ADL Says ‘No’ to Park51 Ground Zero Muslim Cultural Center, Claims ‘Survivors’ Entitled to Be Racist
Abe Foxman, one of American Jewry’s leading Islamophobes, announced the ADL opposed Park51, the new Muslim cultural center two blocks from Ground Zero. The project, also known as Cordoba House, has the strong support of Mayor Bloomberg and all the appropriate community planning boards and agencies. But “outside agitators” (cf. Republicans) have weighed in and turned the issue into a national political football. This is ugly. Truly ugly. It shows the worst face of America. The face of bigotry, fear and ignorance.
The N.Y. Times coverage of the ADL announcement was far too breathless for my taste and accorded the group far too much respect. But what really bent me out of shape was this comment from Foxman:
The issue was wrenching for the Anti-Defamation League, which in the past has spoken out against anti-Islamic sentiment. But its national director, Abraham H. Foxman, said in an interview on Friday that the organization came to the conclusion that the location was offensive to families of victims of Sept. 11, and he suggested that the center’s backers should look for a site “a mile away.”
“It’s the wrong place,” Mr. Foxman said. “Find another place.”
Asked why the opposition of the families was so pivotal in the decision, Mr. Foxman, a Holocaust survivor, said they were entitled to their emotions.
“Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational,” he said. Referring to the loved ones of Sept. 11 victims, he said, “Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational or bigoted.”
Let’s think about this for a second. Foxman attempts to make the serious argument that because someone has endured unspeakable horror this entitles them to be a racist. But does it? What possible reasoning can justify such nonsense? Is morality so relative that it is imperative only for those who have not survived a trauma like 9/11 or the Holocaust? And if survivors are permitted to be bigots, what level of suffering is required? And why can’t anyone who has suffered anything at all come along and claim Abe Foxman said it was OK to be a bigot because I suffered as much as people who survived 9/11?
The actual ADL statement against the Center noted that Muslims have the right to build at the site, but that it isn’t right because it would cause pain to families of survivors. What I’d like to know is where this stops. How much control do we wish to give to a group of survivors and the Republican Party over major decisions like this? Will our guilt at their suffering force us to accede to every wish no matter how irrational? Paul Krugman has called the ADL’s position “Shameful — and stupid.” Time’s Joe Klein said:
…The Anti-Defamation League has gone “from beacon of tolerance to slightly potty geyser of toxic foolishness.”
I couldn’t agree more.
Let us call this campaign for what it is: it is out-and-out Islamophobia. It is vile. It is racist. It should be impermissible. I don’t know what the victims of 9/11 would say about the cultural center project. But my idea of a perfect memorial is to show New York and the world that Islam can, should, and must co-exist in America with all our major religions. And what more fitting place for a tolerant Islam to take root than where a tragedy was wrought by the most hateful forces of radical Islam?
What are we afraid of? Why shouldn’t there be Muslims at (or near) Ground Zero? Do we really believe that every Muslim believes as does Osama bin Laden? If so, can there be any hope of ever living alongside Muslims in peace? There are those strident propagandists who answer “No” to this question. But most Americans know this is the wrong answer. Let’s not give in to hate or to Abe Foxman.
We should stay strong in support of this project. It deserves to be at Ground Zero. My concern is that Mayor Bloomberg’s support will crumble in the face of this onslaught of fear. This is what happened to in the case of the Khalil Gibran Academy and Debbie Almontaser, which he supported till he didn’t. Stay strong, Mr. Mayor. Don’t waver.
My Muslim blogging friend, Aziz Poonawalla has written a defense of the project.
73 thoughts on “ADL Says ‘No’ to Park51 Ground Zero Muslim Cultural Center, Claims ‘Survivors’ Entitled to Be Racist – Tikun Olam תיקון עולם إصلاح العالم”
Comments are published at the sole discretion of the owner.
Um, Richard, never mind the rest of it, just FYI there’s a textbook error here: Islam is a political and ideological theology.
It’s not a race, it never has been a race, it never will be.
It’s like saying 7 is a colour or an apple is a planet.
It’s just two totally separate and different things.
Jonathan, just FYI there are some textbook errors here. Islam is a religion, not “a theology” (sic). Saying Islam is “a theology” (sic) is like saying 7 is a colour, or an apple is a planet.
Whether or not you consider Islam a political system, a religion, or both depends on what you were taught, or what you want to believe. There really is no universal agreement on this question.
You ARE correct in saying that Islam is not a race. It is not a race any more than Judaism is a race. So, it is as incorrect to refer to anti-Islam sentiment, statements, and actions as racism as it is to refer to anti-Jewish sentiment, statements, and actions as racism. The correct term in the case of anti-Islam sentiment and actions is bigotry. However, most of us understand the term racism as it is often used in the most general, if not entirely accurate, sense, so we don’t quibble.
No one is entitled to be racist. Intelligent people do not allow themselves to be bigots.
Jonathan, you’re not wrong, technically, but some poeple who are bigoted against Muslims or followers of Islam attribute race into it, and that causes confusion, like when Sikhs get attacked, just because they’re wearing a turban, yet the attackers don’t know that, and assume that they’re Muslims. So yeah, you don’t have to be racist to hate Islam, but some people do treat it as such.
And on another note, i would disagree that islam is a political and ideological theology. Why call it as such and not a religion?
ImadK wrote: some poeple who are bigoted against Muslims or followers of Islam attribute race into it.
Of all the people who are bigoted against Muslims, I would say Richard definitely is NOT in that category 🙂
As for part 2 of your point, this is going to take a lot longer post, and I’m pretty sure someone has written it better than I can! I could ask, why call it a religion and not an ideology? In (very) brief, an ideology encompasses everything – a total way of life. From law to diet to interaction with Kuffar etc.
A religion is more of a following of a particular chosen deity.
Does that make sense? Or at least, this is how it is explained on Islamic channels in the UK, and by the Islamic society at my Uni.
Islam is a RELIGION & not an ideology. Is Judaism an ideology? Christianity?
For those of you who may be confused about racism, I would suggest you read “Kenan Malik’s STRANGE FRUIT: Why Both Sides are Wrong in the Race Debate.” Conclusion (and not just the author’s): There is no such thing as race! So there is nothing to be racist about. What most people call racism is really just prejudiced about the “other”, whether it’s the other’s religion, political ideology, or any other aspect of the other’s way of life.
Richard is correct that Islam is a religion and not an ideology. But, it cannot be denied that Islamism is an ideology. It is analogous to Zionism and Judaism. The first is a political ideology, the second a religious belief.
Judiasm is not a religion. There isn’t even a word for religion in the hebrew language. True, they use the word “Dat” or “Dos” to describe teh religious, but the root of the word is translated more accurately as “information” or knowledge.
To be Jewish is to be a member of the nation that stood under Mt. Sinai and took the oath to live in accordance with the 10 commandments and the Torah. 613 mitzvot. The Jews are a nation first. Religions came along thousands of years after.
What narischkeit. No, the Hebrew term is dat spelled daled-tof, not daat spelled daled ayin tof. Of course Judaism is a religion. Jews may be a nation, but that doesn’t mean Israel is the sole expression of Jewish nationhood. That is why there have always been Orthodox Jews who’ve refused to recognize the State of Israel as the Jewish nation.
Richard, I have to disagree with you on the nation thing. Jews do not meet the criteria set out in any definition of nation that I know of. In fact, defining Jews as a nation was a device chosen by the Zionists early on the movement in order to justify to the European powers their quest for a state or a “homeland” in Palestine. There is an interesting account of the discussions around that in a book I have in my personal library. Can’t remember the name or the author right now, but given time I can recall it, or locate the book.
More revisionism brought to you by https://www.richardsilverstein.com and his band of merry m$%@&s..
You’re babbling incoherently I’m afraid.
Shirin, this subject is discussed at length in Shlomo Sand’s “The Invention of the Jewish People”, published originally in Hebrew several years ago.
Gene, thanks. Sand’s arguments on this subject might be interesting. I have not read Sand’s book because I don’t find it necessary to negate the existence of the Jewish people, even if it is a myth, in order to negate Zionism or the legitimacy of Israel. Moreover, I find that such arguments, even if they are valid, tend to close more minds than they open. I find arguments that attempt to negate the existence of the Jewish people, including the Khazaria argument, to be not only unpersuasive and unnecessary, but more often than not counterproductive. So what if all Ashkenazi Jews were actually descended from Khazar converts, a contention which is almost certainly not factual in any case since European Jews do not all have the same origins? It is one of the weakest arguments against Zionism, does nothing real to weaken Israel’s legitimacy, and it is therefore a waste of time to try to advance it.
Here I argue the subject of the nationhood of Jews not so much to try to negate Zionism and Israel’s legitimacy – there are easier ways to do that – but because it is something that is taken for granted by many people, and I find it worthwhile to challenge those things we tend to take for granted and not question. Jews do not fit any definition of the word nation that I am aware of, and I also know something about the thinking and history of the notion of Jews as a nation, so it’s and interesting topic. As a way to deny the legitimacy of Israel it is not so useful.
But it is useful, Shirin. The whole justification for the Zionist claim of Israeli legitimacy is based on the “historical” Jewish nationhood. Sand points that out. But I do agree with you, it is not necessary to use that argument to show that Zionism has no rightful claim to occupy Palestine and rout its indigenous population. International law is sufficient.
What religion do you imagine doesn’t purport to be a total way of life? Religions are a subset of ideologies.
Jonathan is wrong.
Islamophobia is racism. Racism against South Asians, Arabs anyone with beard or BROWN SKIN(unless they are hispanics, which is also a race)
So technically, its not racism, but practically, it is.
Jonathan was just using semantics to confuse people.
In any case, Islamophobia is worse than Racism. Because there are 1,200,000,000 muslims in the world. I doubt any particular race has that many people.
So, does Foxman think Nakba survivors are “entitled” to hate Jews, or are victims only entitled to hate peoples Foxman hates too?
Or that Arab and Muslim grievances against the US “entitled” al-Qaeda to fly planes into the WTC.
Everybody is entitled to their opinion, however bigoted or idiotic. Distinctions must be made only on the level of action. I can believe all I want that my neighbour must die, but I may not go and kill him. And nobody should feel compelled to translate sympathy for a victim into support for their most irrational reactions. That’s to embrace irrationality oneself.
As far as I can see the demands to move the centre aren’t even coming from “the 9/11 victims” (who aren’t a coherent group anyway) but from right-wing Christian bigots pandering to the lumpenproletariat.
I think that’s about the size of it. If you’re Jewish or an ally of Jews (like 9/11 survivors are seen to be) you can hate Muslims. If you’re Arab your trauma doesn’t count & you can’t legitimately hate Jews or anyone else.
More than a few innocent victims of 9/11 were Muslims. Indeed, there was hardly a nationality or major religion not represented there. Several Muslims died in the London tube bombings in July 2005, and, as I recall, along with rather more than £1bn of damage, the IRA’s Canary Wharf bomb in London in the mid nineties vapourized a Muslim newspaper vendor and his Catholic assistant.
If you must divide the human race, let’s split it into the peaceable and the terrorists, or wheat and chaff, if you will.
Although the mayor of New York speaks for the people of the city, they have never been afraid or ashamed to speak for themselves and they certainly do not need the ADL or AIPAC to speak for them, or put words in their mouths.
Another way of looking at this is that 9/11 victims (not all of whom oppose the Cordoba House, BTW) are entitled to their irrational feeligns, but they aren’t entitled to act upon them. Hussein Ibish (who I don’t always don’t agree with) has an excellent commentary in this regard:
Also, Richard, I know you’ve been critical of J-Street lately, and rightly so, but I think you should give them credit for repudiating the ADL on this issue:
My problem w. J St. is that they take on the easy issues & have good positions on them. Opposing the ADL on this is pretty easy. They’re milquetoast on the tough issues or downright wrong. That disturbs me. But yes, glad to have them on board on this issue.
I have more problems with J Street than Richard has. They are wrong on almost every issue, are zealous Zionists pushing for a two state solution they know will never happen.
They are always asking for signatures for projects that I disagree with, and solicit money for no good causes except to pay for their misleading ads and their own overheads. They admittedly are a part of the lobby, which I adamantly oppose.
Both Luria and Ben-Ami seem to me to be hypocrites in the game only for their own glory.
I have major problems with J-Street, who I consider are trying to accomplish more or less the same thing as AIPAC, just by “nicer” means. However, I would not impugn their motives as you do. I believe they are quite sincere in their belief that the two-state solution is both possible and just, and I do not for a moment consider them hypocrites out for their own glory.
Well, they may be sincere in their belief, but I disagree with them that a two state-state is possible, or just. I think they know as well I do that the Zionists have been doing everything possible to avoid such a solution. The goal is to make Palestine Arab-free. It has been that from the beginning. So to believe in the possibility of creating a Palestine state that is anything less than an apartheid state is insincere. My conspiracy instincts tell me that J Street was created purposely to take the heat off of AIPAC, while pursuing the same goals. One might just as easily say that Netanyahu & Co. are sincere in pursuing negotiations for peace, when they are not.
PS – In their latest post criticizing opposition to the Cordoba House project, J Street don’t even mention or criticize ADL or Foxman’s opposition. They just ask for signatures and donations.
I, too, disagree with J-Street on most things, but things are usually far simpler than your conspiracy-theory-oriented way of thinking suggests. There are enormous numbers of people, Jewish and otherwise, who sincerely cling to the idea that there is a just solution that will allow them to keep their Jewish state. These are, by and large, the same very sincere people who cannot bring themselves to see that the very notion of creating and maintaining a Jewish state by colonizing a land inhabited by an overwhelmingly non-Jewish population is inherently racist – in other words, they are simply unable to see that Zionism is a form of racism.
As difficult as it can be at times to have patience with this delusional way of thinking, I see nothing to be gained by impugning their motives. On the contrary.
Thank you for your sanity & reasonableness. Much appreciated.
I apologize if I seem overly contentious, Shirin. But the people at J Street are too sophisticated to believe that Zionism is not racism. They know perfectly well that they can’t have a Jewish “democratic” state without excluding Arabs. That’s like having your cake and eating it too. The only democratic state would be one that is all inclusive of Jews and Arabs, Muslim and Christian. Those sincere people who believe otherwise are naive, or racist. Or both!
Richard, You must be getting paid for your work here — paid in petrodollars. I hope you are getting enough to make it worth your while.
Just oodles of them. Unfortunately, they’ve been somewhat soiled by all that oil in the Gulf of Mexico. But I can still make out the Saudi markings on the coins & currency. At Rotter, they’re claiming I get my spending money from New Israel Fund as if it’s like the old CPUSA in the imagination of all these far rightists.
If any foundations do want to support my work I’d be grateful. But so far only my loyal readers do so.
the adl and all those demanding that the center not be built are wrong
if the zoning laws allow such a center to be built, there is no way to stop it…and to do so would open up a pretty good lawsuit
however, those protesting, though misinformed and wrong, have every right to protest…just as they will after the center is built, if they so choose.
so to say “…It should be impermissible.” is just as bad as those who are leading the protests.
the constitution of this great nation allows everyone the right to protest…even if they are totally wrong..and yes…even if they are bigots.
oh, and the mayor has nothing to do with this. it is up to the planning commission, who i assume found no reason to stop the project.
The mayor is quite powerful and if he caves the center will not be built regardless of what planning boards say. I hope he doesn’t, but I have a bad feeling about this one.
RE:”The N.Y. Times coverage of the ADL announcement…accorded the group far too much respect.” – R.S.
SEE: The back-of-the-envelope history of the Anti-Defamation League, By Jeffrey Blankfort, 07/31/10
ENTIRE ARTICLE – http://mondoweiss.net/2010/07/the-back-of-the-envelope-history-of-the-anti-defamation-league.html
Go on ask in New Yorkers if they want Cordoba House, NYC Muslim cultural center build in ground zero. Do a poll. If majority support it then they can build it.
Let New York decide.
unless there is a city law that allows the general populace to decide what buildings can and cannot be built….there is no point in polling anyone
im sure that there were or will be open hearings…as there are on most large scale projects
but unless someone can come up with a legal reason for the cultural center not to be built…it will be
We’re rarely in agreement. But I hope you’re right. Joe Lieberman just came out against it (what a surprise!).
There are certain types of things that the voters do not get to decide. That is one of them.
There is an old saying that only babies and drunks tell the truth…now, in view of Abraham Foxman’s latest comments, ( Anti-Defamation League joins Opposition to a Mosque Near Ground Zero: N.Y. Times July 31, 2010) we must add ”Holocaust survivors”. It’s not that what these self styled eye witnesses to ”history’s greatest crime” are telling the truth, it is that periodically they reveal their true feelings and thought processes. Responding to criticism for his opposition to the building of a mosque near ” ground zero , Foxman said, ”Survivors of the Holocaust are entitled to feelings that are irrational. Their anguish entitles them to positions that others would categorize as irrational and bigoted ”. In other words survivors of the alleged Holocaust can say whatever they want, accuse whomever they choose, make the most outrageous and irrational statements i.e. fabricate reality and lie and not have to produce an iota of evidence to sustain their contentions nor suffer the rigors of cross examinations.
When will you people ever learn? You destroyed your own argument utterly by your use of the word “alleged”.
Here here – in parts of Europe, holocaust denial is a crime.
I wonder why it’s so acceptable amongst co-called “liberals”?
I do not agree that questioning, or even denying the Holocaust should be a crime. That smacks too much of thought police. However, it is ridiculous to ignore the evidence that a Holocaust did take place against a number of minority groups, that it affected Jews enormously, and disproportionately, and that it was one of the most unimaginably horrific crimes against humanity in history.
One can legitimately argue that Zionists and others have exploited the Holocaust, used it as an excuse for their own atrocities, and, quite frankly, shat upon its victims in so doing, but denying the Holocaust is another matter, and in any case is a losing argument, so why make it?
Unfortunately for the ADL this isn’t Israel and the citizens of New York are not subject to orders issued by AIPAC as our Congress is.
As the entry port for and home of immigrants across the religious and national origin spectrum New York City, of all places, should never fear or kow-tow to the demands of anyone.
There is another group of survivors that deserves a say – a major say – in what happens here.
During the 10-year period leading up to 9/11, the U.S. government maintained on Iraq a sanctions regime that caused the pointless deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Iraqis. A short, straight line leads from those deaths to the 9/11 attacks. If the surviving members of the families in which those deaths occurred approve of the Cordoba House project, then it should go forward.
I was counting down the hours until someone like you came along and posted that. Now we can’t be far from “it was a conspiracy of Zionist Jews what done it, Saddam was a lovely bloke. Lovely sons.”
I’m out – I’m so glad people like you don’t have any influence.
Jonathan , Andy has a valid point that has absolutely nothing to do with whether Saddam was a lovely bloke or not (for the record he was not the unmitigated evil you would like to believe he was, and his regime did do many very positive things for Iraq and Iraqis, particularly Iraqi women, that most people would prefer not to hear about).
But it is completely obvious that Andy was not talking about Saddam, but about millions of human beings who happen to be Iraqi, and who had and have very real grievances against the United States.
Thank you, Shirin.
“It was a conspiracy of Zionist Jews what done it, Saddam was a lovely bloke. Lovely sons.”
Where the f*ck did that come from? Perhaps, Jonathan, if you had to stand trial for those deaths, you would not be quite so nonchalant about them.
JOnathan was attempting to be ironic regarding Saddam.
It’s ironic, but someone like Jonathan would be the first in line to say that US policy in the Mideast in no way justified 9/11 and he’d be right, but he can’t see that the same reasoning means that we shouldn’t have inflicted mass suffering on millions of Iraqis for the crimes of Saddam (many of which we tacitly supported when it was convenient to do so).
We didn’t. I didn’t. The thousands who died in Bali, 7/7, 9/11 and for us what would have been the atrocities of Glasgow, 21/7, the shoe-bomber, the liquid bombers… they all didn’t inflict suffering in foreign lands either.
I never, I repeat NEVER voted (and never will do) for the corrupt Labour government that took us into these wars, just as the majority of Americans never voted for Bush’s wars.
BUT – to pretend that Saddam wasn’t so bad and say, as Shirin did, that “his regime did do many very positive things for Iraq and Iraqis”. Well, yes, I agree his reign of extreme fear kept some of the most extreme elements of the ROP at bay.
If by “particularly Iraqi women” he means that fact that at least they weren’t slaughtered for wearing makeup or going to school, then we surely can’t be many comments away from “say what you like about [Mussolini/Hitler/insert name of dictator here] but he made the trains run on time”.
Doesn’t make the fact that he knew full well about the rape camps operated by his sons any better, though.
An eye for an eye makes the whole world blind.
Jonathan: If you look at the state of affairs in Iraq now it is worse than during Saddam’s era. No Iraqi has any nostalgia for that era. But the plain facts of the matter are that at least the country worked. Now it doesn’t. And besides the prospect of bloody civil war looms. You don’t know what you’re talking about concerning Iraqi women. Iraq was a secular society and women were respected and had freedoms they couldn’t imagine now. Really, Jonathan, don’t spout propaganda you read somewhere. Really do research & you’ll be more nuanced & credible.
I have no idea what your first paragraph is supposed to mean, Jonathan.
What Shirin said was accurate from what little I know. There’s a problem that pops up in political discussions no matter what part of the spectrum one is on–no nuance is allowed when discussing demon figures. It’s bad because it makes it difficult to understand what is going on. Saddam was a monster, but it’s also true that there was some progress in Iraq and the sanctions destroyed much of that progress and the invasion made things even worse.
It’s impossible to describe the full effects of the sanctions and the invasion if people react in a Pavlovian way to any suggestion Saddam’s behavior was so totally evil that nothing could have made the situation worse.
“there was some progress in Iraq…”
Actually, Donald, there was enormous economic and social progress just in the first years of Ba`th rule. That progress took Iraq in just a few years from a third world country that was livable to very comfortable if you were middle class or above to being classified as an emerging first world country that provided services to all segments of society.
“…the sanctions destroyed much of that progress and the invasion made things even worse.”
In the 1991 war the United States systematically and intentionally destroyed Iraq’s transportation, electrical, communication, water, and even its sewage infrastructure. Although Iraqis were able to get things back to an acceptable level in just a few months, thirteen years of sanctions, blockades, and regular bombings (all courtesy of the great Bill Clinton for the majority of those 13 years) made it impossible to completely rebuild or to maintain the existing infrastructure. The sanctions also destroyed the medical and educational systems. And that is only the physical damage. The war and the sanctions were also psychologically and socially devastating. The invasion of 2003 completed the job of destroying Iraq, its history, and what was left of its economy and society.
Bill Clinton did a very good job of prepping Iraq for the kill.
“if people react in a Pavlovian way to any suggestion Saddam’s behavior was so totally evil that nothing could have made the situation worse.”
That came out wrong–I meant that people react in a Pavlovian way to any hint that the Saddam regime might have done some good along with all the harm it also inflicted. I defer to Shirin on the details.
I did know some of that about the sanctions, but not enough about what Iraq was like before 1991. We Americans almost never hear anything about the facts that you brought up unless we search them out on our own, and most people receive no hint from the mainstream press that things might not be exactly as the MSM presents them. For myself, I’d read in the 90’s about the sanctions and in particular, I’d tracked down the Barton Gellman article in the Washington Post back in 1991 that described how the air strikes in the Gulf War were meant to destroy Iraqi infrastructure and how the sanctions were meant to prevent repair. And I’m going to order Joy Gordon’s new book on the subject.
Jonathan, I have a rule in life that you would do well to observe here yourself: Never play smarter than you are when in the presence of someone who actually is.
You clearly know nothing about Iraq, its social history, Saddam, the Ba`th regime, Iraqi women, or much of anything else to do with Iraq, and you would be far better off not to pretend you do, at least while I am around. You also seem to eschew any kind of nuanced approach, preferring to see things in pure black/white, evil/good terms. The world and the people in it are almost never that simple and pure.
Under Ba`th rule Iraq rapidly progressed from a second-world country that was a pretty-decent place to live if you were an educated urban person to being recognized as an emerging first world country based on all the indices used to make that determination.
After nationalization of Iraq’s oil the Ba`th regime, ruled by Saddam Hussein, was recognized as doing the best job of any oil producing country of distributing its oil wealth to the population in the form of infrastructure and services.
The regime spent a great deal of money to bring transportation, electrical, communication, water, and sewage infrastructure to modern-day standards. For example, visitors were uniformly impressed with the road systems, which are generally the most readily visible aspect of infrastructure.
Iraq was recognized as having the best medical system in the region, both in terms of equipment, quality of care, and distribution of care and services to the population. Iraqi doctors were considered the finest available.
Iraq’s education system, particularly its colleges and universities, were recognized as the best in the region, and families from all over the Arab world and Asia sent their children to study in Iraq. Graduates from Iraq’s medical schools were able to obtain residencies at places like Johns Hopkins.
As for the situation of Iraqi women, first of all Saddam had nothing whatsoever to do with the fact that large numbers of women in Iraq got high-level university degrees, had careers of all kinds, dressed as they liked, wore makeup in public if they liked, and took an active public role in Iraqi society. Iraqi women had been doing those kinds of things for decades before Saddam came along. Nevertheless, the Ba`th regime, ruled by Saddam, did a lot to advance the status and rights of women and girls. For example, in the ’70’s they instituted a women’s literacy program that raised the female literacy rate significantly, particularly in rural and remote parts of the country where education had been much more difficult for girls. Many of the rights and status women had traditionally been able to enjoy in Iraq were written into the Constitution, and so became matters of law, not just tradition. Women were increasingly encouraged and given incentives to seek higher education, and pursue careers of all kinds, including in fields that were still quite closed to American women such as engineering and the sciences. Iraqi women, who had always had more access to education than women in most of the rest of the region, quickly became the most highly educated women in the Arab world.
Iraq’s already large and thriving educated urban middle class grew significantly during the ’70’s and ’80’s.
All of that was systematically and intentionally destroyed by American bombs in 1991 followed by thirteen years of sanctions, blockades, and periodic bombing campaigns imposed by the United States via the UN. The fact that the horrifically negative effect of all this fell virtually 100% on the Iraqi people and very little on the regime was predictable, and was, in part, the intent.
Saddam and his regime did a great deal more than make the trains run on time, they used the country’s resources to benefit society enormously. The fact that they also acted in the typical manner of brutal, ruthless dictators does not negate that reality.
As for your “rape camps” and other gross exaggeration, go sell that where people are ignorant and wide-eyed enough to buy it.
I wonder how many ADL members drive Mercedes Benz or BMW !!!!!!!!!
[comment deleted per comment rules]
Greg Gutfeld: I’m raising money to build a Muslim gay bar next to the Ground Zero mosque
posted at 7:07 pm on August 9, 2010 by Allahpundit
Andy Levy assures me that he’s quite serious. Media narrative on the GZ mosque: Shining beacon of liberal values bursting through the overcast skies of American intolerance. Media narrative on the GG gay bar: Dangerous provocation that needlessly inflames cultural tensions in the ostensible service of liberal values.
How very insensitive.
I’m announcing tonight, that I am planning to build and open the first gay bar that caters not only to the west, but also Islamic gay men. To best express my sincere desire for dialogue, the bar will be situated next to the mosque Park51, in an available commercial space.
This is not a joke. I’ve already spoken to a number of investors, who have pledged their support in this bipartisan bid for understanding and tolerance.
As you know, the Muslim faith doesn’t look kindly upon homosexuality, which is why I’m building this bar. It is an effort to break down barriers and reduce deadly homophobia in the Islamic world.
The goal, however, is not simply to open a typical gay bar, but one friendly to men of Islamic faith. An entire floor, for example, will feature non-alcoholic drinks, since booze is forbidden by the faith. The bar will be open all day and night, to accommodate men who would rather keep their sexuality under wraps – but still want to dance.
Not an idea that would play well with Christians or Jews vis-a-vis property adjacent to a church or temple, but oh well: If we’re going to celebrate tolerance regardless of the sensitivities of the surrounding area, let’s celebrate! And the best part? Because, as we’ve been assured many times, the “Park51″ cultural center will be a model of moderation, gay Muslim men don’t have to worry about being seen entering Gut’s establishment. Flaunt it all you want, fellas; you’re in Moderate Town, U.S.A., on that block. I look forward to the congratulatory Mike Bloomberg press conference.
Pardon me for being a bit thick, but your point would be…?
Here is my response. And here, and here, and here.
There’s an idiot born every minute…Why do they post here though?
This is, by the way, very sexist. The bar will cater only to gay men. Only “fellas” (or does he really mean fellahs?) are allowed to “flaunt it” in HIS bar. Apparently Lesbians need not apply. I guess he expects them all to stay barefoot and in the kitchen, even if not pregnant.
I think I can see his point. In the UK, we have very strict laws on planning. If a building is given permission under public space rules, the planning law states very, very clearly that all spaces of the building (except toilets) must be open and accessible to all people be they black, white, male, female, gay or lesbian.
Oh, except if you’re a Mosque. In which case, have a couple of rooms upstairs for the females, the main prayer hall downstairs is allowed to be men-only.
They are, after all, worth twice what a woman is.
Here’s a quick guide:
Applicants: When challenged, simply punch the visiting councillor to the ground in front of other visiting councillors (I can post a link to this particular incident if you want). Two days later, he’ll mysteriously withdraw his complaint.
Local council: On appeal from the gender equality groups, simply mumble something about cultural sensitivities and wave it through having spent £2 million of public money dealing with an exhaustive application.
Applicant: 2 years later when “the community” who was “desperate for this Mosque” hasn’t raised a penny to build the thing, appear in the local paper talking about racist planning laws.
Ergo, I think his point is, if you’ve going to build something controversial and incredibly offensive to many people just to make a point, why can’t that go for all establishments?
Update: This is turning into golddust, talking of sensitivities I’ve just found this…
According to http://hotair.com/archives/2010/08/10/ground-zero-mosque-spokesman-to-gutfeld-your-gay-bar-wont-build-dialogue-because-it-doesnt-consider-our-sensibilities/ http://twitter.com/Park51 and the aforementioned http://twitter.com/greggutfeld are having a bit of a ding-dong on twitter. From which we see this little nugget from Park51:
“You’re free to open whatever you like. If you won’t consider the sensibilities of Muslims, you’re not going to build dialog”.
I think this reveals quite a bit about the mindset here. Very revealing.
Again, I am very, very thick. So, aside from firmly establishing your anti-Muslim credentials and the ignorance that always goes along with same, please do tell me what is YOUR point.
Wrong, & this shows your racism in this case, there are many Orthodox synagogues in Britain which treat women the same. And I’ve news for you–in Orthodox Judaism women aren’t valued much higher.
Jonathan, your comment is way off topic. Can you try to stay on topic? Please.
I think his point is that Muslims and blacks are sensitive but that all others are insensitive. This is apparently the Obama policy as the State Department is paying for the travel of Iman Rauf around the Middle East so he can collect money for the Ground Zero Mosque.
As I said, I am really, really thick. I still don’t get your point.
You’re a troll provocateur & up to yr eyeballs in doo-doo. Your last post here buddy.
Silverstein must be a non de plume. He can’t be Jewish. He doesn’t recognize chutpah [sic] when he sees it. His name is likely Ahmed.
Just what is a “non [sic] de plume??”
But I DO recognize stupid errors like yours which make one wonder who or what YOU are.
As for you, your name is M-U-D.