FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

The Terrorists Have Won

On August 22, I was in Manhattan for the counter-protest to support the proposed Islamic center near Ground Zero.  My friend Elaine Brower gave an impassioned speech, talking about the “gentlemen’s” club by the site, and a huge Century 21 clothing store (shop, shop, shop), emphasizing the Constitutional right to freedom of religion and reminding the gathering that 15 of the hijackers who used planes as missiles on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, that the US continues to conduct business with that country, that we buy oil from Saudi Arabia, and that bikers, who roared in, joining the bigots to protest the Islamic center, most probably, filled their tanks with gas from Saudi Arabia.

Brower, whose son served three tours of military duty in Afghanistan and Iraq, exposes the hypocrisy of nationalists who make statements like the one I heard when I wandered to get a look-see at those who believe they are the REAL guardians of liberty: “Arabs are killing Americans every single day.”  This agitator also held a sign, bearing the words: NO MOSQUES IN AMERICA.

I returned to Baltimore, Sunday afternoon, and wondered about our path—actually, the destination we’ve already reached.  The concept of abandoning the machine is alluring.  Just brake to the curb, step out, remove the plates, and get away from this mind-numbing mutation of reason.

I’m thinking of the many references to “hallowed ground.”  I’m thinking about a man who said he defends religious freedom but believes that a mosque should not be allowed so close to hallowed ground.

How close is too close?  How far away is it appropriate to be Muslim?  These are mere ancillaries.

The central issues are racism and fear.  They lead to hatred.  They take us to war.  They marginalize.  They dehumanize.

I’ve made it clear that I disagree with the president.  I’m antiwar, anti-imperialism, anti-Zionism, and anti-Military Industrial Complex.  I abhor the fact that Obama marketed himself as the personification of hope and change, the leader who could be relied on to right the egregious wrongs of the Bush regime, when he never intended to fulfill his promises and, in fact, knew that he would continue those policies so devastating at home and abroad.  This said, I would never judge him because Hussein is positioned between his first name and surname. Nor would I question his religion.  Frankly, I don’t care if Obama is Jewish, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, an atheist, agnostic, or a member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

On Monday, when I received an email from Elaine Brower that MSNBC’s Chris Matthews would interview someone from each side of the Islamic center controversy, I powered on the telly and entered Hardball  to catch Matthews criticizing Kentucky Senator Mitch McConnell for his Sunday Meet the Press remarks. McConnell had twice stated that when the president says he’s a Christian, he takes him at his word.  Obviously, McConnell intentionally crafted a string of words to discredit Obama’s Christianity—to communicate doubt about the president’s beliefs.

Despite Matthews’ diatribe against McConnell’s deliberate undermining of Obama, Matthews failed to nail an essential.  He never mentioned that religious affiliation does not matter, that religious choice is protected by the Constitution, that any president of this country could be a Muslim, could be a PASTAfarian, could worship bellybutton lint if he or she chooses.

By the time the guests appeared, the two I tuned in to watch, I was ready to tune out.  Because the fourth estate is so third-rate. And because I’m fed up with the assault on truth we’ve witnessed since the 9/11 attacks, the investigation that really wasn’t, the rabid rhetoric for blood, the Islamophobia, the shock and awe, the killing of men, women, and children, and the destruction of a land’s civilization.

Our “leaders” and mainstream “journalists” stress American exceptionalism, hallowed ground, and sacred sites.  And bigots spew speech that may result in violence.  The New York Police Department confirmed that on Monday a Manhattan cab driver allegedly was stabbed by a passenger who asked if the driver was Muslim.  This attack is disturbing given the climate of Islamophobia generated by those who oppose the Islamic center near Ground Zero.

Our own civilization is lost.  The terrorists should hoist a Mission Accomplished banner.

Missy Beattie lives in Baltimore, Maryland.  Email her at missybeat@gmail.com.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
August 19, 2019
John Davis
The Isle of White: a Tale of the Have-Lots Versus the Have-Nots
John O'Kane
Supreme Nihilism: the El Paso Shooter’s Manifesto
Robert Fisk
If Chinese Tanks Take Hong Kong, Who’ll be Surprised?
Ipek S. Burnett
White Terror: Toni Morrison on the Construct of Racism
Arshad Khan
India’s Mangled Economy
Howard Lisnoff
The Proud Boys Take Over the Streets of Portland, Oregon
Steven Krichbaum
Put an End to the Endless War Inflicted Upon Our National Forests
Cal Winslow
A Brief History of Harlan County, USA
Jim Goodman
Ag Secretary Sonny Perdue is Just Part of a Loathsome Administration
Brian Horejsi
Bears’ Lives Undervalued
Thomas Knapp
Lung Disease Outbreak: First Casualties of the War on Vaping?
Susie Day
Dear Guys Who Got Arrested for Throwing Water on NYPD Cops
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail