August 29, 2010

Hmm, who would have thought that anti-Islamic rhetoric could have bad consequences?

First, we heard about the guy stabbing the Muslim cabbie in NYC. Then we heard about the church in Florida planning a "burn the Koran" day. Now this story about suspected arson on a construction site in Nashville, complete with this lovely quote from a Nashville resident:
"No mosque in Murfreesboro. I don't want it. I don't want them here," Evy Summers told the local CBS affiliate. "Go start their own country overseas somewhere. This is a Christian country. It was based on Christianity."

Wow. Who the hell thought that connecting a cultural center to terrorism simply because both included people who have a connection to Islam could have bad consequences? Who would have thought that when people like Sarah Palin and her amoral colleagues flog this--that some of their less-smart listeners might take this anti-Muslim rhetoric to heart? All of this encouraged by people who pretend to be both Christian and responsible. Greg has a great post on that, including a wonderful takedown of Chuck Colson.

But back to the reality that shouting "hey, all Muslims are somehow responsible for 9-11 even when they explicitly denounce the terrorists" will have bad consequences, Glenn Greenwald has a good take:
"The arsonists undoubtedly will be happy to tell you how much they hate Terrorism. And how there's a War on Christianity underway in the U.S. The harm from these actions are not merely the physical damage they cause, but also the well-grounded fear it imposes on a minority of the American population. If you launch a nationwide, anti-Islamic campaign in Lower Manhattan based on the toxic premise that Muslims generally are responsible for 9/11 -- and spend a decade expanding American wars on one Muslim country after the next -- this is the inevitable, and obviously dangerous, outcome."

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