When prayer space is really occupied territory.
By DAVID SOLWAY
A little while back, leaving the local “swimming hole” frequented by residents and summer tourists, I noticed a large group of dark-clad visitors sitting in a circle and solemnly keeping what appeared to be a meditative vigil. They had occupied a considerable space where others would normally pass on their way to one of the promontories leading to the river. They were obviously Muslims, probably an extended family, conspicuously observing the traditions of their native culture and, oblivious to their surroundings and the people who had to detour by an arduous route around them, preparing no doubt to face the Qiblah (direction to Mecca) and to devote themselves to prayer.
Just the other day, I had a similar experience. Since there are no facilities at the beach, swimmers often change out of their bathing suits into street clothes beside their cars, shielded by towels held by friends and intimates or strung between the open doors of their vehicles, an operation conducted in an atmosphere of courtesy defined by a mutual and studied disregard. I was assisting my wife in this delicate maneuver when three Muslim men emerged from the trail giving onto the parking lot. Soon they were trying to stare over and between the towels, mesmerized by the partially hidden lure of a woman in semi-undress. My wife had to enter the car and slide low into the front seat while I glared indignantly at the intruders. Then, as I was about to confront them — the odds were not in my favor, but so be it — they moved aside and, after a few moments, spread carpets on the grass margin a few yards away and ritually prostrated themselves in prayer — close enough that I had to be careful when backing the car out.
It was not violence, but it was a violation, a transgression of the norm, remarked by several others in the parking lot who were struck by so blatant an infringement of both common decency and shared space….
…Anyone with a modicum of perceptiveness must be cognizant by now that Islam is advancing its millennial agenda in two ways, that is, via a classic pincer movement: the tactic of terrorism, and the strategy of immigration as elaborated by the Muslim Brotherhood, the latter project an immensely powerful force owing to its stealthy and insidious nature, abetted by leftist and liberal sympathies and policies. By this time its cover should have been blown, and we must begin to speak out, to agitate for legislation to revise our immigration protocols, to reject outright the social camouflage of political correctness, to expose “outreach” and “interfaith” programs for the confidence games they are, to investigate the hotbed mosques spreading like bunkers throughout the land, and to lobby our congressional and parliamentary representatives to pass laws militating against the depletion of our welfare resources, the exploitation of our legal system to silence critics of Islam (known as “lawfare”), and the use of our human rights tribunals that deprive us of our…human rights.
It is obviously an uphill battle, not less because our politicians and political parties, themselves responsible for the immigration debacle, are deliberately trawling for votes among the burgeoning Muslim enclaves and boroughs. Yet it is equally obvious that failing such a reformation — or revolution — in our concessionary attitudes, the result will be that what we once took for granted as a social habitus founded on mutual recognition and a civic arena accessible to all will shrink to an uneasy and perhaps soon intolerable confinement in our own domain.
There is no longer any excuse for apathy, distraction or ignorance, for the evidence of our approaching dispossession is all around us. It is equally an affront and a tragedy to find ourselves colonized in our own land. To paraphrase the prophet Ezekiel (33: 2-6), those who hear the sound of the warning trumpet and do not take the warning, their blood shall be upon them. Regrettably, far too many of us still cannot or do not or will not hear the trumpet.