Rightbloggers, Fox News and conservative politicians are purposely conflating Al Qaeda with Islam. While it’s true that Al Qaeda members claim to be living the lives of righteous Muslims – the fact is that they are terrorists. Members of the Ku Klux Klan make similar claims about Protestant Christianity, but they are terrorists too.
Many religions, particularly Christianity and Islam, attract a lot of crazy fundamentalists – people who claim to be the “real” Christians or the “purist” practitioners of Islam. But these groups are nothing but ignorant terrorists whose hearts are filled with hate.
While this has been going on for a long time, what’s disturbing is that this equating of a terrorist organization to the entire religion of Islam has reached mainstream American politics. The current uproar is over the so-called “Ground Zero mosque,” which isn’t a mosque and it’s not located at ground zero.
Interestingly, when George W. Bush was president, there seemed to be a concerted effort to keep this type of hate-filled rhetoric on the sidelines, but not anymore.
Politicians, rightbloggers and Fox News have latched onto to this ground zero mosque issue to spread hatred of all Muslims. They’re equating Muslims, such as Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf to Osama bin Laden. He’s a radical. He’s a fundamentalist. They’re doing this to spread fear. They’re doing this to divide the nation – to pit us against them. They want Muslims to be seen as the “other,” someone Americans should hate.
Why are they doing? In the short-term, it’s for political gain. They’re trying to get Democrats, and liberals, to appear to be supporting terrorists by standing up for the 1st Amendment so that they can take back Congress this year. In the long-term, they’re banking on this being a great wedge issue, similar to gay marriage, abortion and immigration – something that makes one American hate another American.
Conservatives have always sought policies to divide and conquer. The GOP has never encouraged Americans to work together. The whole notion of the GOP being a “big tent” party was a running joke. They will always embrace divisiveness because it’s easier to manipulate a population that is fighting among themselves, rather than working together to solve actual problems.
If Americans are fighting about abortion, immigration, Muslims, etc, they aren’t organizing for higher wages, health care or better pensions.
Let’s call these haters what they are, they’re cheap labor conservatives.
Cheap labor conservatives want you distracted from the real issues while you fight their phony ones. If you’re doing that, you won’t complain so much, if and when you realize that real wages for Americans have plummeted since the 1950s when one income could support an entire family. It’s worth noting that during the ’50s and ’60s was also when organized labor was the strongest. So while you’re hating Muslims and liberals, you probably won’t notice that income inequality has now reached pre-Great Depression levels, and that those tax cuts, they aren’t for you.
The real enemy isn’t Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, it’s conservatives such as Glenn Beck, rightbloggers like Pamela Geller, and presidential wannabes Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich.
The real problems facing America are jobs, higher wages, health care, tax cuts for the wealthy, affordable education and putting the brakes on a runaway military industrial complex.
Conservatives like things the way they are. They like their money and big tax cuts. They like desperate workers willing to accept low wages, no health care and no pension. They like their kids’ private education. They’re fine with the defense budget funneling trillions of dollars from the Treasury into the coffers of defense contractors. That works well for them, but is it working for us?