FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

It’s the Muslims Fault!

by CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI

“Happily the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction . . . requires only that they who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support.”

George Washington, Letter to the Jewish Congregation of Newport, Rhode Island

It’s the Muslims’ fault. They’re spoiling everything for the rest of us. That’s because they are bringing out the worst in us and it turns out there is a lot of worst for them to bring out.

It all came to mind when Juan Williams was fired by National Public Radio for saying on the Bill O’Reilly show on Fox News that if he gets on an airplane and sees people dressed in Muslim garb “I get worried. I get nervous.” I know lots of people who get nervous when they get on airplanes but it has nothing to do with what other people are wearing. It has to do with their own fear of flying. (Mr. Williams did go on to point out that he was not disparaging all Muslims and to disparage all Muslims for the actions of a few was like eschewing all Christians because of Timothy McVeigh.) Mr. Williams’ sartorial comments prompted an even dumber response. A more-than-ten year employee of National Public Radio, he got a phone call from his supervisor, Ellen Weiss, who said that his comments had been inappropriate and that he was being fired. She is a busy person and told him there was no reason to sit down face to face with him since nothing he could say would change the corporate mind. She did not know (although going to see the movie Up in the Air would have informed her) that when firing people, common courtesy suggests meeting with them in person even though nothing they will say will change the corporate mind. Those are not the only examples of how the Muslim presence in the country has brought out the worst in many of its denizens. There are more.

Consider the proposed construction of a mosque in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. In that town the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro is attempting to build new facilities to accommodate its expanding congregation. According to the Los Angeles Times it wants to build a 10,000 square foot center that would include a school, gym, pool and a house of worship. There would also be a pavilion and cemetery. The good citizens of Murfreesboro, putting their worst instincts on display for all to see, oppose the construction for, among other reasons, that “Islam is not a valid religion but instead a political cause to force the U.S. to adopt Muslim laws.” In order to add an exclamation point to the opponents’ arguments, in August some of the construction equipment at the site was set on fire and signs were posted in the area saying, “not welcome.” The approach of opponents to the Center may well resonate with African Americans who can remember only too well how their presence brought out the very worst in white citizens in many parts of the country. And then, as now, the worst was not only brought out in the ordinary citizen. It was brought out in religious leaders, defenders of minorities, public servants and those aspiring to be public servants as well. For examples we need only examine the reaction to the proposed Islamic Community Center near Ground Zero in New York City.

Richard Land, president of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission came out against the project. The Anti-Defamation League that in theory is opposed to the worst in people said building the Center “in the shadow of the World Trade Center will cause some victims more pain-unnecessarily-and that is not right.” In a Twitter, Sarah Palin who might or might not like to be the next president, said that the proposed Center which she erroneously calls a mosque, stabs hearts (thus apparently releasing the malignancy in those hearts although she didn’t say that) and the Center’s proponents should not proceed with their plans.

Newt Gingrich, who, too, might like to be president some day soon, takes advantage of lots of opportunities, like divorcing his wives, to put his worst side on display. He compared those proposing the Islamic Center, whom he referred to as “radical Islamists,” to “Nazis.” He also said “There should be no mosque near Ground Zero in New York so long as there are no churches or synagogues in Saudi Arabia.” Rudy Giuliani, one-time New York City Mayor, confirming my thesis, pointed out that it is the Muslims’ fault that many Americans are behaving badly. He said the people [Muslims] wanting to build the center are “creating more division, more anger, more hatred” correctly putting the blame on them for bringing out the worst in us.

Muslims are, of course, not alone in bringing out the worst in us. Elections do so as well. That is a subject for another day.

CHRISTOPHER BRAUCHLI is an attorney living in Boulder, Colorado. He can be e-mailed at brauchli.56@post.harvard.edu.

 

More articles by:
June 27, 2016
Robin Hahnel
Brexit: Establishment Freak Out
James Bradley
Omar’s Motive
Gregory Wilpert – Michael Hudson
How Western Military Interventions Shaped the Brexit Vote
Leonard Peltier
41 Years Since Jumping Bull (But 500 Years of Trauma)
Rev. William Alberts
Orlando: the Latest Victim of Radicalizing American Imperialism
Patrick Cockburn
Brexiteers Have Much in Common With Arab Spring Protesters
Franklin Lamb
How 100 Syrians, 200 Russians and 11 Dogs Out-Witted ISIS and Saved Palmyra
John Grant
Omar Mateen: The Answers are All Around Us
Dean Baker
In the Wake of Brexit Will the EU Finally Turn Away From Austerity?
Ralph Nader
The IRS and the Self-Minimization of Congressman Jason Chaffetz
Johan Galtung
Goodbye UK, Goodbye Great Britain: What Next?
Martha Pskowski
Detained in Dilley: Deportation and Asylum in Texas
Binoy Kampmark
Headaches of Empire: Brexit’s Effect on the United States
Dave Lindorff
Honest Election System Needed to Defeat Ruling Elite
Louisa Willcox
Delisting Grizzly Bears to Save the Endangered Species Act?
Jason Holland
The Tragedy of Nothing
Jeffrey St. Clair
Revolution Reconsidered: a Fragment (Guest Starring Bernard Sanders in the Role of Robespierre)
Weekend Edition
June 24, 2016
Friday - Sunday
John Pilger
A Blow for Peace and Democracy: Why the British Said No to Europe
Pepe Escobar
Goodbye to All That: Why the UK Left the EU
Michael Hudson
Revolts of the Debtors: From Socrates to Ibn Khaldun
Andrew Levine
Summer Spectaculars: Prelude to a Tea Party?
Kshama Sawant
Beyond Bernie: Still Not With Her
Mike Whitney
¡Basta Ya, Brussels! British Voters Reject EU Corporate Slavestate
Tariq Ali
Panic in the House: Brexit as Revolt Against the Political Establishment
Paul Street
Miranda, Obama, and Hamilton: an Orwellian Ménage à Trois for the Neoliberal Age
Ellen Brown
The War on Weed is Winding Down, But Will Monsanto Emerge the Winner?
Gary Leupp
Why God Created the Two-Party System
Conn Hallinan
Brexit Vote: a Very British Affair (But Spain May Rock the Continent)
Ruth Fowler
England, My England
Jeffrey St. Clair
Lines Written on the Occasion of Bernie Sanders’ Announcement of His Intention to Vote for Hillary Clinton
Norman Pollack
Fissures in World Capitalism: the British Vote
Paul Bentley
Mercenary Logic: 12 Dead in Kabul
Binoy Kampmark
Parting Is Such Sweet Joy: Brexit Prevails!
Elliot Sperber
Show Me Your Papers: Supreme Court Legalizes Arbitrary Searches
Jan Oberg
The Brexit Shock: Now It’s All Up in the Air
Nauman Sadiq
Brexit: a Victory for Britain’s Working Class
Brian Cloughley
Murder by Drone: Killing Taxi Drivers in the Name of Freedom
Ramzy Baroud
How Israel Uses Water as a Weapon of War
Brad Evans – Henry Giroux
The Violence of Forgetting
Ben Debney
Homophobia and the Conservative Victim Complex
Margaret Kimberley
The Orlando Massacre and US Foreign Policy
David Rosen
Americans Work Too Long for Too Little
Murray Dobbin
Do We Really Want a War With Russia?
Kathy Kelly
What’s at Stake
Louis Yako
I Have Nothing “Newsworthy” to Report this Week
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail