Thursday, November 18, 2010

Sign of the times... again

I once again apologize for my continued absence, whenever I get round to writing something I'm either not in the mood any more or something pops up again. However, I'd like to share this with you, I think you'll be as concerned as I am. Read on:

Church in Arizona protested because it looks like a mosque

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010 -- 9:22
churchdome3 Church in Arizona protested because it looks like a mosque

Islamophobia may have reached a point in this country where people condemn Christians that they suspect are Muslims without ever checking the facts.
In Phoenix, Arizona, a new Christian church has residents fearing that it is an Islamic mosque.
The Light of the World multidenominational church is being built just off of Interstate 10 and features a dome-like structure.
"Since the distinctive dome shape went up, church leaders said they have received phone calls from concerned neighbors who've mistaken the building for an Islamic mosque," KPHO reported.
"I heard many people, they came over and they say, 'Is this a Muslim temple?' No, it's not," church member Juan Calixto told KPNX.
"It is unfortunate that people are so intolerant to differences that they aren’t willing to see that the place of worship is not a mosque," said Tayyibah Amatullah of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Arizona chapter.
Church officials have hung a sign to let people know they aren't Muslim. "If you think we are different you are wrong," the sign reads. "We are building a Christian house of prayer."
"We're trying to let people know that we're Christian and our churches are modern," Uzieo Martinez, a church official told KPHO.
Officials are trying to avoid the type of backlash received by the Park51 Islamic center that is planned near Ground Zero.
The cultural center was largely ignored when The New York Times first reported about it in December 2009.
The project received wider notice in May 2010 when a community board considered the construction plans. Conservative bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer dubbed the proposed center the "Ground Zero Mosque" which started a national controversy.
"But with so many high-profile figures selling unfounded, anti-Muslim fear to the public, is it any wonder that all many Americans can see in Islam is a phantom menace?" asked Tanya Somanader at the liberal blog Think Progress.


Words fail me, is this what the world is coming to? Where even looking 'different' or in this case 'Muslim' is dangerous and can lead to harassment? This is an all to regular occurance, people looking as if they are Muslim are attacked, even though they are not. Even at the 'Ground Zero Mosque' 'protest' organized by Loony in Chief Pamela Geller this happened, two Arab Christians who turned up to protest were attacked by the crowd and had to be protected by the police. It is a sad world where hate is getting to a level that it is dangerous to stand out or look like a certain group of people, where you have to, as this Church does, hold up a sign effectively saying 'Not Muslim, please don't hurt me!'. I know you are all intelligent people and I don't have to go on for to long about the dangers this sort of thing. However, I would like to make two main points.

First of all, this rise in what can only be called tribalism, where one has to fit in and all others are 'enemies' to be hated, is extremely dangerous. I don't really need to go into to much detail, but we all know what happens when hate is allowed free range to grow. And a close freind of mine said, hate is a seed sown by someone by the devil, if it is allowed to grow then it will soon take over that person. We cannot let this hate grow.

I would also like to share something the Buddah once said:

"Words have the power to create and destroy, when they are both true and kind, they can change our world"

This is very true and it is the case with these so called blogger like Geller who are peddling their hate, and making huge profits out of it. We need to take the Buddah's words to heart, not allow our words to destroy and make the true and kind to change this world for the better. These hate mongers need to be taken to heel and stood up to. Because, as I related in the story of Martin Niemöller in an older post, who knows when these people will turn on you?

I will leave this here, it is a depressing subject and I don't want to go to much into it right now, but I think you can all see the danger we are facing.




  1. The anti-Muslim sentiment here in the US is a relatively recent occurrence. After the 9/11 attacks, the anti-Muslim sentiment was not nearly as bad as it is now, for 2 reasons I will point out.

    1. President Obama, is seen as soft on radical Muslim countries (Iran, SA), and this flies in the face of the will of most Americans... Just look at our last election.

    2. The Park51 project... as well meaning as it may be... was a "wrong place, wrong time" event. This has only thrown gas on the fire, not drawing people together.

    If my 2 points were different, I believe you would not see nearly as much hate.

    It is depressing, that Christians like myself still look at all Muslims as dangerous, but thats the world we live in. With time, I think this too shall pass.


  2. Salam Mike, great to see you again :-)

    Yes, I do agree that anti-Muslim sentiment is an unfortunately new thing and I think it is the result of many many complex social factors as well as a few economic ones and of course sometimes it is just down to chance like you say. It is, of course, also a lot about how the 'media' play it up and more importantly in recent times, bloggers. On your two points I'd like to say as follows:

    1. Yes, fair, but let us remember that US governments have been sucking up to Saudi and other such places for decades. It is only how it is being played, nowadays it is all in the open and people quite rightly question why the government plays along with these dictators but before it was very much hidden from the public, you might get the occasional photo of the Saudi ambassador in the White House wearing a suit (I'd also like to say that the said ambassador was a frequent guest of President Bush at his ranch) as to not look like an 'Arab' but no high profile visits like now . Is this right? It is something I will examine in later posts I hope but I'd like to say that Saudi is changing and it needs to be pushed a little to make sure it goes down the right path. Iran is a bit more complex but I think Obama had the right idea to try and engage them rather than piss them off and give them excuses to be 'anti-US'. Personally, I think Iran will sort itself out, we both saw what happened when the people were denied their choice of President, millions came to the streets and the protests lasted not days but months. No dictator however heavy handed can sit on such a pressure cooker for very long. Again, maybe a subject I will talk about if there is time later.

    2. Park 51... I think this is a storm in a teacup and something that has been pulled out of proportion by a certain Ms Geller to suit her purpose (whatever that may be, certainly not helping the US, I think she's in it for the money). The project was reported in the mainstream press when it was announced, nothing happened. It was only when she started her campaign that we saw all this hate. A perfect example of the Buddha's phrase in action I think :-) But yes, wrong place wrong time perhaps, however I think it will just bubble away so long as people stop throwing stuff onto the fire.

    Finaly, on your last point I agree with you. A old time civil rights campaigner once said that every minority in the US has had to fight for it's 'space' and 'rights' (we don't so much have a rights issue here), Jews, Catholics, Irish, Hispanics, Blacks, all had to put up with this for a while, I have read many stories about this and I will post some later, there was even one that directly parallels the Park 51 project but with a Catholic Church, just a few blocks away from Park 51 itself. So yes, I think it will blow over, God Willing! I think people are inherently sensible like yourself and will see through the lies and hate. We just have to play this safely and take this one step at a time. I'll close with Mohamed's advice on what to do in such a situation:

    'Forgive him who wrongs you; join him who cuts you off; do good to him who does evil to you, and speak the truth although it be against yourself.'



  3. Ah Jack, nice to see you too!

    I see you got a thing for Pam. The woman is a bit over the top, but she says some things we are all thinking. The problem is, she reinforces the ideology of ignorant people who hate Muslims. She does a good job of putting information out there, but she does so in a manner that won't promote an atmosphere of peace, but she would beg to differ.

    I would also say she isn't exactly getting rich off of her rants either. Theres not a whole lot of money in blogging, and I may be wrong, but shes not under contract with any of our much loved news networks either. - Thats enough of me defending that goof ball.

    I think Iran is the key to ME peace. I recently read an article about a defector from Iran, who was an officer in their military. He paints a picture of fellow officers very unhappy with the direction of their dictator. Like you said, one cant rule that oppressively for long, I just hope he cant do too much damage while he is there. Lebanon is key... he funds and arms Hezbollah, and that is the biggest problem in my opinion. Wonder what your thoughts are on Lebanon? Remember, we (The US) send millions to the Lebanese army, in hopes they keep the radical in check, but I suspect the army is in bed with Hezbollah.

    Enough for now bro. "speak the truth although it be against yourself" - hard to do, but this world would be a much better place if we all could do that once in a while!



  4. Ah, what gave my little secret away?? Yes, I do have a problem with her, I have a problem with all people who purposefully stir up hate for profit. And yes, I'm afraid she does make rather a lot of money out of it, her book sales are very high, she is on the lecture circuit, called up on TV and she manages to own a number of houses etc etc. Put another way, she manages to get by without having a 'real' job. Her freind Robert Spenser was paid $132,537 by David Horowitz “Freedom Center.” for his blogging according to Freedom Center's tax returns, and that is just for blogging. I'm not really against people making money, but I am against people making money at the expense of others or through dishonest means, as I am sure you are too.

    I appreciate you sticking up for her and yes, I'll grant you she does say some good things very occasionally, but most of it is just junk. I can't read her website without getting a headache... have you seen some of the stuff there? Obama being a Muslim and the illegitimate son of Malcolm X? And that's a high point! Yes, enough about her, I try to stay away from the loonies :-D

    Now, Iran... you have a point, though how much of a key I don't know, I think more of a key would be someone telling Israel to stick to the rules a bit more rather than giving everyone the finger, though I do sometimes understand why they get like that. You are quite probably correct regarding the defector (if you could send that article to me I'd be obliged) and certainly the Iranians I know are not happy. I find the Iranians are a very strong and passionate people, you can't tread on them forever! Look what they did to the Shah, something that certainly must be on the current dictator's mind. Peace will come, no one can have 'war' forever and I think all the 'normal' people want peace don't you?

    Now to Lebanon. Not something I am very well informed on, however what I do know about the Army there is that, to the Lebanese people, they are seen as a somewhat neutral party who does it's best to keep the rest in check. When there was violence a few years ago, it was the Army that the citizens of Lebanon turned to to sort it out and by and large they managed it. I'd doubt they are fully in bed with Hezbollah, I don't think Hezbollah are popular enough, but one can't be the middleman, the peacekeeper, without sleeping with all the parties involved (to use a very bad turn of phrase). Maybe it's an issue I will look into sometime, I'll ask my Lebanese friends what they think. Lebanon does seem to be much more stable these days I must say though, and I think the Army must take a lot of credit for that.

    Anyway, I'm doing what I usually do when we talk and writing a wall of text, so I'll leave it there. Yes, truth, even when it hurts... I'll see how I manage that ;-)



  5. Hi big J. The article about the defector is here :

    As far as Lebanon goes, it is the easiest way to start a war with Israel. It is close obviously, and there has been recent military conflicts between them. Iran knows better than to attack, the King of Jordan isn't interested in trouble, and Egypt is toeing the line to. So, the best choice is Lebanon, and there is evidence that Iranian arms are being sent via Syria to Hezbollah into Lebanon.

    I may sound a bit like a conspiracy theorist here, but if you look into it, it really is plausible.

    Anyhoo... theres your link. The ME situation gets more interesting by the day. What a wacky world we live in :)


  6. A Very Belated response -

    Is the fear of Muslims really 'unfounded'? With all the attacks on Christians in Muslim countries, the numerous bombings and killing of innocents (over 17,000 attacks since September 2001), and the killings and attempted bombings that have taken place in the US, how can Muslims say that it is only paranoia?

    If crimes and attempted crimes are happening, and the people doing them all qoute from the same religious texts, isn't it simply prudence on the part of law enforcement to identify the group to which these criminals belong and put them under scrutiny? I'm willing to grant that perhaps most of those in that particular group maybe innocent, or that the ones perpetrating the acts may simply be nut-jobs who are misinterpreting that sects beliefs, but when it happens over and over and over it is no longer simply a coincidence. SOMETHING that that sect is teaching is inciting people to viiolence and in this case, that sect is Islam.

    It may horrify peaceful adherents of Islam that these things are taking place, but how can it be denied that they are taking place, or that those perpetrating these acts are quoting from Islamic scripture?

    You say that two Arb looking gentlemen in the Ground Zero mosque (i concede it is a loaded and manufactured term) protest were physically harrased. ACTUALLY, they were verbally confronted, explained that they were part of the deonstration, then left alone, AND, they wrote a letter to Jihad Watch saying that the description of them being physically harrased was a lie. Why are you repeating the lie?

    I find it amusing that you quote Buddha. No Islamic scholar would. Perhaps you are more broad minded. If you are, kudos. (I wouldn't be bothering to write this if i didn't think you were willing to consider others opinions. In that, you are much more open than most Islamic thinkers).

    As for Pamela Gellar, i'm not a particular fan, but I don't recall her saying anything hateful. She may disagree with Isalm, she may even hate it, but she has never said that she hates individual Muslims, nor has she ever advocated violence against them. If you contrast that with the hate filed dialogue (especially towards the Jews) that comes out of the 'Muslim' world, then on a scale of 1 to 100, 100 being a person completely filled with hate, she might rank a 10- or 15 while those voices out of the Ummah would rank in the 80's and 90's.

    Well, that's all for now. I'm writing this late at night, ranting a bit myself, and not sure if what I wrote is competely coherent. :-D Your comments on my blog, which i haven't even posted to in months, were interesting and made me think so I thought I'd stop by.

    Peace out Bro.

    Will Doohan
    (hope this didn't get posted twice)