Lower Manhattan Before Religious Fanatics
Got Done With It
Photo taken July 4, 2001 by Rick Wingrove
I used to have a rant against Islamic extremists here. But I have decided to take it down. Not because I am afraid and not because there is no threat from radical islamists, but because it sounded too much like the party line coming out of bagger central these days.
I was very careful to make the distinction between violent radicals and the 99.99% of Muslim Americans who are just trying to live their lives and are not interested in blowing shit up.
This page had at least 3 highlighted disclaimers to that effect. But something has changed that shined a new light on the essay.
Peter King (R-NY) recently opened "hearings" that were frighteningly reminiscent of one of the most disgraceful periods in American history, the McCarthy hearings. It was so reactionary and hateful and systematically destructive of Constitutional principles of speech and association that the entire period is now known as the McCarthy era and induces shivers of revulsion from anyone with a love for freedom.
So Peter King, who once worked for Roy Cohn, Joe McCarthy's top legal thug, saw no irony in resurrecting this style of accusatory hearings that by their very nature, paint every Muslim as a terrorist or a terrorism supporter. Peter Kings House Un-American Islamic Inquisition Committee Hearings (NAMBLA), brings it all rushing back to those of us old enough to (vaguely) remember that time.
What is really ironic and hypocritical is that NAMBLA made no mention of the clinic bombing christianist militias, or of the fact that the FBI deals with many more incidents and threats from christianist groups than from islamic groups in this country, or the fact that many of the "terrorist threats" are hyperbolized and that most of the information that has resulted in arrests of potential islamic terrorists has come from the Muslim community.
But the biggest irony lost on Peter King was the fact that he was the only person in the hearing room that is known to have proudly and openly supported a terrorist group - the IRA - during a campain of deadly terror bombings.
Do not mistake my words for any sort of support for Islam. Nothing could be farther from the truth. I have not a shred more respect for that particular neurosis than for the local majority neurosis.
I just don't want the tacit approval of silence to empower the ilk of Peter King in further devastating our Constitutional protections against governmental persecution of powerless demographics.
Having said that, I just hope that as Islam continues to grow in power and influence in this country, which it will, the baggers and christianists will finally understand the brilliance of the Founders in creating a secular Constitution that requires total separation of religion from government.
If history has a lesson for us it is that no one likes having someone elses religion shoved down their throat. Also, things just run smoother when religious extremists just sit down and have a big old cup of STFU and keep their damn religion to themselves.