Saturday, September 11, 2010
Terry Jones and the Muslims in the Tower
One of the most revealing things I've read about the wingnut pastor Terry Jones is that he says he got all his information about Islam from YouTube.
So I'm not too optimistic that he's going to cancel his plans to burn a Koran.
But as for the argument that this outbreak of mass hysteria wouldn't have happened if the media hadn't given him so much coverage, I don't buy it.
The media have been criticized for giving Terry Jones and his Koran-burning scheme publicity. But the Web has changed the media landscape. Ignoring the event wasn't an option.
If a single religious “crackpot” anywhere in the depths of America’s backwoods decides to burn a Koran, and even one person is there with a cellphone to upload the image, then it enters the larger flow of content that travels everywhere.
The landscape has changed, the nature of the media is like the nature of a scorpion on that frog's back, they will do anything for ratings. And nobody knows that better than the wingnuts from the Westboro Baptist Church, who have announced they plan to burn a Koran AND an American flag.
In fact here's the crazed homophobe Fred "Big Daddy " Phelps making the announcement tonight.
Because Big Daddy will be damned if the wingnut from Florida is going to get all that free publicity.
But there is also another more disturbing reason the Burn the Koran story grew so big. And that's because it grew in the mucky soil of the so-called Ground Zero Mosque story.
The rabid right jumped on it's back like a spider. The media blew this manufactured story up like a balloon. Some good people were swayed by the roar of the howling mob.
The quiet voices of reason were drowned out.
And so was the story of the Muslims in the Tower.
He staggered out to the gathering place at Broadway and Vesey. From that corner, he watched the south tower collapse, to be followed soon by the north one. Somewhere in the smoking, burning mountain of rubble lay whatever remained of the prayer room, and also of some of the Muslims who had used it.
Given the vitriolic opposition now to the proposal to build a Muslim community center two blocks from ground zero, one might say something else has been destroyed: the realization that Muslim people and the Muslim religion were part of the life of the World Trade Center.
The Ground Zero story never made any sense, but it was allowed to grow like a poison mushroom. And now it's poisoning America. And inflaming the Muslim world.
Oh boy. I know there are good religious people.
But from what I see with my eyes wide open. The United States is a sick country.
And religion has become MADNESS....