"I love Muslims,” says Pam Geller, a notorious right-wing blogger, “but the Ground Zero mosque is an offensive insult and a stab in the eye.”
That’s curious. Glenn Beck, who most likely also loves Muslims, has called the mosque proposal a “slap in the face.”
Which is it?
Beck even said, “Any attempt to describe it as something other than a slap in the face is another slap in the face.”
Did you see that? Pam Gellar slapped Glenn Beck in the face! And all of America, too!
The blasted thing hasn’t even been built yet, and we already look like we’re married to Mel Gibson.
But we still love those Muslims, gosh-darn it! Love them right to death!
A lot of conservatives will twist themselves into knots trying to show that they’re not bigoted. In fact, a simple analysis of recent news shows that they simply don’t know what bigotry is.
Try this thought experiment: Suppose you have a jerk for a neighbor. He plays loud music at all hours, lets his dog poop on your lawn, sets fire to your car, whatever. He also happens to be Mormon.
Fortunately for you, the man’s job gets transferred, and he has to move out of state. But you learn that the person who wants to buy his house, coincidentally, is also Mormon. What is your reaction?
Well, if you’ve got any brains in your head, you know there are lots of Mormons in the world, and most of them are not feces-distributing arsonists. So you shrug it off and hope for the best.
If you don’t apply the same standard to Muslims, and instead trump up reasons to treat them differently, you are a bigot.
Witness Beck, who claimed on his August 4 show that Islam is a religion that “is saying we should blow people up.”
Glenn, buddy: Roughly 1.2 billion people (roughly ¼ of the world population) follow Islam. If even half of them were terrorists, or America-hating terrorist sympathizers, all corners of the globe would have seen an apocalyptic bloodbath long before now.
Or, Witness Gellar, who started the American Freedom Defense Initiative (interesting name, I thought that’s what the military was for):
“There is an Islamic history of building triumphant mosques on conquered lands…. We know the imam in charge of this has been dishonest about the funding. He's tied to terrorism."
That analysis would make sense, except that a blind baboon could find the holes in it:
1. We have not actually been conquered. The stated aim of al-Qaida and the 9/11 hijackers was to destroy our way of life. Though our economy has stumbled a little of late, you can still get 118 different varieties of barbecue sauce at the grocery store, see plenty of porn for free on the Internet, and sue the government for not respecting your Satanist rituals during your incarceration. Way to not even come close to accomplishing your mission, Mr. bin Laden.
2. To say the people behind this mosque are “tied to terrorism” is pretty vague and misleading. You could use the same logic to argue that the members of your local Catholic parish are “tied to child molestation.”
If you’re truly not a bigot, your attitude should be: Let them build a mosque 2 blocks from Ground Zero. So what? It doesn’t prove anything, other than that we are still the greatest and most tolerant nation in the history of the Earth.
Chuck McKay is a Maine freelance writer, teacher, and a Threat to Our Cherished Way of Life. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.