Yeah, yeah! I blaspheme, get over it! Bring the fainting couches in at once, have the smelling salts handy. Yeah, I said it. The anniversary of 9/11 is looking more and more like a travesty to me. Sick, isn’t it? A day now devoted to paranoia and hate. Not that the U.S. needs a day designated for that; nor does Canada for that matter. Nine years later, where is the U.S. now (and Canada to some degree)? Exactly, how was this ninth anniversary commemorated?
We had a nut bar of a pastor in Florida with a flock of only fifty who got more than his fifteen minutes of fame by flip flopping on whether or not he was going to burn copies of the Quran. As despicable as book burning of any kind is, he’s not the first ignoramous to lead (or propose to lead) such a campfire in the U.S., nor will he be the last. I’m sure there are even many who have burned the Quran before him and it got by undetected. How the hell did Pastor Terry Jones get his face splashed all over the media, even to the point of getting the president and even our MPs to publicly denounce him? No doubt Pastor Jones didn’t give a rat’s ass about the consequences of not only his act, but at his insistance of making it sound so outrageous as to keep this in the media. He obviously didn’t care about putting the troops fighting in Afghanistan in further danger than they already were. But, then again, do many of today’s right really care about the troops, whether or not they ‘denounced’ the pastor’s proposed Quran cooking? No, the media blew this way out of proportion. And if this was their way to villify American bigots, they did a miserable job of it. Pastor Jones may well be looked upon today as a folk hero of some kind. Furthermore, he has made a ton of money on this saga, and I’m sure has added fifty more followers to his flock.
And why was this circus precipitated? A growing hatred toward Islam? You hear many of these wingnuts on their soap boxes, not having a clue as to what they’re saying. Basically, painting all Muslims with that same terrorist brush. More of it coming out with the proposed Islamic center to be built two blocks away from Ground Zero. For awhile, it looked like Pastor Jones was even blackmailing Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to scrap his plans for the proposed Islamic Center. Really!
Yesterday, Rosie Di Manno celebrates with all the right wingnuttiness she could muster in her column yesterday. She had to have provided some of the dumbest arguments against the project, as well as promoting white American Christian supremacy and Muslims. Rosie basically says, you’d better heed to that! Idiots like Rosie and Sarah Palin start crying about how the symbolism is just too hurtful. Give me a break, I wonder if the symbolism would be as ‘arousing’ or hurtful if a Catholic church were built on the site where the federal building that Timothy McVeigh blew up was?
Di Manno is shrieking about how middle eastern countries don’t allow for the construction of churches. Even punishable by death in Afghanistan! she shrieks. So? That’s Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan; they’re not democracies. Freedom of religion doesn’t exist in those countries. Does that mean we have to slip backwards to their level? I thought we in the west were supposed to be more evolved than this. If Americans bar the construction of Park 51, they’re no better or more avanced than those in Saudi Arabia and those other countries who ban the building of churches and/or synagogues.
They’re not alone. When we hear of even folks like Tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza writing articles about how the Imam Rauf should build a church or a synagogue around the Ground Zero site, they simply send a message that their own people, as a whole are all fanatical sociopaths. To all these people, the good peaceful Muslims are those who sit down and shut up and take whatever is dished at them from the (Ahem!) “civilized” western world. When Muslims like Imam Rauf come up with ideas to promote interfaith/intercultural dialogue, they are simply seen as traitors or trouble makers from either side. No wonder peace is so difficult to come across! People like Tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza should take their share of the blame of Islamophobia in the west. They, too, appeared to have bought into the whole Park 51 project being nothing more than a deliberate provocation on the part of the Imam. I wonder if they ever met Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf? After reading about his background in the New York Times, I hardly think that this is his goal. A man who broke away from the conservative religiousness of his family to devoting his life to open dialogue hardly qualifies as someone who is a rabble rouser. Even since his youth, he was open minded and sought to empathize with others all while trying to find his place within Islam.
When the 1967 war broke out in the Middle East, Mr. Tolksdorf said, Mr. Abdul Rauf reacted calmly when Israeli students tried to pick a fight. A classmate, Alan M. Silberstein, remembers debating each day’s news over lunch.
“He was genuinely trying to understand the interests of American Jews — what Israel’s importance was to me,” he said. “There was a genuine openness.”
Today, Fatah and Raza had suggested to the Imam that he build a church or a synagogue on the site instead if he were really serious about building bridges. I had already pointed out the absurdity in that suggestion in a previous post. But, let’s point out another, this very idea of ‘bridge building’ is synonymous to suggesting that blacks should have continued sitting at the back of the bus in order to maintain peace.
Oh, and something else, Fatah and Raza should pay particular attention to. Guess who is helping organize Imam Rauf’s project? Yes, Ezzy Levant, get ready folks, arr she blows! None other than the Jewish community of Manhattan. Quick! To the fainting couches now!
Their rabbi has been advising them since the beginning. It’s been a picture-perfect example of the kind of world we all want to live in. Peter Stuyvessant, New York’s “founder,” tried to expel the first Jews who arrived in Manhattan. Then the Dutch said, no, that’s a bit much. So then Stuyvessant said ok, you can stay, but you cannot build a synagogue anywhere in Manhattan. Do your stupid Friday night thing at home. The first Jewish temple was not allowed to be built until 1730. Then there was a revolution, and the founding fathers said this country has to be secular — no religious nuts or state religions. George Washington (inaugurated around the corner from Ground Zero) wanted to make a statement about this his very first year in office, and wrote this to American Jews:
“The citizens of the United States of America have a right to applaud themselves for having given to mankind examples of an enlarged and liberal policy — a policy worthy of imitation. …
“It is now no more that toleration is spoken of as if it were the indulgence of one class of people that another enjoyed the exercise of their inherent natural rights, for, happily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens …
“May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants — while every one shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
Well, Mr. Fatah and Ms. Raza, looks like you just got your answer. If anyone were serious about building a synagogue in or around Ground Zero, wouldn’t it be the Jewish Community of Manhattan? What do you have to say to them? Are you going to tell them they shouldn’t help the Imam with his efforts for bridging the interfaith differences? What say you, Sa-wah? Di Manno? Or any of the other right wing faction both here and in the US.
This brings me to my next point, it wasn’t all that long ago Jews weren’t welcome in neither the U.S. nor Canada. Wasn’t it MacKenzie King who said “None is too many” regarding Jewish refugees? In fact, isn’t the reason why there are laws on the books today obliging us to accommodate refugees like the Tamil migrants was because of our lack of accommodation toward those Jewish refugees? So why do so many choose to jump on the I hate Islam bandwagon? If anyone should be able to empathize with them, it should be the Jews, as well as other immigrants who weren’t all that well accepted when they or their ancestors arrived neither.
This brings me to my next question, what if the 19 terrorists who flew those planes into the Pentagon, and the twin towers weren’t Al Qaeda, or even Muslim? What if they were disgruntled Israelis? Then what if the Jewish Community of Manhattan wished to build a synagogue or Jewish community center for whatever reason in or around that site? Would there be this much of an outcry? Would there be this much hate?
Another thing many tend to overlook is that approximately five dozen Muslims died that fateful day, and their families, too, still grieve their loss, just like the families of the other victims. As Michael Moore points out, those 19 thugs didn’t care about the religion or background of the lives they took. Something else we may not have known, or rather, folks choose to conveniently forget: Muslims and their faith were very much a part of daily life at the Twin Towers. There was an Islamic prayer room on the 17th floor of the south tower. Even after the 1993 bombing of one of the towers by another extremist, Ramzi Yousef, no one objected to the Muslim employees continuing to observe at the work place. Many even designated the stairwell between the 106th and 107th floors for prayers if they didn’t have time during their break. They would bring their favourite food to the employee cafeteria during Ramadan. So, again, what is the problem with the Park 51 project?
All this hate, of course, is in the name of the victims who perished. Such sacrilege. Who are many of these outspoken Americans like Palin, many from the Rethuglicans and the rest of today’s right trying to fool? They don’t give a flying fuck about the victims. Cloaking their bigotry, hatred and wingnuttiness with the memory is evidence of that. This is what makes the anniversary of 9/11 such a travesty and every year, it seems to get more outrageous. Josh Marshall of Talking Points Memo puts it like this:
Having a hard time reconciling the experiences of those I know who lived through the 9/11 attacks with the emergence of “9/11″ as Republican hate festival.
On the other hand, how did we not see it coming.
Indeed. Are the survivors of 9/11 really as fixated on the hate fest as the Rethuglicans, the tea-baggers and the rest of the right? My guess is that they’re too busy trying to get through their already difficult lives as best they could to be involved with the clown car brigade. And what hypocrisy! Further evidence that the masses really don’t care about the actual survivors of 9/11 is the lack of media coverage of them. Do we hear stories of them? Do we hear of how they’re getting by? Other than Michael Moore’s 2007 movie, “Sicko”, where three Ground Zero rescue workers, who risked their own lives to help out, are now too sick and/or injured to work. They don’t even have access to adequate health care to look after their needs. This, my friends, is the biggest travesty of all, in the commemoration of 9/11. Let’s not forget that George W. Bush cut off their health care benefits by 77% as well as cutting off their health monitoring in favor of higher military spending in those wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2004, US Congress had spent more on legal fees fighting off those Ground Zero workers’ claims than actually awarding those workers. Disgusting! Former New York City police officer, Michael Valentin, who was forced to retire prematurely due to 9/11 related ailments had this to say in 2008:
My colleagues and the other men and women who are sick and out of work because of their time at Ground Zero don’t have years to wait. What they do have is mounting frustration, worsening illness and disability, bills and mortgages they can’t pay and medications they can’t afford.
I imagine, that now, in 2010, their situations have not improved. Where is the corporate media for those people? Where is Sa-wah’s rallying cry, urging fellow Americans to help these people. After all, wouldn’t it be the Christian thing to do?
And where is the weepy Glenn Beck? Oh, he weeps for these people, but not in the way that you might think: remember what the Beckster said on his radio show on September of 2005:
“This is horrible to say, and I wonder if I’m alone in this,” Beck said on his radio program that day, “you know it took me about a year to start hating the 9/11 victims’ families? I don’t hate all of them. I hate probably about 10 of them. But when I see a 9-11 victim family on television, or whatever, I’m just like, ‘Oh, shut up!’ I’m so sick of them because they’re always complaining. And we did our best for them.”
By now, I’m sure ol’ Glenn hates more than just those ten families.
Here’s another who is speaking about how the anniversary of 9/11 is a travesty that seems to continue to grow with each passing year, condemning every wingnut faction:
Did 9/11 make us all go mad? How fitting, in a weird, crazed way, that the apotheosis of that firestorm nine years ago should turn out to be a crackpot preacher threatening another firestorm with a Nazi-style book burning of the Koran. Or a would-be mosque two blocks from “ground zero” – as if 9/11 was an onslaught on Jesus-worshipping Christians, rather than on the atheist West.
But why should we be surprised? Just look at all the other crackpots spawned in the aftermath of those international crimes against humanity: the half-crazed Ahmadinejad, the smarmy post-nuclear Gaddafi, Blair with his crazed right eye and George W Bush with his black prisons and torture and lunatic “war on terror”. And that wretched man who lived – or lives still – in an Afghan cave and the hundreds of al-Qa’idas whom he created, and the one-eyed mullah – not to mention all the lunatic cops and intelligence agencies and CIA thugs who failed us all – utterly – on 9/11 because they were too idle or too stupid to identify 19 men who were going to attack the United States. And remember one thing: even if the Rev Terry Jones sticks with his decision to back down, another of our cranks* will be ready to take his place.
Indeed, on this grim ninth anniversary – and heaven spare us next year from the 10th – 9/11 appears to have produced not peace or justice or democracy or human rights, but monsters. They have prowled Iraq – both the Western and the local variety – and slaughtered 100,000 souls, or 500,000, or a million; and who cares? They have killed tens of thousands in Afghanistan; and who cares? And as the sickness has spread across the Middle East and then the globe, they – the air force pilots and the insurgents, the Marines and the suicide bombers, the al-Qa’idas of the Maghreb and of the Khalij and of the Caliphate of Iraq and the special forces and the close air support boys and the throat-cutters – have torn the heads off women and children and the old and the sick and the young and healthy, from the Indus to the Mediterranean, from Bali to the London Tube; quite a memorial to the 2,966 innocents who were killed nine years ago…
Fisk brings up how no one seems to care about the tens of thousands who have been killed in Afghanistan.
Yes, friends, 9/11 is nothing more than a hatefest and a way for these fools to make money off this. Making money off the backs of poor suffering people. Capitalism at its’ worst. Pastor Jones has made money; Dan Cook mentioned on CJAD that his mug sales have gone up amongst other things. Newt Gingrich is promoting a new movie, “America at Risk”, which premiered, of course, last night. If you dare to view the trailor for Gingrich’s litte monsterpiece, click here; I don’t have the stomach to post it on my page. We already know how much of a killing Sa-wah & the Beckster have been making, exploiting the victims of 9/11.
It’s helped others politically as well. Namely, 9/11 is what saved George Dubya Bush’s presidency. Keeping Americans full of hate and paranoia is mainly what got ol’ Dubya a second term in office. Yep, keep the fear and hatred alive. Hell, even Stevie Spiteful warned Canadians yesterday to be ever so vigilante and that we were in danger. Hell, he figures it worked for his idol, ol’ Dubya, it should work for him, right? Of course, there was nothing in Stevie Spiteful’s message about donating to charities to help the survivors of 9/11. Not even acknowledgement of their existance. Typical of the right.
Nine years later, the site at Ground Zero is still one massive gaping hole. No one can seem to agree on what to construct. A memorial park was proposed, but no one seems to have moved on that. One has to wonder if they’re deliberately keeping this gaping hole to further fuel their hatred, paranoia and bigotry; a reminder of the loss sustained. Not even necessarily of the loss of the victims; I sufficiently proved that above, but the loss of the World Trade Center. That gaping hole is what keeps the right wingnut faction in business; it’s what keeps the Rethuglicans in office much of the time. Yeah, I’m starting to see why anyone would be reluctant to fill the hole and to actually build something. That would actually mean that America would be moving on. Perhaps they like that big hole to remind them how empty their lives really are?
As for Imam Rauf’s Park Islamic Cultural center, the usual suspects have said that he were allowed to build it, the terrorists will have won. I’ve got a news flash. The terrorists are already winning. The biggest flaws of American culture of greed, materialism, paranoia and hate, those terrorists plaid them all like a violin and continue to do so today. Scaring Imam Rauf away from Lower Manhattan and sabotaging his project simply adds more to the score card of the terrorists.
Yeah, making money, capitalizing on political opportunities, worshipping and wallowing over a gaping hole with growing bigotry, in the name of the victims of 9/11, while the survivors are actually too busy trying to survive their everyday lives while being completely ignored and abandoned by their own government and fellow Americans is exactly what makes the anniversary of 9/11 nothing more than a travesty which promises to be even bigger for the tenth anniversary next year.