Archive for stageleft

Opposition to a New Mosque, Without the Ground Zero Excuse This Time

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2010 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from NYMag)

The uproar over a proposed mosque near ground zero is predicated around the idea that this specific site was inappropriate for a mosque because of its proximity to the place where Islamic terrorists killed thousands of Americans. The logic is still, not even very subtly, anti-Muslim — it only makes sense if you believe that Muslim-American worshipers are sympathetic to Muslim terrorists. Now a community on Staten Island is opposing another proposed mosque, and without the pretense that it’s motivated by anything but outright hostility toward Muslims.

On Wednesday night, a meeting was held by the Midland Beach Civic Association to bring together representatives of the Muslim American Society — who want to turn an empty convent there into a mosque — and the locals who want nothing to do with them. It wasn’t exactly a “civic” dialogue. The men were asked whether they realized that “every terrorist, past and present, has come out of a mosque,” and their organization was falsely accused of being on the FBI’s terrorist watch list. Their answers were drowned out by “catcalls and boos.” At one point a veteran of the war in Afghanistantried to broker the peace.

Mr. Finnegan said he was a Marine lance corporal, home from Afghanistan, where he had worked as a mediator with warring tribes.

After the sustained standing ovation that followed his introduction, he turned to the Muslims on the panel: “My question to you is, will you work to form a cohesive bond with the people of this community?” The men said yes.

Then he turned to the crowd. “And will you work to form a cohesive bond with these people — your new neighbors?”

The crowd erupted in boos. “No!” someone shouted.

Sad.

Heated Opposition to a Proposed Mosque [NYT]

 

On the Not Mosque at Not Ground Zero

Posted in Loon Politics with tags , , , , , , , on June 10, 2010 by loonwatch

(cross-posted from Stageleft)

The anti-Muslim movement is a curious blend of old-fashioned racism, naive nativism, fear, and the brute, thuggish rage that infects a diseased minority in every generation and finds its scapegoat in every culture. Because it’s irrational to its core, it shuns reasoned discussion, which it dismisses as weakness or “appeasement”. Instead, it relies on theatre and crude sloganeering (Not All Terrorists Are Muslim, But All Muslims Are Terrorists!!) to make its “points”.

One of the most recent flashpoints for these racist rage-junkies is the “plan” to build a “Mega Mosque” on the site of Ground Zero in Manhattan, as a clear act of aggression and provocation against the Forces of Decency. (Those forces of decency, by the way, apparently don’t include the Borough of Manhattan, the City of New York or its Mayor Michael Bloomberg, all of whom support the project.)

Oh, they’re whippin’ themselves into a fine lather about this. A rally last week at week at Ground Zero drew between 300 (according to CNN) and 10,000 (according to Jihad Watch) people (that’s quite a disparity, isn’t it?) who want to see the site turned into a “War Memorial” instead of a Mega Mosque.

Now, we know these folks have problems with basic facts (I’m thinking lunatic teabagger Mark Williams, who doesn’t know that Hindus and Muslims worship different gods.) But the movement to prevent the building of a Mega Mosque at Ground Zero requires a suspension of reason that’s an order of magnitude above the shield of willful ignorance that usually protects these tiny, fragile minds. That’s because:

a) The “Mega Mosque” is not a “Mosque” – mega, maxi, or mini. It’s a 13-story community center that will include a prayer room, a performing art center, a gym, swimming pool and other public spaces. It will be open to everyone.

b) The community centre will not be situated at Ground Zero. It’s being built on the site of an old factory two blocks away. Organizers of the demonstration wisely opted to stage their drama at a more iconic location, rather than at the site itself. Better rage generation, you see.

So to summarize – a community centre open to the public and supported by the City and the Borough is being built blocks away from Ground Zero.

End of story? Of course not. Like the Flying Imams, or the Syrian Band, or the Flight 93 Memorial Conspiracy, this will enter Hater’s History as yet another imaginary Muzzie offense. They’re already amping up the ersatz rage with the rumour that the centre will be dedicated (or opened, depending on some) on 9/11/11, a notion I can find not a single actual piece of online confirmation for.

But it doesn’t matter. The Not-Mosque will be built at Not-Ground- Zero and opened on not 9/11/11, the world will move on, and the Haters will add this to their catalogue of non-history, and move on to another fantasy.

Coda: The story was most recently highlighted in Canada by our own indefatigable A Drain McNair, who couldn’t understand why a Muslim reader was offended by his misrepresentation of the project. The Drain concludes with superior sniff: “Some people just can’t handle the truth about Islam”. Indeed, Drain. Delete those last two words, and you’ve just about got it.