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06.11 Underpaid Adjunct Professors Sleep in Cars and Rely on Public Aid [The disease of rapacious-capitalism infects the education system]
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06.15 So much plastic is being made that "recycling has no impact" [Non-recyclable plastic must be made illegal to manufacture, use]
06.15 We must transform our lives and values to save this burning planet [Increased ice melt in polar latitudes has been disguising reality in the middle latitudes. This effect will soon be replaced by record heat as ice volume and seasonal melting increasingly declines.]
06.15 This all-male council in Texas just voted to ban abortion [1:59 video; Bad assumptions foment ignorant actions...]
06.10 Conservatives should change how they think about global warming. I did [Another crisis issue conservatives won't acknowledge...]
06.10 Scottish Power to build vast battery to improve wind energy supply [Who won't understand this?]
06.10 Greenpeace activists board BP oil rig as it is towed out to sea [Fossil fuel company conduct should be illegal...]
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US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
06.15 'Eye-Popping': Analysis Shows Top 1% Gained $21 Trillion in Wealth Since 1989 While Bottom Half Lost $900 Billion [More equality or bring back the guillotines!]
06.15 White House physicist sought aid of rightwing thinktank to challenge climate science [When your President is a quack he naturally surrounds himself with sycophants]
06.13 Why are we still pretending 'trickle-down' economics work? [We aren't ‘laffing’ now! In Trump-world all the worst people are celebrated. Ref.: 3:07 Idiocracy Courtroom Scene]
06.14 Justice Denied, Delayed, or Done Right? Serious Concerns as Prosecutors Throw Out Charges in Flint Water Crisis Cases [A very flawed prosecution using suspiciously limited evidence has been thrown out, a stronger case will be brought using newly found, voluminous evidence.]
Economics & Corrupt Capitalism
06.11 The problem with billionaires fighting climate change? The billionaires [Bloomberg's sanity to control greed to save the life-on-earth (and continuing profits) is unfortunately rare]
06.09 Elizabeth Warren’s economic nationalism vision shows there's a better way [As like championed by Economist Joseph Stiglitz]
International & Futurism
06.15 Africa’s Lost Kingdoms
06.15 The US must stand with the people of Hong Kong [But this attacks Xi's authoritarianism, which Trump is most envious of for himself...]
06.13 What does it mean to be genetically Jewish? [Doing a mental dance with archanery: could a significant number of Russians and Palestinians be intentionally included or excluded as genetically Jewish? And why would Israel do this?]
06.12 Extending the US Embargo on Cuba & Hurting the People [Doing what's cruelest]
Persecuting a Conciliator
Monday, 30 August 2010
Just when one thinks that politics can’t sink any deeper into the sewage, conservatives and Republicans come along to prove one wrong.
If a YMCA or a YMHA were planned for 51 Park Place in Lower Manhattan, two blocks from the Twin Towers’ former site, who would have noticed?
Instead, the equivalent of a Muslim Y (without the implied male exclusivity) is to be built there. What’s the big deal?
There can be only one answer: Consciously or not, a majority of Americans believe all American Muslims are associated with the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. Although the U.S. government position is that the attacks were perpetrated not by Islam but rather by fanatics who warped the religion, the opposition to Cordoba House, now known as Park51, shows that most Americans don’t believe it. They hold all Muslims responsible. That’s disgraceful collective guilt based on religion.
Just when one thinks that politics can’t sink any deeper into the sewage, conservatives and Republicans come along to prove one wrong. Who cares what Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh, and their ilk really think about the Islamic cultural center (not a mosque) located two vision-obstructed blocks from (not at) Ground Zero? What counts is that they are eager to exploit Americans’ ignorant fears for political advantage. Gingrich, ever the pseudo intellectual, suggests that Nazis would not be permitted to build a center near the Holocaust Museum. He hopes you’ll not realize that (1) the developers of Park51 aren’t Nazis or supporters of al-Qaeda, and (2) they own the property on which the center is to be built.
Fanatical Christians and Jews have killed many innocent people, believing they were doing God’s will. Reasonable people do not hold Christianity and Judaism culpable for those crimes. Why the double standard with Muslims? Several million Muslims live peacefully in the United States. What more needs to be said?
Feisal Abdul Rauf, director of the Park51 Islamic cultural center to be built in Lower Manhattan, is no bin Ladenite. He preaches love and reconciliation.
It takes only minutes on the Internet to learn there are different Muslim traditions. Feisal Abdul Rauf, director of Park51, is no bin Ladenite. As William Dalrymple writes, Rauf “is one of America’s leading thinkers of Sufism, the mystical form of Islam, which in terms of goals and outlook couldn’t be farther from the violent Wahhabism of the jihadists. His videos and sermons preach love ... and reconciliation.... But in the eyes of Osama bin Laden and the Taliban, he is an infidel-loving, grave-worshiping apostate; they no doubt regard him as a legitimate target for assassination.”
Moreover, Rauf’s mainstream credentials are indisputable. President Bush used to send him on goodwill missions to the Middle East. President Obama continues to so. Rauf was invited to speak at the memorial service for Daniel Pearl, the Jewish reporter for the Wall Street Journal whom jihadists brutally murdered. In his remarks, Rauf said, “We are here to assert the Islamic conviction of the moral equivalency of our Abrahamic faiths. If to be a Jew means to say with all one’s heart, mind, and soul... hear O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is One, not only today am I a Jew, I have always been one, Mr. Pearl. If to be a Christian is to love the Lord our God with all of my heart, mind, and soul, and to love for my fellow human being what I love for myself, then not only am I a Christian, but I have always been one, Mr. Pearl.”
This hardly sounds like someone with sympathy for killers of the innocent. He is a conciliator, which makes the location near Ground Zero especially appropriate. We don’t have to agree with everything he says to understand that.
The ignorance displayed in the opposition to Rauf cannot be separated from the general American ignorance of U.S. foreign policy. History did not begin on 9/11. It was the culmination of six decades of violence against and oppression of Muslims in the Middle East, both inflicted and sponsored by American regimes, Republican and Democrat. Predictably, that record provoked a tiny minority to strike at innocent people nine years ago, including many Muslims. Thankfully, not all Muslims hold all Americans responsible for the U.S. government’s continuing aggression. What message does it send when Americans persecute rather than applaud conciliatory Muslims?
The way to prevent another 9/11 is to change U.S. foreign policy. The ugly reaction to Park51 shows that we have bin Laden exactly where he wants us.
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Baltimore News Network, Inc., sponsor of this web site, is a nonprofit organization and does not make political endorsements. The opinions expressed in stories posted on this web site are the authors' own.This story was published on August 30, 2010.