Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Dark Comedy

If it wasn't so funny it'd be sad. Fortunately, its LOLs to the can't make this stuff up. A former Burlington Coat Factory, two blocks away from Ground Zero, is going through a politically led election year media firestorm right now.

I really think debates like these are good for our country in the long run. Decades from now, assuming we go in the right direction, we can look back at all this silliness for what it is; fear-mongering. With the benefit of hindsight we'll see that this outrage flamed up by the media/politicians was just clever campaigning. Like Blair-Witch style rogue marketing.

But for right now we're in the midst of a politic-frenzy. At least until Joe Biden puts his foot into his mouth again. I've got Facebook invites from people telling me these "bastards cheered when the towers fell" to even comparing Islam to Nazis (IMO, Newt knows better; a 2012 campaign is definitely on the horizon...).My feeling is with stuff like this its good to try to find the original intent. If, for instance, the Muslims behind it thought of themselves as religious equivalents to Nazis, this would be a horrible idea. They have a website for their project, here are some quotes: "the Cordoba Initiative [GZ Mosque] is committed to bringing American Muslims and non-Muslims together through programs in academia, policy, current affairs, and culture." Etc., etc.

Of course, all this mushy "can't we all get along" talk could be a lie. Webpages are tailor-made for people to make stuff up. But, if you fact-check the Imam behind it, Feisal Abdul Rauf, you quickly find out that he's been a strong voice (one of very few) pro-America Muslims. So much so that many Muslims dislike him for his ideas on Americanizing the Muslim faith. And guess what? Right now he's over in the Mid-East promoting how Americans are open to faith. He's been doing this since 2007. I don't think he'll be back.

The tragedy of this is that by screaming out phrases like "Nazis" to Muslims, we're pushing them even further away. It reminds me a Christian Fundamentalist called "Brother Tom" who used to preach at UNI. He'd bring his 12 children, set up shop at the Union, and scream about how we're all sinners, going to hell, etc., etc. At first I thought he was genuinely trying to make us repent. Now though, I realize it was just a show for his kids to see how bad "out there" was. It invariably turned into a chaotic shouting match with profanities, stupid jokes, and ugliness from both parties. His kids saw how ugly we sinners can be, and ran back to ranch more scared of us secular humanist.

That's what we're doing. We're not going to convince terrorists of anything. But don't associate 1 billion people in Islam as terrorists, Nazis, blight, whatever. We're screaming now.

I'm all for stopping the Mosque, just do it the American way: buy them out and in it's place put up our sacred trinity: food, football, and beer (a.k.a Hooters).