Your Money’s No Good

amibera.JPGIt’s gotta be said. I am so sick of the Islamophobia in America right now, particularly fueled currently by the “Ground Zero” mosque and championed by key leaders in the Republican party. And by that I mean Sarah Palin, Newt Gingrich and Fox News. It’s a dirty, divisive campaign tactic to garner votes in November and anyone with brain cells can see how transparent this is. My twitter feed can’t go ten minutes without getting a retweet from some dimwit on the issue or anti-Muslim sentiment.

But Congressional Candidate Ami Berra? Come ON.

Dr. Ami Bera, the Democrat challenger to Congressional incumbent Dan Lungren (R-Calif.), was blasted by the California Republican Party for accepting a $250 donation from the Sacramento chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. [cbs13]

First of all, it’s only a $250 donation. Second of all, it’s CAIR, one of the tamest, not-so-progressive, largest national Muslim advocacy group around. I’m not the biggest fan of CAIR’s work (mainly because it’s not left or inclusive enough) but the Republican candidate’s anti-Muslim targeting of Ami Berra’s campaign contribution is absurd. Third (and most importantly) CAIR is a 501c3 organization so they can’t make donations to candidates. The money came from Basim Elkarra, the current Executive Director of Sacramento-CAIR and who also happens to be elected to the Executive Board of the California Democratic Party. Which basically means it’s the individual citizen that made the donation, not an organization that said citizen works for.

Does the Doctor stand by his Muslim donor?

Dr. Bera gave the donation back. His spokesperson issued a statement, saying, “We returned the contribution after questions about the organization’s affiliations arose. This is a diversionary tactic designed by Rep. Lungren and his proxies to deflect from jobs, the economy and health care — the issues that this campaign is about.” [cbs13]

If it’s a diversionary tactic, why’d you give the money back? For the record Dr. Berra, Muslim-Americans donate AND Muslim Americans vote. You have them in your district. Some of them were probably even planning on voting for you. The fact that you folded to the anti-Muslim rhetoric on the right so easily will not bode well for you on November 2nd. How easily will you fold to them if you are in Congress? Pretty easily, I would guess.

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About Taz

Taz is an activist, organizer and writer based in California. She is the founder of South Asian American Voting Youth (SAAVY), curates MutinousMindState.tumblr.com and blogs at TazzyStar.blogspot.com. Follow her at twitter.com/tazzystar

163 thoughts on “Your Money’s No Good

  1. Swati,

    I don’t get why anyone thinks that Obama should be commenting on the mosque one way or another. Or any politician for that matter. The state should not be involved in the decision other than to provide zoning permits if need be.

    Let me make this clear: coming out and saying, “YAY MOSQUE! I LOVE ME SOME ISLAMS IN MY NYC!” is just as much a violation of the spirit of the 1st amendment as, “BOO MOSQUE. I HATE ME SOME ISLAMS IN MY NYC!”

    You can’t want separation of church and state only when it’s directed at Nativity Scenes, folks.

  2. Remember when there was some scattered fundamentalist outcry against a hindu priest performing senate prayers (in itself quite insane!) on the grounds that hinduism was a heathen religion? Well, should the hindu community have tried to explain itself, and perhaps present a version of hinduism more in tune with abrahamic thought in an attempt to not seem so incompatible with judeo-christian values?

    uh, to some extent it does. re: the debates whether hinduism is monotheistic or polytheistic.

    anyway, hinduism has far less of a geopolitican connotation for americans than islam, or christianity, or judaism, does. judaism because of israel. and christianity and islam because they’re world religions. christianity played a role in the focus on sudan (persecution of southern christians), or the left-right alliance on human rights in china (evangelical protestants worry about repression of co-religionists china). islam is similar. unfortunately for muslims a large number of jews and christians in this country are structurally in opposition to them on a major foreign policy issue, that of israel.

    this sort of geopolitical detail is why i think analogies between jewish american activism and indian american activism on foreign policy are weak. india is just a much bigger deal in a substantive sense than israel for american economically and geopolitically. so is china. so indian or chinese american communities can only affect on the margins. in contrast, cuba and israel don’t really matter that much, but are just small burdens which we can handle, so the ethnic lobbies have huge impact.

    perhaps we’ll get americans to care about the millions who’ve died in the congo over the past 20 years if we allow the immigration of a lot of congolese. though there might be some other social/demographic side effects too….

  3. Razib wrote: excluding ikram from this since he doesn’t live in a country where the major are bigots

    It’s debatable. A poll today says that 60% of Canadians think the MS Sun Sea, with its 500 Tamil refugees, should have been intercepted and escorted out of Canadian waters. But elite opinion (that includes bloggers / blog commentors) is more cautious, keeping in mind the lessons of the Komagata Maru and MS St. Louis, and there is little inflammatory anti-refugee rhetoric.

    Its a good counterpoint to the Burlington Coat Factory Mosque. Responsible, stodgy Canadian elites keeping a lid on emotion-driven public sentiment. Irresponsible American elites, abetting it or keeping quiet. There are times when the more populist American approach to government is admirable. This isn’t one of them.

  4. in my defense, “I think the right just dislikes amendments that are perfect squares” is what I read. :)

  5. amen! religion is just a distribution of phenomena within a parameter space.

    Not really unless you assume it to be a static distribution. In the case religion you probably want to think about fat tails and dynamic distributions, the loudest extremist influence the debate and the direction of the religion a lot more than the ‘silent majority’ and thus cause a shifting of your mean towards the extreme. Particularly because these distributions tend to be skewed in favor of one tail.

  6. Hey guys, as per my last post, I found the link

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJUrtxf2xOY

    Starscream eliminates Ratchet and Ironhide at about 7:40 using Megatron in his gun mode…Check it out…

    I think this film in general holds a lot of resonance for South Asians in America…we identify instinctually with the Autobots and their desire for peaceful forms of protest. Optimus Prime is a lot like Ghandiji in how he yearns to be free from the ugly realities of the world surrounding him, but, like Jyoti Basu, former communist supremo of West Bengal, he is prevented from coming to terms with his dual identity as a political icon…much like we as desis struggle to address our desire to straddle two worlds, one modern and western, the other traditional and eastern. Oftentimes we are reduced to using reductivism to define our collective identity, using historically outdated but culturally relevant touchstones like vegetarianism to mask our socio-economic realities in our geo-political times.

    As time moves forward from here, I hope we never become like the Decepticons…Megatron’s thirst for influence in his world is against our culture…and I hope we as desis in America are always doing the things that are about our culture and not the things that are against our culture…I will organize a Raasta Roko soon to protest Megatron’s actions in the film…All respect to Tazji who started this thread!!

  7. SuperSchwartz, that’s the point I was trying to make earlier. This is about legality/constitutionality. Accusations of islamophobia, while true, are irrelevant to this issue. This is a classic case of hijacking the issue for future political gain. I suppose I’ll agree, Obama should have stayed out of it. But Palin and Gingrich, who both claim to support the tea party ideology of small government, come across as extremely hypocritical when they comment on the issue. They turned this into a big story.

    razib, I know. And those debates are inane. I don’t know why anyone would bother, really. One side belies in sky gods, angels, and talking snakes, the other believes in gods with elephant heads and billions of avatars. The debates are reminiscent of ‘but underneath it all, we’re white scythians, really!’.

    shankar, you just hate me, don’t you? And no, I don’t believe I’m the only one you hate. But I agree, the ‘just’ was ambiguous. Your nitpicking did indeed have some merit. :-)

  8. [quote] keeping in mind the lessons of the Komagata Maru[/quote] To overcome the experience of fear in the face of certain death or to simply refuse to believe in a “no win” scenario?

    (Yes yes. I know it’s Kobayashi, work with me here.)

  9. I don’t know why anyone would bother, really.

    only a small portion of the human race rejects supernatural forces, and the various social, political and psychological dynamics entailed by such belief. so it matters, even if “we” think that it’s about as substantive on a fundamental level as dungeons & dragons :-)

  10. Ok, and after reading this article, I actively support this mosque. Quoting:

    “Writing in Okaz, a Saudi daily paper, Hani Naqshabandi uses the fact that the Cordoba Initiative, the project’s backer, was granted building permission by New York’s local authorities to hold up America as an example for Arab nations:

    In the Arab world, freedom makes way for security. We have become overly paranoid about everything. Look at the story of this mosque that is set to be built in the financial capital of America. America was burnt by the fire of extremism in its own backyard when it was attacked by Islamic extremists. It is both the number one target for religious extremism and the leading nation opposing that extremism. But still it has overcome its fears by allowing Muslims to build the mosque.

  11. “Writing in Okaz, a Saudi daily paper, Hani Naqshabandi uses the fact that the Cordoba Initiative, the project’s backer, was granted building permission by New York’s local authorities to hold up America as an example for Arab nations:

    fine. but i don’t get why core muslim (arab nations + turkey + iran) nations have to focus on america as an example. there are muslim majority nations which, if not perfect, have a far less dominionist attitude from what i can tell. consider senegal, ~90% muslim. the father of the country, léopold sédar senghor, was a roman catholic with a muslim mother. oh wait, perhaps there’s a reason that the core muslim nations might not view senegal with any particular esteem :-)

  12. Given that the arab world is intensely aware (and usually deeply critical) of everything America does, I’d say this is a good thing.

    I could bring up the respect accorded to Obama in the arab world. Granted though, he is christian with an Islamic name and cultural heritage, ruling a majority christian nation, the exact opposite of Senghor. Yes, I do see your point there.

    But I think Senegal is overlooked as an example for reasons that are more mundane than you’re suggesting. It’s not a huge player in the world economy or world politics, so it’s likely that Senegal is not generally even noticed by muslim nations. Plus, given the arab hierarchy, the core nations would hardly care about an East African nation. Like it or not, America is the de facto exemplar (and often in a negative sense) for the world and I for one am happy to see a Saudi publication hold up America as a model to aspire to.

  13. But I think Senegal is overlooked as an example for reasons that are more mundane than you’re suggesting. It’s not a huge player in the world economy or world politics, so it’s likely that Senegal is not generally even noticed by muslim nations. Plus, given the arab hierarchy, the core nations would hardly care about an East African nation

    1) i could have used indonesia as an example. for all its problems, it’s the world’s “most populous muslim” nation, but one where muslims have converted to christianity and hinduism, and vice versa.

    2) i guess african geography isn’t your strength :-)

  14. ikram, since you like to talk about everyone else, and characterize them how you feel appropriate, is it OK if i just refer to you as the abe foxman-of-western muslims?

  15. “defending populist excess”

    can we keep some perspective here? this is a building. there are nations where “populist excess” means riots where people get killed.

  16. Argh. Silly me. I meant west, obviously. I’m left-right (and also apparently east-west) dyslexic. I do know my geography, I’m just not so hot on cardinal directions. Up and down are easier, gravity’s a great symmetry breaker. One more than one occasion, I’ve been caught out by sympathetic electrodynamics professors, staring intently at my left hand, while trying to apply the right hand rule. Embarrassing, but what’re you going to do, I guess.

  17. I doubt anyone would complain if they built a Catholic community center near were the Oklahoma City Bombing took place.

    The Oklahoma City bomber unless I’m wrong had nothing to do with the man faith. How many times are people bring this example up, when it has nothing to do with 9/11.

  18. “can we keep some perspective here? this is a building. there are nations where “populist excess” means riots where people get killed”

    I am unsure as to why the yardstick has to be a third world country where people riot. For 21st century America, to have Reid, Palin etc. come out against the ‘location of the mosque’ is an exercise in populist excess. The same populist excess led to the Dubai Port Deal being nixed. What’s next?

    The whole frame of debate on Islam in America has moved to the 1950s. This should be a problem for not only Muslims or leftists, but everybody who cares about this nation.

  19. Razib wrote there are nations where “populist excess” means riots where people get killed.

    Yes. I was making the Canada-USA comparison, where populist excess is usually non-violent. Here’s prominent Canadian columnist Paul Wells making the same Tamil-Muslim, Canada-USA comparison.

    ….. as the abe foxman-of-western muslims?

    Isn’t that a compliment? :)

    Enjoy the week-end.

  20. The whole frame of debate on Islam in America has moved to the 1950s. This should be a problem for not only Muslims or leftists, but everybody who cares about this nation.

    the USA was like third world nations in race relations back then, so no, i don’t hold that the analogy works well, though i see your point. but i’m skeptical of the slippery slope argument here, this sort of thing becomes prominent during recessions and is part of a whole waxing of right-populist impulses. it’s going to recede no matter what happens with the ‘mosque.’

    Yes. I was making the Canada-USA comparison, where populist excess is usually non-violent. Here’s prominent Canadian columnist Paul Wells making the same Tamil-Muslim, Canada-USA comparison.

    the tamils are a worse case than the mosque. the tamils are people whose lives are going to suck a whole lot more if they’re not let in. the mosque/cultural center is a symbol. you can integrate over the utility to all muslim americans and how it percolates, but in the proximate sense there isn’t a comparison.

  21. How many times are people bring this example up, when it has nothing to do with 9/11.

    forever. i pointed out once to a friend that mcveign wasn’t a christian. he still tried to figure out ways to make him into a christian terrorist.* just like how obama is a christ-believing, ham-eating, alcohol drinking “muslim.”

    • mcveigh’s beliefs seem kind of varied and ambiguous. right now there’s a push by the religious right to term him an atheist terrorist, though sometimes he sounded more deist.
  22. but i’m skeptical of the slippery slope argument here,

    more precise: this isn’t a positive feedback loop. rather, i think there’ll be a negative feedback loop which will dampen and reverse the slide down the slope.

  23. Razib, thankfully I didn’t get turned out. Did get turned off, though. Towards electrodynamics in general. I can live with that. I’m curious, what western (and I do mean west this time :-) ) country did have good race relations in the 50s? Segregation is awful, but so are the forced sterilization programs that seemed to have been common in Europe around that time.

    Paagal Admi, it’s not just leftists and muslims who defend building this mosque. I’m by no means leftist, and I defend it. Most civil libertarians do. They’d have to, it’s the only consistent position they can take.

  24. I’m curious, what western (and I do mean west this time :-) ) country did have good race relations in the 50s? Segregation is awful, but so are the forced sterilization programs that seemed to have been common in Europe around that time.

    those programs were common in the social democracies of northern europe. they were never implemented in southern europe because of the catholic church, and in france because of the combined opposition of catholics and pro-natalist secularists (france was the first country to go through demographic transition and had to rely on immigrants to buttress its population since the early 19th century). in regards to race relations, you need to distinguish the anglo settler colonies from europe proper. since racial minorities were not as common in europe and not seen as a threat excepting the nazi case in general non-white americans (at this time this meant blacks) generally felt less, not more, racism in europe. look at chandrasekhar’s biography, he had problems in parts of the USA where he was referred to as a black, more of an issue that the more implicit biases in the UK.

  25. “Ikram I didn’t know we descend into name-calling; just because I don’t agree with you doesn’t mean I’m an idiot.

    True. But I’ve been reading your blog/blog comments since 2002/03. My views on your abilities have developed over almost a decade, stretching back to when you were a bizarro Pakistani-nationalist. I stand by my description. But I promise to reconsider before 2018.”

    Disgruntled fans knows no bounds :-D

    At least in my days of “bizarro Pakistani-nationalist” I held court and really made a good show of it all. You seem to still remember it a decade later so I guess I made some sort of impact.

  26. The Oklahoma City bomber unless I’m wrong had nothing to do with the man faith. How many times are people bring this example up, when it has nothing to do with 9/11.

    I assume then that you oppose all churches in downtown Atlanta, out of sensitivity to Eric Rudolph’s mass murder, as well as churches in Wichita to avoid hurting the feelings of those who loved and respected George Tiller? Also, what about churches near any place where underage people are like schools or parks?

  27. “I doubt anyone would complain if they built a Catholic community center near were the Oklahoma City Bombing took place.

    The Oklahoma City bomber unless I’m wrong had nothing to do with the man faith. How many times are people bring this example up, when it has nothing to do with 9/11.”

    It does. Timothy Mc Veigh. He was RAISED Catholic… of course he was also int he military, maybe we should just be careful and not have any military buildings near the site either… I mean we don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments, right?

    Seriously, though, saying that a Muslim community center would hurt people’s sentiments is the SAME THING, because neither make sense. I guess for this to make sense, people would have the make the difference in their mind between Islam and terrorist.

  28. CAIR’s true intentions were discovered when the FBI wiretapped the notorious “Philadelphia Meeting” attended by Hamas members, supporters, and soon to be CAIR founders Omar Ahmad and Nihad Awad. In these wiretaps, Omar Ahmad boasted of the ease in which he could create “Islamic” organizations in America, and how they did not have enough people at the time to perform the work they wanted to “hide.” Omar Ahmad and CAIR have never answered what type of “work” Ahmad intended to hide. Basim Elkarra is a CAIR stooge and was outed by Senator Boxer. Elkarra would know exactly what kind of “work” CAIR desires to “hide” from Americans. He is an untrustworthy CAIR tool. All candidates for public office would be wise to shun any CAIR member.

  29. It does. Timothy Mc Veigh. He was RAISED Catholic… of course he was also int he military, maybe we should just be careful and not have any military buildings near the site either… I mean we don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments, right?

    so weak. mcveigh actions were neither motivated by christianity or militarism. that is why after the terrorist action the focus was put on right-wing militias, because the proximate motivation of his beliefs were a melange of right-wing anti-government sentiment.

  30. It does. Timothy Mc Veigh. He was RAISED Catholic… of course he was also int he military, maybe we should just be careful and not have any military buildings near the site either… I mean we don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments, right?

    and, people who want to have a smarter debate usually try and note that secular terrorist groups like the IRA, black september, or the tamil tigers may have had an origin in a particular culture with a particular religion, but they’re fundamentally secular nationalist groups (often with a marxist tinge). this is contrast to explicitly religiously motivated terrorism (which eric rudolph and the 9/11 bombers fall under). but in the interests of scoring a cheap rhetorical point you’re tearing down this important analytical distinction. in the interests of winning a point against dull people you’re driving the long term debate to even greater dullness. sad.

  31. addendum: i think the distinction between secular and religious terrorism may not be analytically useful personally. but, since religion has an emotional valence for most humans it seems to be a difference which will remain with us.

  32. Do Christians in Israel/Palestine therefore represent all of Christianity?

    You’re missing the point. Saudi Arabia is probably the most wealthy Muslim nation. Yet it is not the least bit progressive. I wouldn’t call this a mere coincidence. Bahrain, Dubai, UAE, Libya, Iran… all of these (Muslim) nations generate vast amounts of revenue from oil, yet they are not progressive. So it must be logical to conclude that the prevailing ideology – Islam – trumps even economics. Which is scary, if you think about it. If wealth doesn’t help to level off the extremism, then what possibly will? And imagine how much more radical the non-wealthy segments of the populations of these countries must be!

  33. this is like saying you have a higher IQ than someone with down syndrome. not relevant. the appropriate reference to gauge a distribution of policies and attitudes are civilized countries.

    So would you agree that a nation whose primary religion is Islam, cannot be progressive? I’ve given the example of Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. One way to define a truly secular nation is one that moves forward in response to inner social unrest. In the case of the US, for example, you have, among others, women demanding their rights, then Blacks, and now, gays. You have the Industrial Revolution, and then you have labor unions. You constantly see the minimum wage increasing. Now, lets look at this from a Wahhabi/Sharia point of view. Wahhabi/Sharia ideology always trumps any progressive concerns. Iran is a shining example. The so-called “Revolution” took that nation back about a 1000 years. Workers can’t demand rights… women can’t demand rights… minority religious groups can’t demand rights. The status quo revolves around Wahhabi/Sharia. Economic changes have actually cemented the status quo, instead of helping to overthrow it. Those who enjoy the oil wealth (e.g. Bin Laden family group) are happy to use Wahhabi/Sharia ideology to keep the not-so-affluent sections of the populations placated.

  34. Razib, first if you look at my comment you will see the first part is not serious (hence followed by, “seriously, though”)

    Second, I just don’t think that the terrorists that were involved in 9/11 have anything to do with the majority of Muslims in the world. Sorry, try and convince me that all of Islam has terrorist and violent roots, but I really don’t think we can lump them all together. It is important to make distinctions.

    Why do people have a problem with a Muslim community center? Did the Muslims send a representative party to attack the United States on behalf of all Muslims? Did all the Muslims in the world agree to it? No and no? There are a bunch of terrorists who think that there crazy beliefs make sense and did something radical and violent.

    If fundamentalist Mormon’s did something (i.e force young girls into marriage) do we make the distinction between nonfunda and funda Mormons or will we just lump them all together?

    If the Westboro Baptist Church goes out and protests at a funeral with homophobic and hateful signs, do we then say all Baptists, or all Christians are homophobic and hateful, or do we make the distinction?

    Why is it any different for Islam? Why is it so hard for people to make the distinction? I don’t think I am “dull” or “dumbiing down the basic facts” if people can’t seem to comprehend the basics to begin with.

  35. “I doubt anyone would complain if they built a Catholic community center near were the Oklahoma City Bombing took place. The Oklahoma City bomber unless I’m wrong had nothing to do with the man faith. How many times are people bring this example up, when it has nothing to do with 9/11.” It does. Timothy Mc Veigh. He was RAISED Catholic… of course he was also int he military, maybe we should just be careful and not have any military buildings near the site either… I mean we don’t want to hurt anyone’s sentiments, right?

    religion was not a motivating factor for mcveigh. his military service is relevant but more in an excuse sort of way, as in suicide bombers bomb b/c they are oppressed, b/c of American foreign policy, etc.

    whats relevant is his small-govt, constitutionalist, patriot-movement ideology. if a patriot movement center opened near the OK city ground zero would that be viewed as a provocation? (it would almost certainly be constitutionally protected as well).

    indeed here, you have a major train of thought emanating from bill Clinton, nancy pelosi, David neiwert, Chris Mathews, etc who attempt to tie right-wing small govt types to the terrorism perpetrated in the ideology’s name even if they don’t support the terrorism.

  36. i would hasten to add that since the small-govt movement isn’t a religion and therefore should be held to higher standards (though not legally) by the ruling elite. religion is different b/c it acts like race/ethnicity and is therefore a real powderkeg and no ones figured out a way to get rid of it so the best we can do is defang it.

    in contrast, secular ideologies are held responsible for the words they speak. you can read Marx and argue the system is inherently oppressive but that shouldn’t be done with religion. there’s all sorts of crap in religious texts that’s more or less spewing hate but the rule is we give it a pass, whereas we call it out if its secular.

    so there is loophole available here for those who want to blame the American right for terror while simultaneously avoiding blaming Islam.

  37. i would hasten to add again that what i said in 141 is not a matter of principle, but of tactics. edmund burkean realpolitick.

    so, its ok to hold a religious group to the same standards as a secular one if the religion is one of those new made up ones, like Scientology. they’re just john travolta, tom cruise, and a few other bozos so who cares? go haead, poke fun at heir sacred texts (L Ron Hubbard?) . this only applies to the established religions, which should be treated like children without appearing patronizing so that their millions of followers don’t get upset, and all hell breaks loose.

  38. Linzi:

    Second, I just don’t think that the terrorists that were involved in 9/11 have anything to do with the majority of Muslims in the world.

    You are correct in the sense that it’s the wealthy Muslims, particularly in the Middle East, who fund and finance jihad all over the world. Bin-Laden is a Saudi. Most of the 911 hijackers were Saudi. The oil never quite stops flowing, does it… and neither does the jihad have an end in sight. There is a connection between the two. Let’s all take a wild guess and ask ourselves who is funding the 100 million dollar mosque in NYC? The “Cordoba Initiative” should be forced to publicly declare its assets – every single donation ought to be revealed. The same people who finance madrassa building in Pakistan and jihad in Afghanistan are no doubt contributing to this mosque. I’m glad that the American public has finally woken up… the Imam was clever to wait 9 yrs for his crazy plan, but the 911 motto is alive and well: will never forget. Americans are asking why no such “interfaith centers” exist in the Middle East, why the building can’t also house a synagogue/church, and why the so-called “moderate” Imam chooses to blatantly defy majority-American sentiment. Obama and his extreme left-wing allies, who no doubt have their hands tied in oil money, are counting their days in office. They will pay dearly come November and beyond!

  39. Second, I just don’t think that the terrorists that were involved in 9/11 have anything to do with the majority of Muslims in the world. Why is it any different for Islam? Why is it so hard for people to make the distinction?

    9/11 was an iconic assault on the US. And it was committed by extremists acting in the name of Islam. So were the Bali Bombings, London bombings, Madrid bombings, Beslan massacre and Mumbai killings, not to mention the almost daily killings in Iraq and Pakistan. It is understood that the majority of Muslims everywhere are a peaceful bunch, but the violence and radicalisation that infests many Islamic countries, and emanates from them is motivated by radical Islam. We could look at varied root causes, but though the causes may be disparate, the effect seems to be very similar. It does not help that educated, seemingly well integrated people like Faisal Shahzad and Kafeel Ahmad are found to be involved with unfailing regularity. Media has united the world, and news from every part of the world is readily available and almost ubiquitous. So when the average Joe sees the “Death to America” protesters in a random Muslim country, and then finds that the regular muslim American who could have been his neighbor or colleague was planning to blow up Times square, he is bound to get a few nervous tics. Pattern recognition is quite intuitive.

  40. Very timely discussion. The latest Time cover says “Is America Islamophobic?”. I haven’t read it yet but look forward to comments on this thread.

  41. I found this on the “Cordoba Initiative” website (the FAQ):

    What about the 9/11 families? Don’t you see their pain?

    Like all New Yorkers and Americans we were too devastated by 9/11. We share and respect the incredible pain and loss suffered by the victims of 9/11. We fully recognize their legitimate concerns and sensitivity to the community center. It shames us that extremists who profess to be Muslim perpetrated murder on such a horrific scale for political and financial gain in the name of Islam.

    We look forward to actively engaging with leaders of the victims of 9/11 to respond to their concerns and obtain their support for our efforts.

    The last line is rather interesting. I also found this on the website:

    Furthermore, Cordoba Initiative and Park51 are committed to maintaining the current planned location for the Community Center.

    Okay, let’s see. The “leaders of the victims of 911″ are almost unanimously opposed to the planned construction site. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what their concerns are. Or that only a lack of support for the mosque will be forthcoming. It’s also becoming more evident, day-by-day, that whoever is behind the mosque initiative will push for it no matter what. Otherwise you wouldn’t find a line like “committed to maintaining the current planned location” on the front page of the website. So much for the “interfaith dialogue” and “community cohesion” that the website expounds on. But the fun doesn’t end there. Again from the same website:

    Who is funding the community center?

    No funds for this project have been raised to date. A project of this scale will require very diverse fundraising sources, including individuals from all faiths and beliefs –who are committed to peace and understanding. We expect that our sources of funding will include individuals of different religions, charitable organizations, public funds, institutional and corporate sponsors.

    You will need a lot of contributors. Who will review your donor list?

    The New York Charities Bureau and the US Treasury Department will review the donor list to assure that all funding sources are vetted to their satisfaction and approved. In addition, our Trustees and Advisory Board will be comprised of a multi-faith group of distinguished individuals who will ensure that the community center stays true to its objectives of peace, tolerance and understanding between all.

    Does anyone seriously that they would be so committed to building a 100 million dollar mosque if they weren’t absolutely certain about a source of adequate funding? Let me tell you who that source of funding is gonna be: it’s gonna be the oil barons in the Mid-East, the same people who fund jihad. That’s the only reason for Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s visit to the Mid-East. Watch how fast the money appears. It will appear through front companies that appear to look legitimate on the outside.

  42. The latest Time cover says “Is America Islamophobic?”.

    Forgot to mention it’s by Bobby Ghosh. I’ll read it tonight but just giving you guys a heads up and look forward to insightful critiques.

  43. If Hitler could have chosen a religion, what would it have been?

    “Hitler usually concluded this historical speculation by remarking, `You see, it’s been our misfortune to have the wrong religion. Why didn’t we have the religion of the Japanese, who regard sacrifice for the Fatherland as the highest good? The Mohammedan religion too would have been much more compatible to us than Christianity. Why did it have to be Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness….”5 (A. Speer, Inside the Third Reich, pp. 142-143)

    Goebbels, Nazi Minister of Propaganda, noted:

    “The Fuhrer is deeply religous, though completely anti-Christian. He views Christianity as a symptom of decay. Rightly so. It is a branch of the Jewish race… Both [Judaism and Christianity] have no point of contact to the animal element, and thus, in the end, they will be destroyed.”‘

    I don’t know about destroyed, but abused, yes.

  44. Christianity with its meekness and flabbiness….”

    Because it teaches to “turn the other cheek”? I’m sure he’d be against Hinduism too for its propensity toward tolerance. Hitler being compatible with the “The Mohammedan religion”? Hmmmm………makes me wonder.