Streetwise Professor

August 27, 2010

Mosque-ow on the Hudson

Filed under: Politics — The Professor @ 10:01 pm

At first blush, the full throated defense of Islam generally, and the Ground Zero Mosque specifically, by the progressive left is passing strange.  Given that the battle over the GZ Mosque is centered in New York, the leftist precincts of that city, notably the Upper West Side, hard by the Hudson, are particularly strident in their attacks on the mosque’s critics.

The progressive argument is couched in terms of religious tolerance, opposition to religious bigotry, and the importance of property rights.  But the progressive left has long been extremely antagonistic to the believers of other religions, especially evangelical Christians, traditional Catholics and Jews, and Mormons.  The antagonism often clearly degenerates into outright bigotry, which seldom brings a peep of protest from other progressives.  Ridicule, mockery, and insult are routine.

And progressives are stalwart defenders of property rights?  Who knew?

Moreover, many of the beliefs and behaviors shared by large numbers of Muslims, especially about women and homosexuality, are antithetical to strong progressive views.  Indeed, many progressive attacks against the adherents of non-Muslim denominations emphasize their benighted views on women and gays, even though those views are benign compared to those common in the Muslim world.

In this regard, it is particularly illuminating to note that the Reagan administration made common cause with Saudi Arabia and other reactionary Muslim states to oppose United Nations initiatives on reproductive matters (read: abortion) and women’s and gay rights that were the pet causes of the transnational progressive left.  Progressives were scathing in their criticism of Reagan for this alliance.

So any intellectually consistent and honest progressive would have to admit that the strange new respect for Islam is contradictory, and indeed, hypocritical.

What explains it then?  I think the answer is straightforward.  The progressive left is defined in the United States by its opposition to the beliefs of the majority of other Americans.  The progressive left detests the idea of American exceptionalism.  Most Americans are American exceptionalists.  Funny thing, that.  The progressive left believes that the United States is a deformed and malign nation, an oppressor.  (Don’t believe they believe that?  Read Howard Zin sometime, or the encomiums to him.  Or the recent cringe-making State Department report to the UN Human Rights Counsel.)  Most Americans admit to the nation’s flaws, but believe that it is truly the last, best hope of mankind, whose contributions to human freedom and dignity–and yes, progress–far outstrip its failings.  Most progressives identify themselves as elite who are intellectually and morally superior to the great unwashed, especially those living away from the coasts.

So, if the vast majority of those whom the progressive left loathes are offended by the thought of a mosque headed by an imam of troublingly ambiguous views being located so close to Ground Zero, as surely as night follows day, the progressives will rise in defense of the mosque and the imam.  All the more because said imam has expressed critiques of American policy and actions that sound eerily like those that are staples of the left’s bill of indictment against the US.  And American exceptionalism is an anathema to Islam as well.  The endless Muslim complaints–whines, really–about the transgressions of the West generally, and the US in particular, resonate loudly with progressives.  In this regard, progressives and Muslims–even the most reactionary of them–have a meeting of the minds.

In brief, the left’s alliance with Islam on the matter of the GZM and other matters, is purely an opportunistic one, and completely unprincipled.*  They share a common opponent.  A common enemy.  And it is us.  On virtually every other issue, they have nothing in common, and indeed hold completely contrary views.  But progressives have no problem putting those differences aside in order to use the mosque issue as another front in their continuing war against a mainstream American that remains stubbornly wedded to the belief that America is a pretty good country, damn it.

And I say go for it!  The left is wallowing in its self-righteousness, self-anointed moral superiority, and disdain for vast swathes of the American public: if you doubt that, just take a gander at Bloomberg’s speech (but only if you have a very strong stomach).  Hardly the recipe for political success in a country where such views are held by a decided minority.  What’s more, this particular issue stirs such intense passions among so many people.  Indeed, there are few other issues on which progressive lectures are likely to engender such an intense backlash.

So go right ahead.  Keep poking the big dog with a stick.  You all and Imam Rauf can have one big pity party when the big dog wakes up and does what big dogs do, when poked with a stick.

* And don’t even get me started on the sudden solicitude on the left for General Petraeus and the troops in Afghanistan and Iraq.   As if the Taliban and Al Qaeda et al don’t have more than enough things that they hate about us that one more will make a difference.  After all, depriving them of “reasons to fight us” would require adoption of shariah and submission to the caliphate.  Is that what Bloomberg and Frank Rich and others that have raised this argument are proposing?; it is certainly the logical implication of their argument.  What a strategy!   Win a war by acceding to the enemy’s demands.  And where were these people when many of their political allies (and funders) were calling Patraeus “General Betray-us”?

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  1. Andrew!?

    Karlin has a twisted liking for freaks and freak shows, while sucking up to some comparitvely lame crap.

    I’m here as a form of slumming, inclusive of carrying on like the beasts.

    This is minor league from the kind of big league pitching that I hit out of the park.

    Later punks.

    Comment by Dan — September 2, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  2. Now Sublime Oblivion, we both know that “Positive Birth Rate” means that the birth rate exceeds the death rate.

    Russia still has a negative rating, and that includes data from the highly reproductive north Caucasians.

    Ethnic Russians are dying out fast.

    Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2010 @ 12:23 am

  3. Ah Michael, the usual dismissive rubbish from a chronic under achiever like yourself.

    Carrying on like a beast is pretty typical of the rubbish you spout.

    Such as your denial of Serbian war crimes.

    A good account of your idiocy can be found here, including links to fairly decisibe slap downs of your asinine views on what happened at Srebrenica

    Srebrenica Genocide Denier Michael Averko Harrasses a World Renowned Academic, Dr. Marko Attila Hoare

    In attempting to portray the deaths of 8,000 to 10,000 Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims) as an exaggeration or a fabrication, Srebrenica genocide deniers, such as Michael Averko, wildly manipulate geopolitical data, reference works, bedrock historical facts, judicial findings and other sources of information and reportage. Another centerpiece of “revisionist” propaganda attacks the objectivity and legal validity of the International Criminal Tribunal (ICTY) and the International Court of Justice (ICJ), where the general history of the genocide was first established. As such, Michael Averko’s credibility is shattered. Opinion is cheap, everybody has it. Srebrenica genocide is not a matter of anybody’s opinion, it’s a judicial fact.
    Srebrenica genocide denier and a collumnist for the Serb-nationalist web site Serbianna, Michael Averko (aka: Mike Averko), has been circulating unsolicited emails trying to discredit a world renowned scholar, Dr Marko Attila Hoare. Apparently, he was upset because Dr Hoare condemned Averko’s Srebrenica Genocide denial comments at Global Voices. After embarrassing himself on Global Voices and admitting that he has reduced himself to a Srebrenica genocide denier, he quickly run away to Guardian forums and opened a new topic attempting to rally support from other deniers, revisionists, and conspiracy theorists. As a result, Dr Marko Attila Hoare responded by issuing a statement on his blog, condemning ongoing Srebrenica genocide denial, and Michael Averko’s unsolicited spam.

    Michael Averko’s actions are calculated, but useless, considering that in his E-mail he refers to the United Nation’s International Criminal Tribunal “kangaroo court,” and praises himself as being “considerably more objective than Hoare.” But, even a fool knows that if Michael Averko had any objectivity, dignity, or intelligence, he wouldn’t be what he is – a pathetic Srebrenica genocide denier and an apologist for radical ultra-nationalist Serbian politics in the Balkans.

    What Srebrenica genocide deniers don’t realize is that opinions are cheap, in most cases worthless, as everybody has them. On the other hand, Srebrenica Genocide is a fact. At the end of the day, Michael Averko is irrelevant.

    Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2010 @ 12:31 am

  4. Now Sublime Oblivion, we both know that “Positive Birth Rate” means that the birth rate exceeds the death rate.

    No, I’m afraid you’re quite alone in that “knowledge”.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — September 3, 2010 @ 1:17 am

  5. Now Sublime O, it is not my fault you are an uneducated troll.

    Thus France becomes one of the two European Union states with a positive birthrate; Ireland is the other. The contrast with their neighbors is very marked. Germany, Italy and Spain all have birthrates under 1.4. The rates in the new EU members, Slovakia, Slovenia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and even Roman Catholic Poland, are below 1.3.

    Britain will overtake Germany and France to become the biggest country in the EU in 50 years’ time, according to population projections unveiled yesterday. A survey of demographic trends finds Britain’s positive birth rate contrasting strongly with most other large countries in Europe.

    Both France and the UK have a situation where births outnumber deaths, leading to the term “positive birth rate”

    Try again SO, and don’t choke on the popcorn.

    Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2010 @ 1:57 am

  6. By the way Dan/Averko/Whatever, preferring Russians as people is different to preferring their government.

    On that subject Georgians hate the Russian state in no uncertain terms.

    However, unlike Abkhaz and Russians, the Georgians are not rabid racists and quite like Russians as everyday people.

    Comment by Andrew — September 3, 2010 @ 4:28 am

  7. Any journalist hack who writes things like “have birthrates under 1.4” should not be taken seriously – at least on the matter of demographic terminology.

    Comment by Sublime Oblivion — September 3, 2010 @ 1:38 pm

  8. So, Andrew, if Georgia has such a natural population growth and the “fastest growing economy”, why is it losing population faster than almost any other country? Why is it expected to lose yet another 23% of its population in 40 years? Are people simply running away from the fascist regime of Saakashvili? Or has this exodus been going on under the previous administrations – Gamsakhurdia and Shevardnadze as well? If so – why? What is it about Georgia that makes Georgians run away from it?

    Comment by Ostap Bender — September 4, 2010 @ 3:33 am

  9. Good old SO, wrong as usual.

    Describing birth rates as “positive” or “negative” in relation to deaths is quite normal.

    Obviously you are so uneducated that we can safely ignore anything you have to say on this (and probably any other) subject.

    Estonia’s birth rate could become positive in 2009

    If current trends continue, Estonia could again become a country with positive birth rate next year.

    The last time that Estonia’s birth rate was positive was in 1990, writes Postimees.

    While in 1990 the birth rate was positive by about 5,000 people, it turned negative by 300 people already in 1991.

    The worst year was 1994 when the birth rate was negative by 8,000 people, but the trend started to slow down in 1999 and the year 2007 birth rate was negative by only 1,634 people.

    According to authorities, this year’s birth rate is likely to remain negative by about 400 people. By end of November, there had been 14,897 births and 15,369 deaths.

    Also Professor Ene-Margit Tiit agrees that the trend were the number of births is increasing and the number of deaths is falling is promising.

    “However, we should not forget that birth rate went up strongly during the economic boom. During recession, the number of deaths tends to increase, as a rule,” she explained.

    Tiit adds that because of economic difficulties, many young Estonian men and women could move to abroad in search of better life.

    @ Ostap the Bender,

    Lets see, having Russia as a neighbor for starters, ethnic cleansing by separatists, the deliberate attempt by Russia to destroy the Georgian economy by embargo, that sort of thing.

    Most small countries with weak economies due to decades (and in Georgia’s case centuries) of despotic occupation and asset stripping by a genocidal neighbor have high emigration rates, but in the case of Georgia the majority of emigrants do not intend to settle permanently in their destination country, but intend to return to Georgia and start businesses at a later date.

    Russia has conducted a deliberate campaign of economic damage against Georgia, including bombing such targets as the cement works in Gori (such a high value military target) and a multitude of other non military economic targets, including attempts to bomb the BTC pipeline which failed due to the fact that the Russians were using unguided weapons. This campaign began in the early 90’s and continues today.

    Comment by Andrew — September 4, 2010 @ 5:24 am

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