The mainstream media are closing ranks on the Ground Zero mosque, no kidding. It's got to happen as far as they're concerned, and no insult is too extravagant for opponents.
Time asks, "Is America Islamophobic?" The New York Times's Frank Rich blames mosque resistance on Rupert Murdoch's "Islamophobia command center." The New York Daily News: "Scary fanatics." The Los Angeles Times, in a supposed news article — "reporting from Beirut" — worries:
The heated debate across America over construction of the so-called ground zero mosque is reverberating across the globe, with the potential of creating a worldwide black eye for the United States. …
Many Muslims tuning in to the debate see a demonization of their religion by some Americans, who have been painting the 1,400-year-old faith as a dangerous political ideology. They bristle at the ignorance of politicians who argue that the structure should not be allowed because Muslims don't allow churches in their countries. Despite tensions between Christians and Muslims in some countries, Saudi Arabia is the only country to specifically bar churches.
Muslims worry that the campaign has become caught up in the same racially tinged clash-of-civilizations campaigns to ban Muslim women in France from wearing Islamic garb or Muslims in Switzerland to build minarets on their houses of worship.Demonization. Ignorance. And, of course, "racially tinged." Even Americans who don't (yet) know what dhimmitude means might sense that something is wrong when a major American newspaper appears to be following the party line of Middle Eastern Muslims.
However, if you want to plumb the absolute depths of the Pravda-like media, the utter lunacy, the desperate overreaching … I give you Nicholas D. Kristof in the New York Times.
Kristof is here to tell you that if you oppose the Ground Zero mosque, you are supporting Osama bin Laden.
Osama abhors the vision of interfaith harmony that the proposed Islamic center represents. He fears Muslim clerics who can cite the Koran to denounce terrorism.
It’s striking that many American Republicans share with Al Qaeda the view that the West and the Islamic world are caught inevitably in a “clash of civilizations.” Anwar al-Awlaki, the American-born cleric who recruits jihadis from his lair in Yemen, tells the world’s English-speaking Muslims that America is at war against Islam. You can bet that Mr. Awlaki will use the opposition to the community center and mosque to try to recruit more terrorists.
There is an old song with the lyrics, "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets." That's like the position of the bien-pensants of our degraded mass media concerning Islam. If they want it, they must have it, otherwise all the "moderate" Muslims will turn against us, and the "extremists" will win their souls.
The second misconception underlying this debate is that Islam is an inherently war-like religion that drives believers to terrorism. Sure, the Islamic world is disproportionately turbulent, and mullahs sometimes cite the Koran to incite murder. But don’t forget that the worst brutality in the Middle East has often been committed by more secular rulers, like Saddam Hussein and Hafez al-Assad. And the mastermind of the 1970 Palestinian airline hijackings, George Habash, was a Christian.No, Islam is an aggressive political system inseparable from its religious component, whose followers assume its unique legitimacy. It drives some believers to terrorism; other believers simply want to win through colonization, legitimizing sharia law, and high birth rates. Nobody claims Islam is the only cause of violence in the world, but that is a mighty poor excuse for promoting the reach of the most intolerant of faiths.
Kristof concludes: "Today’s crusaders against the Islamic community center are promoting a similar paranoid intolerance, and one day we will be ashamed of it."
May I suggest that America's mass media are promoting a paranoid intolerance of many Americans' quite reasonable suspicions about Muslim expansion. It will be interesting to see if this is what enables Americans finally to cast off the Leftist Establishment propaganda machine for good. One thing you can be pretty sure of: Nicholas Kristof will never be ashamed. After all, he speaks through the New York Times.