Monday, August 30, 2010

The triumph of hate: the US plunges further into the Dark Ages

”There’s nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.” –Tom Smothers

There’s was a lot of optimism that the inauguration of a not completely regressive (in rhetoric at least) president and administration might reverse the Dark Ages the United States has been in for most of this decade. Sadly, it’s seemed to embolden bigots and other retrograde forces.

It’s clear that Muslims are welcome to build a mosque and community center ANYWHERE* in this great and free land of America.

(*-This offer is not valid in the lower 48 states, Hawaii or Alaska)

Opposition to the fraudulently named* Mosque at Ground Zero was supposedly motivated only by (hold hand over heart) the fact that it was “too close” to Ground Zero... without ever quite specifying what distance away from Ground Zero would be tolerable.

(*-The community center would not be at Ground Zero. And the multistory building would have a mosque but only as one of many components. Calling the whole project a mosque is like referring to a YMCA as a swimming pool)

Subsequent events have laid bare the real agenda of these people.

Some news items you may have missed...

-Bigots torched the site of a proposed Islamic community center in Tennessee... this was after NPR reported on the controversy. The chief opponent of the TN mosque proudly displayed his ignorance by declaring, “We're Christians and this religion represents people that are against Christians.”

-The New York Times reported on opposition to similar Islamic community center projects in places as diverse as Florida, Tennessee and southern California. Apparently, San Bernadino, CA, is also “too close” to Ground Zero.

-Former House speaker Newt Gingrich recently compared supporters of the “Ground Zero Mosque” to Nazis.

-The Associated Press quoted the vile Gingrich as again fanning the flames of hatred with his comment that “America is experiencing an Islamist cultural-political offensive designed to undermine and destroy our civilization.” The AP also reported that Days ago, a brick nearly smashed a window at the Madera Islamic Center in central California, where signs were left behind that read, "Wake up America, the enemy is here," and "No temple for the god of terrorism." This past week in New York, a Muslim cab driver had his face and throat slashed in a suspected hate crime.

-Because of his refusal to fan anti-Islamic hatred (and perhaps his failure to invade any Islamic countries), an increasing number of Americans now believe the falsehood that President Obama is a Muslim. It’s not just that 20 percent of the entire nation’s population believe this lie, but that most would view this lie, if true, as an evil, horrible state of affairs.

The overwhelming majority of Muslims in America are peaceful, law abiding. They are respectful of the communities they live in. They serve on school boards and coach youth sports and serve in the armed forces of the United States. They consciously chose to live in a secular republic with a secular Constitution, rather than in a theocracy. They chose to live in America because they felt it had some appeal, not because, as the despicable Gingrich suggests, they want to undermine.

It’s clear that the far right and forces of Christian extremism are hell bent in alienating moderate Muslims, in pushing them into the extremist camp, solely to advance their own political ambitions. This is truly sickening and disgusting. It is against everything the Real America (if not Sarah Palin’s America) is supposed to stand for. This is not what my country is about. These divisive hatemongers ought to read the Pledge of Allegiance. “...indivisible, with liberty and justice for ALL.”

It’s quite clear that the domestic forces of darkness and hatred and bigotry are a far greater threat to American values and civilization than some Muslim version of the YMCA.

1 comment:

semi234 said...

Jon Stewart had a really interesting critique of that coverage. Fox (as expected) gave much press about the funding but convientantly kept their mouths shut about the name, some Saudi Prince who is the number 2 shareholder at Murdoch's NewsCorps.