Friday, December 22, 2006


Bigotry in American Politics

After Lewinsky-gate, the conservative rallying cry was a pledge to usher in a new era of civility and dignity in Washington. I'm not even gonna waste my time explaining to you how and why this pledge has been a colossal failure. Although Plamegate, Ambramoff, Swiftboat ads, Tom Delay, Foleygate, Ted Haggard and the litany the lies come to mind. In fact you don't need me to do that, the tenor of the political discourse in America has become so polarized these days, that it speaks directly to the lack of civility brought by the divise policies of the Bush administration. But no matter where you stand on the issues, we should be united in the idea that bigotry and intollerance has no place in politics.

With this war on terror, there has been a lot of xenophobia and islamophobia. Many in the media and in government have chosen to counter extreme jihadist Islamic fundamentalism with extreme islamophobia and hateful rhetoric. I must say that moderation and understanding on both sides is the only way to resolve this 'clash of civilisations' as Fukuyama might call it. There are moderate Muslims, and they must stand up for their religion in firm opposition to the Islamic extremists who have highjacked their religion. We moderates in the west must also stand in opposition to western imperialism, xenophobia, ignorance and intollerance.

Now I know some of you are like: Chief, your exaggerating. We aren't that intollerant in a Western Liberal democracy. In fact we are very tollerant and accepting of other religions and cultures. Well Jerry Klein perfomed a very interesting sociological experiment on his radio show to expose anti-Muslim bigotry.
Check the video here.
I thought what he did was genius, but still pretty scary as to how a large subset of our population feels about Muslims.

Nowhere is this bigotry and intollerance more evident than in the case of Keith Ellison who was the first muslim ever elected to the US house of representatives. The abbreviated story is that he wants to take his private oath and swear on the Islamic holy scripture, The Qur'an. This has draw criticism from those on the extreme right. Scratch that; the word criticism some how implies that the vitriol is somewhat legitemate. Xenophobic conservatives have exposed themselves and their own bigoted agenda. None are worse then Glenn Beck, Dennis Prager, Sean Hannity and Virgil Goode. Glenn Beck essentially calls on Ellison to prove that he is not a traitor. Hannity equates the Qur'an with Mein Kampf. Prager says that the use of the Qur'an will embolden the terrorsits and turn America into an Islamic theocracy. Virgil Goode says that allowing Ellison to use the Qur'an will lead to an influx of illegal Muslim immigration. This shit is so ridiculous, all the guy wants to do is serve his country and take and oath on his holy book (in private, I might add) Check the videos below.

Glenn Beck
Dennis Prager
Virgil Goode

I have to say, if I were Keith Ellison, I don't know if would have the restraint or the patience to respond with the class that he did.

Keith Ellison

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