Wednesday, September 14, 2005

CRESCENTS, MEMORIALS

Apropos of the controversy over the design of the Flight 93 memorial, here's some background on the crescent's significance in Islam:
The city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) adopted the crescent moon symbol. According to some reports, they chose it in honor of the goddess Diana. Others indicate that it dates back to a battle in which the Romans defeated the Goths on the first day of a lunar month. In any event, the crescent moon was featured on the city's flag even before the birth of Christ.

It wasn't until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city's existing flag and symbol. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty.

[snip]

Based on this history, many Muslims reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam has historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept what is essentially an ancient pagan icon. It is certainly not in uniform use among Muslims.

Something tells me that, even if they were made aware of the tangential relationship between the crescent symbol and Islam, Michelle Malkin and the rest of the wingnut choir could quickly dig up some righteous hatred of the people of ancient Byzantium.

There was much controversy over Maya Lin's design for the Vietnam Memorial, and for many of the same reasons has people are barking over the Flight 93 design: it was defeatist, it was depressing, it didn't feature a huge, gold 50-headed eagle with 40-foot wings, breathing fire and devouring its enemies and farting cruise missiles, clutching the entrails of Communism in one claw and laying down a covering fire with an M-60 (that actually sparked and smoked!) in the other. Today Lin's design is generally recognized as an appropriate, powerful, and effective remembrance of that war and those Americans it killed. A major difference, as was noted in regards to the Manhattan 9/11 memorial, is that we were almost a decade out of that war when the Vietnam Wall was built, and now we're proposing to commemorate events while still midst of the conflict that those events opened.

As for Michelle Malkin:
This is no way to fight a war. Or to remember those who have died fighting it.

A proper war memorial stirs to anger and action.

I think she's confused. She doesn't want a memorial, she wants a Nuremburg rally.*

*Just to let you know, Junkyard Blog Godwinned first.

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