Every Muslim a Terrorist

Not that anyone ever accused the Houston suburbs of being an oasis of understanding, but for fuck's sake, c'mon:

"KATY, Texas - A plan to build a mosque in this Houston suburb has triggered a neighborhood dispute, with community members warning the place will become a terrorist hotbed and one man threatening to hold pig races on Fridays just to offend the Muslims."

Yup, because there's no target more high value than Katy, Texas.

Last night I was reading the uniformly excellent blog Orcinus, where they're kicking off a series about the "eliminationist" urge in the right. It starts with a similarly illustrative anecdote, about a radio host who, in light of the recent Imams controversy on U.S. Airways, called for all Muslims to be identified via armbands, or even tattoos:

The first caller to the station in Washington said that Klein must be "off his rocker." The second congratulated him and added: "Not only do you tattoo them in the middle of their forehead but you ship them out of this country ... they are here to kill us."

Another said that tattoos, armbands and other identifying markers such as crescent marks on driver's licenses, passports and birth certificates did not go far enough. "What good is identifying them?" he asked. "You have to set up encampments like during World War Two with the Japanese and Germans."

At the end of the one-hour show, rich with arguments on why visual identification of "the threat in our midst" would alleviate the public's fears, Klein revealed that he had staged a hoax. It drew out reactions that are not uncommon in post-9/11 America.

"I can't believe any of you are sick enough to have agreed for one second with anything I said," he told his audience... For me to suggest to tattoo marks on people's bodies, have them wear armbands, put a crescent moon on their driver's license on their passport or birth certificate is disgusting. It's beyond disgusting."

It truly is. But somehow after September 11, amid all the stomach-churning rhetoric about the "war on terror," a sizable chunk of the American populace seems to have convinced themselves that Islam as a whole is responsible for terrorism, not Bin Laden's fevered, fundamentalist hatred masquerading under its name. The saddest thing is that that's exactly what Bin Laden had in mind as the World Trade Center collapsed, a pitched, pronounced battle between Islam and the West to help radicalize and recruit for his insidious cause. Of course, when our leader says things about it being a battle between "good" and "evil," he's justing helping him out too, but whatever.

For those with little frame of reference or geopolitical capacity, 9/11 threw things into bleak, black-and-white relief, a view on par with the fundamentalists that attacked and murdered us on our own soil. In the People's Republic, sometimes it's easy to loose track of that, but, to be sure, Katy, Texas is right down the road.

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