Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Islamic Center In NY

I ought to be surprised by the inflamed rhetoric surrounding the establishment of an Islamic Community Center four blocks from the World Trade Center site - ought to be. While I am ashamed of it, I am not the least surprised. I understand that some the families of those killed might get into an uproar, even that is an emotional response rather than a reasoned one. What I do not understand, in terms of patriotism, is the GOP response.

There certainly is a political strategic point in targeting Muslims, they represent about 0.8% of the population of the US, a vanishingly small voter block to offend with a much larger payoff with the block offended by ... well, I'd say a Muslim center close to '9/11' but more realistically offended by Islam, period. There is also something to be said about people who would beat the race and religion division drum in the name of electoral numbers.

Despite the illusions presented by casual views of history, this nation has never been monolithic in its view of race and religion and national origin. There is virtually no group that has not been victim to prejudices generated in the name of those categories. It is one of the easiest buttons to push, it is called most properly xenophobia - fear of the other. Some of the very groups shouting the loudest about this Center were at one time generally despised and feared on the same basis. I won't go through a list of the calumnies propagated against various groups, that would be simply offensive, if you're unaware Google is your friend.

The First Amendment is in place for a reason and playing politics around that is damned dangerous to what is supposed to be a major tenet of the basic law of the USA. I don't care what a person's view of a religion or race or national group is, our basic law says they are allowed to exist unmolested in this nation. What any other nation does about this kind of thing has not spit to do with us. There is the danger of physical violence and more broadly there is damage done to our social structure and possibly our legal structure - not to mention international relations. If the GOP thinks this will stay narrowly focused, I believe they are seriously mistaken.

To be sure, I have a low opinion of the GOP to start with, but this simply convinces me that they are pretty much cretins.

5 comments:

Rick Taylor said...

Every once in a while, my low opinion of the right wing in this country hits a new low. The last time that happened was when they insisted Palin was qualified to be Vice President. Still, opposition to the community center isn't universal among Republicans; Mayor Bloomberg did the right thing after all. And some Democrats like Reid are caving as well, so it's not a completely clean split.

Chuck Butcher said...

Nah it is the nasty split of the bigots and the nerveless...

F*** 'em all.

The Constitutional Insurgent said...

If the Cordoba Center is too close.....surely the Majid Mosque must also be too close. As with the Pentagon Mosque as well.

Wedge issues are what drives the corporate-media-political machine. Emotional issues are propagated [if not invented] by national politicians [even though they are largely local issues], circulated by the media and interest groups.......and quickly divided into the left v. right paradigm. This is the script. This keeps the status quo.

And right on cue, the Allegedly Liberal Media is spinning the issue as a referendum on Obama. Not content with attempting to parse the Center as not being about Freedom of Religion [notwithstanding the other Mosque protests and Koran burnings around the nation]; the usual suspects of intellectual midgetry are implying that Obama should use his office to subvert our own laws based on feelings. Of course, he can't. For reasons not least of which because he's a Socialist Kenyan Muslim.....or something....

His two utterances [despite the widespread opposition to Park51] are being heralded as proof of either his Presidential incompetency or his secret plan to destroy our nation from within.

Of course, had McCain been POTUS, this would have been called courage.

joycemocha said...

Interestingly, Grover Norquist thinks that opposition to Cordoba House is a bad idea for Republicans.

Zak Johnson said...

The First Amendment issue is clear. Also clear should be the right to do whatever you want with your private property; but, as ever, the self-proclaimed pro-business party fails to be consistent on that score as well.

Emotion is a poor substitute for reason or logic, and a dangerous ground to build your political outlook upon.