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Kate Orman
News From the House of Sticks
Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one has a rummage in Google Books 
13th-Oct-2010 08:49 pm
melanin
So far, my responses to Elizabeth Moon's Park51 posting have been pretty simple stuff: take a few statements from the posting and see if they stand up to scrutiny. (There's more to this than just disagreement. Ms Moon's views are shared by many folks in the West. They may change their minds if given more accurate information.)

When it comes to some of the historical and political stuff, though, I'm all at sea. The last time I studied history was Tudor England in Year 8. Getting a grip on the complexities is going to take a lot more than reading a couple of books.

So when it comes to this part of the posting, I can't make a meaningful comment; I can only ask questions.
"It would have been one thing to have the Muslim victims' names placed with the others, and identified there as Muslims--but to use that site to proselytize for the religion that lies behind so many attacks on the innocent (I cannot forget the Jewish man in a wheelchair pushed over the side of the ship to drown, or Maj. Nadal's attack on soldiers at Fort Hood) was bound to raise a stink."
As you can see, Moon's ire here is partly based on a mistaken belief that Park51 would be a memorial to Muslims killed on 9/11. (On the one hand, I can see how such a memorial could be seen as provocative and divisive. On the other hand, I can't work out at all how Ms Moon arrived at this belief.) ETA: Just wanted to point this out: a lot of online commenters say that Ms Moon's posting called the community centre a "mosque". It didn't.

The wheelchair-bound Jewish man was Leon Klinghoffer, murdered by PLO terrorists in 1985 aboard the Achille Lauro, which they had hijacked. They shot him - in front of his wife - and threw his body and his wheelchair overboard.

The murder was needless, inexcusable brutality; it's no wonder it's stuck in Moon's mind. The thing is - and here's where my lack of nous becomes frustrating - were the PLO an Islamic organisation? Was their terrorism fuelled by religion? (And if not, what does this tell us about equating "Arab" with "Islam" with "terrorism"?)

The account given in Islamic Politics in Palestine suggests that the PLO was part of a secular movement, one which competed and clashed with Islamic groups. Similarly, The Dual Nature of Islamic Fundamentalism describes Islamic groups in Palestine regarding the secular PLO as Palestine's "internal enemy". (Similarly, I recall the conflict between Fatah - part of the PLO - and Hamas - an Islamic group - during Operation Cast Lead.)

I suspect the situation's far more complicated than anything a quick poke around in Google Books can explain. I'll keep reading. In the meantime, if anyone's got any insights, please share them!
Comments 
13th-Oct-2010 11:06 am (UTC)
WRT to the PLO my minimal understanding of it is that it's similar to the IRA in that the fight was predominantly political, but the religion was part of the political identity.

If that makes sense. No idea how accurate it is though.
13th-Oct-2010 11:41 am (UTC)
I've been following this controversy pretty closely, and the first I heard of a memorial specifically to Muslims killed in the WTC attack was this suggestion by Bill Clinton. Haven't heard much comment on it one way or another.

Btw, there's a pretty good Wikipedia article on the project and controversy at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Park51

http://www.dnainfo.com/20100921/downtown/bill-clinton-endorses-muslim-center-near-ground-zero#ixzz12EmNOWUz
LOWER MANHATTAN — Former President Bill Clinton strongly supports Park51, the mosque and community center planned near Ground Zero, he said in an interview posted on YouTube Sunday.
"I believe people should be free to practice their faith," Clinton told Steve Grove, YouTube’s head of news and politics.
"What the Muslim group wants to do is to build a community center near Ground Zero," Clinton continued. "It’s clearly a decision for the city of New York to make. The mayor supports it and they’ve gotten the requisite approvals, so I think they ought to be able to do it."
Clinton also had a suggestion for the builders of Park51.
"Much or even most of the controversy…could have been avoided, and perhaps still can be, if the people who want to build the center were to simply say, 'We are dedicating this center to all the Muslims who were killed on 9/11,'" Clinton said.
Dedicating the center to the Muslim victims would show that "not all Muslims are terrorists," Clinton said, and it could help unite all the family members of 9/11 victims in a common cause of remembrance. Many 9/11 family members have been outspoken in opposition of the center.
"We’ve all forgotten: There were a lot of Muslims killed on 9/11," Clinton said.
Read more: http://www.dnainfo.com/20100921/downtown/bill-clinton-endorses-muslim-center-near-ground-zero#ixzz12EmNOWUz
13th-Oct-2010 11:34 pm (UTC)
Thank you! (Yeah, Wikipedia is pretty helpful, for a change. :)

Hmm, Clinton's suggestion post-dates the controversial posting... my best guess is that Ms Moon has confused the memorial to all 9/11 victims, which will be part of the centre, with the centre itself. (But how? A mangled news story?)
13th-Oct-2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
Islamaphobia is being used by the Reich Wingnuts here in the US. The So called tea party, corporate paid (Koch brothers oil barons) are using it to spread hate and Nazi inspired antimuslim laws.
http://wonkette.com/425488/for-wingnuts-on-facebook-campbells-soup-is-the-new-gz-mosk

These people are EVIL as far as I'm concerned.
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20101007/ap_on_el_se/us_nevada_senate_angle
13th-Oct-2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
Fuck, it'd be hilarious if it wasn't so dangerous.
14th-Oct-2010 12:10 am (UTC)
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