Friday, September 10, 2010

Holy War, Batman!

My friend, Paul, has asked me to clarify a bit on my repeated claims that Islam is not radical. There are, of course, radical Muslims, radical sects of Islam, etc. But, when I speak of Islam, I'm speaking in the same general terms as if I were speaking of Christianity, Judaism, Hindu, Atheism, etc. In these here United States when we see someone walking out of Sunday services, we don't tend to think "I bet they're on their way to murder an abortion doctor" or "I wonder if their 'God Hates Fags' signs are spelled correctly." We tend to assume they're just average workaday normal people.

On the other hand, when we see someone exiting a Mosque, we are evidently supposed to think, "That guy hates me and would happily kill my children in front of me just prior to chopping off my hands and head."

This is a spectacularly shitty injustice. As the president said today, Muslims in America are our neighbors and co-workers. They work in the hospitals where we go when we're sick. They're tellers at the banks where their CEO bosses are otherwise occupied with robbing us blind (another post... another post). I cannot imagine how it must feel to have your way of life so loathed and mistrusted.

Of course, these notions don't spring up whole unto themselves. They get ginned up by people seeking power and attention. For the latter, we have the Palins and the Becks of the world who bear a striking resemblance to Florida Pastor Batshit in that they are willing to shout "terrorist" and "traitor" at anyone, so long as it gets the cameras pointed in their direction.

But, when you're talking about the power-seekers, you need to go full on Holy War. Which brings us to Mr. Newt Gingrich. Newtie, of course, reached biblical levels of hypocrisy and sleaziness in the 90s when he shut down Congress and led the impeachment fight purportedly because the president got a hummer but really, you know, because he could.

Those kinds of shenanigans are almost adorable when compared to his latest foray into the dirtiest sleaze that ever sleazed. This trailer actually makes me physically recoil. The link is to a story in TPM, I don't recommend watching the trailer itself, but it's there if you want to.

At the risk of coming off as a Blame America First liberal (which, for the record, I'm not and which is, furthermore, about as big a group as Florida Pastor Batshit's flock). But it takes a special kind of shameless to claim that we're (this allegedly Christian nation of America) under attack by theocratic Muslims when we're the one dropping bombs on them.

Lookit: I'm going to say this again and again. Newt Gingrich claims he's a Christian. I will do all Christian people the simple courtesy of not assuming that he speaks for them. Contrariwise, we all ought to extend the same courtesy to the Muslims of the world.