I saw a really interesting video at Jihad Watch. It is about the building of a mosque at the site of the super-important Battle of Tours, 25 October 732, where Charles “the Hammer” Martel routed the Islamic invaders.
A mosque at the site of the Battle of Tour.
In the video, head of the project (I assume) talks about it also as a cultural center. That’s when a loud gong went off in my head.
Some years ago I wrote a post about these “cultural centers” and the ribat. HERE
That post was about the effort to build a mosque at Ground Zero in NYC, where the Twin Towers fell.
In that previous post, I link to commentary by Amir Taheri. He described the situation of the NYC mosque from the point of view of Islam. To wit:
Should there be a mosque near Ground Zero? In fact, what is pro posed is not a mosque — nor even an “Islamic cultural center.”
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.
Other Islamic structures, such as harams, zawiyyahs, husseinyiahs and takiyahs, also obey strict architectural rules. Yet the building used for spreading the faith is known as Dar al-Tabligh, or House of Proselytizing.
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.
I think that is what is going on with this building at the site of the Battle of Tours.
Sts. Nunilo and Alodia, pray for us.