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Hullabaloo


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

 
Tennessee Burning

by digby


Josh Marshall reports that the Tennessee mosque had been receiving threats before it was hit with arson and quotes a local college professor:

Sbenaty expressed shock over the atmosphere in a town he's lived in for 30 years. For most of that time, he said, the community has been extremely supportive and welcoming. Even after Sept. 11, 2001, he said, neighbors came up to him and said, "Please do not feel scared. We know your religion has nothing to do with this."

"It's a wide shift, and a shock," he told TPM. "It's just mind-boggling."


Can someone explain to me what the Muslim community has done since 9/11 to suddenly engender this hostility? The only thing that points in this direction is that we elected a Democratic African American president who these people all think is a closet Muslim.

But let's unpack this a little bit. Until recently these people had no problems with Muslims in their community. And there hasn't been a new terrorist attack to inspire new fear and anger. So, that means it's not about Islam at all. It's about the African American Democrat.

Now I would be the last one to say that just being a Democrat isn't enough to make any right winger go nuts. They simply don't believe that a Democrat can legitimately be president. But their need to turn Obama into a Muslim, despite the purely nonsensical nature of the charge, stems from a need to rationalize their baser motives for hating him. America's loathed enemy of 9/11 is the only group they feel free to hate openly in the way that fully expresses their feelings. Therefore, Obama became a Muslim.

In the 1960s they burned black churches. Now it's mosques. But it comes from exactly the same impulse.

* Check out the comment section to the article from a local Tennessee paper I just linked about the Mosque burning. It will surprise you. Of course, there are quite a few of these, but it's not monolithic:

I find this editorial to be offensive since it shows a clear lack of understanding of the real issue at hand. The ugly attempts to turn the tables and replot the players is a horrible tactic. The DNJ is trying to make the aggressors and terrorists sound like the victims and make the victims sound like the aggressors and terrorists. To compare someone attempting to protect themselves from being attacked as a member of the KKK is so sad. Is the DNJ also calling George W. a member of the KKK? Has every one forgotten the reason that we launched a war against Islam? It was for two reasons, number one was in defense of war being declared on us by Islam (defensive, not KKK) and the second reason was to root out the atrocities and inhumane actions of the Islam people. What this commentary fails to recognize is that the issue is NOT about religion, but rather it is about a civil war that has been brought into our country be our aggressors who are attacking us from within.


Most of the commenters take quite a different view, which is heartening.


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