SPONSOR: Renee Ellmers for Congress
AUDIO: The ad opens with scary music and the deep voice of a narrator saying: "After the muslims conquered Jerusalem, and Cordoba, and Constantinople, they built victory mosques. And now they want to build a mosque by Ground Zero."
After the narrator accuses Rep. Bob Etheridge of "not taking a stand" on the proposed building in New York, Ellmers appears on the screen.
"The terrorists haven't won, and we should tell them in plain English, 'No, there will never be a mosque at Ground Zero,'" Ellmers says.
IMAGES: The screen shows a series of paintings of rampaging Muslims from the fall of Jerusalem in 638 A.D., Cordoba in Spain in 711 A.D. and then Constantinople in 1454, followed by photos of the Dome of the Rock, the "Cordoba Mosque" and the Hagia Sophia.
WHAT THE RECORD SHOWS
None of the buildings shown in Ellmers' ad were built to celebrate Muslim victories.
The Dome of the Rock, located on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, was erected between 689 and 691 — 50 years after Muslims captured the city. It was built not as a mosque, but as a shrine for pilgrims to the site where Muslims believe the Prophet Muhammad rose to the heavens to receive a message from God.
The Temple Mount was also the site of the second Hebrew Temple, the holiest site in Judaism, which was destroyed by the Romans 500 years earlier. In 1099, when Christian Crusaders conquered Jerusalem, the Dome was converted to a church and then a palace.
In Cordoba, the building shown in the ad was built as a Christian church in 600 A.D. and later remodeled and converted into a mosque in 784 — 73 years after Muslim Moors conquered the city. In 1236, after a Christian king conquered the city, the building was converted back to a church. Today it is known as the Cathedral of Cordoba.
The Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was built between 532 and 537 A.D. by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian as a Orothdox Christian basilica. That's 917 years before Muslims conquered the city then known as Constantinople in 1454. The Hagia Sophia, which in Greek means "holy wisdom," was then converted to a mosque and added four minarets at the corners of the building.
The proposed Park51 project in Lower Manhattan is not "at Ground Zero," but on Park Place, a street two blocks north of the World Trade Center site. It is also not a mosque, but a planned community center to include a restaurant, fitness center, basketball court, swimming pool and child care center, along with what its developers are calling a "prayer room."
IS THE AD ACCURATE?
The ad contains both factual errors and historical inaccuracies.
UPDATE: Post updated to correctly identify the third mosque as the Hagia Sophia.