TBogg comment identified in the Memorial Project's August 2007 White Paper as having been written by Dr. Kevin Jaques, a sholar of Islam at the University of Indiana.

Note on Jaques TBogg comment: For most of 2007, the original TBogg comment thread was not available, but TBogg now has it reposted, with one glaring omission: Dr. Jaques comment (at the end of the original thread) has been removed.

If you want to see what TBogg is  posting now, the url for his 2006 "Lunacy abounds" post is http://tbogg.blogspot.com/2006/01/lunacy-abounds-nuts.html

For posterity, here are copies of the original comment thread, with Dr. Jaques comment intact, and the TBogg repost, as of 12/3/2007.

A full discussion of what TBogg properly calls "the infamous comment thread" can be found in Chapter Eight of my Crescent of Betrayal book (download three, pp 131et. seq.).

I also have a couple of blog posts about TBogg's deletion of Jaques' comment from the "infamous" comment thread. This was very bad behavior on TBogg's part. If it were not for Jaques' indiscretion, posting his full assessment of my report in the TBogg comment thread, his very revealing full report would never have seen the light of day. TBogg tried to cover up this discretion, and he was dishonest with his readers about it.


Kevin Jaques original TBogg comment, posted in late March or early April 2006. (TBogg comments are not dated. See Crescent of Betrayal, download 3, p. 140 et. seq., for this timing, and its significance in the Memorial story. The TBogg saga begins on p. 131. My last blog post about about the Jaques' comment, and TBogg's removal of it, here.)

Rawls has a fundamental flaw in his reasoning, namely: just because something is "similar to" something else, does not make it the "same." I doubt that anything I, or any except in Islamic architecture or mosque
design, could say would satisfy him. A typical example of this is
where he gives the shapes of two maple trees and says that because
the shape is vaguely similar to the space created by an arch, they are the same thing. He then shows a single evergreen and says that because the shape is similar to a pointed arch, it is the same thing.

The biggest hole in his argument is that all of the elements he points to are common architectural features that one would find in a church or
synagogue. The mihrab originated in pre-Islamic buildings and can be found in temples, churches, and synagogues around the Mediterranean.

1. Muslims did not invent the arch, the pillar, the sundial, or any of the features he points to. The earliest mihrabs were just blocks that indicated the direction of prayer.
• Many Synagogues have niches that point in the direction of Jerusalem (which, I think, would be roughly the same as the qibla from that point in Pennsylvania).
• Virtually every Christian cathedral structure has a nave that could be said to be similar to the crescent shape of the design. Every cathedral has arches, spires, porticoes, and many have water elements.
2. Secondly, mihrabs (although not universally found in all mosques) take many forms not just the semi-circular shape. Many, if not most mihrabs are flat and inset, evoking a door. It is meant to symbolically indicate a boundary between the sacred and the profane world.
3. 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. (A goat and a lion are similar in many respects but no one would confuse the two.)
4. Finally, there is no relation (in Islam) between the mihrab and the crescent moon and star that is a symbol of the festival of breaking the fast of Ramadan. They are two separate and mutually exclusive symbolic phenomena.

Rawls sees a mosque because he wants to see it. This is the power of symbols. A symbol, generates powerful
"moods and motivations" that are culturally entrenched and interpreted (see Clifford Geertz, “Religion as a Cultural System,” in The Interpretation of Culture [Chicago: Basic Books, 1973], 90). These symbols have vastly different meanings epending on where one stands, the ideas that form an individual's worldview, and the aspirations one has for themselves and their communities. If one wants to interpret the structural elements of the design as symbolically referring to a mosque (and for Rawls, therefore, a symbol
of evil) then there is no arguing against that interpretation. If one wants to interpret those very same elements as symbolically referring to a church or to nature then that is how you will interpret it. According
to Geertz, the more central the symbol becomes to the culture or
sub-culture of the interpreter, the more powerful the moods and
motivations become.

# posted by Anonymous : 11:32 AM


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