by Diane V. McLoughlin, main website: mcloughlinpost.com
September 20, 2010: Turning on my television a week ago, the Imam of the much-maligned future New York City-based Islamic cultural center, Feisal Abdul Rauf, was speaking into a bank of microphones. There was a 'Council on Foreign Relations' logo (CFR) on the wall behind him. (1)
I was impressed with how generous the BBC was with the time given over to transmit the Imam's speech, at least a good thirty minutes of it, before they went back to their regular programming. It is important to try to defuse what appears to be a rising anti-Muslim hysteria. Clearly, some people get this. The Imam had an opportunity to reach out to Americans in his own way, in his own time. CNN...FOX...MSNBC... CBC...not one station in North America ran with it, so far as I could see. The CFR, an American foreign affairs think tank, had to go overseas to get Imam Rauf's speech picked up, apparently.
While it is true that CNN had had Rauf on* in a one-on-one with Soledad O'Brien days before, O'Brien was as combative as her bias was obvious. Her aggressive attempts to get the Imam to say that the cultural center was a mistake, an offense, and that it should be moved - with a swift wave of her hand dismissively sweeping away his point that there are other things such as a strip club in the immediate vicinity but nobody was protesting that - was a very depressing journalistic low even by 9/11 standards. Coming from O'Brien, who earlier in the year was highly praised for her series, 'Black in America', it was just stunning to observe her as she stoked the fires of anti-Muslim bigotry like a cannibal hooting it up in anticipation around a fresh pot put to the boil.
Ms. O'Brien certainly wasn't alone. The bias against the proposed Muslim cultural center reeked thoughout that evening's broadcast, both during the O'Brien/Rauf interview, and during a post interview discussion that had all the elements of a cartoon:
There was the 9/11 firefighter scrapping for a match with a Muslim, so riled up that he completely misinterpreted Rauf's words on the center as being some kind of 'threat' - which the firefighter ominously describes as a 'gift'. [***Given the government cover-up and lies, understandable. Update, Sept. 27, 2010, below.]
The piece de resistance though, is the only female on the CNN post-interview roundup panel of six; a fragile and, dare I say blindingly white beauty, whose brother was one of the murdered on 9/11 - which, obviously, is a terrible tragedy, should never have happened, and any criminals involved still alive should face the full wrath of the law. But that is not what she is there to discuss. She is there to diss the cultural center. Her performance is impressive. It begged for a hooped skirt, crocheted shawl and fringed parasol. If she had fiddle-dee-deed something like, 'Ohh, Anderson Cooper!, I just don't know what ah'll DO if that nasty ol' Muslim community center goes up...'; frankly, my dear, I'm not sure anyone would have noticed any difference between that and what she actually said; pretty much, it came out to the same racist thing.
Americans have been led to believe that 9/11 was perpetrated by Muslims - because they were Muslims - who 'hate us for our freedoms'. So it is hardly surprising to witness. It's a lot of other things - wrong, shocking - but surprising? Nor is it at all surprising the discriminatory fallout being experienced by Muslims nation-wide, as a result. (1a)
Many, if not most, American journalists adhere to the view that those victimized by 9/11 are 'sensitive' to the truth. In polite society as well as in the nation's newsrooms, we must watch what we say. Personally, I just cannot think of anything that could, would, or should offend Americans more.
Because the truth of it is that the fireman, 'Scarlett', all of us, are victims, not once, but over and over again: by what happened, and subsequently, by the lies of the government and media; over what happened, who exactly was involved, and precisely why they did what they did. In these times, anything mocked excessively by the powers-that-be, as in the case of 9/11, should cause us all to think twice. (2) (3)
...So, that's interesting - U.S. Congressman Ron Paul:
'Amazingly, Ledeen calls Pearl Harbor a "lucky" event. The Project for a New American Century, as recently as September 2000, likewise, foresaw the need for "a Pearl Harbor event"; that would galvanize the American people to support their ambitious plans to ensure political and economic domination of the world, while strangling any potential "rival"...; ' (4)
There is no time when Americans should be too sensitive to be exposed to full debate on the truth. In times of crisis in particular, that is exactly the time when Americans should demand it most.
But denial is a powerful force. I am reminded of a pivotal scene (in clip at 6:30 secs.) in the movie, 'Born on the Fourth of July'. Cruise's character, weeping, yells at his mother, 'We went to Vietnam to stop 'Communism'...we shot women and children!' She yells back, 'You didn't shoot women and children! What are you saying?!' (5)
Lives depend on our getting things right. That the Imam's speech seemed only to be picked up overseas, holds all the earmarks of a closed society. The question is: Who's guarding the doors?
***Important. Added to complete the picture:
The firefighters raced up the stairs carrying
heavy rescue equipment while everyone who
utter devastation wrought against the innocent people
disease in Iraq for eight years prior to 9/11.
What the U.S. government did to Iraq is a war
crime of the highest magnitude - a crime against humanity.
U.S. Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Tony Blair
and others should be indicted in the International Criminal Court.
The 9/11 perpetrators were men who happened to be Muslim. Muslims
died in the twin towers. Some of the first-responders were Muslim.
*Actually, I seem to recall that Larry King also had Imam Rauf on in recent days. I do not recall how that interview went, beyond King asking Rauf the same loaded-for-bear question, 'in hindsight...;'.
(1) A Conversation with Feisal Abdul Rauf; Council on Foreign Relations; September 13, 2010;
(1a) 'Muslims say they face more discrimination at work'; Steven Greenhouse; NYT; Sept. 23, 2010;
(2) 'Letter to America'; Osama bin Laden; as published in observer.co.uk, November 24th, 2002;
(3) The 9/11 Truth Movement;
(4) Brilliant: 'We've Been Neo-Conned'; Ron Paul; Lew Rockwell; July 10,2003; http://www.lewrockwell.com/paul/paul110.html
(5) Youtube: 'Born on the Fourth of July'; Part 10; directed by Oliver Stone; channel Gunner21101; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PUB-ojX48rg
Youtube: The Human Herding Process;