Seriously, you can’t make this stuff up.  Here’s Pam Geller on Fox Business (WTF does this have to do with business news, btw?) discussing the plan by an attention whore of a radical, rightwing church to burn the Koran on 9/11:

From her own blog:

  • “If Americans are free and not under Sharia, then the church can do this if it wants, and their freedom and rights should be protected. Islamic supremacists should not be allowed a victory for their violent intimidation — if these people want to burn a book, they’re free to do so.”
  • “If they were burning a Bible, no one would be threatening violence against them.”

I’ll agree that Geller is right that the church is exercising free speech.  However, the so-called “Ground Zero mosque,” the former Burlington Coat Factory Islamic Center blocks away from Ground Zero is a constitutionally protected exercise of their freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and property rights.  All of these are rights Geller has convenient left out in her diatribe against a community center a mosque, a strip club, and another block away from the Ground Zero site.

But the notion that if someone announced an intention to burn a Bible, say days after Christmas (Ramadan, a major holy Muslim holiday ends Thursday, days before this Bible burning is planned) would not create a firestorm of controversy and potentially violence in this country is absurd.

His announcement made international news…. it was widely condemned. The church did not burn the bibles, but the pastor claimed that they shredded bibles in their church (off camera) despite a media presence at the event awaiting outside of the church.

Geller tells us that an abandoned Burlington Coat Factory cannot be used by Muslim youths to plays sports, socialize, and yes, pray, because a few blocks is too close to Ground Zero and it will, in her words, be viewed as a symbol of Islamic extremists victory and “conquering” over that site.  Build it, Geller, proclaims, and the terrorists win.

But when told that the top U.S. military commanders fear that images of Americans cheering the burning of the most sacred Islamic holy texts could put people who, unlike Geller, didn’t enlist in 101st Keyboardist Brigade, but in the actual military in harm’s way, Geller shrugs off Gen. Petraeus’ concerns and tells them to grow a pair.  Easy for her.  She gets to defend this Koran burning from the confines of a Fox News Studio.  Petraeus has to defend it on the streets of Afghanistan where we are trying to win the hearts and minds of the Islamic population there—a task that the Pam Gellers of the world could care less.

The idea that the Cordoba Initiative, a multi-faith approach to promoting healing and understanding that not all Muslims are anti-America hating terrorist is the same as this Koran burning is ridiculous.  To be the same, you’d have to find some evidence, hell any, that the people behind Cordoba intend to present the 9/11 terrorists as heroes and not the heretics to the faith as they clearly view them.

One is an intended monument of tolerance and understanding; the other hate.  Perhaps I fail to see the subtleties of the moment.  If so, it is still more awareness than Geller’s blind devotion to her ideological/religious crusade demonstrates.  Perhaps I am the one-eyed man in the land of the blind.

As I watch these two events converge and see idiots like Pam Geller attempt to contort her obviously contradictory positions that a community center cannot be built because it would appease Islamic extremist terrorists (which is actually likely untrue), but a public burning of the Koran cannot be discouraged simply because it would… please those same terrorists, I’m left with this final thought:  We live in the Age of Information, but not an Age of Reason.

  • Their positions are almost all the same- That they believe in free speech, and the Pastor has the right to be stupid.

    I think what’s more offensive is having someone like General Petraeus comment on domestic policy matters and being worried we might hurt our enemies feelings. We’ve come a long way since the days of Eisenhower, where many commanding officers didn’t even feel it appropriate to vote in elections.

  • Just as “freedom isn’t free” free speech isn’t free. There are consequences. Real, actual, consequences. Failing to regard these is irresponsible.

    The General is right to condemn such foolishness. It’s not about hurting feelings, Matt. You know this. I understand the Christofascist part of your brain is battling the Support the Troops side, but come on. Even a complete idiot can recognize how these types of divisive, hateful actions actually hurt and kill our troops. It’s dangerous and irresponsible and you should recognize it as so. A failure on your part to do so is also dangerous and irresponsible.

    Don’t hide behind free speech. It isn’t.

  • Modern Esquire

    He’s not worried about hurting our enemies’ feelings, Matt. He’s worried that it will enrage the populace, turn them against the U.S., and lead to deaths of American soldiers.

    You and Geller seem to forget in the comfort of your enlistment in the 101st Fighting Keyboardist Brigade that there are men and women in uniform actually in harm’s way and they are the ones who are at risk for this guy’s insane act of free, but totally, irresponsible speech.

    I’d remind you of what you just wrote a few weeks ago under the image of an exploding WTC on 9/11:
    “this has nothing to do with freedom of religion, as no one is being prohibited from practicing their faith… We’re simply raising a question of optics and taste.

    And yet, not a word on your blog about something that our military commanders says could actual result in the killing of our men and women in uniform.

    The difference, Matt, is that you and Geller are permissive about burning the Koran but oppose a construction of an inter-faith community center that focusing on building tolerance primarily to Islam.

    The difference is that in your mind you equate the construction of a community center as no different than the image of burning a major religion’s holy texts. And you are just wrong in that regard and many others.

  • Please don’t lump me in with Geller. And this Church is nuts… Their website has posts in support of the Westboro baptists!

    The optics in this situation are bad. Just like the mosque, they have a right to go through with the act. But as matter of taste and decency they should not.

  • Modern Esquire

    Matt, I didn’t lump you in with Geller. You did a few weeks ago when you jumped in head first to attack LLee Fisher for saying the NYC Islamic Community Center was a “local issue” and said that a former Burlington Coat Factory was sitting on ground of a mass murder, etc. Reap the whirlwind.

  • Modern Esquire

    On a side note, do you find them nuts because of their anti-gay rhetoric or just because they’re heathen Baptists?

  • Anonymous

    Eric, you’re right on the money, of course. I only wish those who denounce Terry Jones’ actions would save a portion of their vitriol for some of the U.S. government’s policies, such as the use of drones to attack targets in Pakistan. What better way to incite the enemy, as well as people who might be sympathetic to the U.S., than to drop bombs on their villages and kill their women, children, and innocents, in a heavy-handed attempt to take out a few terrorists? This is a strategy Bush started, but under Obama has expanded to a murderous level.

    And let’s not forget the big picture. U.S. foreign policy has been a long, slow burn of the Koran for over a half-century.

    Sure, Jones is an idiot, but the media’s, pundit’s, and government’s panty-bunching machinations are akin to choking on a fly while eating an elephant.

  • mvirenicus

    yeah, screw the american empire. it’s actually screwing itself and i’m enjoying its death throes, but the rest of the world needs to be spared our stupidity and evil.

  • mvirenicus

    it’s the baptist thing. my significant other was raised baptist and i had a helluva time scrubbing that crap from her psyche. now she’s more fiendish than myself, and frankly, it’s kinda scary.

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