Lower Manhattan in New York City is a long way from Dudley and even further from Vicarage Place in Walsall, but these places are linked by the kind of human nature that none of us can be terribly proud of.
At first glance, the righteous outrage and indignation expressed by the citizens of New York at the proposal to build a mosque on the site of the former World Trade Centre is both predicable and understandable. Angry talk of a victory mosque and a stealth jihad reverberates along Lower Broadway and across Battery Park. According to a recent poll, 72 per cent of Americans are against the building of a mosque at ground zero and most rational people would agree that the idea is, at best, inappropriate. However, the Park51 Cordoba House project is not a mosque and is not sited at ground zero.
Park51 is intended to be a cultural and community centre to promote a wider understanding of Islam in that marvellous, diverse and welcoming city. The design happens to include a space for prayer which is not for the exclusive use of Muslim visitors. The building is two New York blocks north of where thousands died on that terrible day in 2001 and, if supporters of the project are to be believed, the location is significant as the centre wants to commemorate the victims of the outrage. Opponents see this as a deliberate provocation. In another recent poll, 25 per cent of Americans think that Barak Obama is a Muslim and that he talks too much about his “faith”.
Things took a darker turn during a demonstration against the project when a dark skinned man wearing a hat that looked “Arabic” wandered into the crowd who abused, insulted and threatened him. It turns out he is called Kenny and was not a Muslim at all. Worse still, a man just back from Afghanistan wished a taxi driver “As-salaam alaikum”, asked if he was having a good Ramadan and then tried to kill him by cutting his throat.
The issue has more to do with mid-term primaries than the first amendment of the American Constitution and the satirists pin-up, Sarah Palin, weighed in with a call for American Muslims to “refudiate” plans for a “ground zero mosque”. When it was pointed out that “refudiate” is not actually a word, the former beauty queen, rifle woman and Governor of Alaska compared herself to William Shakespeare because he kinda made up words too – like totally awesome.
Pamela Geller, another towering intellect, is the woman organising the “mega-mosque” protests and gets lots of air-time on Rupert Murdoch`s Fox News in the states. Her website has featured fake photographs of Barak Obama urinating on the stars and stripes, his mother naked and a Jewish Supreme Court Judge in a Nazi uniform. She has also claimed that the president had a relationship with a crack-whore and is the secret love-child of Malcolm X. She has strongly defended Slobodan Milosevic and, this is the Black Country bit, expressed support for the English Defence League.
The repellent and retarded EDL descended on Dudley some months back to protest at plans to open a mosque in that fair town. Only a massive police presence prevented major public disorder as the knuckle dragging bone-heads rampaged through the town looking for a fight even after planning permission for the place of worship had been rejected. Undeterred, the pond life turned their moronic gaze towards Walsall after hearing that a new mosque was proposed on Vicarage Place. They quickly abandoned plans for another punch-up when they learned that objectors to the mosque and the defenders of England in Walsall were actually Muslims.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association want a place to meet and pray but other mainstream Muslims consider them heretics and have forcefully objected to the proposal citing “traffic congestion” as the reason. This guy Abraham has an awful lot to answer for.
In a world where a Catholic priest turns out to be an IRA bomber, a crack-whore urinates on a war memorial, Israel gets away with murdering aid workers heading for Gaza and the French government expels Roma people and bans the Burkha, what ever happened to peace, love and understanding? It still exists, with British people in these hard times donating over £35million in aid to the Pakistan flood appeal and “shaming” global governments into action.
Statesman, journalist and former French Prime Minister George Clemenceau (1841 – 1929) did little to improve trans-atlantic entente cordiale when he said:
“America is the only nation in history which miraculously has gone directly from barbarism to degeneration without the usual interval of civilization.”
What on earth would he make of the situation today in New York, Paris, Tel Aviv, Dudley and Walsall?