Doug's Darkworld

War, Science, and Philosophy in a Fractured World.

The Ground Zero mosque controversy … WOW!

with 8 comments

I find the controversy over the proposed Islamic cultural centre near the WTC site in New York fascinating on so many levels. I didn’t really think it would get to this level, but no, it’s a national story now that has a lot of traction in the popular mind. And like any glittering trinket one might find in the mud, I guess it’s worth looking at. And sadly, I think this case is on most levels a wonderful example of what is wrong with America, and how self destructive and cannibalistic the national body politic has gotten. And, frankly, just how divorced from reality so much of the public debate in this country has sunk too. A “debate” where major issues facing the country are ignored or talked about in the most tunnel vision trivialized way, while trivial issues are infused with import and anger. In any event, in no particular order, some observations.

First off, I strongly suspect that the people most offended by this proposed building are the exact same people who insist that Muslims have no reason to get upset over images of Muhammad being published in the western press. If our freedom of the press makes it OK to publish pictures that Muslims find patently offensive, doesn’t freedom of religion mean that Muslims can build a church wherever they want, even if Christians find it patently offensive? Yet I don’t hear any calls to ban both the Mosque and the depictions of Muhammad in publications. It’s hard for me not to see at least some hypocrisy in the “ban the mosque ” camp. No one is talking about banning the Muslim prayer room that is inside the Pentagon either, wouldn’t that also be a great offense to the victims?

Secondly, OBL and his crew were a tiny band (and are still a tiny band) of extremists, not representative of Islam in general. Al Qaeda no more represents Islam than Reverend Phelps or Timothy McVeigh represent Christianity as a whole. I mean, if someone wanted to build a Museum dedicated to OBL and Al Qaeda across the street from Ground Zero,  yeah, that would be offensive. Hell, I’d picket that. But a cultural center, the equivalent of a YMCA, blocks away and not even in sight of Ground Zero? So what? And hundreds of Muslims died that day too, it’s not like Al Qaeda attacked only Christians.

This leads to a third disturbing aspect of this. More and more I’m seeing the idea that Muslims aren’t “real” Americans. In fact more and more the right, at least the right typified by people in opposition to this “mosque,” their more or less obvious insinuation is that the only “real” Americans are white Christian Americans. And in many cases it’s simply stated, it’s not hard to find calls for all Muslims to be deported for example. This is both wrong and stupid I am sorry to say. For one thing, blaming national problems on a single minority is a path to madness. Muslims are no more conspiring to destroy America than the Jews conspired to destroy Germany. Moreover, the vast majority of Muslims in America are hard working honest citizens who were just as appalled by 9/11 as anyone else. This is especially the case of immigrants, because it is best and the brightest who emigrate to America. The phrase “brain drain” was coined to describe the huge numbers of Iranians who came to the USA for schooling under the Shah … and liked America so much they stayed. This is one of the things that made America great, not a problem. 9/11 wasn’t committed by American Muslims, so heaping special blame on them makes no sense at all. At best.

Which leads to the thing which most disgusts me about this whole “controversy,” it’s how so many of our leaders, pundits, and politicians enthusiastically wrap themselves in the 9/11 mantle to promote their own narrow self-serving agendas. Before the dust from the Twin Towers even settled  it was painfully obvious that we were going to see a massive increase in military spending and government bureaucracy “justified” by 9/11. You would think that the fact that people using box cutters foiled what was already the largest military and intelligence complex in history might have led people to wonder if more of the same was really the answer? Not on Bush’s watch, 9/11 gave them and a million pundits infinite ammunition to promote their own agenda and demonize as a terrorist anyone who wanted to actually debate national policy. A tendency that continues to this day, with the keepers of Bush’s legacy (if destroying the dollar, the US economy, and two failed wars can be called a legacy) still almost gleefully using this issue to demonize anyone who disagrees with them.

Yeah, more hatred, more intolerance, more absence of substantive debate, more deification of a terrible crime, more pundits and leaders using the memory of 3,000 dead Americans to smear their fellow Americans, Muslim and Christian alike. Yes, the WTC mosque issue has it all. Frankly I think those who use 9/11 to further their own agendas are the ones truly dishonoring the memory of the 9/11 victims and heroes. And how about we honor their memory by actually capturing the fellow who made 9/11 a reality? It’s been nearly 9 years now, and Osama Bin Laden is still a free man. What’s up with that?

(The above image is claimed as Fair Use under US copyright law. It’s not being used for profit, is central to illustrating the post, and in no way interferes with Google in any way, shape, or form. Basically if people show up at Ground Zero to protest the new “mosque,” they’ll need directions to find it. And how the hell is it that the scene of a terrible crime and massacre is “hallowed ground” anyhow? No disrespect intended, but isn’t that the opposite of hallowed ground?)


Written by unitedcats

August 16, 2010 at 7:03 am

Posted in Politics, Propaganda

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8 Responses

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  1. Well I guess people kinda have to think Muslims=9-11, if they do not they are faced with ignorance or trying to find out the truth, but discerning the truth can be difficult or impossible, its much easier to just go with the herd, believe a lie.

    I bet 9-11 will up just like the Kennedy Assassinations, where deep down people know that it was probably elements in the the Gov., they just don’t “want” to believe that regardless (and our leaders like it like that). Time will pass, the people who did it will live full lives, and maybe 50 yrs from now one or two on their deathbeads will tell the truth and it will still be easily deniable as a lie…



    August 16, 2010 at 12:35 pm

  2. Which reminds me of another reason why this Muslim bashing on the part of our leaders and pundits is madness. There are dozens of Muslim countries around the world we do business with, if we aren’t actually allied with. So declaring ourselves to be an anti-Muslim country, or at war with Islam … puts moderate Muslim governments (IE most of them) in a tough spot, while simultaneously giving their extremist elements a propaganda bonanza. But who cares if we encourage Islamic extremists and hurt Islamic moderates if it gets Republicans elected, I guess that’s the thinking? Jesus wept. — Doug


    August 16, 2010 at 12:50 pm

  3. Don’t get me started on this again, Doug. Seriously. I’ve said at my own blog that it’s a Manhattan zoning issue and the rest of the country should just butt out.


    August 16, 2010 at 8:09 pm

  4. We live in an imperfect world, full of emotional people. That being said, this can only be decided locally. Leaving it up to NYC is the answer.

    This is a zoning issue pure and simple.

    John Galt

    August 18, 2010 at 3:26 pm

  5. And if a gay bar wanted to open next to the mosque.. so be it as well :)

    John Galt

    August 19, 2010 at 5:12 am

  6. Just think about it. If this were a roman catholic church, or anything other than an Islamic mosque, would there be the same problem?


    September 11, 2010 at 4:15 pm

  7. As long as the muslim community sits on their collective carbuncled butts refusing to send radical clerics, terrorists and dictators like the wacko Ahmadinejad packing, then it’s not surprising that mosques anywhere in America aren’t particularly welcome right now, especially one near a still-raw wound created by insane muslim extremists.
    Sadly, in the politically correct world according to Doug, anyone opposed to a mosque should be branded with a big I for “insensitive.” Boo Hoo. Insensitive to what? To insane muslim extremists who justify murder to silence cartoonists who draw caricatures of theirs or any other figment of human imagination? To insane religionists who justify murder of those who use their little godlet’s name in vain or disagree with their draconian views of right and wrong? That’s a bad thing??? NO, it isn’t, Doug. The ones who try to justify MURDER in the name of their holy beliefs are the bad guys, be they muslim extremists or rightwing anti-abortionists. Not surprisingly, the rest of the group are being tarred by the guilt by association with deviants brush. Prejudice is natural. That’s Life. Get used to it.
    Apologists for murderers and extremists have no sense of perspective. Liberals and right wing facists have jointly destroyed America’s freedoms, including the right to freedom of expression… unless its coming from powerbrokers with deep pockets or from an ACLU-approved group of “victims.” Both the left and right wear blinders. One side ignores the downside of pandering to political correctness, the other side ignores the stupidity of cleaving to one brand of religious dogma (as if it’s superior) over other myths. We should all be free to poke fun at religions or to insert any name we choose into an epithet, not be threatened with death for doing so as if this were the neo-Dark Ages. Only the religious right and muslim extremists want to drag us back to the glory days of persecution and ignorance. Only the simpering fools on the left want to strip away our right to be politically incorrect and insensitive to lunacy. Those doing the threatening and those trying to appease extremists and deviants are the villains in this world, Douggie, not comedians, atheists and pro-individual rights.

    Reality Check

    January 11, 2011 at 11:59 pm

  8. You dont understand Islam. Sharia is a threat to America. Sharia is Anti-Constitutional and tantamount to sedition. You draw a comparison between people who vehemently appose Islam and Sharia to the Muslims that are offended by a cartoon. Your comparison is like me calling you a moron, and then you shooting me because of it. GET A CLUE!

    Storm Bruin

    November 2, 2012 at 11:53 am

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