For instance, from the Detroit Free Press:
“This year, the commemoration [of 9/11] follows a stunning summer in which opposition to a planned Islamic community center near the World Trade Center site escalated into a national uproar over Islam, extremism and religious freedom.” (“9/11, Ground Zero mosque uproar put Muslims on alert”).The New York Times:
“Now, many of those same Muslims say that all of those years of work are being rapidly undone by the fierce opposition to a Muslim cultural center near ground zero that has unleashed a torrent of anti-Muslim sentiments and a spate of vandalism.” (“American Muslims Ask, Will We Ever Belong?”)From CAIR:
(CNSNews.com) – The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) is putting some of the blame on both the Tea Party and the Republican Party for what it sees as a growing tide of anti-Muslim anger. CAIR officials said the rise in “Islamophobia” stems from the controversy surrounding the Islamic center and mosque that Muslims plan to build a few blocks from Ground Zero. (“CAIR Director: 'Tea Party and Republican Party Have Given the Green Light for These People to Defame and Stereotype Muslims'”).The misleading question planted in all these stories is, “Why, nine years after the 9/11 attacks, are Americans more mistrustful of Muslims than they were before?”
The misleading answer the reader is supposed to find, in one form or another, runs along these lines: Only because misinformation about Islam is being spread by extremists, Islamophobes, tea party supporters, the Republican party.
Not me. The narrative’s a phony. Skeptical questions about how Americans could still dare to think ill of Muslims nine years after 9/11 (it can only be explained by a mass sinking into bigotry and Islamophobia!), presumes that what happened on that date was a one-off crime that was no more the fault of Muslims than Charles Manson’s Helter Skelter murder rampage was the fault of The Beatles. “It was so long ago,” runs the script, “and besides, we were targeted, too.”
Never mind if Muslims were targeted, too. (Muslims weren’t targeted. It was a matter of indifference to bin Ladin who he killed accidentally alongside his infidel victims--hardly the same thing). Americans learned after 9/11 that the act of war committed on 9/11 only confirmed the declaration of war bin Ladin had made in 1996 against the United States on behalf of the Ummah.
At the time the September 11 attacks were called my generation’s Pearl Harbor -- the sudden blow that awakened a sleeping giant. But the comparison doesn’t go far. One difference is the way the other that started at Pearl Harbor was very publicly seen to end (thanks to the energetic focus of the sleeping giant), on the deck of the U.S.S. Missouri in August 1945. Along with the war ended the final acts of Japanese belligerence against Americans. Healing between the two nations was possible because Japanese hostilities had ceased -- and because the Americans are not a grudge-carrying people. We can be accused of a lot of things, but having a long memory is NOT an American quality. I doubt anyone was asking in 1954 why Americans were still mad at the Japanese, and I know no one is asking it now.
But unlike what finally happened with Japan after Pearl Harbor, Americans have witnessed no final defeat, no surrender, no U.S.S. Missouri event to put to rest September 11. There has been no peace with Islam. The closest we’ve come have been off-key protestations of peace from a mismatched choir of: sincerely wrong non-Muslims, insincerely wrong leftists who share Islam’s lust for destroying Western values, and double-tongued cons like Ibrahim Hooper and Osama Siblani, who are flat out lying every time they talk about their religion.
If you have to ask how it is that, nine years after the Twin Towers fell, Americans still have a negative impression of Islam, consider this: From September 11, 2001 forward, we have fought two bloody wars against savage Islamist fighters, and we have witnessed, in no particular order or priority, the shoe-bomb attempt, the gruesome murders of Daniel Pearl and Nick Berg, the mutilated corpses on the Fallujah bridge, the London and Madrid subway attacks, the murder of Theo van Gogh, the cartoon riots, the foiled British airliner attack, the Bombay massacres, the Fort Hood massacre, the foiled Fort Dix attack, massacres in Bali, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Sudan, suicide bombings so numerous they rise into the tens of thousands, the failed underwear bombing over Detroit, honor killings of daughters by their own fathers, the six imams suing U.S. Air, the president of Iran promising to destroy us with an atomic bomb, Hezbollah promising to destroy Israel and every Jew, and only last week Hamas murdering four Israeli civilians, one of them pregnant: every last one of these sons of bitches signing their work with an unmistakable profession that Allah is Great.
Most of us aren’t responding to 9/11 as explained by Rush Limbaugh. We’re responding to yesterday’s, or sometimes even today’s news crawls. We don’t need any “extremist” radio personalities to tell us what we can’t avoid seeing.
And the whole time all these things are going on we’ve got CAIR and an army of imams just daring us not to believe them over of our own lying, bigoted eyes.
Judea Pearl, father of the murdered Daniel, says he doesn’t buy the explanation that hostility to the Cordoba Center is Islamophobia, or the “product of a ‘rightwing’ smear campaign against one imam or another.
Americans are neither bigots nor gullible. . . .
If one accepts that the 19 fanatics who flew planes into the Twin Towers were merely self-proclaimed Muslims who, by their very act, proved themselves incapable of acting in the name of “true Islam,” then building a mosque at Ground Zero should evoke no emotion whatsoever; it should not be viewed differently than, say, building a church, a community center or a druid shrine.
A more realistic explanation is that most Americans do not buy the 19 fanatics story, but view the 9/11 assault as a product of an anti- American ideology that, for good and bad reasons, has found a fertile breeding ground in the hearts and minds of many Muslim youngsters who see their Muslim identity inextricably tied with this anti-American ideology.
THE GROUND Zero mosque is being equated with that ideology. Public objection to the mosque thus represents a vote of no confidence in mainstream American Muslim leadership which, on the one hand, refuses to acknowledge the alarming dimension that anti-Americanism has taken in their community and, paradoxically, blames America for its creation.
The American Muslim leadership has had nine years to build up trust by taking proactive steps against the spread of anti-American terror-breeding ideologies, here and abroad.
Evidently, however, a sizable segment of the American public is not convinced that this leadership is doing an effective job of confidence building.
In public, Muslim spokespersons praise America as the best country for Muslims to live and practice their faith. But in sermons, speeches, rallies, classrooms, conferences and books sold at those conferences, the narrative is often different. There, Noam Chomsky’s conspiracy theory is the dominant paradigm, and America’s foreign policy is one long chain of “crimes” against humanity, especially against Muslims.
Affirmation of these conspiratorial theories sends mixed messages to young Muslims, engendering anger and helplessness: America and Israel are the first to be blamed for Muslim failings, sufferings and violence.
Terrorist acts, whenever condemned, are immediately “contextually explicated” (to quote Tariq Ramadan); spiritual legitimizers of suicide bombings (e.g. Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi of Qatar) are revered beyond criticism; Hamas and Hizbullah are permanently shielded from the label of “terrorist.”
Overall, the message that emerges from this discourse is implicit, but can hardly be missed: When Muslim grievance is at question, America is the culprit and violence is justified, if not obligatory. (“Undercurrents below the Ground Zero mosque”).