General Question

wundayatta's avatar

How can conservative pandering and jingoism work?

Asked by wundayatta (58635points) August 17th, 2010

The Imam who wants to build a 13-story box building that includes an Islamic “prayer room” (as well as a gym and a swimming pool) once conducted sensitivity training for the FBI. He is a graduate of Columbia University. He is the author of a book called “What’s Right with Islam Is What’s Right with America.”

Conservative politicians are trying to make the placement of his proposed “mosque” into an issue that will work in their favor. Yet Manhattanites and many of the families of 9/11 victims are in favor of letting the project go ahead.

Does the fact that many of the people who were hurt in the Trade Tower collapses do not oppose this project make any difference to conservatives? Should it? Do you think this conservative tactic can work? Will it work? Why or why not?

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24 Answers

ETpro's avatar

Great question. It is sad how many sheeple are so easily deceived by Demagogues. And not just taken to the cleaners once, mind you, but again and again. In the 1930s it was Father Couglin preaching love of Nazism and antisemitisms. Then came Sen. Joseph McCarthy, the phony anti-communist crusader and demagogue extraordinaire. After that, we had the Anti Catholic murmuring and open advertising to stop the ”papist” John Kennedy from winning the presidency and putting the White House in the hands of a foreign power. We had the surrender monkey campaign impugning the patriotism of all who oppose right-wing lock-step policy and the Swift Boaters. We had the lies from Republicans about Max Cleland being a coward who never really served. Max Cleland was a Vietnam War hero who lost both legs and one arm serving our nation, and voters fell for the lies , electing a man went through the Vietnam War on student deferments.

Now we have the demonization of immigrants, the myth of terror babies, the “Mosque” faux-controversy. It is disgusting. I keep waiting to see when all the people that fall for this crap over and over will finally wake up and notice it has all been a pack of lies. The day will come. A past master of political propaganda, Joseph Goebbels, warned; “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

YARNLADY's avatar

Oh, come on, words have power beyond most peoples imagination. I have been trying to get this point across for years, to no avail.

ragingloli's avatar

Humans easily fall prey to the us-vs-them mentality. Your species is easily influenced by appeals to your inherent xenophobia.
That is how Hitler got into power, and if you think your country is immune to that, just look at what the cons are doing and you know that you are wrong.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

People seem eager to be told what to fear and who is responsible for their troubles. They tend to believe whomever will provide such answers and The neo-fascist conservatives are only to pleased to promote fear and answer the questions of the willingly ignorant and ill-informed.

laureth's avatar

Propaganda = a little truth used to make the lies palatable enough to swallow.

Cruiser's avatar

It’s a two edged political football and a hot one at that.

On one hand you have an Iman given the benefit of the doubt wants to build a place of worship and at face value is no biggie but who is also being less than transparent about his motives for building this mosque in an obviously sensitive area when there are some many other locations outside this hallowed ground where he could build his mosque. In fact he is going out of his way to avoid answering all the hard questions about this project including the sources of funding this quite expensive undertaking.

On the other hand there are countless bars, strip joints and liquor stores within a par 5 of ground zero…so it does seem hypocritical to say what is appropriate to have built or not built “near” ground zero. Again they are not asking to build ON ground zero just pretty darn close.

Butt I do say put the project on hold until we can be certain not one dollar to build this project is coming from the Islamic extremists.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Cruiser Islamic extremists don’t want to build anything, they want to destroy stuff. Just like extreme evangelical Christians who assassinate OB/GYN’s. Should we ban any evangelical church from within a 5-mile radius of a hospital?

MeinTeil's avatar

Kieth Olberman accuses the right of it, the left gets indignant along with him, everybody’s happy

Cruiser's avatar

@gorillapaws I didn’t say that….“they” the extremists would relish in funding this project just to thumb their noses at us is all and this Iman refuses to remove any doubt of this potential by withholding his funding sources. Where there is smoke there is fire is my take at this point in time. So easy to put this to bed and remove any doubt. The ball is in his court.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Cruiser I suspect that if he’s getting funding from extremists, the CIA would be all over that shit. And if terrorists really wanted to “thumb their noses at us” wouldn’t they be building something a little more provocative than an Islamic YMCA—such as an American flag burning booth, or a t-shirt shop that sells shirts with offensive messages?

Lately, where there’s smoke, there’s a right wing asshole trying to light fires.

Cruiser's avatar

@gorillapaws I would love to believe the CIA you refer to the same CIA that missed clear signals that an attack was imminent prior to 9/11 would too be a source to rely upon to provide clarity to this discussion…but I will not hold my breath. I take my cues from public open sources not secret cloak and dagger organizations with agendas to follow. Saying that I turn to these open sources who have done due diligence and are also coming up with the same questions I am asking…who is funding this project and this is what I find…

“Claudia Rosett, a journalist with the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and a weekly columnist for Forbes, devoted two columns to questioning the source of the funding for the project.[40][52] Some U.S. politicians such as Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who is an Independent Democrat, and Republicans Peter King and Rick Lazio (NY-2), asked for an investigation of the group’s finances, especially its foreign funding.[53] King said: ”The people who are involved in the construction of the mosque are refusing to say where their [$100 million] funding is going to come from.”[22][54][55] Lazio said: “Let’s have transparency. If they’re foreign governments, we ought to know about it. If they’re radical organizations, we ought to know about it.*”[23]”

“Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, President of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, noted:”

There should be transparency about who those investors are, whether that money is coming from domestic interests or not, and if it’s coming from foreign interests we need to know, because I think that’s a liability, and it shows that there is another agenda rather than domestic security and tranquility.[39]”

This is a simple question about who is funding this project @gorillapaws not some right wingnut conspiracy agenda…the same simple question that over ½ of our country is asking for an answer to and a lot more who are thinking about this same question that this Iman and investors are refusing to answer and the same question our President is now backing away from. All they have to do is provide a simple answer to this question and the lack of an answer to me speaks volumes.

josie's avatar

I am sure many of the Flutherites who give the standard feel-good, we are all brothers, boilerplate position on this issue have never actually been to the Middle East and met these (Muslim) people face to face. First of all there are very few “moderate” Muslims. Muslims are sort of like Catholics. They are either the truly Faithful, or they simply take a sort of chauvinistic pride in saying that they are but without really following the rules. Sort of like belonging to a fancy health and fitness club, but never going to work out. The (so called) moderate Muslims are legitimately concerned about provoking the suspicion and hostility of the West. They do not want conflict. They are vexed by the Faithful who commit what they consider irrational acts of violence against the Western world. They understand the predictament their part of the world is in, and they do not want to be further set back by trouble with the West.
Thus, the people promoting the construction of this building are not moderates. They are agent provocateurs. This is a calculated endeavor on their part. If they succeed, it will be proof to them of the righteousness of their cause. Once this proof is presented to the Faithful, they will most likely use the building as a detonator for a nuke (because after all, it is not a Mosque). This is the dream of the non “moderates”-a nuke in lower Manhattan. They can barely conceal their excitement over the prospect. Anyone who does as little as speak approvingly of this idea has a spot in Heaven. If they fail, they can whine that they are being unfairly discriminated against, and use that as evidence that all that the infidels want is to wipe out once and for all the followers of the Prophet. Or if somebody in their rage burns it down, they will take the opportunity to exact revenge. They cannot lose. But as I said, I doubt of many Flutherites have had the enlightining opportunity to hear them talk about it.
I am not saying that anybody can actually stop them from building this building. For once, the president had it correct.
But it is not exclusively a vast right wing conspiracy behind the resistance to this project. It is people who understand the real world implications of this building. If the local authorities do not stop it, then anything that happens will be bad.
I know that about 90 percent of the Collective will predictablly disapprove of this position. Oh well. Nothing new there. You happen to be wrong. But you’ll see.
If they build it, and you live in lower Manhattan, I would consider moving.

laureth's avatar

Interestingly, the Imam in question was one of GWBush’s go-to guys after 9/11. He helped the Bush administration. Apparently, Bush didn’t think this guy was a terrorist extremist nutjob. Now, I know that not all the conservatives here are fond of Dubya, but you have to admit that the guy led one of the most paranoid administrations in recent memory, and he still didn’t arrest the Imam and send him to gitmo. Interesting, now that he wants to replace his worship center (“mosque” makes it out to be a big tall thing with minarets when it’s mostly like a YMCA with a chapel), suddenly he’s a big bad scary terrorist.

wundayatta's avatar

I’m kind of excited about this financial transparency idea. Let’s make every religious group in the country show the source of every donation they have. Seems to me that it’s highly likely that Chinese communists are funding the new Mormon Temple in Philadelphia.

And, @josie, your ability to create this entire conspiracy from a few ideas is impressive. Damn! If only you were telling a believable conspiracy, I think you’d be my new best friend.

josie's avatar

@wundayatta Suit yourself.

gorillapaws's avatar

@Cruiser I would argue that today’s CIA is a very different CIA from what what it was pre- 9/11.

@josie Terrorism is dependent on the element of surprise. I can guarantee you that nobody is sneaking nukes into that place, it will likely be under heavy surveillance. If someone detonates a nuke in the US it will be via something sneaky, not something obvious.

Also, is it a Mosque or more of a YMCA with a prayer room? I’ve heard several different accounts, but what’s it really going to be?

Cruiser's avatar

@gorillapaws Our whole world is a lot different from what it was pre 9/11 hence my own concern with this project.

ETpro's avatar

@Cruiser The building planned is an Islamic Community Center that will have a prayer room inside. It is not a Mosque. It is 2 blocks and around a corner from the site where the WTC once stood. You cannot see one building from the other. The Imam who is pushing has worked with the Bush Administration and the FBI in developing ways to fight Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism. He wanted to build near Ground Zero because he wants the project to call attention to the fact that Muslims dies in the twin tower collapse right along with Christians, Jews and those of other faiths or no faith at all. He wants to highlight the point that this is not a war between the two largest religions.

It seems to me that many who are behind the demagoguery do want a war against all of Islam. If they get the upper hand in US government, that is what they will work to get. And that means a war to exterminate 1.2 billion people, many of whom live in the two other nuclear superpowers, Russia and China. Since all out war with the West and Islam is exactly what al Qaeda wants as well, it seems to me the demagogues are playing right into bin Laden’s hands yet again.

Void's avatar

@wundayatta, ”Does the fact that many of the people who were hurt in the Trade Tower collapses do not oppose this project make any difference to conservatives? Should it? Do you think this conservative tactic can work? Will it work? Why or why not?”

No, No, and maybe. This issue isn’t just about the feelings of family victims even though conservatives are pushing this issue. By the way,

Recent Poll’s Taken

Now, consider these points,

Ground Zero A shrine to shariah

Similar Link

What Rudy Guiliani said

Imam Unmosqued

Void's avatar

Woops, three of the links didn’t seem to work in the first reply. Only “similar link” and “What Rudy Guiliani said” worked in the first reply.

Recent Polls Take

Ground Zero A Shrine to Shariah

Imam Unmosqued

Cruiser's avatar

@ETpro I am not buying it as this has nothing at all to do with “political power” it is all about emotions, raw religious and human emotions about the darkest day in our Nations history.

This Iman has an agenda and like @Void;s links show it is becoming clearer everyday. I see it, millions of other people see it, this guy has had every opportunity to come clean and he hasn’t and when he is finally and fully vetted, there will be little doubt left that although his vision may seem noble and “harmless” with his “prayer” room that will hold 4,500 worshipers and if you give them each just 2’x4’ for their prayer mat without space in between mats, that is a 36,000 square foot “prayer room”!! Sounds more like a mosque sized prayer “room” to me! And that because it will have a restaurant he says it cannot be considered a mosque is just smoke and mirrors! Plus he now admits he knowingly will solicit funds from Iran and other middle eastern countries that support Muslim extremism. Come on already, enough of the smoke screen BS here! Bottom line is this project where it stands is not a good idea for many reasons that could so easily be assuaged by just doing it anywhere but that close to an area of such obvious controversy.

My prediction is this project will never see the light of day.

josie's avatar

@gorillapaws Sadly you can’t make that guarantee. Also, what would have to happen in order to qualify a terrorist nuke as “sneaky”, as opposed to “not sneaky”.

gorillapaws's avatar

@josie let me put it this way: using a building that’s the center of international controversy is not sneaky.

ETpro's avatar

@josie Nor can you guarantee that blocking this project would prevent anyone from sneaking a nuke into an American city. You can’t even guarantee that blocking it will not CAUSE someone to senak a nuke into a downtown building and detonate it.

What we can guarantee is that, while there are people who have very legitimate reservations about the Islamic Civic Center being built within 3 blocks of ground zero, there are many many more who are using it for demagoguery to gain political advantage.

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