Shooting Ourselves in the Other Foot
WC finds the hysteria over the proposed Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan abhorrent. WC has called it McCarthyism, but it’s actually worse. Here’s WC’s list of ten things to consider as you watch the madness play out:
- The First Amendment to the US Constitution grants freedom of religion, not freedom of Christianity.
- It’s a matter of local government concern – zoning, for example – not national law.
- It’s not a mosque; it’s a cultural center with a prayer room. Is a parsonage a church?
- It’s not at the site of the former World Trade Center; it’s two blocks away.
- The absurd chains of argument that this “mosque” is a trophy for Islamic extremism rank with claims that President Obama is a jihadist, or wasn’t born in the U.S. – just nut job arguments. And the arguments are made by those same nut jobs.
- The anti-Islam hysteria feeds the belief that Americans are out to destroy Islam, and, given our claims of religious tolerance, makes us look like hypocrites.
- As Frank Rich pointed out in his New York Times opinion piece, it seriously undermines the country’s efforts in Afghanistan, and even endangers our soldiers fighting there.
- Sarah Palin opposes the Islamic Cultural Center; it’s hard to go wrong by viewing anything Alaska’s Quitter supports with grave suspicion.
- The timing of all of this is itself deeply suspicious: between December 8, 2009, when the story first broke, and sometime in May, no one cared. Only when Murdoch’s empire saw a jingoist opportunity did the real hysteria begin. This is all about the upcoming election.
- There are at least 1.6 billion Moslems in the world, 23% of the world’s population. Tarring them all with the “terrorist” brush is as unfair and irrational as calling all Christians terrorists because Michael F. Griffin, Paul Jennings Hill, John Salvi, Eric Robert Randolph and James Kopp – all professed, pious Christians – murdered people because they disagreed with their views on abortion.
Even by WC’s jaded standards, the Right’s lies on this issue are the most evil, the most cynical, the most un-American and the most dangerous political stunt in recent memory. Shame on Newt Gingrich, who has sunk to new depths in supporting these lies. They hurt our country in serious, horrible ways.
The Right, for political gain, are betraying everything America stands for. They are betraying our values, our soldiers and our dreams. Shame.