Pam Geller: Osama’s Handmaiden

At Salon, Justin Elliott explains how the phony “ground zero mosque” issue was fired up by pathological whackjob Pam Geller and Rupert Murdoch’s New York Post. The article begins,

A group of progressive Muslim-Americans plans to build an Islamic community center two and a half blocks from ground zero in lower Manhattan. They have had a mosque in the same neighborhood for many years. There’s another mosque two blocks away from the site. City officials support the project. Muslims have been praying at the Pentagon, the other building hit on Sept. 11, for many years.

In short, there is no good reason that the Cordoba House project should have been a major national news story, let alone controversy.

There really isn’t. But now that it’s been jacked up into a Big Bleeping Deal, the Right is determined to continue Osama bin Laden’s dream of terrorizing America into destroying itself. As Michael Daly writes at the New York Daily News, blocking the building of the Islamic center is exactly what Osama bin Laden wants.

And it’s way past time to say plainly that Pam Geller is Osama bin Laden’s tool, agent, and spokesperson. Plus some other things I don’t say because I don’t care for vulgarity.

At Time magazine, Mark Halperin asks the GOP to not exploit the emotions fueling the “ground zero mosque” controversy as they campaign for the midterm elections. “Do the right thing,” he says. However, Halperin doesn’t make an argument that the issue won’t work for the GOP politically, so he’s whistling in the wind. Decency? Respect for human values? From today’s GOP? On what planet?

Halperin also repeats the assumption, and the fiction, that blocking the building of Cordoba House is “backed by the families of the 9/11 victims, in their most emotional return to the public stage since 2001.” One more time: No one has polled the families. We don’t know what they think. Yes, some of them have loudly denounced the project, while others have more quietly expressed support for it. Two major family organizations, Families of September 11 and the September 11th Families Association, have not taken a stand, one way or another.

Please, everybody, stop assuming that the survivors of the 9/11 victims are against the “mosque.” They are not all of one mind, and we have no way to know what a majority think.

21 thoughts on “Pam Geller: Osama’s Handmaiden

  1. Murdoch’s “NY Post.”
    Murdoch’s “WSJ.”
    Murdoch’s “FOX News.”
    Murdosh’s “FOX Business Channel.”
    Murdoch’s “FOX News Talk Radio (on satellite).”
    I remember how people told me years ago how it didn’t matter if foreign individuals (and yes, I do know that he’s now a US citizen) owned US media outlets.
    And how it didn’t matter if the same person or group cross-owned different mediums in the same market.
    Sadly, our Congress listened to those people…
    Imagine how different our political and cultural landscape would look if that hadn’t been allowed to happen? Am I naive enough to think that someone else wouldn’t have stepped into those shoes? No. Likely someone, or some group, would have.
    The question is, would they have been as successful? And could they have run those businesses at a loss for years, as Murdoch has? I’m not so sure of that.

    As for Pam Geller, a dyslexic might describe her as a ‘cateful hunt.’

  2. Its just another wedge issue. What else have they got to talk about, they certainly don’t know how to govern.

  3. Also, see dana at Edge of the American West.

    Isn’t the Imam a Sufi? And isn’t Sufism so liberal that it’s outlawed in most Middle Eastern countries?

  4. The other side of this is, if people really did love themselves some Muslim brothers and sisters, and really thought that the location was bad, there’d be some phone calls made, some business favors called in, and there’d be an offer on the table – “here’s a site, we’ve got zoning taken care of; we found a buyer for the old Burlington Coat Factory, and it’s all cost-neutral for you.”

    When you just say “NO! Not there!” it’s seen as an attack, because, face it… it is. “Don’t you dare do something I don’t want you to!”

  5. Gordon: I’m not sure if the imam is a Sufi, though I know he’s much more representative of mainstream American Islam than any dangerous insurgent group. It’s another fallacy of Geller and co.’s opposition; the Muslims who live in our country, shop at our malls, attend our schools, etc. are not (in almost all cases) the same people as those who plot to overthrow and terrorize.

    However, I think this might be the wrong tactic to take. To tell the right-wing opposition to the mosque that Sufism is safe is to go down a slippery slope of discrimination. It implies that Abdul Rauf’s group has earned the right to religious freedom due to its good behavior. Essentially, it doesn’t matter if Abdul Rauf is moderate or radical, peaceful or incendiary, pro-America or anti-America. Because this is America, a religious group that buys a property has the right to build what they want there.

  6. We had a whackjob here in Manhattan Beach a number of years ago who managed to start (and see to its ultimate fruition) a rumor that a popular day-care center for tots was actually a place infested with a sexual abusing staff while posing as a day-care center. She even went so far as to accuse a local Episcopal church of aiding and abetting the depraved staff by holding demonic rituals in its sanctuary in which children were being forced to do ‘nasty’ things.

    The whackjob managed to close the center, send hundreds of terrified parents to psychologists to cure their children, practically close the doors of the church forever, financially ruin the family who owned the center and probably leading to the early death of its founder.

    It was later, but too late, determined that the whackjob woman who started the whole tragedy was crazier than a loon and had concocted the whole sordid story out of nothing. A motive was never determined. She was just crazy.

  7. I don’t know about tangerine..according to Dutch Boy color samples he’d be Sonora Sunrise. Glidden paints lists his color a Navajo. Here’s his technical color data which is standard for internet color use.

    #b65534 color hex

    #b65534 hex color information, #b65534 color charts.

    RGB value of #b65534 is (182,85,52)

  8. Once again, the people who believe we’re so morally ethically emotionally disciplined that we can take care of themselves uses lies to prove its point. They’d like nothing more than to invade Iran to build another billion dollar embassy, then blame the Cordoba house on the “Hussein”s of the world.

  9. “Please, everybody, stop assuming that the survivors of the 9/11 victims are against the “mosque.” They are not all of one mind, and we have no way to know what a majority think”

    Who cares what any of the family organizations think, who cares what the wing-nut fear merchants think, who cares what the proponents of the mosque think, who gives a shit what any of them think. The only thing that matters here is: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof . . .” Why is that so fucking hard to understand?

  10. Hi, we’re the New 21st Century Republican Party:
    No pita.
    No taco’s.
    Crackers only!

  11. Just read at TPM that Senator Reid has made a statement on this controversy. Why? Because apparently senior Democrats are irresistably drawn to walk into the traps set up for them by Republicans. Reid came out in what I think of as the “wishy-washy” position: they have a right to build there, but they should build somewhere else. Oy!

    In the old days you didn’t get to be Majority Leader unless you had the smarts to reject the opposition’s bogus framing and substitute your own. The correct answer from someone in his position should be along the lines of “I’m glad you asked me about Ground Zero. What I’d like to know is why the Republicans refused to provide support for the people who ran to the rescue that day?” Turn the entire subject back into a “why are the GOP scumbags”, and whatever you do, don’t buy into the idea that there is some legitimacy to this controversy.

    Instead, he legitimated the controversy, then weakly raised the Republican position on first responders health care. It would have been better if he’d said nothing. By commenting, he totally bought into the Republican frame of “this is an issue worthy of comment”. And then his position is “people are right to be upset”.

    Why can’t we have some politically saavy Democrats?

  12. “The First Amendment protects freedom of religion,” reads a statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s office (D-Nev.). “Senator Reid respects that but thinks that the mosque should be built someplace else.

    I have problems understanding the word respect in that statement. I sense some sort of a contradiction there. How can you respect freedom of religion on one hand and disrespect on the other? Maybe it’s just me?

  13. “Why can’t we have some politically savvy Democrats”

    Good question, they have all bought the whole this is a center right argument pushed by the wing-nut media, they just can’t stick to a liberal message. Senator Reid is a wimp,he’s got no stones, I hope he loses to that ding-bat Angle, it will serve him right and after 6 years of the Christian Taliban senator maybe the people of Nevada will learn a lesson as well.

  14. uncledad,
    JFK ‘wrote’ “Profiles in Courage” over 50 years ago. If he were able to come up with a sequel in 50 years, Harry Reid sure as Hell wouldn’t be in it. As a matter of fact, damn few Democrats alive would…

  15. Swami, thanks for clarifying the Boehner’s proper shade. Do you suppose in the morning he touches up with Glidden, or Dutch Boy?

    (Ohh, the fun I could have with those two sentences. But I won’t.)

    I mock Boehner, but right now GRRRR I am so disgusted (again!) with Harry Reid. I’d hate to see that nutcake Angle win, but jeez.

  16. joanr16.. No problem, I just imported a picture of Boehner into photoshop and used the color pick tool on his forehead to get his RGB values. Easy as pie!

  17. I’m an Australian and I’ve been following the story from afar … I’m beyond stunned at (a) the viciousness and relentlessness of the ridiculous lies peddled over and over again by wingnuts, and (b) the fact that most people you would expect to stand up to this contemptible bullying, from Obama down, are in fact cravenly appeasing it.

    It speaks volumes for the condition of US society, none of them good.

    • It speaks volumes for the condition of US society, none of them good.

      Yes, I’m afraid so. Just in case Canada closes its border, have you got space on your sofa for me and my cat?

      Seriously, a big part of the problem is that people aren’t getting straight information about the Islamic Center from national media. Big chunks of cable television news, radio, and print publications have been taken over by extremist right-wingers who will stop at nothing to discredit anything resembling sanity. Nationally known, household-name news media personalities are telling millions of viewers, night after night, that Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is a radical who is secretly being funded by jihadists. I think people unfamiliar with lower Manhattan imagine some classic mosque with a dome and minarets looming over Ground Zero. I’d like to believe that if a majority of Americans had a clearer understanding of the details, they’d calm down and realize it’s a non-issue. However, trying to get factual information to the U.S. public is just about impossible because of the dominance of the right-wing media noise machine.

      The Islamic Center episode illustrates why the U.S. is becoming increasingly ungovernable. Again, I’d like to believe that a majority of the American public can come to sensible, pragmatic solutions on most issues if they get straight information about it. But that last bit is the big catch. Time and time again, on one issue after another, the American public is fed a lot of extremist propaganda through an infrastructure of media outlets and “think tanks.” A relatively small number of obscenely wealthy families have figured out how to use their money to manipulate public opinion to their advantage, and it’s gotten to the point that, apparently, even the President of the United States is afraid of them.

      As a result, the U.S. is declining steadily and turning into a really hard, nasty place to live, and I am increasingly doubtful that we’ll ever be able to turn it around. If I were a few decades younger I’d seriously consider starting over somewhere else.

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