The Conspiracy: Critics of the memorial planned for those killed when Islamist hijackers crashed United Flight 93 say its signature "Field of Honor" resembles an Islamic crescent, and that the entire site points to Mecca. Opponents of the design, including Alec Rawls, the father one of the crash victims, are placing a full-page ad in a local newspaper on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, calling the memorial planned in the Pennsylvania field where Flight 93 went down an "obvious tribute to the terrorists." The National Park Service, which constructed the memorial, calls the critics "conspiracy theorists" and says it has changed the plan for the memorial by removing anything that might be considered an Islamic symbol.
The Reaction: "Here we go again," says Jim Newell at Gawker. This complaint isn't new — "it was raised five years ago, has popped up occasionally ever since, and is finding new life during the 2010 War on Mosques." The Ground Zero mosque debate just proved that some people are more interested in coddling Muslims than honoring the Americans killed by Islamist terrorists on 9/11, says Alan Keyes at WorldNetDaily. Whether intentional or not, the memorial was designed in the shape of a Muslim symbol, the crescent. Pointing that out isn't paranoid — it's an attempt to restore "America's self-respect."