Who Are the Real Bigots

August 29, 2010

The same “courageous” activists of the press, who are busy scribbling and babbling their condemnations of American bigotry– quietly censored themselves when it came to standing up for freedom of speech against the cartoon beheaders. Because while they might lie to the public about being afraid of the Tea Party Movement or the Ground Zero Mosque protesters, they can’t lie to themselves. When the door is closed, and the shades are drawn, and it’s just them and their Mac Book Pro, it’s not the Tea Party they’re afraid of. It’s Ahmed and his axe.

In March, the same New York Times which has been going on a tear about any resistance to the Ground Zero Mosque, described the timing of the Huvra rebuilding as “unfortunate” and quoted Muslims who were worried that from certain angles, the synagogue would appear to be taller than some mosque (a no-no for infidels under Islamic law). The LA Times equated the rebuilding of the synagogue with “extremism”. Reuters quoted ominous warnings about the synagogue being part of an effort to “Judaize”, Jerusalem. The media did not angrily condemn Muslims for their intolerance of the rebuilding of an ancient Jewish house of worship. But that is the double standard. And it is part of the reason why people are so upset.

via sultanknish.blogspot.com

In 2001 (the year of 9/11), there were twice as many anti-Jewish incidents [in America] as there were anti-Muslim, according to the FBI. In 2002 and pretty much every year since, anti-Jewish incidents have outstripped anti-Muslim incidents by at least 6 to 1.

Undeterred by facts, these same academics offered spirited defenses of the “moderate” ground zero mosque Imam, Feisal Abdul Rauf — who called America an “accessory” to the 9/11 attacks and said Osama Bin-Laden was “made in the USA”.  What they rarely revealed is that their conception of a Muslim “moderate” is defined on a spectrum utterly alien to their American audience.

The prominent Egyptian sheikh, Yusuf al-Qardawi, sits at the center of the academics’ spectrum.  According to mosque supporter Marc Lynch, associate professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, Qardawi is a practitioner of wastataniyya or “centrism” and “a barometer of Muslim opinion.”  Esposito likewise calls Qardawi a “reformist”.  Rauf says the sheikh is “the most well-known legal authority in the whole Muslim world today.”

The problem: Qardawi, as a “reformist” and exemplar of “centrist” Islam has said, for instance, that “[Hitler] put the Jews in their place,” that homosexuality is an “abominable practice” which warrants the death penalty, and that women should be genitally mutilated to protect their chastity.  Reassurances of Rauf’s moderation ring hollow when this context becomes clear.

Although, according to these academics’ definition of the spectrum of Muslim public opinion, one might expect that only fringe voices in the Islamic world would reject the mosque, in reality such prominent Muslims as Abd al-Rahman al-Rashid, director-general of Al-Arabiya TV, oppose its construction.  As al-Rashid, perhaps one of the best placed sources for analyzing popular opinion in the Arab-Islamic world, said:

I do not think that the majority of Muslims want to build a monument or a place of worship that tomorrow may become a source of pride for the terrorists and their Muslim followers.