It seems strange that she should be offended

24 08 2010

I  swear to god, this is my last post on this. . . and I swear to goddess, it won’t be long.

So, does anyone remember when people pundits used to ask ‘Where are the moderate Muslims? Why aren’t any moderate Muslims speaking out against terror?’

(Emily Hauser, over at In My Head, did a fine job of assembling at least some Muslim response to extremism, and in so doing, poking a stick in the eye of gently reminding those same pundits not to confuse their lack of attention for these folks’ lack of effort.)

And now here’s a man, Imam Faisal Abdul Rauf, who has been sponsored by both the Bush and Obama administrations to speak about the United States to Muslim audiences, who has a long history in the United States, who’s a Sufi, who’s praised by Jeffrey Goldberg fer cryin’ out loud!, who steps up and wants to make nice, and how is he treated?

Mm-hmm.

I don’t know this guy, and I don’t know if this center will ever actually be built, and as a non-but-only-very-rarely-anti-religious type who thinks pluralism is nifty, I don’t much care one way or the other if this joint is built. If it is, dandy; if not, okey-doke.

But. As a resident of New York City, as an American citizen, and as adherent to a kind of chastened humanism which sees the kind of hate-based intimidation which has been all-too-prevalent in this so-called debate as a danger to us all, I most definitely care that some among us are cast out out of public life not because of what they do but because of what it is feared that Those People will always and inevitably do.

This hatred diminishes us all, closes us down and corrodes our body politic. Damn those who revel in it.

*Update: Matt Finkelstein has more on the shit thrown at Rauf.

(h/t The Daily Dish)