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)

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Harry Reid is a fucking idiot

16 08 2010

“The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” reads a statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office (D-Nev.). “Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else. . . .”

The fuck this has to do with Reno. . . ?

h/t: Huffington Post (because, as of 9:23pm EST, there is no mention of this statement on Reid’s senate website.)





Right through the very heart of it

3 08 2010

You may have heard: SHARI’AH IS COMING! SHARI’AH IS COMING!

All because a group of New York Muslims want to build a MOSQUE AT GROUND ZERO!

Only it’s not exactly a mosque—tho’ the Cordoba Institute will contain a mosque—and it’s not at the former World Trade Center site.

Still, I wondered just where this vessel of Mohammadean infiltration was—not just on the map, but in terms of the neighborhood.

This is the general area:

Stephen Van Dam, NY@tlas, 1998-2004, 5th ed

And a close-up:

If I had any kind of skillz, I’d be able to put a little doohickey in there to show you exactly where the building is, but you’re smart, you can see that it’s right at the tip of the red arrow on Park Place.

But what does it look like, really?

(Apologies for the poor quality of all shots to follow; I shot these on the fly over my lunch hour with my  point-and-shoot . Click on any of the shots or of the maps to make big. Or at least, visible.)

So here it is: 45-47 Park Place, located between Church and West Broadway, two blocks north of Vesey (which is itself the northern border of the re-construction zone).

I think the above shot is 45, and this one, 47:

Regardless, the building itself was denied landmark status today, which means it can be torn down for the HEADQUARTERS OF JIHAD!

And what else occupies such sacred territory?

To the east:

And to the west:

In short, a bar and a market—the ‘Amish Market’.

Lots of bars and markets in the ‘shadow of Ground Zero’:

SE Corner Washington & Cedar: Indian restaurant; O'Hara's pub a bit south.

NE corner Broadway (in view) & Park Pl

And sundry other shops:

NE Corner Cortlandt & Broadway

Park Place, between Church & Broadway (yes, the OTB is for 'off-track betting')

There are Starbucks and pizza joints, Chinese and Korean and French and Japanese restaurants. . .

Cortlandt, NW corner of Broadway

Trinity Place, at Liberty St

And, of course, let’s not forget this spot, south of Ground Zero:

You know that the Pussycat Lounge isn't a pet store, right? At least, not that kind. . . .

And that lingerie shop? Advertises ‘peep show’ in its window.

Where is this in relation to the site?

See the crane?

This is what you see from the proposed Cordoba Institute site:

This building takes up the south side of Park Place between Church & West Broadway

Not exactly ‘looming over’ Ground Zero.

And dhimmis have their places, too:

St Paul's Chapel, overlooking Church St, bet Vesey & Fulton

Church of St Peter, on SE corner Vesey & Church

Trinity Church, which takes up the block between Broadway, Trinity Pl, Rector & Thames

And the quiet spots:

Portion of the FDNY Memorial Wall, at FDNY Engine 10 Ladder 10, at Greenwich & Liberty

On grounds of Church of St Peter

What does this all mean?

I don’t know. What does it mean to have a department store—Century 21—-adjacent to the site? What does it mean you can buy t-shirts and baseball caps and coffee and pizza and sushi and hot dogs and pretzels and *gasp* halal food around and next to and overlooking the place where almost 3000 people died?

A place in the middle of the largest city of the country, a city which never stops, never sleeps, where people may pause and mourn and reflect—and live.

I have been so tremendously angry at those current- and former- and half-politicians and pundits and alleged civil rights organizations who and which spew fear and loathing, trying to make us afraid and mean and small.

So let me, uncharacteristically, respond to anger with affection, even love:

This is my city; this is New York City.

It is big and  it is tough, but it isn’t mean, and it shouldn’t be small.

Let us be large, let us be mixed-up and loud and jostling and gesturing and Jewish and Muslim and Christian and Hindu and Sikh and Voudou and pagan and heretic and agnostic and atheist and conservative and liberal and radical and apathetic and hustling and napping and dancing and falling down and flirting and singing and praying and chanting and arguing and mourning and laughing and embracing and letting go and everything everything everything that we have always been and always became and always will be.

Let us be all of that and everything more. Let us be New York City.

And I’ll refrain from telling the loathsome lot of you to fuck off. Even though that’s a New York thing to do, too.





No comment

10 04 2010

From Brian Fisher at the American Family Association’s Focal Point blog:

First, the most compassionate thing we can do for Americans is to bring a halt to the immigration of Muslims into the U.S. This will protect our national security and preserve our national identity, culture, ideals and values. Muslims, by custom and religion, are simply unwilling to integrate into cultures with Western values and it is folly to pretend otherwise. In fact, they remain dedicated to subjecting all of America to sharia law and are working ceaselessly until that day of Islamic imposition comes.

The most compassionate thing we can do for Muslims who have already immigrated here is to help repatriate them back to Muslim countries, where they can live in a culture which shares their values, a place where they can once again be at home, surrounded by people who cherish their deeply held ideals. Why force them to chafe against the freedom, liberty and civil rights we cherish in the West?

In other words, simple Judeo-Christian compassion dictates a restriction and repatriation policy with regard to Muslim immigration into the U.S.

I may need something stronger than ‘No comment’. . . .

h/t: ChristianityToday





Pat-pat, good dog

26 01 2010

So as not merely to pick on the religious folk:

France Should Ban Muslim Face Veils – Panel

From today’s NY Times:

By Tom Heneghan, Religion Editor

PARIS (Reuters) – France’s National Assembly should pass a resolution denouncing full Muslim face veils and then vote the strictest law possible to ban women from wearing them, a parliamentary commission proposed on Tuesday.

Presenting conclusions after six months of hearings, the panel also suggested barring foreign women from obtaining French visas or citizenship if they insisted on veiling their faces.

But it could not agree whether to opt for an absolute ban on the veils, known here as burqas or niqabs, or one restricted to public buildings because some members thought a total ban would be unconstitutional.

“The full veil represents in an extraordinary way everything that France spontaneously rejects,” National Assembly President Bernard Accoyer said as the commission delivered its report.

“It’s a symbol of the subjugation of women and the banner of extremist fundamentalism.”

Okay, so let’s look at those commission members: Andre Guerin, communist deputy, headed the commission; Eric Raoult, conservative deputy, was vice chair. Socialist members of the commission, protesting the entanglement of this issue with a debate on national identity, boycotted the final vote.

Jean-Francois Cope, a member of President Nicolas Sarkozy’s  conservative Union for a Popular Movement party, has introduced a bill banning full covering (i.e., the burka and the niqab) in public; it’s been signed by 180 members of the 315-member body.

Supporters of a ban say civil servants need a law to allow them to turn away fully veiled women who cannot be identified when they seek municipal services such as medical care, child support or public transport. (NY Times)

Now, I haven’t been able to find out who exactly sat on this commission, but does anyone else notice who is championing efforts to restrict the movement of liberate the estimated 1900 Muslim women who cover themselves fully?

I assume they’ll get right on regulating the bodies of men legislation to ban facial hair from men.

In the name of freedom. Of course.