The HotAirians are greatly impressed with an article by two Canadian Muslims, Tarek Fatah and Raheel Raza, whom Ed Morrissey describes as “Muslim columnists,” and who appoint themselves the representatives of 1.57 billion people, in a sentence that has only the appearance of being a sentence:
The fact we Muslims know the idea behind the Ground Zero mosque is meant to be a deliberate provocation to thumb our noses at the infidel.
Grammar, we don’t need no stinking grammar. What’s important is to hit the anti-mosque funny bone. Never mind that treating professional anti-Islamists Fatah and Raza as representative of them Muslims may be a bit like treating Noam Chomsky as a speaker for them Jews, or some dude you pulled off the street as spokesperson for them Americans.
Check out the very tasteful image that HotAir is now using for its continuing appeal to the better angels of our nature:
They might want to take the time out from mega-protesting (though I fear there’s no stopping it) to read the Newsweek article interviewing two 9/11 survivors on opposite sides of the issue. Here’s the one point on which the two agree:
And when I asked them what they had to say to the politicians on both sides who continue to use Ground Zero as a wedge or an excuse to inflame tempers, they found true common ground. Welty jumped in. “Don’t,” she said, her latent anger roaring to the surface. “Don’t go down to Ground Zero and make speeches. Don’t use family members as a backdrop for photographs. You ought to be ashamed of yourself, using people who are grieving for your own political advantage.”
“Amen, sister,” said Regenhard, clapping her hands above her head.
James Zogby gave a good wrap-up on the Idjitihad this weekend under a clumsy title: Virulent anti-Middle East rhetoric grips the US right. Matthew Yglesias agrees with Zogby that this apparent policy shift on the right could be dangerous – in Yglesias’s words, a “moral and strategic disaster” – but focuses on our economic malaise as the underlying explanation, the reason why this is the summer the rightwing lost its mind and went full xenophobe on “Anchor babies, the Ground Zero mosque and other scapegoats.” It’s a two-part argument: The politicians (and bloggers) exploit the scapegoats, and the scapegoating works because people are upset or uneasy.
Makes sense to me, but I think there’s more to the phenomenon, since economic malaise is in its own way just another superficial symptom. It is simultaneously product and cause of national unself-confidence, furthermore a sign that self-doubt is concretely justified, that there’s something we haven’t gotten right, that there’s an exception to that exceptionalism thing at work on us. With the Republicans and conservatives in opposition, it falls to them to communicate the discomfort, at the bottom of which there is no bottom: just illimitable existential panic.
The resultant expressions are often emotive to the point of being pathologically nonsensical, almost dreamlike: An unbuilt 15-story-building in Manhattan intended for a location not even in sight of Ground Zero is turned into a Mega-Mosque from the future hurtling backwards through space-time right through the World Trade Center towers.
Our big social baby may just need its diapers changed. In the meantime, I don’t expect to reason with the baby. Its whole world is its discomfort. You will not be able to explain that the GZM doesn’t have much to do with its real boo-boo. The baby doesn’t even speak. Responsible adults should try to keep delicate and dangerous objects out of its reach…
Unfortunately, that’s not always possible, because the world is an overcrowded nursery full of sharp and toxic objects, more than ever.