“…The most worrisome development in the evolution of Al Qaeda’s influence since 9/11 is the growth of pockets of Islamist radicalism in Western populations. Until recently, America had been largely immune to the extremism that has placed some European nations in peril. America’s Muslim community is more ethnically diverse than that of any other major religion in the country. Its members hold more college and graduate degrees than the national average. They also have a higher employment rate and more jobs in the professional sector. (Compare that with England and France, where education and employment rates among Muslims fall below the national averages.) These factors have allowed American Muslims and non-Muslims to live together with a degree of harmony that any other Western nation would envy.
The best ally in the struggle against violent Islamism is moderate Islam. The unfounded attacks on the backers of Park51 and others, along with such sideshows as a pastor calling for the burning of Korans, give substance to the Al Qaeda argument that the U.S. is waging a war against Islam, rather than against the terrorists’ misshapen effigy of that religion. Those stirring the pot in this debate are casting a spell that is far more dangerous than they may imagine.”
Krugman on the Fed’s options: It can buy more long-term and private debt; it can push down long-term interest rates by announcing its intention to keep short-term rates low; it can raise its medium-term target for inflation, making it less attractive for businesses to simply sit on their cash.
Tits, teats: Alan Simpson wants to dismantle Social Security
Were McCain in the White House, Fox and friends would have kept ignoring Park51. But it’s an irresistible target in our current election year because it revives the most insidious anti-Obama narrative of the many Fox promoted in the previous election year: Obama the closet Muslim and secret madrassa alumnus. In the much discussed latest Pew poll, a record number of Americans (nearing 20 percent) said that our Christian president practices Islam. And they do not see that as a good thing. Existing or proposed American mosques hundreds and even thousands of miles from ground zero, from Tennessee to Wisconsin to California, are now under siege.
After 9/11, President Bush praised Islam as a religion of peace and asked for tolerance for Muslims not necessarily because he was a humanitarian or knew much about Islam but because national security demanded it. An America at war with Islam plays right into Al Qaeda’s recruitment spiel. This month’s incessant and indiscriminate orgy of Muslim-bashing is a national security disaster for that reason — Osama bin Laden’s “next video script has just written itself,” as the former F.B.I. terrorist interrogator Ali Soufan put it — but not just for that reason. America’s Muslim partners, those our troops are fighting and dying for, are collateral damage. If the cleric behind Park51 — a man who has participated in events with Condoleezza Rice and Karen Hughes, for heaven’s sake — is labeled a closet terrorist sympathizer and a Nazi by some of the loudest and most powerful conservative voices in America, which Muslims are not? …
Tempers in the country are running hot, so much so that at least one gas station owner has turned the LCD screen on his pumps into a medium of personal expression. In a Consumerist exclusive, one of our readers found a gas pump programmed to say, “AN AMERICAN COMPANY. NO TERRORIST GAS!!!” at his local Valero gas station.
Reached for comment, a Valero spokesman said, “The site in question is not owned or controlled by Valero Energy Corporation. It’s an independently owned store that contracts with Valero to supply it fuel. However, Valero has been in contact with the store’s owner, and we have been notified that the message on the fuel dispensers has been removed.”
“Needless to say,” our reader wrote when he sent the picture in, “I didn’t buy gas here.”
To me, whether Enright is politically left or right is absolutely irrelevant. The only reason I’m bringing it up at all is to push back against the right wing’s utterly predictable knee-jerk attempt to muddy up the issue by seizing any excuse to paint Enright as a leftist.
We’ve already seen that this outbreak of bigotry isn’t confined to the right or the left. That’s not news.
But it’s obvious that the climate of hysteria, paranoia, and hatred that’s been stoked primarily by the right wing is going to push some borderline crazy individuals over the edge into violence.
NEW YORK — In the latest in a spate of anti-Muslim incidents over the last two days, an intoxicated man entered a mosque in Queens on Wednesday evening and proceeded to urinate on prayer rugs, New York police officials said.
Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi was on the scene in Tennessee to report on local opposition to a planned mosque in Murfreesboro. “Opponents say building a mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is simply too close,” Mandvi said. “But did you know that 18,000 blocks is also too close?”
Nearly 20 congregations at local religious institutions plan to protest the Dove World Church’s planned burning of the Quran by doing interfaith readings of the Torah, Bible, and Quran. “Silence in the face of their statements can be misconstrued as agreement, and I think it’s important for all of us to speak up,” said Larry Reimer, minister of the United Church of Gainesville.