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JUMP BACK | BE FORWARD

It's old news that conservatives enjoy blaming individuals for the behavior of groups. Collective punishment goes back a long way, and there's a pretty straight line to be traced from the folks who said we couldn't give civil rights to black people until every single Negro in America stopped committing crimes to the folks who say that we can't give civil rights to Palestinians until every single Arab in the middle east makes a pledge to support Israel. It's not even news that these same conservatives expect Barack Obama to make a public statement every time an African-American does something controversial; they've been doing that since before he was elected.

However, this is a fun new development: some conservatives are beginning to ask that Cordoba House (the asininely labeled "Ground Zero mosque") be forced to accede to their demands and/or make certain public statements before they are "allowed" to build, just as if the conservatives do or should have any say in the matter whatsoever.

Peter Robinson's 'manifesto' is especially hilarious, demanding as it does that the builders of the center essentially be forced to apologize for every bad thing a Muslim has ever done. He also demands they change the name from Cordoba House to Rumi House, which, given that Rumi was a Sufi, would be like asking a Catholic church to name itself after Brigham Young, and that they refuse to accept any funding from Saudi Arabia, a demand that, as Roy Edroso notes, he has not made of the Bush family.

He goes on to produce the scare-statistic that when Cordoba House is completed, "the United States will have become home to nearly 100 mosques". Why anyone would find this alarming is difficult to understand; given that there are around two and a half million Muslims in America (thus comprising less than 1% of the population), this averages out to about 24,540 people per mosque, hardly evidence of a silent invasion. By contrast, there are over 250,000 Christian churches in the U.S. But Robinson uses this as a springboard for the usual (and erroneous) claim that Christian churches are not allowed in Muslim countries. Even if this were true, which it isn't, it's difficult to discern the point: given that these people are against the building of the mosque, it seems a tad hypocritical for them to condemn other countries for not allowing the building of houses of worship contrary to their own beliefs. But conservatives are past hands at this sort of thing, simultaneously decrying America's permissiveness and championing it as a beacon to the backwards rest of the world; witness their own dislike of women's rights and homosexuality, and their simultaneous condemnation of the Muslim world for its disapproval of women's rights and homosexuality. As usual, they're not condemning anyone based on their actual beliefs, but rather on what color their jerseys are.

Comments

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sabiha_basrai
Aug. 4th, 2010 10:24 pm (UTC)
i really appreciate reading your posts. special thanks for this one.
manningkrull
Aug. 5th, 2010 03:40 am (UTC)
I am drunk and I love Sabiha and I love Leonard.
fengi
Aug. 4th, 2010 10:35 pm (UTC)
Well, consider how very crowded those mosques must be. They will squeeze their Muslims together to form giant Optimus Prime Allahs or something who will then stomp churches into dust.
adam_0oo
Aug. 7th, 2010 04:13 pm (UTC)
You joke, but during Ramadan it really feels like this.
thaitea
Aug. 4th, 2010 10:57 pm (UTC)
I'm still waiting for a "Mea Culpa" for a waiter at a Pakistani restaurant who wasn't as obsequious as he could have been...
faeriemuriel
Aug. 5th, 2010 12:03 am (UTC)
The number of mosques bothers me. I'm in the middle of Georgia, and I live right next to a church with less than 30 members. Not to go on about the worth of small or big churches, but I bet a bunch of American Muslims would love to be in a small tight-knit group, not struggling to find a place to worship..
semibold
Aug. 5th, 2010 02:54 pm (UTC)
It's the color of the jerseys, EXACTLY. As though the religion with the most people or the most buildings wins the Rapture Cup and gets their picture on the Wheaties Box and a Gatorade commercial.

I just wish everyone could agree to participate in the Church of Don't Be An Asshole and be done with it.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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