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Rufus F.

Rufus is an American curmudgeon in Canada. He has a PhD in History, sings in a garage rock band, and does a bunch of other stuff.

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68 Responses

  1. Avatar Trumwill says:

    I suppose it’s a natural consequence of Bush no longer being in office. They no longer have a putative party leader calling Island a Religion of Peace.

    One can only imagine how they would have responded in the aftermath of 9/11 had it been Gore saying that we are not at war with Islam. A lily-livered coward, that Gore would have been.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Trumwill says:

      @Trumwill, I always felt bad for Bush- he makes this relatively innocuous comment and, for the next ten years, every time a Muslim does anything wrong, somebody pipes up with, “There’s the religion of peace for ya!”

      I do think something’s changed. For at least the first few years all I ever heard on the subject from conservatives was that it was high time that moderate Muslims repudiated the extremists among them, which is a far cry from ‘Islam is a devil cult’, or whatever the argument is now.Report

      • Avatar greginak in reply to Rufus F. says:

        @Rufus F., Plenty of “good muslims” have and do repudiate extremism and violence. Its just that some people don’t want to hear or see it.Report

        • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to greginak says:

          @greginak, Yeah, I know that- I’ve got a bunch of Muslim friends, many of whom have either organized or attended marches against terrorism. It doesn’t help that the news media has no interest in covering them.Report

        • Avatar Scott in reply to greginak says:

          @greginak,

          But just not enough of the “good” ones repudiate terrorism to actually make a difference. Or maybe all the “good” ones are in the west when the “good” ones need to be other there.Report

          • Avatar greginak in reply to Scott says:

            @Scott, and you’re evidence for this is???? And things could be much worse. Very few people are involved in terrorism. And most muslims aren’t even arab’s and have no particular involvement with terrorism. And muslims are not one monolithic group. And …….oh never mind.Report

          • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Scott says:

            @Scott, Ehhhh… I don’t know. Every major Muslim organization in the US has repudiated terrorism in the strongest terms imaginable. The people who have not are, generally, either terrorists themselves or members of terrorist organizations.

            It does get a bit more dicey when you look at those countries in the Levant where some questionable viewpoints are more mainstream. But the real problem, as I see it, is it’s not like there’s a Pope in Islam and it’s not clear to me that the condemnations of terrorism by any of the numerous ulama who have come out to condemn terrorism- remembering that in the world the majority of those killed by terrorism are Muslims killed by other Muslims- really make any difference. To be honest, I can’t think of anyone off hand who could make a statement condemning terrorism and have any hope of convincing actual terrorists.Report

            • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Rufus F. says:

              @Rufus F.,

              To be honest, I can’t think of anyone off hand who could make a statement condemning terrorism and have any hope of convincing actual terrorists.

              Bingo. And it’s not like it takes a critical mass of Muslims (or adherents to any political, ideological, or religious movement) for terrorism to occur. It takes very few for it to.

              (The same is true when it comes to attempts to portray Tim McVeigh or Eric Rudolph to conservatism.)Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F. says:

              @Rufus F., Well I guess an even fresher example would be those people on the left- and not all, but definitely SOME people on the left- who have tried to take a few wackos, like the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building or the guy who shot up the Holocaust Museum, and turn them into representatives of “conservatism” or “republicans” or “tea partiers”. One of the distinguishing characteristics of terrorists is that they’ve firmly rejected all mainstream political outlets as useless. That’s why they turned to terrorism.Report

            • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Rufus F. says:

              @Rufus F., (Or even representatives of critics of Obama.)Report

      • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Rufus F. says:

        @Rufus F., I agree and I really think it’s that they’ve lost Bush as a (comparatively) moderating influence. His comment may have been innocuous, but it is still representative of how much less demagogic he was than a number of Republicans might have been and much, much less than out-of-power party leaders would have been.Report

        • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Trumwill says:

          @Trumwill, Yeah, I had friends who didn’t like to hear this, but regardless of whether or not I thought he was suited to be president, Bush always struck me as a decent man at his core. I have a friend who is involved with working to bring medical supplies and funding to Africa to fight HIV and I remember him saying, “I didn’t vote for Bush, but I’ll tell you, he’s been the best president we’ve ever had for what we do.”Report

      • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Rufus F. says:

        I swear, I make the goofiest errors. Who writes “Island” instead of “Islam”?!

        I suppose I do.Report

  2. Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

    Remember Lepanto!
    Death to Islam!Report

  3. Avatar John David Galt says:

    I’m not convinced Islam has ever been a religion of peace, unless it’s the Soviet definition of peace. Certainly the Koran and its author advocated lying to “infidels” whenever convenient, including in peace treaties, so they are not to be trusted.

    I would like to believe that we can identify the “safe Muslims” and continue to extend tolerance to them. But is there any way to tell the sheep apart from the wolves in sheep’s clothing?

    With all due respect, I believe it’s the Islamic world’s problem to earn the trust of the rest of the world. There is no longer enough doubt to give any of them the benefit of.Report

    • @John David Galt, You do realize that this form of argument (their beliefs call for them to lie! They can’t be trusted!) has been used to justify virtually every religious-based hatred, like, ever, right? You do realize that this line of argument literally makes it impossible for “safe Muslims” to prove that, in fact, they are “safe,” since any “safe” actions or words can be written off as lies, right?Report

    • @John David Galt, I don’t know what you’re talking about here. What the Koran says on the topic is that lying is permitted when a Muslim is being persecuted by non-believers. For instance, 16:106, “Those who are forced to recant while their hearts remain loyal to the Faith shall be absolved…” Similarly, 3:28, which is often taken as advocating lying, says nothing more than a believer can befriend an infidel as a means of self-defense. Of course, given the fierce opposition by the tribes in Mekka, which of course is what forced Muhammad and his followers to Medina, persecution was the climate in which the Koran was written, so this was a real concern.

      As for peace treaties, I can’t think of any passage on lying in peace treaties. Maybe you could give some citations, so I can look them up in the copy I have here.Report

      • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Rufus F. says:

        @Rufus F., JDG, I am inclined to think that Islam is a demonic religion in that it is established on hatred, slaughter, oppression, and war. History has shown that Jews and Christians can not long live among Muslims without, at sometime, being oppressed, attacked and forced to defend themselves.
        Do you think the gummint failed in not requiring all green card Muslims outta this country following 911? Are we constitutionally required to accept a people whose teachings call for the overthrow of the American republic?Report

        • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          @Robert Cheeks, If we were expelling the faithful who’s faiths were more dogmatic and extreme than the mild theism of the founders and who sought to enforce that faith through the reins of government Bob then we’d probably have to ship most of the Christian right out right along with ‘em.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to North says:

            @North, Thanks Northie, you keep me on a level. However, I’m not aware of anyone on the “Christian right” (or “left” for that matter) who seeks a Christian Caliphate and is willing to slaughter innocents to achieve it.
            Check out my review of the movie “The Last Station” here: http://www.firstthings.com/blogs/postmodernconservative/2010/08/08/the-last-station/Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              @Robert Cheeks, Hey, whas up wid the “…your comment is awaiting moderation” thing? I got “moderated” over at the Front Porch Republic (deleted moi’s ‘comment’) so I can’t in good conscious engage the professorariate (sp) at FPR…really to bad, but we gotta stand for free speech!Report

            • Avatar North in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              @Robert Cheeks, There’re Christians who seek to enforce their views on abortion and other issues and who have killed to do so Bob. And there are some Christian Theocratists groups out there and a much greater number of Christians who assert boldly that their values and tenants should be enshrined in government. In fairness they don’t dominate the right, but then again there are a bazillion Muslims and there’re zero Muslim caliphates so I suspect that both the Christians and Muslims are closer in proportions of believers who wish to establish theocracies than anyone would like to admit. That said the durka-durkas are currently the more activist group. The Christians drained their energies on those on colossal wars centuries ago. Islam is, after all, the younger of the three Abrahamic religions.

              I will read the review now, haven’t seen the movie though.Report

        • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

          @Robert Cheeks,

          Are we constitutionally required to accept a people whose teachings call for the overthrow of the American republic?

          Gee Bob what do you have against Christians? I think they are silly but I don’t want them kicked out even if a bunch of them want to set up a theocracy in my country and force people to follow their weird rules.Report

        • @Robert Cheeks, Well, look, Islam is founded by a guy who goes and meditates in a cave until God appears to him and tells him that, basically, everything in the Old Testament is true. So, his followers start preaching that the pagan tribes of the Arabian peninsula are wrong and there’s one true God who requires us to follow his commandments, which are really the same in the Koran as they are in the Old Testament- I am your God, you shall have none above me, you shall not steal, commit adultery, blaspheme, etc. etc. And for their troubles, the pagans slaughter them and drive them into Medina where they sort of regroup and wage war. So there is indeed a climate of war that imprints itself in the Koran, but you do have to remember that the peaceful and tolerant pagans are massacring the Muslims at this time for telling them that they have to renounce their ways and submit to the one true God to avoid Hell. So, no, the idea that the pagans and atheists were peaceable ‘tolerant’ people and then the monotheistic Muslims came along and were warlike is not true at all.Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Rufus F. says:

            @Rufus F., …and your point?Report

            • @Robert Cheeks, My point is that Islam is ‘established in war’ in exactly the same way that Judaism is established in war. The pagan tribes in that part of the world never took kindly to being told that there is one God who can send them to hell for their disbelief. Your guy might have turned the other cheek, but the Muslims and the Hebrews both fought back. There was nothing particularly new or innovative about one of the tribes of Abraham waging war to defend itself against nonbelievers who wanted to kill them.Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              @Robert Cheeks, Does Judaism seek to overthrow the US gummint and establish the Worldwide Torah-kingdom?Report

            • @Robert Cheeks, Yeah, I’m pretty sure you could find a bullshit website saying it does, just like you can for Islam.Report

            • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              @Robert Cheeks,

              Ask an anti-semite and see what answer you get.

              Oh by the way who said “go and make diciples of all nations”? I remember reading it somewhere but I can’t place my finger on it at the moment. I’m sure it doesn’t have anything to do with those nice Christians.Report

            • @Robert Cheeks, Where you’re right here is that Judaism is not a proselytizing religion and Islam is; but that’s also the difference between Judaism and Christianity. I mean, this is what Paul points out to the Jews- the Word is now, with Christ, applicable to all nations. With Muhammad, it’s just as universalizing because converting to Islam is considerably easier than becoming a Jew.

              As for how they treat nonbelievers, it’s funny that you all keep harping on Spain because after the conquest in 711 the Muslims persecuted the Jews, for instance, by making them pay more taxes than Muslims. Nothing egalitarian about that. But compare that to how the Catholics handled the Jews and Muslims after taking Spain back from the Muslim hordes in 1492- by inviting the Inquisition to torture them until they were dead or Christian.Report

            • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

              @Robert Cheeks, Rufus, you’re a smart dude so I’m not sure why you’re not addressing the theme of our dialogue: Islam is established on the requirement to create a worldwide caliphate, by the sword, if necessary.
              The 911 massacre, the Army post massacre, and various efforts to bomb sundry locations in the US and Europe are evidence of this effort to engage the West in war.
              I think Muslims living in the USA are either: (1) mujahadeen, (2) support the mujahadeen financially or by way of services rendered, or (3) thinking about giving aid to the mujahadeen in one way or another. Of course it’s not possible to tell a ‘good’ Muslim from one who wishes to kill you and your family. It’s been noted a Muslim can lie, and is not held morally to account, re: his support for Jihad.
              Gee, Rufus, if I’m correct, what do you think we should do?Report

          • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Rufus F. says:

            @Robert Cheeks,
            I’m just shocked that someone whose faith has the following history can be so casual with their smearing of another faith group.

            I mean look at how badly Christians persecuted each other. It certainly gives me pause in saying that anybodies religion deserves to be banned by law. I’m not seeing any major groups that haven’t been spread or suppressed by the sword.
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians#Persecution_of_early_Christians_in_the_Roman_EmpireReport

            • Avatar Rufus in reply to ThatPirateGuy says:

              @Bob Cheeks,
              Bob, my experience with conspiracy theories, like this one, is that they make two claims:
              1. A massive crime has been committed or is being committed,
              2. There is a widespread conspiracy to cover up that crime.
              For believers of the conspiracy theory, it is simply impossible to argue against 1 without proving, in their mind, 2. Any evidence I could offer that you don’t know what you’re talking about on this one will be taken as proof that the wily Muslims have decieved me.

              So the hell with it. 18 million Muslims in the country really are plotting to kill you and the mailman is spying on you (using the fillings in your teeth). I’d put a few more locks on the door myself.Report

  4. Avatar Roque Nuevo says:

    I just read Paul Berman, The Flight of the Intellectuals. Commenters on this page might be a case study of such a “flight” from the core principles of liberalism, either in alliance with the anti Western, anti capitalist rhetoric of the Islamic radicals, or in a misguided exerise in liberal tolerance. It’s interesting how Americans will go out of their way (way out) to give Islam the benefit of the doubt. That’s the American Way. It would take a PhD thesis, or something, to explain why this is such a good thing and why it’s so unique. But in this case, being a bit more hard-ass is certainly appropriate.

    “The problem” is obviously Islam, as a religion. I’ve gone back-and-forth on this question myself many times. The book that made me decide is The Seige of Mecca: The 1979 Uprising at Islam’s Holiest Shrine by Yaroslav Trofimov. The seige of the great mosque was a weeks-long bloodbath led by a Wahabbi fundamentalist, whose world view had been radicalized by Muslim Brothers clerics (from Egypt) exiled in Saudi Arabia as part of the Saudis’ struggle against Nasser’s expansionism (Egypt had been attacking Saudi Arabia by supporting a puppet rebellion in Yemen, for example). This is the geneology of today’s Islamic radicals in microcosm. Trofimov gives an account of this key event in the recent history of Islam that makes it clear, beyond doubt, that “Islamic radicals,” or whatever euphamism you want to bring to bear on the US’s enemies, are fully in line with the religious establishment in Saudi Arabia. The radicals simply put the theology of the establisment into practice. This is why the radicals cannot be condemned by the clerics: the radicals and the clerics agree, almost down the line. The Wahabbis exterminated Sufism in Saudi Arabia, and in every other place where they hold sway, so talking about how the Sufis promote a truly peaceful and spiritual version of Islam is beside the point. This only reinforces the main point (and gives one a sense of tragedy), that Islam itself is the problem because the Sufis don’t exist outside of new agey groups in the West.

    This is what surely distinguishes our Islamic enemies from Christian, or Jewish, terrorists. Abortion-clinic bombers/murderers are condemned in unequivocally by Christian clerics, and even by their own families in most cases. Timothy McVeigh had no supporters amongst mainstream Christian believers. “Radical” Islamists do have such support. Jewish terrorists/murderers in Israel are condemned by the Jewish clerical establisment, by their own families, and are even denied a Jewish burial by the rabbis. The contrast with Islam couldn’t be more stark: clerics support the terrorists/murderers, their families hold them up as heroes, the establishment provides pensions to their families, streets are named after them, and so forth.

    Today’s Islamic establisment has been infiltrated to such an extent by Wahabbi Islam that it’s just not possible for it to repudiate terrorism. To give an extreme example, Paul Berman, in The Flight of the Intellectuals, gives and account of the “European” Tariq Ramadan is held up as a “moderate,” although he declines to repudiate stoning against women adulterers. He says he wants it to be repudiated, but that the practice must be debated by clerics and they must resolve to do so as part of their future debate. Is it somehow encouraging that, according to Ramadan, we will have a “debate” about stoning people to death? What’s there to debate? Could anyone imagine a “debate” amongst the Christian establishment about murdering abortion doctors? Amongst the Jewish establisment about mass murder of Arabs on West Bank busses, etc, etc? Ramadan’s spiritual guide, an Egyptian cleric, is a prominent defender of terrorism.

    So, yes, Islam is the enemy of the US today. If we insist on denying this, with the kind of sophism I see here and elsewhere, were deceiving ourselves and thus giving the enemy the upper hand. They see us as confused, because we are confused.Report

    • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Roque Nuevo says:

      @Roque Nuevo,

      So the question is does insulting the ones that don’t want to kill us help us or the ones that do?

      Osama wants the worlds Muslims to see us as the enemy, he wants them to think that we hate them. The absolute last thing he wants from us is for us to see Muslims as people we could get along with.

      He would bomb the cordoba institute if he could.Report

    • Avatar 62across in reply to Roque Nuevo says:

      @Roque Nuevo, say you’re correct and Islam, as a religion, is the problem. Now that I’ve shaken off my knee-jerk liberal tolerance, what do I do now? I mean, if this realization is to mean anything more than a self-affirming “my religion’s better than your religion”, it’s got to be actionable, right? In other words, please define “a bit more hard-ass.”

      I’d really like to know what it would mean “to pull away the welcome mat from a faith” with a couple million adherents in the US and billions worldwide. Is it just pissing on the Cordoba Initiative or is something more drastic called for? As I take it, no one is calling for something drastic like mass deportation of all Muslims from the country, so generally that leaves us with the choices we, as communities and as a nation, make around whether we allow Muslims to worship where and how they wish. I’d say even the “hallowed ground” distinction is mostly meaningless, since it’s pretty easy to expand what some party considers hallowed to mean just about anything.

      On the most basic level, we have two choices: we stand by our American value of full religious freedom for all or we change the rules for the faith that is a singular threat. It seems really simple to me: if you are right and ALL Muslims, no matter what they say or do, harbor a desire to dominate me through terrorism, then it doesn’t matter which choice I make, as no act of mine could possibly turn them from their secret wishes. I might as well stand by my values, if it’s going to make no difference to my enemy. Why should I care if I give the upper hand or show weakness? These desires are immutable – they’ll want to kill me anyway.

      On the other hand, if I’m right and there are a multitude of moderate Muslims who can be convinced to live in peace with me and ostracize the radicals, I should stand by my values as well. If hearts and minds can be swayed, they will appreciate that I am respectful of their faith.Report

    • Avatar Rufus F. in reply to Roque Nuevo says:

      @Roque Nuevo, As for this, “the Sufis don’t exist outside of new agey groups in the West.” What the hell are you talking about? A majority of the Muslims in South Asia practice Sufism, Sufism is dominant in Senegal, the membership in Sufi orders in Egypt numbers into the millions, etc. etc. It’s a bit early to mourn the death of Sufism in the non-Western world.Report

  5. Avatar Robert Cheeks says:

    Thanks for the above..brilliantly rendered! I wish you blogged here and could expand not only on the Wahabbi phenomenon but on the proper policy/response to Muslim atrocities and threats. I’d be very interested in reading that. RN, dude, you are a voice of reason in a sea of confusion, and thanks again.Report

  6. Avatar Max Socol says:

    #1: Attempting to define religious worshipers solely through their primary text is like reviewing a neuroscience textbook in preparation for a first date. Try reading the second and third books of the Hebrew bible, and then constructing a portrait of an American Jew. How accurate does it look?

    Religions are capable of (and always do) evolve over time. It is unfair, shortsighted, and deeply hypocritical to demand that a book written in wartime centuries ago somehow comply with 21st century liberal values. And it is simply preposterous to contend that anyone subscribing to that book in any form must subscribe to all of it.

    #2: I suspect many of the loudest, dumbest anti-Jihad jihadis simply don’t understand how large Islam is, and mistake the religious demographic makeup of the US as being representative of the entire world.

    Folks, Muslims are nearly 25% of the WORLD population. That’s well over 1 billion people. How do Americans intend to deal with a “death cult” of that size? And how can those in this thread claiming that Islam itself is a serious threat to the US explain how we have not already been conquered by such a massive, blood-thirsty army?

    Your version of Islam simply does not correspond to reality. If Islam were a death cult that had attracted so many adherents, the world would be in a state of total, abject chaos.

    And if your version of Islam were correct, and not a gross and inflammatory series of generalizations, the notion that a mere 300 million Americans could fight back against such a force would itself be laughable. We were better off withdrawing our troops, sealing the borders, and erecting long walls to save ourselves from the coming Caliphate.

    But thankfully, that version of Islam is not true, and not even close to true, as the overall state of the world, and the US in particular, easily illustrates.Report

    • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Max Socol says:

      @Max Socol, Dude, if you have any family or friends living in Israel you might want to run your ‘comments’ past them for their opinion.Report

      • Avatar Max Socol in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

        @Robert Cheeks, I have many friends and family living in Israel, and also lived in Israel myself, where the bases for many of these ‘comments’ (scare quotes around this? have we fallen so far?) were formed and nurtured.

        Among my Israeli friends, this nasty business of equating Islam with al-Qaeda would, I assure you, be laughed out of the room by the overwhelming majority. One thing the far right and far left have in common when it comes to Israel is the convenient ability to forget all about the huge number of Israeli Arabs (most of them Muslim) who live peacefully in Israel, and serve in the IDF. Your ship of fools is less crowded than you’d like, I’m afraid.

        Of course in Israel, just as in the US, I’m certain you could find people who agree with you. But then, Israelis average about one war every decade with radical Islamists, which, though it does not entitle them to the racism of your attitude, at least perhaps makes it understandable. But what’s your excuse?Report

      • Avatar Max Socol in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

        @Robert Cheeks, Also, in the 20 or so words you were able to spare for your sanctimonious comment, I notice you failed to respond to any of the substance I had written. Not that I have hope that you’ve got much of a response for any of it, but just pointing it out.Report

        • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Max Socol says:

          @Max Socol, Dude, I wasn’t aware that you’d written anything of “substance.”
          BTW, tip-o-the-hat for playing the race card. But, I figured that’s about your only play…isn’t it?
          What you’ve written is sadly reminescent of the attitude of many of the Jews living in Germany in the 1930’s, and I do pray the result isn’t similar because of the silliness of people like you.Report

          • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Robert Cheeks says:

            @Robert Cheeks,
            Do you have a timeframe for when the nazi-muslims are going to take over the west and put us all in death camps? Or is this one of those long term holocausts?

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persecution_of_Christians#Nazi_Germany
            Hitler and the Nazis enjoyed widespread support from traditional Christian communities, mainly due to a common cause against the anti-religious German Bolsheviks. Once in power, the Nazis moved to consolidate their power over the German churches and bring them in line with Nazi ideals. The Third Reich founded their own version of Christianity called Positive Christianity which made major changes in its interpretation of the Bible which said that Jesus Christ was the son of God, but was not a Jew and claimed that Christ despised Jews, and that the Jews were the ones solely responsible for Christ’s death. Thus, the Nazi government consolidated religious power, using allies to consolidate Protestant churches into the Protestant Reich Church, which was effectively an arm of the Nazi Party.

            Don’t forget Bob, it can’t happen here.Report

  7. Do you have a link to prove this is a widespread problem?

    This is the first I’ve heard about protests of mosques around the country, but in two days everyone’s talking like it’s a widespread resistance. How do we go to such a conclusion so quickly? Just how many people in America are in favor of discriminating against Muslims?
    Are we talking about relative handful of people who are always around to discriminate against something, or are we talking about a widspread problem — Yglesias has already attributed it to unemployment and a shift in the public’s tolerance of people who look different — I wonder how many unemployed look the same — is it only white conservatives who are unemployed? Jeezus!Report

    • Avatar Max Socol in reply to Mike Farmer says:

      @Mike Farmer, This occurred to me as well, as the Times piece had only three instances (although they are, geographically, way spread out.) I wondered if maybe it was time for Jack Shafer to do a more political “bogus trend” piece.

      But honestly, with most of the Republican leadership pushing this, and most Democrats refusing to speak out against it – not to mention the ADL, of all people, getting involved – I do think it merits a second look as a growing wave of something.

      I certainly hope that it’s not, that this is just media sensationalizing a blip on our cultural radar. But you have to admit that the extent to which the leaders of a supposedly law-abiding republic are willing to indulge this gives pause.Report

      • Avatar Mike Farmer in reply to Max Socol says:

        @Max Socol,
        Is the Republican leadership encouraging nationwide discrimination, or are they jumping on the Ground Zero controversy as a specific case of disrespect, as they see it, for 9/11? The three examples probably total about 150 people — not exactly a grass roots movement to eradicate Islam.Report

        • Avatar ThatPirateGuy in reply to Mike Farmer says:

          @Mike Farmer,
          http://www.myfoxmemphis.com/dpp/news/local/072710-ramsey-criticized-for-calling-islam-a-'cult

          Let me just say that I am glad this guy didn’t win the primary. So Tennessee has that going for it.Report

        • @Mike Farmer, The other thing about the Ground Zero nontroversy is that the GOP leadership isn’t simply complaining about this being an example of disrespect – they’re outright demanding government intervention.

          Hell, you’ve got Andy McCarthy now writing pieces for National Review insisting that the number one issue in this upcoming election is “where do you stand on sharia”?Report

          • Avatar Robert Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson says:

            @Mark Thompson, I dunno, maybe the girly GOP will grow some nuts and not appease Islam?Report

          • @Mark Thompson,

            Yes, I understand, but it’s a stretch to say there is a nationwide move to discriminate against Muslims. The Ground Zero issue, as liberals like to say, has to be put into context, and the few incidences around the country are each incidences of religious bigotry on a small scale. I don’t agree with the position of some Republicans on the Ground Zero issue, but let’s not fall into the trap of blanket smearing all conservatives as religously intolerant — when it comes to conservatives, liberals throw reason, context and nuance out the window, just like they accuse the conservatives of doing on some issues. Democrats demagouge enough issues to call it even, and chalk it up to opportunistic politicians and rowdy partisans. Mark, I have detected lately a tendnecy for you to go overboard criticizing conservatives, while not being hard on modern liberals — I suggest spreading some of that criticism around, but it’s just a suggestion. After all, liberals are in power, and they are abusing the hell out of it.Report

            • @Mike Farmer, I am not smearing all conservatives as religiously intolerant and bigoted – only those conservatives who believe that the property rights of Muslims may be violated by the government whenever their lawful exercise of those property rights might hurt somebody’s feelings. Unfortunately, this currently seems to be the position of an overwhelmingly large portion of conservatives, and indeed a majority of conservatives.

              Am I harder on conservatives than liberals these days? Maybe. Then again, when I disagree with liberals, they have a tendency to back what they say up with established facts. They do not generally, as conservatives do in the immigration debate, make claims that border crime is a huge, rapidly increasing problem, when in fact border crime is becoming less and less of a problem.

              Liberals do not attempt to turn two words in a Facebook post into an entire political strategy that proves the genius of their Chosen One.

              In short, I have found of late that liberals are far more willing to argue substance rather than platitudes and wholly made up assertions. That does not mean that I necessarily agree with those arguments; it does, however, at least provide a basis for good faith debate and argument.

              I am more than willing to call the Left out when I think it or its institutions are out of line – witness my post the other day on interest groups, as well as my objection to Obama’s high approval rating, amongst other things.

              But if it seems that I am being harsher on conservatives, then that is because I am sick of hearing them spout limited government rhetoric while demonstrating at every turn that they learned nothing whatsoever in the years 2000-2008; whatever you may say about liberals, at least they don’t throw out platitudes about how they’re the team of limited government despite a lengthy track record of doing the opposite. It is because I am sick of conservatives demanding that every little sleight against them, real or imagined, controversy or non-troversy be turned into front page news. And it is because I am sick of conservatives who have no problem throwing around anti-semitism charges at the drop of a hat bitch and moan about how unfair it all is that someone called them a mean name.

              Basically, I write about what I find worth writing about on any given day. And right now, that which passes for movement conservative “argument” is giving me a lot more reason to write than anything coming from the Left.Report

            • @Mike Farmer,

              ” Then again, when I disagree with liberals, they have a tendency to back what they say up with established facts.”

              We’re on different planets. Carry on.Report

        • Avatar Max Socol in reply to Mike Farmer says:

          @Mike Farmer, Well, for the sake of argument, let’s assume that the leadership really only cares about the Cordoba House. They still must be aware of the connection between that dispute and the wider national issue. It’s not just about two other specific protests; as the link below ought to illustrate, state and national reps are speaking out against Islam qua Islam. I can think of at least three cases and I’ll provide links if you want. Talkingpointsmemo has also been covering this issue just about daily and would have more.

          In any case, for me the whole hypothetical is mute. As I made clear in my posts above, it seems obvious to me that drawing a spurious identity between Islam and al Qaeda even in Cordoba’s case is wrong on the facts, tactics, politics, and morals.Report

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