Dear Harry Reid...

Expect plenty of disagreement. Just keep it civil.
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Dear Harry Reid...

Postby David R. Modny » Tue Aug 17, 2010 1:21 am

...you're a pandering fool on "Mosquegate." I realize that contentious elections make for strange bedfellows, and I certainly don't want to see that nutbar Angle even touching a Senate seat any more than you do, but geez Harry, did you *really* have to go and make our Party look like a bunch of wilting buffoons and our own worst enemy????

Bigotry, fear-mongering, hate and xenophobia might be "in thing" in our nation right now, but "thanks again" for helping to validate it, while also refilling our lazy media's glass, Harry.


I love political ideology. Really hate politicians sometimes.

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Rspaight » Tue Aug 17, 2010 7:44 am

The ridiculous "Ground Zero Mosque" (which is neither at Ground Zero, nor a mosque) kerfluffle is the GOP's preferred wedge issue of this election cycle, and it's working beautifully for them. They've somehow convinced a lot of people that al-Qaeda is planning to bomb the site again and erect a giant monument depicting bin Laden raping small children. So now when Obama says something perfectly innocuous and obvious like, "Um, freedom of religion means that we can't prevent someone from building a religious community center just because we don't like the religion," it becomes a media orgy of indignation.

Plus, it's obvious that the loons out raising a stink about the "mosque" are the same ones who have an aneurysm whenever the Ten Commandments can't be engraved on every government building.

Here's my modest proposal -- if we kill the "Ground Zero Mosque", then we should also order all Christian churches to be torn down within a ten mile radius of the Murrah Federal Building site in Oklahoma City (taking into account the population density differences in the two areas). After all, it must be searingly painful for the victims' families to have the religion that killed their loved ones openly practicing on hallowed ground.

Assholes.
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby David R. Modny » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:10 am

"Ground Zero Mosque?" Bah...that's nothing. In the last few days, I've been told by of the wise inhabitants of various message boards that it's a "VICTORY Mosque," silly.

I've also been duly informed that each and every Islamic man, woman and child that ever lived wants to "invoke Sharia Law on our country," "overthrow our government," "murder every member of our military" and "urinate on our way of life."

I never realized that batshit crazy was the new trend in America, but I must have missed the boat? The Red Scare has nothing on this.

And, of course, President Obama is still "a Muslim," "a Marxist," a "Libtard" and "traitor" for defending the Constitution. Oh, and he obviously "hates America," as well!


Seriously, it must be truly sad to go through life carrying so much bigotry and hatred, entirely detached from reality and living in a world of delusional paranoia. Sadly, it's starting to infect mainstream America, as well. As I was telling Luke, this is a really ugly time in our nation's history. Consider me naive for believing that we had somehow broken down the racial, ethnic and religious barriers with this past election. Of course, the media does nothing but stoke the coals with flat-out misinformation, if they even bother to give any information at all. They do love a good riot, after all.


I wrote this piece on one of the message boards. I still defy anyone who claims to be against this community center to answer and tell me *why* they are. So far, all I've gotten is that I'm an "idiot," "full of shit," and "probably a Muslim" myself...who "hates America," too!

I realize there's nothing earth shattering in this simple piece, but after posting on various message boards, and reading some of the subsequent hate-o-rade, I'm starting to feel like it's in Morse code.

-----------------------------------------------

"I simply don't get the uproar over this issue. How can this potential community center that houses a prayer room somehow be "insensitive?" "The Muslims" didn't attack the WTC with airplanes on that horrific morning, but rather a sick, extremist faction within known as Al Qaeda. This is a religion that dates from the 7th century, with billions of followers worldwide, and yet some feel they have the right to BRAND each and every last one of those followers by the heinous acts of a few. This would be akin to saying that "The Christians" bombed the Federal Building in OKC, so building a Christian church in the vicinity would now be "insensitive" and should not be allowed. Pure nonsense. This is the very definition of ethnic and religious stereotyping and discrimination.

In truth, I think a lot of people are hiding behind words such as "insensitive," and carping about the location as being "hallowed ground" (two blocks away, out of complete sight of Ground Zero, and in an area already inhabited by porn shops, gambling sites and strip clubs!) in an attempt to soften their own xenophobia. They can't come out and say what they really feel, so they're making up a laundry list of things to be offended by. I'm just curious...how far *would* be acceptable? Four blocks? Eight blocks? The next county? Never mind the fact that there are already 300+ mosques in NYC -- in fact, one currently *four* blocks from Ground Zero as we speak. Nobody seemed to feel that these were insensitive, a security threat or a desecration of the memory of 9-11 until the ilk of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin decided to thrust another fear-mongering wedge issue into the national spotlight to stir-up everyone with their manufactured umbrage.

By the way, let's also remember that hard-working, Muslim-Americans serve proudly in the US Military. I'd reckon, hard-working, Muslim-Americans serve in the NYC police and fire department, as well. Hard-working, Muslim-Americans even died in the Twin Towers on that fateful day. Who on earth are we, behind the cozy comfort of our computers, to tell this group of fellow Americans that their right to religious freedom doesn't completely count anymore -- and has its own set of unique conditions and limitations?

If we're going to shred the basic doctrines of our Constitution at the drop of a hat, are we prepared to one day allow the same to happen to other religions? Maybe, Christianity or Judaism? Lord help our great nation if that's the case. Looking back at history has easily shown that a majority viewpoint isn't always the right, legal or even morally correct viewpoint. At the very least, some people need to take a look in the mirror and face their own phobias and hypocrisy. Furthermore, when we succumb to our own fears and bigotry -- turning on our very own Muslim citizens and squabbling within as a result -- THAT'S how the terrorists truly win! We play right into their hands.


We're better than this, people. Why not be a beacon to the rest of the world and show that the terrorists did not break this country from what makes it so great? As long as this community center is being built and adhered to in a law-abiding way, it must go forth."

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Rspaight » Tue Aug 17, 2010 11:00 am

People don't want to be rational -- they want to fear the Other and wallow around in tribal identification. In this way they somehow maintain the illusion that they are "normal" and innocent and everyone else is "radical" and dangerous.

As usual, it's only Jon Stewart making any sort of sense on this in the media:

http://tpmlivewire.talkingpointsmemo.co ... ?ref=fpblg
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby David R. Modny » Tue Aug 17, 2010 8:08 pm

From my travels on the internet, I'm seeing what are basically three prevailing arguments as to *why* it shouldn't be built -- each one completely flawed.

First, is the obvious. The folks who flat-out hate Muslims, Middle-Easterners or anything the slightest bit different than who they are. It's hopeless to try and talk sense to these people, because they're convinced that ALL Muslims are hell-bent on destroying the world. I guess that includes Muhammad Ali, Dave Chappelle and Kareem Abdul Jabbar.

Second, and probably the most prevalent, are the "we just find the location insensitive" crowd. Yet, I've still haven't heard a single one of these people tell me what *exactly* the "American approved" distance is? Being that there already resides a (much larger) Mosque four blocks away that never seemed to bother anyone, and this planned community center/prayer room in the abandoned Burlington Coat Factory is two blocks away, I guess that means two blocks is the distance between peace-of-mind and outrage. It would be laughable if it weren't completely ludicrous. I'd also add that a good portion of these people seem to fall into the media misinformation crowd. I must have counted a hundred times today where someone claimed it was being built *on* or *at* Ground Zero, or referred to it as the ubiquitous "Ground Zero Mosque." Call me cynical, but I'd reckon there's a lot of latent fear and bigotry hiding behind this argument.


Third, are the people who claim it's "disrespectful"...period. These might be the folks who irk me the most, because they're the ones who, in effect, are branding the entire religion or concept of Islam as the culprit of 9-11. That is, all Muslim-Americans in their eyes must wear the badge of shame. Again, I ask, how can an entire religion be "disrespectful" in light of the acts of a heinous few? It's arrogance, laziness and self-righteousness at its absolute worst.

Add it all up...and there's your "majority rule"...2010 style.

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Rspaight » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:01 pm

I'll bet most of those in the second group have never been to Manhattan and have no idea what a "block" means in that context.

In fact, I'll also bet most of them despise Manhattan and secretly are not really all that upset that it got attacked. (Cross-reference Ann Coulter's "joke" that Tim McVeigh should have bombed the New York Times.)
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby David R. Modny » Tue Aug 17, 2010 9:14 pm

Rspaight wrote:I'll bet most of those in the second group have never been to Manhattan and have no idea what a "block" means in that context.

In fact, I'll also bet most of them despise Manhattan and secretly are not really all that upset that it got attacked. (Cross-reference Ann Coulter's "joke" that Tim McVeigh should have bombed the New York Times.)


I'd even take it a step further and say it's always easy -- my rant included -- to be full of umbrage and judgment from the comfort of one's home and anonymity behind the personal computer. Though, it's arrogance to the people whose lives this truly effects -- our Muslim-American citizens who simply want to worship freely, without persecution and conditions. That's the silliest part of it all. Their basic right to freedom has zero bearing on our lives. Of course, that's *exactly* the reason why the Palin/Gingrich crowd decided to hoist another wedge issue on to the national stage. Stirring people up and playing on fear and manufactured "outrage" is all they have. It's how they keep people "tuned in."

Then again, I guess my posts aren't so anonymous? Considering some of the hate I've read on message boards (Yahoo easily being the worst), I should probably sleep with my eyes open tonight.

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Rspaight » Wed Aug 18, 2010 3:35 pm

Amazingly, we've now reached the point where we're pining for the kinder, gentler Bush Administration.

For bonus Bizarro points, this article contains perhaps the first time I've ever seen Grover Norquist make sense.

GOP Muslims Fear Failure Of Bush Outreach Efforts After Anti-Mosque Furor
Brian Beutler | August 18, 2010, 11:10AM

After winning nearly 80 percent of the Muslim vote in 2000, George Bush bled much of it away in the post 9/11 era. The war in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, detainment and other policies drove at least half of that support to John Kerry and third party candidates in 2004. But all the while, several influential Muslim Republicans, both inside the administration and out, were working hard to staunch the bleeding and build a donor base among wealthy members of the Muslim community.

Today, several of them say that their efforts are being undermined, if not completely destroyed, by Republicans stoking anti-Muslim sentiment by opposing the construction of the Cordoba House -- now known infamously and inaccurately as the "Ground Zero Mosque".

"We've been working hard, some Muslim Americans, some non-Muslims, to keep the Muslim American community and other minorities on the party side, to keep relationships going," says David Ramadan, a Vice Chairman of the Republican Party of Virginia. "All of that is threatened to be thrown down the drain."

"Most of [that work] is at risk, if not all," Ramadan told TPM. "How can I, an operative of the Republican party of Virginia that goes out and holds events for candidates, how can I go out to the Muslims of Loudoun County... how can I go out today in good faith and say I'd like to invite you to a Republican event, or to a candidate event on a Republican event who shares your values? Who's going to give me a dollar today? Who's going to give me a dollar when Republicans are comparing Muslims in general to Nazis?... Excuse me! My mother is not a Nazi!"

Former Muslim members of the Bush administration are equally outraged and equally concerned that the political cost to Republicans will be long lasting -- not just among Muslims but among all religious minorities.

"Some GOP leaders like Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin are working overtime to ensure that we'll never get the Muslim vote back," said Suhail Khan, Chairman of the Conservative Inclusion Coalition, and a former Bush political adviser.

"The community is one that is looking for help on bread and butter issues: taxes, health care, the economy, education," Kahn added. "But if you have party leaders coming out and trashing religious freedom issues, private property -- these are things that people came to the party for. People are going to remember that."

Under President Bush, things were different. Bush lost the support of a huge number of Muslim voters over major policy differences, but he was able to retain the allegiance of a core number of supporters, in part by suffocating the element in his party that the GOP leadership is currently rallying around and flaming.

"The War on Terror made it challenging, but it didn't stop the Bush Administration from making a strong effort to reach out to Muslim communities in America, particularly moderate Muslim communities," said Jamil Jaffer, one of a number of Muslims who worked in high profile positions in the Bush administration. Jaffer served as an Associate Counsel to the President and as Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General for National Security. "President George W. Bush was the first President in history -- ever -- to describe America as a nation composed of three religions: Christianity, Judaism, and Islam."

Jaffer pointed to his experience as evidence that the previous White House wasn't pandering. "I did substantive national security work, and I never felt that anyone in the Administration -- particularly not the political appointees - -looked at me with any suspicion as a result of my religious beliefs. To the contrary, I was always felt like a valued member of the Bush national security team."

"There were more Muslims than ever before in the Republican camp and the GOP made larger [fundraising] gains than Democrats in 2000 and 2004 from the Muslim community," Jaffer added.

But the Republican party isn't comprised of political naifs who, one would assume, must have understood the political costs and benefits of (again) alienating the Muslim community before beginning the campaign. For instance, if one looks at the data from 2004, one sees that Bush won a significant victory over John Kerry with fewer Muslim votes than he earned when he didn't win a popular majority against Al Gore. But in the long run, most operatives recognize that an ever whiter, more conservative Republican party can't survive nationally. With that in mind, critics disagree about why the GOP decided to turn up the dial on their anti-Muslim and anti-mosque rhetoric in the first place.

"I really think it was not coordinated," says Ramadan. "I truly believe this started out on a couple blogs, people went against it. One way or another it got to Speaker Gingrich and Governor Palin. They didn't really think hard about or strategize on. It took off. After that it was a slippery slope. But they didn't back out and used it to take shots against the President...and now it's too late."

Khan has a somewhat different take. "The only thing I can think of is some folks like Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich are thinking they can galvanize a certain section of the electorate on these hot button issues, and get them out. But again, I think it's a very short term strategy."

Ramadan echoed a sentiment that conservative activist Grover Norquist shared with Slate: in Norquist's words, "Republicans will lose Jewish votes by focusing on a mosque in New York.... You're going to lose Jewish votes, Indian votes, Buddhist votes. Every member of a minority group looks at a situation like this and says, oh, the people hitting this minority will eventually start hitting me."

"The folks who were warming up to the Republican conservative ideas, particularly because they shared an affinity for an 'up by your own bootstraps' economic philosophy and the like, there is a distinct possibility you'll see some of that ground being lost as a result of this ongoing debate," says Jaffer.

The frustration has been enough to draw these Republicans into a public debate with their own party faithful, but not enough to shake their loyalty to the GOP cause. In 2012, if the GOP presidential nominee is somebody who, like Palin, or Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, fought the Cordoba Initiative's project, they can still expect support from Muslim Republicans...though maybe not quite as much.

"It will last, because it hits people right in their hearts. It makes people doubt whether they're safe with the Republican party," Ramadan said. "I will always support the party. The question is how much we will do for the party. How much of my time, my money...it all depends on which candidates are going to run."
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Rspaight » Mon Aug 23, 2010 2:48 pm

This is hilarious (from an article back in June).

Sunday's crowd included representatives of the conservative Tea Party movement, some of them wearing anti-tax T-shirts that had nothing to do with Ground Zero, Islam or terrorism.

"We must take a stand and we must say no," shouted rally organizer Pamela Geller as the crowd roared approval. Moments later, another keynote speaker, Robert Spencer, sparked more cheers when he asked, "Are you tired of being lied to?"

Spencer, however, did not explain precisely what lies he was referring to.

Many protesters held American flags. Many carried signs.

"A Mosque at Ground Zero Spits on the Graves of 9/11," one placard proclaimed. Another sign depicted a toilet, with this message: "This is a Mosque. Do You Want it Built at Ground Zero?"

At one point, a portion of the crowd menacingly surrounded two Egyptian men who were speaking Arabic and were thought to be Muslims.

"Go home," several shouted from the crowd.

"Get out," others shouted.

In fact, the two men – Joseph Nassralla and Karam El Masry — were not Muslims at all. They turned out to be Egyptian Coptic Christians who work for a California-based Christian satellite TV station called "The Way." Both said they had come to protest the mosque.

"I'm a Christian," Nassralla shouted to the crowd, his eyes bulging and beads of sweat rolling down his face.

But it was no use. The protesters had become so angry at what they thought were Muslims that New York City police officers had to rush in and pull Nassralla and El Masry to safety.

"I flew nine hours in an airplane to come here," a frustrated Nassralla said afterward.


http://www.northjersey.com/news/opinion ... l?page=all
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Jeff T. » Fri Aug 27, 2010 3:10 pm

I sense that Muslims have a PR problem. Because it was not them as a whole that had anything to do with 9-11, yet there is a general feeling among too many people that they are somewhat directly to blame for it. The Taliban is another splinter group that is not good for their image.

How can Muslims correct this distorted image of them that exists? Or should they be under no obligation to correct anything? Is their image problem so limited that there really is not a problem in the bigger world picture?

Seems that they could work to enlighten people on the subject no?

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby lukpac » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:00 pm

I don't think the people that need to be enlightened want to be.
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby Jeff T. » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:17 am

I can't help feeling that Muslims need an image makeover especially in this country. And it is up to them to step up and make a stand for everyone. Speak up on Charlie Rose, cough up a few billion dollars for US charities for the poor, denounce terrorism at ever chance.

Even Cat Stevens' statement after 911 (if he was quoted correctly) was off-putting. He said that the beliefs of those involved in the 911 attacks was not that of the majority. That left a lot of people of his religion to represent hate. "Not the majority" means (to me) a bit less than half. Cat seemed to want to stay clear of actually strongly condemning that 911 attacks as if it could came back at him to do so. Or he did it because folks like him simply speak that way, gentle and general.

So here we e have a high profile Muslim that is not going to take stand up and really say Bin Laden is a rotten cock-sucker that deserves to be nailed up by his toes and stoned to death.

I personally think that those mild statements like "not the majority" are what will keep this horrible impression many in of the public seem to think of Muslims as.

They need a PR makeover badly.

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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby lukpac » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:36 am

Jeff T. wrote:So here we e have a high profile Muslim that is not going to take stand up and really say Bin Laden is a rotten cock-sucker that deserves to be nailed up by his toes and stoned to death.


Why should it be anybody's *job* to do so?

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/09/08/opini ... ml?_r=1&hp
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby lukpac » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:43 am

Jeff T. wrote:Even Cat Stevens' statement after 911 (if he was quoted correctly) was off-putting. He said that the beliefs of those involved in the 911 attacks was not that of the majority. That left a lot of people of his religion to represent hate. "Not the majority" means (to me) a bit less than half. Cat seemed to want to stay clear of actually strongly condemning that 911 attacks as if it could came back at him to do so. Or he did it because folks like him simply speak that way, gentle and general.


Umm, this one?

"I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday.

While it is still not clear who carried out the attacks, it must be stated that no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action: the Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity.

We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims at this sorrowful moment.

Yusuf Islam"

http://web.archive.org/web/200109200042 ... l?id=00174

I fail to see how there is *anything* "off-putting" about that. Or even:

"British Muslims feel nothing but sympathy for those families who lost loved ones in this awful tragedy we've all just witnessed in the US. This is why, today, along with most Muslims in Britain, we should make it clear that such acts of horrific carnage as we've seen on TV and in the newspapers have nothing to do with the beliefs of most Muslims. The Koran specifically declares: "If anyone murders an (innocent) person...it will be as if he has murdered the whole of humanity." It goes on: "And if anyone saves a person it will be as if he has saved the whole of humanity.""

http://web.archive.org/web/200109200029 ... evens.com/

If somebody has a problem with any of that, it's because they are specifically *trying* to have a problem with it.
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Re: Dear Harry Reid...

Postby David R. Modny » Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:45 am

Jeff T. wrote:I can't help feeling that Muslims need an image makeover especially in this country. And it is up to them to step up and make a stand for everyone. Speak up on Charlie Rose, cough up a few billion dollars for US charities for the poor, denounce terrorism at ever chance.

Even Cat Stevens' statement after 911 (if he was quoted correctly) was off-putting. He said that the beliefs of those involved in the 911 attacks was not that of the majority. That left a lot of people of his religion to represent hate. "Not the majority" means (to me) a bit less than half. Cat seemed to want to stay clear of actually strongly condemning that 911 attacks as if it could came back at him to do so. Or he did it because folks like him simply speak that way, gentle and general.

So here we e have a high profile Muslim that is not going to take stand up and really say Bin Laden is a rotten cock-sucker that deserves to be nailed up by his toes and stoned to death.

I personally think that those mild statements like "not the majority" are what will keep this horrible impression many in of the public seem to think of Muslims as.

They need a PR makeover badly.



C'mon, Jeff. This is pure nonsense. For starters there are plenty of Muslims "coughing up money for the poor" and "denouncing terrorism." It isn't the responsibility of a religion that's been around 1500 years to have to go on some kind of PR blitz so people who may not belong to that faith can feel a bit more comfortable in their self-righteous indignation.


As far as your later claim, you could probably find a few choice, easy things to badger Yusuf/Cat over if you really wanted to, but this isn't really how it went down in terms of his overall response to 9/11.

From Wiki (and the sources are all cited):

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens

"Immediately following the 11 September 2001, attacks on the United States, he said:

I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday. While it is still not clear who carried out the attack, it must be stated that no right-thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action. The Qur'an equates the murder of one innocent person with the murder of the whole of humanity. We pray for the families of all those who lost their lives in this unthinkable act of violence as well as all those injured; I hope to reflect the feelings of all Muslims and people around the world whose sympathies go out to the victims of this sorrowful moment.[56][57]

He appeared on videotape on a VH1 pre-show for the October 2001 Concert for New York City, condemning the attacks and singing his song "Peace Train" for the first time in public in more than 20 years, as an a cappella version. He also donated a portion of his box-set royalties to the Fund for victims' families, and the rest to orphans in underdeveloped countries.[58] During the same year, Yusuf Islam dedicated time and effort in joining the Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism, an organization that worked towards battling misperceptions and acts against others because of their religious beliefs and/or racial identity, after many Muslims reported a backlash against them due in part to the grief caused by the events in the United States on 9-11."



Edit: Luke just beat me to the punch.
Last edited by David R. Modny on Wed Sep 08, 2010 12:59 am, edited 2 times in total.