“The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That’s not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don’t represent peace. They represent evil and war.” - George W. Bush
As you have probably heard, President Barack Obama is supportive of the so-called “Ground Zero Mosque,” a community center equivalent to a YMCA, which will also include a mosquire, currently the subject of hot debate in our national dialogue:
President Obama delivered a strong defense on Friday night of a proposed Muslim community center and mosque near ground zero in Manhattan, using a White House dinner celebrating Ramadan to proclaim that “as a citizen, and as president, I believe that Muslims have the same right to practice their religion as anyone else in this country.”
“I understand the emotions that this issue engenders. Ground zero is, indeed, hallowed ground,” the president said in remarks prepared for the annual White House iftar, the sunset meal breaking the day’s fast.
But, he continued: “This is America, and our commitment to religious freedom must be unshakable. The principle that people of all faiths are welcome in this country, and will not be treated differently by their government, is essential to who we are.”
Below is a round-up of news stories and reactions about the “Ground Zero Mosque” that have popped up across the Internet the last few days. Starting off with the signs that the issue is going to be used in congressional races in the coming months:
Christopher Hitchens, in another recurring fit of brilliance, deconstructs the Ten Commandments while reconstructing a new one.
The censored “South Park” episodes that satirized the Prophet Muhammad picked up an Emmy nomination for outstanding animation program on Thursday.
The two episodes, simply titled “200/201,” were televised in April and came under a severe amount of scrutiny because some interpretations of Islam forbid visual representations of the prophet. As Dave Itzkoff reported at the time, the satire “elicited an ominous message from an Islamic group based in New York.” The group implied that the creators of “South Park,” Matt Stone and Trey Parker, would “probably wind up like Theo van Gogh for airing this show.” Mr. van Gogh was killed by an Islamic militant in Amsterdam six years ago.
The episodes were censored by the channel that carries “South Park,” Comedy Central, and they have not been repeated on television since April. They are also unable to be viewed on the show’s Web site, SouthParkStudios.com. “After we delivered the show, and prior to broadcast, Comedy Central placed numerous additional audio bleeps throughout the episode. We do not have network approval to stream our original version of the show,” the Web site says.
Here comes a bizarre story from Saudi Arabia:
Sheikh Al Obeikan, an adviser to the royal court and consultant to the Ministry of Justice, set off a firestorm of controversy recently when he said on TV that women who come into regular contact with men who aren’t related to them ought to give them their breast milk so they will be considered relatives.
“The man should take the milk, but not directly from the breast of the woman,” Al Obeikan said, according to Gulf News. “He should drink it and then becomes a relative of the family, a fact that allows him to come in contact with the women without breaking Islam’s rules about mixing.”
Organized religion seems to have a deep seated problem with the sexual reproduction process of human beings. Sheikh Al Obeikan’s proclamation is one further revelation of this twisted phobia that masks itself as deity-enforced tradition.
You can’t use the Ground Zero excuse for this one:
A church may be a church, and a temple a temple, but through the prism of emotion that still grips many New Yorkers almost a decade after 9/11, a mosque can apparently represent a lot of things.
In the last few months, Muslim groups have encountered unexpectedly intense opposition to their plans for opening mosques in Lower Manhattan, in Brooklyn and most recently in an empty convent on Staten Island.
Some opponents have cited traffic and parking concerns. But the objections have focused overwhelmingly on more intangible and volatile issues: fear of terrorism, distrust of Islam and a linkage of the two in opponents’ minds.
“Wouldn’t you agree that every terrorist, past and present, has come out of a mosque?” asked one woman who stood up Wednesday night during a civic association meeting on Staten Island to address representatives of a group that wants to convert a Roman Catholic convent into a mosque in the Midland Beach neighborhood.
“No,” began Ayman Hammous, president of the Staten Island branch of the group, the Muslim American Society — though the rest of his answer was drowned out by catcalls and boos from among the 400 people who packed the gymnasium of a community center.
more than a dozen speakers, including Robert Spencer, a writer whose blog, Jihad Watch, is widely read in conservative foreign policy circles, said that the society and its national director, Mr. Bray, had ties to Hamas, Hezbollah and the Muslim Brotherhood. The first two are on the State Department’s list.
“Will you denounce Hamas and Hezbollah as terrorist organizations?” Mr. Spencer demanded. “Yes or no?”
Mr. Hammous said he denounced “any form of terrorism, any act of terror — by individuals, by groups, by governments.”
I love how blatant Penn is about sex, religion and politics. Seeing as Silverman has been known for making some pretty horrible jokes, and using the n-word, which I certainly have the decency not to, not touching Islam is the height of cowardice.
If any has the balls to reveal Islam as the misogynist, oppressive, expansionist religion that it is, By the way, the article Penn references in Reason is well worth reading.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a leading critic of Islamic fundamentalism, takes on Islamic orthodoxy and concludes it needs greater competition with other faiths and ideas.
While walking around the most liberal town in America, Berkeley, California, I found this heartening sticker:
Maybe the South Park controversy is getting their head in order. That or the Berkeley conservatives are making their presence known.
As Michael noted a few days ago, the person that came up with the “Everybody Draw Muhammad Day” idea backtracked because it “struck a gigantic nerve.” Alas, the folks at Reason are holding a “Everybody Draw Mohammed” contest:
The deadline for submitting work to Reason’s Everybody Draw Mohammed contest has passed; winners will be shown on Thursday, May 20.
All that remains is anticipation, both of the artwork that will be displayed and the possible threats of violence that will likely follow. Or should that be “the likely threats of possible violence”?