Saturday, January 22, 2011

Passing thought

When was the last time you heard anything about the Park51 project, the one dubbed by the wingers the "Ground Zero mosque?"

It's been a while, hasn't it?

I mean, it was the news story for a while, a matter of vital national importance, all about how those people were mocking 9/11 of sacred memory and how we had to stop them now before Sharia law comes to your town! But as soon as the election was over and it was no longer useful as a boogeyman :poof: it vanished.

As Phil Ochs said "and all the news commentators are saying 'Thank God for coincidence!'"

Now, however, truth be told there is some recent news about the project: A NYC firefighter is suing the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission seeking to overturn its refusal to make a former Burlington Coat Factory warehouse surrounded by fruit stands, convenience stores, and porn shops a "landmark" of such historic or architectural interest as to prevent it from being developed into a Muslim community center.

Or rather, he isn't suing, he's just the front for the far-right wack-a-doodles of the American Center for Law and Justice, founded by Pat Robertson (yes, that Pat Robertson), who are paying for the whole thing. If the suit sounds silly, it's because it is. But silly doesn't faze the cretins of the ACLJ, who, unlike for example the ACLU or the National Lawyers Guild, are financially able to need pay no attention to the chances of winning before running to court and so are free to engage in Hail Mary suits such as this one.

So far, it hasn't gone well for them. On Thursday, state Supreme Court justice Paul Feinman rejected a motion for a temporary restraining order blocking any work on the site, a ruling the ACLJ denied was any kind of setback on the grounds that no work was expected imminently anyway, in which case I'm wondering why the outfit doesn't get fined by the judge for filing a patently frivolous motion but never mind. The developers have filed a motion to dismiss the suit; the hearing on that is set for February 22.

The point here is two-fold: One, the only significant (if I can dignify it with that adjective) opposition to the project is what should be and hopefully will quickly prove to be no more than a nuisance suit by a wingnut outfit seeking only to hassle, delay, and harass the developers of the project and to fundraise for itself.

Two, searches on both Google news and Yahoo! news revealed no national media coverage. That is, it is now all but exclusively a local, New York City story. Which is what it should have remained and the fact that it was a local issue before becoming this big national point of contention only to become a local issue again once the election was over is proof of it being a case of what we knew it was all along: the rightwing Big Lie machine trying to stoke and then manipulate fear, hostility, division, and religious bigotry to advance their own sociopathic interests.

Oh, one last thing before anyone reminds me of how we're all supposed to "tone it down." That was toned down.

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