Tom Burnett’s father asks for son’s name to be removed from “Islamic” Flight 93 memorial

posted at 10:40 am on August 20, 2007 by Allahpundit

Remember this? After the initial blog furor, the designer closed up the crescent a bit (but not entirely) to make it into what they now call “the Bowl.” Most of us let it go at that point, but … not everyone. Follow the link and just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling, just keep scrolling. As I said when I wrote about this last year: if you need a protractor to properly express your outrage, you’ve probably gone too far.

Tom Burnett’s father evidently disagrees:

“It’s something I’d rather not do, but I can’t get anyone to listen,” said Tom Burnett Sr., of Northfield, Minn. “In a sense, I’m asking for a call to action.”

Mr. Burnett, who served on the Stage II jury that picked the winning design originally named “Crescent of Embrace,” said that he raised his concerns about using a crescent-shaped grouping of red maple trees around the crash site then.

“It’s almost as though it’s intentional,” he said. “This design should not invoke any Islamic impression of any sort.”…

[Memorial superintendent Joanne] Hanley said she wants to be respectful to the Burnett family and his next of kin, but she continued, the design, including all 40 names, was approved by the families and the Department of the Interior, and that is the design that will be built.

Follow the link for a bullet-point list of some of the, um, more “lucid” claims about the memorial’s alleged Islamic pedigree. Exit question: Isn’t this really Deena Burnett‘s call?

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This controversy is obviously an in your face taunt for non-Christians having to endure and endure and endure TWO frakken THOUSAND YEARS of religious symbolism STUFFED DOWN THEIR THROATS !!!

Of course in’s not an “Islamist” conspiracy. It’s just a “How Does It FEEL suka” conspiracy.

boris on August 20, 2007 at 3:44 PM

mjk on August 20, 2007 at 12:03 PM: “It’s probably something akin to a swastika being used in a Holocaust memorial.”

I agree.

Keep in mind that swastikas are used as grave decorations by a host of Eastern religions (Hinduism, Bubbhism, Jainism). One could plausibly claim that using using a swastika to mark a Holocaust memorial is not meant to be offensive.

Still it would in incredibly bad taste to use swastikas in Holocaust memorial.

It would almost be as offensive as using Islamic symbolism in a 9/11 memorial.

Mike Honcho on August 20, 2007 at 3:56 PM

for god’s sake don’t fall into the same trap as Franklin Foer.

doriangrey on August 20, 2007 at 1:00PM

This is about the stupidest thing I have ever read on here. How is AP’s rightful skepticism about a conspiracy to create an Islamic 9/11 memorial even remotely applicable to the TNR/Beauchamp situation? I guess you torch-wielding bible-thumpers are such suckers you will believe ANYTHING!

The Sinner on August 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

torch-wielding bible-thumpers are such suckers

See? Told ya. Not Islamist, it’s a big ass finger poke in your Xtian Eye right down to the “sucker” part.

boris on August 20, 2007 at 4:29 PM

I have no opinion on the Cresent thing, but AP did seem a bit condescending with the Truther comment.

BTW, can we please use words in their proper contexts? “Rascist” “terrorist” “Truther” “jihadist” “fascist” etc should only be used to describe the real thing, and not shoe-horned as emotional weights to somewhat or completely unrelated topics. If a Truther is someone who pours over site design details looking for Islamic influences, instead of someone who think the governement purposefully killed 3000 people and then covered it up the face of clear evidence to the contrary, then the word means nothing. Just like “rascist” loses its meaning if it is applied to people who don’t want amnesty for illegal aliens, or “fascism” if it is used to decribe the Patriot Act.

Clark1 on August 20, 2007 at 4:55 PM

“Crescent of Embrace” should have been roundfiled day one; that it wasn’t has always seemed almost fantastical.

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:08 PM

Wait a minute, I thought the term “truther” described a person who believes Bush/Rove/Cheney/The Jews blew up the WTC.

Is the term now being extended to include those who look at a crescent and see … a crescent?!

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:12 PM

Imagine someone submitting a plan for a Holocaust Memorial entitled “Swastika of Embrace.” And suppose the design was dominated by the shape of a swastika. Such a plan would be rejected from the start. Why the “Crescent of Embrace” has gotten this far is almost unfathomable.

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:19 PM

So zane and I are the only ones who think this is a tad overblown?

Oh well.

Allahpundit on August 20, 2007 at 11:39 AM

One does not have to agree with all or most of the claims on the “errortheory” site to be outraged at the mere fact the proposed memorial is built on a crescent design at all.

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:27 PM

I guess we were overdue for a Truth movement on the right. Enjoy!

Allahpundit on August 20, 2007 at 11:48 AM

Rolling those with whom you disagree on this point with full-on Loosechangers. Sweet, Allah. =)

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:30 PM

And then explain to me why Tom Burnett’s father is the only family member objecting to the memorial notwithstanding the two-year campaign to “prove” to them that it’s actually an Islamist trojan horse.

I don’t think most of us who vehemently object to a crescent at a 9/11 memorial think that an Islamist cabal is afoot; we just think a crescent at a 9/11 memorial is about as screamingly stupid as a swastika at a Holocaust memorial would be.

clark smith on August 20, 2007 at 5:42 PM

The Sinner on August 20, 2007 at 4:01 PM

How is AP’s rightful skepticism about a conspiracy to create an Islamic 9/11 memorial even remotely applicable to the TNR/Beauchamp situation?

Rational thought is lost on you I see, Franklin Foer is in the midst of pretending that something highly offensive isn’t offensive at all and just an attack on liberal values by rabid conservatives, a situation paralleled by AP’s insistences that only rabid Christians could possibly see a crescent memorial as an obvious insult to those remembering the sacrifice made by those brave and historic souls aboard flight 93.

Islamic followers of radical Islam made an undeniable attack on what they perceived as Christian America.

They attacked America because of its refusal to submit to Islam and it’s support of Israel and no other reasons. To perceive this as any other reason for attack is to inflict oneself with blindness and self delusion.

Now before AP or anyone else gets their panties in a wad again let me be perfectly clear, I respect AP and enjoy his work here. In no way shape or form should my critic of his work be misconstrued as a call for his censesure or dismissal. I just believe that he is being insensitive, and a bit strong headed.

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 20, 2007 at 1:22 PM

Hehe Inverse the quoted parts of my comment and it makes more sense. Sorry.

I think there are an infinite number of things that exist that we can’t explain.

Believing in “God” is not an explanation. It is a yearning for ignorance.

There is little chance of me going Dhimmicrat. I believe their delusions are even scarier than yours.

However you are willing to insist that you know something that there is in fact no possible way that you could know. To declare that you know for a fact that there is no God is to claim that you have all knowledge.

You have decided to disregard any insight or personal observations which I might had made that you were not personally privy to. Hence saying that any none empirical evidence that I might bring to the discussion are invalid.

You personally take offense to the notion that any individual other than one that shares your beliefs could possibly be equal in intelligence to you or have substantial reason for their beliefs.

I personally find this stance not merely offensive but arrogant and condescending, you on the other hand find it to be perfectly reasonable. Now while I recognize the lack in merit of my next statement, and accept that you will no more accept it as factual than my belief in God I tell you straight up as an individual with an tested IQ 5 standard deviation points above normal your argument falls far short of logical.

I dare say that neither your nor my level of intelligence falls anywhere approaching that of Newton’s, who even the most ignorant of history would find to have believed in the existence of god.

No this is not an appeal to authority fallacy, It is simply an incontrovertible statement of fact, intelligence or the lack thereof is not incontrovertible evidence of things not seen.

Your capacity for what you believe to be logical reasoning or any apparent lack of evidence is not proof of any lack of evidence. All it represents is an apparent lack of what for you is acceptable evidence.

Oh, and please do not misconstrue my belief in god as any form of animosity or hostility towards those who because of what they perceive as a lack of evidence to not believe in his existence.

I am perfectly comfortable with your not believing, your none belief in something that you do not perceive to have been proven is in all reality no different than my belief, it is a matter of faith, you believe by faith that the failure of evidence to prove his existence is in fact evidence that he does not exist.

I sincerely hope that I do not need to bring to your attention the proof of a negative logic fallacy that invokes.

Let me leave it at this, you do not believe, I do, positive negative…

doriangrey on August 20, 2007 at 6:00 PM

Add a crossing hammer and you have a retro Commie and Islamic memorial all in one.

Anything to desecrate the memory of the first successful fighters in this War Against Islamofascism (and to appease the depraved enemy) seems to be the park services’ not-so-subliminal message.

I suggest that it be destroyed if it is made in this absurd, insulting and demented form.

profitsbeard on August 20, 2007 at 6:46 PM

You guys are really holding onto this corrupt swastika/holocaust analogy aren’t you? A crescent is just a crescent, to let an entire religion hold ownership over a certain geometric shape is pathetic. If you look at picture of the site it even makes sense–the circle ends at the spot where the plane crashed giving it the appearance of a crescent.

It’s also amusing the see the amount of name-calling going on by people who would otherwise agree with each other. On this blog I’m constantly ridiculed or accused of agreeing with the terrorists, and then to see the same people accuse AP of the same thing really puts the shoe on the other foot. You literally can’t get an opinion in edgewise without the mob raining hellfire down on you akin to accusing you of committing treason.

Nonfactor on August 20, 2007 at 7:12 PM

Nonfactor: I’ve seen your blog. You do nothing but insult people. If they try to defend themselves or even mildly disagree with you, you delete their comments and ban them. What an obnoxious hypocrite you are.

Blake on August 20, 2007 at 7:37 PM

Nonfactor, when that geometric shape is associated with a religion followed by terrorists with whom we are at war, then it is not just a geometric shape.

If a square had been associated with Genghis Khan, I daresay it would have little emotional impact today. We are, however, talking about current events and the association is today and not hundreds of years ago.

Take a look at the flag of the Arab League and the flags of its members. Look at a few other Islamic countries: here and here. The crescent is associated with Islam.

INC on August 20, 2007 at 7:51 PM

So zane and I are the only ones who think this is a tad overblown?

Oh well.

Allahpundit on August 20, 2007 at 11:39 AM

I agree it is a little overblown. Of course having me agree with someone is akin to them getting stuck next to the big fat stinky guy on a long bus trip with no A/C!

Bradky on August 20, 2007 at 8:18 PM

Pretty late entry in an awfully long post, but for what it’s worth:

1. I think we ought to ratchet down the invective here. It’s an emotional issue, but we DO have a preview button now. Nobody here is being interviewed live on camera, in the heat of passion. Take a deep breath and think of ways to say what you mean without calling our host a prick, or telling people of faith they’re all knuckle-dragging retards who believe in sky gods. Let’s not turn this place into Daily Kos… there’s one too many of them already.

2. I suspect the original thinking behind the “Crescent of Embrace” was less a matter of sinister Wahhabist influence or weak-kneed dhimmitude, than a mushy multi-cultural sense that a crescent of love would represent some kind of universal atonement from the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims, a great big hug made of red trees. You know, the kind of expression that is conspicuously lacking from actual “moderate Muslims”. Along with the memorial stones for the hijackers, it was meant as an expression of overwhelming multicultural buy-the-world-a-Coke-and-teach-them-to-sing-in-perfect-harmony liberalism, not Islamist triumphalism or submission (although one could argue the latter will be the inevitable result of the designers’ philosophy, it’s not what they were shooting for.) I think the idea the Crescent shape was chosen in innocent ignorance is roughly as absurd as the idea it was dictated to the park service by agents of al-Qaeda.

3. Comparing those who perceive sinister motives behind the Crescent to Troofers was harsh and uncalled-for, although it did get the old comment pot boiling. I’d say this much for the analogy to Trutherism: the right cannot afford to sink its emotional and intellectual energy into an unwinnable battle over a memorial, that will make it seem as conspiracy-obsessed and deluded as the Left. Besides it being a bad idea on its face, it’s something the media will use to beat us like a drum. You may rest assured that the press will not cheerfully apply the soap and disinfectant to us that they’ve been slathering Kos with.

Doctor Zero on August 20, 2007 at 8:30 PM

You literally can’t get an opinion in edgewise without the mob raining hellfire down on you akin to accusing you of committing treason.

Nonfactor on August 20, 2007 at 7:12 PM

Good points — and an example of why the Republicans seem bent on ensuring they don’t win the WH next year.

Bradky on August 20, 2007 at 8:30 PM

I find it disturbing that AP would talk about “being cast out” and joining the democrats. More to the point, why would you, AP, vote democrat unless you sympathize with their politics in some way? And what does switching to democrat have to do with what people here may think of you?

How can a person be cast out of their political views? Political views are not the property of some social club with a revokable membership. No one can take away your conservative political stripes, unless, of course, you are insinuating yourself, as others have, that you don’t really have conservative stripes, and this conservative blogging job is just a gig and you are just waiting to be “cast out”.

Something doesn’t smell right.

jihadwatcher on August 20, 2007 at 8:35 PM

Something doesn’t smell right.

jihadwatcher on August 20, 2007 at 8:35 PM

Quick! Duck! The UN helicopters are approaching!

Bradky on August 20, 2007 at 8:39 PM

So why is it when someone on the left is offended by something the world must change but, when we (someone on the right or a christian) is offended we should just deal with it?

For them to use that particular shape is not nessecarily a conspiracy but, it does really lack common sense. Come on, it is the symbol of those who murdered the folks on not only that flight but thousands more on that dreaded day. Why would they not think people might be offended?

boomer on August 20, 2007 at 8:50 PM


Give me some evidence of intent, then.

I can’t give this evidence. But I can provide my own experience.

I went out to Shanksville for the unveiling of the second design. It’s about 90 minutes from my home.

They had poster after poster of information, personnel on hand, and a 3D model of the proposed site. It was a real production like you would see at a trade show. Not the usual small town presentation.

The 3D model disturbed me. The crescent was still there, but they had the surrounding foliage colored in fall colors. Mostly red with some bright orange and yellow. They camouflaged the red crescent to make it more palatable.

Also, one of the people stationed there was not very complimentary to Eric Rowles. I don’t remember what she said but it looked to me like they stacked the deck.

I posted my comments and left before I acted completely out of character – I was close to splitting my shirt and turning green.

I still have the digital photos around here somewhere.

jtdavies on August 20, 2007 at 9:24 PM

Instead of Eric Rowles read Alec Rawls

Even with preview I’m a moron.

jtdavies on August 20, 2007 at 9:30 PM

doriangrey on August 20, 2007 at 6:00 PM

well done. 147 here.

Einstein died still trying to find the theory of everything, of God. IMO he trumps even Newton, but they both are believers.

shooter on August 20, 2007 at 10:13 PM

jihadwatcher on August 20, 2007 at 8:35 PM

In all fairness, that was me, not the big A.

JayHaw Phrenzie on August 20, 2007 at 10:32 PM


You don’t need a protractor to think that a crescent and tower are inappropriate symbols for a 9/11 memorial.

The intentions of the designers are irrelevant. When a memorial is, by definition, an exercise in symbolism, it seems rather perverse to insist on denying that there are symbolic implications in the choice at issue here.

JM Hanes on August 21, 2007 at 1:27 AM

Let’s just scrap the memorial all together and just build a damn mosque! Why be so subtle about it? Good grief!

sabbott on August 21, 2007 at 8:06 AM

I have a question. Why is it ok for you to question and make fun of my faith (Christianity) but I never see any of you guys taking shots at any other faiths? Thought so! And for those of you that think we are all uneducated rubes…you really should become better students of history and science! Go back and find out what you are talking about and I think you might be surprised at some of the “simpletons” who were actually Christians. Of course you must actually become students yourself rather than just accepting liberal ideology…

sabbott on August 21, 2007 at 8:15 AM