MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow discussed how Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s ban on Muslims proposal is not so different from the other GOP candidates. What will be the new “normal” in the Republican party for minority bashing politics after this campaign is over? She is joined by Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
I have 2 articles for your perusal this morning.
The first is a great article by David Mizner:
Also in the New Yorker, Teju Cole wrote, “Violence from ‘our’ side continues unabated. By this time next month, in all likelihood, many more ‘young men of military age’ and many others, neither young nor male, will have been killed by US drone strikes in Pakistan and elsewhere. If past strikes are anything to go by, many of these people will be innocent of wrongdoing.”
That counts as progress. As does CNN’s decision to run a piece by Noam Chomsky that calls President Obama’s drone killings “the most extreme terrorist campaign of modern times.” And as does Seamus Milne’s piece in the Guardian pointing out that violence like the Paris attack is an extension of Western wars.
Yet these pieces are still relatively kind to the United States and its allies. They downplay the role of the West in producing the violence that its “thought leaders” blame on Islam. The truth is not merely that Team USA’s violence is far greater than that of its enemies, or that the former triggers the latter, but that Western governments and their client states have actively empowered right-wing jihadist groups.
I have 3 articles for you today to get the blood flowing.
First, a great piece on Islam and Terrorism:
Consider the following hypothetical statement: we must kill them before the kill us. We have to protect our women and children and our land from them or they will invade us. Who could say this? So-called Islamic terrorists in the Middle East, right-wing Christians on Fox News in the US? In fact both can and do say this. Radical Islamists and war mongering in the West are both described as ‘right wing’ meaning that the structure, not the content, of their thinking is similar. This rigid and simplistic way of thinking only entrenches each side. It is a failed strategy that only exacerbates the problem.
OKLAHOMA CITY (FNS)-After an exhaustive 18-month investigation, FNS is able to exclusively report that, contrary to popular opinion, Oklahoma’s controversial State Question 755, which is intended to prevent State courts from considering Shari’a law when making legal decisions, was intended to counter an effort already underway to impose such a legal code on the citizens of the State, perhaps as soon as this fall.
Amazingly, the effort to impose Islamic law involves some of Oklahoma’s most prominent business leaders, the National Basketball Association (NBA), and the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones, Jr. Museum of Art.
Here’s the story, as it can now be reported:
We last got together about ten days ago, when I put up a story that hoped to explain to the Islamic world that, Qur’an burning aside, we don’t really hate either them, or our own Constitution.
I pointed out that, just like everywhere else, about 20% of our population are idiots, that this means about 60,000,000 of us might, at any time, be inclined to burst into fits of random stupidity, such as the desire to burn Qur’ans to make some sort of statement, and that the same First Amendment that protects the freedom of stupid speech also protects the rights of Islamic folks to freely build mosques…and finally, that this apparent “paradox of freedom” is exactly why the US is the kind of country that many Islamic folks the world over wish they lived in as well.
I then went off to enjoy my Godson’s wedding, and I ignored the posting until the next Monday.
On the two dozen sites where it could be found, this was apparently considered to be a fairly innocuous message…with one giant exception, which is what we’ll be talking about today.
Long story short, some portion of this country’s population has some bizarre ideas about Islamic folks…but maybe if they knew my friend Wa’el, they might see things a bit differently.
You know, it seems like every time I write a letter I have to begin by apologizing for not having written in so long, and that’s the case again today.
We only get a few days of real summer up here every year, and I was out having fun at golf tournaments and doing a bit of climbing around the local hills-and you know, I do love doing a bit of nothing at all from time to time-but while I was away, things have gotten even crazier than usual around here…and I’m sorry to say, you’ve been on the pointy end of the crazy stick, which is something that never should have happened.
Things have been so nutty that you’re probably thinking America has something against Islam-in fact, you might be wondering if we have something against our own Constitution.
Well, we don’t, most of us, and I’ll take a few minutes today to help y’all understand just what is going on in this country.
cross-posted from Sum of Change
We have already posted several telling interviews from our filming at Glenn Beck’s 828 Restoring Honor Rally, but we haven’t yet posted our most emotional, interactive, and intense experiences. Towards the end of our day downtown, we stopped to chat with some folks from the crowd- as we did throughout the day. When we began our interview with Madonna from Indiana, we were in the exact center of a circular cement area that is the entrance way to the World War II Memorial. Our conversation started with Madonna, the only person in her group of 5 or so who decided to stop and chat with us. Quickly, however, not only did several of her friends decide to join our discussion, but several onlookers decided that they belonged in our conversation as well. Before we knew it, we were encircled by 30 or so rally goers who decided to engage us (verbally) in an effort to try and convert us to Glen Beck’s White Christian Civil Rights Utopia. Below is the majority of the half hour experience in 6 parts and at the very bottom is all 30 minutes of our discussions unedited.
Hat tip to Foster Kamer writing at The Village Voice who notes:
Apropos of nothing — except the whole Islamophobia talking point inspired by that community center downtown (or as people who aren’t from New York/are directionally impaired/are reality-impaired call it, the “Ground Zero Mosque”) has inspired over the last week or two — here’s a nice way to demonstrate just how much of the world’s minority are angry, terrified Americans in regards to the world’s Muslims.
Via Tumblr user Technipol, click to enlarge the following infographic:
They better not build that mosque down by Ground Zero, we’re being told, not just because it’s insensitive, but because we have no idea what they’ll be up to down there.
I mean, where did the money come from?
Who does this Imam hang out with, anyway?
And, at a time when our Nation faces more threats than ever, why would we let these Muslim madmen situate their “terror command posts” anywhere?
Well, I don’t know about all of that…but I do know a place where lots of these Islamic terrorists go to obtain the equipment and supplies they need to support their particular craft, and I decided to make a bit of an undercover visit to the spot, so that I might “observe and report” on what goes on at this specific location.
So put on your dark glasses…and let’s go see what we can find out.
Dear Mr. Dean;
FUCK YOU!!, I’m sitting here watching you try to pull your foot (feet, up to knee?) outta your cake hole. What the fuck are you saying, compromise, compromise with who? A bunch of idiotic racist assholes who’s idea of negotiation is ‘my way or the highway. LOL what tripe.
These folks are AMERICANS, building a community center for the community that happens to have an area dedicated to prayer. They have the incontrovertible right to that practice, the local government approved it and it’s done. Try and change that, go ahead you and your fellow apologists and watch what happens, whats left of our eviscerate rights will be ‘negotiable’ Hmmm. Unfuckin real. This isn’t a popularity contest, poles are not relevant, no vote no discussion, they have the right to do this at 51 Park as well as all the other places they, the Muslim community are.
Not only does this spit in the face of what America is supposed to be by violating the right to practice ones religion I’ll bet it ends up coming under bills of attainder when the govt. tries to back out of the approvals already given to these AMERICANS.
And people wonder why I’m done with the frackin Dems. You don’t negotiate with EVIL, you don’t compromise with morons, you don’t back down when you right. You don’t tell others they should do those things either, they shouldn’t. They should stand up at the statue of liberty, Lincoln memorial, and every other statue, building, bell, hall and revolutionary battlefield and shout ‘What aren’t we entitled to our rights?’ ‘Is this great experiment only applicable when the white right says so?’
If and I’m betting on when these AMERICANS need help defending their inalienable (what a laugh) rights I’ll be proud to pitch in.
Those currently in opposition to the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero don’t seem to want to understand the whole picture. They will not even entertain anything other than views stepped in prejudice and fear, seeing an enemy in the face of every person of Middle Eastern descent. While in stuck in this merry-go-round that passes for substantive discourse, they are trusted supporters of a system that sees the sum of its parts as more important than the whole. Today’s believers in preemptive prejudice take stock in reductionism, a theory that justifies bigotry nicely. Indeed, their system of belief relies more on personal bias and illogical rationales rather than outward truth. The spread and growth of this, its own near-religion upsets me more than that of the genuine terrorists themselves.
Every once in a while, something happens that is so completely wrong, so inexplicably confused, that it makes you shake your head in utter disbelief. Today was one of those days. The Anti Defamation League (ADL), an organization that has been in the forefront of the battle for religious tolerance for decades, announced that it opposed the building of a mosque near the former World Trade Center site. I find this almost impossible to believe.
The New York Times reports:
The nation’s leading Jewish civil rights group has come out against the planned mosque and Islamic community center near ground zero, saying more information is needed about funding for the project and the location is ”counterproductive to the healing process.”
The Anti-Defamation League said it rejects any opposition to the center based on bigotry and acknowledged that the group behind the plan, the Cordoba Initiative, has the legal right to build at the site. But the ADL said ”some legitimate questions have been raised” about funding and possible ties with ”groups whose ideologies stand in contradiction to our shared values.”
”Ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right,” the ADL said in a statement. ”In our judgment, building an Islamic center in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain — unnecessarily — and that is not right.”
Please read this carefully. The Cordoba Initiative has an unquestionable legal right to build at the site. But apparently, that’s not the end of the discussion. The right to build the mosque is not in question. No. Something trumps that. ADL tells us that they have questions about funding, as if that were ADL’s business, and then there’s this magnificent urban planning point. Apparently, there is theoretical penumbra around former World Trade Center site in which all of the construction should not be “counterproductive to the healing process.” If the mosque were further away, say 2 more blocks, maybe it wouldn’t impinge on the theoretical penumbra, but as it is now, it’s too close for comfort. What shameful rubbish.
The big question is what the construction of a mosque has to do with 9/11. On any level. Islam is a religion of peace. The people who brought down the World Trade Towers were fundamentalist lunatics. Nobody is saying that the proposed mosque has anything at al to do with those people. Or their views. Or supported the events. Or is subversive. No. There is no arguable connection. The connection, if you want to call it that, is just this: the hijackers were muslim, and the mosque is muslim. You see how that prevents healing? I don’t. You can put all of the whip cream you want on that steaming pile, and it will never, never, never be a dessert.
The Cordoba Institute says it will be transparent and will deal with the Attorney General’s Charity Bureau about its funding. Great. That ought to be the end of that thread of the argument. We can expecct the Attorney General to check the funding. What remains, I am saddened to say, is the bigotry.
And whenever there is collossal bigotry, people line up to justify it. The Community Board, the Mayor, and many others recognize that there is no legal, justifiable basis in a city to say that the Mosque that can legally be built on this site shouldn’t be built. It has a right to be built. Who can abrogate that right? Nobody. And whose against it? Can you guess? Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, and a caterwauling mass of rightwing nut jobs. And joining them, to my shock and my great horror, ADL.
ADL’s position has horrified others as well:
The ADL, one of the most prominent groups in American Jewish life, is known for its advocacy of religious freedom and interfaith harmony. Its position on the mosque was met with shock and condemnation by several groups.
Jeremy Ben-Ami, head of J Street, the dovish, pro-Israel group, said he would hope ADL would be at the forefront in defending the freedom of a religious minority, ”rather than casting aspersions on its funders and giving in to the fear-mongerers.”
The Rev. Welton Gaddy, head of the Interfaith Alliance, a Washington advocacy group, said he read the ADL statement ”with a great deal of sorrow.”
”As an organization that for nearly 100 years has helped set the standard for fighting defamation and securing justice and fair treatment for all, it is disappointing to see the ADL arrived at this conclusion,” Gaddy said.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations urged ADL to retract its statement.
You can add my voice to those. The ADL is seriously and embarrassingly off course here. It needs to retract its statements. But that doesn’t matter to ADL’s National Director:
Abraham Foxman, national director of the ADL, defended his position.
In a phone interview, he compared the idea of a mosque near ground zero to the Roman Catholic Carmelite nuns who had a convent at the Auschwitz death camp. In 1993, Pope John Paul II responded to Jewish protests by ordering the nuns to move.
”We’re saying if your purpose is to heal differences, it’s the wrong place,” Foxman said of the mosque. ”Don’t do it. The symbolism is wrong.”
Read that again. It makes no sense whatsoever. If your purpose is to heal differences, you don’t jump into disputes on the wrong side, when religious freedom is at stake, and you don’t attempt to justify your position by incendiarily invoking the Nazis. That is just entirely too much. And it show how terribly wrong ADL’s position is.