Monday, August 16, 2010

In reply: "Fear, Distrust, and Bigotry is just what the Terrorists want."

In reply to: WyBlog -- Who Was That Mosqued Man?, and in particular, the following comment:
@repsac3 - This is not about stopping Muslims from building mosques. No one is opposing mosques "all over the US". There are periodic local zoning fights about mosques. And similar fights about churches and synagogues too. Come to my town where the animosity generated by a humungous synagogue which was approved in the dead of night is still strong Or several towns over where a Greek Orthodox Mega-Church spent 15 years in litigation before getting its permits.

You say these Muslims are not associated with 9/11. That's probably true. But they are associated with Hamas. And Hamas is a terrorist organization. Hamas sacked and desecrated the Church of the Nativity is Bethlehem. It's absurd for them to now turn around and demand this mosque be built to promote "tolerance". When they lift the siege of Bethlehem, then we can talk.

Oh, and let me set you straight on one point. The terrorists who brought down the towers didn't "claim" to be Muslims. They *were* Muslims. You're veering into Rosie O'Donnell territory if you are unwilling to admit that.

I'm sorry... I did not mean to imply that those terrorists were not muslim. But they represent the muslim  faith in the same way that Fred Phelps represents the Baptist denomination, which is to say, not so much. The proof of that are the millions of muslims all over the world who have never lifted a hand to anyone. To pretend that it is the extremists that represent the muslim faith (or the Baptists, for that matter) and not all those who worship in peace is no less looney than any nutjobbery to which Rosie has added her voice.

I have seen no ties to Hamas. What I have seen is a guy who chooses to be more diplomatic than to call a spade a spade. (or a terrorist a terrorist.) Something to disagree with, perhaps... but not an offense that bars him from opening a cultural center on private property in America. It's fine to be offended by his reticence to speak as forcefully as you would, in his position. But his goals are to bring extremists down from the ledge, and you catch more flies with honey than vinegar. While it's admirable to speak your mind, there are times when not saying the right thing at the wrong time will diffuse a situation better than blatant, brutal honesty. There are times when it's wiser to avoid needless confrontation.

Zoning fights? No, I'm sorry, Chris, but these are objections to mosques and cultural centers, on the basis of the same bigotry against muslims at play in lower manhattan, by what are likely many of the same people. Staten IslandTennessee. Wisconsin. Even folks on the right see what you deny: American Power: To Build or Not to Build? Mosque Protests Go Nationwide (And to his credit, Dr Douglas gets this one more or less correct.) Indeed, there are Mosque Disputes Around the Country. Even Jon Stewart is getting in on the act. This isn't the same as fights over the height of the spire on a church. In each of these cases, the issue is an objection to the muslim faith. Pretending otherwise won't make it go away.

We are America, Chris. We don't base our freedoms on what folks do in other, more regressive, repressive countries. We extend the freedom to build mosques (or other houses of worship) regardless of what other governments or groups do. We are not Hamas, and the suggestion that we should take our cues on freedom from any more repressive regeme betrays a serious misunderstanding of what it means to be an American, whether said by you or by Newt Gingrich.

You know what... Skip it... I see from the comments to the previous post that you're one of those who believes that all the muslims who aren't currently committing acts of terrorism are just pretending, lying about themselves and their faith to lull us all into a false sense of security before they rise up, take us over, and impose Sharia law. And that's to say nothing of Louie Gomert's terrorist tots... 

There's just no arguing against that kind of baseless conspiracy theorizing... I didn't realize what I was dealing with, here... You seemed far more reasonable in past encounters. Carry on being afraid. But if you were to ask me, I'd say that that fear and distrust and bigotry is just what the terrorists want.

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