9.08.2010

What will destroy America?

If a book is meaningful I will read it more than once. Every year since it was first published in 1965, I have reread James A. Michener’s historical novel, “The Source.”

Michener was a genius at weaving a tale, and this one is woven around an archaeological dig at Tell Makor. The book is a history of the Jewish people with chapters written around artifacts found at various levels of the Tell. Between chapters, Michener brings the reader to the dig itself, a joint effort led by Jews, Muslims and Christians to uncover biblical history.

All three of the world’s great religions worship the same deity. The message of the book – with Jew and Muslim and Christian at the Tell discussing efforts to coexist in the world - is as fresh today as it was 45 years ago.

Last night I read a guest post on “Diversity Ink” – a post written by my friend and fellow blogger Sue and titled “Insensitivity or Bigotry?”

To be honest, the brouhaha over an Islamic community center, to be situated along with adult bookstores and massage parlors two blocks from the site of the 9/11 tragedy, has worn itself thin with me.

But Sue put a new light on it by focusing on the imam at the center of the controversy. She quotes both Walter Isaacson, a great writer who has written biographies of great Americans, and former President George W. Bush:

Isaacson, founder of the nonpartisan Aspen Institute: "Imam Feisal has participated at the Aspen Institute in Muslim-Christian-Jewish working groups looking at ways to promote greater religious tolerance. He has consistently denounced radical Islam and terrorism and promoted a moderate and tolerant Islam. Some of this work was done under the auspices of his own group, the Cordoba Initiative ... This is why I find it a shame that his good work is being undermined by this inflamed dispute. He is the type of leader we should be celebrating in America - not undermining."

President Bush after 9/11: "The face of terror is not the true faith of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about. Islam is peace. These terrorists don't represent peace. They represent evil and war." Bush spoke these words at an Islamic center in Washington, D.C. He told the gathering and America, American Muslims "need to be treated with respect. In our anger and emotion, our fellow Americans must treat each other with respect."

After reading Sue’s post, I had an email exchange with a Florida friend about the “preacher” who plans a burning of the Quran on 9/11. If anything will bring this country down, it won’t be a threat from outside extremists, but from fools such as this guy. Imagine, if you will, an American imam planning an event to burn the Holy Bible. Where is the outcry against such insanity?

Fortunately, it has come at last. On Tuesday, “a broad coalition of Christian, Jewish and Islamic leaders denounced what they described as a rising tide of anti-Muslim bigotry across the United States.” (LINK)

Only then, did the NYC imam break his silence in a NYT op-ed piece published last night – “Building on Faith.” Read his words HERE.

TV ALERT: CNN's Soledad O'Brien has an exclusive interview with Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf tonight at 9 ET on "Larry King Live."

***

This country – my country, your country – is caught in a vortex of ignorance, narrow-mindedness, hatred and bigotry.

Listen to Rudyard Kipling:

“If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs …” then, and only then, can The United States of America be saved from destruction within.


UPDATE: Imam on "Larry King Live"

10 comments:

tnlib said...

Only an idiot would wear a black suit in Florida. Since he only has about 50 members in his "church" I kind of feel if the damn media hadn't made such a big to-do about this, most people wouldn't even know about it. Free advetising for him; bad publicity for our country.

Sue said...

thanks BJ, when asked to do a guest post I thought the imam was a little outdated but not now. There is still much going on and I will read the op-ed when Amelia is napping! :-)

Tiny said...

Since the ignorant in Gainesville is getting so muuch media coverage, Tiny must honestly ask: Where was the media when the mosque in Jacksonville was bombed while over ninety Moslems were at prayer?

Does this not show bigotry and/or prejudice in our media outlets when they give top priority to this inflamamtory hatred and intolerance toward the Islamics, but NOT against the bigoted hatred and intolerance of the radical Christian Americans? Something is definitely wrong with this picture!

Like Glen Beck, pastor Terry Jones is waiting to hear from God as whether to stop the burning of the Qur'ans even it God tells him in the midst of the event. (Uh...Will this be a Moses Moment?) For those who can get YouTube, Steve Cobert gave the best take on how these self-glorified hear from God. (Be ready to RONTFLYAO.)

After the LAUGH-OUT let everyone who negatively mentions Cordoba House know that we honor the wisdom of our forebearers who wrote for "religious freedom, separation of church and state, equality for all."

We will overcome! Yes, we can and we will.

Loulou La Poule said...

"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg spoke on Tuesday about the plan and criticized politicians he claims are using the issue for political gain ahead of midterm elections in November.
'This is a political thing that all came up in two months -- and it's going to go away on November 4th,' he said."

Right there, in a nutshell, from Mayor Bloomberg, is the crux of the matter. I've always revered our system, but it can be gamed so very, very easily. Somewhere between No Child Left Behind and the Mama Grizzlies and the Born Agains, dumb won.

Bill Sumrall said...

Gee, so many better candidates as books to burn ... "Mein Kampf" by Adolf Hitler comes to mind ... perhaps the diaries of Lindsay Lohan ... I just can't decide ... perhaps if I consulted an expert ... perhaps if I put in a call to Ray Bradbury ... I seem to recall he wrote something on the subject ...

B.J. said...

Yes, Bill, “Farenheit 451,” the flash point at which paper burns. Had I known the focus would be on a book-burning moron, I would NOT have included him in the post.

The Christians I know should read the imam’s op-ed piece – link provided in post - to see just how nonsensical this whole issue is. I highly recommend that each of you do so.

Yes, Nance, that's it in a nutshell.

BJ

Tiny said...

Tiny thought Soledad O'Brien was, at times, rude and hostile to the Iman during her stint -- so-called interview with him. At times it seems she was trying to provoke him to anger. Her facial expressions and body as well as her verbal language made Tiny want to grab her, shake her, slap her mouth and tell her to shut the hell up and let the man answer the friggin' question she asked him. She seemed more interested in "Why can't you build elsewhere?" You know how it is when you're shouting at the TV and ready to crawl through the screen.

The Iman was telling the truth, even when he said we were responsible for creating Bin Laden. The Iman worked for the State Dept under Reagan and GW Bush. Tiny doesn't know how long he worked with the State Dept. But he said it was front page story in NY paper in December about them getting the property where it is and nothing was said about it until someone wanted to make it a political issue. And God knows we've seen enough of that.

Tiny thinks only eight of the Rethugs have finally came out and said, or almost said, they objected to the Qur'an burning. Boehner had to make it clear he objected to both the burning and the Cordoba Center. "Just because you have the right to (burn and build) doesn't mean that it's the right thing to do." (Tiny's paraphrase in parenthesis.) As though he's done so many "RIGHT" things for the people of this country. He's such a dork. Obama didn't have any problem calling him out on issues in Ohio either. Good for Obama!

But not one Rethug would object to the Qur'an burning until Gen. in charge of Iraq, NATO, Eric Holder, Hillary Clinton, and practically everyone else in the high gov't offices stated how they were placing our troops in horrible, threatening conditions while they are fighting for our freedoms and training Moslems how to fight for theirs. If the radicals turn on then in the foreign countries, do our kids have to fight and kill the ones they are trying to train?

It makes Tiny want to cry her eyes out for those helpless kids who are sent into war and the ass holes at home cause them more grief in which they are already entrenched. It's heartbreaking that people are so damn self centered on their own bigotry and wants. Tiny thinks maybe they should send that weaseled preacher and a bunch of other radicals in this country to take the place of the deployed kids. The Iman said he has a niece deployed in Iraq with the Army. He was doing all in his power to get the message across of how the actions in this country are fueling the radicals in the Middle East.

Tiny doesn't wonder at the young people turning away from Christianity. Who wants to be responsible for creating such horror and havoc for others? Only those who don't give a rip about their fellow human beings!

Oh, John McCain's daughter was on Rachael Maddow last night telling some of the things she and her dad disagree on and what she says in her book about Sarah Palin is not at all flattering. But she doesn't care about that part either! LOL

B.J. said...

Tiny: I appreciate so much your sharing your thoughts as I don’t have TV and did not get to hear the imam. I did read his op-ed piece which was great and am not yet finished reading the Larry King Live transcript! BJ

Tiny rants again... said...

Guess everyone has heard by now that the weasel one announced he heard from God (without the burning brush) and will not proceed with the Qur'an burning. Instead he will be flying to NY with the Central FL Iman to meet with the NY Iman.

What didn't make the talking head news is that the Weaseley Jones was denied a burn permit and would have been arrested the minute he struck a match. Not to mention that his insurance policy had been canceled and his mortgage company demanded the mtg paid in full NOW. And well...he was a broke as a church mouse!

Does anyone besides Tiny think he should be arrested for holding the world hostage with threats? A fire is just as deadly as a gun and his weapon of choice was fire. Let's hear it for him to spend some time in the slammer instead of getting the attention he craved by his threats.

He knew carrying through with that threat would have cost the lives of countless people the world over. Other hostages get a little room in the cooler, even if no one gets hurt or killed. Perhaps his 40 or 50 followers will crowd in there with him to keep him company. Throw in a bunch of politicians to make it more cozy for him!

Tiny makes a motion that he also be placed on the terrorists list. Anyone want to second that motion?
.

To get a clearer picture of him, you might want to check out the years he spent in Germany.

B.J. said...

Actually, I didn’t know this as I just woke from a nice, long nap. Thanks for the update. It’s good that he will sit down with the NYC imam. He will at least come away better informed than those who had an opportunity but did not read the imam’s op-ed piece. Oh, but that might have taken, say, five minutes. You tell me who needs to be reprimanded: those who are actively obtuse or those who are content to do nothing? BJ