“Extremist”…? Define That

We’ve all heard time and time again, mostly from the folks on the fringe right, that all Muslims are bloodthirsty barbarian extremists who eat American babies for breakfast and want to impose Sharia Law on all of us and force us to bow to Mecca four times a day. Frankly, I’m tired of it. In fact, I’m seeing a parallel. I’d like to address all you wingnut folks who believe that the Muslims rioting in the Middle East about this stupid anti-Muslim piece of garbage propaganda film are simply stupid barbarians who aren’t civilized and that in order to teach them how real civilized people  behave, we should just bomb the shit out of them once and for all.

Pay attention: Certainly there are people in the Middle East are upset by this film; we’ve seen them on television. There are people who are angry because, first of all, they are in the midst of the “Arab Spring,” a rash of civil wars and uprisings in their respective countries, in which some of  their governments have been toppled and in other cases, there remains a power vacuum or only a shaky government and things are a little crazy for the ordinary people in the Middle East. Secondly, there are extremist groups like Al Qaeda and religious fanatics (mullahs) who are seeing this as an opportunity to grab power for themselves. So what do these extremists do? They pull out their propaganda. The people, some of whom are already angry and suspicious about the intentions of the United States, are being told by their extremist leaders and authority figures that this film was officially sponsored by the U.S. government, and that the United States is being called upon to wage war on Islam and all Muslims everywhere. (Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released a statement denying that.)

So, it’s only the crazy Muslims in the Middle East who are extremists? Let’s take another look, shall we?

Now, we’re back in America. Think for a moment about all the angry white people (who call themselves the Tea Party) right here in America. They have their own mullahs – *extremist* leaders –  in the Tea Party/GOP, like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter, Todd Akin, Michele Bachmann, Allen West, Peter King and a whole bunch of other wackos, including militant Christians like Terry Jones, the Koran-burning pastor and other quasi-religious groups like the American Family Association, the Family Research Council and, of course, to our shame, the ever-popular Westboro Baptist Church.

What have these people been telling their followers? They have been telling their Tea Party followers that our president is a socialistmarxistfascistcommunist illegal alien Muslim from Kenya who wants to take their guns away, kill their grandmas, kill all the babies and force them to marry a gay. What do these Tea Partiers do then? They burn Korans. They urinate on Taliban corpses. They show up at rallies waving their guns, their grossly misspelled placards, their Obama-as-Hitler signs and their confederate flags. They hang President Obama in effigy. They shoot abortion doctors, cut the gas lines to the house of a Democratic candidate, grotesquely murder a family’s pet cat and burn down a mosque in Joplin, Missouri. See what I’m getting at here? The Muslims in the Middle East are being fed a lot of anti-America and America-hates-Islam crap by their leaders – just as the teabaggers are being fed a lot of anti-Obama, anti-Islam crap here.

I say it’s the same thing.


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Comments

  1. You claim that all Muslims aren’t “bloodthirsty barbarian extremists,” then proceed to say that “they” murder cats and burn down mosques…

  2. You claim that all Muslims aren’t “bloodthirsty barbarian extremists,” then proceed to say that the Tea Party murders cats and burns down mosques…

    • You missed my point entirely. My point is – WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? Sure there are extremists in the Middle East – but we’ve got our own extremists right here at home. There’s no difference. That’s the point.

    • Um, did you read what you wrote? That’s Annie’s point. Extremists of any sort are horrid. Christian, Muslim, atheistic…extreme POV’s suck, period.

  3. Yeah, I understand the point that there are religious extremists everywhere and that they are horrid. That point did not get by me; I read the whole article. My point is that you claim that the Tea Party murders cats, burns down mosques, etc. This is an extreme generalization. The main wing of the Tea Party does not speak to social issues. Whatever conclusion you want to draw from that is up to you, but the point is that to classify every member of a group in such a way (murderous zealots full of hatred) undermines the message that you wanted to communicate. You can’t say that the classification of Muslims as the Taliban Islamofascists is wrong, then proceed to apply every bad thing done by the extreme right-wing in the U.S. to one group of people. Generalizations are what the neo-cons do.

    • Brooklyn Dame says

      She’s not saying that the Tea Party as a whole does that; it’s pointing to, specifically, the extremists within their organisation. That’s the entire point — it’s the extremists within each of these groups who cause the destruction.

      • I know that that’s the message: That the Christian and Muslim fringe sects have similar roots, ideals, and strategic tactics. However, that’s not what the article says. The divisive language in this article does not “eradicate borders.” If anything, it builds one between “the religious zealots” and “we, secular citizens.”

        • Brooklyn Dame says

          The first step to eradicating borders is telling the truth and calling out hypocrisy when it rears its head — and calling Muslim extremists out while not identifying those same destructive traits within one’s own religion is exceptionally hypocritical. On another point, there’s generally no talking to a religious zealot, therefore no ability to build bridges. When a person thinks s/he is taking direction from his/her ‘invisible means of support’ that person will never see anything wrong in any of his/her actions. And, finally, there’s a big difference between using divisive language and pointing to facts and actual events. Part of the problem often becomes that people don’t want to call out radical, destructive acts because they’re afraid of being perceived as anti-theists/anti-Christian. A hate monger is a hate monger no matter what religious cloak is worn.

          • I’m all for telling the truth, and I agree with the comparison of the religious right of the Western world and religious right of the mostly Islamic countries. My qualm with this article is the “exceptionally hypocritical” treatment, in which the “Tea Party,” as they are called in this article, are antagonized to a more severe degree than the other party of Muslims in other countries. If this article means to appeal to this “Tea Party” entity in question, then it will not be successful to show them that they are wrong, since they have already been severely antagonized. That border has not been eradicated. Furthermore, the border for the secular individual who is just trying to understand all of this will not be eradicated when extreme generalizations, fear, and divisive language drives them against their fellow neighbours. The way to eradicate borders is not with inflammatory pieces such as this. The only facts in this article are the names of people used and incidents of crimes that have been blamed on the Tea Party, as if they’re completely and jointly responsible for killing abortion doctors and murdering cats as a political message. This does not serve to inform anyone about what actually happened in each of these specific and motivationally different events, but only to simplify the issue to “Those right-wingers are all behind this!” You claim that there’s no talking to religious zealots. Even if we accept that to be true, I’m curious to see what we’re going to do about the problem that’s constructive and not fueled by anger.

          • Brooklyn Dame says

            I think the Tea Party is not capable of being appealed to. Sometimes it is what it is; as much as we may want, we’d be crazy to think that we’re going to end up with rainbows and unicorns as the outcome of every disagreement. The Tea Party drew their line in the sand ages ago when they formed under the bogus stance of wanting to control the nation’s debt yet said nothing when George W. Bush was in office. And, on a side, note, we’d like to eradicate borders and walls people have between one another — but the one wall we gladly keep is the one that separates us from stupid and/or evil people.

            As for the sentences you point to in the article, did you read the statements immediately before those? It is, once again, talking about a segment, not the entire Tea Party.

        • Why are you excusing the Tea Party extremists, John? Think about it. I say a pox on both your houses, as I consider the American Taliban– Tea Party — every bit as reprehensible and dangerous as the Middle Eastern Taliban. If you identify with the Tea Party Taliban and you take exception to my defining some within the Tea Party as extremists – well, too bad for you. There’s nothing I can do about that, and frankly, there is nothing I care to do about it. Every single one of my examples is factual and linked to the source.

          And there IS a divide between “the religious zealots” and “we, secular citizens” – a line of decency that religious zealots never hesitate to cross – to hurt and kill others in the name of whatever god they profess to worship.

          It is not divisive to simply point it out or draw logical comparisons; you’re shooting the messenger, John. You’d do better to chastise the Family Research Council or Orly Taitz – they’re the terrorists here in America – not me.

          • Not once in anything that I have said do I excuse any crime or episode of violence, which should be completely clear. I find all violence reprehensible and below human decency. You didn’t define some of the “Tea Party Taliban as extremists.” Your article says “They shoot abortion doctors.”, “They hang President Obama in effigy.” Not once is this considered in this article to be a minority within the Tea Party. The point that there is a divide between the religious zealots and we, secular citizens, does not make the situation better, and certainly does not highlight solutions to the problem. You’re not a terrorist, but this piece is left-wing propaganda, degrading the right-wing as scary and violent. It’s not correct, professional, or helpful. And no, I don’t identify with the religious right-wing. There’s nothing that you care to do about helping people to not be religious extremists? I think that I must have missed the point of this website.

  4. John: I’ve had this same discussion with many a teabagger before you happened along, and they’ve all gone the same way. Teabagger accuses me of calling names/generalizing/not being a tolerant lib – you’ve done all three in your comments. What it sounds like to me is that you’re telling me that the Tea Party folks are all just honest, hard-working American patriots and the people who are cutting gas lines, shooting abortion doctors and killing family pets are fringe extremists.

    Well, John, THAT’S MY POINT.

    Most of the Muslims in the Middle East are just ordinary citizens trying to get by – and they’re being blamed by people like you and other Tea Party members of being “extremists.” The pot is calling the kettle black, John.

    So I guess you’re just going to have to be insulted by this “intolerant lib,” eh? But hey, this is a progressive newsletter — so you knew before you read the article that you weren’t going to like it, right?

  5. for a “profane atheist hippie feminazis” you sure carry a heavey weight….

  6. I agree very strongly. It is a sad thing to watch, but it appears that the less-than-bright members of the world’s population are being whipped up into conditions of destructive enthusiasm by means of carefully-crafted lies and propaganda. So gangs of unspeakable toads lust for power, and all the nice muslims I used to know years ago are risking a bullet from the mad militant christian right for being muslims, or a bullet from the mad militant muslims for being soft, or even traitors, but really being sensible.

    And one of those people I used to know had his father shot dead in front of him. Just the thing for a twelve year old boy. Nice. Does the fact that he was actually a christian make it any better?

    That’s the reality – dead people.

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