Quantcast
subscriber help

artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

watch it: “We’ve Got To Stop The Mosque At Ground Zero”


I wish I could honestly believe this is a parody by the South Park guys, but unfortunately I have seen how some of my fellow New Yorkers are disgracing themselves these days. So I find it hard to even pretend this is a joke.

It’s too bad that every cute-kitten video and movie trailer on YouTube is matched by an example of hatred and bigotry. Or maybe it just feels like there’s that much hatred and bigotry on YouTube at the moment.

(h/t Ken)



Warning: Invalid argument supplied for foreach() in /home/flick/public_html/wptest/wp-content/themes/FlickFilosopher/loop-single.php on line 106
explore:
|
  • Victor Plenty

    YouTube has everything, or nearly so. The parts where you can find things like this video are the sections I tend to avoid.

  • Victor Plenty

    One of the many far better things to watch on YouTube currently is this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a0uuemEJDGU (And in case anybody was wondering: No, this one does not feature Rick Astley.)

  • steve B.

    Sounds kinda like “Somebody’s Baby” by Jackson Browne, which is just weird.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    “I know we have freedom of religion, but…”

    No, sir, you really don’t.

  • Shadowen

    No, they don’t have to stop it. Legally, they can’t do shit.

    It’s not a mosque. Mosques are holy places where only prayer is allowed. This place will have a basketball court and a culinary school.

    It’s not at Ground Zero.

    They’re wrong three times in one sentence. I think that deserves congratulations.

  • Victor Plenty

    Shadowen, you’re only scratching the surface on why the forces of ignorance and intolerance are having such a field day with this.

    Of course you’re correct on all three of your points, but through the magic of fear-based thinking, all those points only end up strengthening the hand of the fearmongers.

    Yes, legally the project can’t be stopped, and that is GREAT news for the intolerant. They get to keep beating the drums of fear, all the way through Election Day in November and beyond. If they’re very lucky, the project will still be around to scare the fearful during the 2012 election cycle, too.

    True, the building proposed is not a mosque. But the mindset of bigotry interprets any argument based on definitions as an evasive confession of weakness. By emphasizing that this isn’t a mosque, you “admit” that a mosque would be a bad thing! You also “admit” that Muslims will pray in this building, which makes it similar to a mosque, and by the alchemy of contagion, makes it also a bad thing.

    The same twisted logic applies when you point out that it’s not “at” Ground Zero. Such a fact is easily evaded by arguing that it’s “too close,” no matter what the actual distance might be.

    I wish my understanding of the vicious tactics in this propaganda campaign could make me more effective at opposing it. So far, none of these insights have helped me at all, since I have no interest in becoming yet another evil bastard who gets rich on talk radio.

  • Lisa

    “We don’t want a terrorist head quarters at Ground Zero!”

    Or anywhere else, in fact.

  • I understand that being a New Yorker and closer to the events of 9/11 would mean one is a lot more sensitive about things like this, but can’t the people behind that video see that:

    A: building a mosque near Ground Zero is the PERFECT way to respond – ie: show the world just how much America respects people of all backgrounds and religions. Respond to the targeted violence of a minority with acts of compassion and inclusiveness to the community at large.

    B: this song is really unintentionally funny. As MaryAnn said, it sounds exactly like something Trey Parker and Matt Stone would dream up.

    I realise I’m preaching the choir, but alas felt the need to comment anyway.

  • Kate

    [blockquote]True, the building proposed is not a mosque. But the mindset of bigotry interprets any argument based on definitions as an evasive confession of weakness. By emphasizing that this isn’t a mosque, you “admit” that a mosque would be a bad thing! You also “admit” that Muslims will pray in this building, which makes it similar to a mosque, and by the alchemy of contagion, makes it also a bad thing. [/blockquote]

    Victor Plenty, this is a great way of putting what I’ve been thinking for a while.

    Too few people see why this is a bad argument to make: “All Americans should be free to practice their religion. Muslims are no exception. And anyway it’s not a real mosque anyway!”.

  • stellans

    Another pundit (I think at Huffington Post) wrote that building a mosque right on Ground Zero would be a preventive measure against another attack. In fact, he said the Freedom Tower is the world’s biggest “Come and Get Me” marker since FDR put the fleet at Pearl Harbor.

  • Ralph

    Slightly off-topic: All religious people should read Richard Dawkins’ book The God Delusion. Puts things in perspective, you know. Makes you think about God (or whatever name you give him/her in your own particular set of religious ideas). Or watch the film The Invention of Lying, and think again about how important this religious stuff all is to you.

  • Too few people see why this is a bad argument to make: “All Americans should be free to practice their religion. Muslims are no exception. And anyway it’s not a real mosque anyway!”.

    I see your point, Kate. It should not make a difference whether or not it’s actually a mosque, because even if it were, there would be no good reason to oppose it.

    But the fact that it is not a mosque, and not at “Ground Zero,” but is being called the “Ground Zero Mosque” anyway – a label that’s still being repeated by some major news outlets that should know better – demonstrates that this protest movement is based on a complete lie. The opponents of this project know that their case sounds much weaker if they call it “a Muslim community center several blocks away from, and well out of sight of Ground Zero.” Much easier to scare the sheep if you suggest that there will be minarets casting a menacing shadow over the site of the attacks.

    Language matters, and this is an especially ugly example of its significance.

    @Victor Plenty: Thanks for posting the Fareed Zakaria video. He’s the kind of political thinker we need more of in the US. I had already seen Keith Olbermann’s much more strident comments on MSNBC — most of which I do agree with, though I’m not fond of him in general — but Mr. Zakaria states his case with quiet grace and integrity. Unfortunately, I fear that many of those who oppose the Park 51 project will dismiss Mr. Zakaria as well, and for the worst possible reasons.

  • We must stop the Muslims from building a Community Center with a Coffee Shop and Pool Hall and a Prayer Room! And you know why?

    That Pool Hall!

    You got trouble Folks! Right here in River City Manhattan. Trouble with a Capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for POOL.

    Oh, I’m sure you folks will enjoy a fresh cup of coffee, but think of the children! Tempted by the… temptations of an easy game of pool! You want Muslims sitting around five times a day praying toward Mecca, no problem? But get them betting on games of Eight-Ball, wasting their hard earned money from the unemployment benefits they get because of the 10 percent unemployment we’ve got nationwide, why that’s Bad! That’s ASKING for Trouble! Trouble with a Capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for POOL!

    …damn, this might be my finest in free verse I’ve ever posted… ;-)

  • Left_Wing_Fox

    Stellans: I think that’s actually unlikely.

    Well meaning the poster may be, but they are making the same mistake bigots are; the belief that Islam is like a denomination, as opposed to a religious category.

    In orther words: “Hah, those Protestant terrorists will NEVER attack a tower with a Catholic diocese office in it!”

    There are multiple sects and spinoffs within Islam, just as with Christianity. That we demand every muslim everywhere to denounce the actions of a smallish group of muslims (Al Queda or the Taliban) makes as much sense as demanding the Methodists disavow the Catholic pedophilia scandal, or that the Greek Orthodox church should hold responsibility for the FLDS.

    I’ve personally known several Muslims who, while continuing to identify and practice their religion, are as westernized as any other native-born individual, and can be as selective about their practices as any “cafeteria catholic”. The monolithic cult of the bigots fevered imagination is just that; imaginary. It’s no different than the “The Chinese/Mexicans/Jews refuse to integrate” myths of the past.

  • MaryAnn

    ie: show the world just how much America respects people of all backgrounds and religions.

    Except we really don’t.

  • Except we really don’t.

    Doesn’t that remark tar all Americans with the same brush, in the same way that some people are trying to lump all Muslims together? It’s true that some Americans – maybe even most, but I hope not – do not respect people of all backgrounds and religions. But the founding principles of the USA set forth that ideal, and over time, we have indeed absorbed many different people and religions into our social fabric, even though there have always been some very loud people who aren’t eager to roll out the welcome mat.

  • JoshB

    Republicans are a pack of nihilistic assholes. Newt Gingrich, Eric Cantor, et al. know full well that they have no legal leg to stand on to block this “mosque.” This is entirely about humiliating democrats, who predictably tuck their tails and cower.

    And then there’s this astonishing bullshit. This dude is running for Governor of Florida, and he has a whole campaign ad devoted to the mosque. What the hell does the governorship of Florida have to do with building codes in New York? If the electorate had any sense they’d laugh him out of the race.

  • Jackie

    Given the amount of persecution that the Sufi branch of the Islamic faith has endured under the Taliban and the fact that Al Qaida seem to think that the Sufis are not “proper” Muslims, opposing this site makes even less sense. It would be the religious equivalent of forbidding the Quakers from building a centre a few blocks away from a site of a past IRA bombing!

  • JoshDM

    Look, here’s the thing.

    With all the hoopla, if they go through with it and build it, there are so many people against it that I don’t know if anyone would want to work or worship there for fear of reprisal from those people.

  • JoshDM

    What the hell does the governorship of Florida have to do with building codes in New York?

    1) ‘Merica!

    2) Most voting majority of South Florida are New York transplants.

  • And then there’s this astonishing bullshit. This dude is running for Governor of Florida, and he has a whole campaign ad devoted to the mosque. What the hell does the governorship of Florida have to do with building codes in New York? If the electorate had any sense they’d laugh him out of the race.

    That candidate in question is Rick Scott, a former Health Care CEO who got driven out of his job due to one of the biggest fraud cases in the health care industry. And this is a guy the Republicans can offer up to run our state’s governorship/agencies/budgets. /facepalm

    What is horrifying is that under normal circumstances an openly scandal-prone jerkass like Scott wouldn’t have a chance in any primary at any level (even dogcatcher). But because Scott is playing to the Teabagger crowd – espousing tax cuts for the rich, God In Every Garage, and “Obama is a Secret Kenyan Muslim” crap – he’s actually running neck-and-neck with the more traditional political candidate in McCollum (it doesn’t help that McCollum’s attempts to coddle the Far Right went over like a lead balloon).

    Today is actually primary day in Florida, and this is one of the more closely watched campaigns across the nation. I guarantee you one thing: if Scott wins, the next governor of Florida is Alex Sink. At least it better be: If Scott wins (OHGODNO) Florida may well beat California to the distinction of being the first state to be declared bankrupt.

  • DebraLee

    Every citizen must have freedom of religion, or none have it. If we are going to deny Constitutional rights to Muslims because of the acts of a small group of violent extremists, then we need to ban Catholic churches (remember the IRA), fundalmentalist Christian churches (murdered doctors) etc.

  • Cam

    I just have to share this link to a picard facepalm-worthy reaction by the “anti-mosque” demonstrators. This is truly some double rainbow crazy.

    http://gawker.com/5619136/

  • david

    This video is pretty goofy and I can’t really imagine it changing anybody’s mind. That being said, how is it bigoted or hateful to oppose the construction of an Islamic center on the site of a building that was damaged during an attack by Islamic terrorists. I wouldn’t have a problem if the group wanted to build a small memorial to the muslims who had been killed in the attack but building a thirteen story Islamic center at the site does seem insulting to me.

  • Victor Plenty

    David, it’s bigoted and hateful to assume that the people who want to build the “Islamic center” must be on the same side as the “Islamic terrorists” who carried out the attacks. In reality, these are people who have specifically and repeatedly declared their opposition to all terrorism, their hostility to the terrorists’ ideology, and their determination to rescue their religion from the grip of the terrorist movement.

    In reality, the terrorists probably consider these people apostates who should be killed at the earliest opportunity. If we really want to win the war against terrorism, we should be building alliances with this kind of Muslim. We should be helping them to drive the violent extremists further out into the fringe of Islamic culture. This is the best way to deprive the terrorists of the support they depend on to continue their twisted campaigns.

    Instead, a few opportunists in our own society have scented blood in the water and seized this moment to seek more power for themselves and more attention for their false claims. They are promoting the absolutely ludicrous and hateful lie that all Muslims, or even any significant percentage of them, want to kill everybody who refuses to convert to Islam.

    These fear-mongers have already dealt us all a serious setback in the global struggle to defeat terrorism. If they continue to get so much popular support in the West, history will remember them as having started us down the road to massive strategic errors. The result of that will almost certainly include thousands of additional deaths of Americans, and of our allies across the world.

    With all this, I haven’t even started to explain the insult being dealt to our own Constitutional principles by these fear-mongers. They aren’t just insulting Islam. They are insulting the United States of America.

    And those are just a few of the reasons it’s bigoted and hateful to oppose the construction of a cultural center by people who have committed no crime, done nobody any harm, and posed no threat to anyone at any time.

  • Ted M

    Why don’t we just call this what it is?

    Ethnic cleansing.

  • bronxbee

    @Victor Plenty and Ted M: you speak the truth. this is a disgraceful time for americans — and a good day for the “know nothings.” i wonder how many people opposed to the islamic center also believe that Obama is a Muslim and that he wasn’t born a US citizen? the confluence of these idiotic ideas is killing me. i dread picking up a newspaper or turning on the news. i am completely boycotting Fox News (either 5 or the cable channel).

  • steve B.

    I’m a militant atheist and don’t like the idea of ANY religion snatching real estate away from sane people. But by the same token I respect the Constitution, so I can’t side with the protesters.

    Remember, even Genghis Khan allowed freedom of religion in his empire. The least we can aspire to be is as good as Genghis Khan.

  • Bill

    wait…are we *sure* this isn’t making fun of the protesters? i mean, this is almost too stupid to be real.

  • Orangutan

    @Bill: Today, I drove past a small group of people who had set up a folding table and a small gazebo. On and around that table, they had placed a variety of posters calling for President Obama’s impeachment. Their signs, apparently for sale, were based on the following theme:
    Fluorescent background.
    Picture of Obama with a Hitler ‘stache.
    “Impeach Obama! He’s NUTS.”
    Squirrel.

    This video is not too stupid to be real.

  • PillowCaseLaw

    I figured, like many of you, that this might be a parody or satire or something please GODS BELOW let it be something other than genuine. So I visited wooTV, the originating site. I am now absolutely assured that I would perhaps like to be Canadian.

    @Orangutan: You have inspired in me the desire to simply use the sentence “Squirrel.” to express that a particular notion is lacking merit, ridiculous, or so bat-guano-loco that I cannot believe it has been spoken.

  • david

    Tell me Victor Plenty: Was it bigoted and hateful towards gun owners for the families of the children lost at Columbine High school to denounce and protest the NRA for holding a pro-gun rally in Denver? Was the Simon Wiesenthal center assuming that all Catholics supported the Holocaust when it denounced the building of a convent at Auschwitz? Here’s a hypothetical, is it an expression of hatred to pro-lifers if people protested their decision to build a political command center across the street from the site of an abortion clinic bombing?

    This issue is not about tolerance or religious freedom, it’s about good sense and decency. Except for a few whackos the overwhelming majority of the approximately 70% of Americans fully acknowledge the first admendment rights of muslims to practice their religion. We are not trying to get the government to ban the building of Mosques. What we are doing is exercising OUR first admendment rights, through nonviolent means, to let this group know that we find their decision to build this center at this site to be insulting and distasteful.

  • we find their decision to build this center at this site to be insulting and distasteful.

    But it’s not just at this site, david. If it’s just Ground Zero that’s a sensitive location, surely people would be okay with mosques being built in, say, Brooklyn or Staten Island.

    Or in New Jersey.

    Or in Illinois, or Georgia, or Arizona, or Tennessee, or Southern California.

    Surely people are perfectly fine with allowing mosques to be built in all these places, right?

    Nope. Apparently not.

    Why is that, do you think?

  • Victor Plenty

    David, it’s bigoted and hateful when you ignore every point I made, and instead of addressing anything at all in what I wrote, throw a pack of unrelated examples and red herrings into the argument.

    In view of your refusal to discuss this issue in any reasonable way, and in response to your bogus claim that the vicious public figures opposing this project have any connection to “good sense” or “decency,” there is only one appropriate response:

    Squirrel.

  • JoshB

    This issue is not about tolerance or religious freedom, it’s about good sense and decency. Except for a few whackos the overwhelming majority of the approximately 70% of Americans fully acknowledge the first admendment rights of muslims to practice their religion.

    The overwhelming majority of approximately 70%? I think I need a Cartesian graph and an abacus.

    We are not trying to get the government to ban the building of Mosques. What we are doing is exercising OUR first admendment rights, through nonviolent means, to let this group know that we find their decision to build this center at this site to be insulting and distasteful.

    So, hypothetically speaking, if you personally had the power to prevent this group from building this center at this location, you would, despite your distaste, still allow them to build it?

  • MaryAnn

    Doesn’t that remark tar all Americans with the same brush, in the same way that some people are trying to lump all Muslims together?

    That was not my intention. The Constitution may protect freedom of religion, but very clearly, there are more than a few people who call themselves American who do not understand what “America” stands for. That is some seriously fucked up shit, that we are unable to educate even our own citizens to a basic understanding of what it means to be American.

    I’m not tarring all individual Americans, but I don’t think it’s unfair to tar the American system, which is falling apart in more ways than one.

    we find their decision to build this center at this site to be insulting and distasteful.

    But only someone who believed that some people should not be free to practice their religion peacefully and within the law would find a mosque in any particular place to be insulting and distasteful.

    Either freedom of religion is absolute, or it doesn’t exist.

    Perhaps all the people who think that the likes of Osama Bin Laden hate us “for our freedoms” believe they’ll stop hating us if we take all those freedoms away?

  • david

    Dear Victor, let me respond to your response-

    it’s bigoted and hateful when you ignore every point I made.

    No, it isn’t. At worst it’s stupid and obnoxious. Bigotry and hatred are very powerful words and should not be thrown around lightly. This was the whole point of my response. I was pointing out how wrong it was for you to claim that all people opposing this building are bigots just as it’s wrong to assume that all muslims are bent on world domination (although there are some who are).

    instead of addressing anything at all in what I wrote

    I did in fact respond to what I interpreted as the central part of your comment, that is that opposing the center is an expression of bigotry which, for the most part, I don’t think it is.

    In view of your refusal to discuss this issue in any reasonable way, and in response to your bogus claim that the vicious public figures opposing this project have any connection to “good sense” or “decency,” there is only one appropriate response:

    Squirrel.

    Actually there are several appropriate responses. Unlike some people I actually read more than one side before I form an opinion on an issue and can believe that people can have disagreements without one side or the other being evil. Here are some counterarguments that I feel are perfectly legitimate even though I don’t necessarily agree with them:

    “David, it was not my intention to label all of the people who are upset by this project as hateful of muslims. However, I worry that a lot of muslims will see this opposition and feel isolated and that they will be alienated from mainstream America at a time when we need to make muslim allies.”

    Or

    “David, it was not my intention to label all of the people who are upset by this project as hateful of muslims. I am worried that certain politicians and demagogues are cynically exploiting this for their own political purposes.”

    Or even

    “David, it was not my intention to label all of the people who are upset by this project as hateful of muslims. I just feel that they are being counterproductive. Allowing this center to be built would be a monument to American tolerance and our greatness as a people and that is why I support in.”

    Or if you need more inspiration, watch the following episode of the daily show
    http://www.thedailyshow.com/full-episodes/tue-august-17-2010-dick-armey

  • david

    So, hypothetically speaking, if you personally had the power to prevent this group from building this center at this location, you would, despite your distaste, still allow them to build it?

    If I were Mayor Bloomberg, I would absolutely support their legal right to build it. But I would urge the group to alter their plans. For many of those who have studied Islamic history the plan to build a $100 million dollar 15 story structure on the site of the Burlington coat factory that was damaged by landing gear on 9/11 seems disturbingly similar to the historic practice of tearing down churches and replacing them with mosques in territory that had been conquered by the Muslim empires. My solution, to avoid any appearance of Triumphalism would be to instead build a two to three story memorial to the muslims who had been killed on 9/11 and also to the muslims who have been killed by Radical Islamist all over the world. Don’t try to promote the historical achievements of Islam or any kind of political advocacy because this is not the place for that. Instead, simply include verses from the quran that forbid the killing of civilians, compulsory religion, that encourage mercy and tolerance along with photos and facts of Muslim victims of terrorism. That to me would be a beautiful and simple expression that all freedom loving people are on the same side. I would gladly stand by them for that.

  • Victor Plenty

    David, you make a good show of sounding reasonable, but by quoting me out of context in order to twist the meaning of my words into the opposite of what I actually said, you demonstrate a type of dishonesty that undermines any possibility of constructive conversation.

  • JoshB

    If I were Mayor Bloomberg, I would absolutely support their legal right to build it.

    Bloomberg doesn’t have the power to stop it, and if he were inclined to try he would lose in federal court.

    There are two ways to stop the building of this center. One is Constitutional Amendment, which ain’t gonna happen. The other is some combination of shame and intimidation, which is what you’re going for.

    “I know you have the right ***airquotes*** to religious freedom, but some people who share your religion have done evil things. Don’t you think that, morally speaking, their actions obligate you to get back in your box and play nice? By the way, I get to define the boundaries of your box and what playing nice means.”

    Prettying it up with words like “beautiful” and “freedom loving” is not convincing. Not at all.

  • dwa

    What’s amazing is that in a discussion where we are forced to appropriately have the courage to confront our irrational and knee jerk reactions of fear and intolerance to that which is different from us, a comment like, “Republicans are a pack of nihilistic assholes.” is tolerated and goes unchallenged. It seems that no matter what forum one finds themselves in, tolerance and respect seem to extend only as far as those who think and talk like those in our own likeminded circles.

  • JoshB

    a comment like, “Republicans are a pack of nihilistic assholes.” is tolerated and goes unchallenged.

    You just challenged it, but only for being mean, not for being wrong. Since I am far more concerned with being right than with being nice I feel no need to walk it back. Prove me wrong and I’ll eat all the crow you can shovel down my throat.

  • MaryAnn

    For many of those who have studied Islamic history the plan to build a $100 million dollar 15 story structure on the site of the Burlington coat factory that was damaged by landing gear on 9/11 seems disturbingly similar to the historic practice of tearing down churches and replacing them with mosques in territory that had been conquered by the Muslim empires.

    New York City has not been conquered by a Muslim empire. No one is tearing down a church. The U.S. is not at war with a Muslim empire.

    What any of this has to do with the U.S. Constitution and American ideals is beyond me.

  • dwa

    You are wrong because you are judging and treating people based on nothing but their class or category.

    You are wrong because you are judging and treating people based on something other than the content of their character.

  • Martin

    disturbingly similar to the historic practice of tearing down churches and replacing them with mosques in territory that had been conquered by the Muslim empires.

    And it’s not as if Christians have, historically, built their churches on the sites of other religious sites, have they?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christianised_sites

    Christianity even went one step further and appropriated other culture’s festivals. Christmas was fashioned from the Winter Solstice and Easter from the Harvest festival.

  • bronxbee

    For many of those who have studied Islamic history the plan to build a $100 million dollar 15 story structure on the site of the Burlington coat factory that was damaged by landing gear on 9/11 seems disturbingly similar to the historic practice of tearing down churches and replacing them with mosques in territory that had been conquered by the Muslim empires.

    and christian churches taking over druid and pagan and norse worship sites and building a cathedral over them (as is the case at Chartres at the very least, and probably usurping the sites of mosques all over medieval spain and portugal), or razing inca temples and settlements to the ground, or and most likely and site in the british isles… if one wants to play the blame game on institutional religions, there are plenty of examples for just about every single religion or philosophy current or extinct. it has been 9 years since 9/11. i’m a native new yorker, still living and working in new york city… there has been no rampaging of muslims, no christian churches taken over by force, no burning of christian books, or attacks on jews, or any other violent and forceful act. an islamic *center* where perhaps everyone could find out more about this complex religion and culture would hurt no one, least of all the dead. there is no such thing as the sacred dead… and i’m sick of this whole cult of victimization. only the needs of the living should count. and only going forward and tolerance should be encouraged.

  • JoshB

    You are wrong because you are judging and treating people based on something other than the content of their character.

    What is political affiliation based on if not content of character? Is Republicanism a genetic trait? Is crass controvery-stirring an immutable biological drive? You’re not making any sense.

  • Martin

    if one wants to play the blame game on institutional religions, there are plenty of examples for just about every single religion or philosophy current or extinct.

    Exactly. A point I’d want to raise as a self-proclaimed atheist is that I’m sure that if a plane full of atheists were to crash land on a deserted island, they’s probably end up doing horrible things to each other. It’s not a problem with religion, it’s a problem with people and power, and religion is all about people with power.

    I’m reminded of the Stanford Prison Experiment where people were split up into two groups and told to role play as ‘prisoners’ and ‘guards’. The experiment was stopped after 6 days because of the sadistic punishments the guards gave the prisoners.

  • Jurgan

    New York City has not been conquered by a Muslim empire. No one is tearing down a church. The U.S. is not at war with a Muslim empire.

    That’s the strangest part to me. I can understand being afraid of being blown up by terrorists. That’s something that could happen, even though it’s extremely unlikely. I can’t understand the fear expressed by many that Muslims in America will somehow impose Shariah law on America. How would they possibly pull that off? It really doesn’t make any sense- it’s not as if they’re taking over the government or something (Obama being a secret Muslim aside). What is the basis of that fear?

    Christianity even went one step further and appropriated other culture’s festivals. Christmas was fashioned from the Winter Solstice and Easter from the Harvest festival.

    Let’s be honest: at the time, there was a pretty good reason for that. When it started, they weren’t stealing other faith traditions, but using them as a cover to protect themselves from genuine persecution. Once the old religions died out, Christians had been practicing those traditions for generations, so naturally they became part of the celebrations.

  • MaryAnn

    I can’t understand the fear expressed by many that Muslims in America will somehow impose Shariah law on America.

    All I can imagine is that this fear is being voiced by those who themselves wish/want/intend to impose Christian-based law upon the U.S. They believe it’s reasonable that their religious prejudices can be encoded in supposedly secular law (and why shouldn’t they believe it? it’s already the case in many instances, as with anti-gay marriage laws), so they believe it would also be doable for Muslim religious laws to be similarly encoded. These people are happy to impose their religion upon others, but don’t want someone else’s religion imposed upon them.

    You think they’d get the hint, but they don’t.

    You don’t have to be religious to appreciate the value of the Golden Rule — Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you — but this does seem to be a basic belief that many Christians profess for themselves. So where is it here? Where is the Christian notion of brotherhood and friendship?

    This is yet another illustration of the problem I have with many religious people (not all, but a whole lot of them): They don’t appear to practice the religion they profess to believe in. Most of the atheists I know would appear, judging by their behavior, to be better at following the examples of Jesus than many of the Christians I see. In fact, I can count on the fingers of one hand the Christians I know personally who appear to actually *try* to live by the dictates of Jesus. Most Christians, as far I can see, go through the motions but seem to fundamentally misunderstand what their faith is supposed to be about.

    Are any of these protestors asking themselves, Would Jesus protest a Muslim community center? And where the hell are all the not-bigoted, not-anti-Muslim, inclusive, tolerant, brotherhood-loving Christians in this fight? (I don’t mean in this comments thread. I mean in the world at large.) If living the values of Jesus were really of importance to these people, why aren’t they out there counterprotesting, holding up signs welcoming the Muslim community center to the neighborhood? Jesus cast the moneychangers out of the temple. Where are Jesus’ followers casting the bigots out of lower Manhattan?

  • Orangutan

    Where is the Christian notion of brotherhood and friendship?

    To put it bluntly, and based on what I’ve observed, that only applies to other Christians. And even then, sometimes only those Christians of your own personal denomination. :(

  • dwa

    The content of a person’s character is made up by the presence or abscence of a multitude of traits, both good and bad, in variations of intensity that present in a nearly infinite diversity of combinations. (respectfullness, responsibility, kindness, generosity, honesty perseverence, greed, laziness) Each of these traits may be present to different levels that may move that trait from good to hindering. Perseverence may be a good thing to a limited level but taken too far could lead to deviciveness.

    Are there defined combinations of strengths and weaknesses that lead a person to become a “nihilistic asshole” and others to become non nihilistic assholes. And at what point on the spectrum from perseverent to devicive does one enter the realm of nihilisitc asshole. Is there a point system for + and – traits and at what score does one become a nihilistic asshole and in your opinion, feel compelled to become a registered Republican? And who decides what traits are the most beneficial to not be considered a nihilistic asshole. When distributing limited resources at what point do you slip from being compassionate to showing poor stewardship abilities?

    To say that a political party afilliation can be determined by defined sets of contents of character is like saying you can take the infinite number of musical notes and chords and boil them down to 3 or 4 songs and that one of those songs is no good while the others are.

    Thankfully, the vast majority of people I come into contact with have contents of character that go far beyond a political party afilliation. Their politics are but a dim shadow of who they are as a person.

    To think that the infinite diversity and combinations of traits that make up an individual’s content of character could be boiled down and classified into nihilistic Republican assholes and whatever other simplistic political party affiliations you may choose is what does not make any sense. To judge and demean people based on broad generalized groups makes even less sense. How can that lesson be missed on a day such as today.

    Please tell me that I have a character flaw of gullability and your just seeing how far you can pull my chain.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    Here are some counterarguments that I feel are perfectly legitimate even though I don’t necessarily agree with them:

    gosh it must be nice to be able to define the parameters of the argument, and to delineate the acceptable counter-responses. Why, one might even call it a privilege.

    You are wrong because you are judging and treating people based on something other than the content of their character.

    Aaaaaaaaaaand once again Dr. King rolls over in his grave. Because yet another asshole thinks that by omitting the first half of that quote, he can use what’s left over as a bat to beat people over the head with to not be mean to him, personally.

    Look, genius, political affiliation is entirely about the content of one’s character. It is a group affiliation of choice. If someone calls your group something that you a) don’t like, and b) know for certain doesn’t apply to you, you have two choices: you can work to change the image of your group; or, you can find another group.

    I’m sorry, I should rephrase: you have two choices that don’t make you look like a whiney child.

    I abuse the italics tag because I’m angry.

  • david

    New York City has not been conquered by a Muslim empire. No one is tearing down a church. The U.S. is not at war with a Muslim empire.

    What I’m talking about is symbolism. Governments and nations go to war for land, resources, power, and ideology but people fight for symbols. They fight for things like the American flag, the confederate flag, Hitler and Stalin both sent a majority of resources to Stalingrad as much because of the city’s name as because of its strategic location, and right now the supporters of the Islamic center being built support it because they see it as a symbol of American tolerance and freedom. People fight for symbols. Now, make no mistake about it, Al-qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rest of their ilk will interpret the construction of a fifteen story Islamic center as a victory for the Muslim “cause” which they claim and it will encourage many of them to keep fighting. My idea for an alteration along the way of the Muslim memorial that I described seems to me to be a reasonable way to preempt any use of this construction project for the above purposes. Now if you believe that the building as it currently is planned is a symbol of tolerance and that is more important and powerful, fine. If you believe that we shouldn’t allow our behavior to be influenced by what the Jihadis think, fine. Those are both legitimate viewpoints and I respect them.

    All I can imagine is that this fear is being voiced by those who themselves wish/want/intend to impose Christian-based law upon the U.S. They believe it’s reasonable that their religious prejudices can be encoded in supposedly secular law (and why shouldn’t they believe it? it’s already the case in many instances, as with anti-gay marriage laws), so they believe it would also be doable for Muslim religious laws to be similarly encoded.

    I am an Atheist who fully supports gay marriage and I think that Radical Islam is the greatest long term threat to the United States, our freedoms, and to democracy around the world, at least currently. Radical Islam is a lot more widespread, expansionist, and violent than right wing Christianinity. These guys are hardcore with a solid vision of how the world should be. They believe that their religion can be used to govern every single aspect of life, from personal habits to economics to civil and criminal legal codes. These guys make Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson look like Christopher Hitchens. Osama Bin Ladin and the Muslim Brotherhood truly believe that 100 years from now that the world will be governed by their ideology and the U.S. will be under Shariah law.

    Now, in America we laugh at this. It’s absurd to think that the Constitution will be replaced with Sharia. Muslims make up less than one percent of the US population and most of them aren’t violent. But I’ve seen a lot of things that have scared the hell out of me. I saw most major news networks and shows refuse to show the Danish mohammad cartoons out of fear of reprisals, I’ve seen Comedy Central give South Park Carte Blanche to mercilessly mock any religion except Islam, I’ve seen a self-described artist make an exhibit where he dunks a crucifix into a vat of urine but has stated that he wouldn’t dare do that to a quran, I’ve seen Canada put magazine editors on trial in Kangaroo courts because they reprinted the above mentioned cartoons, and I’ve noticed the establishment of muslim majority enclaves where shariah law is practiced and enforced all throughout Europe. These events are frightening to me because they seem to indicate a disturbing trend.

  • Dr. Rocketscience

    What I’m talking about is symbolism.

    No, you’re not. You said:

    For many of those who have studied Islamic history the plan to build a $100 million dollar 15 story structure on the site of the Burlington coat factory that was damaged by landing gear on 9/11 seems disturbingly similar to the historic practice of tearing down churches and replacing them with mosques in territory that had been conquered by the Muslim empires.

    You are not being symbolic, or metaphoric, or ironic, or anything else. You are quite literally claiming that this group is taking a “sacred” structure (because to people like you, everything remotely related to 9/11 is now “sacred” and “hallowed”) and turn it into a mosque, thereby replacing the “indigenous” religion with Islam.

    You claim is bullshit. Your attempt to walk it back by calling it “symbolism” is likewise bullshit. At least have the human decency own your stupid, crazy, xenophobic bullshit.

    These events are frightening to me because they seem to indicate a disturbing trend.

    See, now you’re almost there. You just need to go ahead and replace the sterile and academic sounding “they seem to indicate a disturbing trend” with the more honest “THESE BROWN PEOPLE ARE FUCKING SCARY!!!” It’s still stupid, crazy, and xenophobic, but at least its honest.

    Look if you want rational adults to be concerned about Islamic expansionism, you’re going to have to do a lot better than “kangaroo courts” in Canada (Wait.. what?), “enclaves” in Europe (’cause the Amish are taking over Pennsylvania), or “censorship” on South Park (do you think they have their fingers on the cutural pulse of, well, anyone?).

  • drewryce

    I am a Republican. I have a son currently serving with the US Marines in Afghanistan (his third overseas tour).
    I guess I am supposed to hate the idea of the WTC mosque. I don’t. Candidly, I don’t even see why it is a national controversy. Absent a few nuetral considerations, like zoning, a man can build his house of worship anywhere he pleases. Some people may not like where he worships or what he worships but that’s just too bad.
    The same rules apply to all.
    If my son gets killed in Afghanistan there is a real possibility that his funeral will be picketed by a nutbag Christian church from Kansas that believes his death is the vengance of God for the US allowing gays to live.
    If something as extreme as the Kansas church disrupting a funeral service is something that we allow then, yes, Moslems in NYC can build a church where they please.

  • MaryAnn

    To say that a political party afilliation can be determined by defined sets of contents of character is like saying you can take the infinite number of musical notes and chords and boil them down to 3 or 4 songs and that one of those songs is no good while the others are.

    Individual members of a political party may not be boil-down-able to three or four characteristics. However, the platform of the national party that is setting the tone certainly can be.

    Now, make no mistake about it, Al-qaeda, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the rest of their ilk will interpret the construction of a fifteen story Islamic center as a victory for the Muslim “cause” which they claim and it will encourage many of them to keep fighting.

    Let them claim whatever they want. (And you can be sure that if it isn’t built, they will offer this as evidence that American hates Islam.) Are we going to let terrorists dictate American values?

    I think that Radical Islam is the greatest long term threat to the United States, our freedoms, and to democracy around the world

    Only if we give them a power they don’t already have: the power to tell us how to behave. Since when does acquiescing to Osama Bin Laden trump the Constitution?

    The Founding Fathers never said it would be easy or safe or comfortable for everyone to live in an open, tolerant society. The Constitution doesn’t guarantee your freedom not to have your feelings hurt, or even to live in absolute safety and security. But you’re already ready to hand over the American freedom of religion, in practice at least.

  • The Founding Fathers never said it would be easy or safe or comfortable for everyone to live in an open, tolerant society.

    Exactly. Tolerance means nothing if we’re only willing to be tolerant with people and ideas we’re comfortable with. Our values are only meaningful if we uphold them even when it’s hard.

  • JoshB

    I am an Atheist who fully supports gay marriage and I think that Radical Islam is the greatest long term threat to the United States, our freedoms, and to democracy around the world, at least currently.

    I’m gonna guess that you’re a fan of Pat Condell.

    Look, I’m not gonna be the one to defend Islam. I’m not fond of it at all. But I want to win that battle fair and square, and that means letting Islam have its say, out in the open, for all to hear. Open marketplace of ideas etc.

    You would pressure Muslims away from what they want to do, and towards what you want them to do. What symbolism do you think that has for radical Islam?

    These guys make Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson look like Christopher Hitchens.

    Not really. I think Falwell, Robertson and their ilk are just a chaos theory nudge away from Bin Ladenhood.

  • dwa

    I have no problem with you saying mean things about me or any other person as you have a constitutional right to do so. (Although I would propose that it is reasonable to make an effort to go out of one’s way not to be mean and treat people badly even if you don’t agree with them) What is wrong is passing judgement on an entire group of people based on a limited or individual class category or characteristic.

    There is no way a political affiliation or a choice to not be affiliated can be entirely about the content of one’s character when chosen, next week or 3 years from now because the variables of one’s character can never be accurately reflected in only 2-3 political parties. Many people that I know feel strongly about some ideas that are supported by one party and other ideas supported by another party. Even when one works to make change, one party’s actions and affects will never accurately portray the innumerable variables that make up the character of a person given the innumerable variables that exist. It doesn’t mean that a person doesn’t try to affect change but that doesn’t change the fact that a choice between the available 2-3 parties or the choice of not being affiliated will never accurately and entirely be a reflection of the content of one’s character. Changing the image of a political party is even harder to affect as one cannot control the thoughts or perceptions of another person.

  • Victor Plenty

    David writes:

    I am an Atheist who fully supports gay marriage and I think that Radical Islam is the greatest long term threat to the United States, our freedoms, and to democracy around the world, at least currently.

    to which JoshB replies:

    I’m gonna guess that you’re a fan of Pat Condell.

    Although not an atheist exactly, I’ve often been amused to find myself agreeing with many things Pat Condell says in his YouTube series. But not this time.

    There is a key point that both Pat and David have missed.

    Yes, there is now a titanic struggle taking place for the future of coexistence, religious tolerance, and freedom of conscience. However, it is NOT a battle between “Islam” and “the West” – that claim originates from the extremist and intolerant side of the cultural war. Whenever that concept gains the upper hand in more people’s minds, the enemies of freedom win huge areas in the battlefield of ideas, including many strategic advantages that will enable the launch of fresh assaults against freedom.

    The real battle – to determine whether the word “freedom” will retain any authentic meaning, or will fall into an Orwellian usage that means the opposite of its traditionally understood meaning – is occurring WITHIN Islam. It is ALSO being fought inside nearly EVERY other religious and ideological group, and yes, even within that loosely affiliated, incredibly diverse community known as Atheists.

    If we want the side of genuine freedom to win this war sooner rather than later, we need all the allies we can get, everywhere we can get them. We need to include all of the Muslims who believe that “Radical Islam” is a terrible long term threat to Islam itself.

    Anyone who studies the history of Islam with an open mind will see that it includes periods of tolerance and peaceful coexistence between different religious communities, not only periods of intolerance and “triumphalism.” Their Holy Book, like every other religious text, includes passages that openly and clearly praise peaceful coexistence.

    The Muslim community includes many people who are natural allies of genuine freedom. They recognize that extremism brainwashes its followers to ignore the principles of tolerance and peace that the vast majority of Muslims use to guide their lives. We need to recognize this too.

    These natural allies of freedom seek to combat that brainwashing, and return the emphasis to principles that are compatible with freedom for everyone. We need to support this.

    These allies seek to recapture the symbolic territory of names and places like Cordoba. Unlike the extremists who may view Cordoba as a symbol of conquest and domination, our natural allies refer to it as a time and place when people of different religious backgrounds worked together, and achieved great works of art, architecture, and scientific advancements together. We need to realize that some of the people who refer to Cordoba are on the side of freedom, and that their efforts deserve the support of all freedom loving people.

    The same is true of the proposed mosque and community center in Manhattan. Yes, extremists will attempt to claim it as a symbol of their eventual victory. This is not at all surprising.

    What’s so mind-boggling is that so many self-appointed champions of freedom, including atheists like David here and Mr. Condell on YouTube, appear so eager and willing to surrender that symbolic battlefield to the extremists without a fight.

    The anti-mosque protests are an act of radical surrender. If they succeed in stopping the project, the extremists of Radical Islam will win a far bigger victory than anything they would ever gain by pointing at the completed mosque and making absurd claims about what it “symbolizes.”

  • dwa

    “Individual members of a political party may not be boil-down-able to three or four characteristics. However, the platform of the national party that is setting the tone certainly can be.”

    My context of the conversation was not that the 3 or 4 characterisitcs were the result of the boiling down. Rather the 3 or 4 options for political affiliation were. Democrat, Rebuplican, Independant or I choose not to participate. The potential but not agreed upon conclusion being that those 3 or 4 political affiliations are completely inadequate to entirely represent the content of one’s character.

    Did you mean to try to boil down each party’s platform to…
    3 or 4 components of what makes up a person’s character or…
    3 or 4 political/societal issues that tend to dominate what makes up the platform?

    It is interesting to try and boil down the party’s platform to 3 or 4 components of character. It is probably not truly possible to do as you are dealing with difficult to quantify characteristics and not just issues…things like compassion, stewardship, responsibility, perseverence, leadership, tolerance (or intolerance), greed, divisiveness, empathy..too many to name. Many of these issues can also slip from good to bad depending on how severely and in what situation they are applied. While perseverence is generally a good thing, taken to the extreme it could easily result in divisiveness.

    If I do try, I think I can only come up with 1 component of character that comes even remotely close to accurately reflecting each party’s platform. Interestingly, each are generally + characteristics but both become destructive when applied to the extremes, much as VP nicely described earlier with regard to religions.

    It is less of a problem to boil down each party’s platform to 3 or 4 societal/political issues. The problem is that these have changed from year to year over the past 40-50 years. I don’t think I have ever found myself in complete accord with a single party’s stances on each issue, as I suspect is the case with a significant percentage of Americans, and I am often nearly evenly split between the 2 major parties.

  • Re: Seeking out Muslim allies: Well said, Victor.

    I heard something on The Takeaway this morning that reminded me of your comments:

    http://www.thetakeaway.org/2010/aug/30/new-york-police-departments-efforts-citys-muslim-community-911/

    In spite of all the noise in the national media, New York City is doing some really smart things to give Muslims a stake in this community. Inclusiveness and outreach aren’t dead.

  • LaSargenta

    I guess I am supposed to hate the idea of the WTC mosque. I don’t. Candidly, I don’t even see why it is a national controversy. Absent a few nuetral considerations, like zoning, a man can build his house of worship anywhere he pleases. Some people may not like where he worships or what he worships but that’s just too bad.

    drewryce, you speak my mind.

    I hope your son gets back safe and sound.

    @ david: You can cloak your bigotry however you like, but it still reeks of fear of the ‘other’. And, the dots you are connecting in your list of why Islam is so terrifying are not a sufficient ground to build this ideology on.

  • MaryAnn

    The problem is that these have changed from year to year over the past 40-50 years.

    I don’t think that’s the issue. The issue is, anyone who proudly calls himself a Republican or a Democrat at this moment in time is announcing an allegiance with what the Republicans or Democrats are doing at this moment in time.

  • JoshB

    It is less of a problem to boil down each party’s platform to 3 or 4 societal/political issues. The problem is that these have changed from year to year over the past 40-50 years. I don’t think I have ever found myself in complete accord with a single party’s stances on each issue

    When I say Republican I don’t mean regular citizen who votes or is registered as a Republican, I’m talking about the party apparatus.

    I can boil the Republican platform here in 2010 down to exactly one unquestionably sincere position: cut taxes. You can amend that with a whispered “for the wealthy.”

    Everything else is grandstanding. This “mosque” controversy is just the most egregious recent example. There is not a single Republican who intends, in their elected capacity, to do anything about this mosque. It’s all bullshit meant to play on the fear and bigotry of the electorate.

    Insincere, ruthless. Nihilistic.

  • And where the hell are all the not-bigoted, not-anti-Muslim, inclusive, tolerant, brotherhood-loving Christians in this fight?

    Well, to be fair, here’s a statement from the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA (45 million members in 100,000 congregations):

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/8/30/897506/-How-will-we-explain-our-ignorance-and-our-compliance-to-our-grandchildren-

    Perhaps a better question might be: Why the hell isn’t the media paying more attention to the moderate Christians who *are* speaking out?

  • Orangutan

    Why the hell isn’t the media paying more attention to the moderate Christians who *are* speaking out?

    Because there isn’t any DRAMA!! in that, Bluejay. It’s all about the DRAMA!! now. :(

  • MaryAnn

    Maybe it is about drama. Couldn’t the tolerant Christians organize a counterprotest at Ground Zero?

  • MaryAnn

    As I was saying:

    Now, Newsweek reveals the most concrete evidence yet that this campaign is serving to bolster support for Islamic radicalism abroad. In an interview with the magazine, a Taliban operative going by the name Zabihullah said that, by “preventing this mosque from being built, America is doing us a big favor.” He goes on to explain that the anti-mosque campaign is providing the Taliban with “with more recruits, donations, and popular support.” Another Taliban official expects that the anti-mosque campaign will provoke a “new wave of terrorist trainees from the West,” similar to suspected Times Square car bomber Faisal Shahzad. Zabihullah concludes, the “more mosques you stop, the more jihadis we will get”:

    There’s more. Read it here.

  • Boingo

    This cemented my position. Build it-this is the U.S.A.

    http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100821/FEATURES10/308210017/Facts-don-t-calm-debate-about-NYC-mosque-plan

    Excerpt:

    “Polls in New York and nationally indicate the majority of Americans oppose building the center. Less clear is what the public knows about what the plans call for — a 13-story, $100million multiuse facility. It would house a pool, gymnasium, a 500-seat auditorium and a Sept. 11 memorial, in addition to a prayer space.

    Also unclear is what they know about the men behind the project — local Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf and developer Sharif Gamal. Rauf, for one, receives high praise from Jewish groups and the State Department as a leading moderate Muslim.”

  • More food for thought, from Stanley Fish:

    The formula is simple and foolproof (although those who deploy it so facilely seem to think we are all fools): If the bad act is committed by a member of a group you wish to demonize, attribute it to a community or a religion and not to the individual. But if the bad act is committed by someone whose profile, interests and agendas are uncomfortably close to your own, detach the malefactor from everything that is going on or is in the air (he came from nowhere) and characterize him as a one-off, non-generalizable, sui generis phenomenon.

    The only thing more breathtaking than the effrontery of the move is the ease with which so many fall in with it. I guess it’s because both those who perform it and those who eagerly consume it save themselves the trouble of serious thought.

    This could apply to folks on *both* sides of this issue, I think.

  • bitchen frizzy

    Maybe it is about drama. Couldn’t the tolerant Christians organize a counterprotest at Ground Zero?

    Anyone could, I suppose. Why wait for someone else to do it?

  • Couldn’t the tolerant Christians organize a counterprotest at Ground Zero?

    I don’t know. How many of the tolerant *atheists* on this thread have organized or attended a counterprotest on this issue, whether in NY or someplace else? To my shame, I have not; if someone here has, good for you, and I’d love to hear about it. And if you haven’t, why not?

    Maybe the tolerant Christians have the same excuses *we* have for not getting off our butts. Maybe we shouldn’t be surprised that more attention is paid to those who–as misguided as we think they are–are willing to stand up and visibly advocate for their cause. And maybe each of us should ask ourselves how much personal responsibility we’re willing to take on, and how fiercely we’re willing to fight for what we believe in. Bitchen frizzy is right: Why wait for someone else to do it?

    We could make plans to attend this, for example:

    http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2010/8/30/897584/-IMPORTANT:-October-2nd:-A-DC-March-for-US!-(With-some-more-info)

    Not specifically about the mosque, but a chance to show up in force and support many of our causes. Too hard? Too far away? No money? Tied to job or family? All valid reasons, I suppose; but then we shouldn’t be surprised when the other side works harder, and wins.

    “Deserve Victory.” – Winston Churchill

  • bronxbee

    i believe there was a counter protest earlier in the day of the one opposing the building of this islamic center a few weeks ago. one of the problems is, the rules and restrictions that go along with “not abridging our freedome of speech.” the NYPD doesn’t want clashes or disturbances, so the two protests could not take place at the same time. the Pro-Center rally — for want of a better word — was held at a very early hour and was barely covered by the NY press, never mind the national press, whereas the Anti-Center protest that took place later in the morning was fully covered. one of our local “rags” the NY Post (i do not fear to name them) are definitely practicing “yellow journalism” when it comes to the building of this center. they’ve been in the forefront of claiming it is too near “sacred ground” and in claiming that the “families of 9/11” are against this. Rupert Murdoch has the fearful and small minded right under his thumb. so in pushing his agenda against “foreigners” (which is a laugh, he’s from australia — but he’s white, see) RM and his outlets: the Post, Fox News, Fox NYC… make sure that the voices screaming loudest are theirs. it would have to be a huge massive rally in favor of the Islamic Center for it to garner the necessary attention to make people realize that not everyone is opposed to this…

    also, moderates in NYC (i do believe most people in NYC are moderates. i like to believe it, anyway) are often bemused by such violent extremes of behavior and they think that since *most* people are moderates and sensible, that all that’s necessary is to ignore the loud and ignorant. unfortunately, that way lies madness and (i know i shouldn’t say it, but i will) things like Kristalnacht. we’ll be having the islamic equivalent soon if more moderate and progressive voices aren’t willing to speak up. and to speak up and not worry about being labelled “un-American” or “liberals.”

  • i believe there was a counter protest earlier in the day

    And did anyone reading this thread attend it? …Anyone?…Anyone?

    Rupert Murdoch […] and his outlets: the Post, Fox News, Fox NYC… make sure that the voices screaming loudest are theirs.

    Sure, they may have louder megaphones, but why should we make it easier for them by not speaking up ourselves?

    it would have to be a huge massive rally in favor of the Islamic Center for it to garner the necessary attention to make people realize that not everyone is opposed to this…

    So let’s have a huge massive rally. What would it take to make it happen? Permits? PR? Advertising? Organizing on Facebook? Convincing your church group/gamer community/book club/Twitter followers to do it? Fundraising? Connections with the media? Can anyone share any info on similar initiatives already underway? What can each person reading this thread contribute to make it happen?

    Or is this yet another thing for us to complain about, while we wait for someone else to do something about it?

    …Look, I’m sorry I’m being shrill. I suppose I’m frustrated with my own inaction, and trying to kick myself in the pants more than anyone else. But I hope others decide to stir themselves to some kind of action as well–not just regarding the mosque, but regarding all the issues we claim we care about deeply. Venting our righteous outrage on forums like this is all well and good, but at what point should we do something more? (And if you *are* doing something more, good for you. Keep setting an example, and maybe the rest of us will be inspired to act too.)

    If we want more people to speak up, WE should speak up. If we want more people to write letters, WE should write letters. If we want more people to call in to the talk shows, WE should call in to the talk shows. And if we want more people in the streets, WE should be in the streets. I know it’s a groan-worthy line by now, but we really ARE the ones we’ve been waiting for.

Pin It on Pinterest