The ground zero mosque

Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, August 29th, 2010 - 31 comments
Categories: Media, us politics - Tags: , ,

American politics terrifies me. The more observant Americans have been, for some time now, seriously asking whether the country is sliding into fascism. The seriously dangerous Tea Party movement (and its insane anti-Obama lies) is gaining momentum. Demagogues have way too much power.

Now we have “the ground zero mosque” as the latest focus of and flash-point for deranged American right wing anger. The Guardian’s Charlie Brooker explains:

‘Ground Zero mosque’? The reality is less provocative

Millions of Americans are furious about the ‘Ground Zero mosque’. But it doesn’t exist

Things seem awfully heated in America right now; so heated you could probably toast a marshmallow by jabbing it on a stick and holding it toward the Atlantic. Millions are hopping mad over the news that a bunch of triumphalist Muslim extremists are about to build a “victory mosque” slap bang in the middle of Ground Zero.

The planned “ultra-mosque” will be a staggering 5,600ft tall – more than five times higher than the tallest building on Earth – and will be capped with an immense dome of highly-polished solid gold, carefully positioned to bounce sunlight directly toward the pavement, where it will blind pedestrians and fry small dogs. The main structure will be delimited by 600 minarets, each shaped like an upraised middle finger, and housing a powerful amplifier: when synchronised, their combined sonic might will be capable of relaying the muezzin’s call to prayer at such deafening volume, it will be clearly audible in the Afghan mountains, where thousands of terrorists are poised to celebrate by running around with scarves over their faces, firing AK-47s into the sky and yelling whatever the foreign word for “victory” is.

I’m exaggerating. But I’m only exaggerating a tad more than some of the professional exaggerators who initially raised objections to the “Ground Zero mosque”. They keep calling it the “Ground Zero mosque”, incidentally, because it’s a catchy title that paints a powerful image – specifically, the image of a mosque at Ground Zero.

When I heard about it – in passing, in a soundbite – I figured it was a US example of the sort of inanely confrontational fantasy scheme Anjem Choudary might issue a press release about if he fancied winding up the tabloids for the 900th time this year. I was wrong. The “Ground Zero mosque” is a genuine proposal, but it’s slightly less provocative than its critics’ nickname makes it sound. For one thing, it’s not at Ground Zero. Also, it isn’t a mosque.

Wait, it gets duller. It’s not being built by extremists either. Cordoba House, as it’s known, is a proposed Islamic cultural centre, which, in addition to a prayer room, will include a basketball court, restaurant, and swimming pool. Its aim is to improve inter-faith relations. It’ll probably also have comfy chairs and people who smile at you when you walk in, the monsters.

To get to the Cordoba Centre from Ground Zero, you’d have to walk in the opposite direction for two blocks, before turning a corner and walking a bit more. The journey should take roughly two minutes, or possibly slightly longer if you’re heading an angry mob who can’t hear your directions over the sound of their own enraged bellowing.

… 70% of Americans are opposed to the “Ground Zero mosque”, doubtless in many cases because they’ve been led to believe it literally is a mosque at Ground Zero. And if not . . . well, it must be something significant. Otherwise why would all these pundits be so angry about it? And why would anyone in the media listen to them with a straight face?

According to a recent poll, one in five Americans believes Barack Obama is a Muslim, even though he isn’t. A quarter of those who believe he’s a Muslim also claimed he talks about his faith too much. Americans aren’t dumb. Clearly these particular Americans have either gone insane or been seriously misled. …

Misled by who I wonder? The usual suspects. Other groups that should know better. All wrapped up in amazing hypocrisy. Yeah – American politics terrifies me.

31 comments on “The ground zero mosque ”

  1. Kerry 1

    One doesn’t have to go far to find examples of ill-informed commentary about this whole affair, Trevor Loudon’s latest blog post on the so-called “Matyrs Mosque” for example. Although this is a guy who live in cloud cuckoo land where Glenn Beck is a respected journalist, fascism is a left wing ideology and there is a vast communist plot from Obama down to overthrow America

  2. Cool Hand Luke 2

    Unfortunately America is in the wraps of all types of hysteria at the moment, I have an uncle who lives there and since 2001 hysteria has been the go around Muslims, gun control, healthcare and don’t forget the appointment of Sotomayer early in the Obama term. I think especially on the issue of Islam and Islamic fundamentalism you can draw parallels to the Red Scare in the 50’s and 60’s

  3. Obama’s Weimar America looks increasingly imperilled. His only hope is that voters remember that Republicans and Republican policies are responsible for the position that the country and economy is in.

  4. joe90 4

    Once again Jon Stewart nails the cynicism behind Fox News’s continuing demonization of the evil Saudi they accuse of funding the Cordoba House project and is … a partner of Rupert Murdoch.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I wonder if that’ll make any difference? I mean it should do. It’s fairly conclusive evidence that Faux News isn’t basing their news on anything like fact. But, considering the following that Faux News has and the fact that it’s so obviously wrong anyway I’d be highly surprised.

  5. joe90 5

    Scenes from Becks hatefest.

  6. Love the photos. Pictures that paint a thousand words, even if a couple of them are misspelt …

  7. the practical effects of the teabagger hysteria are this:

    – a mock pig inscribed with “No Mosque in NYC” was left at a California Islamic center
    – the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, in Murfreesboro, Tenn., was set on fire overnight. It appeared that gasoline had been poured on several pieces of equipment at the site and that the arsonist was frightened off before more damage could be done
    – a man entered the Iman Mosque in Queens, N.Y., during a prayer service last night and shouted anti-Muslim slurs as he urinated on prayer rugs. The man, who was charged with criminal trespass, allegedly called the worshippers “terrorists.”
    – a mosque in California was vandalized recently with a brick and hate signs referring to the controversy over a planned Islamic community center in New York City. [V]andals targeting a Madera, Calif., Islamic center left signs stating “No Temple for the God of terrorism at Ground Zero”, “Wake up America, the Enemy is here. ANB” and “American Nationalist Brotherhood.”
    – a 21-year-old man hailed a cab in Manhattan on Monday night. He reportedly asked the driver “Are you Muslim?” and when the driver said yes, the man slashed him with a knife on the throat, arm and face

    this is all in the last week. sorry, i don’t have time to put in the links.

  8. nzfp 9

    Islamophobia is the “New Anti-Semitism”. Former Toronto Star reporter “Eric Margolis” describes the “New Anti-Semitism” in his book “American Raj: Liberation or Domination?: Resolving the Conflict Between the West and the Muslim World”.

    During an
    antiWar.com release where “Scott Horton Interviews Eric Margolis”, Margolis states (17:50):

    Scott, I couldn’t agree more, I’ve been saying this for years, it’s in my new book “The American Raj”.
    I say that this is, the hatred of Muslims which has become a mantra, tenent of all right wing parties in the US, and in Europe, Canada as well, is the “New Anti-Semitism”.
    It’s just very similar to the 1930’s hatred of Jews in Europe.
    Just take the word out Muslim and replace it with Jew and you’ve got the same caricature, ugly cartoons, the terrorists, the dirty etc… etc… etc… that you have.
    I remember 60 years ago my mother said to me, she said Eric “One day, all the Jews and all the Muslims in America there’s going to be Pogroms against them”.
    We’re getting close to halfway there now, and you’re right, the right-wing “Neo-Cons” are pouring gas on the fire of racial and religous hatred

    • Daveosaurus 9.1

      This is absolutely true. I’ve mentioned it before, but the best description I’ve seen of what’s going on in America at the moment is “metastasised anti-Semitism”. It’s the same disease, it’s just attacking a different part of society.

  9. Amazing how the MSM are able to manipulate even reasonably smart people such as r0b.

    A few terms such as teaparty, mosque, racism, bigotry and a Fox news pundit speaking at a rally organised and financed by neocon right wing extremists and bingo everybody critical of the current US administration can be ignored and labelled as a right wing “moran” as the photo so aptly pointed out (A photo by the way made at an entirely different rally.).

    Go back to sleep people nothing to see here and the precious left/right paradigm restored.

    So at the risk of being labelled a right wing tea party moron I thought I’d point out a couple of things not highlighted by the MSM here.

    First of all the official CT is that the Muslim world in its entirety is set on destroying Western liberties and that in order to not have to fight them over here we have to fight them over there. To date the Western armies have killed over a million of Iraqis and untold multitudes of Afghanistanis and we have reduced their ancient cultures to rubble.

    According to our leaders we are fully justified to do so because we have God on our side and they attacked us on 9/11. So why everybody is surprised that millions of Americans drinking the government coolaid are incensed about the thought of having a Muslim group doing their Muslim thing even remotely near the very spot were not even 9 years ago their brethren “destroyed” one of the most important Western icons (Trade centres) needs to have their head examined.

    Second for those of you with their heads stuck in the sand of ignorance the US elite under the influence of AIPAC has been gagging for a nuclear attack on Iran and as such they can’t be more happy with the Christian and Nationalistic fervour whipped up by the likes of Beck (who hates the 9/11 victims by the way for wanting a new investigation into the events that day) and Palin. The more Mosques burn in the US the better it is for them. More then 70% of American hate Muslims and the NY mosque and more then 51% (According to the latest polls) want the US to Attack Iran.

    For the ruling elite this is just pure heaven. More destruction, more rampage, more profit and more general mayhem to keep the US public from actually thinking about the collapse of their economy.

    Divide et impera, baby. And if you can get them to watch TV series about Gladiators while drinking a beer when they return home after a rally such as the on e in Washington glorifying one of the most brutal eras in human history so much the better. Beer and games don’t you know?

    So here is what is really living amongst a huge swat of Americans. Both who previously identified as right and left are actually trying to overcome this divide of the political spectrum and point out the realities visited on the poor slobs who dragged their sorry asses over to the elite organised hatefest in Washington.

    Obama was voted in on a promise of change. Transparency (Hum, rings a bell doesn’t it) the end of the wars, social change and health care and a halt to the ever increasing power of the banking elite. To name a few.

    To date this is what really happened. Obama, who was financed to the hilt by BP and Goldman Sachs and crowned by the Bilderberg group and AIPAC to be the heir apparent after Bush, increased the wars with surges and just plain brutal force, extended secrecy to the point of being one of the most opaque presidents ever (and yes that includes the fact that nobody has been allowed to see his birth certificate, a reasonable request considering the fact that legally only an American born person may stand for the highest office of the land), extended police powers (Oh dear another recognisable little issue here) given more power to the financial elite and made a joke of the healthcare bill (Now everybody is forced to spend around $ 15.000 a year on an insurance with private insurers without insuring previous conditions driving more and more people into poverty) and the MSM is al geared up to direct that righteous anger into another misbegotten illegal war with as the inevitable result the total collapse of the oil economy AND WWIII.

    Americans on either side of the political divide are angry and their leaders are terrified and that is why they love misguided and manipulated media events such as the demo in Washington.

    If their careful artificial construct of the left and right paradigm where to be broken and people would actually look at what’s really going on that would be the end of a four hundred year reign of the banking elite and an end of the financial system as we know it.

    It would be the next big revolution and everybody knows what happens when the “people take it no mo”. Heads roll. Usually the heads of those making the people take it. Ugly, very ugly.

    Captcha: PRINCIPLES. Some of those would be nice, eh?

    • Daveosaurus 10.1

      that includes the fact that nobody has been allowed to see his birth certificate

      Oh. You’re one of those. That explains a lot.

      • travellerev 10.1.1

        One of whose?

        • Daveosaurus 10.1.1.1

          You’re typing birther rhetoric as well as truther rhetoric. Just more evidence that those at the extreme ends of the spectrum have more in common with each other than they do with those in the centre.

          • travellerev 10.1.1.1.1

            Rhetoric? As in the art of speaking publicly? Extreme? You have no idea where I stand, buster.

            I will tell you this though; if you need proof that every president since Kennedy was merely a sock puppet just look at the politics of Bush and Obama. Nothing changed. In fact it just got worse.

            I personally don’t give a flying fuck where he was born (but I respect those who do care), he is just more of the same.

            Added to that. 2975 people amongst which more than 70 Muslims (so as far as I am concerned they have as much right to pray on or near the trade centre building pit as anybody else, in fact I think we owe them a bloody great big Mosque on ground zero seeing as they are the major victims of what happened on that day.) died on 9/11 as well as more than half a million people are ill or will be in the future as a result of the toxic waste flying around that day so I would think a good and independent investigation of what happened on that day and at least a few people fired for incompetence would be the least we could do for them.

            Added to that more than a million Iragis and who knows how many Afghanis died and will be in the future due to the DU and other heavy metal pollution of their countries and I think we owe them an explanation as to why they had to die because three towers fell into their own footprint in a matter of seconds in free fall speed because two of them where hit by a plane.

            I’ll tell you what is extreme. Even if you believe all that crap the US government is trying to sell you about 9/11 then what happened after was what was really extreme.
            Extreme is that TWO countries (and a third one coming soon) had to be attacked and destroyed because ALLEGEDLY twelve young man from Saudi descent (a country the US sold a huge cash of weapons too just recently) lead by another rich Saudi old geezer
            told them so.

            Your turn.

  10. nzfp 11

    LEBANON IS MORE TOLERANT OF JEWS THAN NEW YORK IS OF MUSLIMS: The Ground Zero Synagogue – Lebanon Becoming More American than America.

    According to former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newton Leroy “Newt” Gingrich:

    There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia. The time for double standards that allow Islamists to behave aggressively toward us while they demand our weakness and submission is over.

    Yet in the aftermath of Islrael’s 2006 war on Lebanon named “Operation Summer Rains” where Israel followed through on its:

    … promise to “bomb Lebanon back into the Stone Age,” and in so doing displaced 1,000,000 Lebanese civilians (nearly a quarter of the country’s population), completely destroyed the country’s infrastructure (again), its only airport, at least 64 bridges, leveled entire buildings and neighborhoods to rubble (again), including the country’s largest milk factory, a food factory, two pharmaceutical plants, water treatment centers, power plants, grain silos, a Greek Orthodox Church, several mosques, and a handful of hospitals (in a country which only had a handful of hospitals to begin with).

    Over 1,200 hundred Lebanese civilians were killed and over 5,000 wounded.

    We find that:

    In the process of re-building Beirut yet again, in 2008, renovations began and have now been completed on the Maghen Abraham Synagogue located in the middle of newly renovated downtown Beirut in an area known as the “Solidere” which has become the focal point and showcase of Lebanon’s rebirth.

    This isn’t some hole in the wall, nondescript, “excuse me” synagogue hidden out of view so as to not “offend” Lebanese non-Jews-this is an elaborate, ornate, beautifully designed, cathedral-style house of worship built for a Lebanese Jewish population that totals less than 500 in a country of more than 4,000,000 (in stark contrast to the eight million American Muslims living in the United States).

    And wait until you hear Hezbollah’s response to the building of this Ground Zero Synagogue.

    (To those expecting a Newt Gingrich equivalent response, prepare to be woefully disappointed).

    Courtesy of Hassan Nasrallah himself: “We respect Judaism, just as we respect Christianity. Our only problem is with Israel.”

    More here

  11. Gosman 12

    [lprent: You’re currently on my banned list until 2010/09/13… ]

  12. Scott 13

    I agree with the comparison with the Red Scare of the ’50s. I tried to make some parallels between the doctrine of the McCarthyites and the doctrine of the Islamophobes in this post:
    http://readingthemaps.blogspot.com/2010/07/from-redbaiting-to-islamophobia.html

    A troubling fact, though, is that anti-communist fanatics never demonised the peoples of Russia and China en masse – rather, they saw these peoples as prisoners of an evil ideology which was insinuating itself in America. Today’s fanatics demonise not just the leadership of certain Muslim states but Muslims in general. It wasn’t always this way. Bush pushed the idea that the Arab peoples’ desire to live like Americans was being stifled by a few evil leaders, like Saddam. Military action would bring democracy, American-style, and free market capitalism, and thereby free the Arabs. Now that events in Iraq and Afghanistan have contradicted Bush’s vision, the American right is giving up on Arabs as a whole, and indeed Muslims as a whole, and demonising them en masse. There is a tendency to give up on ideas of ‘nation-building’ and turn instead towards notions of short disciplinary wars. Sarah Palin, for instance, talks about making a massive, indiscriminate, punitive strike on Pakistan if America is subject to another major terrorist attack. All Muslims, after all, are potential jihadis, and Pakistan is a key Muslim nation with a sizeable minority of active jihadis. There is a genodical logic at work in this kind of thinking.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      I reckon it’s more to do with all politics being domestic, particularly in an empire. It’s no coincidence that 20 something percent, and rising, claim to think Obama is a Muslim johnny foreigner. Same folks were no doubt very upset about his former preacher, and are now starting to talk about the horrors of liberation theology. It doesn’t matter than none of makes sense. It’s not about what’s it’s about.

      Islam is the new (word for) black.

      If the GOP take a house in Nov there will be subpoenas a flying before you can say, ‘hey remember the separation of powers, god how I’ve missed them for lo these many years since Clinton’. Impeachment will be on the table, no matter how ridiculous. Something to do with the black panthers, acorn and bither-ry islamified goodness.

  13. joe90 14

    From the winter 1954-55 issue of The Scholar, The pseudo-conservative.

  14. nzfp 15

    What’s the difference between President Ahmadinejad and Rabbi Yosef?

    Short answer. Iran’s President Ahmadinejad did NOT call for Israeli Jews to be annihilated. Rabbi Ovadia Yosef, the spiritual leader of Israel’s Shas party, HAS called, more than once, for the Palestinians (and, in fact, all Arabs) to be exterminated.

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