Saturday, February 19, 2011

An Un-American Intolerance of Islam

On that fateful September morning of 2001, the terrorist attack on New York City, the Pentagon, and a failed attack that took one of the hijacked planes down into a Pennsylvania countryside claimed 2,977 lives. The attacks put the lives of victim’s families, first responders, and many other folks in shambles. It also stirred America’s propensity for belligerence and retribution, stirring their bigotry, taking hostility and reprisal against Muslims has become common fare because Americans believe they have the moral authority to get even. This means that Americans perceive they have justification to kill Muslims in their proclaimed war against terror, to torture Muslim prisoners taken in the war or withheld on suspicion of being a terrorist, and, evidently, that they have indisputable justification to abhor all of Islam.

All of this in a nation who claims pride in itself for being diverse and tolerant; In a nation whose Constitution expressly guarantees freedom which in essence assures diversity and tolerance; In the United States of which its Great Seal reads, "E Pluribus Unum" (Out of many, one).

Yet Americans continue to blame all of Islam on the actions of a few who so happen to represent an Islamic minority, a militant Islam.

It manifest itself in the hate speech directed at Muslims who are to build an Islamic Community Center, named “Park51,” two blocks from Ground Zero. The haters overlook the fact that the World Trade Center neighborhood houses a string of bars, betting parlors, and fast-food restaurants, two strip clubs, the New York Dolls Gentleman’s Club, the Pussycat Lounge, Thunder Lingerie, and a sex shop with a peep show. “Why are they treated with a live-and-let-live tolerance that doesn’t extend to an Islamic center? How, as a practical matter, are pole dancers less of an affront to the memory of the 9/11 dead than a community center that will have prayer space, a 500-seat auditorium, and a bookstore?”[1]

It manifests itself in that many Americans condemn President Obama for stating that America is not a Christian nation. At a press conference in Turkey, President Obama said, "One of the great strengths of the United States is ... we have a very large Christian population -- we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values.”[2]

It manifest itself in those who tirelessly challenge Barack Obama’s qualifications to be President, claimed by birthers that he was not born in the United States. And in those who declare he is not a Christian but a Muslim.

It manifests itself in the hate speech of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and some of the other political, especially conservative, talk show host. And, in the works of literary shock jocks such as in Mark Steyn’s “America Alone.” And, in the works of writers such as Andrew C McCarthy, a senior fellow at the National Review Institute, in his recent article, “Death to Apostates: Not a Perversion of Islam, but Islam,” and in his January article, “Fear the Muslim Brotherhood,” and in his book, “The Grand Jihad: How Islam and the Left Sabotage America.

Andrew C McCarthy “has been everywhere in the media making the most grossly inaccurate claims about the Muslim Brotherhood and demonstrating a profundity of ignorance about Egypt …. McCarthy alleged that the Brotherhood assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981, that Ayman al-Zawahri of al-Qaida is in this group, and that the fundamentalist party Hamas in the Gaza Strip is under the control of the Egyptian Brotherhood. Everything he said [McCarthy] to millions of Americans was a laughable falsehood.”[3]

And so now, the Muslim Brotherhood, catapulted from its latency, apparently is taking the hit of hate and fear, which has emanated from the recent revolutionary overthrow of Egypt’s Mubarak.

Along with September 11, 2001 and the casualties of the war on terror, diversity and tolerance have, also, become an American casualty. Americans apparently don’t feel bound by the ideals and set of values that they so fervently extol.


[1] Nicolaus Millse, Sex shop and strip clubs near ground zero show double standard over Park51,

Erin Einhorn, Mosque gets all the press, but area near Ground Zero full of bars, porn, liquor stores, salons,

[2] Arthur Delaney, Arthur Delaney, Obama: U.S. "Not A Christian Nation Or A Jewish Nation Or A Muslim Nation,"

[3] Juan Cole, Fear Not the Muslim Brotherhood Boogeyman,

Other Reading:

Mark Steyn’s “America Alone”
A Look At The Youth Of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood
Neocons Exploit Fear of Muslim Brotherhood to Push War