Thursday, August 26, 2010

Religion and Islam In America

Religion and Islam in America

I am so glad I’m not religious, in fact I’m overjoyed to be able to brand myself agnostic…

Agnosticism - Thomas Henry Huxley (1825– 1895) came up with the word ‘agnostic’ while searching for a term to describe his own beliefs. He did not consider himself “an atheist, a theist, a pantheist; a materialist or an idealist; [nor] a Christian…” and
while he had much in common with freethinkers, he wanted a term to describe himself more accurately. His difference with the people who gave themselves the above labels was that he did not feel certain of his knowledge- or ‘gnosis’- that he “had successfully solved the problem of existence.” The essential problem was that Huxley believed the problem was unsolvable. And thus far, despite the existence of famous thinkers like Emmanuel Kant and David Hume who philosophically agreed with him on the matter, there wasn’t a name for someone who believed you could never know the source of, nor reason for existence.

Especially during religious debate (or should I say the lack thereof) that is going on about The Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center in New York. I would not call this a debate because debates are about deliberation; consideration. This is not about any of that; this is about hatred and bigotry.

In the controversy surrounding the Park 51 Islamic Cultural Center in lower Manhattan, we hear these same concerns. The First Amendment is clear: Constitutional guarantees trump emotions. Now opponents of the project are making the security argument and the funding argument. New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rich Lazio, a former Congress member appeared on the August 16 edition of "PBS Newshour" along with Teaneck, New Jersey Mayor
Mohammed Hameeduddin to discuss the mosque and community center. Lazio called for New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo to look into the sources of funding for the mosque. Lazio also questioned the leader of the Cordoba Initiative because of some remarks he made after September 11. Lazio said this was a matter of security. These are the same concerns we heard in Boston.

The feelings of the families of people who died during the September 11 attacks are not at the heart of the issue any longer. We are back to anti-Muslim bias and fear. I say again. Islam did not attack the United States on September 11, 2001. Criminals attacked this nation. To ask every Muslim from this moment forward to prove their loyalty to the Untied States, to prove they have never been associated with someone who has said or done something offensive, and or to prove that every dollar that goes into a building project did not come from some source that the wider society does not approve is unfair. We do not ask this of any other group of citizens. FROM THIS SITE

During the Cheney/Bush reign of hate the neocons wanted to wage a preemptive war with Iraq. They were planning this war for some time. But they were unable to realize their dream because public sentiment would have nothing to do with it (simply put). They needed a new Pearl Harbor to satisfy their lust for America’s World Dominance:

In 1997 Wolfowitz and colleagues including Cheney, vice-president, and Richard Perle, dubbed “the Prince of Darkness” when he was Ronald Reagan’s assistant secretary of defense, founded a think tank called Project for a New American Century. In a 2000 document, the group speculated that “some catastrophic and catalyzing event, like a new Pearl Harbor” was needed to assure US global power.

After the terrorist attacks of September 11, Wolfowitz urged the targeting of Saddam’s regime as the first stage of a new conflict. He was overruled when Bush decided to focus on Afghanistan. Iraq had been in Wolfowitz’s sights since Jimmy Carter’s presidency, when he wrote a paper warning of the country’s pernicious influence. He also urged Bill Clinton to get rid of Saddam.

He owes much of his political creed to his childhood. His father Jacob, an eminent Polish mathematician, emigrated from Warsaw to New York in 1920. The loss of relatives in the Holocaust taught Wolfowitz, born in December 1943, that appeasement was not an option. MORE HERE

I can’t help but believe that all the hate and bigotry that has taken hold of our country stems from all the years the so called “neoconservative ideologues” have been in power. Unfortunately, their power did not end with the election of Barack Obama. They are as strong as ever within the Libertarian movement with an offshoot dubbed "Tea Party". This time they are able to use ignorance as a power source, something that dictators have used for as long as time has been recorded.


Neoconservatives desperately needed more power, and that power was delivered on a silver platter in the form of 9/11.

Neoconservative documents have long professed a desire to rule the world. Their own
documents show they knew a truly "American" society would never support their plans. ...their own documents show they understood the BENEFIT of a "New Pearl Harbor."

It has never been easy to take over the world. It has always required a certain kind of person; a person capable of things most others are not capable of. -That they must be willing to lie, cheat, murder, maim, and manipulate goes without saying. That they must accept millions of innocent civilians will suffer and die as a result of their conquest goes without saying. That they can't be bothered with such things as "moral consistency" goes without saying.

Knowing this, it is time for some intellectual honesty. It is time we finally accept that
criminal means are no way to secure so called "moral ends." -And those who profess goals that can only be had using criminal means reveal exactly what kind of people they are. MORE HERE

This brings me back to how elated I am not to be religious. I don’t carry the burden of MY RELIGION IS BETTER THAN YOUR RELIGION. Since I don’t have a religion, I am free to see them all equally. Yes, they really are all equal when their purpose is to help people live a better life. But if they indoctrinate people to HATE one another, they are destructive and a blight towards the achievement of peace. So far, I believe the former is the intention of religion but if it is used to further political goals through the use of HATE than it doesn’t have a chance for good and will become an instrument of destruction, destroying the very lives that it was created to help. Why can't we all be tolerant of each others' belief system, why must there always be loathing when something is not explained and quite understood. We are all more "the same" than we are different. Clothing, beliefs and cultural habits do not define the core of what we are. Why is this so difficult for some to learn? thinkingblue aka thethinkingblue

By Bobby Ghosh / Dearborn, Mich.

You don't have to be prejudiced against Islam to believe, as many Americans do, that the area around Ground Zero is a sacred place. But sadly, in an election season, such
sentiments have been stoked into a political issue. As the debate has grown more heated, Park51, as the proposed Muslim cultural center and mosque two blocks from Ground Zero is called, has become a litmus test for everything from private-property rights to religious tolerance. But it is plain that many of Park51's opponents are motivated by deep-seated Islamophobia.

The proposed site is close not just to Ground Zero; it's also a stone's throw from strip clubs, liquor stores and other establishments typical of lower Manhattan. Muslims have been praying in the building for nearly a year, a fact that has got lost in the noise of the protests. But since early August, it has been the scene of frequent demonstrations, with signs saying things such as "All I Need to Know About Islam, I Learned on 9/11." The husband-and-wife team behind Park51, Imam Feisal Rauf and Daisy Khan, seem stunned into paralysis: while opponents cast them as extremists sympathetic to al-Qaeda, they have given very few interviews themselves. Pressure is mounting on the couple to move their center to a less polarizing location. (See TIME's photo-essay "Muslim in America.")

The controversy has also brought new scrutiny to other examples of anti-Islam and anti-Muslim protests, raising much larger questions: Does America have a problem with Islam? Have the terrorist attacks of 9/11 — and other attempts since — permanently excluded Muslims from full assimilation into American life?

Although the American strain of Islamophobia lacks some of the traditional elements of religious persecution — there's no sign that violence against Muslims is on the rise, for instance — there's plenty of anecdotal evidence that hate speech against Muslims and Islam is growing both more
widespread and more heated. Meanwhile, a new TIME–Abt SRBI poll found that 46% of Americans believe Islam is more likely than other faiths to encourage violence against nonbelievers. Only 37% know a Muslim American. Overall, 61% oppose the Park51 project, while just 26% are in favor of it. Just 23% say it would be a symbol of religious tolerance, while 44% say it would be an insult to those who died on 9/11. (See "Why the GOP Should Avoid the Mosque Issue.")

Islamophobia in the U.S. doesn't approach levels seen in other countries where Muslims are in a minority. But to be a Muslim in America now is to endure slings and arrows against your faith — not just in the schoolyard and the office but also outside your place of worship and in the public
square, where some of the country's most powerful mainstream religious and political leaders unthinkingly (or worse, deliberately) conflate Islam with terrorism and savagery. In France and Britain, politicians from fringe parties say appalling things about Muslims, but there's no one in Europe of the stature of a former House Speaker who would, as Newt Gingrich did, equate Islam with Nazism.

Read "Giuliani: Mosque by Ground Zero Would Stir Hatred."

See "Ground Zero: Exaggerating the Jihadist Threat."

This is an abridged version of an article that appears in the Aug. 30, 2010, print and iPad editions of TIME magazine.

Find this article at: Click Here,8599,2011798,00.html

Facts don't calm debate over New York Islamic center

NEW YORK — There's no shortage of opinions — or
theatrics — at the site of a proposed Islamic center and
mosque two blocks from where the World Trade Center stood before
two hijacked jetliners crashed into its twin towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

It's a deliberate Muslim thumb in the eye to survivors of the
terrorist attacks to build the facility on such hallowed ground,
declared Andrew Sullivan, a star-spangled, red, white and blue
hard-hat-wearing union worker as he stood outside the site one day this week.

"The whole connotation of putting a mosque on conquered
lands has overtones here," said Sullivan, who runs a blog
called Blue Collar Corner and is seeking signed pledges from
union members that they won't work on center/mosque project.

An agitated and animated Anthony Hernandez expressed a
different view as he took time from his lunch hour to visit the
proposed site of the Cordoba House — or Park51 — Islamic center and mosque.

"What hallowed ground?" said Hernandez, a New York City government employee as he pointed to the Dakota Roadhouse bar next to the proposed project site.

Also nearby: a strip club called the New York Dolls
gentleman's club,


an off-track betting parlor and smaller mosque that's been
there for four decades. The New York Daily News recently tallied
the businesses within a three-block area of the World Trade
Center site — 17 pizza shops, 18 bank branches, 11 bars, 10
shoe stores and "17 salons where a girl can get her lady parts groomed."

"This is a false argument. There's nothing wrong with
having a mosque here," Hernandez said. "This is
religious freedom. This is the United States."

Read more: HERE

Watch A Fracking Mess 'GASLAND' here


RNC Document Mocks Donors, Plays on 'Fear'

Thom Hartmann on Freespeech TV

New Robes For SCOTUS

Please sign this very important
petition "demand question time" (of our political
We really need more dialog from those at the top... The
Republicans have got to be made to realize they can't hide behind
"NO" any longer! thinkingblue

Click to go to MOVE TO AMEND and sing petition.


Let's keep our heads, while we continue



thethinkingblue Here

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