Monday, August 16, 2010

Many Americans Prefer Bigotry Against Muslim Americans over Reason, Equal Rights & Fairness For All ???

The issue began over the appropriateness of building a Mosque close to 9/11 Ground Zero and is quickly becoming a national debate over the rights and freedoms of Muslim Americans. Newt Gingrich and others are calling for limitations on the rights and freedom of Muslim Americans. Some are even calling for a moratorium on the building of Mosque in America.

President Obama Clarifies statement on Mosques in America & Religious Freedom.
Obama says his remarks were not about a particular Mosque ie Ground Zero Mosque but was about the right of Muslim Americans as with all other Americans of different religions or faiths that they have the right to build houses of worship or community Centers. This right by definition includes not just Christian and Jewish denominations but includes all Americans whatever their religion and or Faith.

For a significant number of Americans the issue of the Cordoba House being built in New York is primarily to do with the fact that it is being built so close to Ground Zero and is not necessarily a rejection of all Muslim Americans or of Islam or of the building of Mosques in general.

But the extremist Islamophobes in America such as Pam Geller and her organization SIOA: Stop Islamization of America and Robert Spencer's Jihad Watch and individual leaders of the Religious Right and uberconservatives such as Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann , Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity ,Roger Ailes and Fox News etc. who are using the Ground Zero Controversy to fan the flames of hatred and bigotry against Islam and against all Muslim Americans.

These Islamophobic commentators have raised the specter of what they consider to be the Islamization of America in connection with the building of Mosques in other parts of the country as well as criticism for instance of The Six Flags Amusement parks holding a Muslim American Family day on Sept. 12 this year even though this event has been going on since before 9/11.
We also have Islamophobes claiming that there have been a number of honor killings and such carried out by American Muslims and the local authorities and the Feds appeared to ignore or even defend such killings- this is of course nonsense . The problem is as with any propaganda piece once it is introduced to the public refuting it becomes almost impossible. If one says there have been few or no such cases take place in the US the anti-Muslim faction says that such statements made even by those in authority are in fact part of the Islamization of America conspiracy.
Therefore accordingly they believe that Obama's statements about religious freedom in America that it is to be extended to Muslim Americans he is characterized as being an apologist and an appeaser to Islam ie capitulation to the Islamic secret agenda in America.

So the debate over the Ground Zero Mosques is being used by various anti-Islamic organizations to ginn up hatred and mistrust of all American Muslims.
The fear is that anti-Muslim sentiments in America are being stoked by anti-Muslim extremist and that it is creating an unhealthy environment for Religious Freedom in America.
These Islamophobes at first blush appear to just be against having a Mosque or even Islamic Community Center built just a few blocks away from 9/11 Ground Zero.
But in reality their agenda is to encourage anti-Islam as an acceptable form of bigotry aimed at all Muslim Americans.
The Islamophobes as has been well documented over the last few years are intent on denying equal rights to Muslim Americans.
They argue that Islam is not a real religion but rather is a violent anti-Christian cult which is out to undermine Christianity and to make Islam the dominant religion in Western nations.
They claim that under Sharia Islamic law all Muslims are required to take part in a violent or a stealth Jihad against all Non-Muslims no matter what the laws of the land are.

Islamophobes argue that at the very least Muslim Americans are working to have the United States and European countries accept Sharia Islamic law as having precendence over the civil laws .
So if someone leaves Islam as an apostate under strict Sharia Law the individual is to be place under a Fatwah by which any Muslim can legally kill such apostates or that for instance a woman committing adultery should be stoned to death etc.
But under US law murder is still murder no matter what justifications are dreamed up to defend such a criminal act.
Many people seem to forget that Jews and Catholics , Mormons, Mennonites etc. have their own respective set of rules , standards or laws which are applicable to their constituencies and are permissible if they do not contravene American civil law.

And note for instance how for instance frames the story as merely a debate over the Ground Zero Mosque and appears to defend the GOP disengenuous argument that this has nothing to do with religious freedom.
Newt Gingrich for instance claims Muslims in America should be denied religious freedom as long as there are Muslim countries which deny religious freedom to non-Muslims.
So Newt sees no problem with ignoring the principle of Religious Freedom when it comes to Islam.
Meanwhile we have Terry Jones of the Dove Church calling for the burning of copies of the Holy Qur'an on this years 9/11 anniversary.- Reminds one of the Nazis burning the Torah and other books they found offensive.
So is this the direction America wants to go in that is only certain Americans are given equal rights.
We should also take note that this sort of xenophobia and bigotry is occurring in an already charged climate of fear and loathing towards Ill-legal Immigrants and against even legal Hispanic /Latino immigrants ie Arizona where the lies and propaganda of Sheriff Arpaio and Ntivist organizations are fanning the flames of bigotry against all Hispanic Americans.

: GOP keeps mosque flap alive via Politico August 16, 2010

Republicans jumped Sunday on President Barack Obama's defense of a proposed mosque near where the World Trade Center stood before the Sept. 11 attacks, seeking to make his comments a campaign issue for Democrats come November.

Democrats meanwhile sought to change the subject. Many appeared uncomfortable with both the timing and the content of the president's statements.

Obama’s comments Friday placed him in the middle of the controversy over a Muslim group’s plans for a mosque near the site of the 2001 attack — and in turn, transformed an emotion-laden local dispute in New York into a nationwide debate overnight. But Saturday Obama returned to the issue to clarify his remarks as Democrats remained mostly quiet, hoping the controversy would blow over. It didn't.

In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday”, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) disputed Obama's contention that the mosque controversy was about religious freedom, and predicted it would be an election-year issue.

“It demonstrates that Washington, the White House, the administration, the president himself seems to be disconnected from the mainstream of America. And I think that's one of the reasons people are so frustrated," said Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee. “This is the dichotomy that people sense — that they’re being lectured to, not listened to.”

Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), the recruitment chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, suggested the GOP might seek to capitalize on Obama’s decision to weigh in on the proposed ground zero mosque.

In a recent essay by Walter Rhett calls for cooler heads to prevail over the Ground Zero Mosque controversy and that American citizens should be reminded that one of America's founding principles is Freedom of Religion.

Building Love at Ground Zero by Walter Rhett via Open, August 5, 2010

Believers in Islam should not become America's whipping boys, and nor should the guilt from the attacks on 9/11 be assigned as collective guilt to all Muslims. As an African-American Southerner, I live and work near monuments that celebrate the Confederate legacy, hailing as heroes and valiant soldiers men who died for states' rights to continue the cruel and inhuman practices of slavery, including the December 1864 massacre of men, women, and children at Ebenezer Creek, outside of Savannah in Newt Ginrich's Georgia. (The loss of life by some estimates may have exceeded the 9/11 attacks.)I attend church with the direct descendants of those who once owned slaves. But I assign no collective or historic guilt to those whose current wealth and status derived in large part from this abominable practice.

The parallels are very similar--as are the lessons. I do understand the pain and deep hurt and viceral anger at the attack carried out by extremists who killed innocent friends and family members in the name of Islam. I pray often for those who hold in their hearts the heavy and unrelieved weight of their personal loss and sarcrifice.

But I know the path of reconciliation and personal healing requires a strength of spirit rooted in love. The best way to honor the brave and wonderful souls we loss on 9/11 is to show the victory and triumph to that love. Sharing that love shows and affirms the very reasons we miss them so much and experience the loss so deeply.

It takes special courage to face those who share faith with those who struck such a devastating blow. But our collective and personal losses should not become a shrine to anger, resentment, hostility, or civil revenge. If the lives loss are to have full meaning, we cannot let ourselves become hostages to scorn and silent hatred. We cannot allow our hearts to be pulled along the same path as those who initiated the attacks. If we do, the terrorists have won.

On 9/11, my daughter worked in an office building directly across the street from one of the Towers, and was in the subway when the first plane hit, but was able to evacuate safely. I think often how glad I am to have her, and feel the guilt of the survivor for those who loss so much. Still, with due respect and honor to those who experienced the direct losses, I do not believe their memory is served by assigning collective guilt.

The politics of those angered by the request to build the mosque on Park Avenue are asserting that proximity is policy and are making an unspoken equivacy between the "hallowed ground" and the Giza settlements. "Location is power; seize and preserve the ground at all costs" is the mantra for supporters of both issues. Strength and might are being equated as "feel good" territorial imperatives.

The fact that this creates a subjugated class of citizens and rights is overlooked and disguised by arguments framed in emotional (insulting, demeaning, provocative, goading) and security (new source of possible attacks) terms.
Please leave a comment!

and so it goes,

No comments: