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August 11, 2010

Comments

There is, of course, an explanation for this behavior. Facts, any facts, are totally irrelevant to the urgent need to tell a specific group that everybody else in the universe is out to attack and destroy them. Because only by feeding that paranoia can those people be directed to act and vote as desired. Pity the tactics play so badly outside that one group.

Tangentially, I am amazed at how comprehensively the smear machine goes after every demographic in the nation which is growing. In fact, i can't think of one which they have missed. One would think that they wanted to doom the Republican Party.

They HAVE doomed the Republican Party. It's just a husk about to be sloughed off by the alien bugs within.

All that remains is the unveiling of the Confederate Party and its logo.

OT -- I disagree with Harold Myerson (Washington Post -- see Balloon Juice) about the Confederate Party's new-found contempt for the 14th Amendment.

I want the 14th Amendment reworded, too, but only in one respect.

All ancestors of the Confederacy, both genetic and ideological, will have their citizenship revoked.

Then, one week to scuttle across the nearest border and clear out of my country.

Other than choosing the wrong night to attend the theater, Abraham Lincoln's worst legacy mistake was allowing Confederate traitors their citizenship.

They came out from under the baseboards and the sewer openings in the old Confederate Democratic Party, mated with the verminous John Birch Society, and laid their eggs in what used to be the Republican Party.

It's dead, eaten from within.

Behold the monster.

"So what we're left with is a largely uncontested notion that any observant Muslim is a potential national security threat, a view that was once confined to the conspiratorial right wing fringe right but is now, thanks to Republican demagoguery, Democratic cowardice, and mainstream media know-nothingism, an entirely respectable, mainstream view."

This problem goes far beyond the stinging (not so much)indictments of this post. The problem is that every interaction that most people see with the Muslim world outside the US falls into one of three distinct categories,

1) they are trying to kill each other, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, pick a place, all people see is Sunnis, Shiites, Kurds, Taliban, Pashtuns, AQ at war with each other for dominance, with genocide presented as option.

2) they are trying to kill us: despite the rather normal poo-pooing of the threat here at OBWi, most people see heroes welcome for terrorists, rewards for their families and 100's of thousands of demonstrators with "kill the infidels" signs pretty regularly.

3) they are brutal to their own women and each other in their day to day living, even in countries we are purportedly helping

So, before you bash the Republicans or, especially, the do nothing Democrats you need to explain why these constant external images should not be expected to create a climate of distrust and fear? These are regular and reinforced images against the backdrop of multiple direct attacks on Americans.

Yes, we have provoked some of it over the past ten years, but these attacks and images didn't start with the Iraq war.

What Marty said. Don't hold your breath, Marty, for that needed explanation.

Maybe Thullen will take a shot since his spout is wide open today!

why these constant external images should not be expected to create a climate of distrust and fear? These are regular and reinforced images against the backdrop of multiple direct attacks on Americans.

I'm going to start campaigning to have all the Catholic churches in New York City shut down, on the basis of regular and reinforced images against the backdrop of multiple direct incidences of rampant child sexual abuse. I mean, now that we've established that the actions of a few should form the basis of our opinions about the whole, what's to stop me?

you need to explain why these constant external images should not be expected to create a climate of distrust and fear?

No explanation needed. It's a no-brainer that a constant diet of images of terrorism, war, and abuse of women would make people fear Muslims.

You, or at least somebody, needs to explain why those are the only images that folks see of the Muslim world.

So, before you bash the Republicans or, especially, the do nothing Democrats you need to explain why these constant external images should not be expected to create a climate of distrust and fear? These are regular and reinforced images against the backdrop of multiple direct attacks on Americans.

I expect Americans to judge their fellow Americans based on their actions. Not on the actions of a bunch of strangers 20 thousand miles away. The truth is, there are Arabs and Muslims all over this country. On average, they're better educated and they commit less crime than the average American. I expect that decent people should look at their Arab and Muslim neighbors and judge them by their actions.

There are a few thousand American servicemen and women whose kids would be dead if it weren't for the efforts of one my Muslim relatives. I expect Americans to treat him like the kind of person who spent years earning a fraction of what he could make in the private sector saving the lives of the children of American military families. Instead, he can't even get a driver's license because despite being a US citizen presenting a US passport, bigots at the DMV have decided that anyone with his skin color is not American.

Now, if judging people by their actions is too hard for you, then you're a bigot. Plain and simple. I don't judge Russian-Americans by Putin's behavior. And I don't treat every Chinese-American that I see as a communist just because China is a communist country. I don't do those things because I'm not a bigot.

What I'm hearing from you Marty is that it doesn't really matter how Muslims and Arabs in the US behave: they're still going to be judged based on the behavior of complete strangers from far away that happen to look like them. It doesn't matter how much they sacrifice for this country or how much they embrace American values, it will never be enough. I think that's crazy unamerican bullshit and anyone who believes that doesn't deserve to be an American.

Marty,

I'm not sure what you're getting at there?

Are you saying that we are victims of our own propaganda, lies and distortions about the Muslim world?

If so, I agree to some extent. But we still must push back against the propaganda, lies and distortion.

On the other hand, you say this which implies that you don't view same as lies, distortions and propaganda:

despite the rather normal poo-pooing of the threat here at OBWi, most people see heroes welcome for terrorists, rewards for their families and 100's of thousands of demonstrators with "kill the infidels" signs pretty regularly.

Who are most people? And where and how do they "see" this? I mean, al-Qaeda do not get heroes welcomes, nor are the families of al-Qaeda rewarded. In fact, al-Qaeda is pretty unpopular in the Muslim world.

And, yes, there are demonstrations against the US in places like Iran (which kind of has a reason) and demonstrations against US slaughter of Muslims in places like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Still, this does not justify anti-Muslim animus and bigotry.

Adding:

These are regular and reinforced images against the backdrop of multiple direct attacks on Americans.

By al-Qaeda.

Not all Muslims are al-Qaeda.

Read what Turbulence wrote.

The implication in your statement is quintessential bigotry.

I mean, substitute "black" for Muslim, list the stereotypes and distorted media image of blacks, list some crime stats, and then ask how it is that Americans are not supposed to distrust and fear black people.

The answer, of course, is that we should not stereotype based on sensational propaganda, distortions and other bigotry and fear of the other.

Marty, given that the US government helped overthrow the democratically elected government and Iran and replaced it with a vicious dictator who murdered and tortured many many Iranians, do you agree that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government?

Marty, if it was just Muslims that the Republican Party was trashing these days, it would be one thing. (A foolish thing, IMHO, but different.) However, from what I can see they are trashing a) Muslims, b) Hispanics. c) any other group that is handy. Xenophobia, directed within the nation as well as outward, is a bad strategic choice (whatever it's tactical merits).

wj don't forget homosexuals.

Muslim.
Muslim.
Muslim.
Muslim.
Muslim (a personal favorite).

Also, my IT guy at work, the old UI guy in my dev team, the guy that maintains the external web site for the product line I work on, the Bosnian guy with the funny name who does whatever finish carpentry we need done around the house, and god knows how many other folks I run across on any given day.

Muslims in America, courtesy of Pew Research.

Almost a third of the population in this city are Arab, and most of them are Muslims.

People need to stop freaking out. Take some medication if need be. Just quit freaking the hell out, look around you, and see what the reality is.

But mostly, people need to stop freaking out *other* people who don't know any better.

There are millions of Muslims in this country, and they aren't killing people or blowing stuff up.

Folks who don't have a clue and wouldn't know a Muslim if one came to fix their roof, deliver their mail, mow their lawn, or put out the fire in their house, need to get a clue.

And the other folks who get their jollies by freaking the ignorant folks out need to cut that crap out.

russell: Charles Lloyd's Forest Flower live at Monterey with Keith Jarrett on piano is one my personal favorites.

BTW, saw Ron Carter at the Blue Note this past Friday.

Envy me.

'You, or at least somebody, needs to explain why those are the only images that folks see of the Muslim world.'

This is a valid point on which I can only speculate. One possibility is that the media find only these types of events from Islamic nations newsworthy. Other major but distinct cultures around the world do generate various and numerous media reports on matters unrelated to major violent acts and /or demonstrations against the United States.

I suspect the ObWi sages will find a way to pretty much exonerate Muslim populations and blame the US as Turbulence just did for actions that occurred almost 3 generations ago. BTW, I think the use of wording like 'that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government?' perfectly illustrates what is going wrong in Muslim society.

Lloyd's one of those cats whose sidemen read like a who's who of jazz. Beautiful light and airy tone on tenor, too, not an easy sound to get on that horn.

And I want to know why Ron Carter's bass isn't in the Smithsonian Institute. Seriously.

Consider yourself envied. Sometimes I seriously miss NY. :(

GoodOleBoy, would you please answer the question I posed to Marty: do you think people in Iran are justified in hating the US government, yes or no?

I suspect the ObWi sages will find a way to pretty much exonerate Muslim populations and blame the US as Turbulence just did for actions that occurred almost 3 generations ago.

Democratic governments are a fragile thing. Overthrowing them is bad. Especially when you support a murderous dictator who tortures people. What is wrong with blaming the US? Why don't you believe in taking responsibility for our actions?

BTW, I think the use of wording like 'that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government?' perfectly illustrates what is going wrong in Muslim society.

Can you explain what you're talking about?

GOB, the Civil War happened over 135 years ago, and many Southerners still hold a grudge against Yankees.

I suspect the ObWi sages will find a way to pretty much exonerate Muslim populations and blame the US as Turbulence just did for actions that occurred almost 3 generations ago.

Did the Iraq war come and go 30 years ago? Did the Afghanistan war? Did the siege of Gaza, or the invasion(s) of Lebanon?

What form of space-time continuum are you tapped into exactly, and can I have some of what you're taking?

One possibility is that the media find only these types of events from Islamic nations newsworthy. Other major but distinct cultures around the world do generate various and numerous media reports on matters unrelated to major violent acts and /or demonstrations against the United States.

First of all, there are numerous stories about Muslims in America and abroad that do not involve those issues. And they are reported in the press. Now, if you only watch Fox news, you might not know better, but that is not something you should be proud of.

Second, yes, the violent images manage to capture the media's attention in a lot of respects. But that is something that Muslims have complained about for a long time - because they see the way the media tends to focus their coverage with respect to their culture/people.

But this is not new or unique. Africa often gets similar treatment. Blacks in America got/get similar treatment as well.

This is what bigotry looks like.

Sage or not.

Yes, we have provoked some of it over the past ten years, but these attacks and images didn't start with the Iraq war.

um... we've been 'provoking' for longer than 10 years - especially if you extend 'we' to include other western countries like the UK and France.

I would only add that the irony here is that GOB and Marty are complaining about the images and messages and violence in the Muslim world, and anti-Americanism, in the context of justifying backlash against...a moderate Muslim group comprised of Americans who support American democracy quite loudly, and only want to continue to do so.

GOB: You want a positive news story about Muslims, how about this:

Daisy Khan, who immigrated, also as a teenager, to Jericho, on Long Island, from Kashmir, married Imam Feisal in 1997. They founded a Sufi organization advocating melding Islamic observance with women’s rights and modernity. After 9/11 they raised their profile, renaming the group the American Society for Muslim Advancement and focusing on connecting Muslims and wider American society. They spoke out against religious violence; the imam advised the F.B.I.; his wife joined the board of the 9/11 memorial and museum.

But you know what, that story wasn't told until the situation got ugly because of a mixture of bigotry and ignorance fueled and orchestrated by the GOP that has laid siege to this group of Muslims that you and Marty supposedly strain to find examples of.

For which you blame Islam for not producing.

They're right in front of you. They are in the news. They are the subject of this controversy.

F*ck man.

The only time my city gets on the national media is when there's an unusually spectactular crime or scandal. This might lead you to conclude that there's nothing here except crime and scandal--not people doing their jobs, taking care of their children, walking their dogs, helping their neighbors. Hell, even the local news goes heavy on the crime, scandal and fires.

It might almost make you think that they're more interested in sensationalism and exciting video clips than in telling you what people are really like.

The problem is that every interaction that most people see with the Muslim world outside the US falls into one of three distinct categories...

This is classic Marty. He will say shortly that he's not necessarily defending this sort of ignorant bigotry, just pointing out the reasons for it. Gee, how helpful. It's a perfect way to have your ignorant bigotry and dissociate yourself from it, too.

I'd just point out that there is a categorical difference between media organizations and politicians. Media organizations tend to operate under some more or less evolved version of 'It Bleeds It Leads'. Media is in the business of sensationalizing, and heightening conflict. Politicians are supposed to lead - leadership is supposed to be their currency.

I will run with part of Marty's comment though: Democrats have not covered themselves in glory on this. Our politics is so weird, so postmodern, that even though the GOP is positively covered, and with something other than glory - in fact, with something brown and disgusting - this issue redounds doubly to the disfavor of the Dems. Not only are they on the wrong side (electorally speaking) of the bigot-wave, but their very pusillanimity makes them bigger objects of spite than the GOP's ugliness. The reason is that American politics is a cheap teevee show, and therefore actual positions and policies don't matter.

Just adding to the unreality, there are pundits rationalizing this crap (and the 14th amendment stuff) by living in the future: 'There have always been times of intolerance in America. This is nothing new. For instance, in 1934...bla bla bla.'


wj don't forget homosexuals.

The word out of Washington is that the GOP is going to ease up on the homo-hate this year, Eric. Between the Mexicans and the Muslims they've got more than enough demonization fodder for the time being. Gotta keep some of your powder dry, doncha know.

"do you agree that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government?"

I believe that the combination of historical reality and current propaganda are the challenges we face in solving all of the problems between the various peoples we are discussing. I didn't say people were "justified" in being prejudiced. I said lets talk about the reasons not just the reaction.

If the images, that no one disputes, are inaccurate and the reaction is unwarranted then let's talk about how to change those things.

It is interesting that someone said in a thread on the cultural center (not mosque)that 9/11 was nine years ago and people should get over it, but here the overthrow of a government 40+ years ago (or so)is perfect cause for animus.

I am not supporting any kind of bigotry, once again I am pointing out that the reasons behind the fear are understandable the way the world is presented in the media, by the government, etc.

Bluntly, Obama so much as says, along with people here at OBWi, that if the people in Iraq and Afghanistan could be trusted to not kill each other over tribal and religious differences in the service of their god then we wouldn't need to be there.

How does that not translate to the average person that they should at least understand what type of Muslim the next door neighbor is?

If this makes you think I am the least bit prejudiced against Muslims, you are wrong. Flat wrong. I actually get accused by people who actually know me of being completely, color, gender, religion and sexual preference blind. To the extent some people are sometimes slightly insulted that I don't know they are a certain religion (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) or even that they are gay. I just don't start with religion, race, or sexual orientation in evaluating people I meet and if it doesn't come up I am pretty disinterested, if it does I am ok, too.

I am just not blind to the way people are portrayed for public consumption by both the western media, and the governments and media of Muslim countries.

Marty, again, could you please answer the question I asked you with a simple yes or no? Do you agree that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government?


Also, do you see the distinction between hating a government and hating a religious or ethnic group? As I understand it, many Iranians hate the US government but like Americans. I don't see any contradiction there, but I suspect that this makes no sense to you at all. Am I right?

" He will say shortly that he's not necessarily defending this sort of ignorant bigotry, just pointing out the reasons for it."

Yes and I will actually be doing that. Understanding why is how one solves problems.

"Do you agree that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government"

I don't know is the answer, I would assume they would have a historical reason to distrust the US government.

As for the difference in dialiking the Government but liking Americans, that doesn't create a contradiction I can't understand.


As for the difference in hating a government and a religion well that's easy to process. Can you grasp the difference in hating a religion and fearing it?

This problem goes far beyond the stinging (not so much)indictments of this post. The problem is that every interaction that most people see with the Muslim world outside the US falls into one of three distinct categories,

That was some pretty goddamned awesome derailment jujitsu right there, in a post about how the AMERICAN Republican Party is treating AMERICAN Muslims. Kudos to you, Marty. Kudos.

And good looking out to GOB for running right after you, too.

It is interesting that someone said in a thread on the cultural center (not mosque)that 9/11 was nine years ago and people should get over it, but here the overthrow of a government 40+ years ago (or so)is perfect cause for animus.

Two thoughts:

1. 9/11 was perpetrated by people that were adherents to a perverted, fringe faction of Islam. Mossadegh was overthrown via a coup orchestrated by the US government. Thereafter, the Shah was installed and he led with brutality and despotism for around 25 years.

People have the right to harbor animus against al-Qaeda for what was done. They don't need to "get over that." However, blaming all Muslims didn't make any more sense then than it does now, so that part is not "to be gotten over" so much as "should never have been."

As far as animus toward the US government for its anti-democratic manipulation of Iranian society for a period spanning multiple decades, well, just as anti-al-Qaeda animus is understandable and justified, so is anti-US govt. animus.

You know, in poll after poll, Iranians by and large express positive feelings about the American people. It is the govt they don't trust and are hostile to.

They, unlike some of us, seem to differentiate.

Bluntly, Obama so much as says, along with people here at OBWi, that if the people in Iraq and Afghanistan could be trusted to not kill each other over tribal and religious differences in the service of their god then we wouldn't need to be there.

How does that not translate to the average person that they should at least understand what type of Muslim the next door neighbor is?

Because their Muslim next door neighbor DOESN'T LIVE IN IRAQ OR AFGHANISTAN.

Also, you're suggesting that we need to be there to stop them from killing each other? Really? That's the one you want to run with?

I actually get accused by people who actually know me of being completely, color, gender, religion and sexual preference blind. To the extent some people are sometimes slightly insulted that I don't know they are a certain religion (Jewish, Christian, Muslim) or even that they are gay.

"Why, some of my best friends are color, gender, religion and sexual preference!"

The problem is that every interaction that most people see with the Muslim world outside the US falls into one of three distinct categories,

note that the subject of the post is Muslims here in the US, not the Muslim world outside the US.

if you want positive stories about Muslims in the US, Google names like Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Ahmad Rashad, Hakeem Olajuwon, Shaq, Ahmad Jamal, Art Blakey, Q-Tip, Fareed Zakaria, Rima Fakih, etc., etc., etc..

Ahmad Jamal!

Now there's another maestro. Art Blakey too. Quite a jazz ensemble this thread is amassing:

Lloyg, Carter, Jamal, Blakey, Jarrett.

"Why, some of my best friends are color, gender, religion and sexual preference!"

That's great Phil, but wouldn't it be better if they were just people?

However, blaming all Muslims didn't make any more sense then than it does now, so that part is not "to be gotten over" so much as "should never have been."

and, of course, blaming all Americans for the actions of some Americans is the exact mindset that a handful of Muslims used to justify killing 3,000 Americans. and we were rightly disgusted by that.

however, in response, we went out and killed 100,000 Muslims because of the actions of a few Muslims.

irony? we're drowning in it.

[close circuit: 'specificclick' and 'truthlaidbare' are seriously hanging up ObWi again this afternoon. It takes several minutes to load any page.]

@Marty
Understanding why is how one solves problems.

But you're interested only in part of the 'why'. Muslims have been portrayed negatively in the media for years. After 9/11, even George Bush had the intelligence and basic decency to avoid whipping up bigotry against Muslim Americans. What's different now? What's different now is that the GOP (and their allies) has become entirely a gutter political movement. They will do anything or say anything to win power. Is that something you can respect?

I'd also note that our commenters from the right have ignored the largest point of this and other posts of its kind: this sort of behavior plays directly into al-Queda's hands: Americans alienating its own Muslim population is *precisely* what they dream about. Our ability to integrate immigrants has been one of the biggest advantages held by the US in the 'war on terror' - especially vis a vis some countries in Europe. Is it worth some extra votes in a midterm election to seriously erode that? I guess some people think so.

Sorry, but this is simply traitorous stuff. It's against American values, and diametrically opposed to American interests. There's nothing to be sanguine about.

"Also, you're suggesting that we need to be there to stop them from killing each other? Really? That's the one you want to run with?"

I never suggested any such thing, but Obama (and Bush before him) and most of the innumerable posts on Afghanistan, and Iraq, here at OBWi suggest exactly that as the reason we should still be there.

Obama (and Bush before him) and most of the innumerable posts on Afghanistan, and Iraq, here at OBWi suggest exactly that as the reason we should still be there.

Marty, have you read my posts on Iraq and Afghanistan? And that's what you took away from that?

Seriously, the folks in the American Society for Muslim Advancement can't build a mosque / community center / call it what you will, in lower Manhattan, until they convince every Fox-watching, Palin-tweet-reading doofus in the United States of America that they aren't out to kill us all and bring a 1,000 year reign of sharia upon the land?

Because that's what we're talking about.

Next thing you know, there will be no falafel stands anywhere in the island of Manhattan. The taxicab industry may come to a halt.

Folks are going to have to walk, dude, and vegetarians will never get lunch on the run again!

Sometimes you just have to ignore the screeching of ignorant and ill-intended people and get on with it.

Yes, it's true that lots of people in this country are worried about Muslims. They should come out from under their beds and find out what the Muslims that live in their own country, state, city, and community are actually like.

It can't always be completely on the targets of ignorance and bigotry to win over the folks who hate and fear them.

There's only so much you can do.

Eric, that link was to Lloyd but the Muslim in the clip is smiling Billy Higgins.

Lloyd is a Buddhist, I think, as are Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter.

Seriously, the folks in the American Society for Muslim Advancement can't build a mosque / community center / call it what you will, in lower Manhattan LGBT community can't bring suit to ask for their rights in a court of law until they convince every Fox-watching, Palin-tweet-reading doofus in the United States of America that they aren't out to kill us all and bring a 1,000 year reign of shariahappiness upon the land?...

Sometimes you just have to ignore the screeching of ignorant and ill-intended people and get on with it.

Although it's unclear whether McKinney wants "consensus" (every last one) or just a majority, since he has used both words over there. ;)

Next thing you know, there will be no falafel stands anywhere in the island of Manhattan.

Bite your tongue (or fingers as it were).

IMHO, the last goood "deal" in Manhattan in terms of bang for your buck. As an NYU undergrad, I only survived because of Mamoun's (though there are better in Alphabet City).

Eric,

From the first post written by whoever on how the Bush administration underestimated the likelihood of civil war all the way through Obama's COIN strategy to leaving 50000 troops in Iraq that is the justification given for why we need to stay. I have certainly read you posit that it wasn't a good enough reason, but the discussion is always whether that fundamental reason is good enough or not.

God Bless ya, Marty.

ObiWi would be a lot duller without you.

That's very interesting, Marty, but what does this have to do with a group of right-wing politicians getting upset at a bunch of Americans building a cultural center and turning it into a festival of hate propaganda on the airwaves? Why are you apologizing for this hatred instead of condemning it?

I have certainly read you posit that it wasn't a good enough reason, but the discussion is always whether that fundamental reason is good enough or not.

Not exactly. I focus on US interests more than anything. Cost/benefit analysis. Whether we are pursuing effective counterterrorism strategy.

"Do you agree that people in Iran are justified for hating the US government"

I don't know is the answer, I would assume they would have a historical reason to distrust the US government.

Wow. Marty, I have one very simple question for you: if government X overthrew the democratically elected government in your country and installed a tyrannical dictator who killed many of your fellow citizens, would you be angry at government X or not?

I'm really trying to figure out if you think that Muslims and Arabs are people. I honestly can't tell whether you have any ability to empathize with them at all.


As for the difference in dialiking the Government but liking Americans, that doesn't create a contradiction I can't understand.

That's good. Just wanted to check.

As for the difference in hating a government and a religion well that's easy to process. Can you grasp the difference in hating a religion and fearing it?

I don't respond generally emotionally to religions so I don't get either fear or hatred. I respond to people and groups. Muslims as a group never do anything; there's no such thing as a group of a billion people that act in a coordinated manner. And I don't think a non-bigot can rationally infer that an Arab/Muslim individual is evil/dangerous based on nothing besides knowing that they are an Arab/Muslim.

Marty,

How come, in the only news we see about Republicans in this country, it falls into one of three distinct categories:

1. They are trying to kill each other off in primaries to see who can come up with the nuttiest most socially destructive policies.
2. They are telling bold faced lies in their efforts to (politically) kill Democrats.
3. They are sexual deviants, and they treat their women like material posessions.

In the absence of a denounciation signed in your own blood, I can only assume my hate, fear, and suspicion of you is not only fully justified, but serves a higher social purpose.

Cordially,

Sure, some people distrust Muslims because of what they see on TV or read. And Marty seems to acknowledge that. He also seems, I think, to agree that the mistrust is unwarranted if understandable. Am I right, Marty?

The point of this post is that people with national forums foment that mistrust for cynical political gain, and they suck for doing so - really hard. You know, as this points out:

These are the people whom Bill Kristol and Liz Cheney smeared as "connected to terrorism" and having "dubious ties to radical Islamist organizations," whom National Review falsely portrayed as unwilling to give a "full throated denunciation of terrorism" and Newt Gingrich, with his faulty understanding of history, accused of "Islamist triumphalism."

So, Marty (and GOB), do you think Kristol and Cheney and Gingrich and National Review are doing something good as described here, or what?

Are they just ignorant, helpless victims of the images and words they see portraying Muslims badly? Or are they producing some of the bad portrayals?

Good questions HSH.

"And I don't think a non-bigot can rationally infer that an Arab/Muslim individual is evil/dangerous based on nothing besides knowing that they are an Arab/Muslim."

Well, at least we agree on this.

As for this

"I'm really trying to figure out if you think that Muslims and Arabs are people. I honestly can't tell whether you have any ability to empathize with them at all."

If you are wanting me to answer the general question then I would say yes. I am sure it is perfectly rational for those people who lived under the Shah or even who's parents did to hate the US government.

But, of course, if it was a test then I ask you if you have any empathy for stupid Americans, who have a stupid government and a stupid culture?

I've got lots of empathy towards stupid Americans who have a stupid culture. But empathy doesn't blind me to the fact that lots of Americans are stupid.

stupid Americans, who have a stupid government and a stupid culture

STOP JUDGING ME

A better spout:

"Continuing the chain of imaginary offensiveness to stereotypes, I plan to open a Babies R Us next to the gay bar next to the mosque next to Ground Zero. Next to the Babies R Us I will open a pornographic bookstore, and next to that I will open a police station. Next to the police station I will open a hip-hop recording studio, and next to that I will open an Applebees. Next to the Applebees I will open a TGI Fridays (those guys HATE each other) and next to the TGI Fridays I will open a methodone clinic. Next to the methodone clinic I will open a crack house, and finally, next to that, I will open a Catholic church adjoining a daycare center for attractive boys, adjacent to which i will just blow up whatever’s there so I can erect a memorial, and next to that memorial I will open a community center dedicated to a locally inconvenient ethnicity that I hired to blow up the original structure on the memorial site. Next to that I’m just going to put some condos," - Chris Mohney

"So, Marty (and GOB), do you think Kristol and Cheney and Gingrich and National Review are doing something good as described here, or what?"

I do not think they are doing something good, I was trying, and clearly failing, to point out that they are not the reason it is an "acceptable" mainstream view.

They could pour all of the gasoline on the fire they want and it would not make it acceptable. In fact, they would shut up if of our society was not constantly bombarded with those images.

As a trite, but somehow important to me important in it's triteness,
example, David Letterman still has a running joke with clips of Bin Laden that always ends in "Oh yes, and Death to America".

Millions of people have been watching that regularly for 7 or 8? years, and every time I wonder why it is considered funny. I think that is as harmful as any Fox guy railing on.

The Muslim radical has become the Red Menace in our society, politicians take advantage of that. Shame on them.

Shame on the media and BOTH parties for continuously painting the Middle East/Central Asia as a powder keg of irrational actors just waiting to blow up and destroy the world, at least economically.

I wrote a lot more and deleted it.

'So, Marty (and GOB), do you think Kristol and Cheney and Gingrich and National Review are doing something good as described here, or what?'

Those people are politicians and political pundits. That is what they do. I don't have a lot of positive thoughts regarding the behaviors of people who are in these groups, and that includes this particular behavior.

American Muslims, now that numbers of their Muslim brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association through acts of violence against many innocent human beings, will likely suffer through many of the same trials experienced by members of other groups in the process of assimilation into American society. Because of these acts of violence and the resulting prejudices generated within American society, that task will now be more difficult.

A better spout....

Sounds like Manhattan to me.

No, GOB. Those people are REPUBLICAN politicians and political pundits. That's what REPUBLICAN politicians and political pundits do.

American Republicans, "now that numbers of their [REPUBLICAN] brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association" can bite my ass, unless they're willing to loudly and publicly denounce Cheney and Gingrich and Palin and Kristol and the rest of the GOP jihadists.

And I really have to ask you this: are YOU typical of "American society", or not?

--TP

This is a remarkable formula that manages to place the blame everywhere except where it belongs [...]

On the Muslim Kenyan usurper. I mean, if being Muslim is such a good thing, why doesn't he just admit it?

Sorry, I just realized I screwed up the Pew Research link upthread.

I encourage you take a few minutes to read the overview, it's all of 8 pages long.

Or just read the title:

"Muslim Americans: Middle Class and Mostly Mainstream".

There are plenty of well known, even famous Muslims in the United States. Many of them are not only famous, but accomplished, prominent people in their various fields of endeavor.

Music, sports, medicine, academia, government, education, business, etc etc etc.

Thousands and thousands of accomplished, intelligent, lovely people.

I found the Pew study I cite above after about 2.7 seconds of Googling.

If people are actually interested in knowing what the Muslim community in the United States is like, the information is readily at hand.

Readily.

Miss freaking USA 2010 is an Arab Muslim, originally from Lebanon, now living in the largest Sunni Muslim community outside of the Middle East, Dearborn MI.

If people have one ounce of sincere interest in the Cordoba Institute and what they're about, that information is likewise readily available.

And what they'll find is that they want to open what is basically a Muslim YMCA.

Scary monsters!

In this case, ignorance and "external images" are a piss-poor excuse, because the reality is just as easy to see.

People see what they want to see.

American Muslims, now that numbers of their Muslim brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association through acts of violence against many innocent human beings, will likely suffer through many of the same trials experienced by members of other groups in the process of assimilation into American society.

So, per you, European Americans, now that numbers of their European American brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association through acts of violence against many innocent human beings the whole world over, should likely suffer... what? Anything? Or is that totally different, GOB?

Hmm?

Or are you just helplessly shrugging your shoulders mournfully at the tragic necessity of American Muslims experiencing bigotry, hatred, and demonization all the while not quite saying that they deservedly brought it upon themselves by being coreligionists (to wildly varying degrees) with terrorists?

OT, Ramadan moubarak!

'No, GOB. Those people are REPUBLICAN politicians and political pundits. That's what REPUBLICAN politicians and political pundits do.'

What I said is generally true of politician and political pundits, regardless of party. The only thing that changes is the issue and who gets nailed.

I would never characterize myself as typical anything. .

And for further reading enjoyment: another heartfelt invocation of the traditional American values of inclusiveness and tolerance: this time from http://action.afa.net/Blogs/BlogPost.aspx?id=2147497353" >Bryan Fischer of the American Family Association : his title:

"No more mosques, period."

Some insightful thoughts from his blogpost:

Permits should not be granted to build even one more mosque in the United States of America, let alone the monstrosity planned for Ground Zero. This is for one simple reason: each Islamic mosque is dedicated to the overthrow of the American government

***

Because of this subversive ideology, Muslims cannot claim religious freedom protections under the First Amendment. They are currently using First Amendment freedoms to make plans to destroy the First Amendment altogether. There is no such thing as freedom of religion in Islam, and it is sheer and utter folly for Americans to delude themselves into thinking otherwise.

***
Bottom line: it’s suicidal for America to allow terrorist training cells to crop up all over the fruited plain. And each mosque is an actual or potential terrorist training cell,

***

American Muslims are being radicalized every single day in American mosques. We are sowing the seeds of our own destruction by allowing these improvised explosive devices to be established in community after community.

And this has to do with "Family" just how ...???

What I said is generally true of politician and political pundits, regardless of party. The only thing that changes is the issue and who gets nailed.

This is the shallowest kind of "pox on both their houses" nonsense. It doesn't even have the benefit of being true to mitigate its inanity. The only purpose this serves is as chaff to deflect blame from where it belongs by diffusing it.

Yes, when you abstract things to a certain level of generality, most politicians engage in spin. Most outright lie at one point or another. That's bad.

It's also not what we're discussing here.

We are talking about people who are deliberately demonizing a specific religious group. They are doing it by lying, inciting fear and hatred, and exploiting the ignorance of a large number of Americans.

This isn't fudging a digit on a budget estimate, glossing over details when describing legislation, or playing down your shortcomings while exaggerating those of your primary opponent. This is blatant, un-American bigotry that is playing with fire by endangering the lives of millions of people for the sake of short-term electoral gain.

That is simply abominable. It is indefensible. And the more false equivalencies and justifications that you offer in defense of that bigotry, the harder it becomes to take seriously your protestations that you don't actually believe those horrible things.

American Muslims, now that numbers of their Muslim brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association through acts of violence against many innocent human beings, will likely suffer through many of the same trials experienced by members of other groups in the process of assimilation into American society

So, just so we're clear here, it's OK if I judge you by what Eric Rudolph and Scott Roeder have done, right?

I just want to be absolutely clear what the parameters are for condemning a person based on something someone else, who shares a superficial trait with them, did.

Phil,

You're going off into Grand Inquisitor territory there....them waters be treacherous!

:)

Marty,

I look at the last two 'graffs of your first post and then compare to your latest tepid attempts at deniability.

My loathing meter is still pegged.

The claim that US 'medddling' violently in Iranian affairs is old history does not hold water. After the Islamic revolution the US armed and supported the thug next door and instigated him to invade Iran and steal the oil, an Iranian airliner was 'accidentally' shot down with to my knowledge no negative consequences for those guilty. To this very day the US pays murderous thugs (on the terror list of the State Department) to commit muder and terrorist acts inside Iran. Should Israel decide to attack Iran in the near future, almost all equipment used will be Made the in US and some of it delivered for that very purpose by the previous US administration. Whatever one thinks of the Iranian government (not much good on my part), Iranians have rather fresh reasons to not be the biggest fans of the US as a political entity.

David Letterman still has a running joke with clips of Bin Laden that always ends in "Oh yes, and Death to America".....I think that is as harmful as any Fox guy railing on.

That's not the same thing at all! You really give yourself away with that one, although I suppose since Letterman is now on the Fox Enemies List, you have to take a shot at him. What Letterman is doing is the *opposite* of what they do on Fox. He is ridiculing one crazy fanatic, where ridicule is exactly appropriate. Fox/GOP is doing exactly what bin-Laden is doing - attempting to foment religious war.


American Muslims, now that numbers of their Muslim brothers and sisters have delivered a certain dishonor to the association... [emp. mine]

You mean 'now', as in 'it's an election year and shameless demagogues need to cause pointless destruction to gin up their base'. Right? You mean that Republican politicians need to reverse American Muslims' assimilation RIGHT NOW, because November is right around the corner.

Machiavelli himself wouldn't approve of this moronic crap. He advocated for strategic cynicism in service of the State, which this gambit certainly isn't. This is against the State, and only in service of one greedy, myopic Faction.

This is akin to taking your rare coin collection and dumping it into a gumball machine, because you want GUM RIGHT NOW. Darwin Awards material, almost.

Nice try defending the indefensible. ObWi would indeed be a lesser place if there weren't voices from more than one political persuasion. But I think what appalls some of us on the left is the frequent unwillingness on the right to choose your battles. That's tribalism. Torture is not defensible, and this bigotry isn't either.

Standing on the bodies of the 9/11 victims for the Bush/Rove 'permanent majority' wasn't enough for these GOP scumbags.

From here on out the answer to EVERYTHING will be '9/11'.

This morning's images of Muslims on msnbc.com. Not a violent picture in the bunch. Well, no American pictures, either, but maybe we'll get there.

One wonders whom the republicans will turn on next
gays, atheists, woman, Muslims, blacks, Hispanics,Christians that are 'not like them', liberals, democrats, republicans that are not conservative enough and on and on.
And that is without thinking very hard. Could probably add much much more

Not a violent picture in the bunch.

but discerning eyes can see the evil rising from in their bent and linen-clothed backs.

Diane, a combination of 2 or 3 of those are the typical gateway hate drug. Often people will tolerate the existence of one group but not a combination. Combinations also make denial easier. If you are told to hate black gays then you can change the emphasis depending on the situation. "I am no racist, I just hate sexual perverts" vs. "I am okay with gay but n-words creep me out". Later one can narrow it down: After learning to hate black gays, now it is time to hate all gays.
It's a traditional anti-semite tactic too. First attack the Jewish bankers/lawyers, then expand into hating all Jews, including the paupers.

Exercises in framing:

Israeli Man Implicated in Terror Attacks

Is there a connection with Israeli fundamentalism? What synagogue did he attend? Has he given money to Zionist causes?

nous:

Serial stabber supporters doesn't it stab you in the heartabdomen as it does in 20 people? Peaceful Israelis, pls refudiate.

This has nothing to do with Muslims or Islam. American Christians who depend on news coverage, particularly certain news networks, will have a distorted image of Islam. That should go without saying. But even if Muslims actually conformed to that distorted stereotype, that wouldn't make this about Muslims.

This issue involves only one question: How many Americans want to remain American? How many people who live and vote in the United States of American wish, as their forbears did, to pass on to their children the blessings of liberty? How many citizens does the United States still have who will stand up and say: Congress shall make no law. That means no law. Not no law except for religions we don't like. Not no law except when we get worried about what we see on the evening news. Not no law except during an election cycle. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof....

How many citizens of the United States still want to live up to the vision of a free society?

Two?

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