Finally!


I have to give props to Max Blumenthal who wrote an excellent piece detailing the Islamophobia sweeping America today, its origins and progenitors and I think he nailed it.  I don’t think you will read writing with this much clarity from many people today so I strongly urge you to go to the link above to read the entire essay.  A brief excerpt appears below

 

Erupting so many years after the September 11th trauma, this spasm of anti-Muslim bigotry might seem oddly timed and unexpectedly spontaneous. But think again: it’s the fruit of an organized, long-term campaign by a tight confederation of right-wing activists and operatives who first focused on Islamophobia soon after the September 11th attacks, but only attained critical mass during the Obama era. It was then that embittered conservative forces, voted out of power in 2008, sought with remarkable success to leverage cultural resentment into political and partisan gain.

This network is obsessively fixated on the supposed spread of Muslim influence in America. Its apparatus spans continents, extending from Tea Party activists here to the European far right. It brings together in common cause right-wing ultra-Zionists, Christian evangelicals, and racist British soccer hooligans. It reflects an aggressively pro-Israel sensibility, with its key figures venerating the Jewish state as a Middle Eastern Fort Apache on the front lines of the Global War on Terror and urging the U.S. and various European powers to emulate its heavy-handed methods.

Little of recent American Islamophobia (with a strong emphasis on the “phobia”) is sheer happenstance. Years before Tea Party shock troops massed for angry protests outside the proposed site of an Islamic community center in lower Manhattan, representatives of the Israel lobby and the Jewish-American establishment launched a campaign against pro-Palestinian campus activism that would prove a seedbed for everything to come. That campaign quickly — and perhaps predictably — morphed into a series of crusades against mosques and Islamic schools which, in turn, attracted an assortment of shady but exceptionally energetic militants into the network’s ranks…..

It was evident from the involvement of figures like Gravers and Spencer that the Islamophobic network in the United States represented a trans-Atlantic expansion of simmering resentment in Europe. There, the far-right was storming to victories in parliamentary elections across the continent in part by appealing to the simmering anti-Muslim sentiments of voters in rural and working-class communities. The extent of the collaboration between European and American Islamophobes has only continued to grow with Geller, Spencer, and even Gingrich standing beside Europe’s most prominent anti-Muslim figure, Dutch parliamentarian Geert Wilders, at a rally against Cordoba House. In the meantime, Geller was issuing statements of support for the English Defense League, a band of unreconstructed neo-Nazis and former members of the whites-only British National Party who intimidate Muslims in the streets of cities like Birmingham and London.

In addition, the trans-Atlantic Islamophobic crusade has stretched into Israel, a country that has come to symbolize the network’s fight against the Muslim menace. As Geller told the New York Times’ Alan Feuer, Israel is “a very good guide because, like I said, in the war between the civilized man and the savage, you side with the civilized man.”

 

Al-qaidah could only dream of being as trans global as the Islamophobic movement now charging across political landscapes worldwide.  Blumenthal’s article puts a name and a face to the major players and discredits everyone.  He points out how some of what motivates these ‘phobes is boredom, and greed, bringing to mind many time in my youth when were told not only is money the root of all evil, but that an idle mind is the devil’s workshop.  Lots of idle minds within the racist ‘phobe community have made it a commune, caustic and for now too relevant.

Stewart To GOP: No More Using 9/11 For Political Gain Until First Responders Bill Is Passed (VIDEO)


Vodpod videos no longer available.

I applaud Jon Stewart for  his political activism at a time when it seems neither the people we elected or the media have the fortitude to say the same things or expose the same distortions as done by Stewart.  It speaks volumes about how many have forfeited their responsibility to bring honest debate to the issues and not demagogue or bumper sticker them in sound bites.

The issue of what has happened to 911 first responders is just such an issue that politicians cannot point the fingers of blame and have instead chosen to do absolutely nothing at all leaving many of those who worked in the days and months after 911 to deal with debilitating diseases and death while a once grateful nation forgot them.  Politicians, who have been besieged with requests for help seem to have forgotten them too and there is only Jon Stewart to remind us of them?

Where is the outrage that gave birth to the tea party factions nationwide?  Where is the call to action that inspires member of Congress to  investigate average everyday citizens because of their religion, to do something for those who are still fighting today what happened to us nine years ago.  Our priorities are so distorted that congressmen can talk just weeks after elections about forming committees but can’t pass bills that have been discussed, debated, written and re-written for months?  This is today’s  America.

 

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GOP=Government Oppressive Prosecution



The GOP is the next thing to America’s march on towards a Gestapo.  Inspite of the fact talking heads like to tie the GOP to the Lincoln administration of the 19th century, it more closely resembles the McCarthyism of the 20th century in its approach to citizenship and social issues.  Nothing more clearly underscores that fact than this story.  Peter King, republican from New York,  is a demagogue from way back; you can read about some of his more fascist thoughts here and here.  He’s a throwback to his American predecessors, Joe McCarthy, George Wallace, and my favorite Jesse Helms and takes America back to a time when it was asked to fight in a war abroad against Germans who said and did the same kind of things King wants to do.  Notice how he even wants to break the Constitution to do it, i.e. establish a state religion and officially denigrate or delegitimize another.  Moreover, what’s this constant raising and lowering the bar that Islamophobes do?  Since when did good citizenship mean being a spy on your fellow congregants at your house of worship?  Does government demand all Catholics turn in abusive priests to the feds, or that Jewish worshipers turn in any junk bond dealer or swindler who might be robbing pension funds dry and that doing less than that means they should come under the scrutiny of the federal government, and it’s not that Muslims haven’t responded to calls for good citizenship.  The latest bomber exposed by the FBI on the west coast was first turned in to law officials by his own father….and he was ignored.  The 2009 Christmas bomber too was turned in by his dad…to no avail.  It seems scoring points only happens when the authorities play the game and not when citizens participate.  But what it does do is insure King will  be re-elected in two years from now when people will be demanding to hold the GOP responsible for the continuing economic fiasco to result due to their policies which began with the tax cut extension.

America tends to elect people who are not the least bit concerned with her interests, but only their own.  King, Gingrich, Palin, McConnell, Boehner, Cantor, et.al are all opportunists who are willing to sacrifice the good of the country to their own priorities of personal fortune and ego.  We elect them every year and this past election cycle ended with them increasing their wealth, through tax cuts and pitting the federal government against a religious minority which has until now been a peaceful and cooperative partner in good citizenship.  We get what we deserve.

Old News, or a ‘I told you so’ moment


Search for transplant here at Miscellany101 and you’ll see several references to stories similar to this news, stretching back a year or more. In some ways it explains Israel’s blood lust….shooting people is a way to harvest organs, especially a well placed head shot.

Israel has admitted that in the 1990s, its forensic pathologists harvested organs from dead bodies, including Palestinians, without the permission of families.The issue emerged with the publication of an interview with the then-head of Israel’s Abu Kabir forensic institute, Dr. Jehuda Hiss. The interview was conducted in 2000 by an American academic, who released it because of a huge controversy last summer over an allegation by a Swedish newspaper that Israel was killing Palestinians in order to harvest their organs. Israel hotly denied the charge.

Parts of the interview were broadcast on Israel’s Channel 2 TV over the weekend. In it, Dr. Hiss said, “We started to harvest corneas … . Whatever was done was highly informal. No permission was asked from the family.”

 

No accountability for the Israeli government…it was all informal, and Hiss is no longer in a position of authority will be the official party line, but they’ve already been caught in one lie, so don’t believe the next one that comes out.

 

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Israel brings its racism to America’s shores


A pox on both the American and Israeli houses really for accepting the Israeli condition that no Muslim workers employed at the Mandarin Oriental hotel in Washington,DC  be allowed to assume their regular responsibilities while an Israeli delegation roomed there earlier this month.  The regime in Israel is quite clearly racist in its attitude towards Arabs and especially Palestinians, of any religious persuasion it should be noted, but the fact that America has bankrolled Israel and legimitized it’s racism with huge amounts of cash….subsidizes it’s racism would be a more accurate depiction, does not mean that such overt racism should be accepted towards Americans here in America.  The fact that it is reveals just how deep and intrinsic racism still is in America.  No manager of any hotel chain should have passed along the demand that a co-worker would not be allowed to perform his jobs because of ethnic or racial prejudice but not only was a Mandarin Oriental hotel manager able to give that command with a straight face  but then used it against Muslim employees as a form of racial harassment and intimidation.  While America may not be able to get at an Israeli delegation for their racism, job place racism in America  is illegal, and all involved at the Mandarin should be fired.

But it shouldn’t stop there.  It’s clear Israel has a willing partner in the Mandarin with its racism, so any and all who oppose racism and bigotry should refrain from booking or using the Mandarin Oriental chain any further, or as long as it hosts luminaries like the Israelis who make illegal demands on the establishment.  If the Mandarin isn’t willing to send a clear signal to the Israelis that it won’t tolerate its racist practices, then the public, companies and corporations should in no uncertain terms, let it be known it will not tolerate the bastardization of American law with Israel’s mythology. And less you think it was all about security as the smokescreen that’s now being erected points too, one of the Muslims told not to do t heir job, previously worked in and around the President of the United States, George Bush.  Are the Israelis better than him, or more worthy of protection?

And finally, I get a kick out of how people who manage to escape the arrows of racism feel comfortable somehow that they are not an intended target.  If a group from Saudi Arabia were to demand that no Jewish employees of any hotel, mall or hospital come into contact with Saudi royalty there would be banner headlines bigger than ones Miscellany101 could generate here demanding federal government reprisals against a client state so outrageous in its demands while pocketing billions of dollars in US  military hardware and largess.  No such hue and cry has risen in this case.   Racism is like cancer, once it starts in one part of the body, left unchecked it affects all of the body devouring its host quickly and methodically.  The purveyors of racism are equally methodical.  So the next several times when the Israelis come to town and make their racist demands about Muslims and non-Muslims feel smug that such things won’t be said to or about them, remember the cancer analogy for it won’t be long when an Israeli team will come to town and demand only Jewish employees of this or that place establishment be allowed to work with them, and what will we do then?   Boycott the Mandarin Oriental hotel chain all good people of faith and citizenship.

 

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Obama’s Hit List


I read this very interesting article that asserts President Obama is going down the same onerous road as his predecessor in dispensing justice to perceived enemies of the state…..at the expense of breaking the law and further endangering the national security as well as the national psyche.  What is the matter with America that she has become afraid of people, not nations mind you, but individual people, that it makes her break her own laws as well as the laws she has agreed with the international community upon for decades?!?

The Obama administration now claims a right to kill American citizens without trial, without notice, and without any chance for the marked men or women to object legally. The Bush administration’s “targeted killing” program has been radically expanded to include Americans far from any war zone. Director of National Intelligence Dennis Blair testified earlier this year that the targeting-to-kill decision depends only on “whether that American is involved in a group that is trying to attack us.”

The poster boy for the targeted killing program is Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who is reportedly in Yemen. The Obama administration touts allegations that al-Awlaki helped spark the slaughter at Ford Hood, Texas, inspired the attempt to destroy a jetliner on Christmas Day 2009, and has done other dastardly things that the government has not yet disclosed (for our own good, of course). Al-Awlaki might well be a four-star bastard, but government press releases and background briefings have not previously been sufficient to justify capital punishment.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to compel Uncle Sam “to disclose the legal standard it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists.” The Obama administration has responded by invoking the doctrine of state secrets, effectively claiming that national security demands that these policies be kept hidden. By hiding behind state secrets, the feds don’t even have to explain why the law doesn’t apply to their actions.

In oral arguments in federal court on Nov. 9, Justice Department attorney Douglas Letter asserted that no judge has authority to be “looking over the shoulder” of the Obama administration’s targeted-killing program. Letter declared that the program involves “the very core powers of the president as commander-in-chief.” When Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008, entitling the president to kill Americans without trial was not one of the reforms he promised.

The Obama administration has decided to pursue a Bush administration policy of extra-judicial punishment for individuals anywhere in the world, even American citizens, and claim no one has the right to oversight.  It is an extraordinary position to take on the heels of an administration whose party was soundly defeated in the presidential elections in part one may argue for just such a disregard for law and the rights of US citizens.  There has been no hue and cry on the part of the people for their president to undertake this action, so why does he feel the need to do so?

The Obama administration’s position “would allow the executive unreviewable authority to target and kill any U.S. citizen it deems a suspect of terrorism anywhere,” according to Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Pardiss Kebriae. And the feds have a horrible batting average when it comes to accurately identifying terrorist suspects. In the six weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government rounded up 1,200 people as suspected terrorists or terrorist supporters. None of the detainees proved to have links to the attacks. And as the ACLU noted earlier this year, “the government has failed to prove the lawfulness of imprisoning individual Guantanamo detainees in 34 of the 48 cases that have been reviewed by the federal courts thus far, even though the government had years to gather and analyze evidence for those cases and had itself determined that those prisoners were detainable.”

It’s clear to this viewer that the Obama approach to the war on terror, is  just as pernicious as Bush.  In fact it is a continuation of the former President’s policy at at time when the “threat” level is not as imminent as it was after 911 all the inaccurate and misleading press propaganda to the contrary.  What we are witnessing is the way in which government works; it’s march towards diminution of citizen rights is gradual, slow, deceptive and relentless.  New faces have little to do with changing the progress of government’s march toward this goal.  Obama isn’t ‘change we can believe in’, he’s more of the same.

 

The poster boy for the targeted killing program is Anwar al-Awlaki, an American-born Muslim cleric who is reportedly in Yemen. The Obama administration touts allegations that al-Awlaki helped spark the slaughter at Ford Hood, Texas, inspired the attempt to destroy a jetliner on Christmas Day 2009, and has done other dastardly things that the government has not yet disclosed (for our own good, of course). Al-Awlaki might well be a four-star bastard, but government press releases and background briefings have not previously been sufficient to justify capital punishment.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing to compel Uncle Sam “to disclose the legal standard it uses to place U.S. citizens on government kill lists.” The Obama administration has responded by invoking the doctrine of state secrets, effectively claiming that national security demands that these policies be kept hidden. By hiding behind state secrets, the feds don’t even have to explain why the law doesn’t apply to their actions.

In oral arguments in federal court on Nov. 9, Justice Department attorney Douglas Letter asserted that no judge has authority to be “looking over the shoulder” of the Obama administration’s targeted-killing program. Letter declared that the program involves “the very core powers of the president as commander-in-chief.” When Obama campaigned for the presidency in 2008, entitling the president to kill Americans without trial was not one of the reforms he promised.

The main difference between the Bush administration and the Obama administration is that the Obama team publicly claims a right to do what Bush’s lawyers authorized behind closed doors. Steven Bradbury, head of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel, told the Senate Intelligence Committee in early 2006 that Bush could order killings of suspected terrorists within the United States. When Newsweek contacted the Justice Department to verify this novel legal doctrine, spokeswoman Tasia Scolinos stressed that Bradbury’s comments occurred during an “off-the-record briefing.” Newsweek’s report generated no media stir. Apparently, unless the government disclosed that it had actually begun assassinations within the United States, it was a non-story.

An article by Charlie Savage in the New York Times in mid-September noted that “There is widespread agreement among the administration’s legal team that it is lawful for President Obama to authorize the killing of someone like Mr. Awlaki.”

It is comforting to know that top political appointees concur that some “law” gives them the right to assassinate Americans. But this is the same “legal” standard the Bush team used to justify torture. Since Bush’s lawyers told him that waterboarding wasn’t torture—despite a hundred years of U.S. court decisions to the contrary—the president was blameless, or so he recently claimed to NBC’s Matt Lauer.

There are other ominous parallels with the worst abuses of the Bush administration. When Bush decreed in November 2001 that he had the authority perpetually to detain anyone as an enemy combatant, based solely on his own assertion, administration defenders rushed to assure the media that the new policy did not apply to Americans or inside the United States. Seven months later, after José Padilla was arrested in Chicago and labeled an enemy combatant, the administration acted as if only fools would believe the president would not use his boundless power any way he could.

Similarly, Obama’s power grab has not spurred much opposition, perhaps in part because it is assumed to apply only to killing Americans abroad. (Hopefully farther away than Niagara Falls, Canada.) But the basis of the policy is that the entire world is a battlefield, thus the president has unlimited “commander in chief” powers everywhere.

Once the principle is accepted that the U.S. government can label Americans as enemies of the state and kill them without judicial nicety, the bureaucratic wish list of targets will continually expand. A similar metamorphosis occurred when the FBI decided to use illegal powers to target people who garnered official displeasure. Nixon White House aide Tom Charles Huston explained that the FBI’s COINTELPRO program continually stretched its target list “from the kid with a bomb to the kid with a picket sign, and from the kid with the picket sign to the kid with the bumper sticker of the opposing candidate. And you just keep going down the line.”

Blank checks for killing enemies of the state is the recipe for domestic tranquility that most dictatorships have used throughout history. And apparently this is a standard that many Americans might embrace. Some movement conservatives—such as columnist Jonah Goldberg—are already whooping for the U.S. government to assassinate people such as Wikileaks founder Julian Assange. Should the government be entitled to kill anyone who exposes its lies? Or should the standard be broader, permitting governments to kill anyone who is inconvenient?

The Obama administration’s position “would allow the executive unreviewable authority to target and kill any U.S. citizen it deems a suspect of terrorism anywhere,” according to Center for Constitutional Rights attorney Pardiss Kebriae. And the feds have a horrible batting average when it comes to accurately identifying terrorist suspects. In the six weeks after the 9/11 attacks, the U.S. government rounded up 1,200 people as suspected terrorists or terrorist supporters. None of the detainees proved to have links to the attacks. And as the ACLU noted earlier this year, “the government has failed to prove the lawfulness of imprisoning individual Guantanamo detainees in 34 of the 48 cases that have been reviewed by the federal courts thus far, even though the government had years to gather and analyze evidence for those cases and had itself determined that those prisoners were detainable.”

In fact, debacles over false charges against Gitmo detainees may have spurred the expansion of the targeted-killing program. Dead men file no appeals. Assassinations could be less embarrassing than trials because most of the American media will roll over and permit the government to blacken its victims however it pleases. As long as officials, speaking anonymously, assure reporters that the deceased were bad people, the story is closed.

The Food and Drug Administration recently proposed far more graphic warning labels for cigarette packages. But while the feds are demanding extraordinary measures to inform people about private risks, nothing is being done to warn people of the health risks of an unleashed Leviathan.

What sort of warning labels would be appropriate for Obama’s killing program? A picture of a sniper’s crosshairs on a mother holding a baby in her cabin door, à la Vicki Weaver? A picture of young demonstrators lying dead on the ground after a National Guard volley, à la Kent State? A picture of children lolling in the streets moments before they are obliterated, courtesy of the helicopter gun-sight video from the Wiki-Leaked “Collateral Murder” recording made by the U.S. military in Iraq?

If Obama gets away with this power-grab, the rhetoric for the 2012 race for the White House should be retuned. Instead of listening to candidates compete based on the number of new benefits they promise to lavish upon voters, prudent citizens will focus on which presidential candidate seems least likely to kill them or members or their family. We might hear campaign slogans like “Vote for Smith: he won’t have you killed unless all of his top advisers agree you deserve to die.” Unfortunately, as with other campaign promises, there will be no way for voters to compel politicians to honor their pledges.

Obama’s doctrine enabling the targeted killing of American citizens is at least as much an assassination of the Constitution as anything George W. Bush perpetrated. Yet most of the media has ignored the issue or treated it like an arcane legal dispute of interest only to people in desert hideaways 6,000 miles away. The more power the government has seized, the more craven the media has become.

Thanks to sovereign immunity and cowardly judges, it is unlikely that any Obama administration official will be held liable, regardless of whom the U.S. government slays. Americans have had plenty of warnings that the federal government is destroying the leashes the Founding Fathers created. Once it is accepted that the executive branch is entitled to kill Americans without a trial, only damn fools should expect Leviathan to limit its ravages here and abroad.

James Bovard is the author of Attention Deficit Democracy.

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15 Responses to “Assassin Nation”

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by AmericanConservative, Roy F. Moore. Roy F. Moore said: RT @amconmag: James Bovard | Assassin Nation | http://bit.ly/gz0Wqu […]

  2. hahahahaha….this is your tide American Conservative, Obama’s just riding it. Where were you when Bush & Co. created this mess? Cheerleading. This is not Obama’s policy, it’s Bush’s and years ago when this was first raised as an issue you folks were calling such critics traitors.

    If Obama tried to loosen the efforts against Terrorism(TM) you would be calling him traitor. This article is rich with hypocrisy.

  3. The American Conservative was an early critic of the Bush administration and the war. Don’t confuse these folks with the National Review.

  4. […] today from the January issue of American Conservative […]

  5. river c. should read The Bush Betrayal written by the author of this article.

  6. good to see once again the Kenyan King walking in the very same foot steps of his predecessors, bashing Bush then doing likewise and more

  7. […] of Attention Deficit Democracy, discusses the Obama administration’s claim that they have the right to kill American citizens without a trial, without notice, and without any chance for targets to legally object; the […]

  8. @River C… Why don’t you ask TAC why they came out against invading Iraq while the NYTs was publishing neo-con propaganda day after day? Maybe you should ask why the refused to endorse Bush in 2004 while the NYTs was sitting on the story of Bush spying on US citizens as to not hur his chances of re-election?

    Oh, I know why you don’t ask because you’re an idiot (as your comment demonstrated). In fact, you Obama supporters are exactly the same as Bush supporters. It’s uncanny how similar the Obama apologists are to the Bush apologists. Go worship the state so more.

  9. “No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. . .” US Constitiution, 5th amendment.

    What part of that don’t people understand?

    If someone is actually in the act of perpetrating violence against American citizens, then the police or military have an exemption, but that’s all.

    You would think that a guy who has taught constitutional law might have known about this. . .

  10. Hasn’t anyone here seen a ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive’ poster?

    American governments have been paying for the killing of Americans without a trial well before Obama was born (wherever that was)

    Just ask John Dillinger.

  11. Whatever the TAC has been doing all these years, Bovard has been a tireless critic of empire and chronicler of its consequences, through several administrations, and all the more energetically in recent times with Presidents GW Bush and Obama.

    The “where were you when Bush was doing it” whine is getting very tiresome. It identifies clueless partisans, making it all the easier to dismiss their boiler-plate bleating. We should instead ask the kool-aid drinking duckspeakers, “where were you when courageous people like Bovard were speaking out and being called ‘unpatriotic’ and even ‘treasonous’?” The river c’s of the world come very late to the party, then criticize the host for the crowding.

  12. Stefan, don’t be fooled. No person allowed to run for office gives a damn about the Constitution anymore. We don’t have a Constitutional Republic anymore; we have a dictatorship masquerading as a democracy. No candidate who believes that they should be governed by the Constitution will be allowed to run. They will be weeded out long before we even hear of them. Both parties are in on this. We will not see a patriot run for high office in this country again.

  13. OK, Stefan Stackhouse knows her constitution, ‘..“No person shall . . . be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law. . .” US Constitiution, 5th amendment.

    If they can authorize the killing of each of us then they can authorize the killing of our family members as other dictators have done.

    Need to read this new book just out about Americans who actually take a stand against tyranny (based in part on real people & events). It’s a thriller so I recommend it.

    http://www.booksbyoliver.com

    This is tyranny & way beyond what the TSA is doing at airports. No one would have ever thought this could happen in America. Great article, James

  14. Frank,

    Although your other points are well taken, you are guilty of the same type of thoughtless jumping to conclusions as river c. who is obviously ignorant of what TAC is. What part of his comment led you to conclude that he is an “Obama supporter”? He may or may not be. Why is it necessary to hurl insults? River c.’s ignorance will be obvious to the vast majority who read this. Correction and guidance without insult as per Anonymous and Tom Blanton is much more helpful.

  15. This is only possible thanks to George W Bush who rescinded habeus corpus. My pointing this out is in no way an endorsement of Obama. I am merely pointing out the historical facts. Without the Bush Junta’s idiotic reign, the excesses of the Obama plague would not have been possible, or even really imaginable.

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Separation of Church and State- A Resounding Yes!


The US is awash in people who are mistaken in the belief that America was founded as a Christian nation, some even saying the Judeo-Christian ethic is the standard by which the country governs and conducts itself to the exclusion of other faiths.  We’ve written about that here a time or two and demonstrated that nothing could be further from the truth.  A more recent article affirms that and can be found here.

Not once does the U.S. Constitution or any of its amendments use the words Christian or Christianity. The only times the word religion is used in the Constitution is in the prohibition of a religious test to run for public office and in the First Amendment, forbidding any limits on the free practice of religion.

Yet 53 percent of Americans believe the United States was established as a Christian nation.

Today’s misconception about the United States as a Christian nation, of course, is not the only example of Americans failing to live up to the founding ideals.

The Baptists and the Quakers suffered severe persecution in Colonial days. The Roman Catholics and Mormons were the targets of persecution in the 19th Century, and the Jehovah Witnesses and Christian Scientists were demonized in the 20th Century. The bias against Muslims has become the challenge of the 21st century.

 

It’s clear the argument that America is a Christian nation is a means by which people can deny those who don’t fall under the appellation “Christian” their God given right to live in peace in America.  In an earlier post we’ve shown how the “Christian” disease can spread and engulf victims that were once considered a part of the Judeo-Christian ethic further underscoring the destructive nature of the argument.  America has always been a place where people who valued freedom of expression settled to live peacefully and even at times tumultuously with their neighbors, without fear of being denied the freedoms they cherished without due process.  That should not change in today’s climate, all the race-baiting and homophobic clamoring to the contrary.  America is a Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, Hindu, Wicca, atheist nation united by a rule of law that says any expression is allowed and cannot be limited, censored, altered by the State.  Leave it at that America; don’t tread on the rights of any of your Citizens!

What if this were news about a Muslim?


Loonwatch. com does an excellent job pointing out the hypocritical nature of today’s news when it comes to reporting on issues of national and international  importance and any reader of Miscellany101, should visit that site regularly to get the latest example of a press obsessed with Islamic/Muslim violence that at the same time turns a blind eye and deaf ear to acts of violence committed by almost everyone else.  I must admit, this first news story I got from that site here, where the press is excoriated by Loonwatch, and justifiably so, for the double standard articles like this receive from media  intent on magnifying, mentioning, impugning and declaring guilty, every person mentioned on its pages or in its airwaves with an Arabic sounding name.

Along comes the largest cache of arms found on a private citizen’s property in the history of America and there is not one inference made to any group except al-Qaida, even when the perpetrator of the crime is a Serbian national bank robber!  The lengths the press goes to identify anyone anywhere with anything to do with Islam and terror, no matter how tangential the link is mental ambidexterity no contortionist could master.  George Djura Jakubec had PETN, a plastic explosive that’s been around since at least the second world war, used by people all over the world and even in some cases medicinally, but that fact is forgotten, or conveniently reduced to only one group of people who use it, that being al-Qaida. Of course no one has called for him to be imprisoned in Guantanamo Bay or waterboarded to see if he belongs to an even larger plot to terrorize America, because he’s not Muslim, and therefore couldn’t possibly be a terrorist.  We’ve even heard the common refrain, ‘he’s mentally unstable’ be the reason why he’s amassed such a large quantity of explosives in his home since only Muslims intentionally commit acts of terrorism, and everyone else just does so because of some kind of diminished mental capacity, and are therefore not responsible.

The other bit of news I found extraordinary is this. We’ve read about the importance of secularism in Europe but this is going too far.  Menstruating women being discriminated against in the workplace by their employers is enough to make any recoil in disgust in the 21st century, but evidently not enough for some people in Norway.  That this is being done by more than one employer yet hasn’t made its way in banner headlines across every newspaper in the world, prompting all the world’s super powers to enact sanctions against Norway and anything it produces because of the terrible way it treats its female employers; that there aren’t plane loads of soldiers sitting on tarmacs on every US military base, ready to take off at a second’s notice to invade and overthrow the Norwegian government and liberate their working women (one of the excuses made for the invasion of Afghanistan); that  a boycott hasn’t been called against Norway’s Nokia telecommunications, can only mean that some people, classes, ethnicities are allowed to denigrate and oppress their people (are you listening France) in a way that others can’t.   Political correctness does exist among members of the media and it’s a edge that cuts both ways.  The right isn’t the only group that can claim it cuts them and Muslims are as much its victim as its beneficiary.

The racist nature of right wing opposition


We’ve said here repeatedly the opposition to Obama based on birth or his supposed adherence to Islam, and the Islamophobia sweeping the country is a continuation of the  disease of racism that has afflicted this country since its inception.  In the case of the citizens of Oklahoma it has forced them to take extraordinary and illegal measures that have forced even some jurists to sit up and  take notice and one in particular U.S. District Judge Vicki Miles-LaGrange,pictured right,  to block a law that was approved by Oklahomans.   In that state for now it is not recognizing sharia law, as they put it, but it will most certainly extend to not recognizing or giving Muslim citizens their rights and due protection under the law as Islamophobes argue if shariah law is a part of Muslim daily life, and therefore not allowed, then neither should its adherents.

But before you guffaw that prospect comes this bit of news that is as repulsive as the Okhlahoma example.  In what could only be called an act of  racist cannabalism,  a Texas Christian Republican is campaigning to replace his Republican Jewish colleague as speaker of the Texas state legislature  because said Jewish representative is not Christian, and therefore not capable of doing as good a job as any Christian.  I have not seen or heard any Texas “Christian”,  the former President of the United States included, speak out against or repudiate such clear and blatant racism, like the common request made on Muslims by Islamophobes to speak out terrorism. Yet such rationale borders on the same absurdity as the Oklahoma state question on sharia law, because in many ways it is trying to enforce a state religion, something clearly prohibited by the US Constitution.    Moreover, it shows how grim and bare the notions of many people are who oppose the presence of different groups in America.  If Muslims and their places of worship and Jewish representatives in state government are conflated as objects of derision, scorn and opposition by people on the right, how much longer will it before people of color are too?  We’ve already seen anti-immigration measures in places like Arizona take firm hold in the national discourse, and there are even rumblings from those on the right that only property holders should be eligible to vote…..harking back to the days of 18th century America.  That there are people who want to go back to that era, seeing a return to it as something noteworthy is beyond explanation or reason, but such are the people driving anti-sharia movements and mosque opposition across the country.  Their snake oil salemen, carpet baggers travel the country inciting people to fear and distrust their fellow citizens because of creed; race, color and gender will be soon to follow.  This is where we are in 21st century America.  It is not an enviable place to be.

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