Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Grief is No Excuse for Bigotry & War

From The World Can't Wait:

Grief is No Excuse for Bigotry & WarGrief is no excuse

About 300 people came out yesterday in downtown Manhattan under the slogan, "We oppose attacks now, and in the future, on Muslims and mosques.  Welcome Cordoba House!"  The signs were wide-ranging, from "I support religious freedom" to "We welcome Muslims" to "Isn't the Constitution hallowed?" (um, no) to World Can't Wait's message that "Grief is No Excuse for Bigotry & War!"   There were some American flags, and a lot of questions about how people can be so mean and racist.

Around the corner, the "Stop the Islamization of America" crowd, which numbered up to 1,000, had a full stage and sound, and its own variety of messages.  "We  learned all we ever need to know about Islam on 9-11;" "No rewards 4 terrorism!" and "Remember 9-11!"  There were bikers, American flags, an effigy of a man in a keffiyeh, as if this was the last stand of "real" Americans.

The Islamic community center planned is completely in sync with the slick, mainstream, commercial re-building plan Bloomberg and the financiers of Wall Street put together for downtown.  Its imam travels the world, as he did during the Bush regime, trying to get Muslims not to hate the U.S. as part of the Obama administration's re-branding of the so-called "war on terror" to the "overseas contingency operation, while Muslims are being pounded and killed in the US occupations.

As Joel Bittar said in this video featuring the reactionary protest yesterday, "In all fairness, the United States has been building 'ground zeroes' near mosques since 2003."

That's what this movement against Muslims and mosques and the "Islamization of America" is at its core: a base of support a "white, Christian America" and for a US empire dominating the world.  With their ideological brethren waving guns at immigrants in Arizona, and Beck/Palin staging a  "Restoring Honor" rally on the site and 47th anniversary of MLK's I Have a Dream speech, this right-wing movement is neither "spontaneously" coming up from the people, nor is it going away.

"We're At War With These People" said a protester against a new mosque in TN, quoted in the Washington Post, 
Far from Ground Zero, other plans for mosques run into vehement opposition.  I challenge almost every word of that claim, from who the "we" is to who "these people" are.  And this is what we, as people who want an end to the wars, and who care about humanity, should do.

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