I am not now, nor have i ever been a terrorist. I am also not a Muslim.
As i type these words terrorists are winning, destroying the land that i love. As i type these words, i am losing my country, my America. And, by the way, the terrorists i am talking about, the ones out to destroy this land i love, are not Muslims either.
Yeah, i am talking about the NYC mosque and i'm talking about the Glenn Beck DC rally and the host of other related religious outrages which have shamed our country these last few weeks. I had hoped the need to write this article would have gone away by now. I had hoped, i had prayed in fact, by the time i sat down to complete this column, America would have restored its own dignity by laughing Beck's whole "phony restoring our fake honor by declaring me your messiah after we listen to this word from our sponsors" snake oil televangelist's side show right off the airwaves.
I mean, clearly when you spend years spewing racist mockery and hate-filled attacks on your perceived enemies, then try to repackage yourself as an icon of racial harmony and the messenger of the god of love, surely even the blindest of Americans would see the unvarnished fraud of it all. By me, any huckster who aims to hide his sinister intentions in a cloak of religion is one of the lowest of sinners, a knowingly false prophet. In some religions you get stoned for it, or in Rush Limbaugh's case, really, really vicodin-ed out.
By now i'd've thought New York City, that city which is itself the symbol of the melting pot that is America, would have listened to their own mayor and accepted the fact that NYC, according to their own website, already has 6500 churches and one more church won't make that much difference, unless, of course, you make a big stink about it. Surely by now the big apple's big cheese could've convinced his city to lay off the religious intolerance and stop annoying their fellow Americans when they try to exercise their first Amendment freedoms.
But neither has happened.
In the long run, you know, i know, and Christian Americans know they are going to have to learn to tolerate other visions of god in much the same way White Americans have to adjust our shrinking prominence in America's multi-colored future. Some say there always was, and always will be, racial and religious intolerance. It's only natural. Like a virus in a dormant stage, America's racial problem has generally been present throughout American history, occasionally flaming up to plague us. Many a time America has championed the cause of bringing in more immigrants while turning a blind eye and deaf ear to their struggles and their oppressions. Take for example the plight of the Braceros in the 20th Century, or the Chinese railroaders in the 19th. But that barely, or is it rarely, repressed instinctual White anger has been recurrently reignited most anytime a political party hopes to make hay out of some citizens' "Nativist" tendencies. And there has always been some phrase to sell the hate: "Know-Nothings," "Yellow Menace," "Red Scare" to name just a few historical buzzwords in chronological order ... or as is happening now, on another front, with the whole issue of "Anchor Babies'" turn at having their Swift Boat flags a-flyin'.
In essence, this resurgence in racism and xenophobia is simply the scared old guard clawing to keep a hold on what they already know they are losing. And no matter how much they rant to the contrary, they are bound to die off and stop being so much of a problem for the rest of us. Unless they kill us first, which is the approach they've usually taken--Indians, Blacks, Chinese, Japanese.
So of course i'm terrified.
Everywhere i look there's more terror. The Fox Network's vertical Terror monopoly works very hard to keep us afraid. And not even of the real stuff: floods washing away Pakistan due to global warming. Gang rapes by the hundreds in the Congo. BP's slippery slide into Exxon-Valdez level environmental clean-up negligence, the billions in corruption and the cover-up its created in both our foreign wars, the mortgage crisis, slipping economy, Mexican drug insanity, Dr. Laura claiming she's the victim, or McCain's potential 5th term. There's plenty that could legitimately scare the holy and unholy bat crap out of us.
But no, what Fox really wants us to be afraid is liberty and progress, liberals and progressives anyway. Why? Because that's not what they're there to sell. They're there to teach us to be afraid of Obama. They're there to teach us the rest of the world is an ugly scary place, which is why we should pay any price to have a lot of big guns. Even more so, over the last 10 years, FOX has been working day and night to sell us a different daily hate--making sure we are afraid of and despising Muslims.
Though the Feb, 2001 Taliban destruction of the giant Buddha statues was a foretaste of the demonizations to come, even pinpoint the roll-out date of the new "Islam is Evil" brand that Fox has sold us for much of the last decade. There were lots of ways to frame the character of the alleged hijackers on 9/11: Al Qaeda, Saudi/Yemeni, bin Laden disciples. But instead we were simply taught they were "Muslim." And so for ten years, all terrorists and insurgents in the countries we've attacked, every foreign enemy we've fought against, and demonized in the process, has been identified as Muslim. After so many years of being told that "All Terrorists are Muslims," it is an easy eyes-closed leap to believing "All Muslims are Terrorists."
Though it is odd Fox should work this hard to sell us this, since Fox itself is in part owned by a Muslim, who happens to have both business and familial ties to Osama bin Laden. And that may be why Fox News ownership is actually, quietly, funding the very same Manhattan mosque they work so hard to demonize. Because they're the terrorists.
That's right, as Jon Stewart and numerous others have laid out for us, after Murdoch himself, the 2nd largest shareholder in News Corp is Bush's old pal, Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal. Murdoch also owns billions in shares of Talal's Rotana Group, "the Arab World's largest entertainment company." Prince bin Talal is a member of the royal family of the country that produced most of the 19 9/11 hijackers and which has repeatedly been caught funding terrorists around the world. As dirty an image as that may seem, through his work with Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Foundation, Talal has also helped fund numerous high profile high quality projects, such as the mosque in lower Manhattan. It is just amazing that Fox took such glee in the public burning of the image of all Muslims under the guise of an earnest crusade to follow the money funding the project. When in fact they knew all along.
So to try and keep this straight, Fox is significantly owned by the same Muslims they work so hard to get us to hate. And the principle reason lately is that Fox is giving immense coverage to this particular mosque that their owner is actually funding. As a result, ever more people claim Obama is a secret Muslim, etc.; an Arab looking cab driver has had his throat cut, mosques are harassed in Texas and California, desecrated and urinated on in New York, and a mosque in Tennessee has been not only vandalized, but now firebombed. Just like Black churches once were across the South, when Blacks became too visible and too vocal and demanded to have a reality of equality and not just a dream.
And talk about having one's religion and rights urinated on, at the same time supposedly 71% of Americans are opposed to the proposed "terror mosque at ground zero," noted Florida hatemonger minister Bill Keller has started his own ground zero ministry to preach the word of Islamophobia, homophobia, and Mormonism as Satan worship. As Salon's Justin Elliot noted:
"A bigoted pastor who has assailed gays and Muslims is launching the "9-11 Christian Center at Ground Zero" a mere two blocks from the World Trade Center site this Sunday, but so far the project hasn't drawn a peep of protest from those who are outraged by the "ground zero mosque."Pastor Bill Keller of Florida said today he will begin preaching Sunday at the Marriott at 85 West Street A weekly service is planned at the hotel until the $8 million 9/11 Christian Center finds a permanent space. (Fundraising is going well, Keller told Salon today.) ... Keller is the same pastor who hosted a birther infomercial that encouraged viewers to send him and a partner donations to advance the birther cause. His Internet ministry explicitly calls President Obama the new Hitler. He calls homosexuality a perversion. And in 2008, he targeted presidential contender Mitt Romney for being Mormon with a campaign called "voting for Satan."
Gee thanks Fox. What a horror show! Why Fox what do you want from this? Do you hate us for our freedom? What could these terrorists want bad enough to so destroy America? Gold? God? Glory?
Sad to say there is no possible real solution to this improbable problem since the vast "American Uninterested" ignore the blatant crisis in favor of quibbling over which toilet paper is softest, which fast food tastes the right kind of too salty, which beer gives the best drunk, and which mindless entertainment leaves one the most numbed. They prefer to simply look out for number one and treat everyone else like number two.
Just like Fox News told 'em to.
And when they do rise up to civic wrath, they don three cornered hats to defend a Constitution they aim to rewrite, then, while the kleptocrats rape and pillage their way through our national treasures, they loudly bleat like sheep about such non-issues as an Americans right to marriage, a woman's right to control her body and a people's right to believe, or not believe, in their own vision of god to drown out any serious discussion of America's real issues--racism, economic inequality, and our violent lurking invisible theocracy.
They claim they long for the America of their ancestors, an America bought with the blood and suffering of everyone else's ancestors. They are only interested in aiding human suffering if an insurance company can make a profit in doing so. They debate how hard one has to squint to make it look like "non-citizen" means "non-human;" and the best way to give a zygote reproductive rights over its host. All positions sold to them by Fox.
So, since the American public appear to intend to continue blindly following the misdirection of their so-called leaders, meanwhile leaving the Fox to raid our henhouses blind; let me make a modest proposal, a compromise: First we, the American public, give Fox the equivalent revenue for all television advertising in all markets in all America in all perpetuity. Sure, just give it to them. Yeah, it's another government subsidy for the rich; but it would be a small price to pay if in trade the rest of us never ever have to watch that crap they call news again.
Two, in trade for shipping Glenn Beck, and all those who really want to follow him, off to Guyana along with a lifetime supply of Kool-Aid, the rest of us accept we have to give in the cry baby tea party god-haters and let them have their way in this one case.
I know, that's the hard part. The part where we have to let the terrorists win. That's right, it looks like the only way out of this mess is to go ahead and destroy our own precious First Amendment right of the people having the liberty to go to whatever church they want to. It seems the only way to get the terrorists to stop their attack on our country is to pass a law to forbid any sign of any Muslims anywhere close to hallowed ground called zero. Like everyone says, those Muslims can build their mosque elsewhere, any elsewhere they want, as long as it's not in anyone's backyard.
I know this seems harsh, but this should protect us. We only have to turn against a small portion of our country, at the most it's only seven million people, it's like 2%, it's a weak glass of milk. And it's just the Muslims; and all the terrorists back on 9/11 were Muslims right? So all Muslims are bad right? Isn't that the rationale?
Of course ... the 9/11 terrorists were also all men. So to be safe, we better get rid of them too and why should we say that there is some kind of imaginary shield of "hallow-fication" that begins exactly three blocks for the WTC "footprint"? Isn't that the theory since we're told it's not safe enough to have the proposed Terror Mosque be built two blocks away (though it won't be nearly as close as a couple of hallowed-ground "ground zero" strip-clubs, which also coincidentally attract men--see, i told you there was a plot.) No way are we going to let men so close to our precious "ground zero." They might be terrorists. So shouldn't that shield extend a bit to a less risky distance of, say, New Jersey? That's it--from now on, no Muslims and no men on Manhattan.
Oh wait, They were all also dark skinned, so we have to get rid of dark-skinned women too. So where were we? Oh yeah, no Muslims, no men, and no dark skinned non-Muslim women allowed on Manhattan to properly hallow the hallowed ground at ground zero. Of course, since dark skinned peoples are the vast majority of humans on the planet, and since 37% of US Muslims are White, well, we just can't be too sure, now can we? We would be safer if we got rid of people off of Manhattan entirely, then no human could sully the sacred hallowedness of Ground Zero.
What a monument that would be. To our stupidity perhaps, but it would be a hell of a job of hallowing that hallowed ground. Of course ... the hijackers were also all mammals, backbones, and cells. Why be species-ist about this? If Glenn Beck can claim to be a man of god, who's to say a slug can't be a terrorist? We'll have to all be sure and we can only be sure when that the entire isle of Manhattan is lifeless and white.
Just like that awful morning nine years ago at Ground Zero when it seemed like, the terrorists won. Oh my god, it seems like that again. God, i pray it's not true. God? You don't care which way i pray do you? No?
Oh, that's right. You aren't the terrorist. We are.
--mikel weisser writes from the left coast of AZ.