A Muslim group recently applied to renovate a building they own and operate in lower Manhattan, New York City. They want to add a cultural center type of facility, and say that they plan to try to promote peace and understanding among all the faiths. I don't know -- that sounds to me like a good idea. As I understand it, they are building a "community center," not a mosque. But what if they wanted to build a mosque? Is there something bad about that? I've seen pictures of some mosques from around the world, and many of them are beautiful. So what's the problem, exactly?
Abe Foxman is the head of an organization grossly misnamed the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) which, oddly enough, devotes its ample resources to defaming other groups, as well as chicken-little reporting designed to convince their donors that the nazis are coming. Good business there. ADL reports $200 Million in assets, raised $90 million in their last reporting year of 2007, and pays Abe about $300,000/year. http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.summary&orgid=10657-- Abe Foxman decided that he would use the proposal to renovate the mosque to Fundraise! Yeah! Just like the Mormons used gay marriage in California to recruit members and fundraise! Just like the Republican Teabaggers use racism to recruit members and fundraise. What do they share in common? The same slogan: We're Bigots. Join Us.
Here's a funny quote from the Anti-Defamation League's website: "Now the nation's premier civil rights/human relations agency, ADL fights anti-Semitism and all forms of bigotry, defends democratic ideals and protects civil rights for all." Maybe they should put a few asterisks at the end of that sentence: ***(we defend civil rights for everyone except for the Muslims).
The bigots in New York City demanded that the city refuse to allow the Muslim mosque or other religious facility to be constructed. They urged the government to refuse to grant the building permit. They even asked a city board to designate the existing building as a historical landmark to tie up any proposed construction with the nuances of renovating such buildings. The arguments raised by the unruly mob opposing the mosque included: (1) we don't need more religious buildings downtown; (2) it's insensitive to build "so near" the former World Trade Center because "they" (all Muslims, apparently) attacked "us"; (3) Islam is a violent religion, so our government should forbid them from operating anywhere in our country; or (4) just because. All arguments an absurd cover for the central unifying concept: We're Bigots. Join Us.
It does not matter what the Koran says, or whether anybody likes Muslims. Just does not matter in our legal system, period. Completely irrelevant. Our law prohibits the government from favoring or supporting one religion, or disfavoring or banishing another. Our law simply requires the government to stay out of it. If the zoning laws in a city allow religious structures to be built in a certain neighborhood, that is the beginning and end of the inquiry as far as government involvement. If the structure otherwise complies with height restrictions, architectural requirements, health and safety code (fire sprinklers), set-backs, the structure can be built.
I love the arguments about Muslims being violent. I would suggest a quick look at history would prove Christians to be the most violent religious group ever. But beyond that, if we want to narrow the field, our best position would be to acknowledge that white men are violent, and lock them all in prison until they are at least 70 years of age. Most violence in this country is done by white men, so if we are motivated to protect the citizens from violence, let's lock up the white men and start there. No? No takers? Is it possible that's because white men run everything? So it's easier to target Muslims, because they have no power in this country? What a bunch of cowards. As well as ignorant bigots. And hey, I don't like any religion, so it's not like I'm pro-Muslim. I'm just anti-Bigot.
Further, people who hate Muslims and claim they are responsible for all the evil in the world are just trying to distract Americans from the truth. The truth is that the men on Wall Street have caused most of the suffering in the world. They have worked together, plotting, paid bribes to politicians to corrupt all government, they pollute the water and earth, they manipulate markets, they try to steal all the resources of the world, they embellish themselves and their despicable spouses and useless spawn in gold and rare gems while children throughout the world starve as a result of their conduct. so please spare me the lectures about how bad the Muslims are. The most evil, despicable, murderous group of people in the entire world is sitting right down on Wall Street continuing their looting and pillaging. Anybody wants to picket somebody, go picket them, to get the big boys. Not some little mosque where religious people go to pray. Go to Wall Street where the people worship one thing, money, and will kill anyone just to get more of it for themselves.
One of my favorite performers is Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens. He is a Muslim. He wrote and performed "Peace Train," one of the greatest anti-war, anti-violence peace songs of all times. Unlike Lloyd F-ing Blankfein, and all his co-conspirators at Goldman-Sux who have never contributed one thing of value to the world because they are too busy destroying it. So who's violent? Who should be driven out of our country? I vote for the men on Wall Street.