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So, Muslim is the New Gay?

August 14, 2010

Don't be so proud of your ignorance

Welcome to the party, Muslims. It’s not a whole lot of fun when intolerance and discrimination are not only socially acceptable, but encouraged.

I’ve been watching the events of the last few months with growing disbelief- how is it in the U.S., a democratic nation which espouses diversity, freedom of speech, religion and tolerance, that so many have become a bunch of hate-filled, fear-mongering, narrow minded robots?

How is it that so many people think that the terrorist attacks on 9/11 were undertaken not by a group of religious extremists, but by the whole of Islam, with every single Muslim in the world somehow complicit in the attack? Of course, over 40% of Americans believed that Saddam Hussein was responsible for 9/11, thanks our politicians and the oh-so-liberal media, so I guess having a moderately informed electorate is just too much to ask. Such stupidity boggles the mind. And I’m not even going to get into the Mosque That Is Not Actually At Ground Zero debate, suffice it to say that I agree with Mayor Bloomberg and Fareed Zakaria and I find the hypocrisy of some of those that oppose it, shameless.

The Tea Party, which is clearly taking over the GOP, could almost make me think the Democrats, including Meritocrat Barack Obama, look good. Which is I guess what the DNC is hoping. The Tea Party has become a caricature of the radical right, made up largely of uninformed blowhards. They think mandating private insurance companies to make buckets of money off health reform is socialism or communism? Go back and take a civics class. They are concerned about the rising deficit? Where were they during the Bush years, when Bush was spending like a drunken sailor? What were they doing when the GOP was destroying the balanced budget so generously handed to them by Bill Clinton? And have you heard any of them question the trillions in defense spending? Who is paying for that? Or the Bush tax cuts? Oh, those don’t need to be paid for. And as we’ve seen with the BP oil spill, federal intervention is evil unless you happen to be the one needing the federal intervention. We can expect to see this same sort of moral equivalency from the ‘Just Say No’ crowd if there is a hurricane that damages the southern U.S. this season. They’ll be the first ones crying for federal assistance.

And taxes? Some would have us believe that the evil, Kenyan-born, closet Muslim Barack Obama has raised our taxes! Guess what, they are the lowest they’ve been in 60 years. Oh, and your guns and the delusion that the Democrats are going to take them away, leaving you defenseless when the Muslims take over and enact Sharia law, well, Obama has actually expanded the rights of gun owners under federal law. And now we have talk of little Muslim Terror Babies who will grow up and blow up buildings! Really. Be afraid, be really afraid. The politics (and psychology) of fear is as old as politics itself, and it’s been quite effective in helping despots and those who would abuse their power for the benefit of a few, maintain control over a stressed out and compliant populace.

The latest fear-mongering can be found in any establishment media or government speech or interview about the so-called “existential” threat posed by Iran. Been there, done that- it was called Iraq. In fact, some would have us believe that war with Iran is all but inevitable. It’s not that there aren’t countries out there, including Iran, who may pose a threat to long-term strategic U.S. and Israeli interests, but it’s a pretty good bet that just like with Iraq, there is much more to the story than our leaders and the special interest groups (read: Neocons) are letting on. And don’t expect any real discussion of the fact that for the past, oh, 12 years the U.S. and Israel have been saying that in just two short years, Iran will have the bomb. The two years come and go and still no bomb. No proof of an active program and no proof that the IAEA can’t be as successful in preventing a nuclear program as they were with Iraq. And of course, the Obama administration, under pressure from the Israel Lobby hawks, is now saying the exact same thing. That the case for a military strike against Iran is even weaker than the case for war with Iraq, doesn’t seem to matter much to the people wringing their hands and clutching their pearls why saying “but we have to do something…”. No, actually, right now we don’t have to do “something” especially if our “something” ends up making the U.S. and Israel much less safe in the long-run. For a good discussion of the real politics of war with Iran, read this recent article from Trita Parsi.

Somewhere, Osama Bin Laden is laughing his ass off because when we start to display the same sort of intolerance and cynical abuse of religion and promotion of irrational fear that are his trademark, the terrorists truly do win. When we start questioning the ability of our democracy to handle the threat of terrorism and succumb to the temptation of adopting anti-democratic policies to deal with a threat we at times, understandably, feel helpless to overcome, the terrorists win. The anti-Muslim sentiment that is spreading like a virus only helps actual terrorists recruit more members, claiming that the U.S. is anti-Islam, has imperialistic designs in the Middle East and seeks to impose it’s western way of life on everyone. You think this would be obvious to the “anything is justified in the name of national security” crowd, including those in the Obama administration who continue Bush’s dangerous anti-terrorism policies. Apparently not.

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85 Comments leave one →
  1. Steve permalink
    August 14, 2010 11:20 am


    It seems like whenever there is a democrat in office the right wing becomes totally unhinged- we saw that during the Clinton years despite the fact that Clinton really wasn’t all that liberal but that didn’t stop the far right and the GOP from calling him a socialist and putting forth bizarre conspiracy theories- remember the ones about him being involved with murderous drug cartels and then of course the one about Hillary killing Vince Foster. But I have to say, even as someone who isn’t a huge Obama fan, what’s going on takes the cake. I don’t care what anyone says, there is a real thread of racism and islamaphobia that runs through the tea party movement and sadly, it’s been aided and abetted groups like AIPAC and the Emergency Committee for Israel which have tried to scare more moderate Jews into thinking he is anti-Israel.

    I love the link to the Sharron Angle story about how she says the UN is unconstitutional under the US Constitution. Honestly, a lot of these Tea Partiers have taken stupidity to a new level. Call me an elitist but I expect people who are running for office to know where certain countries are, who leads them and to understand basic civics 101. That Palin and Co. are trying to claim that any criticism of them is just snobbery is ridiculous. They live in their own fictitious world made up of sound bites and really bad interpretation of history and law.

    No one in the GOP or tea party has put anything forth in terms of policies that differ from the disastrous policies of Bush or that have any basis in reality at all. Getting rid of all federal departments (education, labor, EPA, HHS) may make a good soundbite for the Gun crowd but in reality, it’s not workable.

    Also, as Jew, a lot of these people scare the shit out of me since most of them seem to be radical Evangelicals who think Christianity should be the law of the land, except when it comes to things like tolerance and turning the other cheek. Either that or they are Christian Zionists who think we exist to help bring about the Rapture, at which point all Jews (nonbelievers) will be destroyed to make way for the Second Coming. If that’s not anti-Semitic I don’t know what is. How ironic that hawkish Jews like Lieberman and AIPAC have joined with these nutjobs to promote “pro-Israel” foreign policy.

  2. Thain permalink
    August 14, 2010 11:23 am

    Woo hoo! War, war more war!

    You know your shit!

    It’s obvious the Obama administration is simply going to claim in 2012 that even though liberals can’t stand him, we should all vote for him because the other side is much worse. Pretty much every democratic administration does this. The GOP loves and coddles their base and the democrats hate and lash out at theirs. Speaking of that, wasn’t Robert Gibbs a smarmy, arrogant jerk the other day?

    I think we need a draft and a war tax then we’ll see if these chicken hawks and the mindless sheeple still support every war that comes down the pike!

  3. Sammy permalink
    August 14, 2010 11:25 am

    Stacy, you keep talking like this you are going to find yourself having a tough time in airports! 😉

    You go girl!

  4. August 14, 2010 12:51 pm

    I find the title of this piece rather ironic, since Muslims hate gays more than Christians do.

    If you do your research on Islam, you find out that it is not a peace-loving religion, anymore than Christianity is. The difference is, Christianity’s barbaric period ended a couple hundred years ago, whereas Islams’ is still going on. That is the attraction of Islam to many people, the fact that it is unchanging. Gays could be stoned to death 400 years ago, they can be stoned today. As can adulturous women.

    How any western European woman can embrace Islam, or not look on it without fear, is beyond me.

    • Sammy permalink
      August 14, 2010 1:31 pm

      How exactly do you quantify when elements of one religion hate more than another? Some Christians hate gays to the point they say its a greater threat than terrorism.

      I don’t want to speak for the author of this post, but no where did I hear her say that every single Muslim is tolerant. Your argument is a straw man that essentially makes her point- you essentially claim that because SOME Muslims are intolerant than ALL of Islam is evil.

    • August 14, 2010 2:19 pm

      I think it’s pretty obvious that in the title I was referring to the fact that it has become acceptable in this country to talk about Muslims in a way that we wouldn’t talk about any other group. The most recent group to experience this double standard (which still exists in some quarters) are gay people.

      With respect to Iran, I never argued that the regime was tolerant nor did I argue that it is completely harmless. But I do think that war or any military action would be disastrous for the US and Israel. In addition to likely destroying whatever is left of the Green democracy movement it will embolden Hezbollah and other terrorist groups, alienate more moderate countries and threaten our security interests throughout the region. It would also serve as a great recruiting tool for other terrorist groups, much like the Iraq War was/is.

      When we talk about Iran I am always struck by how, just as with Iraq, no one seems to scratch their head and ask “what has changed that suddenly makes Iran such a threat” as opposed to, say, 10 or 15 years ago? Keep in mind, Iran didn’t start using hateful rhetoric visa vi Israel just in the past few years. They didn’t just become a repressive regime. They didn’t just start having questionable relationships with terrorist groups. So why all of a sudden do we claim that they are an almost immediate threat to the US and Israel? Most believe that the IAEA inspects worked and Iran not only doesn’t have an active nuclear weapons program but they lack the ability to even create one. Their economy is a disaster and spending trillions on trying to get one would be a disaster. This is exactly the situation that we witnessed with Iraq- nothing had changed prior to our invasion despite our playing up Saddam’s PAST crimes, which we didn’t seem to care about too much when we were his ally. Well, 9/11 happened but Saddam of course had nothing to do with that.

      I think the question is how do we deal with Iran in a way that doesn’t jeopardize Israeli and US interests in both the short and long term? Anyone who claims to be “pro-Israel” should be concerned about the blowback from an attack against Iran- it very well could start a war with Hezbollah in Lebanon and create a more tenuous situation with Syria, something which Secy Clinton and Obama have been trying very hard to prevent. And of course, almost all military experts and even Secy Gates have admitted that bombing Iran’s nuclear sites won’t stop their program, whether it be civilian, military or both. An Israeli or US attack would likely kill the Green movement and there isn’t a single Iranian human rights activist that I know of that has argued that the US or Israel should use a military option. In fact, quite the opposite. As one of articles I linked to argues, quite persuasively, Iran is weaker than it has been in ages- an attack would strengthen the regime and allow the Mullahs to blame all their internal strife, their horrendous economic situation etc. on Israel and the US- right now, the economic situation there is causing massive social unrest- the very thing that can lead to regime change.

      One of the things that could significantly strengthen Israel and the US’ position in the region is to create two states-Israel and Palestine. That would have the effect of allowing other Arab states to begin rapprochement and even normalization of relations with Israel- something that they feel they can’t do politically until the Palestinian question is resolved. It seems much more beneficial to Israel to eventually work towards normalizing relations with *some* of their Arab neighbors than to simply resort always to military solutions. Seem naive? Well, no, because there were many people who way back when said Israel would never, ever be able to sign a peace treaty with ANY country in the region but of course, Egypt and Jordan became allies and Turkey normalized relations also. It won’t solve all the problems in the region but it would be a huge step forward.

      It should give some pause that the extremist Mullahs in Iran are practically praying that we or Israel bomb them, for all of the reasons stated above. Think about that.

      • Pilgrim permalink
        August 14, 2010 2:38 pm

        This is good writing and good insight into this important topic. Thanks for the points you make on Iran.

  5. August 14, 2010 12:56 pm

    >>>It’s not a whole lot of fun when intolerance and discrimination are not only socially acceptable, but encouraged.

    Hmm..that would be what goes on in Islamist countries, where any woman who wears a dress higher than ankle length is beaten up? Anyone not wearing a burhka is called a slut? Where Christian women from America – aka you – have to wear a head covering to satisfy *their* religion, yet if we ask them to take off their burkas in the US we’re discriminating against their religion?

    Where Iran has vowed to destroy Israel? Sounds pretty intolerant to me.

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      August 14, 2010 1:26 pm

      I am a young woman of western European decent, so I don’t know if I count here, but I do not fear entire religions. Granted, the muslim friend I have and people I’ve worked with make that easier, but to fear an entire group for the actions of a few is stupid and this country is at its best when intolerance in NOT encouraged. I can’t change what goes on in other countries – they have a right to their sovereignty just like we do – but we in this country certainly don’t need to be discriminatory because other nations are. Simply justifying bad behavior doesn’t make it alright.

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        August 14, 2010 1:27 pm

        edit*muslim friends – there are more than one*

      • August 14, 2010 3:17 pm

        Of course you count!

        Regarding having Muslim friends. That’s what it all comes down to I think. Same thing with gay rights. People who claim to have never known a single gay person probably have an easier time believing all gay people are abnormal, sinful freaks of nature but once people actually get to know people who are actually *different* than they are, it gets harder to demonize the whole group. At least for most people.

        I can’t help but wonder how many of the people who think that Islam is per se evil, actually know, or are friends with, people who are Muslim? How many have read anything about Islam or about the Qu’uran? No religion is perfect and all of the major religions use the words of religious texts to justify hatred and intolerance against this group or that. Sammy’s link below shows an interesting example that we rarely hear about in Israel but as we speak, the issues surrounding the Haredi community are extremely controversial.

    • Sammy permalink
      August 14, 2010 1:35 pm

      Caroline, intolerance and discrimination towards women is not the sole province of radical Islam:

      How many Muslims do you know personally? I know quite a few and all of them are support gay rights. Do radical Muslims have draconian policies towards gays? Yes, they do. But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water. Unfortunately the ultra conservative elements of most organized religions do.

      There are many Muslims in the U.S. who love the US more than anything and who are peaceful practitioners of their religion and most if not all of those oppose the radical elements which use violence to achieve their ends. Do you really not see that?

    • Steve permalink
      August 14, 2010 1:44 pm

      I suggest you read the Trita Parsi article stacy linked to and read up on the history of Iran and Israel, how even under the Mullahs Israel has worked with them behind the scenes, particularly as a hedge against Iraq. They also continued until recently to do business with Iran, despite their differences.

      Is the Iranian regime tolerant of Israel, gays or those who oppose their version of Sharia? No, they are not. Is Iran going to try to wipe Israel off the map (something they never said by the way):

      No, they are not going to wipe Israel off the map. They don’t have the means and even if they had double the number of nuclear weapons Israel does, it would be mutually assured destruction- something which benefits neither israel or the Iranian regime. Iran does oppose Zionism in all its forms and sees Israel as a direct threat and vice versa. Does Iran say abhorrent things about Israel and Jews at times? They certainly do, but to use that as an emotional appeal for war is pretty incredible. If you do a simple internet search, you can learn a great deal about how Israel and Iran have been more than willing to work together when necessary.

      Also, if we attack Iran, do you really think the neocons will stop there? No, of course not. They are already beating the drums about Syria and Lebanon.

      • Steve permalink
        August 14, 2010 1:44 pm

        My response above was aimed at Caroline not discourse or sammy, which I hope was obvious 😉

  6. discourseincsharpminor permalink
    August 14, 2010 1:17 pm

    Look at who the Teapublican party has running in the midterms. Wingnuttery, it seems, has hit the mainstream. A few years ago, anyone who said that businesses should not have been made to integrate would not have been able to get anywhere near elected office. Last I heard, Rand Paul had a sizable lead over his opponent. Sharon Angle would never have been able to approach politics several years ago, but now she’s got a chance at getting into the senate despite the volume of crap she spouts. Exactly how many chickens does a physical cost these days?
    It’s only taken two years after electing a Democrat to the country’s highest office for the Teapublicans to going absolutely mad and I think that some very unqualified, rather out there individuals will attain high government offices because of that. We dealt with them in power for long enough without losing our minds entirely, you’d think they could do the same.

  7. Thain permalink
    August 14, 2010 1:52 pm

    Woo Hoo, Caroline Miniscule has a blog devoted to Rush Limbaugh. Yipee!

    Oh, and why didn’t Mr. Patriotism serve in the Vietnam War? Oh yeah, his anal cyst. I HATE when you really want to die for your country but instead end up with an anal cyst and are left to be a keyboard general and spew hateful invective and be the fattest cheerleader ever for the Next Big War!

    I LOVE That!

    Maybe that cyst has been resolved by now and he can offer to be bullet fodder in our next war?

    • August 14, 2010 2:38 pm

      >>Oh, and why didn’t Mr. Patriotism serve in the Vietnam War? Oh yeah, his anal cyst.

      What does Snopes have to say about Muslim taxi drivers not allowing people carrying alcohol into their cabs?

      About Muslim taxi drivers not allowing blind people with dogs into their cabs?

      About all the honor kills done by Muslims here in the US?

      Where’s all the tolerance of other faiths by Muslims?

      • August 14, 2010 3:09 pm

        Caroline- again, I don’t think anyone is arguing that all Muslims are tolerant but it just seems a bit narrow minded to lump radical Muslims in with mainstream ones just as it would be to lump all Christians in with the likes of Timothy McVeigh or other domestic terrorists.

        We can have a link war where we show examples of intolerance but it would serve no purpose because my point was not the intolerance doesn’t exist at all in Islam but rather that the current stereotyping of all American Muslims as extremists who want to harm the US is completely discriminatory and unacceptable. These sorts of tactics have been used throughout history to marginalize minority group and nothing good comes of it.

        I have to ask, do you know any Muslims? Have you ever been to a Muslim country? I don’t know how anyone that has Muslim friends can hold the views you at least *seem* to hold. I’ve traveled to Muslim countries as a guest of Muslim friends and the idea that they are all a bunch of anti-American, anti-Israel hatemongers couldn’t be further from the truth. Does that mean that all Muslims are tolerant or that NONE hate the US and Israel? Of course not but blanket stereotyping just spreads hate, misinformation and quite frankly, it just leads to more violence.

      • discourseincsharpminor permalink
        August 14, 2010 3:42 pm

        Where’s all the tolerance of other faiths by Muslims?

        It’s in the same place you find it in Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, members of every other faith, and those who don’t practice any religion at all. Basic civilized human interactions holding a door for an older person, giving up your seat on the subway for a pregnant woman and the countless moments in any given day between members of all sorts of different groups never make the news. Idiots who believe themselves to be superior to others because of what they are or what they believe in make the news.

  8. SpfcMarcus permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:35 pm

    The neocons don’t give a damn about the green movement in Iran. They only care about them in so far as they can use them politically.

    It’s interesting that the mainstream corporate media never talks to actual Iranian Americans about the situation with Iran, despite the fact that many have family in Iran and understand Iran better than anyone. We are probably afraid if we take the time to learn about them and if we treat Iranians like actual human beings, it might be harder to garner support for a war that could decimate them.

    Stacy is right, the members of the green movement overwhelmingly fear a US or Israeli attack against Iran, for all the reasons she mentioned plus some others.

    It’s so easy to support wars that you will never have to fight. Having served in Iraq, I can tell you all that you have no idea what’s actually going on there. All of you are largely removed from the burden of having to see the tens of thousands of dead civilians, the burning oil fields and the children drinking water from dirty puddles. Now we know that thousands of children in Fallujah are being born with horrendous birth defects- one of our many legacies for the Iraqi people. But none of this is being covered by the mainstream media and perhaps you should ask yourself why.

    WARNING: Only go to this link if you want to see the horrendous effects of depleted uranium used by the U.S. The images are shocking:

    I have a question for some of you Hillary fans, including Stacy- I respect your views, I really do, but how can Secretary Clinton be both an advocate for human rights and the rights of women and children while also being (including while she was Senator of NY and onward through the campaign and even now) one of the biggest pro-war hawks around? It seems a bit of a contradiction unless one thinks that only certain types of women and children are worth fighting for. It’s all well and good to stand up for women in the Congo- I applaud her for that, but it’s hardly controversial. What would take guts is for her to stand up for the women who always pay the highest price- women in war. We only seem to care about women and children victims of war when they haven’t been made victims by the U.S. The Taliban has done horrendous things to not only women and girls, but also young boys. But the US has killed possibly over 100,000 civilians over the last 10 years and wounded hundreds of thousands more- the military just prevents you from knowing that. Doesn’t that make us culpable in the suffering of women and children? Look at those photos at that link above and tell me that if our depleted uranium caused that, we aren’t just as bad as some of those that we oppose.

  9. Seamus permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:35 pm

    Oh my God! I see smart people!

    How refreshing.

  10. Lulu permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:40 pm

    spfcmarcus- amazing comment but really disturbing.

    I admit, I don’t get why the owner of this blog is such a hillary fan given that ever since Hillary became the Senator of NY, she made a hard turn to the right and became a mouthpiece of AIPAC and the neocons. Why on earth would you vote for a woman who so cravenly pandered to the pro-war crowd. She has been wrong every step of the way- she was wrong about Iraq, she was wrong to suggest to Israel as Senator that they not only could, but SHOULD continue to build illegal settlements in Jerusalem, she was wrong about the effectiveness of COIN in Afghanistan and she seems to be itching for a confrontation with Iran.

    Whoever you are stacy you are obviously very smart, you write amazingly well and you take the time to provide support for all your arguments but what on earth are you doing supporting this neocon?

    • August 14, 2010 7:33 pm

      Lulu- I’ve noticed that many people try to blame Hillary for the positions Obama has taken as POTUS and I am wondering, what is your view of Barack Obama given he has escalated the war in Afghanistan (he IS the Commander in Chief, after all), given a green light to the extrajudicial assassination program of Americans overseas who are *suspected* of being involved in terrorism, is stalling on closing GITMO, has not only continued many of Bush’s dangerous and arguably illegal anti-terrorism policie but actually EXPANDED them, has shown he has no interest in overturning DADT, has refused to prosecute members of the Bush administration for illegal actions such as warrantless wiretapping, torture, extraordinary rendition while at the same time quietly deciding to go after the journalists who uncovered the illegal programs, has essentially approved proxy wars in Yemen and Somalia, has backtracked on everything having to do with Cuba, has pandered to China shamelessly, has done a total 360 on trade pacts with countries like Colombia (which has a HORRENDOUS human rights record btw), has flip flopped on offshore drilling, has caved to the neocons and AIPAC crowd by allowing Netanyahu to treat the US like his own private door mat and I could go on and on.

      If you’d like to address any of the above, please feel free.

      Have there been times when I disagreed with Senator and candidate Clinton? Yes. Particularly on issues relating to foreign policy. As it happens, I also usually disagreed with Obama too. But when it came to domestic issues, more often than not I agreed with Hillary- it just seemed like Obama was over-promising and taking credit for being an anti-war candidate when he was never in a position of having to actually cast a vote for a war. I had always admired Hillary going back to her days as first lady and I supported her candidacy for POTUS.

      As a fellow liberal, I have to say I think you are deluding yourself if you think Barack Obama is the Great Progressive Hope. I think a lot of hard core Obama supporters, particularly the liberals, are upset and understandably so. But don’t blame it on Hillary- put the blame where it belongs- on Obama’s unwillingness to stand up for the things he claimed to stand up for during his campaign.

      • Thain permalink
        August 14, 2010 7:35 pm

        @ stacy- Marry me?

        That is the best summary of the Obama presidency that I have seen so far!

  11. AmericanEagle permalink
    August 14, 2010 3:42 pm

    What a shocker, another liberal who loves the terrorists. There is a special place in hell for you. I hope you go there soon.

    • RE: permalink
      August 14, 2010 4:26 pm

      WOW! Talk about intolerance…This statement just goes to show that domestic terrorists, such as American Eagle, are alive and well right here at this blog. How dare you wish death on Stacy just because of her opinion. Disgusting!

      • AmericanEagle permalink
        August 14, 2010 4:43 pm

        Oh please, cry me a river. She’s a terrorist sympathizer and a traitor to this country. She should STFU nobody wants to read her bullshit. I have no sympathy for traiters she should get whats coming to her.

      • RE: permalink
        August 16, 2010 2:24 am

        Well…obviously one person I know reads her “bullshit”…YOU! *boo hoo hoo* There’s your river. I will no longer feed the troll.

  12. August 14, 2010 4:39 pm

    Great post, Stacy! Anyone who claims Christianity’s barbaric period ended “a couple hundred years ago” should speak with Matthew Shepard’s family.

    Who launched a pre-emptive war, that coincidentally led to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Muslims (after our punitive sanctions that resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Muslims)? That would be our “Christian” country. Is a bomb more acceptable than a stoning?

    I agree with Stacy that the anti-Muslim fervor in this country is very sad and scary. I also find the growing anti-Latino fervor frightening. It’s not just laws in states like AZ. It’s anti-immigrant violence in places like Staten Island…

    Our economy is not solidly improving, and many people are scared and angry and want a scapegoat – someone they see as different and as a threat.

  13. Lulu permalink
    August 14, 2010 5:10 pm

    Interesting. When it comes to genocide, some are more important than others I guess. Hillary, once again, supports going easy on Sudan’s war criminal president, leaving Susan Rice to duke it out alone against Scott Gration.

    I’m sorry, but when it comes to human rights, Hillary Clinton always takes the path of least resistance- if its politically expedient to support a particular group, she brandishes her women’s rights credentials (mainly an old speech given in the 90’s railing against China’s human rights abuses) but when it comes to speaking out for women and children and it could politically hurt her hawk credentials, she tosses them under the oncoming bus:

    Is everything academic to her? Just a cold calculation of political cost and benefit?

    • August 14, 2010 6:21 pm

      LuLu its easy to blame Hillary on everything from human rights to anything else you want to come up with. She has always been an easy target. But she is just the messenger. Last time I looked Obama was President and it is her job to deliver his message,and those of his foreign policy gurus (which by the way is not Hillary Clinton). Sorry she doesn’t throw people under the bus…her boss is the expert.

    • PYW permalink
      August 14, 2010 7:48 pm

      Did you read the article? The final decision is Obama’s. He can side with Gration or Susan Rice, but the choice is his, not Hillary’s. You act as if Hillary were the president. The buck stops with Obama, not her.

      I notice you didn’t answer any of Stacy’s questions about Obama, probably because you don’t want to lay any of the blame for your disappointments at his feet. It’s just so much easier to make Hillary the scapegoat, isn’t it?

    • rachel permalink
      August 15, 2010 12:40 pm

      It’s not Hillarys fault that Susan Rice really sucks at her job.

  14. Steve permalink
    August 14, 2010 6:09 pm

    In the US we have a tendency to call something “terrorism” depending on who is doing the terrorizing- we have a clear double standard that makes many Muslim countries suspicious. When Israel attacked the USS Liberty killing over 150 crew members and the U.S. covered it up, why was that not called terrorism? When the Irgun bombed the King David Hotel, why was that considered the act of freedom fighters and not terrorists? When anti-abortion activists bomb women’s clinics some on the right refuse to call it what it is- domestic terrorism.

    My point is that the notion that only Islam is violent or only Islam is repressive, is just not supported by history.

  15. jillforhill permalink
    August 14, 2010 7:06 pm

    Susan Rice? Give me a break.

    Is she back from her vacation? She is no where to be found on Iran, no show to meet the women of the congo,loves to attend whiehouse functions,has not taken the lead on much and usually late.

  16. Ann permalink
    August 14, 2010 9:35 pm

    This country is based on allowing everyone to believe in what they choose. However, I think that we are going overboard when we are so afraid to offend any one. It is disrespectful to this country and those who were killed to allow that mosque to be built next to those towers. It is true that Islam is a peaceful religion, but none of the leaders of it ever speak against those who are terrorists. And I think that those extremist will laugh in our faces if we allow that mosque to be built there. I also think that they will allow extremist to hide there.

    It makes me sad to hear people say that it’s unAmerican to pledge allegience to the flag in school, and yet we are so afraid to offend Muslims. Yes dear Muslims come here and rejoice and live free, but don’t take away our freedom.

  17. discourseincsharpminor permalink
    August 14, 2010 10:42 pm

    Am I the only one who thinks that even if the planned islamic community center/mosque was moved from three blocks from ground zero to the opposite end of lower Manhattan near the Hudson River (only a few more blocks in all actuality) we’d be hearing the same complaining from the same people. Downtown Manhattan is simply not that big a place so, if this building goes up in that area in will be “near” Ground Zero by somebody’s standard.

  18. Jean-Claude Michel permalink
    August 15, 2010 8:18 am

    I live in France, in a suburb of Paris – and if Mrs. Clinton thinks that Islam is a tolerant religion, she’s talking of things she simply don’t know.
    In some Parisian suburbs populated by immigrants, most of them Muslims, even the police forces are now the target of armed attacks almost every week. Some of these Islamists ask for the legalization of charia, obligation for women to wear the burqa, stoning to death for “infidel women”, etc.
    They want hallal food everywhere, even for people who ARENt Muslims. Some schools, by fear of islamic attacks, now serve ONLY hallal meat to the kids, even if they are Christians or Jews.
    No, Mrs Clinton, Islam is NOT a religion like the others, what they want is the politic power, they simply don’t understand our democracies. I know, Catholic Church was even worse in the past, but it was centuries ago. We are in 2010, for a laic country like France politic and religions are totally different things and must be separated. Try to explain that to countries like Iran, Afghanistan, etc. where you can be hanged at 18 (or even before) if you’re homosexual.
    It’s totally indecent to propose the construction of a mosque near Ground Zero. If I was related to one of the unfortunate 3,000+ victims who perished in the tragedy, I would ask for the immediate demission of people who, like you or Obama, spit on the corpses of these victims in approving this decision. As I understand, Obama is also for the “liberty for Islamic women to wear the burqa”. Liberty? what liberty? they are OBLIGED to wear this atrocity.
    Obama and you are no better than George W. Bush. Poor America…

    Jean-Claude Michel, France

    • Thain permalink
      August 15, 2010 8:33 am

      You didn’t read a single other comment did you? You also probably didn’t follow any of the links in her post, did you? Just started mouthing off.

      You realize that this is a private blog right?

    • August 15, 2010 9:04 am

      Jean Claude- I hope it’s obvious to you that this isn’t the official site of the State Dept. because you seem to be directing your comments directly to Secretary Clinton.

      For everyone who is stopping by and telling me how terrible some Muslim countries treat gay people, women etc. what makes you think I don’t know that? AGAIN, I never said that every single Muslim person or leader of a Muslim nation is tolerant. I thought that was obvious. I thought it was also obvious that I was speaking mostly to the demonizing of moderate Muslims (or all Muslims) here in the UNITED STATES based on the indefensible actions of *some* (ie. terrorists).

      And as for “spitting on the graves” of the 9/11 victims, what about the victims who were Muslim? Do they get a voice at all in this?

      Some of you guys have just reinforced my worst fears so I thank you for stopping by- it’s a reminder to me why speaking out is important. In times of economic stress and insecurity, people look for scapegoats and congrats, you’ve found them, which was the point of this blog post, so thanks for your help. You’ve managed to generalize and demonize and you wear your irrational fears on your sleeve- I feel bad for you actually- it must really be difficult to be so afraid all the time. I’m willing to bet the commenters who are lecturing me about the evils of Islam don’t have a single Muslim friend. How could you and hold the narrow, intolerant views you hold? Instead, you accept the fear-mongering and assume that the radicals you see on your televisions every single night some how represent ALL of the worlds almost 2 billion Muslims. Imagine THAT- almost 2 BILLION. Man, we are in big fucking trouble, aren’t we? Because CLEARLY, ALL of them are at war with us Christians, Jews, Hindus, Agnostics, Buddhists and Wiccans. I mean, we should just give the hell up- we are hopelessly outnumbered.

      And by all means, when moderate Muslims speak out against terrorism, continue to ignore them lest it shatter your worldview. Have you noticed that the media ignores the efforts by moderate Muslims (and Christians and Jews) to encourage moderation and understanding among faiths while at the very same time complaining that moderate Muslims don’t speak out against terrorism and radical Islam? Maybe we should ask why these efforts get so little news coverage and please don’t respond “it’s because there are no moderate Muslims.”

    • August 15, 2010 2:18 pm

      Jean Claude – I’m sorry you feel the way you do about our Secretary of State. Obviously she is more tolerant than you are and she is hardly ingnorant. Your tolerance seem to be colored by where you live and the experiences that France has with its Muslim population. But here in America the muslim population is assimilated (as all other peoples) into American life…where regardless of religion or ethnic background they are given equal opportunity and rights. As far as the mosque is concerned that they plan to put near ground zero…I don’t agree with it mainly because it emotionally affects so many people. It could easily be located somewhere else in New York. There are many buildings in the city that are vacant. Here again it’s not up to you Jean Claude to weigh in…it’s up to the American people. As far as President Obama is concerned..I don’t agree on a lot of what he says or does but again that is not your concern or the concerns of the French to critque his actions…IT’S UP TO THE AMERICAN VOTERS. Deal with your own problems at home not OURS.

  19. rachel permalink
    August 15, 2010 12:56 pm

    Okay me personally I would be kind of upset having mosque a couple blocks from where my family member was murdered. I understand the feelings I also understand that the people who want to bulid the mosque have every right to, but I DONOT buy that this was an outreach to bring the community together If that’s the case maybe I should ask the KKK to build a community center in my african american neighborhood maybe that will heal wounds as well. Everybody speaking about the mosque is doing it for political reasons YES they have the right to build it but I think it’s too much to expect warm fuzzy feelings about it. As far as Iran I do not think we shouuld be going to war with them, but when someone speaks about Iran I have a hard time defending a country who thinks its okay to hang/stone women for adultry, and who are holding the americans simply for stepping foot on their land thats some tough immigration rules they got there. I know I know I am in the minority

    • August 15, 2010 1:58 pm

      Actually Rachel, apparently it is me who is in the minority. Apparently my belief that moderate Muslims are absolutely no threat is not a mainstream belief. Apparently believing that the Islamaphobia is dangerous, is not a mainstream belief. I know I certainly don’t fit in with most of the pro-Hillary crowd on this, at least from what I’ve seen in the blogosphere. It was probably a mistake to put this post on a Hillary blog, I should put it on my general politics blog.

      I’m really rather shocked you think the building of the Cordoba House is similar to the KKK building a center in an African American neighborhood. The only way I would find that comparison to be valid is if the Taliban or Al Queda owned the Cordoba House.

      As for Iran, no one is defending Iran, certainly not me and if that’s how you read my view of things, well, that’s just not the case. They do terrible things, that is undisputed. So did the Shah of Iran, who the US put in power after we overthrew their government. China does terrible things to people who speak out against the regime on matters of politics or religion- I’ve seen photos of women who have had their breasts burned off. Saudi Arabia, our ally, is pretty bad too. As is Colombia. And Sudan, etc. etc. etc.

      I try to base my arguments against an attack on Iran on facts and not just emotion- I have spoken about how it could hurt Israel and the US in the long term, destroy the green/democracy movement, increase terrorism etc. etc. and yet for some reason, that is seen as a “defense” of Iran by some people? As if somehow my belief that we should just not have a knee jerk reaction and play politics and saber rattle without ANY consideration of the consequences, is tantamount to thinking their human rights abuses are acceptable? I know it’s quite tempting to take the morally superior position that we should be “tough” on Iran because of their abuses of civil rights, but if being “tough” on them (whatever the hell that means anyway) only ends up hurting the very same Iranian people we are hoping to liberate, if it ends up hurting US and Israeli interests, if it results in a backlash of terrorism and if it strengthens groups like Hezbollah, then I am not quite sure how we are helping the average, oppressed Iranian. It’s easy to talk tough and it’s easy to demand the Obama administration get “tough” on Iran but it’s much harder to come up with a workable solution that doesn’t end up killing more Americans, Israeli’s, innocent Iranians and unleash a torrent of violence throughout the region (Syria, Lebanon, etc).

    • SpfcMarcus permalink
      August 15, 2010 2:30 pm

      I don’t think anyone likes how the Mullahs treat women or political opponents but anybody got some actual suggestions other than just talkin’ tough? We’ve been using sanctions for decades, when we haven’t been doing business with them that is, and usually all it does is hurt the citizens. They generally get angry at us and not their leaders despite what the perpetual war crowd says. In other words, it’s all politics.

      So, what should Obama do. If we attack Iran and full blown war breaks out, who here is going to sign up to help us fight? It’s real easy to talk tough when you’re not the one whose ass is in the cross-hairs. Who is going to pay for the war? Should we get rid of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the EPA etc. to pay for it?

      Of course, all the folks who wanted war with Iraq fucked up big time- once Saddam was out of the picture it would mean Iran would fill the power vacuum and take advantage of the upheaval and ethnic strife in order to further destabilize the region. I don’t hear too many mea culpas from the pro war crowd about that. They take no fucking responsibility for anything.

      So who should be next after Iran? Come on now, you don’t think it will stop with Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran do you? Syria? Lebanon? Where does it end?

      How many of you guys believe that YOU should maybe have to sacrifice something rather than just us grunts in the military? How do the wars affect YOU on a daily basis. It doesn’t, does it?

      Maybe it’s time for a draft to get all your attentions. Bit too easy to sit at home and support the next war.

      Of course, the fact that the US tortures and engages in rendition, kidnaps and detains without bringing charges, anyone it feels like, including Americans certainly doesn’t make us holier than thou, does it? We apparently have tortured kids in Iraq to get info. from their parents, we have killed prisoners by torturing them to death without ever knowing if they had any role in terrorist activities at all. Hey, but so long as it doesn’t interfere with our daily lives, who gives a shit right? They’re all just a bunch of ragheads anyway right? Not even really human, to hear some of you tell it.

    • Lani permalink
      August 15, 2010 5:17 pm

      Wow, you sound like Breitbart, Gingrich, Beck and the fascist Dutch politician Geert Wilders- I don’t think even they stooped to comparing the Muslims at Cordoba House to the KKK which is essentially what you did in your comment.

      Some of you R really scary

      The REAL terrorists must be very happy watching America become a hotbed of anti-Islamic hatred ’cause it will really help their recruiting and propaganda- they can tell people how the US are hypocrites, hate Islam and seek to wage war against Islam and this time, they’ll actually be telling the truth. Great work!

  20. AmericanEagle permalink
    August 15, 2010 2:35 pm

    I have people that can bring down this blog bitch, you watch.

  21. Hillary2012 permalink
    August 15, 2010 2:40 pm

    Most Hillary fans don’t hand on this blog because Stacy is such a ridiculous liberal. No one wants to hear this stuff. Wake up, Hillary is not a liberal. Notice that Still4Hill and others don’t come around here anymore? Most Hillary supporters know Hillary would hold Iran to account, but here Stacy is, arguing against it.

    You should hang it up Stacy, this blog is a waste of time.

    • August 15, 2010 2:47 pm

      Thanks. Really.

    • DonnaD permalink
      August 15, 2010 6:53 pm

      Heh, couldn’t have said it better myself H2012

      Stacy’s an Obot and always has been. Hillary would be ashamed of pro-terrorist advocacy. No wonder real Hillary supporters don’t hang here.

    • discourseincsharpminor permalink
      August 15, 2010 8:06 pm

      Well, judging by the number of comments here, apparently plenty of people want to hear “this stuff” and I am certain that there are quite a number of lurkers who just haven’t commented. I think we need to here more of a long-range view of what consequences our foreign and military policies may have especially when people beat the drums for war almost incessantly – Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and any number of other places for one reason or another. Without people willing to take a step back that type of thing will never end. We aren’t even finished with the two wars we have going now. How many more can our military honestly sustain? What do we do then? A draft? How does a draft effect our economy? Do we draft women? Simply crying out for another war, another righteous cause, and another evil enemy doesn’t answer those questions. It takes people with a more long-range, introspective view to answer them. It takes hearing “this stuff” and from more people than just Stacy to get a decent dose of perspective on these issues.

      Thank you, Stacy!

  22. Seamus permalink
    August 15, 2010 2:52 pm

    @Hillary2012- yeah, God forbid a Hillary blog actually provoked THOUGHT or encouraged a range of viewpoints.

    If it’s such a waste of time, why do you keep showing up and trying to start shit?

  23. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    August 15, 2010 3:17 pm

    On a lighter note — and some people here REALLY need to lighten up (*lookin’ at you, AB*) — having a mosque at Ground Zero should make it a very safe place to live.

  24. August 15, 2010 5:29 pm

    Many of us support your position, Stacy. At least I know I do. And this is your blog and still a free country (mostly). You can believe and write whatever you choose…

  25. pondskipper permalink
    August 15, 2010 6:07 pm

    I’m not an American so I hesitate to comment on the somewhere-near- Ground Zero building problem (from what I’ve read its more of a community centre than a mosque and isn’t there one of those nearby anyway?). I’ve enjoyed this thread,good intelligent discussion (mostly) with stacy staying as impressively cool under fire as usual. I am puzzled by how worried some of you seem to be about US plans to invade Iran as I just don’t believe this is going to happen. I know from reading a wide range of blogs that the neocons and loony right are agitating for action against Iran or a pre-emptive stike to ‘defend’ Israel but I cannot see any evidence that your President, Vice President, Secretary of State, Defence Secretary or any major leader in the Democratic Party want this. Sure they have done some tough talking about Iran and are leading the demands for sactions but that is because Iran is a current problem. Its leaders are able to throw their weight about and threaten to de-stabalise the region mostly because as mentioned above the power balance of Iraq has been removed. You Americans created this problem so you have to deal with it by standing up firmly to the Iranian leadership. But this is a hundred miles away from seriously planning an attack.

    • Steve permalink
      August 15, 2010 6:25 pm

      Hey pondskipper- I don’t think the Obama admin. want a military confrontation with Iran but I think many members of Congress and more importantly, Israel, does want a confrontation. I believe stacy linked to this article and it’s worth a read because it probably accurately reflects Israeli thinking and because it highlights the pressure Obama is under to accommodate Israel. I actually think Israel is using a potential attack (which this admin. does NOT want) as leverage in other things- in other words, blackmail.

      If you look at the American mainstream media over the last several months you will see a significant increase in the amount of propaganda being bandied about. And of course, the House of Representatives passed a resolution supporting an Israeli attack on Iran, which is pretty incredible when you think about it. Sure, some of it is just BS political tough talk but don’t underestimate the influence that neoconservatives continue to have over US foreign policy. Not all of them are crazy right wingers and quite a few of them work in this administration, including the State Dept.

      Israel is really pushing the military solution- Netanyahu said in an interview the last time he was here in the US that he essentially expected the US to attack Iran because sanctions won’t work- he actually tries to claim that Iran presents the same sort of threat that Hitler did, which I find repugnant and cynical. The fact that Israel is pushing this so hard is the major obstacle to diplomacy with Iran right now. AIPAC, some in Congress and other pro-Israel groups are essentially trying to push the Obama admin. to “protect” Israel. When you consider that most in Congress believe that whatever Israel wants, Israel should get, it puts Obama in an awfully difficult spot. A lot of neocons don’t really give a damn if sanctions work, they don’t give a damn about the Iranian people and they have no interest in diplomacy.

      I really wish there was some way to get the IAEA back in Iran or to get them to halt their enrichment or do a fuel swap because little else will make the AIPAC crowd happy. And even that probably won’t.

      That’s my 0.02.

  26. Steve permalink
    August 15, 2010 6:07 pm

    For all the people who complain that Muslims never preach moderation or claim that they are all closet radicals, take a look at this (in addition to all the links Stacy provided above, which rebut the charges of Muslim never speaking out against radicalism, which is probably why everyone keeps ignoring what she’s writing- they might LEARN something):

    You won’t see that in the Establishment media- might actually educate some of you people who think Muslims are all a bunch of Jewish-hating, terrorist-loving jihadists.

    When I read some of the ignorant comments here about Islam, what I can’t help think is that some people just make no effort to lift a finger to educate themselves. Instead, some seem to just sit back passively and allow themselves to be spoon-fed the media and political propaganda. I’ve noticed this in particular with respect to issues about the Middle East. As someone who has lived in the U.S. and Israel and who has made an effort to learn about the issues from different perspectives, I am constantly amazed at how people here just defend the latest biased talking point, Here’s an idea, why don’t you actually do some RESEARCH before you claim that the motives of Muslims must be suspect or that they never speak out against intolerance or that everything they do is meant to provocative.

    • EndofEmpire permalink
      August 15, 2010 6:49 pm

      Steve- I agree with you. The people who claim to care so much about the women of Iran never cared before recently. They certainly didn’t care when the dictator we place in Iran, the Shah, tortured and killed his political opponents.

      The people agitating for war need to respond to the issues raised in this article- it lays out very specifically what would likely happen in the aftermath of an Israeli or US attack- the closing of the Strait of Hormuz, coordinated terror attacks against US targets throughout the region, the use of conventional weapons against Israel.

      For those who are complaining Obama is not tough on Iran or those claiming we have a responsibility to the people of Iran, there are some hard questions that are being ignored and as a result, you’re position cannot be taken seriously. To simply claim “but the Iranian leadership is bad!” is not a cause for war unless you are prepared to wage war against every “bad” country throughout the world and unless you have a plan for how to deal with the consequences of such a war.

  27. Carolyn-Rodham permalink
    August 15, 2010 6:15 pm

    I meant *lookin’ at you, AE (American Eagle)* of course.

  28. HillaryFan permalink
    August 15, 2010 6:29 pm

    Where is Stacy? I hope she hasn’t become fed up with hateful comments directed her way although I have to admit, I probably would be. She mentioned the other day she’s been getting lots of hate mail and that she’s getting sick of it.

  29. rachel permalink
    August 15, 2010 6:51 pm

    See now I feel bad. My whole point is that I don’t beleive that building the center will lead to any kind of community as it is claimed. I never tried to attack anyone in my comments, and to me its seems that anyone who doesnt agree with the mosque building is considered anti muslim. I am awared there are muslims who speak out about extremisim all the time. There are also some speaking against the building of the mosque, I am also aware there are protests popping up around the states about other mosques beign built. There is no doubt in my mind that this is due to a wave of anti islam sentiments around the country. As an African American I am very senstive the view of the majority beign placed on the minority, after all not so long ago the majority of americans thought I should ride on the back of the bus, eat at the same counter etc etc. I do question why the center needs to be built there if that makes me a bad person then I guess I am a bad person. I was taught to question things. Sometimes it feels as if the United States can’t win for losing we are either beign scorned for poking our nose in places we don’t belong or not poking our nose enough in places where horrible things are happening. I don’t know the answer. The center will probably be built where the money will come from is anyone’s guess. I hope it acheives the goals the people who want to build it are hoping for, and I hope it’s worth the pain some of the families feel at having it there.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      August 15, 2010 7:29 pm


      I like to think that the organizers developing the project to build the Cordoba Center probably had the best of intentions, i.e. to have it stand as a symbol of moderate Islam’s opposition to the kind of extremism that brought down the twin towers (and when you think about it, what could be more Christian than building a mosque near Ground Zero?). But I agree with you, basically, that the organizers were a little tone deaf on this one. They should have polled the families and tried to enlist their support for the project, or failing that, they should have scuttled the plans.

      • rachel permalink
        August 15, 2010 7:44 pm

        Thank you Carolyn. I would like to think that the organizers have the best intentions too. Maybe they didnt think there would be a problem with them building it there, but some how I doubt that. Yes it would be very christian thing to do welcome the center at that location, so I suppose families members who are upset by it will have to be the bigger people and let their feelings go it is private property after all.

      • Thain permalink
        August 15, 2010 8:08 pm

        @rachel, @CR Don’t hang sad guys, your view will probably win out in the end- after all, a majority of Americans are against the expansion of the Cordoba site and something like 79% of Americans believe Islam is a violent religion. Yay! Mission Accomplished!

        So, we can probably celebrate, this likely won’t be built. The Iman’s getting death threats and pretty much the whole country is now making them out to be the most evil, insensitive people ever because you know, even though they already owned the property and even though there was always a Mosque there, and even though there was a Mosque built in the Pentagon to promote understanding after 9/11 and no one got “offended” and even though Cordoba is two fucking blocks away from the WTC, they CLEARLY are doing this just to piss us Christians and Jews off!

        When a question of religious tolerance comes up and instead of Muslims its Christians and Jews in the cross hairs, I am SO SURE all these peeps are going to be really consistent and agree to have their rights downgraded so as to not offend anyone right?

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        August 15, 2010 11:05 pm

        @ Thain
        I’m not sure what you’re characterizing as “your views,” Thain (meaning mine and Rachel’s). Rachel and I have some points of overlap in our view about the Cordoba Center project but we’re different people and our views are not identical. So when
        you lump us in with the 79% of Americans who think Islam is a religion of violence, well, you might just be making sweeping generalizations and condemning us on the basis of a few chance associations. Which is just the kind of tyrannical intolerance you so vehemently decry.

  30. rachel permalink
    August 15, 2010 8:48 pm

    You know Thain I don’t think the people who are against the building of the mosque really deserve the credit for making americans think Islam is a violent religon I beleive the extremists and terroists deserve that credit themselves. You know what I beleive it will be built and I am aware that they have been praying there they own the land and they can do what ever you want but I think its asking for too much for families to be happy about it. It’s terrible that the Iman is getting death threats, but he can just add his list to the name of people who are getting probably on both ends.

    • SpfcMarcus permalink
      August 15, 2010 9:19 pm

      I think Americans have a responsibility to educate themselves regarding the difference between violent jihadism and mainstream Islam. We can’t blame OUR intolerance, misunderstanding and in some cases hatred of ALL Muslims on the terrorists. Aren’t we better than that as a nation? Hatred of terrorists, understandable. Hatred of all Muslims, no, not rational irrespective of 9/11.

      Ironically, violent Muslim extremists hate moderate Muslims and everything they stand for because they represent a threat to them. So they must be getting a kick out of watching a majority of Americans conflate the two groups. Hell, we should be rooting for the moderate Muslims. Also, some of the more right wing antics and rhetoric being used against Muslims right now may help the actual terrorists promote anti-American sentiment and radicalization because some of the more unreasonable anti-Cordoba people have made it clear that they really hate Muslims- it’s not about sensitivity or freedom of religion or tolerance but rather just an excuse to beat up on a group they already hated anyway. I’m not talking about the 9/11 families or anyone here, but some real assholes have come out of the woodwork and taken over this whole Cordoba opposition and it’s really starting to get very ugly.

      • rachel permalink
        August 15, 2010 9:35 pm

        Yes we need to learn the difference between mainstram islam and the jihadism, but I think it was just as unfair of Thain to basically blame people who are against the location of the center for anti muslim belifs held by some I believe attempted bombings and killings like forthood may have had something to do with those beliefs, but we should not paint groups with a broad stroke. What strikes my nerve is that someone of the people who tell us not to paint all muslims the same have no problem blaming all americans for the anti american feelings that some of the jihadists feel.

  31. Jean-Claude Michel permalink
    August 16, 2010 2:09 am

    Apparently some of my comments were misunderstanded (spelling?) as I was talking about Muslims in Europe, not in the USA.
    You can’t make a valid comparizon between a country like yours where the Muslims are clearly a minority, and current Europe. Decades ago, all the Muslims living in France, for instance, were moderate. Now they are almost 10% of the population, and we have got a lot of problems with them. 70 to 75% of crimes – including murders – are committed by them. Others communities (like the Asians living in Paris) are persecuted by fundamentalist islamists and some weeks ago, incidentally, they organized a manisfestation (some 10,000 people from China, and other Asian countries walked in the streets) against the Islamist oppression in France. And the same Islamist oppression does exist in other European countries. Some quarters of Brussels are now virtually “forbidden” to Belgian citizens.
    You can think that Islam is a religion like others. Just wait to have 25 millions of them in the USA.
    Of course, many of them are “moderate”. As I wrote, we didn’t have any problems with them in France in the past, even during the independance war in Algeria (1954-1962). But they are now manipulated by imams, in Paris, London, Brussels, Amsterdam, etc. And any “moderate” citizen can become a lobotomized terrorist when religion is placed above all other consideration.
    So, I have no right to give an opinion upon an American problem just because I’m French? in this case, somebody could tell Mr. Obama to stop giving HIS opinion about Europe and HIS desire to see Turkey accepted as a member. And to my knowledge, USA never stopped to interfering in other countries’ affairs, even organizing the revolutions in some and the killing of legitimate leaders in others.
    The war against Iran would be another stupidity, just like the Iraq invasion. And incidentally France was among the countries which were officially against this invasion, and we were right. Others, like the British, also were against the war (1,000,000 people were in London streets, remember) but were just ignored by Tony Blair, Bush’s poodle.

  32. Jean-Claude Michel permalink
    August 16, 2010 2:24 am

    Oh – just a little precision. Islam IS a violent religion (just read Coran) but ALL religions are violent by nature. We have suffered from Catholic Church’s exactions for centuries. Massacres and destruction were caused by this religion in Europe in the past.

    But the BIG difference is that we are now living in countries where any religion has been separated from politic powers. Of course they can have – and have – an influence, but it’s all.

    In Islamic countries, even in so-called laic ones like Turkey or Egypt – every act of your life is submitted to the religious laws. I’m not speaking about “islamic terrorism”, I’m speaking of laws, like charia. If you agree with stoning to death of “infidel” women, excision, hands cut off, hanging of young gays in Iran, decapitation of others in Saudi Arabian, OK, Islam is made for you, and good luck for the future.

  33. Thain permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:51 am

    @carloline-rodham- I’m sorry if I assumed to much. I don’t think I was demonstrating tyrannical intolerance. My point was that people that find the Cordoba House insensitive or offensive or outright evil, are the majority in this country and at the end of the day, will likely prevail. I could be wrong.

    I think the 9/11 families have a right to their views but at a certain point we shouldn’t toss of religious freedom and engage in religious bigotry just because some of the families want a say in every single thing that happens anywhere near Ground Zero. They also don’t want terrorists tried in NYC even though that’s how our legal system works. At what point to we say to some of the most vocal 9/11 family members, ok, you feel or believe what you feel and you have that right but we can’t change everything for you because you might get upset.

    I just find it interesting how in the US we seem to have a need to pick on an unpopular group and finds all kinds of ways to rationalize it knowing damn well if it was us or our religion that was causing offense, we’d be outraged at being told to go the fuck somewhere else. Because thats how it always is.

    • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
      August 16, 2010 12:21 pm

      Even the “9/11 families” are not a monolithic group that speaks with one mind! There was a moving story in either Time or Newsweek about two women both of whom lost sons in the WTC disaster — one supports the Cordoba House project, the othet opposes it. There was no bitterness or recriminations between them, just respectable disagreement and a shared fervent wish that Ground Zero not be appropriated by politicians abd other zealots of all stripe aa a talking point for their own cause. Amen to that. Incidentally, the article quoted one of the three main organizers of the project as saying that if they’d known the passionate feelings they
      would be provoking, they would have gone to the 9/11 families first, and not the local City Council. Which was exactly what I repeated in my post. I guess that brands them, as well as me and rachel, as bigots?

      • Thain permalink
        August 16, 2010 1:18 pm

        I don’t think you are bigots and I didn’t say that.

        As we speak the development company is considering the possibility of relocating the expansion to another site.

        When I say “9/11 families” I am referring to the habit of the media to represent only one side- I am glad Newsweek included a family who supported the expansion of Cordoba house but lets be honest, the anti-Cordoba house organizing has been taken over by much more conservative Islamaphobes who are using the issue to whip people up into a frenzy- that’s the kind of stuff I don’t think is helpful. Now beck and Gingrich are teaming up with a fascist Dutch politician to have some anti-Islam rally- not sure when. I think to these guys it’s not so much about Cordoba but about Islam in general and that’s what I have a problem with.

        Most of the people that have come out publicly in favor of allowing Cordoba House to expand at its location havent been zealots about it. Nadler, Bloomberg, Zakaria, Dershowitz and others don’t seem to be trying to whip people up into a frenzy like some of the anti-cordoba people. at least not that I’ve seen.

        If cordoba house decides to move that’s there decision but it’s kind of troubling to me that they should be made to feel they have to. But whatever that’s just how I feel but I feel like i am beating a dead horse and just saying the same thing over and over again so I’ll stop.

      • Carolyn-Rodham permalink
        August 16, 2010 3:34 pm

        Oy vey. Now Hamas has helpfully weighed in, making this a sure-fire lose-lose proposition for Obama. If the Cordoba is built, he is “caving to Hamas’ will” (score one for the Repubs). If it isn’t, Hamas will probably brand Americans as hypocritical religious bigots. Brilliant pr move, Al-Zahar. As those two 9/11 mothers said, Ground Zero shouldn’t be approrpriated as a talking point for any particular political agenda.

        And Thain, I apologize. I may have over-reacted to the tone of your post to me and Rachel. As a veteran Clintonista from the 2008 campaign, I became sensitized after being called every name in the book by Obama supporters simply for supporting her: racist, uneducated, old, bitter, irrelevant, paleofeminist, white-trash, Republican troll! And stoooooopid! As if supporting her meant I agreed with each and every one of her positions.

        I bristle when I feel I’m being mischaracterized to suit somebody’s else’s agenda. One of my favorite moments in the 2008 primary season was when I heard that Bill Ayers, looking back on his experience with the Weathermen, said he was embarassed by “the arrogance, the solipsism, the absolute certainty that we and we alone knew the way.” I thought, “Booyah, Obamabots!”

  34. FrogMarch permalink
    August 16, 2010 9:34 am

    @pondskipper- I think this article by MJ Rosenberg pretty much sums up why the US and Israel want to deal with Iran by any means necessary:

    Israel has both first and second strike capabilities so even if Iran had a full nuclear weapons arsenal Israel could STILL destroy Iran even AFTER it has been destroyed. All of this is so moronic- everyone knows Iran wouldn’t try to nuke Israel because Iran knows it will literally be the end of their country- THEY will be wiped off the map.

    That none of this is even CONSIDERED by the corporate media, which is quite neoconservative here in the US, begs the question, doesn’t it.

    Of course, here in the US the rule is no one, NO ONE is allowed to bring up Israel’s nukes so there is no such thing as an honest debate in the US about the threat posed by Iran to Israel or anyone else because once you put Israel’s over 200 short and long range, first and second strike nukes in the equation, the whole stupid “existential threat” argument becomes laughable. It’s so much easier to scream “but they don’t believe the Holocaust happened and they want to wipe Israel off the map…” In other words, an emotional argument that has little relationship to the complexities of mideast political calculations. Kind of like with the Cordoba House- much easier to get all crazy and get all offended about a Mosque that’s been there for years because actually living and let live is so boring.

    Hopefully you guys in the UK will try to do some real journalism on this issue because it ain’t happening here in the U.S.!

    • August 16, 2010 2:27 pm

      That’s a good article Frog- I think MJ nails it. It’s simply about maintaining hegemony in the region and at the end of the day, that’s not inappropriate in and of itself – every country tries to control their region so as Iran’s influence has grown it’s not surprising that they would possibly seek to one day have nukes like Israel does. In fact, from their perspective, it might even be considered stupid not to. I’m playing devil’s advocate there.

  35. August 16, 2010 2:29 pm

    Thain- I don’t think I’ve ever seen you this upset about anything. Take it easy 😉

  36. August 16, 2010 7:41 pm

    @Carolyn-Rodham- never underestimate the selfish, attention-grabbing tendancy of Hamas to always show up and make matters worse. God forbid they actually offered something constructive.

    I sort of regret bringing up the Cordoba issue – at this point, it clearly hits too raw a nerve for everyone, myself included. I turn on the news and I feel like it’s as though Bush is still President. But I should probably give up bitching about it b/c at this point I’m sick of hearing myself say the same thing over and over. Iran, Israel, Islam, war, blah blah blah.

  37. SpfcMarcus permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:21 pm

    It’s having its desired effect and your frustration is proof of that.

    The Cordoba House has been there for years, the Mosque has been in the Pentagon since after 9/11 and no one cared. Think it’s a coincidence that people like Newt are taking what is really a local issue and turning it into an anti-Islam rallying cry in an election year? No. He and Palin are rallying the base- reminding everyone how Obama and the Libruls are out of touch, insensitive lovers of Islamofascism. We want to read terrorists their rights, remember? This isn’t about the families of 9/11 to the professional pols or commentators, they are trying to make this about who is and isn’t a Real American. There are people who have made genuine arguments about not wanting the expansion to be built but those voices have been drowned out by Rush, Beck, Palin, Gingrich, etc. What I love about people like Gingrich making the sensitivity argument as opposed to you know, when rational people make it, is do you think he gives a shit about offending the sensitivity of gays when he’s on one of his family values jags, or poor people when he’s on one of his “Get off your lazy ass” jags? Suddenly the guy is Mr. Sensitivity and cares about hurting people’s FEELINGS? AGain, I’m talking about the professional pundits and pols, not the ordinary folk.

  38. Terry permalink
    August 16, 2010 8:33 pm

    Great lively discussion everyone. With all the links provided it was really a tutorial. I appreciate reading everyone’s comments and opinions on this intractable issue. I especially appreciate hearing from those who are in or have been in the military and (although not everyone will agree with me) opinions from those who live in foreign lands. For me, Mayor Bloomberg’s speech was the clearest and most thoughtful comment on this issue last week.

  39. Steve permalink
    August 17, 2010 6:38 pm

    Good article about the similarities between the Cordoba controversy and the controversy in 2007 in NY about the Khalil Gibran International Academy. The same Islamaphobes behind that faux controversy have played a major role in this one. And you know what- the next time someone tries to build something related at all to Islam near almost anything, they’ll be there too.

    After Sept. 11th some people just wanted to demonize and scapegoat. It’s not just about location or sensitivity, it’s about intolerance and hate.

  40. maryam permalink
    December 4, 2011 7:47 pm

    I am a 27 year old woman from iran.I am born a muslim but i dont believe in muslim anymore nor am i against muslims.I wanted to say that its so easy to think that those who are not as fortunate as us are less human ,unfortunately i have seen it and sensed it in the way many of my own people treat afghans ,cause many of them come to our country as workers(poor afghans first suffering from taleban now americanc have to come to my country and work so hard for so little just to survive).I really cant understand these people and to see Americans judging in the same way is really shocking to me. In your country even dogs have many rights but you think just because somebody is born in the `wrong `side of the word then they are inferior even to dogs.What do you really think?you really think that America is concerned about the human rights in the middle east ?its just a war for oil .Democracy is not something you can bring to a nation .Its the wisdom of every person in a country that has to change over years and years, to come to a point where they respect others ideas.And about right of women,i am a woman here and i suffer many discriminations that the culture and the religion imposes on me but women in Iran are free in many ways compared with many countries in this region .For example in Saudi Arabia they dont even have the right to drive ,the rate of capital punishment is so high but nobody is worried about them cause the leaders are slaves to America and western countries but anything that happens in my country all the news channels cover it and condemn it,dont get me wrong im against Ahmadinejat ,but i also know that other countries are only and only concerned in their own interests in my country they dont get a damn if we were all killed.And some thing else i dont know why Americans think they are boss of the world.I am completely against atomic bombs but i cant understand why the only country that has ever used it and has not even have the courtesy to apologize thinks that they should boss others around and tell other if they have the right to have it or not .Dont you think if a country is really against atomic bombs they should start with destroying their bombs so that others will not feel threatened and will not feel a need for a bomb.And about 9/11 i dont know how anyone cant see it was all planned, how can a building fall without any damage to the buildings around it ,i think it was all planned to make a reason for attacking Iraq and Afghanestan and jut for oil.yes its so easy to sleep in the other side of the world with your family and singing night night to your child while your troops are killing afghan children on the other side of the world right?cause they are not human enough so that you care about them ,better if they are all dead.
    Now half the world hates the other half ,and half the world has all the food, and half the world lies down and quietly starves ,cause theres not enough love to go round, no theres not enough love to go round


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