Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ground Zero Tolerance

A group of progressive Muslims is interested in developing their property, located two and a half blocks away from the site of the ruined Twin Towers in New York City, into a community center. It is conceived as a cultural center to strengthen ties between Muslims and people of all faiths and backgrounds. According to Imam Feisal, who has made a career of promoting interfaith tolerance and understanding, "we want to push back at the extremists."

It's not a bad idea. Surveys show that The Terrorists believe all Americans are evil people, when at most some of us are just a little annoying.We feel the same way about Muslims and people who look like they might be Muslims. In spite of this obvious common ground, we have failed to come together. So the plan was endorsed by the mayor, the NY Times, the local synagogue, 9/11 victims' families, and many others when it was proposed eight months ago.

Naturally, folks were shocked when it was recently revealed, by conspiracy blogger Pamela Geller (who previously informed us that Malcolm X was Obama's father), that a "monster mosque" was going up at ground zero. Even before she was able to disclose that the mosque was planning to open an exploding underwear concession from a booth constructed from the bones of firemen, the story was picked up and widely disseminated (via hitting the fan) by serial fabulists Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Fox News. People are hugely upset. I'm upset because I had no idea that bloggers were influential. We shouldn't be; we make shit up. And if we is, why amn't I?

The whole project, now universally portrayed as The Monster Mosque At Ground Zero, has become distasteful to a majority of Americans, many of whom identify as Christians. Forgiveness is an important part of being a Christian. Some of them are even able to forgive Jesus for that Sermon on the Mount, assuming he was just having an off day.

The very thought of a Monster Mosque At Ground Zero took many by surprise, especially Imam Feisal, since it wasn't a mosque and wasn't at ground zero. The quickest to rebound from the shock was the Committee for Obama Defamation (COD), which sprang into action with a COD piece for every contingency:

Obama supports mosque, because he's a Muslim.
Obama says nothing about mosque, because he's a Muslim.
Obama decries mosque, because he's a Muslim and sneaky besides.

We the people have always taken being bombed very personally, as well we should, since it was meant personally, which is what makes it different from the bombing we do. We intend to cede zero ground to the terrorists.

I get this stance. There is a huge organization out there with power greater than most entire countries, and it revered its profits so highly that it was able to set the lowest wages on the planet. Then it packed jets in the name of almighty Moolah with all the middle-class manufacturing jobs and rammed them right into the economy. In spite of that, it has managed to erect giant Walmarts all over, usually in the precise areas of devastation. That there hasn't been a greater outcry over this is just another case of failing to connect the dots.

Meanwhile, many of the great Internet typists have undertaken to determine the exact distance away from Ground Zero it would be appropriate to put up a mosque, but that distance varies, because Uranus travels in an elliptical orbit.

The consensus, though, is that there should be a blank space, nothing at all, around Ground Zero. Think of it as a monument to atheism.

47 comments:

  1. You are, as always, right on the money Murr! Great post!

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  2. Ignorance is frightening, isn't it!

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  3. Boy, I knew Palin had trouble with geography, but it's worse than I thought--since when is Alaska in the heartland?
    Peaceful Palinists pls refuidate.

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  4. Well said, Murr. Will you be our new leader? Please?

    Kat: Highsterical . . .

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  5. Oh man. I am SO GLAD to discover that I am NOT ALONE. The country I am a part of consists of every kind of person, and sometimes I worry that, even so, I am an anomalous blip on the screen. Then I read something like this post and know you will be there next to me. Thank you for this post.

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  6. Djan, now you're just an anomalous blip on MY screen. Thanks! Give the heartland a big howdy from me. We're holding down the edges of the map.

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  7. I was thinking the same thing Kat said. I'm impressed that all of the words on the sign the Ohio gentleman was carrying were spelled correctly. Especially since I live here - wouldn't want the people who make stuff up about the president to be illiterate.

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  8. This isn't something I normally say, but it just seems fitting -- "Hells yeah."

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  9. "..because Uranus travels in an elliptical orbit."
    HA HA HA!

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  10. Wonder what kind of orbit the Tea Party travels?

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  11. Can we put them in the same orbit as Russel's teapot?

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  12. Ron Paul said, "The justification to ban the mosque is no more rational than banning a soccer field in the same place because all the suicide bombers loved to play soccer."

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  13. Seems to me that if we compromise our ideals of religious tolerance due to 9/11 fearmongerers, the terrorists win. But heck, what do I know?

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  14. Thanks for writing this piece. As bloggers we do have a voice and, on occasion, we need to use our voices for more than snark and silliness. Although, I do love me my snark and silliness as much as the next person.

    Seriously, Ron Paul wrote an excellent piece on his website supporting the community center. If the right-wing won't listen to Ron Paul than we're in bigger trouble than I ever thought.

    Nice picture of America these asshats are presenting to the Muslim world. They haven't got the brains cells to realize this does nothing to enhance our security.

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  15. GREAT post! - "serial fabulists" I love it! Unfortunately "truth and reality" can't compete with "hatred and perjudice!" Reason to the unreasonable is impossible. THANKS for sharing your great insights!

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  16. Oh Murr, thank you. Sometimes I sit up here and look at the goings on down below the 49th parallel and I get pretty scared. It's hard to know what to make of people who think FOX news is real, you know? But you give me hope.

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  17. It is truly discouraging how readily we abandon our ideals. We will set them down on the nearest horizontal surface and let them get covered with junk mail, and when everything calms down and we go to look for them again, they're nowhere around. My optimism has everything to do with brain chemistry and nothing to do with reality.

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  18. "Some of them are even able to forgive Jesus for that Sermon on the Mount, assuming he was just having an off day."

    You are so right on with this and many other analyses. Many Christians are so wrapped up in theology that they ignore much of what Jesus actually taught.

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  19. I wrote about this a while ago. Geller is a true nutcase, as are the others who give a flying fig what is built across from the 'gentleman's escort service' up the block. (Which apparently IS okay.) http://www.examiner.com/freethought-in-philadelphia/ground-zero-mosque-why-not

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  20. Elizabeth BrewsterAugust 29, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    On a related note, this article in the Washington Post scared the heck out of me. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/08/27/AR2010082702359.html

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  21. a first time visitor but a long time member of the chorus you're preaching to here.

    well read, well said.

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  22. I'm happy to meet you. I'm collecting Janes/Jaynes; I hope to have the complete set.

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  23. It's nuts, this Islamophobia, even worse when you consider the folks behind the community center: They're the Muslim equivalent of those dreaded Christian fanatics, Unitarians.

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  24. What's really weird is that there have been religious services going on at that location for a year now, but nobody seemed to notice or care until they applied for a permit to add the cultural center. Just another of those "wedge" issues that the refudiators jump on because they don't have any constructive ideas to help this country.

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  25. A blank space, yes. I agree. For all the airplanes to safely land that would've otherwise smacked into those buildings which once stood there.

    "Obama supports mosque, because he's a Muslim.
    Obama says nothing about mosque, because he's a Muslim.
    Obama decries mosque, because he's a Muslim and sneaky besides."

    That's kind of like a syllogism. Only, not. Because it's composed of three statements for which there's no proof and don't back each other up. I mean, Obama IS sneaky, but I don't see much cause to call him Muslim. I'm kind of ashamed that bloggers have this much influence...I hope people don't start listening to us or there'll be a lot of people laying in the sun with their cats and buying obscure fashion labels and baking raisin cookies.

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  26. @Kat: Thanks for the reminder. I must retrieve ol' Bertrand from behind the bookcase and re-enlighten myself.

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  27. can't we just get you on the networks instead of all those idiotic talking bubbleheads? i actually saw an op-ed in my paper that called it a Muslim Niketown. who are these people and what are they doing in our country? and i don't mean the Muslims.

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  28. All this media hubbub over dumb-ass meaningless shit.

    I wish someone instead would organize a phalanx of pissed-off bloggers and Capitol Mall marching drones to put just a fraction of goddam attention on the men and women getting blown up daily by dirt road bombs in Afghanistan who just want to come home. But no, the Media classifies the REAL stuff as simply too "boring" to air.

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  29. that is a fairly SELFISH comment, there, Tiffin... "below the 49th parallel"?!?!?! the other HALF of the country is 'below the 49th parallel'.
    thanks SO VERY much. <(note sarcasm). :P

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  30. It's not like you need more voices singing your praises, so I'll just sing alto (per usual), you know, sort of harmonizing, nice back time etc etc.

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  31. This entire post has nothing to do with your angst about the anti-Muslim movement in the USA, does it, Murr? What I'm hearing behind all the Sturm und Drang here is the angst that all bloggers share, the angst that we're not important, that we're not being heard. Which we aren't, of course, unless we're word wizards like Pamela Geller, the world's leading conspiracy theorist next to Glenn Beck. It's too bad, really, because some of us have important things to say from time to time.

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  32. I just wanted to say here, that nobody is really listening to anybody else. Firstly, for every poster I see here (and it would appear all leftists), there is no posting from the right.

    I just wanted to put in my two cents here.

    Anyone who agrees that the "center" as it is so politically correctly referred to, will be much more than a mosque, and a center of equality for all religions, but to be quite honest, there is NO EQUALITY between Islam and Christianity. The two are darn near diametrically opposed!!!

    Personally, if it were me, there would be nothing at all on the spot for miles, except for a memorial for everyone who died there that day, including the terrorists, and the twin lights shining (as I understand they have been) far into the night--a beacon and marker of the tragedy of that day.

    True forgiveness implies forgetting, and frankly, I'll never forget that day. I don't think it allows the terrorists one bit of "haha"; however---

    Putting a mosque on that site, or near it, or even in the country--is basically allowing them to plant their flag on OUR HILL. And that, to the Muslim countries, if you didn't know, constitues a "we won" mentality for the extremists "over there". It's a STATEMENT to the terrorists that they won the supreme battle with the infidel--(that's us, in case you didn't know). This sort of behavior is noted many times in Biblical text AS WELL AS OTHER HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS. And lest you confuse what I just said as "calling the Bible a historical document", forget it--I'm not getting into that argument with anybody. I said what I said, you can take it or leave it. The fact is that religious extremists have always "planted their flag" or "built a shrine" on the place where they defeated the enemy.

    So think again about this "center". It is not a center for religious freedoms. It's a statement that they've won the battle and erected their shrine, with a nice pink christmas wrap and a big orange bow to try to make it palatable to the general populace.

    A pig is still a pig, even if you put a dress on it.

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  33. Thanks for your comment, Tenna. Feelings do run high. You're right--mostly lefties comment on my blog. That actually surprises me, that I haven't gotten much objecting commentary on my occasional political posts. I've always put it down to the fact that I don't actually have that many readers.

    My feelings about individual groups are usually informed by my own personal experiences with individuals in those groups--and that usually leads me to avoid generalizing about them. It's a little more time-consuming than stereotyping, but hey, I'm retired--I've got time.

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  34. Thanks for your comment, Tenna. Feelings do run high. You're right--mostly lefties comment on my blog. That actually surprises me, that I haven't gotten much objecting commentary on my occasional political posts. I've always put it down to the fact that I don't actually have that many readers.

    My feelings about individual groups are usually informed by my own personal experiences with individuals in those groups--and that usually leads me to avoid generalizing about them. It's a little more time-consuming than stereotyping, but hey, I'm retired--I've got time.

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  35. It's not like you need more voices singing your praises, so I'll just sing alto (per usual), you know, sort of harmonizing, nice back time etc etc.

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  36. @Kat: Thanks for the reminder. I must retrieve ol' Bertrand from behind the bookcase and re-enlighten myself.

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  37. This isn't something I normally say, but it just seems fitting -- "Hells yeah."

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  38. Djan, now you're just an anomalous blip on MY screen. Thanks! Give the heartland a big howdy from me. We're holding down the edges of the map.

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  39. It's nuts, this Islamophobia, even worse when you consider the folks behind the community center: They're the Muslim equivalent of those dreaded Christian fanatics, Unitarians.

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  40. Well said, Murr. Will you be our new leader? Please?

    Kat: Highsterical . . .

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  41. Go Mur!

    (Note: I have no idea who you are. And you write like a child...)

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