Last week, both NBC and CBS rightly rejected the commercial above which protests the planned Islamic Center near Ground Zero. Note that the very first words in the ad are: “The audacity of JIHAD”. Now how is that not a backhand slap to the President in reference to his book “The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream“? Because as we all know — Barack Obama is not a citizen of the United States but a secret Muslim Communist bent on destroying America from within. Umm….(pained eyeroll)

So for once, cooler adult heads prevailed and hatred on our airwaves took a brief break. The ad was “put together by the far right (and according to Ben Smith, well-funded) National Republican Trust PAC, opposing the building of a mosque at Ground Zero” — so says Mediaite.

NBC said:

“An ad questioning the wisdom of building a mosque at ground zero would meet our issues of public controversy advertising criteria. However, this ad which ambiguously defines ‘they’ as referenced in the spot makes it unclear as to whether the reference is to terrorists or to the Islamic religious organization that is sponsoring the building of the mosque. Consequently, the ad is not acceptable under our guidelines for broadcast.”

See — what NBC is trying to communicate to the far right wing idiots of America: there is a difference between terrorists who happen to be Muslim (hmmm btw, terrorists also come in a flavor called Timothy McVeigh = Christian) and all people everywhere in America and the world who worship Islam. And NBC can’t carry this ad because that distinction here is (perhaps intentionally) blurred.

I’m not actually sure why this is even under discussion. There’s already a mosque nearby ground zero that’s been there for years. Also, the mosque is part of a community center. Also, freedom of religion is protected under the Constitution — it’s the First Amendment for crying out loud! Why is it that the people who bellyache the most about Obama’s so-called, non-existent threats to the Constitution are the ones so eager to mess with it — whether it’s this or the 14th Amendment or adding a ban on gay marriage or overturning the Civil Rights Act, etc.

The Anti-Defamation League unhelpfully suggested that the community center be moved and in attempting to clarify its strange and bigoted stance, Abe Foxman said this:

To us, after much discussion and debate it became clear that the overriding concern should be the sensitivities of the families of the victims that dictated finding another location for this massive, $100 million project.

What? I’m sorry but people of many faiths died in the World Trade Center that day. Are the sensitivities of some more important than those of others or are we not free and equal citizens here in the United States. Do we reward irrational fear and hatred with “sensitivity” or do we stand by our national enshrined principles of tolerance, freedom and fairness? Abe — the same people who fear and hate the concept of an Islamic Center at Ground Zero are also likely to overlap with the same kind of people who use “New Yorkers” and “New York Times” and “bankers” and “liberal media” as codewords for “scary pinko communist un-American” Jews. Do you not get that? Hatred feeds on hatred.

I’m proud of NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg for taking the highest possible road here. In times like these, it is even more important to stand for what is right. Freedom has a price and that price is courage — even in the face of fear, ignorance and suspicion. Let’s not forget that 25% of American Muslims are African-American. This impacts our communities just as you can see from the ad above which manages to attack the President, African-Americans and Muslims around the world in just 30 seconds of spite. Mayor Bloomberg said today:

“We may not always agree with every one of our neighbors. That’s life and it’s part of living in such a diverse and dense city. But we also recognize that part of being a New Yorker is living with your neighbors in mutual respect and tolerance. It was exactly that spirit of openness and acceptance that was attacked on 9/11,” he said.

[...]

“Let us not forget that Muslims were among those murdered on 9/11 and that our Muslim neighbors grieved with us as New Yorkers and as Americans. We would betray our values – and play into our enemies’ hands – if we were to treat Muslims differently than anyone else. In fact, to cave to popular sentiment would be to hand a victory to the terrorists – and we should not stand for that.”

I’m glad the mosque and community center is going forward. I hope to visit it someday. Shame on people like Sarah Palin and other GOP/Tea Party people for their un-Constitutional leanings and intolerant words. Know that we understand your opposition to the Islamic Center accurately as fundamentally un-American and hear your words of hatred for Islam as hatred of all those who differ from you — which includes us.

We ain’t fooled none…and it’s you who will end up schooled.

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