Huffington Post: Leaders of astroturf groups opposing the Not-At-Ground-Zero-Muslim-Center can’t seem to decide on an argument. They have thrown everything and the kitchen sink at us in the way of fabricated reasons.
First, they tried the “legal” route. When it became apparent that American Muslims had a constitutionally guaranteed right to religious, cultural, and communal services in lower Manhattan just like everyone else, they invoked the “sensitivity to the 9/11 families” line.
When it was argued that there is nothing insensitive about Muslims with no connection to 9/11 establishing a center two blocks away (unless you assume collective guilt), and that Muslims died in the Twin Towers, too, they tried to smear the center’s imam as a radical.
When it was revealed that imam Feisal’s 37-year track record was so consistently antithetical to radicalism that it earned him the “moderate model imam” accolade from this administration, the Bush administration, the FBI, and the New York interfaith community, they tried the “sacred ground” argument.
When it was revealed that the center was not actually “at” Ground Zero and that there were offices, delis, dollar stores, bars, and a strip club in the same vicinity that no one was taking issue with for being on sacred ground, they tried the foreign funding route.
When it was revealed that the imam has no intention of receiving funding from foreign governments or groups, or even individuals with a less-than-stellar reputation, they tried the sensitivity route again.
It seems that they just can’t decide on the public strategy to keep Park51 from taking its rightful place among Manhattan’s blossoming diversity.
Privately, however, there seems to be little such confusion. The reasons there are given clearly, and it turns out it is precisely what many of us have argued all along: opposition organizers are motivated by an ideological belief that “Islam is evil and must be stopped; America is Judeo-Christian.”
That is the undisguised rallying cry on the private email listservs, the blogs, and the viral youtube videos administered by the right-wing oppositional leadership. On the prime time networks, they openly lie to the American people about harboring an anti-Muslim agenda, perhaps wishing to avoid being exposed for their religious intolerance.
Not for long.
Check out the uber-creepy Tea Party email below, released by no less than teaparty.org.
In it, the Tea Party folks argue that America is exclusively “Judeo-Christian” and that Islam should be “expelled from our shores.”
And that’s just for starters.
The rest of the email displays a fundemental disdain for a pluralistic America and reveals chilling levels of Islamophobia and hatemongering.
It poses the freakish question: “Will ‘blanket tolerance’ be the downfall of the Judaic/Christian basis of the American society?”
It quotes select passages from of the Quran out of context, a game that can just as easily be played with the Torah or the Bible.
It then suggests to its members that Muslims at large — not terrorists, mind you, but Muslims at large — plan for the “complete annihilation of the west,” for “our demise,” for “our destruction,” and that they are “working dilligently” to “celebrate the day America will be no more.” It warns that “the United States Judaic/Christian roots are being ‘God Shocked,’” and wonders if “the courts should hand down a litmus test” for religions before they are “expelled from our shores.”
So let me ask you again? Do you still think that the sudden rise in anti-mosque hysteria is really about sacred ground? Sensitivities to 9/11 victims? Funding sources?
Or is it about the rise of an ideological anti-Islam movement and the desire to curb, if not outlaw, religious freedoms for Muslims?
What would it take to wake the media up, if not this blatant piece of evidence? Will the media now pay attention? Is it remotely interested in the facts that are practically smacking it in the face? Where is the FOX News coverage of everything “Mosque at Ground Zero,” the same FOX News that desperately scrutinizes Imam Feisal’s every utterance in the hope of unearthing a controversial statement? Laura Ingraham, are you listening?