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Sympathy for the Devil, the Victimization of Bigots at the “Ground Zero” Mosque

How do you tell when the right wing is losing an argument…

They get page time for a really vicious screed in the Wall Street Journal declaring their victim status.

The short version of this is that an Moslem group wishes to build a Mosque on property they own near the site of the WTC. There are a couple of reasons they want to do that –

  1. There was a Mosque there already – prior to 911. Indeed, the reason they own the land in the first place is that there was a Mosque already there – which had to be demolished because the roof was caved in by part of one of the airplanes which hit the towers.
  2. Second, the new building isn’t actually only a Mosque. It’s an Interfaith Center where all are welcome, and Movie Theater which will participate in the Tribeca Film Festival.
  3. By most lists, at least 60 innocent Muslims were killed in the 911 attacks. Muslims, just like Jews and Christians, have a piece of this tragedy as well.

This one really doesn’t add up to more than your typical right wing “ism”. Hatred of everyone, and everything which isn’t white, male, and preferably Protestant quasi-Christian. “Quasi-christian”? Yeah – as much hate as has been directed at black folks, Jewish Folks, and now Hispanic and Muslim folks, sanctified in the very same churches…

It’s got nothing to do with anything in the Bible… Or Torah for that matter.

On with the “Victimization of Bigots!”

Liberal Piety and the Memory of 9/11

Americans may have lacked for much in the course of their history, but never instruction in social values. The question today is whether Americans of any era have ever confronted the bombardment of hectoring and sermonizing now directed at those whose views are deemed insufficiently enlightened—an offense regularly followed by accusations that the offenders have violated the most sacred principles of our democracy.

It doesn’t take a lot to become the target of such a charge. There is no mistaking the beliefs on display in these accusations, most recently in regard to the mosque about to be erected 600 feet from Ground Zero. Which is that without the civilizing dictates of their superiors in government, ordinary Americans are lost to reason and decency. They are the kind of people who—as a recent presidential candidate put it—cling to their guns and their religion.

There is no better exemplar of that faith than New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, though in this he is hardly alone. Compared with the Obama White House, Mr. Bloomberg is a piker in the preachments and zealotry department. Still, no voice brings home more unforgettably the attitudes that speak for today’s enlightened and progressive class.

Immediately after the suspect in the attempted car bombing near Times Square was revealed to be Faisal Shahzad, of Pakistani origin, Mayor Bloomberg addressed the public. In admonishing tones—a Bloomberg trademark invariably suggestive of a school principal who knows exactly what to expect of the incorrigibles it is his unhappy fate to oversee—the mayor delivered a warning. There would be no toleration of “any bias or backlash against Pakistani or Muslim New Yorkers.”

That there has been a conspicuous lack of any such behavior on the part of New Yorkers or Americans elsewhere from the 9/11 attacks to the present seems not to have impressed Mr. Bloomberg. Nor has it caused any moderation in the unvarying note of indignation the mayor brings to these warnings. It’s reasonable to raise a proper caution. It’s quite something else to do it as though addressing a suspect rabble.

It’s hard to know the sort of rabble the mayor had in mind when he told a television interviewer, prior to Shahzad’s identification, that it “could be anything,” someone mentally disturbed, or “somebody with a political agenda who doesn’t like the health-care bill.” Nowhere in the range of colorful possibilities the mayor raised was there any mention of the most likely explanation—another terrorist attempt by a soldier of radical Islam, the one that occurred to virtually every American who had heard the reports.

The citizens were, of course, right. Those leaders bent on dissuading them from their grasp of the probable cause of this near disaster were left with their red herrings hanging—but remembered. Mr. Bloomberg’s “someone who doesn’t like the health-care bill” would be inscribed in the golden book of howlers these events have yielded, along with Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano’s brisk assurance there was no evidence this was anything but “a one-off.”

The notion that it is for the greater good that the people be led to suspect virtually any cause but the one they had the most reason to fear reflects a contempt for the citizenry that’s of longstanding, but never so blatant as today. It is in the interest of higher values, Americans understand—higher, that is, than theirs—that they are now expected to accept official efforts to becloud reality.

Such values were the rationale for the official will to ignore the highly suspicious behavior of Maj. Nidal Hasan, who went on to murder 13 Americans at Fort Hood. A silence maintained despite all his commanders and colleagues knew about his raging hostility to the U.S. military and his strident advocacy on behalf of political Islam.

Those who knew—and they were many—chose silence out of fear of seeming insensitive to a Muslim. As one who had said nothing in the interest of this higher good later explained, Maj. Hasan was, after all, one of the few top-ranking Muslim officers the army had.

In the plan for an Islamic center and mosque some 15 stories high to be built near Ground Zero, the full force of politically correct piety is on display along with the usual unyielding assault on all dissenters. The project has aroused intense opposition from New Yorkers and Americans across the country. It has also elicited remarkable streams of oratory from New York’s political leaders, including Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.

“What are we all about if not religious freedom?” a fiery Mr. Cuomo asked early in this drama. Mr. Cuomo, running for governor, has since had less to say…

 
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Posted by on August 5, 2010 in Domestic terrorism

 

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