Sandy Hook

Sandy Hook

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mosques, Muslims and Much Ado About Nothing

In a Sunday appearance on ABC's This Week, conservative George Will observed that the two-blocks-from-ground-zero-mosque-story is an August story, the kind of story used during a slow news time, the kind that is predicated on insensitivity. According to George, "sensitivity is overrated."

He's right of course, but there's more to this mosque  business than just a slow news time. Hell, if we used this kind of story as a yardstick for measuring slow news times, we would have been moving backwards for the past 30 years.

FACT: Muslims began arriving in this country, by design or by force, as far back as the middle 1700s.  Just think. It's a good possibility that Muslims were here before many of our white Christian ancestors.

FACT: What is most likely the first American mosque was founded in 1915 by Albanian Muslims in Briddeford, Maine. A Muslim cemetery still exists there.

FACT: During the 19th century, large numbers of Christian and Muslim immigrants arrived in the United States from Syria and Lebanon. Muslim farmers, peddlers and shop owners settled throughout the midwest. In 1934 the first mosque actually built in the U.S. was completed in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

FACT: The estimated number of mosques in the U.S. is 2,000.

FACT: As of mid 2010, the Pew Forum estimated there were 1.57 billion Muslims in the U.S.

So, if my calculator is working correctly, this means that Muslims arrived in the U.S. at least 250 years ago. It also proves that the first mosque was founded nearly 100 whole years ago. And here we are in the year 2010 and Christians are just now bitching about mosques and Muslims? Where have they been all this time?

Don't get sensitive. Get real.

CORRECTION: Pew estimates the Muslim population in the U.S. to be 2,454,000.


  1. The facts speak volumes. This issue is based on rightwing fearmongering and a way to get Americans focused on the GOP for something other than the fact they are LOSERS and have NO PLAN for America if they are so blessed to take back some power, GOD FORBID!!!

  2. Oh, they just found a new group to pick on mercilessly, like schoolyard bullies crying "my book of old stories is better than yours!"

  3. Great post, tnlib, and a great comment from Sue. I would never have guessed the first mosque was in Iowa.

    The thing that gets me about people bitching about mosques and Muslims now is that there is and has been a mosque near the WTC site all along. That mosque was started in the 1950s. Yet the 9-11 victim families and their "sympathizers" either didn't notice or didn't care. So, why is this community center project such a problem for them?

    It's like Sue said. It's another right-wing Republican election-year bid for a wedge issue, like Willie Horton was. Like Terri Schiavo was. It's divisive here and hurts our efforts to establish better relations with Muslims abroad. At some future point, don't be surprised if that mischief translates into U.S. troops and/or citizens failing to get tips and help that could save their limbs and lives.

  4. I agree with all of the comments here about the mosque. But the Willie Horton commercials DID have a very valid point about a program Dukakis had to let dangerous felons free to roam. A program he fought to keep even after the outrage. Poorly thought out policies like this can and should be fair game.

    (A similar point can be made about conservative Mike Huckabee's also going out of his way to turn the worst criminals loose).

  5. I have to tell you,I'm so disappointed in both friends and the public in general. Of course I'm in favor of them building the damn thing anywhere it's legal to do so. Now it's a big deal that it's supposed to be a community center of sorts. But not really because if you were to attend the thing, you have to go by the rules and customs of the site.
    Prayer when your supposed to and dress accordingly.
    No, it's not a YMCA, so if you don't like the rules,don't go. I don't go to churches,because I don't believe in them. I'm then not going to call them out for not wanting me to attend. They have their rules and customs and I choose not to give up my evil ways.

  6. Sue: You're right. Obviously they have no ideas or plans or they don't want to have ideas or plans. It's much easier to obstruct, to not even try to work together or compromise. Worst of all, they don't care - or are too stupid to care - that they are tearing the country apart with this sort of stupidity. Actually, they're too selfish to care about the consequences of their actions.

    I really detest these people and what they stand for, or what they don't stand for. I mean, is this some kind of stupid game for these morons?

    Bee: I really think that's part of it. First, the Latinos and now the Muslims. Who's next? People with the last name of Parsley?

    SW: Good comment, but I don't think these kinds of ignorant - and in this case I do mean ignorant - members of the human, maybe, race care anything about our relationship with Muslims elsewhere in the world. In fact, I think they're too "ignorant" to give a hoot in hell that they are showing their butts to the rest of the world and making the entire country look like a bunch of buffoons.

    dmarks, thanks for your comment, but I'm not going there. Sorry.

    Tim: If you gave up your evil ways, the entire Bloggosphere would come to a halt. ; )

  7. Yes, it is off-topic, but you still could have sniped at Huckabee :)

    Back on topic, I've heard the quotes from the imam. I can't think of anything that he would say that would make me want to ban that mosque.

  8. thanks, dmarks. I must say, you do your homework even if you don't always reach the right conclusion. ; )

  9. Lets see, in the same neighborhood as the mosque are two nudie bars and an off track betting facility...I would think that if the WTC site is to become a shrine then we have quite a bit of neighborhood cleaning up to do...

    The whole purpose of this issue to keep the focus on "muslim" and the fact that quite a few Americans believe Obama is a "muslim"

    Its all part of the beginning of the midterm elections....once the elections are over then it will be "what mosque?"

  10. Thanks for your research on this and for laying out the facts, so clearly. It's easy for people to get hysterical when they have no history or numbers to hang onto. Too bad you're no longer working for a news operation. Obviously, the media needs you now!

    My college roommate was Muslim and married a very religious Muslim from Iran. They settled in Baltimore and I believe they had three children. One is a very high-ranking US military officer and Gulf War combat veteran. Considering the bigotry that has surfaced over this issue, I wonder what he (and other Muslims in the military) thinks of some of the people he's spent his life protecting.

  11. Tao: The bat boy will knock it out of the headlines once they realize that a 13-story mosque is pretty hard to notice in a city of 40+ story skyscrapers.

  12. We have had "Red Scares", "Yellow Peril scares", "Catholic Scares", and of course the unreasoned fear of our Hispanic neighbors to the south which is still going on. Ignorance is a damn contiguous virus.

    I had a long talk with my father-in-law the other day who is fearful of both the Hispanic and Muslim bogeymen hiding underneath his bed. During his rant I wondered if I could find a gay Hispanic Muslim, I don't mean to be disrespectful to anyone but I figure if I could the man would run off into the hills forever. That way I would be spared his "wisdom'.

  13. TAO - I hope you're right. In the meantime my tongue is wearing down my screen.

    Thanks, Paula. That's very kind. I wonder if there's a co-relation between the demise of the news library and the decline in the quality of reporting. A poignant point you make about your friends' military son.

    dmarks. Exactly - but in the meantime . . .

    Beach: LOL LOL LOL. I bet you can't find a conservative blog where people have a sense of humor like us "hippie commie pinko queers." At least that's what they called us in the 60s.

  14. It's a drag when people around the country get all up into your local issue. Like most New Yorkers, I experienced Sept 11 as an entirely no good, very bad day. It got worse when George Bush came to town with a megaphone and hard hat costume.
    Ron Paul's statement summed up the whole situation accurately - it's all about funding endless war in the Middle East. Too bad about his kid, The AquaBuddah.
    Gives me a dang headache.

  15. Thanx for your info here Leslie ... I know that this is fact, yet many American's are ignoring so much at this time. In all fairness here, and I am not pro religion at all, but am against depriving folk's what to believe in or practice. The first mosque I visited, was actually at the invitation of an African American community activist around 1980, Mr.John Wiley Price, who today is the controversial Dallas County Commissioner, on S.Harwood St. @ South Central Expwy, in South Central Dallas. This branch of Islam for instance was very active even in the 1970's across America, and inspired by NOI (Nation of Islam) movement, a significant religion in the African American community ... so it is NOT a strange religion even to American people at all. If it wasnt for this stunt pulled by Mr.bin Laden ( I am only saying Mr.bin Laden, because he personally claim's responsibility for the 9/11 incident on Manhattan) ...this "al-Qaeda" sect, we wouldnt hear all this. Another fact that I want to point out that many American's dont realize is that this issue is as much a problem as the Ku Klux Klan was to Christianity ... al-Qaeda, actually as well as group's like the Taliban are a distinctive sect of Islam, that also terrorize muslim's all over the globe ... they are very hardcore old school in their interpretation of the Quran ... so this enemy is also just as much a threat to muslim's as much as to westerner's. There are as much variation's of practice in Islam (many practice's in the Middle East are basically forcefed into society, and made "law") as there is in Christianity actually abroad, most of the root's of hardcore Islam are established from a very small sector of the globe. But thank you for your insight here.

  16. Also if I may add, that the most knowledgeable person that I know or frequent online as far as Islam or the Arabic culture would be Infidel753, who paint's such an accurate picture of the reality. Mr.Infidel is not just familiar with the culture but also the Arabic language and writing, and also studied other language's and culture's as well.

  17. Beach Bum, thanks for the best laugh of the day. Priceless!

  18. Pen: 9/11 was the Bush's shining moment. He was almost gloating when he strutted out there with that "megaphone and hard hat costume." LOL. "Watch me, Dad. Now I can play war games."

    RC: America has become an instant gratification society. If people have to think about something for more than a couple of minutes, it's just easier to go on the attack.

    SW: I don't expect anything less from Beech and always look forward to his wit.

  19. And I thank you S.W. for making me blush, and making my day!

  20. In the face of Republicans stirring up hate and religious bigotry, it's nice to hear the facts. Nice post.