Monday, July 19, 2010

Freedrom of Spleach: Palin's Tweetiest Tweets

If like most functionally literature adults, you are surprised to find out that Sarah Palin, or one of her assistants, is posting on Twitter, I am sure you are even less shocked to discover what she thinks of the construction of a mosque near ground zero in New York City, in between her butchery of the English language.

Palin sparks Twitter fight on mosque
by Maggie Haberman

Sarah Palin, who waded into a New York political fight by endorsing Ann Marie Buerkle in NY-25, is drifting into a decidedly higher-charged battle: The fray over a planned mosque near Ground Zero. 

"Peace-seeking Muslims, pls understand, Ground Zero mosque is UNNECESSARY provocation; it stabs hearts. Pls reject it in interest of healing," she tweeted Sunday.

The building's planners, the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Cordoba Initiative, have said it's modeled on religious and community centers such as the YMCA, and that the 13-story, $100 million building would also include an arts center, gym and a swimming pool, as well as a mosque. It would be two blocks away from Ground Zero. 

The project, which has become an increasingly partisan issue in New York, received a renewed burst of national attention when CBS and NBC rejected an ad from the National Republican Trust PAC that crosscut footage of the 9/11 attacks with the sounds of Muslim prayer.

"On Sept. 11, they declared war against us," a narrator says. "And to celebrate that murder of 3,000 Americans, they want to build a monstrous 13-story mosque at ground zero." 

While a recent poll showed a majority of New Yorkers oppose the plan to build the mosque built near Ground Zero, an aide in Mayor Michael Bloomberg's City Hall hit back at Palin, first tweeting “@SarahPalinUSA mind your business." 

The aide, policy hand Andrea Batista Schlesinger, followed that up with: "@SarahPalinUSA whose hearts? Racist hearts?"  Schlesinger deleted both tweets shortly after posting them.  "Andrea was only speaking for herself, and she has the right to her own opinions," said Bloomberg spokesman Stu Loeser.

Schlesinger posted three new tweets Sunday evening, explaining why she wrote, and took down, her Palin response: "Deleted post bc I regretted curt response. But fact is, I believe this city belongs to everyone - and no one more than another"

"Unlike @SarahPalinUSA, I was born here grew up here. Was showing off to a visitor today - look at how beautiful and diverse my city is."

"I felt pain of 9/11, the trauma. I got through it by believing in my city. Not through fear and hate."

Bloomberg has defended the plan for the mosque, arguing that blocking it would impinge on religious freedom, and he's denounced calls to look into the group's funding – led by Republican gubernatorial hopeful Rick Lazio in a bid to engage his rival, Democrat Andrew Cuomo — as "un-American."


And to think (or apparently not for some of our citizens), these are the same forces who want to make English our national language. 

I am sure being a stabbed heart type, the ex-Governor of Alaska should feel inclined to 'refudiate' the construction of all churches in the US on or near lands that were at one time deeded by treaty to Native Americans. After all, most all of the lands that comprise this country are the site of the very real and longstanding theft of these territories from its original occupants, oftentimes under the guise of Sarah's favorite carpenter-philosopher (and done so in attacks by white settlers and our preferred government that summated in terms of the lives lost for the native victims much greater in magnitude as what we endured on 9/11 [if you just look at how many Choctaws were marched to death in the Trail of Tears, and that was just one act of many]). No, somehow, I think we all know the answer to that one.

Display no. 1,202 of the coming white race war in this country.

Islamophobia and the Muslim center at Ground Zero
By John L. Esposito

(CNN) -- The proposal by the Cordoba Initiative to build an Islamic center near Ground Zero has drawn major media attention and engendered fierce debate. 

Right-wing political commentators, politicians, hard-line Christian ministers, bloggers and some families of 9/11 victims have charged that it is insensitive to 9/11 families, dishonors memories of the victims and will be a "monument to terrorism."

But here are the facts:The center is not at Ground Zero but two blocks away, and the Cordoba Initiative seeks to build a center, not a mosque. The center is not designed as a local mosque for a Muslim community but rather to serve the wider community. 

It is meant to improve interfaith and Muslim-West relations and promote tolerance -- not just to provide services to Muslims. The proposed 15-story community center will include a prayer room, offices, meeting rooms, gym, swimming pool and performing arts center.

The controversy over Cordoba House is not an isolated event. It is part of a much more far-reaching pattern and problem.

Mosque construction in the United States has become a catalyst for increased anti-Islam and anti-Muslim sentiment, discrimination and hate crimes in recent years. 

Efforts to construct mosques to accommodate growing Muslim populations have sparked intense opposition. A commentary appearing in the New York Post last month attacked plans to construct mosques in the state of New York: "...There's no denying the elephant in the room. Neither is there any rejoicing over the mosques proposed for Sheepshead Bay, Staten Island and Ground Zero because where there are mosques, there are Muslims, and where there are Muslims, there are problems."

It continued: "Before New York becomes New Yorkistan, it is worth noting that the capital of Great Britain was London until it became known as 'Londonstan,' degenerated by a Muslim community predominantly from South Asia and Africa, whose first generation of 'British Asians' has made the United Kingdom into a launching pad for terrorists."

In the face of such rhetoric, where do we go from here? 

Globalization and an increasingly multicultural and multireligious America (and Europe), with their significant Muslim populations, tests the mettle of Western democratic principles of free speech and freedom of worship.

Unfortunately, American attitudes toward Islam and Muslims often blur the line between the peaceful and rational mainstream majority of Muslims on the one hand and the acts of a small but dangerous minority on the other.

In some states, opposition to mosque construction has been led by politicians -- individuals charged with representing and upholding democratic values.

In June 2010, a Tennessee Republican candidate, Lou Ann Zelenik, opposed the Muslim community's proposal to build a mosque in Murfreesboro, charging the Muslim center was not part of a religious movement, but a political one "designed to fracture the moral and political foundation of Middle Tennessee."

She warned, "Until the American Muslim community find it in their hearts to separate themselves from their evil, radical counterparts, to condemn those who want to destroy our civilization and will fight against them, we are not obligated to open our society to any of them. "

The charge that Muslims do not condemn terrorism has been made repeatedly, despite that post-9/11, many Muslim leaders and organizations in America and globally have consistently denounced acts of terrorism. But major media outlets do not seem to find them newsworthy, and thus they must be found in smaller outlets on the internet. 

Even though major polls by the Gallup Organization and PEW research center show that the vast majority of American Muslims are well-integrated and, in contrast to many Muslim countries, pluralistic in outlook, a 2006 USAToday-Gallup poll found that substantial minorities of Americans admit to having negative feelings or prejudices against Muslims.

Fewer than half the respondents believed U.S. Muslims are loyal to the United States. About four in 10 favored more rigorous security measures for Muslims than those used for other U.S. citizens and requiring Muslims who are U.S. citizens to carry a special ID and undergo special, more intensive, security checks before boarding airplanes in the United States.

Islam-bashing charges leveled with no concrete evidence by pundits and politicians ring hollow. The call by some New York politicians for a delay in the construction of the Cordoba Center to examine its funding is simply grandstanding that reinforces the notion that somehow all Muslims, mosques and Islamic centers are guilty until proved innocent.

Why should Muslims who are building a center be any more suspect than Jews who build a synagogue or center or Christians who build a church or conference center? 
As New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg put it: "If somebody wants to build a religious house of worship, they should do it and we shouldn't be in the business of picking which religions can and which religions can't. I think it's fair to say if somebody was going to try to on that piece of property build a church or a synagogue, nobody would be yelling and screaming. And the fact of the matter is that Muslims have a right to do it, too."

Muslims are part of the mosaic of America, citizens and believers who are economically, educationally and politically integrated. No longer predominantly new arrivals, many are second- and third-generation citizens. Despite terrorist attacks by a very small but dangerous minority of extremists, the majority of Muslims, like their non-Muslim fellow citizens, are loyal citizens.

Islamophobia must be recognized for what it is, a social cancer as unacceptable as anti-Semitism, a threat to the very fabric of our democratic, pluralistic way of life.

The line that distinguishes Islam from those who commit violence and terror in the name of Islam --between the majority of mainstream Muslims and the acts of a minority of Muslim terrorists -- must be maintained.

Blurring these distinctions risks the adoption of foreign and domestic policies that promote a clash rather than co-existence of cultures and threaten the rights and civil liberties of Muslims.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of John L. Esposito. 

No. 1,203.

Williams steps aside as chairman of Tea Party Express
From Martina Stewart

Washington (CNN) -- Conservative radio talk show host and prominent Tea Party activist Mark Williams is giving up his role as the chairman of the Tea Party Express, Williams told CNN Saturday.

Williams said his decision stemmed from his involvement in two other major projects.

One is opposing the construction of a mosque near the site of Ground Zero in New York, where the twin towers of the World Trade Center were destroyed by Islamist hijackers on September 11, 2001.

The other is leading a recall effort against some members of the Sacramento City Council and running for a spot on the local body himself after the council voted to boycott Arizona over its new immigration law.

"What I'm doing is thinking globally and acting locally," Williams said of his bi-coastal commitments.

Williams said he will continue to be involved with the Tea Party Express as a spokesman, a featured speaker at the group's events, in television and print media and generally as a public face of the organization. 

But Williams will be taking a back seat when it comes to the Tea Party Express' day-to-day managerial responsibilities.

"I'll still be shooting my mouth off and appearing on TV," said Williams. "I just won't be as critical in strategy which is fine by me."

Pointing out that the organization has grown so large and consists of a network of volunteers spread out all over the country targeting a number of midterm races, Williams said the group now needs something akin to a chief executive officer. 

The Tea Party activist said he's already weighed in internally within the organization about who should succeed him as chairman.

And the outspoken conservative said recent controversial comments on his part played no role in his change in status within the Tea Party Express.

"This initiative came from me," said Williams. "Once I got involved in this recall effort, I realized I would have zero time."

Williams also said the recall effort "is an example of Tea Party philosophy in action. You see something wrong and you step in to fix it."

Oh, yes, it is all 'bout freedom, so long as you are white, Christian, and Republican, that is. 

I know I have repeated this for the past three years like it is a broken record, but this is only going to get worse, as whites get closer to our ground zero of becoming a numerical minority by the middle part of this century. As 2050 closes in, what you are reading now is going to be tame by comparison, and our politics, especially the politics of the right, is going to transcend into more openly racist and white supremacist predilections. Hopefully, it will not tear this country apart and the electoral process will simply vote this hatred out. Otherwise....well, I just hope I do not live to see what they want come to fruition because I have no illusion about what kind of America the Sarah Palins and Mark Williams's have in mind for folk of different hues and faiths than their own.

I now remember where I last encountered the writing style/speech mannerisms as Sarah Palin. Yes, none other than the great Roman Moronie.

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