As you know all too well, there is a mighty furor over a proposed Islamic community center five blocks from the site of the former World Trade Center. Right-wing “patriots” have taken to condemn the building of the community center so near “Ground Zero” as a slap against the thousand s that died in the Trade Center’s flaming disintegration. While I mourn the senseless deaths of nearly 3000 people, what these fear-mongers do not understand is that a number of Muslims died alongside Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, and others. Yet, they purposefully choose to denigrate an entire religion for the fanatical beliefs of a very, very tiny minority within the Muslim faith.
I strain to understand the reason for the uproar over the symbolic significance of building an Islamic community center near a place that shook our national psyche to the very core, and I totally agree with upholding our constitutional rights, which have stood stiff scrutiny for well over 200 years. Yet, I have an acquaintance on the East Coast who, like fellow EUR contributor Joseph C. Phillips, is a right-leaning reactionary. She believes pretty much everything broadcast on Fox News, reads The National Review and other right-leaning outlets, and intermittently sends off e-mail diatribes that tap into much of the inflammatory rhetoric espoused by the right. She is a “birther” who, to this day, believes that President Barack Obama was not born in the United States, despite ample evidence that he, indeed, was born on American soil. And, his mother was an American who birthed him in Kapi’olani Maternity & Gynecological Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, thus automatically making Obama an American citizen. Please check the records if you wish.
She also believes that, since the day he took office, President Obama is directly responsible for the continuing downward spiral of our economy, despite mounds of evidence that our collapse was caused by greedy and scurrilous financiers. She refuses to believe, that an unwinnable war was sparked by a massive military industrial complex/corporation (yes, war IS a business) in two countries, despite overwhelming evidence that it was falsely started, resulting in nearly 5000 American troops’ death ““ more than those lost in the Trade Center collapse. Worse, she agrees with congressional Republican stalling tactics that block pretty much any bill which would concretely put our country back on track.
I had a boil-over with her in 2009 when she questioned the international hoopla over pop singer Michael Jackson’s death, while the press practically ignored actress Farrah Fawcett, who as you know, died the same day from cancer. I wrote an extensive missive pointing out Michael’s huge international impact ““ but I did not send it. Why? Blame it on an urge to save my wife’s fragile relationship with her friend. But numerous e-mail beat-downs of Obama from this woman, leading up to the Islamic community center’s attention, led me to finally answer back. Here is her e-mail, in italics with misspellings intact, followed by my response:
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