Muslims in Murfreesboro!
Our Readers Who Comment are having a field day with the discovery that anti-Muslim concern is not just the province of sophisticated New Yorkers but also of those who reside in the Nashville suburb of Murfreesboro, Tenn., where there is strong opposition to a proposed Islamic center.
More than 650 comments have come in at this hour, many of them supporting the local opposition. Many others -- presumably those sophisticated Northerners -- roll out the predictable What Do You Expect From the Redneck Bible Belt? argument, and a few attempt to address the issues, or attack Islam, or blame the media for fanning the flames.
As Annie Gowen writes, "The 250 or so families -- about 1,000 people -- who worship at the existing Islamic Center come from around the globe and include doctors, car salesmen and students from nearby Middle Tennessee State University... Plans for a school, pool and cemetery are expected to take years to complete. But the vision of a large-scale complex has caused consternation among locals."
And do check out the excellent Howard Kurtz column this morning on the media response to things like this.
We'll start with kbm8795, who wrote, "Sigh. . .another day, another boogyman from the Far Right. These people live and breathe on fear and hostility... America has far important problems to address than this constant media-driven sideshow featuring whatever group of Americans these con-artist con-servatives want to pick on next."
But wonderingstevie said, "Nobody should be surprised. The typical American sees Muslims as those who fly planes in to buildings, blow up buses, wear exploding vests and bomb trains and planes. Muslims have a major PR problem."
asdf2 wrote, "...The concern expressed by the media over the mere possibility of anti-Moslem reactions is not remotely reflected by reality. All it really reflects is the elite believing they're better than the run-of-the-mill American. Which also couldn't be further from the truth."
shutoz said, "You are talking about putting a Mosque in the middle of the bible belt where there is a christian church every five feet, what exactly did they expect?
This is the south, where ministers are ordained, not by university, but by god himself... They are afraid that their Muslim counterparts maybe as fanatical as they are. What they see in themselves is what their afraid of."
irratical wrote, "The rightwing is getting crazier and uglier with each passing day. Last month it was the Mexicans. Now it's Muslims. What demographic is the next target for these freedom-loving patriots?"
rajneeshiK said, "Muslims were respected before 9/11 but since then there are Islamic terror attacks and plots almost every day in some part of the world including here in the U.S. And that is why people are afraid of Muslims and Islam."
windrider2 wrote, "Well, the surest way to discourage moderate Muslims is to persecute them and treat them with bigoted hatred. Young Muslims will soon realize there's no reason to be moderate because so-called Christian Americans are going to attack them and their mosques no matter what..."
onealethia said, "Muslims see a Mosque on the 911 site as a symbol of victory over the West. Their tradition is to set up Mosques on sites of their greatest victories. Their goal is to conquer the West and the liberals are their useful idiot accomplices."
kevin1231 wrote, "Right wing is exploiting this for its own political purpose. Their motto is "the hell with the country" Since they don't have anything else to offer, they will use any issue to get votes...The right wing wants more terrorism because it thrives on conflict and war and then use it to carry out its economic agenda to rob the low and middle income people to give it to the rich."
arieb said, "...On one hand I'm all for religious tolerance, but on the other hand I came back to the US from Holland, where I saw the radical changes that religious tolerance brought. When Islamic kids where dancing in the streets, as we watched the twin towers come down, I knew it was time to leave..."
bourassa1 wrote, "Anti-Muslim sentiment is not rising. The people who hate Muslims today always hated them. They hate everything foreign. What's new is that racists currently feel emboldened and are coming out of the woodwork everywhere. They're also passing laws against people who look Mexican. They even want to abolish the 14th Amendment. They call Obama a Kenyan and a Muslim, and call themselves the "Real Americans"..."
JamesChristian said, "...If these mosques and "community centers" (for the Islamic community only, not the community overall) didn't ALWAYS turn out to be centers of discrimination and hatred for outsiders, if the call to prayer wasn't a call to war, if Islamics weren't constantly pushing their Sharia law in communities where their numbers grow, people could live with these centers. But these Islamic centers become all of this and more. They launder money through these centers, they support terror networks, they house and nurture illegals from throughout the middle east. And we're supposed to be supportive of all this? Nonsense..."
rjacobs1 wrote, "What angers me about this anti-mosque stuff is that if people were opposing the building of a synagogue or christian church, those opponents would be labeled for the bigots they are. But, in this debate the media frames the argument as being one of people concerned about "terrorism" vs. those who don't care about the national security state's latest bogeyman. This is about freedom to worship and nothing else. Write it that way!"
mike-sey said, "Christian America is as intolerant and as driven by extremists as any branch of the Islamic world. Mostly it is insecure and, as someone once said, the only thing it fears is fear itself."
We'll cose with cubano, who wrote, "I trust reasoned voices will prevail above the din of heated emotions over the Islamic Center brouhaha. Out with hatred and fear! In with tolerance, understanding and respect for our Constitution and laws."
All comments on this article are here.
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