Monday, August 23, 2010

Republican Fury over the "Ground Zero Mosque"

. . . which, by the way, is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero.  And as Tony Karon reminds us in The National, it can hardly be called "holy ground" when that bit of land now hosts a strip club, sex shop, and beauty parlors (although all of those, I suppose, are reflections of what so many Americans refer to as "our freedoms" - and the American way of life).

But TK's essay really hits home at the end, as he draws a notable parallel between America now and another once-upon-a-time Western power:
As Germany in the 1930s showed, people watching their whole way of life crumble amid social and economic crises can be more vulnerable to demagogues blaming their plight on “outside” forces.

So, whether it’s furore over the downtown mosque or suspicion that the President is somehow secretly a Muslim, the mainstreaming of Islamophobia is less about religion than it is a symptom of American society feeling as though it is in decline.

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