson only has two eyes and two ears. No one can say he ought to do anything, when there is no way he ought to even be able to do a quarter of what he does.

Johnson’s lizard army, on the other hand, has thousands of eyes and thousands of ears. The question is whether this sensory system is connected to the lizard brain. Is there any trickle-up at LGF?

To try to establish this trickle-up connection, Charles recently installed a new link-rating system at the top of his main page. Let’s see if we can get it to work! Come on lizards. Time to rejoin the fight. Please take the links to the two advertisements that are now setting Pennsylvania on fire and see if you can rally your fellow lizards to push these links up into the collective consciousness of the lizard army.

Over the next two weeks, these ads will continue to be published in the free weeklies for the cities of Somerset and Johnstown. We are putting tinder to the first licks of flame, and maybe even have a couple of sticks in the fire, but we are still a long way from an established blaze, never mind the bonfire of awareness, and the firestorm of awareness, that it will take to stop Murdoch’s plot.

We need lizard help to stop architect Paul Murdoch from stabbing a terrorist memorial mosque into the heartland of America! (That’s what a Mecca-oriented crescent is: the central feature of a mosque.)

This is YOUR story lizards

It was five lizards who discovered, almost immediately after the Crescent of Embrace was unveiled, that the nearly one mile wide crescent points almost exactly to Mecca (kifaya, khamr, Edgren, bluemerle, and Etaoin).

Etaoin Shrdlu's graphic 60%

Etaoin Shrdlu’s Mecca orientation graphic, posted by Ace of Spades September 11, 2005 (three days after the crescent design was unveiled).

Charles stayed with the fight until July 2006, when he rallied the lizards to participate in the Park Service’s open comment period.

Then he and Michelle and all the other high traffic bloggers disappeared.

No links when Tom Burnett Sr. publicly protested the memorial by refusing to allow Tom Jr.’s name to be inscribed on one of those 44 glass blocks on the flight path (matching the number of passengers, crew AND terrorists).No links when the crescent design was discovered to memorialize, not just the 4 hijackers of Flight 93, but also the full complement of 19 9/11 terrorists. (There are two sets of 19 nested crescents in the crescent design.)

No links when Tom Sr. and Alec Rawls protested the crescent and star flag configuration of the memorial on national television.

No links when an academic fraud told the Park Service not to worry about the similarity between the giant Mecca oriented crescent and the Mecca oriented mihrab around which every mosque is built because there has never been a mihrab anywhere near this BIG before.

No links when Congressman and presidential candidate Tom Tancredo called in November 2007 for the Park Service to scrap the crescent design entirely.

The usual difficulty for the blogosphere is to get the mainstream media to cover our discoveries. This has been inverted for the memorial story. Dozens of mainstream news stories have been written about the controversy, none of which were ever linked by any high traffic conservative bloggers. All the weight has been carried by a creditable collection of small and mid-traffic bloggers, starting with our three dozen blogburst participants.

The blogosphere has an Achilles heel. A controversial story that requires fact checking gets skipped over by our high traffic link-editors. Charles Johnson’s addition of a decentralized link-editing utility might be able to overcome this weakness, but it won’t happen automatically. For this tool to work, the lizard army has to step up and make it work.

To join our blogbursts, email Cao (caoilfhionn1 at gmail dot com) with your blog’s url.

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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:

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:

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:


[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:

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.

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