Local Stories, Events
Ref. : Civic Events
Ref. : Arts & Education Events
Ref. : Public Service Notices
Books, Films, Arts & Education
Ref. : Letters to the editor
Health Care & Environment
02.14 Exposure to Glyphosate-Based Herbicides and Risk for Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma: A Meta-Analysis and Supporting Evidence [If its killing us, make it illegal]
02.14 To avoid environmental catastrophe, everything must change [Consider why this headline is laughable or confusing to many, if not most, Americans...]02.13 Study Shows Toxic Pesticide Levels in Families Dropped by 60% After One-Week Organic Diet [2:10 video; Produce and canned vegetables laced with toxic chemicals—from fertilizers and herbicides, too—must be quickly phased out to use safe organic alternatives]
02.11 'People Shouldn't Be Going Bankrupt and Dying': Nationwide Week of Action Aims to Build Mass Movement Behind Medicare for All [Corporate control of government and media must be limited to allow efficient programs for the public good]
02.09 The potato solution: how the Guardian switched to biodegradable packaging [Non-recyclable products should be illegal]
News Media Matters
02.15 Samantha Bee: Fox News 'soiling themselves over the Green New Deal' [video clips from Samantha Bee, Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert]
US Politics, Policy & 'Culture'
02.15 Jayapal Says Medicare for All Bill Coming in Two Weeks as Expert Calls Plan 'Astonishingly Strong' [Corporate control of government and media must be limited to allow efficient programs for the public good]
02.14 Pentagon Fears Climate Crisis, w/ Billions in Damage to US Bases & Societal Upheaval [In maniacally twisted capitalist countries inconvenient truths are ignored or harshly ridiculed, and Trump's stupid Wall obsession dominates the news instead.]
02.13 'We Will Be That Lantern on the Shore': Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley Rally With TPS Holders Outside Trump White House [Empathy and fairness are scarce when your President is a psychopath]
Economics & Corrupting-Capitalism
02.13 The Green New Deal offers radical environmental and economic change [For the survival of life on earth, capitalism must be effectively regulated or banned]
02.12 Climate and economic risks 'threaten 2008-style systemic collapse' [Willfull ignorance of Trump, Republicans, corporate-media and corporate-Democrats is steadfast, if not worsening]
02.11 Trump offers socialism for the rich, capitalism for everyone else [and the poor will die out like the insects]
International & Futurism
02.15 Who Is Really A Socialist? [Who is really a Republican, etc.?]
02.14 House passes bill to end US support for Saudi war in Yemen [Congress does something good again!]
02.14 Millions Flowed From Venezuelan Oil Firm to Small Bulgarian Bank [Transactions like Manafort performed for Trump. Which Venezuelan political leader is likely behind this—Maduro or Trump-supported Guaidó?]
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.
Copyright © 2010 The Baltimore News Network. All rights reserved.
Republication or redistribution of Baltimore Chronicle content is expressly prohibited without their prior written consent.
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.