Tag: Islam

Aug 27

It’s a Scary World, So Vote For the Scariest Candidate! (updated)

by fwoan | Comments Off
1989 Presidential Inauguration, George H. W. Bush, Opening Ceremonies, at Lincoln Memorial

It’s been a little longer than my usual writing interval and I’m feeling comfortable blaming it on work being very busy and the summer heat making me feel lazy. Lately, everything I see in the news lately is about this bullshit mosque controversy and the midterm elections. I guess the campaign to keep us in line for the coming election is in full force.

The protests that took place over the previous weekend at Ground Zero show the ratcheting up of bigotry against Muslims and Arabs in this country. This is a perfect example of how those in power divide us amongst ourselves to increase their own power, and leave us with less. This mosque and it’s imam were nothing of consequence until very recently. Now, seemingly all of a sudden, this becomes a major issue that candidates can rally around without actually presenting anything of actual value to voters. They don’t actually need to offer us anything or better the society that created them, just scare us!

Jon Stewart is doing a wonderful job showing that before it was decided that this could be used to scare white people owners of Fox News were even funding its construction. But hey, it’s an election year and we need some reason to get the bigots to the polls! Gay marriage has been done to death, and the guy who helped lead anti-gay campaigns has unfortunately come out himself, even going so far as to say that the Republican Party “is a diverse party with lots of different views.” Not exactly the Tea Party rallying cry.

So, now we “need” to vote for whoever will save us from the gays Muslims! Never mind that there’s already a mosque four blocks away or the strip club that is three blocks from “sacred ground”, this mosque is somehow a terrible spectre! I like to ask myself whether these bigots realize that with every sign they paint with “9/11″ they use Arabic numerals.

A contributor for SocialistWorker.org, Sherry J. Wolf, recently appeared on MSNBC’s Hardball to debate this “issue” and made the wonderful point that when Catholic priests were being charged with molestation across the country, no one called for churches to be moved from schools or playgrounds. This is hate, pure and simple as stories out of Tennessee, Florida, and California show that almost anywhere in the United States is not a welcome place for Muslims.

And now the attack on a New York City cab driver after being asked if he is a Muslim just drives the point home. In November, Americans will vote to empower one of the two capitalist parties (this time it seems that it is the Republican’s turn) – largely because those in power have terrified the masses and played into their prejudices. It is impossible to fathom the American people being given real, substantive issues on which to vote. Nothing emancipatory, nothing beneficial – just fear and hate. Again.

Aug 3

Like a Mosque to the Flame (updated)

by fwoan | 3 Comments »
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There’s a host of great reasons why the mosque being constructed near Ground Zero delights me. Despite my atheism, the construction of this holy place is really quite a great symbol for the culture of our country. Not because of some romantic idea about healing or tolerance. If we were going to pat ourselves on the back and congratulate one another over ideas like that we would only serve to increase whatever intellectual dishonesty we care to indulge ourselves in. No, there is no healing or tolerance for the individuals building this mosque and the “controversy” surrounding its construction only proves it. With conservatives doing everything but donning white gowns and burning the site (and let’s be honest, they can’t always hold back), liberals are either too afraid or racist to stand up for what’s right. Even “the nation’s premier civil rights/human relations agency”, the Anti-Defamation League, has come out against the mosque with the cowardly rebuttal that “ultimately this is not a question of rights, but a question of what is right.” Suddenly, when Arabs are involved, those “rights” become quaint.
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Apparently not. I saw this on Matthew Yglesias’ blog a bit ago and didn’t immediately do anything with it as I was curious whether it would ever be widely reported. Much to my dismay it wasn’t and had it not been for Yglesias’ report on it, I unfortunately would not have seen it at all. What its lack of reporting means to us makes it all the more unfortunate.
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