August 23, 2010

IF YOU WANT TO EXPLAIN IT IN TERMS THEY'LL UNDERSTAND...:

New York mosque controversy worries Muslims overseas:
Some can't understand the fuss over a house of worship and how a democracy promoting religious freedom could even be having such a debate. Others are offended at the conflation of the 9/11 attacks with all Muslims. (Borzou Daragahi, August 23, 2010, LA Times)

Many Muslims abroad are miffed by the stateside debate, largely conducted by non-Muslims, that has grown so loud as to become a topic of discussion on talk shows and newspapers from Bali to Bahrain, from Baghdad to Berlin. The proposed Cordoba House has become a symbol of America's fraught relations with the world's 1.5 billion Muslims.

"Rejecting this has become like rejecting Islam itself," said Ahmad Moussalli, a professor of Islamic Studies at the American University of Beirut. "The United States has historically been distinguished by its tolerance, whereas Europe, France, Belgium and Holland have been among those who have rejected the symbolism of Islam. Embracing it will be positively viewed in the Islamic world."

Since the Sept. 11 attacks and the U.S.-led wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, America has spent millions trying to improve its image among Muslims, especially in the Arab world, from where the Sept. 11 hijackers and their leaders came. Coincidentally, the leader of the proposed Muslim community center, the Kuwaiti-born scholar Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf, is currently touring the Persian Gulf states on a U.S. State Department-funded trip to promote goodwill for America.

Like most non-Americans, Muslims across the world barely understand the vagaries of U.S. politics, including the wedge issues and posturing that turn midterm elections into mud fights.


...it's just the Right feeding red meat to its wahoos the same way the Arab press uses anti-Semitic tropes to whip people up.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 23, 2010 4:26 PM
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