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Responding to the Toxic Anti-Islamic Fervor Growing in This Nation

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The above is a video message I put together for YouTube. With the growing anti-Islam fervor that has been ratcheting up as a result of people trying to stop a "Ground Zero Mosque" from being built, I wanted to address the people who are trying to confront those who are making this country more dangerous and who are endangering this country's national security by writing a recruiting script for right wing Muslims or Islamists.

The video is around five minutes long and below is an addendum and something to read if you do not have time for a video.

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Protest of Cordoba House in NYC. Protesters carry signs reading things like "No Clubhouse for Jihadists."



So, you've found yourself wondering lately why people are so upset about what is the equivalent of a YMCA center being built near Ground Zero. You wonder how shuffleboard, tennis, swimming, weightlifting, and workouts in a fitness center in some interfaith community center administered by some guy named Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf could lead to stealth jihad and the imposition of Sharia Law on all Americans.

If you're a person who--I don't know--thinks, in the past week you may have chosen to jump start conversation, perhaps through a blog post or weigh into a conversation in the comments thread of an article that already had a vibrant or polarizing conversation going on. You've genuinely tried to get to find some truth about this "controversy" and perhaps reconcile with people's views on the impending "Islamization of America."

By now, you've likely found it's hard to talk to those who are opposed to the "Ground Zero Mosque," as they affectionately term it (and they probably have become fed up with you as well). The problem with reasoning with the opposition is that they are not thinking about this in terms of reality. You can explain to them that the Constitution gives Americans who have Islamic beliefs the right to build all you want, but as a Newsweek slideshow recently posted affirms, they will not think of your argument as something that applies to Muslims in America.

The slideshow, "Dumb Things Americans Believe," explains,
"one in three Americans," according to a 2008 First Amendment Center poll believe "the constitutional right to freedom of religion was never meant to apply to groups most folks think are extreme or fringe--a 10 percent increase from 2000."

Since those leading the charge against the construction of the "mosque" consider Islam to be a political system and not a true religion, since they treat it more like a cult than a religion, the legal argument--the free market property rights argument that they should be receptive to (because let's be honest these people opposed are the same people who clamor into city plazas for Tea Party rallies to protest the socialist takeover of America)--rolls right off them like confetti at a Sarah Palin/Mama Grizzlies celebration.

Newsweek's slideshow comes on the heels of a poll where around one fifth polled suggested it was possible President Obama was a Muslim. Or, as Glenn Beck hints at, he hasn't professed his Christian faith in a manner that would lead one to channel Sinclair Lewis and say, "It can happen here," so he likely is a Muslim a Muslim who has brought change Americans will be forced to submit to and who will make it possible for Islamists to hijack local and state governments with their agenda for Sharia Law and work their way up until they eventually have Cabinet seats and have turned America into a nation for Caliphate advancement.

Other things people believe, which Newsweek details includes: sixty-one percent doubt the theory of evolution, twenty-one percent in witches, forty percent believe in death panels, forty-one percent believed Saddam was linked to 9/11, forty-one percent not sure Judaism older than Christianity, and twenty percent not sure Earth revolves around the Sun.

Recently, those who populate the wiki, Conservapedia, were found to be arguing that the theory of relativity could be proven wrong. The site provided counterexamples, one of the best being: "In Genesis 1:6-8, we are told that one of God's first creations was a firmament in the heavens. This likely refers to the creation of the luminiferous aether." (Rachel Maddow covered this in a segment called the "War on Brains.")

These phantasmagoric beliefs are being spouted by people who believe in God. Does that mean religion needs to be abolished? I don't know, but we have people like this guy who are railing on about a "climate change scam," who likely believe that climate change isn't true because it isn't detailed in the Bible.

Americans, we have an incredible dilemma. Part of our heritage has always involved confronting delusions, and now we have a pressing obligation to find a way to confront this.

A drunk man walked into a mosque in Queens on Wednesday evening and urinated on the prayer rugs. With a beer bottle in his hand, he proceeded to shout anti-Muslim epithets and called worshippers "terrorists."

That's not some creative variation of some "A Guy Walks Into a Bar" joke. Even worse, a Muslim cab driver was stabbed Tuesday and a California mosque was recently desecrated.

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Kevin Gosztola is a writer and curator of Firedoglake's blog The Dissenter, a blog covering civil liberties in the age of technology. He is an editor for OpEdNews.com and a former intern and videographer for The Nation Magazine.And, he's the (more...)
 
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I've been close friends with many Moslem people in... by Elizabeth Hanson on Thursday, Aug 26, 2010 at 11:36:56 PM
Personally, I'm not hip to talking religion on a v... by Margaret Bassett on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:57:09 AM
The actual ' discussion' of Moslem people, the pol... by Mark Sashine on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 12:01:08 PM
I do movies. I mostly deal in the realm of documen... by Kevin Gosztola on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 2:00:39 PM
I think the explanation for what we are seeing may... by Sherwin Steffin on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 1:59:09 PM
Fearing The Other.When you consider people like Ne... by Kevin Gosztola on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 4:40:54 PM
When you say, "I understand howeasy it is to expla... by Sherwin Steffin on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 5:27:14 PM
All so-called "religions" begin as a set of moral ... by Robert Birdwell on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 2:14:21 PM
Respectfully, the " toxic anti Islamic fever" was ... by Miriam Callaghan on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 2:51:34 PM
That's not true. This goes back way before 9/11. S... by Kevin Gosztola on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 4:20:45 PM
Great article Kevin! I am very impressed with your... by Marlene Brown on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 5:42:17 PM
The back ground is so dark can't read the comment,... by witch1 on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 6:35:01 PM
I went in and edited it.... by Kevin Gosztola on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 7:31:33 PM
... by witch1 on Friday, Aug 27, 2010 at 8:26:36 PM