This Is Rich

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Civil Rights, Religion

Before going on to the mini-profile of congressman-elect Hank Johnson of Georgia — this, people, is too funny. Remember U.S. Rep. Virgil Goode (R-VA) whose over-the-top bigotry regarding a Muslim in Congress is discussed here? Well, flaming idiot Daniel Pipes says that Rep. Goode is the “target of an Islamic advocacy group’s ‘victimization game.‘”

In other words, an apologist for Goode is claiming to Goode was targeted by an Islamic group after Goode targeted Muslims. This is a bit like the Ku Klux Klan claiming to be the innocent victims of a smear campaign by the NAACP.

I mean nobody can whine about being picked on better than righties, but this is outrageous even by rightie standards.

Pipes said CAIR was “perpetually on the prowl for any incidence of anti-Muslim sentiment, real or imaginary, spontaneous or provoked, major or minor.”

What Goode said was not an “imaginary” sentiment. It was real, and it was ugly.

The organization’s goal, he said, was “to make the United States like so many other countries – a place where Muslims, Islam and Islamism cannot be freely discussed.”

“It is imperative for Americans to retain their freedom of speech about Islam — as it exists in relation to other religions — and resist these many demands for remorse.”

This goes back to the rightie notion that “freedom of speech” includes the right not to be disagreed with. Rep. Goode said what he said. He was free to say what he said. As far as I know, the Speech Police haven’t shown up at his house to haul him to the gulag.

However, if you say some damn stupid, bigoted thing, the people you offend will use their freedom of speech to express their opinion of what you said. That’s how it works, dears.

And if you’re a public official or celebrity, and public consensus is that what you said was bigoted and offensive, prepare to receive truckloads of bad press. This is a lesson Michael Richards learned recently. Do the crime, do the time.

In recent weeks I’ve been struck how much right-wing rhetoric about Muslims sounds like the stuff white supremacists used to say proudly and in public about African Americans many years ago. Just as Strom Thurmond growled ca. 1948 — “All the bayonets in the Army cannot force the ‘Negarah’ into our home, our schools, our churches and our places of recreation” — today’s bigots are posturing and chest thumping to show Muslims who’s in charge.

And like the weenies they are, they whine with self-pity when their victims posture back.

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28 Comments

28 Comments

  1. No More Mr. Nice Guy!  •  Dec 23, 2006 @6:52 pm

    It seems to me that Muslims in the US today are in the same position that Jews were in during the mid-thirties in Nazi Germany. It wouldn’t take much to spark off another Kristallnacht, and there are already plans on the books for a massive detention camp building program (needless to say, another multi-billion no-bid contract for Halliburton.)

  2. erinyes  •  Dec 23, 2006 @7:28 pm

    You got that right #1. My in box has received numerous nasty internet thingies about Muslims, the one that takes the cake is about Verse 9:11 from the Quran. I’m a curious fellow, so after the BS line hit my in box, I went to the Quran on line, verse 9:11 had absolutely nothing in common with the story the “friend” sent me, but how many recepients would bother consulting the Quran? Perhaps 1 out of a thousand? Most people would simply believe the lie or would quake in their boots at the mere thought of gazing upon the Quran, as fearful as if visiting the web site for the Church of Satan.
    But ya know, Rosie and “The Donald “are fussin’ , and the future of the Miss America Pagent hangs in the balance, so we’d better not worry our beautiful minds over such trivia.

  3. erinyes  •  Dec 23, 2006 @7:33 pm
  4. Swami  •  Dec 23, 2006 @7:52 pm

    I once read where some writer said that Torquemada should be judged in the context of his times, and that he really wasn’t such a bad guy as history has made him out to be. Maybe we should extend the same consideration to the good ole boy Strom? Why even God —according to the bible— was an advocate of slavery and segregation before it became unfashionable and politically incorrect.
    It’s weird how you have to project bigotry and intolerance in order to convey a truth about bigotry and intolerence..Namely, that Christianity is the biggest culprit of bigotry against muslims..bar none. Christianity also holds the historical distinction as the greatest, without equal and unsurpassed, culprit for the fostering and perpetuation of slavery.
    If Rep. Goode were to examine his motives in honesty…I’m certain it would reveal a taproot of Christian beliefs that feeds his flourishing bigotry.

  5. moonbat  •  Dec 23, 2006 @8:20 pm

    Some thoughts on comment 4 -

    Christian doctrine was formulated in a time when slavery was normal and accepted, within a larger context of patriarchy – also accepted and normal for that time. There are a lot of verses about how subordinates (slaves, wives, inferiors) should submit to their superiors (masters, husbands, etc). There is also a verse in one of Paul’s letters – the only verse I know of – encouraging slaves to “get free” if they can. You just sense that the writers of the bible saw these conditions as immutable givens, and their real focus was for people to become spiritually free given these external social constraints.

    As for Rep Goode examining his motives – I think it works the other way around. People project their biases and motives into complex scriptures like the Bible (or the Quran) and see themselves reflected in it, kind of like a Rorschact test. If someone is bigoted, for example, they’ll find justification for it in the Bible. If someone is of a loving and accepting nature, they’ll see that also.

    This is how paranoid wingnuts can cherry pick verses out of the Quran to justify their paranoia. Or those who have a more ecumenical and benevolent view of humankind will cite verses out of the Quaran to support their view. Another Rorschact test.

    And then there’s those uppity Buddhists that we all have to be careful of… :-)

  6. Swami  •  Dec 23, 2006 @8:38 pm

    Yeah, moonbat…those Buddhist have a propensity to set themselves on fire with just the slightest provocation.

  7. Doug Hughes  •  Dec 23, 2006 @9:18 pm

    Who’s bringing the marshmallows, Swami?

  8. Doug Hughes  •  Dec 23, 2006 @9:29 pm

    Going back to Thomas Jefferson -

    “And you May remember to have heard that when the act for Religious Freedom was before the Virginia Assembly, a motion to insert the name of Jesus Christ before the phrase, “the author of our holy religion”, which stood in the bill, was rejected, although that was the creed of a great majority of them. — ”

    The Commonwealth of Virginia – the citizens, the elected officials and the clergy need to look at the political regression that is indicated. At one time in history, Virginia led the world, not by espousing the values of advanced political thought, but by having the courage to ACT on the advanced values. They converted advanced political thought and discourse into law and reality.

    Look with shame at the the depths to which you have sunk.

  9. lafrance  •  Dec 23, 2006 @9:51 pm

    When Jr. leaves and the koolaid is no longer being served the gop will wake up from thier hate filled orgy. Then what will they do when they begin to remember how they acted and what they said.

  10. k  •  Dec 23, 2006 @10:36 pm

    Merry Christmas Barabara

  11. Kevin Hayden  •  Dec 24, 2006 @2:39 am

    In the reed section of the Intellect Orchestra, Pipes has always played piccolo.

  12. erinyes  •  Dec 24, 2006 @7:56 am

    “Pipes has always played piccolo”.
    More like a didgeridoo / fart machine combo!
    And that’s Kristol in the corner tinkering with his Glokinspeil.Can you picture that in your mind’s ear?
    Merry Christmas………………………………..

  13. marijam  •  Dec 24, 2006 @8:18 am

    I think anyone with an opinion on this should first read While Europe Slept and other non-fiction discussions of the subject before taking sides. With that said, I think Rep Goode is only using this as a fund-raising device but there is a kernal of warning in this for all of us. I for one do not want to wake up to the call of muzzein and if I were to find myself in such a situation would most certainly be forced to move.

  14. Donna  •  Dec 24, 2006 @8:51 am

    Virgil Goode is a misnomer, heh?

    There are many paths, starting from different layers of time and geographic place, structured by necessity of varied language and symbols, each offering experience and expression to seekers of a higher order.

    Goode has defecated on his own path in trying to destroy someone else’s path. Goode’s followers have to step in that steaming pile.

    Merry Christmas to Maha and her wonderful commenters. I have been busy baking holiday breads and cookies, and wish I could send you all some, ’cause they are made with love.

  15. joanr16  •  Dec 24, 2006 @9:59 am

    I love this site not just for maha’s wit and good sense, but for the glorious spectrum of opinions and spiritual beliefs held by her readers. The Jefferson quotes above reminded me of my Christian sister-in-law’s joke the year I had The Jefferson Bible on my Christmas list: “Gee, Joan, I never thought I’d say this, but… here’s that bible you wanted!”

    I’m not quite sure how to frame my holiday wishes to this group, so here’s a zen-like anecdote from an old Futurama episode:

    Bender the robot had to fill in for homicidal Santa Bot (long story); while zooming over the Earth in his rocket-powered sleigh, he encountered Kwanzaa Bot. K.B. showed Bender the book he was delivering to all the homes this time of year, entitled What The Hell Is Kwanzaa?!? “I’ve been handing these out for 600 years,” K.B. said, with a sigh.

    Whatever your holiday, I hope it’s joyous! Safe travels, everyone.

  16. melior  •  Dec 24, 2006 @11:32 am

    Shorter Christian fundies: “Help! I’m being oppressed!”

  17. Swami  •  Dec 24, 2006 @12:04 pm

    Wishing you all good health and prosperity for the holiday season and beyond.

    Seeing how I can’t leave well enough alone…3 more Americans were killed in Iraq today.. I’m thankful that that pain and lose isn’t visited upon my family..and if it were..I would hope that others could care enough to speak out against the outrage being committed to uphold the ego and folly of one man.

  18. GDAEman  •  Dec 24, 2006 @12:17 pm

    maha said, “In recent weeks I’ve been struck how much right-wing rhetoric about Muslims sounds like the stuff white supremacists used to say proudly and in public about African Americans many years ago.”

    “many years ago?” An essay in Truthdig, by former US special forces member Stan Goff, suggests white supremacy in the US might be the norm. Sowing the Seeds of Fascism in America

  19. Dan K.  •  Dec 24, 2006 @12:19 pm

    This is the same Daniel Pipes who said that all 1,300,000,000 Muslims should be regarded as terrorism suspects.

  20. Sky-Ho  •  Dec 24, 2006 @12:37 pm

    * I for one do not want to wake up to the call of muzzein…*

    Indeed, my Muslim friends never complained about the Catholic church bells ringing, calling out for worship several times almost every day of the week. In fact, one remarked that he rejoiced that people were called to worship [the same God] in so many different ways.

  21. Nylund  •  Dec 24, 2006 @12:50 pm

    If I have the wingnuts’ position correct, we are on the verge of having our country instantaneously changing to muslim, with islamic laws and prayers suddenly ruling us all. As expressed above, “I for one do not want to wake up to the call of muzzein.”

    Picking a high number, say 5 million muslims in the US, that means we are 98.4% non-muslim. I would say that the “fear” of waking up “to the call of a muzzein,” implies that EVERYONE would be forced to wake up to that sound (as opposed to maybe a random small enclave here and there like you find with the Hasidics in New York, or the various Chinatowns across the country). So, I assume that for this “call of the muzzein” to become that ubiquitous in the US, the country would have to be AT LEAST 50% muslim.

    That would mean that if NO ONE other than muslims imigrated, we would still need around 296,000,000 muslims to immigrate (and no one else), and for the rest of the US population to stay stagnant (ie no one has any kids). First of all, this is unreasonable, on so many levels, and even if it was not, it would take at least a century or two for this happen, and it would require one in four of all muslims throughout the world moving to the US, while no one else does.

    Or do they think the evil muslims will do a mass land invasion and try to conquer and occupy a country of 300 million?

    We, the largest military in the world, can’t even occupy a country of 30 million, yet 300 million people are to be subjugated so easily?

    And, if we fear this muslim invasion (be it through migration or warfare), then why are these same GOP’ers trying to ban all the Catholic latinos from entering the country as well? If they really think 300,000,000 muslims are about to march across our borders, wouldn’t it be wise to counteract that with a whole bunch of Catholics if they fear the Muslim so much?

    PLEASE I am begging for some rightwinger to explain the logisitics behind this idea that this country of 300,000,000 that is 98.4% non-muslim is “going to wake up” and suddenly find itself ruled by Islamic Sharia Law.

    It is like saying that Russia and Pakistan combined will “wake up” one morning to find itself ruled by eskimos.

  22. erinyes  •  Dec 24, 2006 @1:54 pm

    Nylund, you are obviously deluded because you subscribe to science and logic, not magical thinking.If you only knew about the huge armada of magic carpets currently on the looms throughout the Muslim world, you would change your mind.You know , Jesus turned off the protective force field around the U.S. of A. on 9/11 cause of all them fags and secular Godless types. Blame them (and the Jews who we know started ALL wars, except MAYBE the French and Indian one.)!
    And as for those shifty Eskimos, they’re plotting to have sex with our daughters and take over Sea World in Orlando as I type this.Before you can say licketty split, we’ll all have grand kids with names like Nanook.Yep, read it on the internets just this morning. Shamu’s days are numbered!Whale Burgers for everyone!!
    Merry Christmas………

  23. erinyes  •  Dec 24, 2006 @1:58 pm

    OOPS, almost forgot,
    Ethiopia just went to war with Somalia.
    No Shit……
    Talk about absurd!

  24. Bullsmith  •  Dec 24, 2006 @3:53 pm

    Pipes is really big on freedom of speech when it comes to Israel too. According to him, everyone has to be free to defend Israel, and anyone who critizes say, illegal settlement building is killing that freedom. As you so aptly say, for these guys, freedom of speech means their their right to be free from those who disagree with them.

    They’re facists. There’s no more accurate description.

  25. Canadian Jack  •  Dec 24, 2006 @9:41 pm

    These religious arguments leave me cold. I don’t care for the religious mindset that demands that we believe impossible things as a token of our faith. I prefer to live in a civil society that tolerates religions, gives religious institutions and organizations their due, but doesn’t encourage them.

  26. J Marra  •  Dec 25, 2006 @1:16 am

    “Freedom” is what I would call not a buzzword, but a “gong word.”

    Every time they say “freedom” it acts like hitting one of those Chinese gongs that’s so loud you can’t hardly think. You’re supposed to immediately chime agreement.

  27. marijam  •  Dec 26, 2006 @10:00 am

    * my Muslim friends never complained about the Catholic church bells ringing *

    Of course not. It is up to them to assimilate into our culture, not for us to assimilate into theirs. If they want to ring bells five times a day, that’s okay because its what I am accustomed to. I just don’t want to hear a voice, in a foreign language, coming across a loud speaker five times a day (however unlikely this would be for me personally). This nation was founded on religious freedom – but it wasn’t founded by Muslims.

  28. maha  •  Dec 26, 2006 @10:51 am

    Of course not. It is up to them to assimilate into our culture, not for us to assimilate into theirs.

    Be careful about this “our culture” business. “Our history” includes a longstanding and virulent anti-Catholic streak. And “our culture” has changed considerably over the past couple of centuries because of immigration.

    “Our nation” may not have been founded by Muslims, but it wasn’t founded by Christians, either, if you define “Christian” as someone who accepts the Doctrine of Trinity.

    This country has a long-standing tradition of allowing for communities of religious believers who separate themselves from mainstream culture. The Amish are a good example, but there have been many others, not all of which survive to the present day (like the Shakers). Others, like the Mormons, manage to work their way into the mainstream. And some, like Orthodox Jews in New York City, manage to maintain a separate culture even while living in the midst of mainstream culture. Not everyone “assimilates,” and that’s OK as long as they aren’t interfering with anyone else.

    THAT’S what this nation was founded on.



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